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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Constantine the Great was the emperor of Rome for more than 30 years.  Because he reigned for such a long time, he did many things.  However, he is best known for three things.  Two have to do with religion while the third has to do with the eventual division of the Roman Empire.

In religious terms, the first thing that Constantine is known for is the fact that he was the first emperor to embrace the Christian faith.  Before Constantine, Christianity was sometimes tolerated, but Christians were sometimes persecuted by the Roman Empire.  This means that it was a very important thing for Constantine to convert to Christianity.  Not only did this make Christianity legal, but it also eventually made it the official religion of the empire.  This was very important in the history of the world.

The second thing that Constantine did was to convene the Council of Nicaea.  This council ruled that God the Father and Jesus Christ were equal members of the Trinity.  It also issued the Nicene Creed.  This creed is still used in many Christian churches today.  This makes Constantine important to Christians.

Finally, Constantine is known for having created a secondary capital for the Roman Empire in Byzantium.  The city was renamed Constantinople in his honor.  Eventually, this became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and, still later, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. 

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Constantine I, also known as Constantine the Great, lived from circa 272 AD to 337 AD and was a "Caesar" (ruler) of the Roman Empire from 306 to 337. As a military leader, Constantine initially fought against the Picts in northern Britain but later was drawn into a series of civil wars following the retirement of Diocletian. Eventually converting to Christianity and triumphing over his rival Maxentius, Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. To do this, he needed to support a uniform hierarchical structure in Christianity and put an end to divisions and rivalries among Christians, aims he achieved in part by convening the Council of Nicaea. 

Another important act of Constantine was creating a new capital of the eastern Roman Empire in Constantinople, a movement that intensified the increasing separation between the Greek east and Latin west, even though his own aim was to unify the two parts of the empire. 

Finally, Constantine continued Diocletian's projects of administrative and legal reforms.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The son of Constantius Chlorus and Helena, Constantine rose to become the first Roman emperor to profess Christianity and went one step further by using Christian emblems on the battlefield. Constantine was brought up in the Eastern Empire and was exposed to the highest standards of education. He became Emperor of both the Eastern and Western Empires through a series of complex conquests.

Constantine is known for relocating the Empire’s capital from Rome to Byzantium for political, religious, and strategic reasons. His capital was the famous Constantinople. The city was adorned with grand and elegant structures meant to rival those in Rome. He made Christianity the official religion of his territory. 

A decline in wars provided Constantine with time to develop strong institutions throughout the empire. He restructured the administrative offices, strengthened the military, and made changes to monetary policies. However, with these developments, Constantine increased the taxes on the people to unbearable levels.

laurto | Student

Constantine (also known as Constantine the Great) was a Roman emperor. He was known for being the first emperor to embrace the Christian religion that was sweeping through the empire. It made Christianity legal. Before him, Christians were not accepted. 

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