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The Emperor Constantine I was effectively the sole ruler of the Roman world between 324 and 337 AD his reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day Because he replaced Rome with Constantinople as the center of imperial power he made it clear that the city of Rome was no longer the center of power and he set the stage for the Middle Ages His philosophical view of monarchy largely spelled out in some of the works of Eusebius of Caesarea became the foundation for the concept of the divine right of kings which prevailed in Europe Flavius Valerius Constantinus the son of Constantius Chlorus and Helena seems to have been born in Naissus in Serbia on 27 February ca 272 or 273 AD When his father had become Caesar in 293 AD Constantius had sent his son to the Emperor Galerius as hostage for his own good behavior Constantine however returned to his dying fathers side in Britain on 25 July 306 Soon after his fathers death Constantine was raised to the purple by the army The period between 306 and 324 when Constantine became sole imperator was a period of unremitting civil war Two sets of campaigns not only guaranteed Constantine a spot in Roman history but also made him sole ruler of the Roman Empire On 28 October 312 he defeated Maxentius his opponent at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 314 316 and 324 he repeatedly defeated his last remaining rival Licinius Once he had overcome him he was the undisputed ruler of the Roman world In passing it is worth noting that Maxentius and Licinius were both brothers-in-law of Constantine Of the two campaigns however it
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