Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Agustus

Many people are not familiar with the name Flavius Valerius Aurelius. However, most people do know the name of Constantine the Great. Flavius Aurelius was the 57th Emperor of Rome. He ruled Rome for more than 30 years, July 306 AD - May 337 AD. He was born in the month of February and died in May approximately 65 years old. He is most known for his Edict of Milan which he issued in 313 AD which in essence stopped the persecution of Christianity and made provision for religious tolerance of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. Constantine had returned to Rome from the eastern front of the empire in the spring of 303 AD which enabled him to witness first hand the horrible persecutions by Diocletian.

The legend goes that as Constantine was approaching the Milvian Bridge in Oct of 312 AD to fight against Maxentius, Constantine had a vision. In the sky he saw the Greek Letters X (chi), R (rho) and a cross. These letters happen to be the first letters in the Greek word for Messiah, or Xristos-Christ. From this, and I think too much pizza the night before, Constantine developed his famous battle cry: in hoc signo or, in this sign conqueor. Constantine went into battle confidently and did defeat Maxentius.  From this victory Constantine gained great power and prestige in the Roman government. This victory led to the Milan Edict, and an eventual showdown with Emperor Licinius, which eventually led to Constantine becoming emperor.

The jury has always been out in my mind whether to follow most historians and consider Constantine to be the first "Christian Emperor." If you read his Edict and study his policies carefully there is ample room to truly wonder whether Constantine was a Christian or not. In fact a strong case could be made that Constantine was the first Catholic Emperor. The Catholic Encyclopedia certainly lays claim to him.

This post is not to debate whether Constantine was a Christian or not or whether the Edict of Milan and Constantine's policies of forcing people to become Christians on the pain of death. We leave those great topics for another day. It certainly is too late to do anything about the soul and destiny of Constantine, unless your Rob Bell. So, you ask me why mention him at all then? Well, I am glad you asked!

My youngest sister LeeAnn of Augusta, Kansas, has been doing a monumental and herculean job of tracing our family tree and lineage. She has traced our arrival to the United States around the mid 1600's in and around Maryland. She has traced our ancestors back to England in the Yorkshire district. She has traced our lineage back to Constantine the Great. She has determined that I am the 55th grandson of Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. Can you believe it? She has a team in three states working with her on this and has documentation. What does this mean?

Well, first of all, as a descendant of an emperor and apparently in line for Emperorship, I declare February (Constantine's and my birth month) to be a universal holiday. I now order all children to dance in the streets during February, birthday gifts be sent to me via Federal Express, and that a street be named after me in Rome.

I further decree that all citizens of the world now must include me in their will and leave me 1/5th of their estate. No, you don't have to call me Emperor.

Hold on a minute! Wow, they are right aren't they? I have been the 55th grandson of Constantine the Great for a couple of days now and look how this power has corrupted me! They are right, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Maybe I don't want to be Emperor. Oh, what the heck maybe for a day, or year or so.

I don't know if LeeAnn's documentation is right or not. It certainly doesn't matter to me whether we can be traced to Constantine the Great or Jack the Ripper, because one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Emperor, or Lord. I am just going to have some fun with this now and then. OK? Please? Pretty Please?

Edict of Longview at the Lewis and Clark Bridge (Where no battle, famous or not famous, was fought)

Gregoryius Deanius Metcalfius
55th Grandson to Emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Agustus
AD 2011


welcome to my world of poetry said...

You were right Gregg I am not familiar with the name but found it wonderful to read all about it. It made excellent reading, and as always amazed at your knowledge,


Heather Henry said...

It's ironic that your sister lives in Augusta (Agustus) Kansas. haha! Interesting story, I can't say I've heard much about him, although we have studied a lot of history. I love history and learning about all of the fascinating people.
Don't let the power go to your head. :)
Although I find genealogy fascinating and think it's interesting to know where we come from, our history, so to speak. I prefer to know where I'm going and be more focused on that. I definitely agree with you there.

Have a Fabulous day, Emperor Gregg. :)

Susan said...

Wonderful thoughts!

You are so right about the fact that we all have famous as well as infamous people in our geneological trees. For instance, we are all sons and daughter of Noah! and of course, Adam and Eve, wow!

Ha! Emperor Gregg! I love it, lol...

IanH said...

All Hail, Greggoryius! If you need a money manager to watch over all your wealth, then I be da man! :-}

WhiteStone said...

I enjoy genealogy, too. It thrills me that many of my ancestors were strong believers in Christ. I found one cousin in prison in the early famous names, though!

Cathy M. said...

Fascinating stuff... your highness.

My husband is descended from Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror from multiple lines of descent (cousin luvin'); but, alas... I'm nuttin but a mut.

Wont it be wonderful to meet our ancestors in heaven one day? I hope I have some there.

Penned Pebbles said...

Ahhah, I'm still laughing! Gregoryius, you have a royal 'F' post here! And I love how you've ended it! Blessings!!

Seams Inspired said...

Fantastically funny and informative facts you've featured on your family forebearer! Thanks! :o)

PS...I know Augusta, KS! It's about 25 miles NE of where I was raised. Great community! :o)

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

HAHAHAHA Your majesty!

Gregg, your writing is so delightful!

Very interesting post --as always.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment.


mymy said...

lol...this is certainly one fun post! :D

thank you so much for the visit and leaving a comment, 'Yer Highness! ;)

Rosalind Adam said...

Hi, I've come over from Arlee's blog on the A to Z circuit. Great to read your blog and I love your take on the power corrupts issue. It's sad but true. If only we could all care about each other as much as (or even more than) we care about ourselves, it wouldn't be a problem.

Siv Maria said...

Very informative. Thank you and have a blessed day.

JD Curtis said...

I like how at the end you start going all Vulgate on us ;-)