Question One

Question One

HST 255: From Constantine to Justinian: Church and State in Late Antiquity (OUA)


Answer.Thequestion whether Constantine was a Christian or pagan has remained asubject of debate over the years. However, one can argue that indeedConstantine converted into Christianity under the following context.Before even Constantine became the emperor, he may have convertedinto Christianity because during the great Battle at the MilvianBridge, Constantine is believed to have won it because he went into acovenant with God (Lenski, N. (2006). He had a vision wherebyhe saw a cross at midday and it was inscribed that he should conquerthe battle using it. And he had made a promise to followChristianity if at all victory would be granted to him. When he wonthe battle he had to fulfill his promise and therefore he adoptedChristianity (Lenski, N. (2006).Question Two


Arius who was aDeacon at the Church of Alexandria which was very influential at thetime in Egypt started the controversy (Newman, J., &amp Williams,R. (2001). According to Arius, Christ was not the true orfull God as stated in the bible. His argument was that the father wasthe only true God and that Christ was the creations firstborn andtherefore he could not be referred to as God. Athanasius was also adeacon in the Church of Alexandria and opposed the argument frontedby Arius (Newman, J., &amp Williams, R. (2001).According to Athanasius, mankind experienced salvation because Godwas able to manifest himself in a human form through Christ the sonand the nature through which the son came and suffered for the sinsof mankind can only be possible through the divine power of God(Newman, J., &amp Williams, R. (2001).. This thereforemeant that Christ was God and his purpose was to offer mankindsalvation.



The Roman Empireadopted Christianity and as a result Roman traditional and culturalvalues were abandoned as the Romans fully embraced Christianity andanything contrarily was regarded as being paganism and thereforedespised (Geffcken, J. (1978). However, there were people likeThemistius who constantly reminded people of their cultural heritageand the need to preserve some of their traditional culturalpractices. Themistius was also a pagan philosopher who enjoyedsupport from all the emperors who served during his time most ofwhich were Christians (Geffcken, J. (1978). He constantly usedClassical pagan imagery in order to pass his messages to the empireand on numerous occasions this was done before an emperor. Hispresentations earned him admiration and praise as a philosopher whowas keen on safeguarding the traditional roman culture and heritage.


Geffcken, J.(1978).&nbspThe last days of Greco-Roman paganism. Amsterdam:North Holland Pub. .

Lenski, N. (2006).The Cambridge companion to the Age of Constantine. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Newman, J., &ampWilliams, R. (2001).&nbspThe Arians of the fourth century.Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.