Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Deification of Constantine

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.


  1. I am looking forward to the embarrasing excuses that are likely to emerge on the 22nd of December 2012 and onwards. I suspect we will see the tendency already at the end of October this year when Calleman's "end date" utterly fails to transform our consciousness...

  2. I have already seen a number of 2012ers backing off of their early hypotheses. Recently there was a documentary on 2012 that aired in Canada and it was interesting to see these guys start backtracking and throwing in caveat after caveat now that we're getting closer to the actual date. Just like Camping's followers, a lot of people who believe in 2012 will try the old "our prayers/meditation etc. actually worked, and averted disaster". They will try to actually take credit for success when their own predictions are proven wrong, in the same way that Donald Trump (in typical fashion) tried to claim responsibility for getting Obamas to release his birth certificate. I think one has to be extremely egotistical or thoroughly brainwashed to engage in such cognitive dissonance.

  3. Indeed. I wonder what the 2012ers version of their excuse bingo card will look like? It must surely differ if you believe in the apocalypse, aliens arriving or the transformation of consciousness.