Constantine I The Great

Emperor

Born: c. 275
Died: 337
Birthplace: Naissus (modern Serbia)
Best known as: The first Christian ruler of the Roman Empire

Name at birth: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus

Constantine I came to the throne when his father, Constantius, died in 306. After defeating his rivals, Constantine became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire in 324, and is credited with social and economic reforms that significantly influenced medieval society. In 313 his Edict of Milan legally ended pagan persecution of Christians, and in 325 he used imperial power to bring unity to the church at the Council of Nicea. He also moved the capital of his empire to Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople in 330. Constantine's embrace of Christianity eventually led him to be baptized in 337.

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