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HON 2110 (25)
Lecture 1

HON 2110 Lecture 1: On the Disintegration of the Roman Empire

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HON - Honors
HON 2110
Joseph Byrne

Medieval World Lecture Notes 1 January 9: Constantine the Great (312-336 AD) - born in Nassius in 280 to a noble Roman family o father was Constantine Chlorus, who was one of the two caesars o Diocletian cannot maintain the whole empire from the city of Rome and divides the empire into four sections (called a tetrarchy) ▪ Maximinian runs Antioch ▪ Diocletian runs Italy ▪ Constantine Chlorus is in charge of Britain ▪ Galerius runs Greece ▪ 2 of the men are Augustines (like Presidents) and 2 are caesars (like Vice Presidents) o Empire splits into Western half, called occidental, which falls to the Germans and is controlled by the Roman Catholic Church; while Eastern half, called oriental, is controlled by Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek language, and maintains power until Muslim invasion o 2 capitals: rome and Constantinople o Diocletian is the last emperor to persecute Christians on a large scale - Fought for emperorship after dad dies from 306-312 in a civil war - Milvian Bridge Battle in 312 is a turning point, because the vision of the cross that Constantine had that was a sign of blessing and victory o Leads to Constantine conversion to and adoption of Christianity (but he still thinks of himself as a god, so…) o Sees the chi-rho or labarum, which is the Greek symbol meaning “Christ Reigns” or “Christ King” o Also leads to Christianity being legalized, so that persecution stops ▪ Legalized in Edict of Milan ▪ This does not make Christianity the official religion of the empire o Begins using affirmative action to put Christians into positions of leadership because Constantine trusts them more Helena- Constantine’s mother - Pilgrimages to the Holy Land - Also a saint - Establishes Christian sites in Jerusalem and encourages Constantine to build churches there o She finds Jesus’ “burial place” and other “miracle sites” o Her discovers protect these places, so that they are not disturbed by invasions January 11: Medieval World Lecture Notes 1 Controversies Once Christianity is legalized, the mindset about the religion changes - Religion and Christianity are taken seriously in persecution, but are not as valued in a comfortable society - When does the fighting stop? Any institutions run by human beings will ultimately be filled with mistakes - Christians try too hard to protect their new freedoms - Everyone has to obey the bishop, even the emperor - Ecclesiastical= church versus temporal=secular - Sack of Rome occurs in 410 Becau
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