British History,Monarchs of Great Britain,King Arthur

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Interesting Events in Early British History



Constantine I, the Great - AD 324

In 324 AD, Constantine finally achieved full control over an undivided empire. He re-located the imperial headquarters to Byzantium, and changed the name of the city to Constantinople. He was a skillful politician who is popularly believed to have made Christianity the official religion of the empire because of his personal convictions. In actuality, that act was merely an expedient intended to harness the power of its "God" for the benefit of the state.

Despite his outward enthusiasm for Christianity and its powerful God, he didn't close many pagan temples during his reign. He did, however, strip them of their former wealth and shifted it to various Christian churches. This produced the result that many of the fledgling churches were put on a very firm financial footing and many of their members enjoyed great prosperity. The persecution of Christianity had stopped, perhaps, but its co-opting had just begun.

Early Christianity had no official hierarchies and functioned best as a series of small church groups worshipping with and caring for their own members while spreading the Gospel in their local areas. Constantine's move created a top-heavy structure that would quickly depart from its original purity; a church beholden to the state, out of touch with the needs of its adherents and concerned only with its own comfort. Eusebius, the early Christian historian, has given us some additional insights into the motivations of the Emperor Constantine in his "Ecclesiastical History"


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