Constantine “the Great” | The Emperor of the Roman Empire

● Memorial Day Orthodox/Catholic: May 21
● Name means: the constant (Latin.)
● Emperor of the Roman Empire
● Born around 285 in Naissus, today Niš, Serbia
● Died May 22, 337 in Ankyron, today the district of Agah Ateş in Hereke near Ízmit,
Turkey
Constantine “the Great” was the son of the military leader and later Emperor Constantius I and
his concubine Helena. In 293 he came to the court of Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia –
modern day Ízmit in Turkey, where he was held hostage to ensure the balance between the
three Roman rulers. In 305 he fled to his father, who died in 306 in a battle against the Picts in
Eboracum – modern day York in England. The 33-year-old Constantine had himself proclaimed
emperor by the troops and became co-ruler in the west of the Roman Empire alongside Severus
II, was given the title of Caesar and resided in Gaul. In 307 he married Fausta, the daughter of
Emperor Maximinianus.
Constantine gave the Christian bishops judicial powers and established Sunday as the weekly
holiday in 321. In 325, Christianity was put on an equal footing with the Roman religion, all

restrictive laws and ordinances were repealed, and churches and cemeteries were restored. In
the same year, Constantine called the Council of Nicaea, which set the course for Christianity.