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Look Inside Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age

Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age


  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107538986

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About the Authors
  • Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age offers a radical reassessment of Constantine as an emperor, a pagan and a Christian. The book examines in detail a wide variety of evidence, including literature, secular and religious architectural monuments, coins, sculpture and other works of art. Setting the emperor in the context of the kings and emperors who preceded him, Jonathan Bardill shows how Constantine's propagandists exploited the traditional themes and imagery of rulership to portray him as having been elected by the supreme solar God to save his people and inaugurate a brilliant golden age. The author argues that the cultivation of this image made it possible for Constantine to reconcile the long-standing tradition of imperial divinity with his monotheistic faith by assimilating himself to Christ.

    • Constantine is one of the most important Roman emperors - as the first Christian emperor and the founder of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire, he is the subject of extensive study by ancient historians, archaeologists, art historians and theologians
    • The first book to bring together and examine in detail both archaeological and historical information relating to Constantine and his image
    • While the book incorporates a historical narrative, it is much more, presenting an entirely new perspective on Constantine and exploring how traditional themes and imagery of kingship were exploited to portray the emperor as the saviour of his people and to assimilate him to Christ
    • Generously illustrated
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Bardill's monograph is a major contribution to Constantine studies. His overarching argument, that the emperor's monuments offered an open-ended set of associations that may have resonated differently for different viewers, but which cohered into a consistent vision of divinely sanctioned solar monotheism, is a welcome response to more one-dimensional interpretations of the reign. The volume is well written, thoroughly researched and handsomely produced. Its abundant illustrations include illuminating reconstructions of several key monuments in their ancient environments.' Elizabeth Marlowe, The Journal of Roman Studies

    'This lavishly designed volume … furnished with numerous black and white illustrations, undoubtedly belongs among the most important books published in 2012, a year overabundant with publications on Constantine … It deserves great recognition, both because of its synthetic achievement and because of the formulation of arguments that are perfectly more plausible or at least worthy of discussion.' Bruno Bleckmann, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    'This book portrays a provocative and fresh insight into a period of Christianity's development that is widely considered second only to the conversion of St Paul on the road to Damascus. We are left with an analysis that is extremely well crafted, providing valuable possibilities, but limited certainties. Everyone interested in the history of Christianity will find this work a valuable resource. The combination of archaeological detail and textual reference provides a rich and rewarding reading experience.' Reviews in Religion and Theology

    'This excellent book represents a successful attempt to integrate historically and visually what is known about Constantine … This book is clearly written, and the images are on the whole excellent. Because of the book's interdisciplinary focus, it will appeal to a wide audience of scholars and students, as well as an educated general readership. Summing up: highly recommended.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107538986
    • length: 465 pages
    • dimensions: 279 x 215 x 19 mm
    • weight: 1.32kg
    • contains: 227 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A change of image
    2. Emperors and divine protectors
    3. The saving ruler and the Logos-Nomos
    4. The hippodrome procession
    5. The symbol from the sun, the standard, and the sarcophagus
    6. The Roman Colossus
    7. Constantine and Christianity
    8. Sol and Christianity
    9. Constantine as Christ

  • Author

    Jonathan Bardill
    Jonathan Bardill has held fellowships at the University of Oxford, Dumbarton Oaks, Newcastle University and Koç University's Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Istanbul. He has contributed articles to numerous archaeological and historical journals, including the American Journal of Archaeology, the Journal of Roman Archaeology and Dumbarton Oaks Papers, as well as several edited volumes, including Social and Political Life in Late Antiquity and The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. He is the author of the reference work Brickstamps of Constantinople.

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