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Author Topic: Christian Rulers and Adultery through the Ages  (Read 1439 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 11, 2013, 01:03:51 AM »

This is a historical topic that fascinates me. We know that the vast majority of Christian (including Orthodox) rulers kept numerous mistresses or lovers, even devout champions of the faith such as Louis the Pious. Why is it that they were never able to shake off this particular sin?
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 02:00:35 AM »

His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I never had any mistresses or concubines. Any Christian ruler that did was violating the teachings of the Church. I have heard some people argue that it is a cultural thing, which is an absurd rationalization.



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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 02:45:14 AM »

Considering that many of them slaughtered thousands, had their own families killed and committed genocide (such as St. Olga) I think that them having some lovers on the side is the least of their faults.
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 02:50:34 AM »

Considering that many of them slaughtered thousands, had their own families killed and committed genocide (such as St. Olga) I think that them having some lovers on the side is the least of their faults.

St Olga's military campaigns were conducted before she was baptized into Orthodoxy.  police
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 08:14:21 AM »

Considering that many of them slaughtered thousands, had their own families killed and committed genocide (such as St. Olga) I think that them having some lovers on the side is the least of their faults.

I don't want to turn this into a thread about the morality of war, but military pacifism has always been at best a contentious topic in the Christian world, whereas adultery has always been defined as a sin. Most rulers did not commit genocide haphazardly but had (some would say legitimate) justifications for leading their countries to war. Moreover, in doing so they simply acted in their capacity as head of state. Adultery is a more personal sin and I think most monarchs would have been hard-pressed to try to justify it.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 08:15:08 AM by NightOwl » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 08:40:41 AM »

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Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:23-24)

It is very difficult for a ruler who has an entire nation under him and great wealth at his disposal to live ascetically and to keep proper watch over his thoughts and restraint over his desires.  If a ruler has an entire people under him and access to great wealth, the temptation to seek fulfillment in life through endless gratification of the desires is great.  A person in that position may be tempted by pride, which easily precedes falls into carnal sins, and gluttony which also increases carnal desire and makes it very difficult to resist carnal temptations.  A ruler, by virtue of his high and noble position in society and his great wealth and power, may also receive much more attention from those of the opposite sex who may be eager to lay hold of some of his power and wealth through seduction.  Women may be used by others toward the same goal.  Certainly, there have been rulers who lived ascetically, chastly, and humbly; but it is easy to see why such rulers would be the exception.
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NightOwl
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 08:51:00 AM »

^Good answer.
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 08:54:55 AM »

In many instances there were the impulses to have heirs to the throne, particularly male heirs.  Considering the infant and child mortality rates, as well as those of women in childbirth, this was another consideration.
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 08:57:54 AM »

In many instances there were the impulses to have heirs to the throne, particularly male heirs.  Considering the infant and child mortality rates, as well as those of women in childbirth, this was another consideration.

True but it was also important that those heirs be legitimate. Henry VIII had several illegitimate sons.
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 09:34:21 AM »

In many instances there were the impulses to have heirs to the throne, particularly male heirs.  Considering the infant and child mortality rates, as well as those of women in childbirth, this was another consideration.

True but it was also important that those heirs be legitimate. Henry VIII had several illegitimate sons.

As far as is known Henry had one son by a woman to whom he was not married: Henry Fitzroy 1st Duke of Somerset and Richmond, a very capable young man who the king had hoped to find some way to have declared his heir. There was an Act of Succession in process by which the king could choose his heir. Unfortunately the Duke died at age 17. 
http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/aboutHenryFitzroy.htm

He is the only illegitimate son that Henry VIII acknowledged.  Both of his sons with Catherine of Aragon died as infants and only Edward survived his father and he also died young. 

There were ways that rulers used to make various sons their successors.
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 10:00:52 AM »

In many instances there were the impulses to have heirs to the throne, particularly male heirs.  Considering the infant and child mortality rates, as well as those of women in childbirth, this was another consideration.

True but it was also important that those heirs be legitimate. Henry VIII had several illegitimate sons.

As far as is known Henry had one son by a woman to whom he was not married: Henry Fitzroy 1st Duke of Somerset and Richmond, a very capable young man who the king had hoped to find some way to have declared his heir. There was an Act of Succession in process by which the king could choose his heir. Unfortunately the Duke died at age 17. 
http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/aboutHenryFitzroy.htm

He is the only illegitimate son that Henry VIII acknowledged.  Both of his sons with Catherine of Aragon died as infants and only Edward survived his father and he also died young. 

There were ways that rulers used to make various sons their successors.

It's highly probably Henry had other illegitimate sons he never recognized. There are very few instances of European bastards becoming kings and they were largely de facto disqualified from succession.
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 10:28:12 AM »

I beg your pardon for being difficult, but "highly probable" is not the same as what is the historical record. You first wrote that Henry "had several illegitimate sons", but that is not what the records show.  The only other male that is mentioned by some as a possibility but that is not generally accepted is Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon.  But this is speculation only and not accepted by historians in general.

Anyway, I merely mentioned the matter of issue as one part of the equation only.  It was not intended to derail the thread, but to show that this as with other human matters can be complicated by more than one factor.
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 10:29:00 AM »

This is a historical topic that fascinates me. We know that the vast majority of Christian (including Orthodox) rulers kept numerous mistresses or lovers, even devout champions of the faith such as Louis the Pious. Why is it that they were never able to shake off this particular sin?
It's lonely at the top, and being forced into marriages of state (something which falls under the rubric of using women IMHO) didn't help.  Henry VIII being forced into marrying his brother's widow case in point.

I wonder how the queens put up with their own disappointments in this matter (those who remained faithful, that is).  I just finished watching "Isabel" a Spanish series (excellent, btw, and and I found interesting for its voseo), where Juana la Beltranaje (whose was rumored to be born of an alleged affair of her mother, her father known as Enrique IV el Impotente "the Impotent": in the series artificial insemination is used) at the age of eight is being married by proxy to the brother and heir of the King of France, the groom being 24 (and sickly and crippled in the series).  She had been previously promised to her half uncle Alfonso (at her age 2, he 11), and then married (or rather, was married to) her full uncle-age 43-at the age of 13.  Once their pope annulled their marriage on account of their affinity, she was given the choice (at age 17) to marry her half nephew once he grew up-at the time he was 1, but she chose the convent.  When Isabel died, Fernando (age 52) supposedly proposed to her (age 42), but she refused.
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 10:32:50 AM »

That is, indeed, an another aspect that is important: marriages were made for political reasons, for alliances, to keep territories "in the family" as it were among other reasons and personal likes or dislikes would have little to nothing to do with it.
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 12:32:42 PM »

This is a historical topic that fascinates me. We know that the vast majority of Christian (including Orthodox) rulers kept numerous mistresses or lovers, even devout champions of the faith such as Louis the Pious. Why is it that they were never able to shake off this particular sin?

Maybe because most of the rulers that had mistresses did not believe in anything except their own power. Religion for many of them was just an instrument for achieving political stability for their regime.
The Byzantine rulers, compared with the other rulers, were not so much tempted by that sin, maybe because the Orthodox Church never allowed such thing and was openly against such actions of the rulers. Yes, there were such, like Michael the Drunkard ( the son of st. Empress Theodora ), but he did not believe in God and was mocking Christian rituals. Unlike his mother, he was not a true Christian.
The other is Constantine VI, who also had mistress, and actually married her. He also was not a true Christian, attacking the monastery of st. Theodore the Studite for opposing such marriage, starting the Moechian controversy.
We all know how they ended. The first killed by his friend, the second blinded by the supporters of his mother and deposed in favor of her.

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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2013, 12:40:18 PM »

St. Vladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev, otoh, is wonderful model after conversion.

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St. Vladimir changed completely after his baptism. He destroyed all the pagan statues that stood in Kievan Rus', and replaced them with churches. He also attempted to live in peace as much as possible with his neighbors and had only one wife.http://orthodoxwiki.org/Vladimir_of_Kiev

Until his baptism, Vladimir I of Kiev (c.958–1015) was described by Thietmar of Merseburg as a great profligate (Latin: fornicator maximus). He had a few hundred concubines in Kiev and in the country residence of Berestovo. He also had official pagan wives, the most famous being Rogneda of Polotsk. His other wives are mentioned in the Primary Chronicle, with various children assigned to various wives in the different versions of the document. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_life_and_children_of_Vladimir_I
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2013, 01:10:52 PM »

I beg your pardon for being difficult, but "highly probable" is not the same as what is the historical record. You first wrote that Henry "had several illegitimate sons", but that is not what the records show.  The only other male that is mentioned by some as a possibility but that is not generally accepted is Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon.  But this is speculation only and not accepted by historians in general.

Actually that's not true; there are many highly-regarded Tudor historians who present very convincing evidence for Henry Carey as an unacknowledged son of Henry VIII, including Dr. G.W. Bernard, Joanna Denny, and Anthony Hoskins. When court historians and their employers have a vested interest in keeping certain information private, sometimes it's necessary to go beyond conventional historical records to discover the truth, and contemporary historians such as those mentioned above have a good handle on circumventing those dynamics.

Anyway, I merely mentioned the matter of issue as one part of the equation only.  It was not intended to derail the thread, but to show that this as with other human matters can be complicated by more than one factor.

Derail the thread? Not in the least, this is my idea of fun! Cheesy Anyway I see where you're coming from, I'm just a pretentious history major who likes a good historical debate.
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2013, 01:30:56 PM »

It disappointed me to find that most of the Russian tsars had multiple illegitimate children and mistresses, even "devout" ones like Alexander I or ones who did something good like Alexander II. Nicholas II seems to be the exception (he had a relationship but ended it when he married).
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2013, 01:34:14 PM »

It disappointed me to find that most of the Russian tsars had multiple illegitimate children and mistresses, even "devout" ones like Alexander I or ones who did something good like Alexander II. Nicholas II seems to be the exception (he had a relationship but ended it when he married).

Alexander I was apparently more faithful to his spouse at the end of his life.
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2013, 01:52:47 PM »

It may be the confluence of Lord Acton's observation (Power corrupts and...) and a biological imperative (women drawn to the strongest male).
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2013, 07:47:05 PM »

I beg your pardon for being difficult, but "highly probable" is not the same as what is the historical record. You first wrote that Henry "had several illegitimate sons", but that is not what the records show.  The only other male that is mentioned by some as a possibility but that is not generally accepted is Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon.  But this is speculation only and not accepted by historians in general.

Actually that's not true; there are many highly-regarded Tudor historians who present very convincing evidence for Henry Carey as an unacknowledged son of Henry VIII, including Dr. G.W. Bernard, Joanna Denny, and Anthony Hoskins. When court historians and their employers have a vested interest in keeping certain information private, sometimes it's necessary to go beyond conventional historical records to discover the truth, and contemporary historians such as those mentioned above have a good handle on circumventing those dynamics.

I know a bit about Dr. Bernard, Joanna Denny and Anthony Hoskins and their theories. Are you of the opinion that any historian who does not accept that Henry Carey was Henry VIII's son is has a "vested interest"? What would this interest be? Certainly not in maintaining that Henry had no liaisons with women to whom he was not married.  He publicly acknowledged Henry Fitzroy, after all and made him a duke.   Why would those who do not agree with this idea not be accessing the historical record as much as those with other ideas?  Since Henry Carey had an older sister there is some consideration that she might have been fathered by the king,  But he wanted sons and was working on an Act of Succession, so to not recognize a healthy male offspring (and Henry Carey lived to old age) does not seem to fit.   


Anyway, I merely mentioned the matter of issue as one part of the equation only.  It was not intended to derail the thread, but to show that this as with other human matters can be complicated by more than one factor.

Derail the thread? Not in the least, this is my idea of fun! Cheesy Anyway I see where you're coming from, I'm just a pretentious history major who likes a good historical debate.
[/quote]

Well that's good.  Smiley  As long as the historical debate has some grounding in real information and considerations.  As you may have gathered, history is an interest of mine as well.  May one ask if you have any particular periods or cultures that are major interests?
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2013, 07:48:16 PM »

It may be the confluence of Lord Acton's observation (Power corrupts and...) and a biological imperative (women drawn to the strongest male).

Or in some cases the workings of the "strongest male" and others not having a choice or finding it easier to go along with someone with power.
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2013, 09:47:02 PM »

Considering that many of them slaughtered thousands, had their own families killed and committed genocide (such as St. Olga) I think that them having some lovers on the side is the least of their faults.

I don't want to turn this into a thread about the morality of war, but military pacifism has always been at best a contentious topic in the Christian world, whereas adultery has always been defined as a sin. Most rulers did not commit genocide haphazardly but had (some would say legitimate) justifications for leading their countries to war. Moreover, in doing so they simply acted in their capacity as head of state. Adultery is a more personal sin and I think most monarchs would have been hard-pressed to try to justify it.


I confess that I find war much more disturbing than adulterous behavior. I wish more Christians had as much trouble justifying war as they do justifying adultery. But both are sinful in my opinion, and both are deeply destructive in more ways than people realize.


Selam
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2013, 11:49:44 AM »

Considering that many of them slaughtered thousands, had their own families killed and committed genocide (such as St. Olga) I think that them having some lovers on the side is the least of their faults.

I don't want to turn this into a thread about the morality of war, but military pacifism has always been at best a contentious topic in the Christian world, whereas adultery has always been defined as a sin. Most rulers did not commit genocide haphazardly but had (some would say legitimate) justifications for leading their countries to war. Moreover, in doing so they simply acted in their capacity as head of state. Adultery is a more personal sin and I think most monarchs would have been hard-pressed to try to justify it.


I confess that I find war much more disturbing than adulterous behavior. I wish more Christians had as much trouble justifying war as they do justifying adultery. But both are sinful in my opinion, and both are deeply destructive in more ways than people realize.


Selam

I don't know; I have had the misfortune of seeing parts of a Jerry Springer show.
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2013, 01:58:57 AM »

Considering that many of them slaughtered thousands, had their own families killed and committed genocide (such as St. Olga) I think that them having some lovers on the side is the least of their faults.

I don't want to turn this into a thread about the morality of war, but military pacifism has always been at best a contentious topic in the Christian world, whereas adultery has always been defined as a sin. Most rulers did not commit genocide haphazardly but had (some would say legitimate) justifications for leading their countries to war. Moreover, in doing so they simply acted in their capacity as head of state. Adultery is a more personal sin and I think most monarchs would have been hard-pressed to try to justify it.


I confess that I find war much more disturbing than adulterous behavior. I wish more Christians had as much trouble justifying war as they do justifying adultery. But both are sinful in my opinion, and both are deeply destructive in more ways than people realize.


Selam

I don't know; I have had the misfortune of seeing parts of a Jerry Springer show.

Good point. The Jerry Springer Show: where the combination of war and adultery are glorified for people's amusement. God help our culture.


Selam
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2013, 05:36:44 AM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2013, 10:00:55 AM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

I don't think anyone is judging anything in this thread.  Indeed, most of the negative comments are geared towards the behavior and not the person and the OP itself asks a pertinent question considering that monarchs, especially Christian ones, are to lead by example.
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2013, 10:09:10 AM »

I don't think anyone is judging anything in this thread.  Indeed, most of the negative comments are geared towards the behavior and not the person and the OP itself asks a pertinent question considering that monarchs, especially Christian ones, are to lead by example.

I know, just kidding Smiley.
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2013, 02:52:33 PM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

To be honest, I think that we judge ourselves too harshly and expect too much out of ourselves with radical monogamy and no masturbation, but we judge Christian rulers too loosely by not applying the same rules to them.
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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2013, 04:24:18 PM »

To be honest, I think that we judge ourselves too harshly and expect too much out of ourselves with radical monogamy and no masturbation, but we judge Christian rulers too loosely by not applying the same rules to them.

I think it's better to judge oneself to harshly and others too loosely, than the other way. And it's Evangelical, so you can't go wrong with that.
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2013, 11:30:53 PM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

To be honest, I think that we judge ourselves too harshly and expect too much out of ourselves with radical monogamy and no masturbation, but we judge Christian rulers too loosely by not applying the same rules to them.

When you say "radical monogamy" do you mean "monogamous and never cheating" or "Monogamous without polygamy"?

With monogamy, we certainly & absolutely do not have the right to cheat.   Polygamy (which is different than cheating) was practiced by some early Christians.  Of course, I don't theologically have an issue with polygamy itself.   

I could not judge a person who can handle the stress of 3 wives, the children of 3 wives, and the honey-do list of 3 wives.  So long as he takes care of them and they are happy.   BIBLICALLY and historically they are not in sin.  Of course the canon forbids it, which an EO would consider wrong.   

As for a ruler the WIVES don't bother me, but the concubines do.  That's not bound in marriage.

As far as judging too loosely, you are correct.   They should be setting a good example.  If they were a BISHOP, they are only supposed to have 1 wife biblically.
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« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2013, 12:43:25 AM »

Personally I see it this way; if a tyrant like Constanine is a Saint just because he gave the Church a lot of wealth, I honestly don't see how or why we should reasonably worry about ourselves. I mean, most of our iniquities surely don't fall into the same league as Constantine, yet, he is a Saint and we are told that we must be perfect. Kinda contradictory to me. This is what I mean by unfair judgment; if a normal average joe has an affair (which is wrong) or sex with multiple people, he is extremely guilty, but if a Saint does (like Vladimir or Constantine) it's perfectly okay and disregarded. What gives? Just because they are royal and had money shouldn't be an excuse to excuse them of their sins.
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« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2013, 06:20:00 AM »

Personally I see it this way; if a tyrant like Constanine is a Saint just because he gave the Church a lot of wealth,

That's not the reason he became Saint.

I honestly don't see how or why we should reasonably worry about ourselves.

Would you really like to make hell out of your life?

I mean, most of our iniquities surely don't fall into the same league as Constantine, yet, he is a Saint and we are told that we must be perfect. Kinda contradictory to me.

Tell me, what good has the Penitent Thief done in his life? The "only" good thing was that he felt sorry for his sins and asked Christ to remember him when He'll come to His Kingdom, shortly before his death. He was a criminal, and he wasn't even baptized - and Christ told this man, that he will be in paradise with Him the same day.

This is what I mean by unfair judgment; if a normal average joe has an affair (which is wrong) or sex with multiple people, he is extremely guilty, but if a Saint does (like Vladimir or Constantine) it's perfectly okay and disregarded.

You know, I guess the problem is with seeing the whole thing through the perspective of justice. God is not justice in our terms, because He is not comparing executioner. He is Justice in that He is Mercy.

What gives? Just because they are royal and had money shouldn't be an excuse to excuse them of their sins.

The Church does not perceive anyone through wealth or status, don't worry.
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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2013, 07:48:19 AM »

Personally I see it this way; if a tyrant like Constanine is a Saint just because he gave the Church a lot of wealth

Constantine the Great was not a tyrant, he released Rome from the tyrant and usurper Maxentius. If you are referring to the murder of his son, that was a mistake of which st. Constantine the Great was not aware. He was tricked into doing that by his own wife, Fausta.
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« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2013, 09:33:08 AM »

Personally I see it this way; if a tyrant like Constanine is a Saint just because he gave the Church a lot of wealth, I honestly don't see how or why we should reasonably worry about ourselves. I mean, most of our iniquities surely don't fall into the same league as Constantine, yet, he is a Saint and we are told that we must be perfect. Kinda contradictory to me. This is what I mean by unfair judgment; if a normal average joe has an affair (which is wrong) or sex with multiple people, he is extremely guilty, but if a Saint does (like Vladimir or Constantine) it's perfectly okay and disregarded. What gives? Just because they are royal and had money shouldn't be an excuse to excuse them of their sins.

James-I strongly encourage you to read "Defending Constantine" by Peter Leithart. Here is an endorsement from an eminent Orthodox theologian:

""There have been of late a splurge of populist history books damning Constantine the Great as the villain of the piece. Almost without exception they have drawn their picture of this most complex and complicated of late-antique Roman emperors from secondhand, clichéd and hackneyed books of an older generation, adding their own clichés in the process. Constantine has been sketched luridly, as the man who corrupted Christianity either by financial or military means. At long last we have here, in Peter Leithart, a writer who knows how to tell a lively story but is also no mean shakes as a scholarly historian. This intelligent and sensitive treatment of one of the great military emperors of Rome is a trustworthy entrée into Roman history that loses none of the romance and rambunctiousness of the events of the era of the civil war, but which also explains why Constantine matters: why he was important to the ancient world, why he matters to the development of Christianity (a catalyst in its movement from small sect to world-embracing cultural force). It does not whitewash or damn on the basis of a preset ideology, but it certainly does explain why Constantine gained from the Christians the epithet 'The Great.' For setting the record straight, and for providing a sense of the complicated lay of the land, this book comes most highly recommended." (John A. McGuckin, Columbia University )"
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« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2013, 10:40:26 PM »

I'm just being fair here...

I've read things defending Constantine, and I've read other things about Constantine.  (Including Constantine's Sword).

The bottom line is he did what he did.   James, I disagree with him being a saint.   There are so many wonderful saints out there.   James, I see it as "things happen", and this very rich & powerful man was that - rich and powerful.   His influence was incredibly heavy.

Knowing much of the history, I can't exactly say why he was sainted other than his power.   But like any of us, he stands for his own sins.   

But James, the important thing is this.  DON'T focus on the exception of the rule.   Many of the Orthodox saints are wonderful examples of Christians, Martyrs, and their works are amazing.

Just because he was sainted, does not mean that he was sin free.   He is accountable for those things.  I have a serious beef with him too.   Easier to read of St. Clement of Rome -or- for that matter, almost any other saint.  Sometimes its easier to just say - HUH?
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« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2013, 11:00:18 PM »

I'm just being fair here...

I've read things defending Constantine, and I've read other things about Constantine.  (Including Constantine's Sword).
which is excrement.
The bottom line is he did what he did.   James, I disagree with him being a saint.   There are so many wonderful saints out there.   James, I see it as "things happen", and this very rich & powerful man was that - rich and powerful.   His influence was incredibly heavy.

Knowing much of the history, I can't exactly say why he was sainted other than his power.   But like any of us, he stands for his own sins.   

But James, the important thing is this.  DON'T focus on the exception of the rule.   Many of the Orthodox saints are wonderful examples of Christians, Martyrs, and their works are amazing.

Just because he was sainted, does not mean that he was sin free.   He is accountable for those things.  I have a serious beef with him too.   Easier to read of St. Clement of Rome -or- for that matter, almost any other saint.  Sometimes its easier to just say - HUH?
I don't know of St. Constantine writing anything except edicts, if that (usually the work of chancellaries).
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« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2013, 11:13:29 PM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

To be honest, I think that we judge ourselves too harshly and expect too much out of ourselves with radical monogamy and no masturbation, but we judge Christian rulers too loosely by not applying the same rules to them.

When you say "radical monogamy" do you mean "monogamous and never cheating" or "Monogamous without polygamy"?

With monogamy, we certainly & absolutely do not have the right to cheat.   Polygamy (which is different than cheating) was practiced by some early Christians.
It is practiced by some Christians today:i.e. remarriage after death of a spouse, which is called polygamy by the Fathers.

No other polygamy was practiced by Christians.

Of course, I don't theologically have an issue with polygamy itself.
 
Christians, of course, do.

I could not judge a person who can handle the stress of 3 wives, the children of 3 wives, and the honey-do list of 3 wives.  So long as he takes care of them and they are happy.   BIBLICALLY and historically they are not in sin.
BIBLICALLY includes the NT, which doesn't allow three living spouses.

You'll notice-or should-that in the OT, polygamy never ends well.

Of course the canon forbids it, which an EO would consider wrong.
 
Good enough for Jesus, good enough for me.

As for a ruler the WIVES don't bother me, but the concubines do.  That's not bound in marriage.

As far as judging too loosely, you are correct.   They should be setting a good example.  If they were a BISHOP, they are only supposed to have 1 wife biblically.
No ruler who claimed be Christian had more than one bound wife, except Philip of Hesse.  1500 years without one, and there hasn't been one near 500 years since.
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« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2013, 06:31:33 AM »


I've read things defending Constantine, and I've read other things about Constantine.  (Including Constantine's Sword).


Constantine's Sword is not historically accurate. Neither it is a historical source. For example, there it says that the Christians did not use the cross as symbol first three centuries. Is that true? No, and this ( which is a historical source ) confirms that:



It is written: Alexamenos worships [his] god.

It was a mocking of Alexamenos' Christian beliefs and with Christ's sufferings. Why would anyone use the cross to offend a Christian, if that symbol was not known to the Christians, or they did not use it? Can someone offend Christianity by mocking with the symbol of the pagan gods? Of course not, he will offend the followers of that religion.

Whoever does researches about Constantine, should focus on the historical sources,. There lies the truth about history, not in other things.
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« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2013, 02:05:50 PM »


I've read things defending Constantine, and I've read other things about Constantine.  (Including Constantine's Sword).


I am surprised that you publicly acknowledge having relied on Constantine's Sword to form an opinion on Saint Constantine the Great. That book is not reliable at all, no matter how you approach it. I repeat my advice to James: please read Defending Constantine.
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« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2013, 06:04:21 PM »


I've read things defending Constantine, and I've read other things about Constantine.  (Including Constantine's Sword).


I am surprised that you publicly acknowledge having relied on Constantine's Sword to form an opinion on Saint Constantine the Great. That book is not reliable at all, no matter how you approach it. I repeat my advice to James: please read Defending Constantine.

No, it's not all, there's a lot of pieces to this puzzle.
*Just about the Orthodox St. Constantine - not about other saints, as I really like most of them.

He was responsible for the deaths of so many people.   This is POST conversion to Christianity.
In 326 he executed his wife & son
In 332 & 334 he ran military campaigns where he was responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Goths & Sarmatians.  This was mostly for imperialism reasons.


Quote from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I
"Later in 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun, referencing the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Furthermore, and long after his oft alleged "conversion" to Christianity, Constantine's coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine's personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, but never on the coin itself.[210] Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem; no Christian symbols were present at this dedication."

So that officially ended the Sabbath practicing Christians worship (for the most part).

Anyway, I've read things in defense of Orthodox St. Constantine, but I am not convinced....

Put it like this, and it's a real easy question.

Would you trust Orthodox St. Constantine, or Clement of Rome more near your family?
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« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2013, 06:19:33 PM »


No, it's not all, there's a lot of pieces to this puzzle.
*Just about the Orthodox St. Constantine - not about other saints, as I really like most of them.


He was responsible for the deaths of so many people.   This is POST conversion to Christianity.

He was baptized before dying, in 337 AD. Because he was soldier and engaged in battles, he considered that by killing people in war he is not worthy of baptism. Entering war does not disqualify anyone of being a saint. Many saints were soldiers, st. Demetrius of Thesalonica for example.

In 326 he executed his wife & son

His son died because of a plot of Constantine's wife Fausta. He was sentenced to death by a court in Pula. Fausta accused Crispus of trying to rape her.At that time, according to law, sleeping with the Queen, or attacking her was considered high treason and was punishable by death.
His wife, Fausta, deserved death because she was guilty for the death of Constantine's eldest son, Crispus. And it was not Constantine that killed her, it was his mother, st. Helena, who discovered the plot of Fausta and told her son about that.

In 332 & 334 he ran military campaigns where he was responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Goths & Sarmatians.  This was mostly for imperialism reasons.


Yes, because Goths, Slavs, Sarmatians etc. all threatened the borders of the Empire, entered the Empire, pillaging population, robbing provinces etc..What kind of King would have Constanine been if he just left the people in those provinces to the mercy of the barbarians?!

Quote from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I
"Later in 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun, referencing the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Furthermore, and long after his oft alleged "conversion" to Christianity, Constantine's coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine's personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, but never on the coin itself.[210] Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem; no Christian symbols were present at this dedication."


Read the bold letters. He did not impose Christianity to all. That was a personal choice. His personal attributes were Christian, not the state's attributes. The state at that time was not Christian. It became under Theodosius the Great!

So that officially ended the Sabbath practicing Christians worship (for the most part).


Those that practiced the Sabbath were wrong, none of the Holy Fathers of the Church at that time practiced the sabath, even st. Apostle Paul in the NT says that those things are not for us.

Anyway, I've read things in defense of Orthodox St. Constantine, but I am not convinced....

Read all the historical sources at that time.

Put it like this, and it's a real easy question.

Would you trust Orthodox St. Constantine, or Clement of Rome more near your family?

Both!
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« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2013, 06:28:12 PM »

Would you trust Orthodox St. Constantine, or Clement of Rome more near your family?

Definitely St. Clement without a doubt. However, to be fair, the thought of being around anyone who's royal frightens me. I wouldn't feel comfortable around the Queen of England either. Just the thought of being in the same room as someone who could have my head on a platter at the utterance of only a couple words without any consequences at all makes me extremely uneasy  Undecided
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« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2013, 06:36:05 PM »

Would you trust Orthodox St. Constantine, or Clement of Rome more near your family?

Definitely St. Clement without a doubt. However, to be fair, the thought of being around anyone who's royal frightens me. I wouldn't feel comfortable around the Queen of England either. Just the thought of being in the same room as someone who could have my head on a platter at the utterance of only a couple words without any consequences at all makes me extremely uneasy  Undecided

Unless you go back in time to the first Queen Elizabeth, I doubt that any current king or queen would order the separation of your body parts from their accustomed locations.
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« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2013, 03:31:37 AM »

Would you trust Orthodox St. Constantine, or Clement of Rome more near your family?

Definitely St. Clement without a doubt. However, to be fair, the thought of being around anyone who's royal frightens me. I wouldn't feel comfortable around the Queen of England either. Just the thought of being in the same room as someone who could have my head on a platter at the utterance of only a couple words without any consequences at all makes me extremely uneasy  Undecided

Unless you go back in time to the first Queen Elizabeth, I doubt that any current king or queen would order the separation of your body parts from their accustomed locations.

Not only would she not, she couldn't. Firstly, she's only a constitutional monarch and secondly the death penalty has not been in use in the UK for decades.

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« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2013, 04:12:11 AM »

So many falsehood in  yeshuaisiam post, amazing.

Quote
He was responsible for the deaths of so many people.   This is POST conversion to Christianity.
In 326 he executed his wife & son

Characteristic among these—to complete all the reports—is the case of the son of Crispos and Fausta, the second wife of Constantine.  In 316 he was celebrating the tenth anniversary of his ascent to the throne, in the palace.  He received the news that Crispos had been arrested and incarcerated in the prison of Polas in Istria—that’s where John Kapodistrias and his family hailed from, Istria.  Crispos was a serious and well-disposed young man with many leadership skills and charismas.  At seventeen he received a high ranking in the army and was actually the leader of the Navy of the Empire.  Don’t think this is impossible.  Guarne, son of Josephine, adopted by Napoleon, at sixteen went to conquer the Heptanese with the democratic French.  Here we see the hatred of Fausta.  Crispos was thought of more highly than her three sons.  She took it as his desire to ascend the throne.  And another thing, Saint Helen loved Crispos for his talents, he reminded her of her own son in his youth.  Then a satanic event takes place.  One month before Crispos’ death, Constantine the Great had made a law against adultery.  Not simply fornication, but adultery with a married woman.  The punishment was death.  With some false witnesses, Fausta accused Crispos, first for a conspiracy against Constantine, and second with an attack against her, his step-mother, with immoral aims.  Zosimos, the idolater historian - attention here - and John Zonaras in the twelfth century, accept that these accusations are baseless, and serious researchers accept that there is no proof to these accusations, only conjecture.   Constantine’s dilemma in this case was analogous to the great lawmaker of Hellenism.  In the seventh century, Zaleukos—“Zaleukos” means “thoroughly white” (meaning very clean, righteous); a contemporary of Hammurabi, who gave the first Hellenic code—is more ancient than Solon.  He had a law which said:  The accused and arrested for adultery is condemned to losing two eyes.  The first person arrested for adultery was Zaleukos’ son.  The king came along, like Constantine, to try him in court.  What should he do?  Should he blind his own son, whom the army wanted to succeed him as well as the people of the city?  Thus, Zaleukos wisely asked the participants in court as to how many eyes does the law require in this case as punishment?  They told him two.  He told them, there you go, one of my son’s eyes, and take one of mine.  He was blinded in one eye so that he wouldn’t take both from his son.  Constantine did not execute Crispos; he simply put him in jail.  The young man was put to death in an unknown way, and no command by Constantine was ever found that condemned him to death, as there should have been.  Historians tell us that the only person who could use the emperor’s bull was his wife Fausta, and this execution is attributed to her.  Helen returned from Rome and found out about Fausta’s conspiracy and revealed it to Constantine.  Constantine then ordered that Fausta be arrested.  Zosimos then tells us that Constantine ordered her death by drowning in her bath with hot water.  A few days ago I received an article where an enemy of Christianity repeats what Zosimos wrote, without any other sources, without any reference to this event.  This judgment of Constantine remains unproven.  Ieronymos disproves this myth of Zosimos.  A church historian (366 – 419 A.D.), an excellent Hellenist, he had lived near the fathers in the east, and especially St. John Chrysostom.  He belongs with the fathers, on the side of Orthodoxy.  Ieronymos lived these events, and he gives us the information that Fausta lived on, for three or four years after the death of Crispos.  How is it possible for the two events to be tied together?  Even the historian Gibbon, in his history, contests this type of death for Fausta.  Paparrigopoulos also disputes this theory.  The events surrounding the deaths of Crispos and Fausta are again impossible to prove.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/paganismos/sykofanties/kwnstantinos_ist_alithia1.htm

Quote
In 332 & 334 he ran military campaigns where he was responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Goths & Sarmatians.  This was mostly for imperialism reasons.

How could he do so post conversion if he was baptized on his death bed?

Your won wikipedia source says:

Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill.[240] He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of İzmit. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen, and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia.[241] He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I#Sickness_and_death

So, since you said his military campaigns of 332 & 334 were post conversions, must we assume that 337 is before 332 and 334? You should read more before posting contradictory nonsense.

And of course, that goes for your 321 decree quote  Cheesy

Quote
So that officially ended the Sabbath practicing Christians worship (for the most part).

Christians hold the Day of the Lord as being Sunday from tge begining.

Quote
Anyway, I've read things in defense of Orthodox St. Constantine, but I am not convinced

I've read your critic of Constantine, and your knowledge of the dates, but i'm not convinced, i think i'll stick with the Church in thinking that 321, 332 and 334 are before 337.

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Would you trust Orthodox St. Constantine, or Clement of Rome more near your family?

When it comes to Faith, yes, since my family is only made up of unbeliever. When it comes to cooking mamaliga, i'll choose my mom  Tongue



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« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2013, 04:21:28 AM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

I dont think it is too harsh or any type of judgement.  Christians with power and influence have a greater responsibility.  This is why big name pastors are shunned after being caught doing things they should not.  It should be no different for world leaders.  A Christian should behave as a Christian without excuse. 
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« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2013, 05:02:31 AM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

I dont think it is too harsh or any type of judgement.  Christians with power and influence have a greater responsibility.  This is why big name pastors are shunned after being caught doing things they should not.  It should be no different for world leaders.  A Christian should behave as a Christian without excuse. 
To make a comparison, if a Christian leader could not conduct himself in a Christian way, would you listen to his advice any more than a mechanic who could not properly repair automobiles?

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« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2013, 07:59:20 AM »

Aren't you people judging those Christian rulers too harshly? On a contrary I would say it was some form of martyrdom, given that most men have hard times when dealing with "only" one woman.

I dont think it is too harsh or any type of judgement.  Christians with power and influence have a greater responsibility.  This is why big name pastors are shunned after being caught doing things they should not.  It should be no different for world leaders.  A Christian should behave as a Christian without excuse. 
To make a comparison, if a Christian leader could not conduct himself in a Christian way, would you listen to his advice any more than a mechanic who could not properly repair automobiles?


A Christian leader also must follow the law, right? If a Christian leader does not follow the law, will we say that he is a good Christian? Of course not!
Let us all remind ourselves what st. Apostle Paul said in Romans 13:4

For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

So, with the fate of Crispus (for which Constantine was not guilty), and with that of Fausta (for which some sources suggest that st. Helena had the last word) are not in any way an example that Constantine acted against the Laws of God.
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