Very few leaders are given the accolade, ‘The Great’, we have Alfred, Alexandra and Constantine
The first two you might have heard of but Constantine? Who was he?
In 305 AD the Emperor Constantius came to Britain and with him he brought his son Constantine. Unfortunately the Emperor Constantius died within the year but the soldiers of York had taken Constantine to their hearts and instead of another Ceasar becoming Emperor, they proclaimed Constantine to be their true Emperor. The motivation for this can only be because of the personality and charisma of the man, in one year he had won their hearts.
Constantine united the whole of the Roman Empire under one ruler. What an amazing feat. Within twenty years he had created a stable and secure Roman world.
Prior to Constantine’s rule the Roman Empire had become a fragmented and disturbed shadow of its former self. Constantine sort of turned his back on Rome, distancing himself from it. He designed a new capital ‘Constantinople’ in Turkey, much easier to defend and to control.
Constantine the Christian
As his rule evolved it became apparent that Constantine turned increasingly towards Christianity. He would have seen its importance in bringing control and unity to a population. In 312 AD it is believed he was baptized. He knew better than to force his population towrds a faith and encouraged open and free worship, without persecution. It is thought he instigated Christian celebrations including one to celebrate the birth of Christ, Christmas.