1. In the period 313-330, he made Christianity an accepted and even favored religion.
By 396, it had become the state religion of the Roman empire, both eastern and
2. He restored prosperity in the East
a. He increased gold currency by seizing the endowments of pagan temples and
turning them into coinage.
b. He ended policy of balancing the eastern and western economies by unequal taxation.
This ensured the recovery and survival of the eastern empire, which endured until the
fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453
The corollary of this is that the West was left to its own inadequate resources
and began to decline in power.
3. He shifted the center of the empire to the East, building the city of
Constantinople, the "New Rome." This caused the best talent and wealthiest
families to leave Rome for the East. By 400, the capital had been moved out of Rome and,
by 404, it was located in Ravenna, a town in northern Italy, protected by a great marsh
and with a fortified harbor that allowed the arrival of reinforcements by sea in case
the city was attacked. When Rome was sacked by Alaric and the Visigoths in 410, it was
no longer an imperial capital. The highest-ranking government official in the city was
the bishop. In 455, Attila threatened to plunder the city, and the bishop negotiated
with him, arranging to pay him a large sum in return for his sparing the city. By this
time, then, the bishop of Rome -- the pope -- was the actual ruler of the city and the
lands surrounding it.