The Great came to Constantine after longer assessment at the hands of the Byzantine historians, whose reasons for making this award in part reflected merely local pride. In 324 Byzantium had had nine hundred years to win a place for itself among its competitors, and still ranked no higher than fiftieth, if that, among the cities of the Mediterranean. Court and ministries spent less and less time there, more and more toward the edges of the realm, where history was made also emperors. Constantine seems hesitant in his dealings with the Church. Yet the impression is somewhat misleading. He was an impulsive, not overly subtle man, inclined to make decisions on inadequate grounds. Few of the essential elements of Christian belief interested Constantine very much neither God's mercy nor man's sinfulness, neither damnation nor salvation, neither brotherly love nor, needless to say, humility.