Should God Be Allowed To Take Part in Wars?

in history •  last year 

According to Orthodox Christian tradition, on October 27, 312 AD, the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius, Constantine the Great adopted as his motto the Greek phrase “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα” after having a vision of a Christogram in the sky. In other words, Constantine claimed that God Himself showed him the way to triumph. 

Source: nyafuu.org 

This is undoubtedly one of the most unusual and controversial stories in the history of Christianity, and probably the only time God was involved so energetically in the military battlefield.  Of course, nothing can be officially proved, and this story is a matter of faith most of all. However, it would be interesting to dig a littler deeper here. 

Constantine was the emperor who transferred the capital of the Byzantine Empire from Rome to Constantinople, laying the foundation for the transformation of the Empire from a Roman state to a Greek one.  

He was the first Christian emperor, the first ruler to adopt the religion that would go on to dominate the entire Byzantine Empire – Orthodox Christianity. In most Orthodox Christian countries such as Greece, Russia, and Romania, he is considered a saint equal to the twelve Apostles. 

One of the keys to achieving all this was the Battle of the Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius on 28 October 312 AD, a victory for Constantine forever linked with his famous vision – a luminous cross in the sky that took the form ☧, from the Greek letters Chi and Rho (X and P), the first two letters of the name “Christ” in Greek.  

The Christogram in the sky bore the inscription «᾿Εν Τούτῳ Νίκα» [Latin: In hoc signo vinces; English: In this sign you will conquer]. 

Source: Ancient Pages 

What Science Suggests 

Over the years, many historians have tried to provide a scientific account of the vision of Constantine, but without any significant success. According to psychological interpretations of this event, Constantine, while he could not know that the outcome of the battle would determine the future of Europe as a whole, certainly did realize how decisive was the upcoming clash for his Byzantine Empire.  

Source: Commons Wikimedia 

Therefore, many historians try to explain his vision from a psychological point of view, claiming that the vision was nothing more than an illusion caused by his excessive anxiety and stress about the outcome of the battle.  Other historians, appealing to the findings of astronomy, note that the positions of the planets on that day formed an X and a P cruciform alignment.  

So, they suggest that the vision Constantine saw that evening was nothing more than an astronomical phenomenon.  Of course, the Orthodox Church, which honors the great Constantine as a saint equal to the Apostles, insists that the vision was a miracle, a divine sign from God. 

Whatever the truth, the historical fact remains that Constantine experienced something significant enough to lead him to a historic decision shocking for its time. To insure the victory foretold in his vision – “In this sign you will conquer,” he had the Roman legions replace the pagan gods on their shields with standards bearing red banners with the Chi (χ)-Rho (ρ) monogram ☧.  

Source: Behance, Artwork created by Aleksandr Saet 

This banner, called a labarum, was hung suspended from the crossbar, making it an excellent symbol for the crucified Christ. Because it was too difficult and too costly, the coins of the time did not bear the new symbol.  But a new era had begun, and Constantine adopted the monogram as his own, eventually even topping his Byzantine crown with the Christogram whose appearance in the sky led him to victory. 

Sources:

The Life and Times of Constantine the Great by D. G. Kousoulas

Constantine the Great: And the Christian Revolution by G.P. Baker 

The Day God was Involved in a War (Written by Theodoros II)

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Humanity has not changed that much in thousands of years. Propaganda has always been a major part of war.

I would like to have been a fly on the wall during the political meeting leading up to this "dream" and change of symbolism.

And unfortunately it will never change (not drastically at least). Propaganda and brainwashing will always be a powerful tool in the hands of the greedy and sneaky ones to manipulate the masses. It has always been the case and I am afraid it will always be!

What about the New Soviet Man I read about somewhere? LOL LOL LOL

As you know Soviet Russia and communist states in general, took propaganda on a whole new level. Even the Pope and all kind of religions kneel in front of communism's unmatched skills when it comes to brainwashing lol

Yet still they were unable to eradicate greed, selfishness, ill will, or any of a number of little nasties from the psyche of the New Soviet Man. Let's face it, socialism, without a VERY repressive tyranny, will never work.

πολυ καλογραμμενο κειμενο.δεν θυμομουν/δεν γνωριζα αρκετά απο αυτά που ανέφερες.Τελικά τα πιο επιμορφωτικά πράγματα δεν αναφέρονται πάντα στα βιβλία της ιστορίας μας στα σχολεια!

Τεραστια αληθεια αυτο που ειπες. Στο σχολειο μας εμαθαν αποκλειστικα οτι ηθελαν "αυτοι." Υποθετω θα εχουν τους λογους τους.

It's an interesting story. But if it was divine or spiritually of any significance it would have been recorded in scriptures. They possibly saw more to gain in accepting the symbol. I highly doubt anything happend.

Religious propaganda has always been one of the most powerful weapons in mankind's history ;)

  ·  last year (edited)

there is nothing like change. the greedy will continue to be greedy so will their generation be and on and on so i agree with you @tkappa