Constantine had defeated Lucinius in his war for the Eastern Empire and chose the city of Byzantium to be his capital in 323 AC . Constantine recognized Christianity as an official religion of the Empire , in an attempt to appease the Eastern Empire . But very soon , differences among Christians broke out over determining the relationship between members of the Holy Trinity and wars broke out again , this time religious .
Constantine held a forum in Nikaia in 325 AC to bridge differences between Arius and Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria . The consequences of the forum were disastrous because , initially Arius went into exile and , then Athanasius . These actions sowed divisions among the Eastern churches and sparked a conflict between the state that wanted to control the church and the church that claimed the old privileges of ancient pagan temples .