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Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor

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Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A fascinating survey of the life and enduring legacy of perhaps the greatest and most unjustly ignored of the Roman emperors-written by a richly gifted historian.

In 312 A.D., Constantine-one of four Roman emperors ruling a divided empire-marched on Rome to establish his control. On the eve of the battle, a cross appeared to him in the sky with an exhortation, "By this sign conquer." Inscribing the cross on the shields of his soldiers, Constantine drove his rivals into the Tiber and claimed the imperial capital for himself.

Under Constantine, Christianity emerged from the shadows, its adherents no longer persecuted. Constantine united the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire. He founded a new capital city, Constantinople. Thereafter the Christian Roman Empire endured in the East, while Rome itself fell to the barbarian hordes.

Paul Stephenson offers a nuanced and deeply satisfying account of a man whose cultural and spiritual renewal of the Roman Empire gave birth to the idea of a unified Christian Europe underpinned by a commitment to religious tolerance.

Review:

"Stephenson, a historian at the University of Durham, successfully combines historical documents, examples of Roman art, sculpture, and coinage with the lessons of geopolitics to produce a complex biography of the Emperor Constantine. Rather than the divinely guided hero of legend who singlehandedly brought pagan Rome to Christian orthodoxy, Constantine is depicted as very much a product of his political environment. Recognizing the growing influence of the Christian Church, he adapted the generally pacifist faith to the Roman 'theology of victory' and created a newly militant Christianity that would sustain his rule. Constantine wisely sought to impose religious toleration on the diverse Roman Empire while discouraging 'trivial' disputes among the Christian faithful. Stephenson examines the variety of religious beliefs in the early fourth century with emphasis on Mithraism, a pagan mystery cult practiced by pre-Constantine soldiers, and on the bitter divisions within victorious Christianity that ultimately led to the Council of Nicaea. Constantine is revealed as a master politician who, while delaying his own baptism for reasons not fully explained in the text, became the ruler of both church and state. 24 pages of illus.; 8 maps. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A masterly life of the first Christian Roman emperor and founder of Constantinople

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590203248
Author:
Stephenson, Paul
Publisher:
Overlook Press
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Ancient - Rome
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
Historical
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.32x6.62x1.31 in. 1.37 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Religious
Biography » Royalty
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Byzantium
History and Social Science » World History » Byzantium
History and Social Science » World History » Classical

Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor New Hardcover
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Product details 352 pages Overlook Press - English 9781590203248 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Stephenson, a historian at the University of Durham, successfully combines historical documents, examples of Roman art, sculpture, and coinage with the lessons of geopolitics to produce a complex biography of the Emperor Constantine. Rather than the divinely guided hero of legend who singlehandedly brought pagan Rome to Christian orthodoxy, Constantine is depicted as very much a product of his political environment. Recognizing the growing influence of the Christian Church, he adapted the generally pacifist faith to the Roman 'theology of victory' and created a newly militant Christianity that would sustain his rule. Constantine wisely sought to impose religious toleration on the diverse Roman Empire while discouraging 'trivial' disputes among the Christian faithful. Stephenson examines the variety of religious beliefs in the early fourth century with emphasis on Mithraism, a pagan mystery cult practiced by pre-Constantine soldiers, and on the bitter divisions within victorious Christianity that ultimately led to the Council of Nicaea. Constantine is revealed as a master politician who, while delaying his own baptism for reasons not fully explained in the text, became the ruler of both church and state. 24 pages of illus.; 8 maps. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A masterly life of the first Christian Roman emperor and founder of Constantinople
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