Free «From Commodus to Constantine» Essay Sample

The history of the Roman Empire cannot be talked about without thinking of its ancient rulers. These are the ones who shaped up the path that it later came to follow. In the period between the reigns of Commodus to Constantine, various events occurred that shaped the direction that the empire took after exit of Constantine (Whittaker). Christianity came to develop a lot during the period of 100’s and was due to some leaders who were for it. The history of Rome around the time of the two rulers can be divided into three sections. These are the third century crisis, the tetrachy, and the approval of Christianity.

The first section falls between the times when Commodus was assassinated to the time when Diocletian came to power. At this time, military rulers came to power. A lot of rulers died at this time. The major cause of these deaths were revolts. A lot of Christian persecutions took place around this time. Commodus came to power in the year 177 AD and was later killed in the palace in the year 192 AD. During his times, he took himself to be a reincarnation of the famous Hercules. He made it clear with his battles in the Coliseum with beasts. He is known to have changed the name of Rome after his name. He also named the months of the year after his name too. When Commodus died in 192 AD, a great gap in strong leadership was left behind. He was succeeded by an old and weak emperor Pertinx who later was killed by his guard. The guard made a public sale of the empire. The winner was overthrown by Septimuis. This is the man who started a military autocracy in the empire. At around 250s, Persians launched attacks; German tribes also attacked the empire from the north. In the year 280AD, Gallienus as the emperor tried to fight back. He was assassinated.

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In the meantime, more emperors were crowned and removed. This went on until 284 when Diocletian came to the throne. This ushered in the time of tetrachy. Diocletian divided the empire into the west and the east. He took over the rule of the east and handed the west to a maximian ruler. He increased the number of lesser powerful emperors so that there were four of them. He brought a new succession system in the empire and set out the roles of his position. He is said to be the one who started the final persecutions on Christians. When they resigned from power, there was a great civil war

The final section comes when Constantine came to the throne in the year 311 AD after conquering his co-emperor at a battle at the MilvianBridge. Constantine stopped all the persecution on the Christians. He overpowered Luinius who was the emperor of the western region. With that he became the sole ruler over the Roman Empire. He later built a wholly new capital and called it Constantinople. Due to doctrine conflicts, he had all bishops meet, and they came up with the Nicene Creed. The creed is still accepted.

Constantine can be credited as the emperor who came to entrench Christianity in the Roman Empire (whittaker). During his time, both the Eastern and the Western Roman Empire embraced Christianity. In 313, he and the other emperor had a meeting at Milan and made the Edict of Milan. This said that Christianity would onwards be accepted in the empire. After various deliberations, Christian beliefs and practices came to be used to guide the western religious order. From then on, a new empire that included both Christian believers and non believers was formed and accepted. The Roman Empire took a whole new direction.

Christianity is still practiced in the modern times in this region. This can be attached to the decisions that Constantine took as the emperor. He helped the subjects of his empire have tolerance for each others’ beliefs and live peacefully. He thus formed an empire of an amalgamation of pagans and Christians. He must be credited as the father of Christianity in the Roman Empire up to now.


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