THE DONATION OF CONSTANTINE
The Donation of Constantine is a historical document that thought to be written between 750-800 A.D. by Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine to Pope Sylvester I and the Roman Catholic Church. This document gave Pope Sylvester I and his successors gifts of great privilege, many riches, and supreme power over lands. The first part of the document tells how the Emperor Constantine was educated in the ways of faith by Pope Sylvester I, baptized by him, cured of leprosy and also professes his conversion to Christianity. In the second part, Emperor Constantine acknowledges the superiority of the Roman Catholic Church, and bestows to Pope Sylvester I specific authorities and insignias of honor. The document explains that Constantine wanted Pope Sylvester I to wear a crown of gold and gems to show his status as ruler. However, Pope Sylvester I refused the crown, stating that he did not want to cover the clerical crown he already wore. So Constantine adorned his head with a tiara symbolizing the resurrection of Christ. Pope Sylvester I also wore the imperial colored robes and used the royal banners when traveling. Constantine reported that he gave him the shoulder band or collar that usually surrounded the imperial neck and the same rank as those of the highest ranking individuals in charge the imperial cavalry. In addition, he also received the imperial scepters, spears and standards that went along with his new position of power. Emperor Constantine transfers to Pope Sylvester I and his successors, as their property, the city of Rome, Italy as well as the castles, towns, and provinces of all Italy. He mentions land to the East and West, also stating the northern and southern coast in Judea, Greece, Asia, Thrace, Africa and various islands.
The purpose of this document was to provide proof of the following: First, that Pope Sylvester I converted Constantine, baptized him, and cured his leprosy. In doing so Pope...