Constantine represents the passing of the Age of Catholic Christianity, and the beginning of the Age of the Christian Empire. Upon the death of Galerius, Constantine, the son of Constantius Chlorus, advanced across the Alps to dislodge his rival Maxentius from Italy and to capture Rome. When he came upon his militarily superior enemy at the Milvian Bridge just outside the walls of Rome, he turned for help to the God of the Christians. In a dream he saw a cross in the sky and the words, "In this sign conquer." This convinced him to advance. When on 28 October 312 he achieved his brilliant victory over the troops of Maxentius, Constantine looked upon his success as proof of the power of Christ and the superiority of the Christian religion. From the year 312, he favored Christianity openly. He allowed Christian ministers to enjoy the same exemption from taxes as the pagan priests, he abolished executions by crucifixion, he called a halt to the battles of gladiators as a punishment for crimes, and in 321 he made Sunday a public holiday.
With Constantine’s conversion, the Church in Rome gained in status and power and eventually became the Church of Rome.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, Church-of-Rome, ChurchRodent, Constantine, Galerius, history, Maxentius[/tags]