The History of the Byzantine Empire blog has been systematically examining the life, personality and achievements of Constantine the Great, the founder of the Byzantine Empire. Here’s the latest in the series which investigates Constantine’s reputation as a builder of monuments and churches. Very interesting, as usual!
(Painting showing a cutaway view of Constantine’s Old St.Peter’s Basilica as it possibly looked in the fourth century. Source Wikipedia Commons)
In our modern age, Presidents, Prime Ministers and other leaders who serve in political office often hope that they leave behind an enduring legacy when they retire, resign or are defeated (generally in an election). Roman emperors were not much different to our modern politicians. They sort things like conquest and wealth, however if they truly wanted to be remembered they undertook audacious building projects that would survive long after they were gone.
Augustus claim to fame was that he had ‘found Rome of brick and left it in marble’. While Emperor Vespasian could certainly lay claim to commissioning the biggest amphitheatre ever built and arguably the most famous of all Roman buildings: the Flavian Amphitheatre or Colosseum. Hadrian too, was no slouch, famous for his long continuous defensive…
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