Constantine - The Christian Emperor.
Mark Merlino - Home page

Constantine - The Christian Emperor is Volume five in the six part Hail
series co-produced in 1997 by BBC and A&E. This episode is a very
skillfully produced biography of a truly remarkable man.

This biography begins by setting the context of the world into which
Constantine had been born. He was the son a military officer, who eventually
became Caesar, and was given a tough pagan military upbringing. As a young
man, he spent many years at the imperial court in the eastern Roman Empire
as a hostage of his father's co-emperors. At this time he both witnessed
persecutions of Christians and distinguished himself as a soldier.

The documentary traces how this ambitious young man rose to power,
succeeding his father in the West and then eliminating the rival claimants to the
throne. In addition to providing a narrative, this documentary gives a detailed
analysis of the political philosophy of Constantine. These include his motives
for founding Constantinople, his New Rome, for promoting Christianity and
even the religious reasons for why he waiting until his deathbed to be baptized.

All in all, this is a very professional biography, produced by good historians, of
one of history's most influential figures. Highly recommended.