Week 4: The Imperial Religion: The Conversion of Constantine Flashcards Preview

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1
Q

what events almost caused the collapse of the Roman Empire before Constantine came into power?

A

Invasion, civil war, outbreaks of plague and economic depression

2
Q

what solution was put in place to prevent the collapse of the Roman Empire?

A

absolute power was divided between four rulers

3
Q

what was the arrangement of four rules called?

A

‘Tetrarchy’

4
Q

why did the tetrarchy begin to breakdown in the first decade of the 4th century?

A

the threat of invasion receded and difficulties arose concerning succession as during 309-313 most claimants were eliminated

5
Q

who suicide did Constantine force?

A

Maximian’s in 310

6
Q

which claimant died of natural causes?

A

Galerius in 311

7
Q

who had power in Italy and North Africa?

A

Maxentius

8
Q

when was Maxentius defeated?

A

at the Battle of Milivian Bridge 312

9
Q

when did maximinus commit suicide?

A

313 after being defeated in Licinius

10
Q

when did Constantine defeat Licinius

A

in 324 and then Constantine declared himself sole emperor of a reunited Roman Empire

11
Q

did Constantine show interest in christianity in the early period?

A

no

12
Q

when did Constantine declare himself to be a christian?

A

after victory at Milivian bridge on October 312

13
Q

when was Constantine originally proclaimed emperor?

A

312

14
Q

when was the verdict of Milan issued?

A

313

15
Q

what was the erdict of Milan?

A

proclaimed freedom in both the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire

16
Q

what effect did the Erdict of Milan have on Christianity?

A

gave it no real privileges but but paved the way for it to play a role in Roman society

17
Q

why did Constantine originally continue with roman pagan symbolism?

A

so as not to cause social discontent to early on in his reign

18
Q

what important turning point took place in 321?

A

Constantine proclaimed that christians and non-christians should worship on the day of the sun. this clearly reflected the christian day of worship on a Sunday

19
Q

what appeared on coins, alongside traditional pagan images?

A

christian symbols

20
Q

what did Constantine stipulate that his statue in the forum should depict?

A

a cross ‘the sign of suffering that brought salvation

21
Q

why was Constantine’s campaign against Licinius religious?

A

licinius had reneged the erdict of Milan and introduced policies which discriminated against christians.

22
Q

what was Constantinople declared as after Constantine became sole emperor of the Roman Empire?

A

‘the new rome’

23
Q

what became a matter of both political and theological importance?

A

doctrinal debates

24
Q

who do some scholars regard as christianises biggest enemy at the end of the third century?

A

The Egyptian cult Isis

25
Q

what left Paganism vulnerable

A

the state withdrawal of support

26
Q

who was responsible for the building of large basilicas in many European cities?

A

Constantine

27
Q

what did churches allow christianity

A

public presence

28
Q

why was christianity not ready for its rapid transformation?

A

because bishops were merely leaders of congregations and had now became pillars of roman society with power and influence, they were used to home churches, simple forms of worship were now complex and adapted to the splendour of the basilicas

29
Q

who tried to reestablish paganism as the main imperial religion?

A

Julian the Apostate in 361-3

30
Q

what was the core role of religion in Roman Empire?

A

social cohesion

31
Q

what ensured social cohesion yet distinct identity?

A

each city had its own patron deities, and family religious rituals were carefully observed

32
Q

why did the roman military regard religion as important?

A

they linked proper religious observance with success in battle

33
Q

what dies the latin word ‘religion’ mean?

A

‘binding together’

34
Q

were individually allowed to follow their own private religious beliefs?

A

yes as long as it didn’t interfere with the state

35
Q

what were people who flouted their own religious beliefs called?

A

atheists

36
Q

what was religion primarily about?

A

practice and binding duties rather than theology and set beliefs

37
Q

what obligations were put upon christianity?

A

the obligation to create civic unity, social cohesion and political solidarity

38
Q

why would christianity need so much time to acclimatise?

A

because it had spent so much time, undeveloped, in the shadows of society

39
Q

why was the undeveloped nature of christianity an advantage for Constantine?

A

because it was easy to manipulate and it was easy to impose imperial ideology on it, depriving it of its earlier independence

40
Q

what was a surprise to Constantine?

A

that there was a lack of unity in the church itself

41
Q

because of the lack of unity in the church, what became imperial political matters?

A

matters of orthodox and heresy

42
Q

what was the Arian controversy?

A

discussion of the divinity of Christ, a dangerous debate as it threatened the unity of the church, and thus the state.

43
Q

what did Constantine allow, in order for the Arian Controversy to be resolved promptly?

A

that the church should be the one to decide the outcome

44
Q

where was the fist meeting of all bishops?

A

The Council of Nicaea in Bithynia in may 325

45
Q

what was the council of Nicaea a display of

A

the structure of the church and its resolutions was becoming that of the state

46
Q

what were the church forced to do at the council of Nicaea?

A

resolve theological issues for the sake of the wellbeing of the empire

47
Q

what prominent roman religious tradition was absorbed into christianity

A

‘cult of the saints’ where a meal was held at a tomb of someone you wished to honour. probably represented the need for some christian equivalents to traditional roman practices

48
Q

what happened in 387

A

gallic tribal army overwhelmed Rome’s defences and briefly took hold of the city

49
Q

when was the tipping point for the Decline of Rome?

A

408 when a Visigoth army led by Alaric laid siege to Rome. in 410 the army pillaged the city, they burned many parts of the city shaking the confidence of the civilisation.

50
Q

why did the sack of Rome not cause the end of the Roman Empire?

A

because the administration took place in Constantinople, due to earlier decisions, Rome was no longer the capital city of the western empire.

51
Q

when do historians think the western empire came to an end?

A

476, the east (Constantinople) continued for another 1000 years

52
Q

where did Alaric intend to target after Rome?

A

Sicily and North Africa, but his fleet was destroyed by a storm

53
Q

where did refugees from Rome and the south flee?

A

North Africa

54
Q

what was the controversy involving both Rome and christianity?

A

had christianity violated the sacred roots of Roman culture, and had the pagan gods responded by abandoning Rome?

55
Q

Why did Augustine release ‘The City of God”?

A

in response to the criticisms stating that gods had abandoned Rome as a response to christianity ruining roman culture

56
Q

how long did the city of god take to complete?

A

15 years

57
Q

what were the aims of Augustine’s city of God?

A

to rebut pagan criticisms of christianity and reassure christians who were shocked by events around them. pointing out that Rome was full of disasters long before christianity and pagan gods had struggled to provide protection in the past.

58
Q

what was augustines approach to history in ‘the City Of God’

A

he wanted to provide a christian reading of history and help believers seesaw they fit into the unsettling events taking place around them

59
Q

what did Augustine say about christians?

A

they may live in this world but are not of this world, they are just passing though, and must always be ready to move on. heaven is the true home and ultimate destiny of christians.

60
Q

how should the churched be viewed according to Augustine?

A

should be seen as, in exile, in ‘the city of the world’. it is in this world but not of this world

61
Q

what background is the slow passing of the Roman Empire set against for Augustine?

A

the frailty and transiency of all human institutions.

62
Q

who is the figure supposed to have caused the fall of the western empire?

A

German military ruler Odoacer (433-93). the administrative changes he put in place within Italy ended the idea of a Roman Empire

63
Q

instead of the ‘fall’ of the western empire, what should we see it as?

A

as a transformation, from the Roman Empire to what we call the Middle Ages (Peter Brown)

64
Q

what religion did Odoacer follow

A

Arian, identifying Jesus with something which diverged from the agreed identity at The council of Nicaea 325

65
Q

why did Odoacer’s religion not cause the issues anticipated?

A

because he was more concerned with the military and political crises he faced in the Kingdom of Italy

66
Q

how was power a cause of the erosion of the Roman Empire

A

rulers tended to be local and did not have time to establish political stability so the church began to emerge as a point of constancy and continuity

67
Q

what action did Gregory the Great take?

A

pope from 590-604, reform and renewal of the church and set up missionary action in northern Europe to expand influence

68
Q

the role of monasteries?

A

centres of learning, local administration and leadership which were independent of international and national agencies. offered spiritual and intellectual continuity during times of turmoil.

69
Q

what helped hold the western church together

A

the emergence of latin as an international language, made it a coherent community

70
Q

why did latin become the language of the academy in the Middle Ages?

A

because academic communities emerged from religious contexts e.g. monastic cathedral schools

71
Q

which area did Constantine locate as a administrative and military centre, closer to eastern frontiers

A

Byzantium (named by greeks)

72
Q

what did Constantine change the name of Byzantium to?

A

Constantinople, to be the new capital of the empire

73
Q

when did the eastern empire fall?

A

1453

74
Q

what was the secondary role of of the council of Nicaea?

A

to discuss the status of bishops and their roles in great cities- Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem

75
Q

when did the formal transfer of imperial authority from Rome to Constantinople take place?

A

330

76
Q

what role did Rome continue to take

A

the administrative centre of the empire

77
Q

when was the second council of Constantinople?

A

381

78
Q

what did the second council of Constantinople rule?

A

the bishop of Constantinople was to give ‘prerogative of honour after the bishop of Rome, because Constantinople was the new Rome’, fiercely resisted by by eastern bishops

79
Q

by the end of the fourth century what ad the church become?

A

‘pentarchy’ of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem