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Triumph of Christianity in the Roman Empire, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 270

Essay

The transition from polytheism as the Roman Empire’s major religion to Christianity was marked by the reign of Constantine the Great between 306 and 337 A.D. This was marked by the emperor’s decision to cease prosecuting individuals that practiced the religion in the region. He viewed himself as a rule of Christian people, although it is uncertain as to whether this was because he himself was a Christian or whether he wishes to have political support from the church and members of this population.

Prior to the acceptance of Christianity in the state, these individuals were prosecuted beginning with Emperor Nero, who blamed them for the Great Fire of Rome. The empire’s main concern with these people is that by contradicting the religion of the Imperial cult, they were not dedicated members of the state. Since the emperor is able to declare both the religious and political policies of the state, Constantine made this transformation possible due to his own close ties to the religion, the values of which were imparted to him by his mother.

The specific event that led to religious tolerance was the Edict of Milan, which provided members of the empire with a freedom of religion. When Constantine began financially supporting the church, he began opening positions of public office to be held by Christians, which cemented the place of Christianity within the empire. In addition, he commissioned the publication of early Christian bibles. Towards the end of his reign, Constantine began banning the construction of new temples, which provided a manner in which Christianity could become the main religion of the empire and triumph in the land.

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