Constantine is a historical figure who lived in the late Roman Empire, around A.D. 300 to 400. He was a Christian and ruler of the city of Rome at the time, so his attempt to establish New Rome was based on Christian values and principles.
New Rome was an envisioned place where wealthy Christians could live in luxury while still following the teachings of Jesus. It was expected that many members of the Christian community would relocate to New Rome, as well as their families, who would remain behind in Old Rome.
The hoped-for relocation of such a large population was due to anticipated improvements to health and living conditions in Old Roman territory, although not everyone knew this at the time.
This relocation scenario has been discussed by several people since then, but most focus on it as an opportunity for social change.
Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire
When Constantine established Christianity as the state religion of Rome, he also decided that Constantinople would become the new Roman Empire capital.
Constantinople was a proud city with many ancient traditions, and it took a long time for it to be converted into an imperial capital. It remained the capital of the Byzantine Empire for about four centuries, making it a very powerful city-state.
The people there were very proud of their culture and history, so it took some time for them to accept this new ruler. They wanted their own religion to be recognized, so they fought hard for years to gain independence from this new emperor.
During this period, churches were reoccupied and decorations were removed or replaced due to fights between rulers. This led to buildings being left in questionable condition until modern times.
It was strategically located
When Constantine established New Rome, he chose strategically located Colosseum as its capital. This was a smart choice, because later on, when members of the New Roman Empire tried to restore Old Rome, they used the Coliseum as their headquarters.
New Rome was located in what is now known as Italy. It was close to other countries like Greece and Byzantium, which ruled over it at the time.
Rome was very powerful back in those days, so very few people were willing to defy the emperor and his new government. Eventually, New Rome fell into disuse and ruin, which is why there are no remains left today.
The name has a mystical ring to it
“New Rome” is a powerful name, and it stuck. People refer to what happened during Constantine’s reign as New Rome, and for good reason.
Constantine re-established Roman citizenship and law, making him a member of an elite group of people. He established the Imperial Family as rulers, making them part of the institution’s nobility.
He also legalized homosexuality, creating a cultural norm that people could be who they were natureially loved ones matched. This was important for establishing a stable culture, governing structure.
Finally, he legalized Christianity as a religion and made Christians the official government and military leaders, ending the power gap that had existed before. New Rome was culturally reliable and strong with this system in place.
This helped it last for several hundred years, making it an important historical institution.
Constantine made a mistake when he chose the location for his new capital
New Rome was a very ambitious project, and Constantine didn’t take the time to plan it out before he introduced Christianity to Rome.
By building a city ringed with churches, Constantine hoped that people would flock to it and worship Jesus as the Old Testament prophesized. It was an attempt to establish his power over the entire city and society.
However, after six months of construction, all of the Christian temples were torn down and destroyed by non-Christians who objected to their pagan symbolism. This offended Constantine, who continued building his city until he ran out of materials.
Constantinople had great harbor facilities
When Constantine wanted to establish New Rome, he had to make sure he had a good harbor. He needed to bring his fleet out of Constantinople and into the Golden Horn to attack the capital, Constantinople, and its inhabitants.
Constantine chose the location of Constantinople on a hilltop with a large seawall. This allowed him enough space to build his city with several harbors. He also placed some large bridges over the seawall, so people could easily get around his new city.
When Constantine tried to establish New Rome, it didn’t go well. His fleet came out of Constantinople and couldn’t siege the city, so he had to abandon his plans. His men had to walk or ride miles every day to reach their new home.
Constantine tried many times to establish New Rome in different places across Europe until it was accepted as the new home for Western Christianity.
There were many buildings already in place in the city
When Constantine founded New Rome, he chose to start in the center of the city, near the Temple of Peace and the Arch of Triumph. He marked off a small section of town called Christiania, which is now downtown.
New Rome was located in a strategic location: It was just north of the Tiber River, close to the imperial palace and public buildings. It was also close to Aesculapian Incense, a temple where Romans believed St. Bartholomew mixed herbs and divined with his hands.
There were already several cities in New Rome called Roma, or Rome. Constantine decided to rename them all New Roma so he could more easily control them. He wanted New Roma to be an international city with houses for everyone!
Bullet point: The Temple of Peace was one of the new temples built in New Roma.
Many people were already living there
New Rome wasn’t very popular with the people who lived there before, which is what caused people to detour through Constantine’s city to get to New Rome.
People disliked how large and bright New Rome was compared to what they were used to. People also disliked how wealthy and powerful Constantine was, as he orders people live in poverty while he builds a big, bright city for himself.
Eventually, people grew tired of living in Constantine’s big, bright city and decided it was time for a new city of their own. This is what caused New Rome to lose popularity and citizens over time.
When looking into cities that saw major population drops or disappear, provinces can be a good place to look. If New Rome had happened on the other side of the government transition in this scenario, then we would have continued to see Roman citizens living there.
The site was well protected by natural features such as a river
and hills. As a result, very few members were able to discover what happened when Constantine tried to establish his new “New Rome” in this location.
Constantine’s attempt to establish “New Rome” was short-lived and came back to be replaced by another power structure shortly after. This happened a few more times until finally, the people of Ratae Barca decided it was time for a new home and chose the spot that is now called Christiania.
Christiania was an interesting place because it was protected by some big rocks that formed over time.