The Establishment of Official ChristianityEdit
We have previously mentioned Constantine earlier during our brief survey of Roman Emperors, and mentioned his involvement with Christianity. From the time of Paul to the beginnings of Constantine's career, Christianity underwent both change and growth. As it became more prominent, it ran into the same difficulties as had Judaism. But whereas the followers of Judaism had developed safeguards that could distinguish between that which was Caesar's, and that which was God's, the early Christians had not. As such, Christianity came to be seen as an open repudiation of the God Caesars of Roman Society, who still favored the old Gods and increasingly that of Mithraism.
From about 303 onward, it became a matter of official Roman Policy to persecute and bring an end to Christianity once and for all. And the Diocletion persecutions began, lasting until 312 when Contantine was declared the Associated Emperor in charge of the Western Roman Empire. His rise to that position was in part the result putting the Christian Cross on his shield and successfully enlisting the military support of Christians in his quest to re-unite the Roman Empire.
The final war that led to his becoming the Emperor of the entire Roman Empire in 324, was in part a religious war between those who supported Christianity in the Western Empire versus those who supported Mithraism at the expense of Christians in the Eastern Empire.
Having the finally established control over all the Roman Empire, Constantine then saw fit to call the First Council of Nicaea in 325. This brought about the Nicene Creed, and for a time brought unity to the Christian Church throughout the Roman Empire as it became its official religion. In 337, prior to dying, Constantine finally got around to becoming the first Roman Emperor to be baptized as a Christian.
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