Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (272 - 337)
Co-emperor and then (from 324) sole emperor of the Roman Empire in the early
4th century CE, under whom the city of Constantinople (formerly Byzantium) was
established (in 330) as the "new Rome" and capital of the Empire. He publicly
embraced Christianity near the beginning of his rule, granted Christians
official toleration for the first time, and was instrumental in convening the
Council of Nicea in 325 and in developing Constantinople as a "Christian"
city. Thus he was very important for the establishment of an "officially"
sanctioned Christian orthodoxy as well as the growth in Christian political
influence and power.