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The figure being discussed is Constantine and his biography. The author is Eusebius, bishop Caesarea who also wrote about the history of the church. The author wrote not only about the religious policy of Constantine but also about him. Constantine was born in Circa 280 in Naissus (Serbia) ruled in AD 312 after his father and was a sole Emperor between 324-37. Constantine was also the first emperor who was able to accept Christianity and was in support of the Christians (Cameron and Hall, 1999).
The sources of information about Constantine ancient history was not quite accurate about who was being discussed in their work. There is no definite scale for the rule and work of Constantine. The primary sources are available for example books and hierarchy. To establish the hierarchy, one has then to go deeper into the origin of who preceded who I order to have a rough estimation of the period that some events occurred. Therefore aside from books, hierarchization, imperial documents and letters were also used Cameron and Hall, (23).
Question 2: Why the author wrote about him and the stake of the author in portraying the picture
According to (Cameron and Hall, 1999) describes Constantine as one who played a significant role in the scheme of the growing church and Christianity. The work of Eusebius is termed mostly to have an apologetic tone, yet he continues to bring up the stories about other details. Some of the works found were the Tricennalian Oration that was also called the Laus Constantini which was the speech that was to commemorate the13th anniversary of the Commemoration of the Emperor. Another one was the speech that was written regarding the dedication of the Church in Jerusalem in the Holy Sepulture. Most of the work that Eusebius did one was named Constantine's policy on his three sons and successors since he was very much in support of the Emperor.
After Eusebius wrote about Constantine, many began seeing him differently apart from being the Father of the History of the church. He was seen as a media of change and revolution and other people saw him as less of a historian as compared to the way he showed his skill in the mediation of knowledge. Others saw him as a mediator of propaganda after he called Constantine as the most beloved by God and then termed the fourth-century church as one that was brought to a state of uniform harmony. Later he called the Jews "a people who slain the Lord and the prophets" (Ferguson, 2018). Despite all the words from people, he remains the turning point of the Church in the record of history. As a result of him writing in an apologetic tone where some people note that the Life of Constantine was not complete because of the aspect of the work being too apologetic Cameron and Hall (3).
Question 3: The virtue and vices that the figure embodies
Since Constantine was in support of the Christians, he brought an end to the persecution of Christians during the time that he served as the Emperor. He was the first ruler that was brave enough to support Christians; therefore, he can be termed as a brave and diverse character from the actions that he portrayed during these occasions. Also, he can be seen as a leader who was diligent, hardworking and wise as the legislation that he made have been preserved and compiled in the codes. There are also inscriptions that record his measure; this shows that the people loved him as their leader Cameron and Hall, (20) they show that the emperor was critical in administering law and justice.
The Emperor also played his role when it came to giving sacrifice to a god who was the role of the leader to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people to God it was a sign of responsibility for his people. There was also a symbol of divine power that a leader had when there were also sacrifices that were offered to him by the people. There were various rituals that the emperor conducted some messages that he wrote for the people that all acted as a symbol that the emperor cared and his duty as the ruler. The ruling of Constantine was not a secular ruling like of previous rulers Cameron and Hall, (21)
Question 4: How Constantine relates to the prominence of educational or cultural themes, such as philosophical training, sophistry, rhetoric, Greek philosophy, or the lack of culture
Constantine on supporting religion in his home as the emperor played a significant role as it helped to change the mindset of the people who were under him as their emperor. People did not see things like they used to before there was religion in their land; it helped them grow in a philosophical mindset. Cameron and Hall, (41) Constantine made legislation that would help to restore property that belonged to the church and always ensured to be present to regulate the affairs of the church, therefore, he was part of maintaining Christianity in their region. After his wife died, he did not remarry since even two of his sons died. He began a new culture of Christianity and religion. He went away from the way the previous rulers ruled against the church, and instead, he protected the Christians.
Constantine uses letters to signify the attitudes that cannot be separated from what people think is right. The battle with the Maxentius gave an answer to the Emperor about the prophecies and helped to motivate Constantine. Most of the allusion that Eusebius uses is based in the Old Testament although the Council of Nicaea follows the model of Acts of Apostles. The scriptures are used in the form of symbolism as he uses them Cameron and Hall, (42). The armies fight under the sign of God to help in bringing a remedy to the people in his empire. The church was the only repository of truth and served as a tool that ensured peace and prosperity of the Empire.
Question 5: How Constantine dealt with does your figure relate to conflicts between pagans and Christians, or pagan and Christian institutions
After Constantine came into power, the Christians stopped being persecuted by the pagans, and on the contrary, the pagans began to suffer just like the Christians used to suffer before the reign of Emperor Constantine. There was the tearing down of the temples of pagans. Led by Constantine's son, there were anti-pagan laws that were used to bring an end to the pagans in the region. All the churches of pagans were closed down, and no sacrifices of the pagans would be offered. The Altar of victory was also removed from them, and that was where Christians had the power to destroy the pagan temples, tombs, and their monuments. The practices against the pagans continued even in the years that followed, and the Christians were no longer placed in a situation that made them suffer greatly because they were believers. On the contrary, a new culture was spread in the region with the help of Emperor Constantine, his sons and the rulers who followed to help to deal with the conflict that already existed. Constantine punished the pagans by failing to enforce taxes on the church leaders because persecuting Christians is an act that was against hindered the worship of GodCameron and Hall, (43).
Question 5(b): Events that were happening as the author was writing
During the reign of Emperor Constantine, there was a significant war that occurred between the Roman Emperors and Maxentius that is mostly seen as the beginning of Christianity being spread in the Empire. The Milan battle was also fought within the period that Eusebius was writing about the events when the wars were to be put to an end. Christians had been put under suffering for an extended period that they needed to do something to put an end to their persecution. There was also a military standard that Constantine used together with Christians to help in spreading Christianity in the empire aside from the battle.
Question 6: How does your figure relate either to conflicts within the pagan world or the Christian world
Tyrants oppressed the youth in the regions that promoted the conflicts between the Christians and pagans. The conflicts arose as a result of varying beliefs of the Christians and pagans. The more the Christians were made to suffer the more there was a growing and constant grudge between both of the groups. One being against the other all that they could have opted to do was to let each of them be those who wanted to be Christians to be, and the pagans also set free. It all began when pagans were against the Christians and made them go through a lot of suffering including their children Cameron and Hall, (72). Causing suffering and injury for the Christians was only a matter that would tamper with the peace and living in harmony of the people in the Empire. Constantine's view was that Christianity due to the attributes learned from the characters in the Bible was a symbol of unity of the people and served as a direction to show them what was right and wrong with clear examples and explanations provided from the Bible.
Cameron and Hall. Life of Constantine. (1999). ttp://eclass.uth.gr/eclass/modules/document/file.php/SEAD260/%CE%95%CF%85%CF%83%CE%AD%CE%B2%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%82%2C%20Life%20of%20Constantine%20%28trans.%20Averil%20Cameron%20-%20Stuart%20Hall%29.pdf.Accessed 2nd May 2019.
Ferguson. The Problem of Eusebius. (2018). https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-72/problem-of-eusebius.html.Accessed 2nd May 2019.
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