Secondly, Constantine moved the capital of the empire from Rome to the small Greek town, Byzantium, by the Black Sea. This move would bring the center of governmental power more to the center of the Roman world. Constantine reestablished all the institutions of government, including the Senate, in the new city, with one major difference: in order to be a member of the government, it was necessary to be a Christian. The old, pagan Senate continued to meet in Rome but lost its influence. In this way, Constantine founded the first Christian city and government.
Although Constantine’s favoring of Christianity was a two-edged sword, attracting many people whose only interest in the faith was its ability to give entrance to a political career, it certainly changed history. Constantine saw himself as an instrument of God’s will, and we remember and celebrate his role in the history of salvation.
Fr. Constantine Newman is the pastor of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Newburyport.