03. Constantine and the Early Church

Interesting points:

1. Roman religion was polytheistic, ceremonial, local, and eclectic. The religion lacked longing.

2. Christianity was one among others that filled eternal longing. Its advantages were the afterlife, the commitment demand, its appeal to both upper and lower classes, and its local organization.

3. Christianity was not always persecuted; but it was frowned upon for its intolerance (of other gods). The only other religion like this was Judaism. The difference is that Judaism submitted to the Emperor while Christianity defied it. Christianity was un-Roman in rejecting the sensual pleasures of Rome. Romans referred to it as a killjoy.

4. Constantine was a Caesar of the Eastern Augustus, Galerius. He was initially left out of succession until he raised an army in Britain and marched to Gaul to gain his Caesarship. Constantine later defeated another Western usurper at the Battle of Milvian Bridge to become the Western Augustus.

5. At Milvian Bridge, 2 accounts record a religious experience involving Christianity. The 1st involves painting Chi-Rho on the Roman shields. The second involving a cross in the sky with “In Hoc Signo Vinces”.

6. There is no reason to believe that this conversion was calculated. Mainly, because no Emperor would think that Christianity was a good idea with its anti-Roman, anti-military attitudes.

7. Notes on Constantine’s personality. 

8. What was the effect on Constantine’s conversion on the Church? Was it a Roman/Trojan horse to tie the Church to the state and its bureaucracy. Is it a special group of people who contemplate heaven or a just a universal society?

9. Rapid conversion after Constantine. 50% of the population had converted by Constantine’s death in 337. By the death of Theodosius in 395, the figure is 90% (at least nominally).

10. Peasants held out against Christianity who held to the land and local deities. The military held out. And the intellectuals of Rome and Athens also held out.

11. Advantages of Constantinople, both strategically and commercial. Rome at the time of Constantine was to the Romans as Portugal is to Brazilians today. Cultural and historical foundation but not as significant.

12. Constantinople was new but like the old culture. Built to impress, as St. Petersburg or possibly Versailles.

13. Constantine would be involved in the Church’s affairs. The Church was already appealing to the Emperor in both the Donatist and the Arian controversy. Constantine, who defeated all his rivals, could not control North African peasants and Egyptian priests; and this frustrated him. He begins to see himself as the implementer of the mission of the Church, as manifested by much stricter laws and punishments regarding sexuality.

14. Constantine is not the Pontifex Maximus, as seen in his inability to judge the Council of Nicaea, by not being a bishop. This is very unique among religions.

15. Comparisons and contrasts of Constantine and Diocletian.

16. The people of this time did not see an empire in decline. They saw restoration and stability.


The Death of Saint Valentine at Milvian Bridge

The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.

He reportedly died on February 14th (year uncertain) on the Via Flaminia near the Milvian Bridge (aka Ponte Milvio) which spans the Tiber River in northern Rome. According to the official biography of the Diocese of Terni, the year of his death is 273 AD.

The feast of St. Valentine of February 14th was first established in 496 AD by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among all those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God”. As Gelasius implies, nothing was yet known to him about Valentine’s life.

On another note, there was an important battle fought at the bridge in 312 by the Emperor Constantine I (Constantine the Great) and Maxentius. You can read about it here.

A guide for the Persona highschool symbols:

SMT if…’s title and perhaps even the idea of the game taking place at a highschool derives from if…. (written with 4 dots, the game is written with 3 dots) a 1968 British drama film produced and directed by Lindsay Anderson.
It is a satire of English public school life and stars Malcolm McDowell. Otherwise there aren’t any similarities between the game and the movie.

The St. Hermelin school emblem features an ermine.
There is a legend that says that an ermine would rather die than making its white fur dirty in mud. “Malo mori quem foedari“ („Rather die than becoming dirty“) of the order of the Hermelin from Neaple derives from this legend.

The white fur of the ermine (representing purity and innocence) was also used worn by royals and was very valuable. Ermines or rather ermine furs are also used in heraldik.

Actually more interestingly it also features the Chi-Rho, ΧΡ, or ☧ a form of the christogram, which next to the cross and the ICHTHYS fish is one of the oldest symbols for Christ. It is an abbreviation of Χριστός (Christos) or ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ. Since this symbol looks like X and P it could also be interpreted as Pax Christi (Christ brings peace).
Emperor Constantine is said to have had a dream of being ordered to put a "heavenly divine symbol” on the shields of his soldiers. The description of the actual symbol chosen by Emperor Constantine closely resembles a Chi-Rho or a staurogram, a similar Christian symbol. That very day Constantine’s army fought the forces of Maxentius and won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), outside Rome.
Very often you can also see the Alpha, Α or α and Omega, Ω or ω, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet on depictions of the Chi-Rho just like in St. Hermelin’s depiction. This refers to: “I am the alpha and the omega” from the Revelation (verses 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13).

You can also see a Star of David/Shield of David/Magen David, a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles.
It can mean that humans get their lives from God (triangle on the downside) and return to God (triangle on the upside).
The twelve corners might represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
It might also represent the six days in which God created the world and the middle represents Sabbath.
Unlike the menorah, the Lion of Judah, the shofar and the lulav, the Star of David originally wasn’t an uniquely Jewish symbol and was also used for Talismans (it was inherited from medieval Arabic literature by Kabbalists where it was known as a Seal of Solomon.) The symbol was also used in Christian churches as a decorative motif many centuries before its first known use in a Jewish synagogue.
When the state Israel was founded on May, 14 1948 the Star of David became the emblem of the flag for Israel.

The Seven Sisters High emblem is supposed to look like the Subaru logo however with seven stars instead of six.
Subaru is a name for the Pleiades (however since most people can only see six stars from the cluster there are only six stars on the Subaru logo. There is a legend about a Lost Pleiad.).
Sumaru from Sumaru City is also an old name for the constellation “Subaru”, “Pleiades,” or the “Seven Sisters. They are also known as the Mutsuraboshi (six sisters).

The Seven Sisters uniform is based on the adidas Firebird track suit. The black version with the typical three stripes of adidas does look a lot like the Seven Sisters uniform.

A small excursus for Tatsuya’s leo belt:

Since Tatsuya is a Leo his lion belt hints at him being a Leo.
Since the Tetramorph symbolism is very important in IS due to the Grand Cross you can also add that Mark’s symbol is a lion (since Tatsuya, Jun, Lisa and Eikichi form a Grand Cross with their fixed Zodiacs and with the special Grand Cross spell, Tatsuya would be associated with Mark).
Mark’s lion represents Christ’s royal dignity and Christ as a king.

The walking lion (rampant lion) is also used for PEUGEOT.
However it is way more common in heraldry. It traditionally symbolises bravery, valour, strength, and royalty (lion is the king of the beasts).
The lion is used for Bavaria for example where you can see Lion symbols very often or in Venice due to Venice’s associations with the evangelist Mark.

Gekkoukan High’s emblem looks like the BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) logo just mirrored and recolored.

Yasogami High’s emblem looks like Mercedes-Benz logo just mirrored and with two additional circles:

CITROËN perhaps/most likely? Asuming this is the school logo of course but we will see in the futrure.

Gift!fic for the very wonderful and kind @terra-7. Happy belated Battle of Milvian Bridge day! ;) I hope you enjoy. 


“Nightingale? She’s—she’s coming. She’s on her way here. Right now.”

Leliana paused, quill hovering above her parchment, and listened. She knew the faces, voices, histories, bad habits, and personal quirks of every agent in her fold, but she’d never heard one sound quite this panicked. Not even when Corypheus was bearing down on Haven.

“Slow down,” she said, setting the quill on the table. She laced her fingers under her chin, looking up into the sweat-beaded face of the agent before her.  “‘She’ could refer to a great many people in Skyhold. Of whom are you speaking, exactly?”

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Today in Completely Unrelated History, October 27th

312 AD: Roman Emperor Constantine the Great has his vision of a cross in the sky before the Battle of Milvian Bridge.  After the battle, Constantine would legalize Christianity and later make it the state religion of the Roman Empire.

1983: Hustler magazine owner Larry Flynt offered a hit man $1 million to kill Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, Frank Sinatra, publisher Walter Annenberg and Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione.  Flynt was never charged with a crime as the hitman had a heart attack before the deal could be finalized.

The locks of the Milvian Bridge in Italy.

Located north of Rome, is one of the most important bridges crossing the Tiber. But what makes this site one of the most popular attractions in the region is that, over the bridge, we can find hundreds of thousands of padlocks.

This fact is linked to the ancient idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throw the key into the river, the lovers would become forever linked. This habit also exists in several other regions of Europe.

In July 2007, after breaking a pole, caused by the excessive weight of the huge amount of locks, the city of Rome pillars installed near each of the light poles, which are hung on chains where the locks can be hung, thereby preserving the integrity of the site.

At another point in a similar tradition, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, thanks to this tradition and tourism rampant, thousands of locks had to be removed frequently, spoiling the structure of the bridge. Because of this, the council stipulated a fine of 50 euros for those caught in the act, putting padlocks on site.