Emperor Constantine-Western Civilization


Choose any of the Roman emperors, and write a biographical sketch explaining what you see as his most notable actions and character traits that impacted Western civilization.

A biographical sketch is shorter and more specific than a typical biography of a person’s character, life, and achievements. It should provide readers with your insights into the person’s character and give people what you consider to be significant information about a historical figure.

Step 1: Choose an appropriate source. At least one source must come from the CSU Online Library. The Academic OneFile and General OneFile are databases in the CSU Online Library that would be good places to start your search. If you need additional help with using or locating information in the online library, there are Library Video Tutorials available on the main page of the online library under the heading “Research Guides.”

You may use additional resources, but those sources cannot include Wikipedia, biography.com, history.com, or other encyclopedias. You may research the person on credible sources online or at your local library to read a variety of biographies about the person.

Step 2: Complete your research. Choose one interesting experience that illustrates the main point that you want to make about that person’s life. Gather details about that incident. For example, write a timeline of the person’s life that will show that you know when and where the person was born; where he lived; what he did throughout the course of his life; and

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where, when, and how he died. Make a list of the person’s pursuits and accomplishments. You should know this person inside and out before you begin writing your sketch.

Step 3: Draw conclusions, and prepare your thesis. Reflect on the life of the historical figure. Once you have done your research and have gathered enough information about the historical figure, you should sit back to think about what it means, to see if you notice any trends, and to have a better sense of what you want to convey about the person. Your thesis statement will offer your reader the overall insight into this person you have perceived.

Use the following guidelines to help decide on your thesis:

? Ask yourself about how the historical figure was shaped by his time period and environment.

? Ask yourself how the historical figure impacted the lives of the people around him, the general public, and future generations.

? Figure out which of the figure’s achievements and life experiences you may want to emphasize. Figure out which quality of the person you would most like to emphasize, and make sure the facts you present support it.

? Find the perfect anecdote to demonstrate the qualities of the person you would most like to show.

Step 4: Write your essay. Your essay should be at least one page in length. You are required to use at least one source from the CSU Online Library for your response.

Be sure to consider the following guidelines in your essay:

? The introduction should engage the reader and clearly present the essay’s thesis and a summary of the main points that clarify the writer’s point of view.

? Organization should clearly present points arranged to illustrate your opening thesis.

? Writing should be clear and concise with no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors.

? The number of sources should meet or exceed any expressed assignment requirements and should be peer-reviewed or academic in nature. At least one source must be from the CSU Online Library.

Sample paper

Emperor Constantine

Emperor Constantine is one of the greatest Roman emperors with much influence all over the world. Emperor Constantine’s influence was so perverse that it currently touches the lives of millions around the world. By converting into Christianity, the emperor transformed the religion from small known to one of the greatest religions not only in the Roman Empire, but also throughout the world. This paper examines Emperor Constantine’s role in the spread of Christianity around the world. An interesting anecdote regarding the emperor relates to his baptism. Although he supported Christianity throughout his rule, he was baptized late in life when he fell ill and on the verge of death.

Born around 282 AD, Emperor Constantine came to witness the atrocities and persecutions committed against Christians by the largely pagan rulers at the time. He was the son of Constantius, a member of the four emperors who were working under Emperor Diocletian (Kelly, 2006). Upon the death of Constantius in 306, Constantine with the aid of Constantius’ generals successfully launched a coup. At the beginning of his rule, he controlled a fraction of the entire territory – mainly France, Spain, and Britain. By the end of his rule in 337 AD (his death), he had successfully annexed vast territory stretching all the way to Italy and parts of Africa (Potter, 2013). His Christian influence has thus spread across many parts of the world.

Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity is attributable to supernatural encounters, one being a dream he had about the Battle of Milvian Bridge (Kelly, 2006). In his dream, God instructed him to apply labarum in the battle. Upon conquering his enemies, he attributed God’s power to his victory. His conversion to Christianity was also based on his observance of the unity and harmony portrayed by Christians. Emperor Constantine’s greatest wish was to establish harmony throughout the land, something he attributed with Christians. Constantine established the Council of Nicaea, which brought together bishops from different places to discuss contentious issues relating to the nature of Jesus Christ (Kelly, 2006). His efforts to popularize Christianity bore fruits, and it became of the greatest religions in the world, with perverse influences in western civilization. Christianity has greatly shaped much of the legal aspects in the U.S., such as the aspect of being innocent until proven guilty.


Kelly, C. (2006). Constantine Britain’s Roman Emperor. History Today, 56(7), 25 – 31.

Potter, D. S. (2013). Constantine the Emperor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Compares Roman religious experience in the many generations before emperor Constantine adopted Christianity with the transformation religious life he initiated as ruler