“I wanna be his Valentine!”
Constantine I, often called Constantine the Great (by Christians) and Constantine teh Ghey!!11 (by 12-year-old pagans editing Wikipedia) was a winner on the hit show Augustus Idol in 312 AD which, back then, was a competition involving wars between many legions across the whole of the Roman Empire and no Simon Cowell. He was the first follower of Christianity to attain this rank, and is often considered to be a solidifying factor in the fledgling religion's rise to dominance. To be honest, he also probably had help from Jesus himself utilizing his many magic powers.
Constantine started off, like so many Roman citizens: whoring, drinking, taking the drugs and beating his slaves. And, like so many noble Romans before him, he had a shot at trying to be Emperor. There was quite a lot of competition back then in the massive Augustus Idol free for all and Constantine only entered because he thought it would impress a whore he fancied. Being a glamourous sort he had his troops proclaim him a contestant amid the glitz of York in Britannia and expected the whole thing to be a bit of a laugh. However, whilst sitting on a tree trunk and eating a delicious mushroom pie one fine evening with his legions he had a vision of an angel who appeared before him. He was impressed by the angel's luxurious beard and unsettled by its googly eyes and psychadelic trousers but before he could rise his hand in welcome and offer it some pie it showed him a symbol which he recognised as the Christian cross and in a deep, booming voice it bellowed "WITH THIS, PWN!!" before vanishing in a puff of smoke. Constantine pondered what this meant for a while and eventually decided to go to bed. He didn't finish his pie.
Later that week, Constantine found himself in battle against Maxentius, a rival claimant to the throne, that rather stupidly took place on a bridge. Constantine was worried about the battle since he'd lost many troops during the competition and he felt that this might well be the decisive battle. His knees went all a knocky and he had to go to the toilet several times. It was during a particularly noisesome session on the toilet that he found himself thinking about mushroom pies and this reminded him of his vision. Could the angel have been referring to the forthcoming battle? To be honest, there weren't many other pwnings he was planning. He decided to order his troops to paint the cross on their shields. But first he finished his poo.
Having made himself a little lighter (and advised his generals to "leave it ten minutes") he mounted his horse and prepared for the battle.
The battle itself was quite a slog. There was a lot of blood and disembowlings and corpses landing in the river and it wasn't very pretty at all. Constantine was sick several times during the fighting because it was so nasty. But that wasn't all - the battle wasn't going so great for him and he wondered what he was going to do. Suddenly, whilst he was watching arcs of gore spray up from a battle involving his cavelrymen and Maxentius's legionaries the clouds parted and a bearded googly-eyed face appeared between the cheeks of a dark raincloud. Constantine recognised the face as that of the angel he had seem whilst masticating his pie! "BEHOLD!" said the Angel in a deep and booming voice that shook the ground "I AM HE, THE BLESSED BRIAN, AND I AM MOST PLEASED THAT SOME OF YOU HAVE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON YE SHIELDS. HOWEVER, I AM MOST DISPLEASED THAT SOME OF YOU MERELY HAVE SOME PONCY GREEKS ON HORSEBACK ON YOURS. AND YOU KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO DO ABOUT THAT?!" Suddenly, the sky was full of lightning and thunder and with a juicy splurge the bodies of the army of Maxentius exploded messily whilst the angel laughed heartily. And that, Constantine realised as he sat on his horse amidst the pitter patter of legionary bits landing about him, was that. He was pretty-much uncontested Emperor now.
Constantine, having been showered with prizes and powers by the senate in Rome travelled to Byzantium on the Bosporus in order to accept the title of "Augustus Idol" which came with a delightful diadem and sceptre. He also had a son, Constantius II, but he doesn't want to talk about it.
- This contest was started by the Greeks of Byzantium to supplement the endless wars over who was Emperor by making it more appealing to the common Roman citizen so that citizens could choose a favourite to root for/fancy and the senate could offer advice or acidic put-downs. It was mostly-followed by gay men and teenage girls.
- Although the Overseer of the competition was noted for wearing a tight toga worn rather high
- York was at the time one of the most wealthy and, frankly, tacky cities in the Roman Empire. The historian Pompei Oafius wrote a book about it whose title translates as Why I Hate York, That City Of Glitter And Catamites