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Greatest Emperor

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Poll Question: Greatest Emperor of Rome (-473)
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
22 [45.83%]
0 [0.00%]
8 [16.67%]
4 [8.33%]
2 [4.17%]
1 [2.08%]
1 [2.08%]
0 [0.00%]
4 [8.33%]
6 [12.50%]
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Roughneck View Drop Down
Pretorian
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  Quote Roughneck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Greatest Emperor
    Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 00:22
Constantine didn't convert to Christianity until his deathbed because if he did he would have to abide by it's tenants, which would mean no more executions.  Christianity was indeed a force merely meant to unify the empire behind him, and it brought the Christians, who were by now a powerful group, if a persecuted one, onto his side.  Although to say that Christianity brought about the downfall of Rome, I can't agree with it.  If so, why didn't the East go with it, which was in fact a Christian theocracy?  The West was already on the downhill by 325 anyway, with only 150 years left.  The Byzantine Empire lasted for nearly a thousand years as a Christian state, longer than any other state in history besides Egypt.
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Master of Puppets View Drop Down
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  Quote Master of Puppets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 05:01
Personally I don't see why Christianity should have such a decay-improving effect either. Weren't the decline of Roman military and the infiltration of barbarians more important causes for the fall of the Western Empire?
Wherever I turn, there is Death.
The Epic of Gilgamesh; Tablet XI, line 245
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Imperatore Dario I View Drop Down
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 15:35

Originally posted by Master of Puppets

Personally I don't see why Christianity should have such a decay-improving effect either. Weren't the decline of Roman military and the infiltration of barbarians more important causes for the fall of the Western Empire?

Something should also be taken in consideration too on the decline of the Roman military. It didn't simply bang happen. Over the years of excessive taxation, decline in value of money (therefore reducing trade), and the tremendous effect of the plagues sweeping the Roman Empire, affording the military became impossible. So we also need to search deeper into what caused the decline of the military before we simply assume that it was the cause of the military's decline. Everything that caused the collapse also linked to another thing. For example, the military decline resulted in mass invasions by both the barbarians, and also by the Sassanian Persians.


Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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Ptolemy View Drop Down
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  Quote Ptolemy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 22:01

Constantine didn't convert to Christianity until his deathbed because if he did he would have to abide by it's tenants,

Just to be accurate, he wasn't baptized until in his deathbed, which was a common practice at the time. When he 'converted' could be seen as a gradual process over his lifetime (due to political necessity or, that it took a while for him to understand the religion)

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Cornellia View Drop Down
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  Quote Cornellia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2004 at 08:22

Blaming Constantine and his subsequent adoption of Christianity as the state religion doesn't take into consideration that the 50 years following the murder of Alexander Severus were one of the lowest points in the history of the Roman Empire.   Severus was murdered only 70 years or so before Constantine.

The troubled times led to a succession of short reigned emperors who far more often than not met a violent death usually at the hands of their own troops.  The empire was basically fighting for its life and was being threatened on almost every front - a resurgent Persia in the east and the Alemanni and Goths of the Rhine and the Danube.  Its during this time we see the first emperor to fall at the hands of the enemy and the only emperor to be captured and die in captivity abroad.

This was a time when the empire temporarily split into two parts - The Gallic Empire and the Roman......and it wasn't the congenial split of East and West.   There are emperors that we have little or no information on because there's little more than a name in the historical records.  Of one emperor - Aemilius Aemilianus - Eutropius wrote "Aemlianus came from an extremely insignificant family, his reign was even more insignificant, and he was slain in the third month."

The seed for the fall were sown long before Christianity rose.

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas
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Yiannis View Drop Down
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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2004 at 07:27
Constantine was an opportunist. He saw that the strongest part of the empire's society was (or was soon to be) the Christians so he tried to secure his position by getting them on his side.
The basis of a democratic state is liberty. Aristotle, Politics

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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Imperatore Dario I View Drop Down
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2004 at 12:01
Yes, Rome was already in deep decline way before Constantine came to power. Constantine revived teh empire, it's stupid to blame Christianity for causing the collapse.

Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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mauk4678 View Drop Down
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  Quote mauk4678 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2004 at 20:14
I had to vote for other.  Even though I know he was certainly not the greatest of all Emperors, Justinian is my favorite. Yes, I know the whole driving the empire into the ground thing, but his, and Theodora's architectural accomplishments were amazing.  Also, his conquests allowed Procopius to give us alot of insight into the the world of his day. His account of the Lapps if fascinating. Arguably none of this can be directly attributed to Justinian himself, but he certainly set events into motion.
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mauk4678 View Drop Down
Janissary
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  Quote mauk4678 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2004 at 20:15
WOOPS, I missed the   (-473) thing. Sorry.
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