Update: apparently the Constantine statue is not actually under threat.
In general, classical Greek and Roman history is not my specialty. I respect it and those who are knowledgeable about it, but my passion is for the period between Charlemagne's coronation as (Holy) Roman Emperor (800) and the end of World War I (1918), which I like to call "Charles to Charles" (in the latter case referring to the last Emperor of Austria). Spanning 1118 years, that's quite a bit of history.
But Emperor Constantine the Great (272-337), who was proclaimed Emperor in 306 near the present site of York Minster and who is considered a Saint in the Orthodox Church (I bought an icon of him and his mother St. Helena at the Greek Festival a few years ago), is important to me, because if I'm honest I'd have to admit that without him, Christianity might not have ever become the sort of thing that a person like me would be interested in. I was drawn to Christianity more via the cultural patrimony of Christendom that his conversion made possible than via the Bible directly. So York's bronze statue, with its haunting echoes of the links between the old Roman Empire and the England that I love, is a particularly significant monument.
|My June 2015 photo of the statue of Emperor Constantine at York Minster|
|Icon of Sts. Constantine & Helen purchased at the Dallas Greek Festival, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church|