Maximian a pedigree from Hercules..
To accord all of them a measure of genuine veneration. If his personal god was Sol Invictus, and if his official stance towards Christianity was dictated by expediency and the desire for unity within the Empire, the fact remains that Constantine accorded the God of the Christians a certain unique deference a deference of a distinctly novel kind. It had long been a tradition for Roman emperors to claim descent from the gods, and on that basis to claim godhood for themselves as well. Thus, Diocletian had claimed a pedigree from Jupiter, Maximian a pedigree from Hercules. For Constantine, especially after he had given Christianity a mandate in his domains, it was advantageous to establish a new divine covenant, a new ratification from the sacred. This was all the more important, by virtue of the fact that he was, in some sense, a usurper he had toppled a descendant of Hercules and needed some rival god's support for his own assertions of legitimacy. In choosing a god for his sponsor or patron, Constantine turned on a nominal level
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