I have decided to pursue further the question of how, in the fourth century, Christianity took over the Roman imperial government (at the highest levels) leading to the proscription of pagan practices.   For that I will rely on a couple of extracts from my book,  The Triumph of Christianity, over a few posts.   Here is the continuation of the story after the death of Constantine.


Constantine’s father Constantius became Caesar of the West in 293 CE and then senior Augustus in the imperial college with the abdication of Maximian in 305 CE.   His dynasty was to last seventy years, until the death of Constantine’s nephew Julian in 363 CE.

It was not a peaceful and closely knit family, as seen nowhere more clearly than in the vicious bloodbath that occurred after Constantine’s death on May 22, 337, with the event known as “the massacre of the princes.”    Constantine’s three remaining sons – Constantius II, Constans, and Constantine II (the eldest Crispus having earlier been executed) – were to divide his empire among themselves, but there were eleven other male relatives who could, in theory, have a stake in the succession and for that reason could be seen as a threat to those already in power.   Almost immediately upon the emperor’s death, nine of these were summarily murdered in cold blood –all except two young boys, Gallus and Julian, Constantine’s nephews.

Later in life, Julian …

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