May 28, 2012

Documentary: Constantine the Great

This documentary is a fine production, but sometimes walks the line between truth and fiction, especially towards the end. It avoids any supernatural explanations for certain incidents in Constantine's life, but does not necessarily discount them either. Towards the end, following the defeat of Licinius, Constantine is depicted as a bit maniacal and power hungry, of which there is no evidence, and the documentary suggests a certain hypocrisy in Constantine for killing Licinius and his son (during an unnecessary emotional scene), and his wife Fausta and son Crispus. An objective history would have been better, such as stating that Licinius was hanged by Constantine for conspiring to raise troops among the barbarians, and Fausta and Crispus were killed for an unmentionable crime that not even his successors and her sons repealed. For the most part, however, this documentary is useful and moderate, just completely ignore the last few minutes if you seek an objective history.