This study of the Roman Empire in the age of Constantine offers a thoroughly new assessment of the part Christianity played in the Roman world of the third and fourth centuries.
Timothy D. Barnes gives the fullest available narrative history of the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine. He analyzes Constantine’s rise to power and his government, demonstrating how Constantine’s sincere adherence to Christianity advanced his political aims. He explores the whole range of Eusebius’ writings, especially those composed before Constantine became emperor, and shows that many attitudes usually deemed typical of the “Constantinian revolution” were prevalent before the new Christian empire came into existence. This authoritative political and cultural history of the age of Constantine will prove essential to students and historians of the ancient world.
An original work of scholarship, rich in detail and minute researches, liberally supplied with fresh observations and new interpretations… The work is characterized by an astonishing mastery of evidence… Barnes is lucid and concise.
This remarkable and exemplary work of scholarship will be read with pleasure and profit…a gripping and complex story told in fresh and lucid prose.
Already an acknowledged expert on the history of the later Roman Empire and early Christianity, Barnes now offers a narrative account of the reigns of the two most important emperors after Augustus… The portrait of Constantine is realistic and convincing. (A main value of the book lies in its assessment of the intellectual, doctrinal, and political activities of the early Christians… Essential reading.
A book that scholars would be very ill-advised to neglect on any topic treated in it. It is marked at every turn with Barnes’ magnificent obsession with getting the record straight. Its implications for the role of Christianity in the Roman Empire are quite revolutionary.
- 466 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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