How much credit should Constantine and Council of Nicaea get for the bible and Christian doctrine?

A hair-splitting side debate ensued in another thread that does bring up some interesting points, so I thought I'd bring it into its own discussion.

Specifically, the influence (or lack thereof) of Constantine I and the First Council of Nicaea in shaping Orthodox Christianity. 

FACT A1Constantine did seek to strengthen Rome religiously, in large part in a "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" sanctioning of Christianity. Which itself was split into many different sects and theologies with some very different ideas about it's frontman Jesus, what scriptures should be canon, and doctrine in general. 

FACT B1: Constantine also never really gave up his Pagan roots nor did he outright outlaw all non-Christian religions. It's debatable whether or not he ever truly converted to Christianity or whether he was just pandering to the populous. While he is recognized as the first, true, Christian-friendly Roman emperor, others before him had various degrees of tolerance for the religion and thereby, a helping hand in keeping the cult alive.

FACT A2Constantine was instrumental in convening the First Council at Nicaea in 325 C.E. He and Rome gave financial support to certain bishops and church representatives to come to the council. 

FACT B2: Constantine didn't personally preside over (or by some accounts, even really attend) the Council. He was the figurehead who said, "Y'all go hash this out."

FACT A3: The basic purpose of the Council was to bring together the generally accepted (read; politically accepted) sects and from there further narrow the field by debating and voting on the validity of doctrines by some of those present.

FACT B3: Specific scriptures and heresy/validity of those sects not in attendance were not on the menu. There was no grand floor debate to say "This gospel should be canon and that one shouldn't." or "Shall we let the Gnostics come and play? All in favor say aye."

Here's where it seems the debate in the previous thread lies: How much credit do we give to Constantine and the First Council of Nicaea for compiling the bible as we know it today?

- By virtue of the (B) facts above; Neither Constantine nor the Council of Nicaea had any direct hand in compiling the bible as we know it. Therefore some would say, "Neither of them had anything whatsoever to do with the compilation of the Christian bible."

- By virtue of the (A) facts above; Both Constantine and the Council of Nicaea heavily influenced which Christian sects would become the Orthodox Church, and by extension, it is those sects' scriptures that become canon while excluding now-heretical sects and their scriptures. Therefore some would say, "The bible as we know it today was effectively determined by Constantine and the First Council of Nicaea.

Both statements in my not so humble opinion are gross oversimplifications on opposite ends of the scale. Though admittedly, when my answer has to be 30 seconds or less, I've been guilty of the "Constantine and Nicaea effectively compiled the bible" end of the extreme.

So, discuss. When trying to pry open a Christian's eyes or enlighten someone genuinely curious about how we wound up with the scripture and doctrine that we did, how Orthodox Christianity became Orthodox, is there a quick and easy answer that's also accurate? Within the ballpark of accurate? How much credit do you give to Constantine and Nicaea for 'founding' Christianity and the bible as we know them today?

One reason I'd much rather give them too much credit than not enough is that for Christianity to take hold as a power-religion it had to be politically powerful. Christianity was born out of resistance to Roman oppression. And yet, by the 4th century, you've got a Roman emperor looking to co-opt Christianity as a political tool to regain control of the people. By then you also have some Christian sects who really don't hate the idea of being little tyrannical mini-emperors themselves. Constantine may never issued a declaration saying "If you want my blessing you and your religion had damn well better tell me what I want to hear," but I think we can all agree that's the rule of the land.

In that sense, Constantine and the Council were pivotal in effectively determining what Christianity would look like - including its sacred texts. Plus, the unwashed masses need to know that what they are following are far less the divine "Will of God" and more like political Will of Rome." 

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@MATT WHO WRITES .... In what alternative universe "is it more than likely" that he then also manufactured hundreds of documents and fake authors which made a mockery of the history of the preceeding few hundred centuries [sic]"? This isn't likely at all. And given that nobody noticed this monumental forgery until now (based on almost pure speculation), what you have yourself here is a prime conspiracy theory.

Listen very closely Matt .... please take the time to peruse very carefully a few sites, articles and opinions regarding a document known as the "Historia Augusta".

All academics without exception acknowledge that it is a vast mountain of forgeries, with false letters and inserted fabricated documents and false authors who on the surface appear to be in total 6, written sometime around the epoch of Constantine. However the dominant academic assessment is now that it ws authored by one person, and this assessment has been vindicated by computerised analysis of the texts.

Start with the article authored by the editor of here:

Here is an extract:

Fake Documents abound - totalling 160 forgeries One of the most charming aspects is the introduction of fake information, especially in the second half. At least one ruler has been invented, remarkable omens are introduced, and anecdotes are added. The information in the second half of the life of the decadent emperor Heliogabalus is very entertaining, but completely untrue, and only introduced as a contrast to the biography of his successor Severus Alexander, who is presented as the ideal ruler. Ancient readers must have loved these mirror images, and may have smiled when the author of the Life of Heliogabalus accused other authors of making up charges to discredit the emperor, and used them all the same. The "minor" biographies (i.e. the lives of co-rulers and usurpers) are usually entirely invented. The senatorial audience preferred novels and fictions, not history and facts

Of course this means that the Historia Augusta is not reliable as a source for these lives, but it is a very valuable source for those who want to reconstruct the values and ideas of the the senatorial elite of ancient Rome. The pagan senators were obviously credulous people, who preferred a vie romancée and were not interested in real biography. They liked novels and fiction, not history and facts. This literary taste is older than the Historia Augusta: the first example from the Roman world is the vie romancée of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus, which is in turn inspired by the Education of Cyrus by Xenophon.

The Fake Dates

Another aspect of the game is the fake date. It can be shown that the Life of Septimius Severus was written after another series of imperial biographies (either the Caesares by Aurelius Victor or the Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte), which continued to about 360/361. There are also several anachronisms and tacit references to people who lived in the fourth century and events that took place after the reign of Constantine. It can certainly not be excluded that the Historia Augusta was in fact composed during the reign of Julianus Apostata (361-363), who briefly attempted to revive paganism. The text may have been part of an attempt to deduce from the splendor of Roman history that the pagan traditionalists were right, and Christianity was, from an historical point of view, an unRoman activity. However, this interpretation is not without serious complications, and dates of publication during the reigns of Theodosius I (379-395) and Honorius (395-423) have been proposed as well. What is certain, is that it was composed before 425, because the Roman author Symmachus has used the Historia Augusta.

The Novel Invention of (a) Fake Sources and (b) other Fake Sources which disagree with them

Among the many games that are played in the Historia Augusta is the invention of no less than 130 fake documents, most charmingly introduced in the introduction of the Life of Aurelian. Fake sources were not a new practice (cf. the invented letters in Plutarch's Life of Alexander).

What is new, however, is that the author the Historia Augusta invents sources to disagree with them.

I really would not object if you publically withdrew your comments about my mention of this massive forgery as representative of my conspiracy theory since it is blatantly obvious to every man and his dog that this document -- "The Historia Augusta" --- is universally acknowledged by practically every academic and scholar as precisely that --- a MASSIVE FORGERY

Hello Matt?
"There's no doubt in my mind that Constantine chose Christianity to put forward as the dominate state religion because of its monotheism."

Two problems here. First, and most importantly, Constantine didn't make Christianity the dominant state religion (see the Edict of Milan by Constantine in 313). It would only be made the state religion in 380 by Theodosius. Then in 392 pagan worship was banned. So this idea that Constantine "made Christianity dominant" is weird because of the fact that he ummmmm... didn't.

Also, and I repeat myself, I find it amusing that there are so many experts here on long-distance psycho-analysis. I have a hard time working out the short-term motives in Constantine's policy, much less what the dark master plans floating around the back of his skull were... Apparently you're all much better at that than I am.
I also find in the actual evidence that the reason Constantine started supporting (not legalising, not making dominant, simply supporting) Christianity was because of a vision/miracle he experienced. Considering how superstitious that era was, I think that's a perfectly valid explanation and I'll refrain from further speculation.

But some people just can't help themselves ;)

"So I say that Constantine's recognition of early Xianity's inherent fascism through monotheism was paramount in forming the centuries that followed him."

That, however, is true, and is recognised by everyone. And it has nothing to do with what Jack is saying.

That said, your allegations of fascism are way exaggerated. For a supposedly almighty Church, they sure got ignored and abused a hell of a lot all the way throughout their history. History is never simple.
@KIDD who writes ..... "Just because he claimed to have seen a vision in the sky of the Chi Rho symbol? Could he not have just made that up to exploit those very superstitious people around him? Why even assume that he had a vision in the sky, and didn't just invent it for his own gain?"

Have a look at how the ancient historian Robin Lane-Fox describes this situation in his book "Pagans and Christians" which I have made notes from here:

Here are some quotes:

p.614: Writes Robin Lane Fox: "Details of Constantine's conversion were said to derive from Constantine himself, who had described them "ON OATH" in the hearing of Eusebius
However much we might suspect [Eusebius'] own fiction,
"this authority is too boldly emphasised to be the Bishop's deceit."

[Ha ha ha ha ha ----- Fox is being ironic]

Here is another :

Michael Grant: "Trances and visions and hallucinations were a feature of the age.
Perhaps Constantine had seen a rare cross-like natural phenomenom,
produced by the sun. At any rate, whatever the explanation,
Constantine was able to convince himself that he
had been granted a supernatural experience."

p.354. The Ancient Historians - Michael Grant
OK Kid, let's go through some of these ideas here... It's a welcome break from the conspiracist nonsense.

"I agree this was a very superstitious era, but even in those days, people could still think in ways beyond superstitious 'reasoning', and if you were a savvy political thinker, the monotheism of Xianity is a good place to start in the forming of that One Rule over all."

I realise how this "One God leads to One Church leads to One Leader" concept sounds appealing, but apart from the fact that Constantine didn't actually make Christianity a state religion and thus couldn't actually force the religion on anbody (which basically makes your point collapse right there), that's not even the most important point: the real killer here is that Constantine never needed a religion to pave the way to absolute power; he had absolute power. As soon as he was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire, he wielded the absolute power that Roman Emperors had wielded for the last 320 years: he didn't need any "extra power". The Emperor had all the power he could possibly ask for, which again makes this idea that he needed a religion to make the people more susceptible to his rule absurd.

You vastly, vastly underestimate humanity's capacity for serfdom and obedience. Tell me: did the polytheistic Egyptian Pharaoh's have any trouble getting total obedience (and even worship) from their countrymen? Did the absolutist Persian kings whine about not having a monotheist God in order to acquire absolute power? Was Montezuma upset about his polytheistic Pantheon? What about the dozens of Roman emperors of the centuries before Constantine, each of whom had the world at their feet? What about the Babylonians? The Assyrians? The Macedonians?
You don't need monotheism to convince people to worship you. Humans are weak and obedient enough as it is.

"Why else did he begin the kick starting of Xianity? Just because he claimed to have seen a vision in the sky of the Chi Rho symbol? Could he not have just made that up to exploit those very superstitious people around him? Why even assume that he had a vision in the sky, and didn't just invent it for his own gain? But of course, yes, this is supposition, and no, we cannot know his dark and inner mind, and I never claimed that I did know it; that's just foolish."

Well, I'm glad you admit that it's supposition. And yes, actually, I think it was because of his vision/dream because that's what all the sources say. As an atheist, you know how religious experiences can motivate people, even to the point where they won't care much about whether it's the best political move or not. Several Roman emperors sponsored some pretty whacko cults which had no chance of ever being useful to them. Alexander the Great transformed himself into a Greek-Persian demi-God, even though his soldiers despised it.

We have no evidence of Constantine sponsoring or pandering to Christians before his vision. Unless he had an epiphany on the last day of his campaign that "OMG, this Jesus stuff sure seems like fertile ground to really hit my absolute power home in the minds of the common folk", it's much more likely that it was a vision that transformed his thinking.

"No one can know the mind of another, in any age. But his actions speak out what he might have been thinking. that is, to exploit a growing monotheistic cult, that might, if careful, be used to his own gain and those of his successors.
Xianity, to an astute thinker, even in those days, could be used as a tool to continue Rome's's a matter of being a clever ruler who knows how to exploit a good thing, or even turn what's bad into a new opportunity."

And do what? He already had absolute power, and he would have (theoretical, but hey, that's all you ever get) total obedience. Christianity was still as small a sect (5-10% of the population) as it had been for a very long time, and if an Emperor set his mind to it they could be persecuted it again in a fraction of a second.
Whatever his master plan was, it also failed miserably: after Constantine there would any be more civil wars, more disobedience, and less Roman imperialism than there had ever been.

"The Roman church dictated European politics, as I said, for centuries. It took men like Henry and Martin Luther as catalysts to quetion or to shake off Roman Catholic dominance entirely. The history of European monarchy is nothing but Roman Catholic power versus everyone else till Henry formed his own church...why do this if the Roman church wasn't such a force for domination?"

Well gee, that sure sounds like great fun for the Church then. I wonder how they would react when you went back to the Fourteenth Century and told the various popes of that day and age how they dominated European politics even though they had been virtually emprisoned as pets in Avignon by the French King to do whatever he wanted (and no, nobody tried setting them free).
I'm sure they would've been thrilled to be informed of their power when Emperor Barbarossa came pillaging and conquering Italian cities, much against the Pope's disapproval.
I'm sure they would've taken great glee in pointing out how there were several dozen anti-Popes who were invariably sponsored by various European kings and monarchs.

On closer analysis, I think you'll find that the Church was not nearly as powerful as you make out to be. Sure, it tried to control European politics and to stop inter-Christian warfare, but just a glance at the number of wars in the time period will show you just how unsuccesful they were. For the most part they were at the sidelines screaming about reconciliation, with the various kings and monarchs blightely ignoring their advice and fighting bloody decade-long wars.
Papal edicts were famously ignored (attempts by the Church to set up expeditions against Spain and other godless places were invariably answered by but a few hundred knights, rather than any big names), and in the rare cases where they garnered enthusiasm (the crusades being the clearest and biggest example), the Church, after the initial surprise that their call to the faithful had actually been heard this time, immediately lost all control over these armies: usually turning on other Christians as they made their way to the promised land.

Even your example of Henry VIII simply illustrates my point: the ease with which Henry simply ignored the Church and went on with his own business (making sure of course, while he was at it, that he set up a state-sponsored Church) points out how powerless the Church usually was at telling monarchs what to do.
To the extent that the Church was listened to by particular monarchs, it was done when it was in those monarchs' interest (or did you seriously think that the Spanish armada sailed on England because they were told so by the Church?). When that wasn't the case, the Church was either completely ignored (which happened most of the time) or you simply elected an Anti-Pope who was willing to support your position.

So in short, yes, the Church always had a certain amount of power; it had the possibility of making matters difficult for specific leaders, and being favoured by the Church was an important tool to make propaganda for your cause. But in the chaotic and unruly swamp of constant warfare that was the main characteristic of the time period, the Church was closer to "powerless" than to "dictated European politics".

"These are not allegations of mine; just historical facts that can be seen easily and recognized for what they are; the Roman Catholic Church, fully fascist down to its very bones...."

Sorry, but these are at best highly selective historical facts, and at worst a downright misrepresentation of the era.
@MATT ....... Constantine never needed a religion to pave the way to absolute power; he had absolute power. As soon as he was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire, he wielded the absolute power that Roman Emperors had wielded for the last 320 years: he didn't need any "extra power".

(1) Constantine was never "crowned" he simply beat the fuck out of all opposition armies until he had the control of the military machine.

(2) YES, Constantine had absolute power over the army (because he had the GOLD to pay them (read about what happened to emperors who did not have the gold and/or who withheld the gold from their armies). YES, Constantine had absolute control over the civilians because he TAXED them, not in gold coinage (which was debased) but in GOLD BULLION.

That left only one other segment of the populace -- ie: the Graeco-Roman priesthoods which had been held together by the "Sacred College of the Pontifices" (ie: the Graeco-Roman priesthoods) who had custodial control of the Graeco-Roman religions via the ancient and highly revered temple networks (particularly that of Asclepius). All other Roman emperors -- The LORD GOD CAESARS - sponsored this segment of the populace in many ways from the time of Julius Caesar:

a) by construction of new temples and shrines
b) by maintenance of extant temples and shrines.
c) by sponsorship of Greek literature helf in libraries and temples
d) on their COINAGE
e) by their cooperation with the "Sacred College of Priests"
f) by dispensing laws commensurate with traditons

Do you understand these things? If you dont you need to actually do some research in ancient history and the evidence by which the above 6 elements are known and understood by ancient historians.

Constantine did not care one FUCK about the traditional religious milieu (yes- there were alot of cults everywhere, and some "tall poppies" such as Asclepius) because as soon as he had absolute and supreme and despotic military power in the empire c.324 [BEFORE NICAEA !!!!!!!] he gave orders to his army for BALISTICA PRACTICE on the most ancient and highly revered architecture (temples and shrines) with the result that they were UTTERLY DESTROYED to their foundations (READ Eusebius's account of these actions in "The Life of Constantine").

His despotic ideas for ABSOLUTE POWER drove him to seek power also over the religions of the Graeco-Roman civilisation in a way which is a precedent over and above all his LORD GOD CAESAR predessessors. Dont you understand the plain and simple consequences of this action? It was driven by a desire for ABSOLUTE POWER which is CORRUPT, and corrupted ABSOLUTELY the religious traditions of the Greek civilisation.

He attempted (in the manner of Nero) to authenticate this despotic behaviour by introducing what Eusebius called a "NEW and STRANGE Religion" of the Christians, based on the canonisation of a "Holy Writ" in the same manner as did Ardashir a century before in Persia. The "Holy Writ" Constantine introduced was the BIBLE, which he asserted via his propaganda was an authentic and historically extant religion ---- but was it? That is the question which nobody is addressing.

I have searched for some evidence by which we may vindicate this assertion outside of the "History" account prepared by Eusebius. See that separate post about "Ante pacem" --- archaeologic evidence of the christian church before the rise of Constantine (Graydon Snyder). None of the evidence by which the mainstream assume the prior existence of the christuian cult is convincing.

Therefore, be prepared to face the consequences that Emperor Julian was simply stating the plain and simple truth of history when he wrote, less that 40 years after Nicaea that ....

It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness.

Though it has in it nothing divine,
by making full use of that part of the soul
which loves fable and is childish and foolish,
it has induced men to believe
that the monstrous tale is truth.
I have been following your various commentary here on A|N, curious as to what evidence you might provide in support of your thesis.

See my Critical Review of Ante pacem: Archaeological evidence of church life before Constantine by Graydon Snyder (there is a separate post announcing this). My notes are located here:

This is a criticial review of the mainstream evidence which is being touted as proving the existence of the church before the rise of Constantine and I have examined each and every citation one by one exhaustively and none of them are convincing --- not one. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATION OF THIS?

The implication is that we have no scientific and/or archaeological evidence to establish the existence of the s0-called christian church on this planet before the rise of Constantine.

No where does [Julian] argue that Christianity was an invention of Constantine I. Indeed, Julian references the Apostles as real people!

I am aware of that however my argument follows the following logic ....

(1) The Three Books of Julian "Against the Christians" are not extant because they were desdtroyed by the orthodox christian regime which regained power after his untimely death c.363 CE.

(2) The fragments of the work which appears in current academia and around the net is actually a reconstruction of from another series of books which were published by the murdering thug bishop and terrorist boss CYRIL of Alexandria which were entitled "AGAINST JULIAN". Thus what we are reading is a reconstruction of what Julian actually wrote taken from his political censor Cyril of Alexandria.

(3) You are correct in pointing out that on the basis of the above, because we only have available to us the reconstruction of Julian's orignal works via the polemical CENSORSHIP of his orthodox christian detractor, then we do not know precisely what Julian wrote. But this is a two0edged sword which is capable of cutting two ways.

(4) Firstly however, it is my contention that many of the greatest works of literature are known and remembered by their opening lines - their opening paragraph - and that it is highly unlikely that Cyril could have altered these opening lines, and that these (which is the section that you have expressed an aversion to) are quite likely to be the original words of Julian.

(5) Aside from these it is my contention that this utterly underhanded Cyril of Alexandria (You are aware of the depraved nature of this orthodoc polemicist I would hope) literally censored the more detailoed and specific references from Julian's original 3 books and watered down his REFUTATION to make it appear that Julian was not making any sensational claims about the FICTION and the WICKED MEN who invented this "fabrication of the Christians".

(6) One needs to read the assessments of this work of Cyril and understand that the official refutation of Julian was a piece of polemical censorship by the orthodox which was necessary in their view to protect the perceived authenticity of the 4th and 5th century state ROman christiaon cstholic church. Refer to a separate article on this:

364-450 CE: Censorship of Julian, and Knowledge of Fiction
Cyril of Alexandria: The role of the Tax-Exempt Bishop in the political censorship of Julian's writings. Before the time of Cyril, people referred to the Nicene "Fathers" as the fathers of the new state church. However, Cyril started the practice of referring to the "fathers of the church" as the Pre-Nicene Eccesiastical writers, whom Eusebius introduces in his Historia Eccesiastica. Cyril is very appropriately called "The Seal of the Fathers". He is also involved with Nestorius. Cyril writes that he is compelled to refute "the lies of Julian" and goes about the business in many books.

Here is a quote from Cyril of Alexandria ....

but none as went far as Julian, who damaged the prestige of the Empire by refusing to recognize Christ, dispenser of royalty and power.
he composed three books against the holy gospels
and against the very pure Christian religion,
he used them to shake many spirits
and to cause them uncommon wrongs.

(7) Finally Julian legally altered the name of the "Christians" in the entire Roman empire to "Galilaeans", by which they were henceforth to be known.

So on the basis of the above, it is my contention that in his original three books, Julian made specific references to Constantine and the Eusebius (whom he calls WRETCHED) as these "wicked men" who fabricated the fiction of the Galilaeans (ie: the Christians) but that Cyril --- in an attempt to recover the authenticity of his new religion in the eyes of the public, totally removed the offending matrial and watered down the arguments of Julian to the present state that we find them --- only extant in his books "AGAINST JULIAN".

I hope this explains my position.

It is tiresome. It is annoying. It is naught but bullshit. Do stop this lunacy, if not for yourself then at least for the benefit of others.

The bullshit of the church dogma is tiresome. The bullshit of the church dogma is annoying. The bullshit of the church dogma is naught but bullshit and its lunacy needs to be addressed for the bullshit that it is ---- for fucking Christ's sake! And what about your final comment --- about the benefit of the church bullshit and dogma to other. Are you totally insane man? What good has the bible done to the generations of mankind but to provide a gigantic stick with which to beat people over the head with, and then march them off to war in the name of Fucking Christ and Fucking God?

How many times to I have to repeat that my ideas are conjectural attempts to reconstruct the history of the 4th century and that they will rise and fall by evidence and the interpretation of that evidence? I am not claiming any form of infallibility. As far as I am concerned it is not me, but you, who needs their head read.
@MATT who writes First, and most importantly, Constantine didn't make Christianity the dominant state religion

Please take the time to read the opinion of BARNES and others. In c.324 CE when Constantine became the supreme military ruler of the entire empire, he systematically trashed the major competing religious architecture (massive ancient and highly revered Graeco-Roman) temples and then clearly legislated (See Codexc Theodisanus dated 326 CE) that "RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGES ARE RESERVED FOR CHRISTIANS".

Here is what BARNES writes:

On the assumption that Eusebius' report is reliable and accurate, it may be argued that in 324 Constantine established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, and that he carried through a systematic and coherent reformation, at least in the eastern provinces which he conquered in 324 as a professed Christian in a Christian crusade against the last of the persecutor.
@MATT who attempts to downplay things in ...... "your allegations of fascism are way exaggerated."

Please take the time to read this article by Vlassis Rassias, which documents the (catholic) christian attrocities of the 4th and 5th centuries

You see the claim of 4th century "Christian fascism" as exaggerated because you have not researched the ancient historical sources of the 4th and 5th century. In actual fact, the utterly black despotic fascist militaristic rule of the "christian emperors" has not yet been fully perceived. Why? Because the histories that we have of that epoch were authored by these fascist victors, and the orthodox (catholic) christian church of that epoch has CENSORED the anti-Christian sources who would have destroyed their credibility and authenticity as objective reporters of that epoch. Start with the censorship and destruction of the three bokks written by Emperor Julian "Against the Christians".
@D who wrote: "Then again, who were the Christian "fascists"?

Start with the first Christian Emperor, or should I say LORD GOD CAESAR Constantine, and work your way through the Christian Emperors of the 4th and 5th century who were responsible for the utter destruction of the Greek civilisation. I gave you number of references with oodles of details. One good place to start is the Christian persecution of Non-Christians: A summary by Vlasis Rassias (Demolish Them!). The source material for much of this is Book 16, Codex Theodosius.

See ---
@KIDD who writes "the Roman Catholic Church was the mother of European fascism"

One need only examine the types of thugs who occupied the positions of Bishops in Rome and Alexandria (the 2 principle cites of the empire) in the 4th century when the old religions were destroyed and the new state religion was EMBRACED by the BOSS Bullneck.

In Rome we have the thug military supremacist DAMASIUS who's soldiers openly fought in the streets of Rome for his position as the bishop of Rome. DAMASIUS was the TUTOR of Jerome ----- ha ha ha ha. What a pedigree for the Vulgate translator.

In Alexandria, read about the despotic black thug UNCLE THEOPHILUS who tutored the murderer and terrorist Boss Cyril of Alexandria who because of his voluminous censorship, refutation, destruction and anathemas of all criticism of the orthodox state Christian religion (including the Books of Emperor Julian) he was awarded the status of a DOCTOR of the Fascist Catholic Orthodoxy and the high point in the PHILOSOPHY of CHRISTOLOGY

Think about the situation if Hitler had overcome the allies in WWII.
Now apply this to the greek civilisation c.324 CE.
The Greeks had no allies.
They went down for a thousand years.
The most Holy Fascist Catholic Christian State religion went up.

Have a glance though the citations:

Knowledge Burning in the 4th Century: A tabulation of citations evidencing the destruction of libraries, or the destruction of temples (within which many non-christian libraries were associated), or the destruction of specific books, and works of authors and/or groups, some of which were sought out to be burnt. The Nag Hammadi codices discovered 1948 are in fact conjectured to be books which were hidden in order to enhance their preservation.
Occams razor time. My guess is that the early christians were every bit as obnoxious as those of the present day and that was the roots of any persicution. I doubt Constatine feared the christians. More than likely he fell for a fad. IMHO that seems the most likely explanation.




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