Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 324-337)

Emperor Constantius and his wife Helena had a son named Constantine on February 27, 272. Con- stantine became a military officer at emperor Diocletian’s court in Nicomedia (modern Izmit).

In 305, Constantine went to join his father Constantius in a military campaign in Britannia. In 306, Constantius died at York, England, and his army declared Constantine the new emperor of the western Roman empire.

In 324, Constantine became the sole Roman emperor, and in 330 he built Constantinople as the new capital of the eastern Roman empire.

The Christian Conversion of Constantine (October 27, 312)

The controversy over the Christian conversion of Constantine the Great is never-ending, but evidence supports that his decision was authentic. Constantine became the first Christian emperor in the Roman empire, and the one who initiated a new era in early church history.

The church historian Eusebius gives a detailed account of Constantine’s transformative vision.

On the evening of October 27, 312, before his battle against Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge outside of Rome, Constantine read a statement in the sky that declared, “In this sign, you will conquer.” The sign that he saw was a Chi (Χ) traversed by Rho (Ρ) that formed a cross: Chi (Χ) and Rho (Ρ) are the first Greek letters of “Christ.”

Constantine wore the insignia on his helmet and had it put on his soldiers’ shields.