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Constantine – Roman emperor – Later Roman Empire

By |2018-04-25T09:52:52+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

The Roman emperor Constantine - the first Christian emperor Diocletian's Tetrarchy worked pretty well for about 20 years, but then it broke down. In 306 AD one of the Emperors, Constantius, died. He was supposed to be succeeded by his assistant, Severus. But Constantius had a son, whose name was Constantine. When Constantius died, Constantine was not [...]

Arch of Constantine – Roman art

By |2018-04-24T23:48:41+00:00August 31st, 2017|Art, Romans|

Arch of Constantine in Rome, with the Colosseum in the background When Constantine killed Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge, in 312 AD, he marched triumphantly into Rome. After the victory parade was over, Constantine decided he wanted people to remember this victory, and he put up a large stone triumphal arch, like [...]

Basilica of Maxentius – Roman architecture

By |2018-04-24T23:28:35+00:00August 27th, 2017|Architecture, Romans|

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in the Roman Forum The Basilica of Maxentius was the last building the emperors built in the Roman Forum before the fall of Rome. The Emperor Maxentius started it in the early 300s AD. He wanted a big meeting-space where officials could hold court cases, or public meetings. Maxentius' architects were very up-to-date. They designed the building [...]

Roman Christians persecute the Jews

By |2017-08-23T17:52:47+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

A Jewish tombstone from the Roman Empire with Greek writing and menorahs (Vatican Museum, Rome) From the end of the Second Jewish Revolt and the Diaspora, around 130 AD, the Jews lived more or less quietly in the Roman Empire. They settled in cities all around the Roman and the Parthian Empires. Many Jews also moved to the trading cities of the Arabian [...]

What is Lent? Christian holidays

By |2018-04-09T23:07:27+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Religion, Romans|

February, in the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (1400s AD) Lent was originally a Germanic word for the season of Spring and the Anglo-Saxon word for the month we call March. The word "Lent" may come from older words meaning "longer days". That's because the days get longer in the spring. In the ancient and medieval worlds, Lent was [...]

Donatists – Christianity – history of religion

By |2017-08-21T21:55:20+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman emperor Constantine - the first Christian emperor Almost as soon as Constantine had won the battle of the Milvian Bridge and been converted to Christianity, in the winter of 313 AD, he began to get letters from Africa about the Donatists. This was a fight between Christians which had started during the Great Persecution of Diocletian. The [...]

Constantine becomes a Christian – History of religion

By |2018-04-24T15:50:42+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman emperor Constantine becomes a Christian - the first Christian emperor In 312 AD, the Great Persecution was still going on in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire (though not really in the West). But then Constantine became a Roman Emperor. He had had a vision which made him convert to Christianity. Constantine becomes a Christian As [...]

What is a chi-rho symbol? Early Christianity

By |2017-08-21T18:00:07+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

A chi-rho symbol from the Cluny Museum in Paris. This one is missing the alpha. The Chi-Rho symbol is an anagram - a combination - of the first two letters of Christ in Greek, the Chi (our CH) and the Rho (our R). The Chi looks like an X and the Rho looks [...]

Who were the Arians? Early medieval Christianity

By |2017-08-21T00:09:00+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman emperor Constantine - the first Christian emperor When Constantine took over the Eastern half of the Roman Empire from Licinius and founded his new capital at Constantinople in 324 AD, he was upset to find out that there was a big fight going on between the Christians in West Asia. He had had about [...]