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Constantine’s Vision according to Eusebius

In my previous posts I began to talk about the vision(s) that Constantine had that led him to convert.  So far I have talked about two accounts, one in the panegyric of 310 CE and the other in the writing, not long after the conversion itself (in 312 CE), of the Christian author Lactantius.  The most famous account is found in the only biography of Constantine from the ancient world, the Life of Constantine by Eusebius, the fourth century “Father of Church History” (called this because his other book, Ecclesiastical History, was the first attempt to write a history of Christianity from the time of Jesus down to his own day). The Life of Constantine was published after Constantine’s death in 337 CE, and so it is narrating events that happened earlier – in the case of the conversion, some 25 years earlier.  But Eusebius claims that he hear the account from Constantine himself, and that Constantine swore up and down that it was what really happened. This all took place during a military campaign.  [...]

2020-04-03T03:28:56-04:00July 24th, 2016|Constantine, Fourth-Century Christianity, Public Forum|

The Growth of Early Christianity: A Clarification

In my last post I was discussing why / how Christianity succeeded in taking over the Empire, and a number of readers have pointed out that the conversion of Constantine had something to do with it.  Yes indeed!!  Constantine had EVERYTHING to do with it.  If he/that hadn’t happened, there’s no telling what would have been.   Constantine was the real game-changer.  But my post (I wasn’t clear about this: my mistake) wasn’t dealing with the cataclysmic events of the fourth century; I was trying to talk about what was going on *before* the game changed. The question I had and have is how Christianity managed to grow exponentially from the time of the apostles up to the early fourth century, when everything took a radical turn with the conversion of the emperor (which led, before century’s end, to Christianity becoming the state religion!).   If we assume that the New Testament is basically right, just for the sake of the argument (and in this it cannot be wrong by much, any way you look at it) [...]

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