|Photo by Jean-Christophe Benoist, courtesy of Wikipedia.|
1674 years ago today the Emperor Constantine the Great died; May 22, A.D. 337. Constantine is famous for being the first Christian emperor and beginning the Christianization of the Roman Empire. What is ironic is that after his death the Senate of Rome actually deified him. The Senate of ancient Rome did this not infrequently, whenever they felt an emperor had been extraordinarily beneficial to Rome. However, given Constantine's promotion of his new religion, one has to view this move as misguided at best and deluded at worst. Given Harold Camping's spectacular failure at prophecy yesterday I wonder what kinds of rationalization and special pleading his followers will engage in to maintain their faith in the face of such an embarrassment.
In the meantime, check out the amazing work at Byzantium 1200, where the buildings of Constantinople have been recreated through the wonders of modern computer graphics and you can see what this, one of the greatest cities of antiquity, would have looked like ca. A.D. 1200.