Analyze Eusebius’ “On the Conversion of Constantine”

History of Constantine is that of a ruthless Roman empire who oversaw savage execution of Christian before converting to a diehard Christian. The presentation of the chronology of events leading to conversion of Constantine elicits mixed perception in as far as reliability and validity of the information is concerned.

Eusebius is at the center of the narration and attempts to offer proof of his accounts on the whole issue. As a Bishop of Caesarea and a friend to Constantine, Eusebius claims carry significant implications as to the interpretation of the relationship between Rome and Christianity. To ascertain the truth behind Eusebius narration, several factors are put in place. Although Constantine conversion to Christianity had impact that the world has lived with to date, the validity and accuracy of Eusebius accounts require critical evaluation to help in ascertaining that the new imperial policies influenced Roman perception of Christianity.

The order of events leading to Constantine conversion seems to exhibit flawless transition. Eusebius position as a learned personality with wealth of knowledge on the early church provides basis of significant confidence. The power of almighty God over other gods that previous Emperors worshipped without success informed the action of Constantine. Contemporary widespread of Christianity is attributed to Constantine’s radical changes in imperial policies that banned infanticide,  abuse of slaves , exploitation of  peasants, crucifixion, and he declared Sunday a resting day. Eusebius explains in chapter XXVIII that Constantine instituted a strong council of Christianity by actively engaging in the spread of Christian values in leadership. Eusebius emphasizes Constantine’s efforts to shun inhuman acts and pursue the principle of justice and peace among the Romans. The overriding influence of Christianity in the Roman Empire after Constantine gave birth to Roman Catholic. A close scrutiny of the developments that have characterized Christianity proves that Constantine Catalyzed infiltration of Christian values in ancient Rome.

Eusebius narrates Constantine’s conversation from first-person perspective in such a way to portray the actual experience of the Emperor.  He presents Constantine as former persecutor of Christian like any other Roman Emperors, but in a twist of inexplicable circumstances reflects on how to win war against the tyrant and settling on almighty God.  Constantine is a wise, patient and foresighted leader who admires sustainability. From chapter XXVII Constantine was convinced that he needed stronger powers to defeat his enemies. He further claims that Constantine reflected on the strategies and tactics used by previous leaders and observed that their allegiance to several gods oversaw their resounding defeat and embarrassment. Throughout the beginning of Eusebius ecclesiastical history to the death of Constantine, he portrays a man of utmost faith in God, who weathered the strong Roman wave to pass groundbreaking laws in favor of Christianity. The tone of Eusebius emphasizes a positive attitude towards Constantine and critical presentation that asserts his views. Overall genre analysis of Eusebius work exhibit competent diction, assertive theme and precise use of words. Eusebius work is yet to pass reliability test. Considering the time of the events and the close friendship between Eusebius and Constantine, possibility of biased presentation cannot be ruled out. However, existing literature that makes closer assertion to the claims of Eusebius offers substantial truth about his narration.

It is worth to conclude that historical context of this document and critical evaluation of provided evidence is a proof of its reliability. Eusebius point is to make it known to the world that Constantine conversion was not only a change in his personal life, but also changed the entire ancient and modern world.

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