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Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (272 AD–337 AD) was one of those Roman emperors whose actions had a significant impact on the development of the Western civilization. Among his most notable achievements that were crucial for Europe and the Mediterranean region, it is important to highlight the division of state and military power and making Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire (McKay, 2014).
Constantine introduced many large-scale reforms while he was an emperor. He was said to be a very determined and strong person, therefore he never changed his opinions and implemented all his innovations in life even despite criticism from the Senate. He paid much attention to the restructurization of the government, and the principles he introduced had a considerable influence on how subsequent European rulers tried to establish their power over the people of the state (McKay, 2014). Constantine’s decision to divide military authorities and the state power was innovative for that period. Although military leaders played generally an active role in the government, Constantine abolished this practice, and it led to stability and harmonization in the society.
In addition, his decision to make Christianity the official religion of the empire changed the course of the world’s history. The Edict of Milan he signed laid the foundation for modern understanding of religious freedom (McKay, 2014). He stopped the persecution of Christians and banned crucifixion. Moreover, during his reign, he had a great authority in managing all religious disputes; therefore his decisions formed to a certain extent the basics of modern Christianity. Constantine also found the city of Constantinople, which became one of the most powerful religious and cultural centers of the period and commissioned several Christian churches there, including Hagia Eirene (McKay, 2014).
To conclude, Constantine the Great was an emperor whose reformative activities in the sphere of state administration and religion had major consequences for the further development of social, religious, and cultural processes in the region. His administrative reforms served as an example of effective government for future generations of rulers. Finally, Constantine’s official patronage of Christianity made it the largest religion in Europe.
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