Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Constantine the Great does not convert to Christianity

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Constantine the Great does not convert to Christianity

    This is a thread that is inspired by my son who is soon to graduate High School!

    Constantine the Great probably did more to give structure to the church and spread Chrstianity than any one after the days of the original 12 disciples.

    What if Constantine did not convert to Christianity? Would it have still have become the dominate religion it is in much of the world? Centuries latter when islam started its spread if there were not large organized Christian states to stand against it would it have spread much further?
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

  • #2
    The long and short of it is this:

    As long as Constantine remained pagan, Christianity would have remained a minority, albeit an increasingly popular one. The exact number is unknown, with estimates ranging from 5 to over 50 percent of the Roman Empire by 350 AD. While Christianity would certainly have continued to gain traction, it never would have become as widespread had it not been for Constantine, and likely limited more to the Mediterranean and Levant regions.

    With the arrival of Islam on the scene 300 years later, being spread both by word and the sword, it is unlikely that any major confederation centered on the Christian religion could have been organized to stop them. The Byzantine Empire might have been safe for the moment, but there would be nothing to stop Islam spreading into France, Germany, and eventually perhaps Italy and Britain. A Western Europe under Islamic rule would have had several advantages enjoyed by the Arabs throughout medieval times:

    First: The so-called "Dark Ages" would have been significantly 'lighter.' The Islamic Caliphates were highly educated (they practiced universal education), and literacy rates would have been much higher than in pagan or Christian regions.

    Second: The knowledge of the Roman Empire, largely forgotten in the aftermath of its collapse in Western Europe, would have been preserved by an Islamic Caliphate. This would lead to the furthering of science, medicine, philosophy, and architecture, accelerating the development of cities, the 'taming' of the northern barbarians, establishment of large-scale trade networks, and advancement of civilization as a whole. Essentially, Renaissance-era conditions would have been in place much earlier than historically.

    Third: Tying in with what was said earlier, a more robust civilization in Western Europe under a single government would have become an economic powerhouse, furthering trade and exploration. Historically, the Arabs have been adept explorers and seamen, and it is entirely possible that an Islamic Europe would have launched expeditions to the Americas earlier than in OTL, perhaps even establishing colonies there. The area we now know as the United States may have begun as an Islamic province!

    The bottom line is that, with no Christianity to oppose it, Islam would now dominate the world, though probably not in the form we might associate it with now. Owing to the dominant position of the Islamic empires in this alternate timeline, it would likely be practiced in the same manner as most of Christianity is today, that is, peacefully. Fundamentalists would be a minority, and terrorists almost nonexistent.
    Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
      This is a thread that is inspired by my son who is soon to graduate High School!

      Constantine the Great probably did more to give structure to the church and spread Chrstianity than any one after the days of the original 12 disciples.

      What if Constantine did not convert to Christianity? Would it have still have become the dominate religion it is in much of the world? Centuries latter when islam started its spread if there were not large organized Christian states to stand against it would it have spread much further?
      This is a case where the bias and blinders of Western(European) perspective tends to miss what was happening in the rest of the world.

      For a start, consider looking into the lost history of Christianity outside of the Roman realm. Seems it was gaining more traction elsewhere than many have been told/learned, and might have been more influential had it not been for the rise of Islam, which effectively suppressed Christianity in much of Africa and Asia. This book is recommended and good read;
      The Lost History of Christianity

      The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died

      http://www.harpercollins.com/9780061...f-christianity


      Might also consider looking into Constantine more, as the larger questions would be how his "non-conversion" might have effected other parts of his reign (or if he would have gotten as far as he did)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great


      If not Constantine, perhaps a later emperor would have converted, yielding similar results, and leaving a similar stage for an even more significant one; Justinian I;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justinian_I


      Without a same~similar course of events shaping the Roman realms those next 300 years, it becomes debatable if Islam would even have appeared, let alone gained the traction it did. Either way, so many variables can enter the equation that Islam dominated Europe could have been a lesser rather than great possibility.


      Anyone whom has studied the nature and dogma of Islam and it's origins should see that it would not be the source of a brighter and more humane, more prosperous Europe of the Middle Ages. (BTW, the "Dark Ages" refer to post collapse of Western Roman Empire, and had mostly played out by the time Islam comes up through Spain and Gaul.)
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

      Comment


      • #4
        Constantine did a lot for Christianity, but he ruled as a Pagan Emperor. Although he did do a lot that benefited Christianity and it's rise as the dominant religion of The Empire and thus the spread of the faith, he did not convert to Christianity until he was on his deathbed.

        He was not even the first Emperor to stop the persecution of Christians during his reign, just the first to decriminalize and to give them religious rights.
        Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

        Prayers.

        BoRG

        http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Salinator View Post
          Constantine did a lot for Christianity, but he ruled as a Pagan Emperor. Although he did do a lot that benefited Christianity and it's rise as the dominant religion of The Empire and thus the spread of the faith, he did not convert to Christianity until he was on his deathbed.
          My impression was that he converted to Christianity in his early 40's, but was baptized when he was in his 60's and near death.
          "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
          Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
            My impression was that he converted to Christianity in his early 40's, but was baptized when he was in his 60's and near death.
            Then you would have to believe in hoax. If he was converted by his mother in in early 40's then that makes his vision before The Battle of Milvian Bridge to be false.

            The monuments erected in his honor COMMISSIONED by himself bears no reference whatsoever to Christianity. They do however reference ROMAN Gods.
            Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

            Prayers.

            BoRG

            http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
              This is a case where the bias and blinders of Western(European) perspective tends to miss what was happening in the rest of the world.

              For a start, consider looking into the lost history of Christianity outside of the Roman realm. S
              Without a same~similar course of events shaping the Roman realms those next 300 years, it becomes debatable if Islam would even have appeared, let alone gained the traction it did. Either way, so many variables can enter the equation that Islam dominated Europe could have been a lesser rather than great possibility. ....

              ... Anyone whom has studied the nature and dogma of Islam and it's origins should see that it would not be the source of a brighter and more humane, more prosperous Europe of the Middle Ages. (BTW, the "Dark Ages" refer to post collapse of Western Roman Empire, and had mostly played out by the time Islam comes up through Spain and Gaul.)
              Thanks for that. The story line from the Catholic & Orthodox churches certainly do ignore what had happened outside their era and influence.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
                The long and short of it is this:

                Historically, the Arabs have been adept explorers and seamen, and it is entirely possible that an Islamic Europe would have launched expeditions to the Americas earlier than in OTL,
                Who were some of the great Arab explorers?
                "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  Thanks for that. The story line from the Catholic & Orthodox churches certainly do ignore what had happened outside their era and influence.
                  Certainly the story of the early Christians is much more complex than is commonly understood.

                  The far flung Christian communities around the Mediterranean Sea in the first three hundred years of the faith would have widely divergent beliefs and practices.

                  Regardless of Constantine's true beliefs, under him Christianity would become much more organized. The First Council of Nicaea convened at Constantine's order would start the process of a more organized Christine community.
                  "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                  Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
                    Who were some of the great Arab explorers?
                    Here are a couple of informative links on the subject. The second is far more detailed and deals more with the maritime history and achievements of the Arabs in general.

                    http://ageofex.marinersmuseum.org/in...=webpage&id=25

                    http://www.aliomarermes.co.uk/2001/g...plorers-islam/
                    Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Roman Empire had been moving away from the old gods and toward a universal monothestic deity in the previous decades. After the crises of the 3rd C the old gods lost a bit of their shine, and newer ones began to gain ground. Christianity and Sol Invictus were the big players in that field (the reason Jesus and the saints are painted with halos, and that we celebrate Xmas when we do, have much to do with the Christians co-opting Sol Invictus and it's customs, which is a testament to how popular the idea of Sol was becoming)

                      But, be that as it may, once the Empire began flirting with a 'one true god' then Christianity was always going to win because it offered some things Sol couldn't: orginisation, doctrine, and an afterlife. No other religions came close to those deals in very dark days.

                      I'd contend that even without Constantine sooner or later the Empire would have moved to Christianity, while also contending that a fifty year reign of Julian the Apostate would not have turned back the tide.

                      What happened was an example of trends and forces rather than the doings of great men, even if Constantine did accelerate the process greatly.
                      Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                      That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
                        Certainly the story of the early Christians is much more complex than is commonly understood.

                        The far flung Christian communities around the Mediterranean Sea in the first three hundred years of the faith would have widely divergent beliefs and practices.

                        Regardless of Constantine's true beliefs, under him Christianity would become much more organized. The First Council of Nicaea convened at Constantine's order would start the process of a more organized Christine community.
                        No disputing that. What Carl and I are referring to is spread of Christianity beyond Roman regions/rule, which if not for Islam, might have survived and given more variety and flavor to the religion.

                        Which raises a question that could be another thread; what if Mohammad and his religion didn't gain traction and overcome it's early enemies? Or never started at all? Or the feuding for leadership after M's death killed Islam off?
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

                        Comment

                        Latest Topics

                        Collapse

                        Working...
                        X