Rome’s Skilled Builders

The ruins of the Colosseum

By Gabriel
January 28, 2019

Because Ancient Rome prospered greatly in engineering, it was extremely advanced for its time. Amazingly, the Romans who created ingenious aqueducts that brought fresh water into the city, also constructed 50,000 miles of roads. Conquering different towns, the Romans would build a pathway from that town back to their own stunning city. They also had a structure called the Colosseum, named after the colossal statue of Nero. It held 50,000 to 80,000 people. Inside, the citizens, like hungry wolves thirsting for blood, watched animal hunts, gladiator fights, and public executions. The Circus Maximus was an arena and a racetrack that fit 250,000 fans, making it twice the size as the largest stadium today. Countless Roman structures lasted for centuries because they used special long-lasting concrete. Interestingly, parts of the aqueducts, roads, and the Colosseum are still standing in 2019! Engineering feats helped make Rome one of the most magnificent civilizations ever. Since the ancient Romans were so skilled at building, their empire last for remarkably a long time.

Carnage and Surprise

This is what some people think the Circus Maximus looked like back in the day.

By Gabriel Dillingham
November 19, 2018

Aricus’ helpful parents, who brought him to Circus Maximus, were excited. It was the Aricus’ ninth birthday, so parents took him to the Circus Maximus for a gift. Because Aricus had been before, you would’ve thought he wouldn’t have wanted to see it, but he wanted to sit in the inner-field seats that were in the middle of the stadium. His dad used to be an old chariot rider, so he wanted to show Aricus up close. Inside the Circus Maximus, Aricus pridefully rushed in front of his parents. He was happy that his parents brought him to the Circus Maximus.

The irate losers who had lost the devastating round before wanted to crash into somebody forcefully for revenge. While Aricus was running across, a horse as black as the night sky pulling a chariot hit Aricus on purpose! Underneath the blazing sun, the hostile, harsh, and haughty losers swerved into a fence and people jumped out of the stands and attacked the corrupt and sinister losers. The horse escaped the chariot and trampled people to death. It was carnage and maybe in the Circus Maximus! The losers received their revenge, but they were about to pay.

Aricus’ mom and dad surprisingly gasped because there was fatal destruction everywhere. In the middle of the monumental stadium, the losers who had done bad deeds were hung by Roman guards. Aricus’ parents were looking forward to this trip, but it was actually a disaster. “Even though I got hurt, this was still pretty exciting!” yelled Aricus. “Good. Let’s just journey home and relax and eat,” stated Aricus’ parents. His mom and dad were still surprised because of all the carnage.

Constantine the Christian Warrior

Constantine and his mother Helena.

By Gabe Dillingham
April 8, 2019

Like an architect, Constantine built up the Church greatly. He was born on February 27, 272 A.D. in Naisus, Serbia, which was part of the Roman Empire. Constantine’s father was one of the four caesars of the empire’s vast lands. Wanting to be like his powerful dad, Constantine would emerge as a politician, too. Although, his mother came from humble beginnings, she influenced Constantine on Christian beliefs. Because of the impression his parents made upon him, Constantine became a prestigious leader of both Rome and Christianity.

When he became Supreme Augustus, Constantine used his power to spread Christianity all over the civilized world. In 302 A.D., Diocletian abdicated the throne. There were numerous civil wars, and there was chaos between caesars because they were all vying for authority over the colossal Roman Empire. In 312 A.D., Constantine fought the bloody and brutal Battle of Milvian Bridge against his rival Maximius. Some historians claim he was told in a vision that he needed to be the guardian of Christians. Constantine saw “XP,” which are the first two letter in the Greek word for Jesus, and he also saw “Hoc Vince.” That means “Conquer by the Cross.” Constantine’s soldiers painted crosses on their shields and he easily defeated Maximius. Impressively, Constantine conquered other kings and huge armies. It took Constantine 18 years and a series of battles and wars to finally become Augustus of the East and West parts of the empire in 324 A.D. He fashioned extravagant landscapes and nicely made roads, and protected many Christian kingdoms. Constructing beautiful cities, Constantine often used his own money and manufactured churches as shrines to Christianity. He established a new capitol, which was an old Greek city called Byzantium, rebuilt it, and called it “Nea Roma.” But after his death, this majestic city’s name was changed to “Constantinople.” Even though Constantine used much of his political power to advance himself, he also helped Christians significantly.

Constantine’s faith evolved over the passing years. Constantine’s mother, who found the true cross and is an honored saint in the Orthodox and Catholic churches, was an immense Christian influence on him. She was also the first Christian pilgrim and was extremely devout. Constantine was politically careful about his faith. If he declared “I love Christians!” everyone would kill all the Christians and there wouldn’t be any today. Patiently, he waited till he was Supreme Augustus to proclaim his Christianity, but he still played it safe. Making it the law that Christians had to be accepted into society, Constantine created the Edict of Toleration in 311 A.D. The caesar Galatius ignored it. Because of this, Constantine implemented the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity in 311 and returned all stolen church property. Constantine organized the Council of Nicea in 325 to close pagan temples. While Constantine was pro-Christian, he didn’t get baptized until his death bed. He died on May 22. The year was 337. He was 65 years old. Although it took him a while to get there, Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.

Truly, if Constantine hadn’t supported Christians, there would be a lot fewer today. Constantine instituted Sunday as a day of worship. He dealt with schisms, and he called the First Ecumenical Council, which is where people come together to call out corrupt teachings and to decide what important beliefs Christians should have. It also deftly destroyed the popular heresy of Arianism. Arius taught that there was no Trinity. That God is Father. But Jesus is inferior. Father and Son aren’t equal. At the Council, Constantine remarked, “For my own part, I hold any sedition within the Church of God as formidable as any war or battle, and more difficult still to bring to an end. I’m consequently more opposed to it than anything else.” That meant that the fighting for true Christian doctrine at the Council was as hard to do as the work of soldiers and was also as momentous. The Ecumenical Council also produced the Nicene Creed, which is a creed we still sing today, and another name for this special gathering is the Council of Nicea. In the Orthodox Church we still sing hymns to Constantine and his mother. Because he promoted Christianity, his saint title is “Equal to the Apostles.” Constantine preserved peace and the faith for the ages.

Constantine the Great was an adroit military man and politician, who also revered Christ. Although, he was a Christian, his faith progressed slowly over the years but he was cautious. Seriously, Constantine’s legacy as a resolute leader made the Church more durable. Without him, who knows what Christianiaty would be like today? Constantine was a Christian warrior.