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The evidence that Constantine saw himself as a Christian is simply too much to disregard, including his view of his victory at the Milvian Bridge, his actions immediately following the battle, and his baptism. In addition, it has been shown that, while Constantine believed that God would grant victory to Constantine and benefit the State in return for proper worship, Constantine could not have nominally converted to Christianity for political reasons. Thus Constantine did convert to Christianity; what Constantine actually believed, however, must be dealt with separately.

Constantine's beliefs were certainly complicated, and must be discussed. As we have seen, Constantine favored the Christian God and saw himself as a Christian. However, after his conversion, his beliefs retained some pagan elements. This is not surprising, for during the time of Constantine the line between paganism and Christianity was blurring, and it would be easy for a pagan to confuse elements of the two. First, paganism was moving towards beliefs that were also held by Christians.54 The pagan religion was becoming monotheistic, at least philosophically, and most educated pagans were also beginning to integrate concepts of morality and redemption into their religion. On the other hand, Christian beliefs could also be confused with those of pagans.55 The Christian Church still recognized the existence of pagan deities, although it saw them as demons. In addition, the rituals of Christianity were similar to those of the mystery religions, especially those of Mithras.56 Finally, the Church often identified Christ with the Sun as an illuminating spirit - specifically, it referred to Christ as the "Sun of Truth." This could cause people to confuse Christ with such deities as Sol Invictus, "The Unconquered Sun," who was increasing in popularity among pagans.57 This last point is especially relevant in the discussion of Constantine, for Sol Invictus was the last pagan god to disappear from the imperial coinage.58 Thus it is understandable that Constantine retained elements of paganism after he converted to Christianity.


54. Ibid., 12.
55. Ibid., 12, 57.
56. Ibid., 12.
57. Ibid., 57.
58.Barnes, 213.
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