Constantine gets a bad press these days.
It’s all down to the Hapsburgs and the Romanovs, really. When you are trying to overthrow an autocrat who justifies his rule by appealing to Constantine as the source of authority, then the urge to rubbish Constantine is going to be strong. And we find just this sequence events during the agitation of the 1840’s. Ever since, there has been this tendency to suppose that Constantine hijacked the church.
I myself have always been rather a non-combatant on this one. I don’t find, in the primary sources, most of the negative myths spread about him. So I was interested to learn that IVP Academic have brought out a volume on the subject, by Peter Leithart, Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom (2010). (Amazon link)
Sadly the paperback is priced at £16, around $20, which is far too much for me to buy a book on a whim that I might never read again (and no, publishers do not send me review copies; and, most of the time, I am very grateful for that).
But if you have access to it, it may well be worth a read. There is no reason why, in 2013, we should allow the politics of 1848 to determine how we look at one of the key figures of history.