During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great
, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire
. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge
in 312. Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Christianity he converted to, a question that bears on the legitimation of religious persecution
. He is revered as a saint
in the Eastern Orthodox Church
and Oriental Orthodox Church
for his example as a "Christian monarch."
Though Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother, Helena
, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother's Christianity in his youth, or gradually over the course of his life.R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds
(New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 55. Whatever the case, Constantine's endorsement of the tradition was a turning point for Early Christianity
. In 313, Constantine issued the Edict of Milan
legalizing Christian worship. The emperor became a great patron of the Church, and set a precedent for the position of the Christian Emperor within the Church and the notion of orthodoxy
, and ecumenical councils
that would be followed for centuries as the State church of the Roman......