Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Unbiased History: Constantine The Great

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It was the height of The Crisis of the 3rd Century.

Claudius Gothicus had recently saved the Nicens from the Gothic hordes.

Thanks to him, his great nephew could bear a child with his loved one,

during the reign of Rome's greatest Emperor.

In time, the crisis would pass and that child would surpass even his own legacy.

This is the tale of Flavius Valerius Constantinus,

or as history would know him:

Constantine the Great.

From a very early age, Constantine had it hard.

Born and raised in the most dangerous Imperial border, His father was constantly out fighting barbarians,

leaving him to be raised by his mother:

Helena, a saintly figure.

The years passed, and eventually he received news of his father's promotion as Caesar,

and his engagements to the Emperor's daughter.

Still loved by his father, he was sent to Diocletian's court,

where he was to learn how to be an Emperor from one of the very best.

And in the battlefield,

Constantine proved himself a prodigy:

Crushing barbarian invasions with Diocletian in the Danube,

and slaughtering Sassanids under Galerius in the East.

Gaining the respect, praise, and adoration of all as a natural leader.

Returning to Nicomedia, Constantine was present for The Great Persecution,

seeing that no matter how many Christians were killed, it never seems to be enough.

He didn't know what to think of it, but one thing was certain:

Killing them all didn't seem to work.

Diocletian knew greatness when he saw it, and together with Galerius,

he feared that Constantine might prove a threat to the tetrarchic system.

So once Diocletian finally resigned,

seeking to restore the unfamilial succession system of the five good Emperors,

He proclaimed neither Constantine nor maxentius would be Caesars.

Their talent or obvious villainy not quite the point.

And after Diocletian retired to his cabbage farm and Galerius took over,

the new Augustus sought to test his Co-Emperor's son.

Throwing Constantine into a one-on-one fight against a lion, which he won.

then on a hunt of Sarmatians beyond the Danube,

returning with the barbarian's heads, thus proving himself.

Already an adult, Constantine hooked up with his first love:

Minervina, with whom he had his first son:

Crispus, named after his great grandfather.

One night as Galerius was partying,

after being asked by both Constantius and Constantine to let father and son reunite,

he relented, letting him go and crush the legs of every horse in his way to ensure he would keep going.

After traversing his way west, Constantine was reunited with his father in Pannonia,

even if it would prove to be for a short while.

By the time he was crossing to Britain,

he had learned MUCH of the Empire he lived on;

The heroes that defined it, the fates they met, and the gods they worshiped.

All influencing him deeply.

Fighting beyond the wall, Constantine almost finished Agricola's legacy,

but had to halt, for his father's end was at hand.

Marching south to Eboracum,

Constantius uttered his last words,

declaring his support for Constantine to become an Augustus,

and then dying.

And the legions, in their grief,

Acclaimed Constantine as Augustus right then and there,

she's deep surprising confusion

Putting his grief aside,

he reported everything to Emperor Galerius, and after hearing about the hasty acclamation,

Galerius was kinda pissed.

But after promoting Severus as the new Western Augustus,

needing a new Western Caesar as fast as possible, Galerius named Constantine as such,

leaving him hoping to live up to his father's support.

And after that, Hispania declared loyalty to him, since Severus the Second was so distant if anything.

And he would prove himself worthy!

Defending the empire from both Picts, Franks, and Alemanni.

Kicking the former beyond the wall, having the Frankish Kings thrown to the lions,

and having the Alemanni beg for mercy so HARD that he had it minted into a coin.

And in Trier, Constantine upgraded the Western capital to his standards, ending the Christian persecutions

and overseeing the burial of Minervina, who had recently died.

Hearing of Constantine's achievements, maxentius kept bursting in anger,

while his sister, Fausta, stood by listening to his envious bitching.

With the Western Augustus not being Severus the Second, a friend of the Senate hating Eastern Tetrarchs,

the Senators saw in maxentius their opportunity to retake power.

Every day they fueled his anger and victimization,

all heightened by two new announcements Severus the Second made:

One: Rome was now to pay taxes, as did everyone else in the Empire.

and Two: The Praetorian Guard was to be,

finally,

thank the gods,

abolished!

The scum of the Empire now united in outrage,

the Senate and Praetorians acclaimed maxentius as Augustus,

who instantly accepted and promised all of their old powers back.

Using the Senators and Praetorians,

maxentius took over most of Italy, and awaited Galerius to legitimize his usurpation.

But when Galerius heard of this, he exploded in rage!

Immediately sending Severus the Second with an army to go crush him.

But once Severus the Second arrived in Italy,

maxentius just hid behind the Aurelian Walls like the spineless coward he was.

Unable to breach it, and with his Maximian veterans being bribed to defect him,

Severus gave up trying.

And speaking of Maximian, he was still grumbling over in his retirement villa.

But when the Senatorial and Praetorian invoice came in pleading him to return back to power,

after pretending to be reluctant,

he went right along with them.

Now reunited with his own father, maxentius sent him to go defeat Severus,

who had by then camped north in Ravenna.

Once Maximian arrived with overwhelming numbers,

He promised Severus he would spare his life if he surrendered.

Seeing no way out, Severus did just that.

And then Maximian killed him.

(Yeah, Diocletian really was holding it up together, wasn't he?)

Now betrayed by his ex-Tetrarch, Galerius sighed,

leaving the East under the supervision of Licinius, his best friend,

while he marched to Italy.

And while Constantine slaughtered more Germanic invaders,

he received a letter from maxentius of all cunts BEGGING for his help.

Although Constantine refused to betray Galerius,

after getting engaged with Fausta, he agreed to be neutral as good faith.

With Maximian sent to oversee his succession as Augustus from Severus,

since Galerius was rather busy at the moment.

Unfortunately, maxentius had already taken over all of Italy,

so Galerius had to carve his way through hostile cities and lack of supplies.

Laying siege to Rome, Galerius offered to settle things diplomatically,

but maxentius have shoved too far up his own ass for that.

Hiding behind the Aurelian Walls,

again.

Bribing the lawful Emperor's soldiers,

again,

thus forcing him to retreat,

again.

Smug as fuck, Maximian went to oversee Constantine's ascension from Western Caesar to Western Augustus,

married him to his daughter Fausta,

and all while proclaiming to be the Senior Augustus, like Diocletian was.

Yeah, he was!

So much so that when he met again with maxentius to discuss their future aspirations,

they conflicted SO much that they started to fight over who was really in charge.

Watching maxentius getting thrown around,

the Praetorian guard became REALLY mad,

forcing Maximian to flee for his life.

Back in Nicomedia, as Galerius lamented the current state of the Tetrarchy,

He was visited by Maximian, now seeking asylum.

I'm not kidding, he chose GALERIUS of all Emperors!

Not only for mistake though,

as he would prove himself useful for what was to come next.

Organizing a meeting of the original Tetrarchs,

Galerius convinced Diocletian to leave his farm for once,

and talk with his past colleagues.

Meeting up in a fort at the Danube, Maximian BEGGED Diocletian to return to power with him.

Flat-out refusing,

and saying:

"If only you saw the majestic cabbages I was growing back home,

you too would give up the pursuit of worldly power."

Diocletian, Cabbage Farmer, 308 A.D.

And after telling Maximian to go back to retirement,

Galerius sought approval for his reform of the Tetrarchy:

Galerius and Daia will remain as they were,

Constantine would be demoted back to Caesar,

despite Galerius not having the authority to do that

maxentius would still be an usurper,

and Licinius would be inserted in as the new Western Augustus.

And speaking of the usurper, he was by then brutally crushing revolts,

ruling tyrannically and being hated more and more by the Roman Italians.

To recompensate to the current Westerners,

Galerius gave them the title of Son of the Augusti,

which both of them refused for very different reasons.

Which brings us back to the Daia,

still Caesar of the East and yet now calling himself Augustus as well, making up five in total.

Having outlived his usefulness to Galerius,

Maximian then fled to the court of Constantine in the West,

where he was welcomed with respect.

Constantine then gave Maximian some legions to keep an eye on maxentius in the Alps,

while he went to crush more germs on the Rhine

And the minute Constantine went away,

Maximian told everyone Constantine had died!

And that they all should acclaim him as Augustus,

the Senior Augustus.

Which everyone called bullshit on.

Sending word to Constantine about it, forcing him to abandon his campaign.

After failing to bribe them to his side, Maximilian then fled for his life again

Eventually hiding in Massalia, modern Marsseiles or however you pronounce that.

Constantine then arrived, was allowed in with no problems, hunted down Maximian and spared him,

telling him not to do something stupid again.

Which was just the last straw for Maximian.

After a lifetime of failures,

he would prove himself competent by killing his own son-in-law.

After implicating his daughter Fausta in the murder,

He sneaked into Constantine's room and stabbed him to death.

Only that the Constantine he killed was a decoy,

placed by Fausta, who had already alerted Constantine.

Having Maximian apprehended, earning her the Emperor's trust.

A failure once again, Maximian was told by Constantine to just go kill himself.

Which he did, hanging himself to death.

One of the few things he set out to do on his own, and achieve successfully.

Finally able to sleep in peace,

Constantine experienced a divine vision.

Brought to a spiritual realm, the true divine aspect, Apollo and Victoria emerged.

Gifting him a laurel wreath and proclaiming he would rule long and with health.

And once awake, his piety went even further beyond.

The Gods of the Sun and Victory appearing was no coincidence,

the more he thought about it, the clearer the truth of a grander monotheistic God appeared,

known to all Romans Deus Sol Invictus.

While in the East, Galerius met the same fate as Diocletian:

Suffering from a disease SO bad that the stench of his rotting organs were smelled all across Nicomedia.

As his final act, he declared the Great Persecution a failure,

proclaiming an end to it, and then dying.

Painfully.

Daia then reemerged, taking over Galerius' possessions and even his court,

imprisoning both Diocletian's wife and daughter.

For as it turns out, Daia was a HUGE cunt.

When news of it all reached Diocletian, it struck him hard.

The Tetrarchy he had created was in ruins,

His family was imprisoned, and every single one of his friends were now gone.

Thinking it was all his fault,

he hanged himself in his palace, saying goodbye to this doomed world.

After his death, Licinius did the same as Daia;

Seizing Galerius' passed domains and setting their border between the Bosphorus Strait,

leaving both of them unsatisfied.

And fuck, pleb,

now the Empire was truly divided!

Between four Augusti, only two of which were legitimate,

the Western ones being polar opposites,

and the Eastern ones despising each other.

The absolute state...

No wonder Diocletian killed himself.

By far the worst of them was maxentius.

Who despite hating his father, proclaimed he would avenge him

by declaring war on Constantine out of nowhere, throwing the Tetrarchy into civil war.

Receiving these news, Constantine vowed to remove the tyrant maxentius from Rome, for God and Empire.

Oh, and by the way, it's about time I told you that Constantius' second marriage rendered his son six half-siblings:

Julius, Dalmatius, Constantia, Eutropia, Anastasia and Fausta.

And oh don't give me that look,

we've only BEGUN with the name dumps.

This is the Constantinian dynasty you pleb, get used to it.

Constantine then started out allying himself with Licinius against maxentius,

promising his sister Constantia's hand in marriage.

Which provoked Daia to recognizing maxentius' rule if he allied with him, which he agreed to.

It was all now a team deathmatch.

Preparing for the war, Constantine's advisor recommended him to stay on the defensive,

for whether if maxentius attacked or stayed out, his defeat was imminent.

Constantine agreed,

which is why he proclaimed his intent to invade Italy!

Telling everyone to start packing.

Constantine then crossed the Alps with 40,000 men,

only a quarter of his total army, still mainly focused on defending his citizens from barbarians as he was.

While in Rome, maxentius ordered the patricians to build him a HUGE Basilica in his honor,

but he was too lazy to actually finish it,

instead sending his minions to go fight his war for him.

And as he entered Italy,

Constantine was halted at Segusium [modern day Susa],

which he dealt with by setting its walls on fire, and then scaling them, taking it with ease,

and forbidding any looting, showing to all his benevolence.

maxentius then responded by sending a huge cavalry army to attack them near Turin,

which, astoundingly,

Constantine encircled with his foot soldiers!

Descending on it and dismounting the riders to their deaths.

What few survived then fled to Turin, and were refused entry by the locals,

who then happily opened their gates to Constantine.

After that, more and more cities surrendered to him,

and he was then cheerfully welcomed into Mediolanum as a liberator.

After resting, Constantine marched east to face a huge maxentian army, led by his Praetorian prefect,

which was camped out on the heavily fortified fortress of Verona, covered in three sides by rivers.

And to cross the river, Constantine sent a tiny detachment of cavalry to scout the area,

which the prefect noticed, sending a way bigger army to quash the attempt,

and getting crushed instead...

Constantine then laid siege to Verona, allowing the prefect to flee,

and return with an even BIGGER army!

To which Constantine sent one tiny Battalion to fight off.

The insulted prefect then attacked,

got his ENTIRE army destroyed and died in battle...

Oh man, it's hard not to laugh.

After the show of force, Verona just surrendered to Constantine,

and later all remaining cities in North Italy did so as well.

Now more terrified than ever, maxentius abandoned his people,

piling all of his troops and resources into Rome,

destroying all bridges on the Tiber and hoping the Aurelian Walls would save him again.

Constantine was then cheered on as approached Rome,

camping nearby where the Milvian bridge once stood.

And while he threw games as a distraction, the crowd started cheering for Constantine,

declaring him to be invincible.

Fitting, as for around then,

Constantine gathered his men for a March that would change the fate of the world.

As they marched, Constantine's vision was taken over by a radiant beam of light from the sky.

Over the light of the Sun, a gigantic symbol had manifested in the sky,

beneath a divine commandment:

In Hoc Signo Vinces

By this sign,

Conquer.

The entire army has shared the vision,

but once it vanished, not even Constantine knew what to really make of it.

Later that day, going to sleep and praying for answers,

he experienced another vision.

As lucid as ever,

he woke up in an even grander divine realm,

and again,

He wasn't alone.

Beside him was someone he knew, yet didn't understand.

He was all of the gods of Roman tradition,

and yet beyond them.

The logos in the flesh, the Alpha and the Omega,

Sol Invictus, and even more.

Before him stood the one true God.

And now he appeared to Constantine,

as Jesus Christus.

The dead jewonastick himself.

And what at first sounded insane, now made more sense than anything.

Sol Invictus,

Jesus Christus,

different interpretive aspects of the same overarching deity.

And as the revelation shined light on many old questions,

the true God again stood before him,

telling Constantine to bear the first two letters of Christus' name,

as his symbol and of his legions.

To which he accepted, and returned to the mortal realm.

And once he woke up, Constantine got straight out of bed,

and started hunting now for a shitload of paint.

The next morning, maxentius celebrated his sixth anniversary since his usurpation,

and Rome's priests told him that the enemy of Rome would be defeated that very day.

Surprised with joy,

maxentius ordered his troops out of the city to finally face Constantine.

And since he had destroyed the Milvian bridge earlier,

maxentius ordered his men to build a temporary bridge to cross the Tiber.

As he finished the crossing, Constantine's army appeared in the distance,

and maxentius could NOT believe what he saw.

For the glory of Deus,

Constantine ordered his cavalry to charge and annihilate maxentius' cavalry,

and marched his legions forward.

Despite being heavily outnumbered,

Constantine pushed them further and further backwards to the Tiber River.

His will to fight already broken,

maxentius ordered to retreat back to the Aurelian Walls,

and what ensued was pure chaos:

Tens of thousands of soldiers panicked, crossing at the same time.

In that mess, maxentius was pushed out of the bridge and drowned in the Tiber River,

along with many of his men.

And at the end of the day, Rome's enemy had died,

and with this sign,

Constantine had Conquered.

Victorious, Constantine was welcomed in Rome with a triumph,

displaying maxentius' severed head.

But as he did, he refrained from going to the temple of Jupiter,

now truly understanding the grander divinity he represented.

Instead, he went to the Senate,

where the senators implored their master for mercy,

proclaiming him the Senior, and Greatest Augustus.

And he let them be, for his ire was directed to the other parasites.

Seeing his merciful attitude,

the Praetorians judged Constantine as yet another Emperor they could exploit,

and awaited to be bribed to ensure their loyalty,

just waiting for an opportunity to betray him in the future.

However,

the time had finally come.

The time for a new age,

the time for revenge.

And so,

Constantine proclaimed,

that the Praetorian Guard,

Would

BE

ABOLISHED!

It took hundreds of years,

but now Rome's betrayed Emperors could finally rest in peace.

With Constantine's deeds forever immortalized in the triumphal arch he then built in Rome.

Displaying both his Pagan and Christian beliefs,

Constantine issued currency bearing Sol Invictus, and in others the Chi Rho,

which he now understood as both sides of the same coin.

Constantine then met with Licinius in Mediolanum,

married him to his sister as promised,

and together they issued the Edict of Milan:

Officially legalizing Christianity in the Roman Empire.

Although only one of them actually meant it.

But when Daia heard of maxentius' defeat, he was way back in the Syrian desert,

and immediately marched west.

On his way, he continued persecuting Christians non-stop, in clear violation of the Edict of Milan.

Nevertheless, Constantine said he would pardon him if he vowed to follow the law from now on.

Which Daia refused,

gathering some 70,000 men, crossing the Bosphorus and taking Byzantium.

Suddenly forced into another Civil War,

Constantine had no time to reinforce Licinius' army before he marched off.

So to boost their spirits, Licinius was then visited by an angel,

which handed him a prayer that will work for all interpretations of the one true God,

be it Jupiter, Sol, Yahweh or whatever.

His speech given, Licinius faced Daia's overwhelming numbers at Tzirallum,

the city where Aurelian had once been betrayed, decades back.

Confident in his numbers,

Daia just stayed on the defensive, knowing that Licinius' men would soon give up.

Eventually the incessant attacking proved him wrong,

but too late for him by them.

As his army was crushed, he crossed the Bosphorus Strait fleeing to Anatolia.

Making a last stand,

Daia LARP'ed as Probus and fortified himself in the Cilician gates against Licinius.

Who didn't actually bother facing him in person,

sending his legions alone, who then crush Daia's forces anyway.

Fleeing to Tarsus, in his last moments, he then LARP'ed as Galerius,

proclaiming an end to the persecutions, accepting the Edict of Milan,

and then dying.

Also painfully.

Now in charge over the Eastern Empire, the vices of power made Licinius show his true colors.

With that, he massacred Daia's entire family,

executed Severus the Second's son for being a friend of his,

and then hunted down Diocletian's wife and daughter, murdering them in both.

Hearing of this horrific carnage from afar,

Constantine's alliance with Licinius immediately began deteriorating.

And as that happened, Armenia had gotten a new king again,

a Christian this time.

Who then proclaimed Christianity as Armenia's state religion,

Putlawing all other pagan interpretations of God.

A premonition if there ever was one.

And talking of Christianity, Constantine was facing the greatest threat to Christianity's success:

Christcuckery.

More precisely, the tendency of Christians to engage in petty squabbles over abstract garbage

to the detriment of the unity, law, and order.

You see, Aurelian was the first Roman Emperor to dabble into Christian issues by their own request,

and now being Constantine's turn,

he was asked to resolve the Donatist issue,

regarding the Christians that had complied with the persecutions.

And the donatists would keep asking for more and more favours,

so getting on his nerve that Constantine demanded them to fucking shut up!

Which they eventually did.

As years passed, Fausta would bear Constantine six children:

Constantine the Second, Constantius the Second, and Constans.

Plus another three girls:

Constantina, Helena, and Fausta, but who cares.

and Constantia bore a child with Licinius as well:

Licinius the Second.

This will be one fucked family tree.

For a while.

And with so many potential heirs,

Constantine then proposed to revive Diocletian's Tetrarchy.

Sending Julius to speak with Licinius,

Constantine then married Anastasia to Bassianus,

a friend of Senecio, who was BFFs with Licinius.

Proposing to elevate him as Caesar alongside Crispus,

Constantine's now grown eldest son.

To which Licinius refused outright,

Later ordering Senecio to order Bassianus to go and murder Constantine in his sleep.

However, Bassianus hadn't been the first one to try that,

completely failing in his plot, and getting executed for the attempt.

And when Constantine demanded Senecio to be handed over for judgement,

Licinius refused, tearing down all of Constantine statues in his realm,

and thus declaring war.

And wait a second here...

The Empire was now split West and East among two men with family ties

who hated each other on the precipice of Civil War?

Oh if God wants to replay the Augustus arc so bad,

you can't blame ME for already knowing who the Livia of this story is.

So yeah, Constantine then led a force of 20,000 men over the Alps into Illyria,

and Licinius gathered 35,000 men and marched west.

They finally clashed in Pannonia, where the infantry clashed for hours,

Constantine flanked and destroyed the enemy forces,

and Licinius just fled in the dark of night.

Fleeing to the east,

Licinius raised one of his generals, Valens, as his co-Augustus to ensure his loyalty.

Remember that name, it's kind of confusing.

After declining a peace treaty, getting fucked on the battlefield, and escaping again,

It was only after encircling Constantine to no avail that he felt secure enough to negotiate.

Constantine then forced Licinius recognized him as the Senior Augustus,

took everything west of Thrace, and had Valens executed.

With that done, Constantine then formed a new Tetrarchy on his own,

Elevating Crispus and Constantine the Second to Caesars,

with Licinius the Second added in as another 5th wheel.

He then moved this capital to Sirmium, so he could keep an eye on Licinius up close,

Sending Crispus to go defend the west from barbarians in his name.

Protecting all from three massive Germanic invasions, and being as talented as his father,

Crispus became just as loved and admired by all.

And back to Licinius, he disobeyed his own edict and started persecuting Christians again,

plain just ignoring that whole angel thing I guess.

As he wasted his time on that,

Constantine was defending the Danube from both Goths and Sarmatians,

Crushing them both in battle and even killing the new Gothic King before he caused much trouble.

Thing is, the barbarians began invading from Licinius' side instead,

forcing Constantine to constantly cross the border and clean up the mess.

And instead of helping him defend his citizens,

he declared war on Constantine again,

gathering 165,000 men to fight Constantine's 130,000.

Fortifying himself beside the river by Adrianople,

Licinius also betrayed civilisation and recruited a huge Gothic horde to serve him.

Constantine however, bound a whole Frankish horde into his service,

binding them with the divine magic of his Chi Rho standard.

Facing Licinius, Constantine found a good spot to cross the river,

ordering a bridge to be built far away as a distraction.

And once Licinius fell for the bait, Constantine crossed and flanked his lines,

pushing him back and casting his standard's divine magic on his own legions.

Blessing them with so much power it made Licinius flee again.

This time to Byzantium, naming yet another general as co-emperor:

Some dude named Martinian,

who he then sent east to gather a new army for him.

And despite being injured, Constantine pressed on.

But after realizing just how fucking hard it was to siege Byzantium,

He ordered his son Crispus back from the west to lead his naval campaign.

Sent to face Licinius' fleet while vastly outnumbered in battle,

not only did Crispus win decisively,

but God then sent a storm to destroy the remaining ships,

leaving only four survivors.

After this catastrophe, Licinius then fled to Anatolia,

and was pursued by Constantine all the way to Chrysopolis.

So desperate he became that he started praying to Jupiter and company for help,

despite them being derivative of the God he had so recently scored.

So desperate in fact,

he grew to fear Constantine's divine standard above everything else,

forbidding his troops to attack in it's direction, or to even look at it!

Resorting to just charging his Goths at him,

Constantine ordered one massive charge forward.

Killing tens of thousands and making Licinius flee one final time.

And after fleeing to Nicomedia, Licinius sent his wife Constantia to go plead for his life,

which he did, and as Constantine couldn't deny his sister's request,

Licinius was allowed to live, being prisoned in Thessalonica and Martinian in Cappadocia.

But soon after he was set free by his adolescent son Licinius,

and together they conspired with the Goths to link him together with their hordes and kill Constantine.

But getting caught in the attempt.

And for having conspired with barbarians against their Emperor,

plus all of their other crimes,

they were both hanged to death,

leaving Constantine as the sole emperor of the whole Empire.

And with said Empire now reunited and at peace,

Constantine focus on amending its relationship with Christianity.

It was no wonder why past Emperors persecuted them so much,

but with it now revealed as the true faith,

Constantine began integrating them as proper citizens.

To rule an Empire at peace, Constantine chose to favor Christianity as his favorite faith.

Becoming the first Christian Emperor in history.

A wise move, given how fast Christianity was spreading.

And seeing the writing on the wall, Constantine acted appropriately.

Persecuted Christians were compensated for their losses,

their leaders allowed entry into the government,

and the declining Pagan institutions, though still entirely legal and respected,

were placed second to Christianity.

By distancing them from Hebrew and into Latin,

by fully integrating them into the Empire as citizens and governors,

Christianity became an increasingly Roman faith,

and eventually,

a civilizing faith.

And to appease the increasingly Christian masses,

Constantine built countless churches left and right,

among them the original St. Peter's Cathedral,

built over where Nero had executed him,

if only to send a message.

All that said, Constantine had ABSOLUTELY no patience for Christcuckery in his Empire,

and he was about to face a BIG one:

The Arian heresy.

He had ought to do with a Christian autism called the Trinity:

Get this, God is apparently the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

who are somehow not each other.

Not that far from Constantine's true Trinity should be honest,

but let's do this the Christian way from now on.

But that wasn't arius' contention though.

He accepted the Trinity as a concept,

He just decided to be a divisive cunt by proclaiming,

loudly,

that the Son was inferior to the Father,

when the standard thought was that they were equal, co-substantial.

Now Constantine really didn't give a shit about any of that,

but he was really annoyed to see it become the extremely divisive issue in the church it became.

Seeing how petty this conflict was and with the Empire's religious unity at stake,

Constantine proclaimed the global council of bishops will be held in Nicaea to settle the matter,

the first ecumenical council of Nicaea.

Hundreds of bishops, attended overseen and mediated by Constantine himself.

Tempers flared, fights broke out, but with the Emperor's gaze upon them,

they all unanimously decided, (but for two votes) that Arianism was indeed heresy

ending with the unrelenting arias getting banished to Illyria.

And in exile, arias suffered the fate of a divisive heretic:

Suddenly getting diarrhea, running for the bathroom,

falling, getting a hemorrhage and dying in a pool of his own piss and shit.

Which then takes us to Crispus,

who by being a war hero, as well as the spitting image of his father, but younger,

his stepmother Fausta was taken over with lust for him.

Leaving her to try and seduce Crispus one night,

But Crispus rejected her with disgust,

thus pushing her to live up to the other stepmother stereotype:

To get her revenge and to secure her own son's ascension to power,

Knowing that magic wouldn't work on Constantine,

Fausta claimed that Crispus had tried to rape her, and was plotting to murder him.

Believing her, and completely devastated, Constantine then had his eldest son seized, tried, and executed.

But the pain of losing his beloved son wouldn't lessen,

for while visiting his mother Helena in Rome, as he lamented his loss,

she taught him the truth.

that Fausta had lied to him.

Now angrier than ever before, Constantine threw Fausta into a bathing room,

and cranked up the heat until she suffocated to death.

Now deprived of both enemies and loved ones,

that weren't Crispus, Constantine focused back on the Empire,

with its capital particularly in mind.

It had long become a cesspool of degeneracy.

Its political and economic influence diminished away,

and its strategic position grow more and more an issue.

What the Empire needed for a capital was a centrally located city;

like in between continents.

Had a nice harbor, that came between two different seas,

was close enough to volatile borders, like the Danube,

and was so easily defensible that he could just like,

build one massive wall one of its size and defended for over a thousand years-

Byzantium.

He needed Byzantium.

Here, near where his Trojan ancestors once stood,

where his mentor Diocletian recently ruled,

and right beside where the greatest emperor Aurelian was assassinated,

Constantine was visited by an archangel,

who confirmed this was where he was to build his new city.

Constantine thus proclaimed the birth of a second Rome,

a new Rome!

Nova Roma!

Or as it was eventually named,

the city of Constantine,

Constantinople.

And after helping the delineate it's borders, the archangel vanished.

And Constantine officially transformed Constantinople into the Empire's new capital.

And after emulating Romulus so much,

he returned to emulating Augustus's miserable last years,

as one of the longest reigning Emperors of all time.

During his last years, he reinstituted the spirit of the Lex Julia,

severely punishing any and all degenerate behavior.

Most especially in his new capital,

using Biblical scripture to drill it into every Christian plebs heads.

And in that vibe, he sent his virtuous mother Helena to a pilgrimage to Jerusalem,

returning with the pieces of the true cross,

the very stick the dead Jew was on.

Using all of his funds, he finished his new capital,

and even created a new Senate for it,

it had thousands of senators and was just as useless as the one back in Rome.

And as a true student of Diocletian,

Constantine issued many reforms of his own.

Most importantly the last major reform of the Roman military.

We still had Comitatensis, Limitanei, the Navy and all,

but now subdued barbarian hordes had a name:

Foederati.

And the Legates and Duxes that rule them were now led by the Magister Peditum and Magister Equitum.

Masters of foot and horses.

and above them was the Magister Militum.

Master of armies, topped only by the Emperor himself.

And to provide future Emperors with a proper bodyguard,

Constantine created the Palatini palace guards.

Which due to being elite soldiers and being denied the depravities of Praetorians,

would prove to be far more loyal.

But as he reformed the armies,

Constantine saw the rise of many half Germans in the legions,

with his suspicion of them shared by a young soldier recruit:

Valentinian.

Whom held a hatred for germs greater than ANY Roman that had ever lived.

And so much had Constantine beaten the barbarians over the decades,

that he got away with building a bridge over the Rhine,

and rebuilding Trajan's bridge in the Danube,

once slaughtering 100,000 Goths and retaking lower Dacia.

But if you will remember, it still is all downhill from here.

For Constantine's rule would prove to be the last golden age of Rome.

From here on,

the Empire would face an increasingly devastating crisis of instability, treachery,

civil wars and barbarian invasions worse than any nightmare.

And it was all confirmed by the heirs he was doomed to pass the Empire to.

Of his three sons, Constantine the Second was the opposite of his father:

Weak, vain, and treacherous.

Constantius the Second was intelligent and strong,

but had grown cynical and distant due to Fausta's upbringing.

And Constans...

Was a fag.

Literally, he LOVED dick.

Very unchristian.

So he then looked onto his nephews, like the sons of Constantia's new marriage:

Dalmatius and Hannibalianus.

As well as the sons of Julius, like Gallus:

The step grand

The step grand-grand

The step grand-grand-grand

The step grand-grand-grand-grand

The step grand-grand-grand-grand-grand

The step grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand son of Caracalla.

And also his half-brother: A very young Julian,

in whom he sensed the most potential,

but had to ignore due to his age.

After giving it some thought,

he sought again to revive the Tetrarchy by giving the West to Constantine the Second,

Italy and it's surroundings to Constans,

the East to Constantius the Second,

and both Thrace and Greece to Dalmatius.

as for Hannibalianus,

he was named King of Kings.

And yeah, that implies what you think it implies!

That's right, Constantine gave the entire unconquered Sassanid Empire to his nephew.

As a sloppy seconds at that.

On top of claiming that all Christians in the east were under his own personal protection.

The madman.

Which was something that Shapur's great-grandson:

Shapur the Second used as an excuse to invade the Empire and destroy civilization.

The base broken, Constantine prepared to fuck their shit up.

Only to realize how fucked his own shit was.

So weak and ill he became, that after praying to God for answers,

he realized was about to die.

He was then rushed westward to Constantinople,

seeking to die in the city he had built.

But alas, he could only make it as far as Nicomedia.

After a life of service for the one true God,

Constantine sought to legitimize the Christian faith once and for all.

So as his final wish, he asked to be baptized.

Cleansed away of all sin, despite hanging on,

Constantine gave up to the call from high above,

and left this mortal realm one final time.

Having ruled as Rome's Emperor for over three decades, he displayed wisdom and virtue.

Was never defeated in battle,

defended the empire from barbarians countless times,

reunited Rome after a terrible civil war,

transformed Christianity to a Roman, civilizing faith,

and gave the Empire a new capital that would stand for over a thousand years.

And it is for these reasons, and a thousand reasons more,

that history will forever remember him,

as Constantine the Great.

[Subtitles created by Corporal Corgi] [As a side note, fuck the auto-generated captions for butchering Roman names]

The Description of Unbiased History: Constantine The Great