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Iran Palace of Darius
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Ougarit Byblos




 
The Emperor Constant I ?        Cp 6399
 
Denon room 29
 
 
 
Christendom or original Christianity?
  
  
The first Roman Emperor
to govern in the name of Christ,
Constantine the Great (306-337 AD),
traced the path which led to
the definitive victory of Christendom
at the end of the fourth century
with all the skill of a cunning politician.
 
Constant was one of his sons.
 
He reigned from 337 to 350 AD.

 Constantine,  Christendom or original Christianity

In 312 AD, on the eve of a battle against Maxentius, his Italian rival, Constantine claimed to have received instructions in a dream to paint the first two letters of the name of Christ (XP in Greek) on his troops’ shields.

According to legend, a cross of fire is said to have appeared bearing the Latin words In hoc signo vinces, which meant “Through this sign thou shalt conquer”. This monogram of Christ is the very first known use of the cross by those who called themselves Christians.

First Roman emperor to govern in the name of Christ

The cross that Constantine supposedly
saw and used as his standard,
or labarum, was not the Latin cross
but the superimposed letters Chi (X)
and Rho (P). AR93
 
This sign is found on the numerous coins
this worshipper of the sun had made.
 
It could be the symbol of sun worship
but others identify it with the monogram
of Christ, the Chi Rho.
 
It is acknowledged that the cross only became the main symbol of Christendom after Constantine’s time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Funerary Mosaic of Karthago
 
MND 576
Denon Ground floor room 28
 
In 321 AD, Constantine laid down the first law instituting Sunday or dies solis. He made the observance of this day, devoted to the Roman sun-god Sol, whose symbol was the cross, a legal obligation. AR90 

Moreover, he never renounced sun worship and continued to have the sun figure on his coins. He was contented with recognising Christianity as the religio licia, the authorised religion. The doctrinal division in the Church worried him as he saw it as a threat to the unity of the Empire.

Christendom : a cohesive force in a world in dissolution

In his capacity as Pontifex maximus, high priest of the pagan religion, he presided over the first ecumenical council convened in Nicaea in 325.
It was he who proposed the principle formula, ‘ of the same substance
as the Father ’, expressing
the relationship of Christ to God
in the creed of the council.
   
 After Constantine,
Christendom was to admittedly
become a force of cohesion
in a world in dissolution,
 
but above all a distorted form
of original Christianity.

A State religion, the exact opposite of the christian worship

The foundations of the dogma of the Trinity, a term which appears nowhere in the Bible, were consequently put in place. Constantine undoubtedly converted for reasons that were more political than religious. The family crimes that he committed indicate that he was completely impervious to the spiritual influence of Christianity. He was only baptised when he was on his deathbed. Eusebius said that “this gesture holds no great meaning as the day before he made a sacrifice to Zeus”.
 
After Constantine, Christendom was to admittedly become a force of cohesion in a world in dissolution, but above all a distorted form of primitive Christianity. Jesus and his Apostles had pronounced such a change of direction. AR91  - Matthew 13:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, note.

An altered form of original Christianity

 
The Absolution of Theodosius   INV. 8005
 
Sully 2nd floor, room 43
This painting refers to the pardon granted by Aurelius Ambrosius or Saint Ambrose,
the Bishop of Milan, to Theodosius (379-395) who repented having called for the massacre
of 7,000 citizens of Thessalonica
who rose up in revolt.
 
Upon the death of this final sovereign of the united Roman Empire, the rivalry between Roman and Constantinople heightened
with the East-West Schism.
 
Subsequently, the title Pontifex maximus naturally fell in the West to popes, whose functions as administrators of religious law closely resembled those of the ancient Roman priesthood, hence the modern use
of the term ‘pontiff’.
 
Under Constantine, Christianity and the Roman Empire were allies. Under Theodosius, they were united. The Catholic faith was to become the only religion authorised by the Romans. AR92

This State religion was the exact opposite of the worship practised by the first disciples of Jesus, who said to them: “You are no part of the world.” - John 15:19.
 

 





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