The Ancients

The Rise of Constantine

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Episode notes

The Emperor Constantine I, better known as Constantine the Great, is one of the most significant emperors in Roman history. His later Christian biographers lauded him as an icon, the man who set in motion Rome's dramatic transformation into a primarily Christian empire. And yet Constantine's own beliefs were deliberately ambiguous, as Professor David Potter explained. He learned from Diocletian, he witnessed the mistakes and the successes. He figured out how to heal divisions in the empire, but at the same time restore it to one man rule through blood and battle.  Constantine's military and administrative successes are often-overlooked, but these in themselves were extraordinary. In this podcast David and I chatted through Constantine's remarkable life, his legacy and why you wouldn't rate your chances of survival if you were part of his family. David is the author of 'Constantine the Emperor'. Some notes from the pod: Galerius - A Roman emperor between 305 and 311 (Valerius) Severus - Galerius' preferred candidate to become the new Augustus in the west in 306, following the death of Constantius (Constantine's father). He was opposed by Constantine. The Wall - Hadrian's Wall The Chi Rho - a Christian symbol, but also a symbol of good fortune. Constantine painted the symbol on his soldiers' shields at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Lactantius - an early Christian author who talked about the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Maximinus Daia - ruled alongside Licinius in the east. Formed an alliance with Maxentius against Licinius and Constantine. Defeated by Licinius. Licinius - ruler of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. Co-ruled the Empire with Constantine for a while (doesn't end well!).  

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