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RE: OT Re: FW: OT Re: FW: Dinosaur Calendar Project



Luis Oscar Romero <lor@fibertel.com.ar> wrote:


> Constantine was worried by the disintegration of the
> empire, with the drifting apart of Rome and Byzantium, and
> the increasing independence of some provinces. He saw in
> monotheism a unifying factor that he could benefit from by
> bringing together "Romans" from very different origins and
> beliefs. so he summoned alll the christian bishops to
> reunite in Nicea of 325 AD and established the foundings of
> the christian religion as we know it today, cleaning up the
> diverging trends  that were starting to appear, such as
> arrianism, to form a monolithic body of beliefs that will be
> followed by all christians. This creed he make the official
> religion of the Empire, for reasons not spiritual, but
> political.


I'd go along with that (except for the very first line - see below).  
Constantine regarded Christianity as a unifying force (ironic, huh?).  He was 
likely impressed by the organization and resilience of the Christian Church, 
which had survived and prospered despite intermittent but often vicious 
persecutions.  


Having said that, Constantine's adoption and subsequent promotion of 
Christianity was probably motivated by more than just politics.  He seems to 
have been a genuine believer as well. 


However, the division between western and eastern Roman empires ("Rome and 
Byzantium", respectively) was still some way off in the future.  Although 
Constantine was responsible for the building of Constantinople - which became a 
second 'capital' of the Roman Empire, and then sole capital of the Byzantine 
Empire that followed - the split between the western and eastern halves of the 
Roman empire really only became apparent after the death of Emperor Theodosius 
I.  


Still, as you say, retaining the territorial integrity of the empire was a 
persistent problem.  Constantine's own father (Constantius I) campaigned to 
restore Roman rule in a breakaway state established in Britain and northern 
Gaul.  It's a little known fact that Roman Britain was effectively an 
independent state from 286-296 AD, with its own emperors (Carausius, Allectus). 
 Maybe some patriotic English paleontologist out there might be inspired to 
name one of their dinosaurs after one of these uniquely British emperors.  If 
the Italians can name a dinosaur after Scipio, why not...?


> Bishop = another form of extant dinosaur (and thus back
> into topic)  ;^)


There is an Australian Cretaceous mammal (therian?) called _Bishops_.  Rather 
than having any episcopal connotations, the genus takes its name from a person 
(Dr Barry Bishop). 



Cheers

Tim