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Constantine the Emperor

Constantine the Emperor

by David Potter
Constantine the Emperor

Constantine the Emperor

by David Potter


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No Roman emperor had a greater impact on the modern world than did Constantine. The reason is not simply that he converted to Christianity, but that he did so in a way that brought his subjects along after him. Indeed, this major new biography argues that Constantine's conversion is but one feature of a unique administrative style that enabled him to take control of an empire beset by internal rebellions and external threats by Persians and Goths. The vast record of Constantine's administration reveals a government careful in its exercise of power but capable of ruthless, even savage, actions. Constantine executed (or drove to suicide) his father-in-law, two brothers-in-law, his eldest son, and his once beloved wife. An unparalleled general throughout his life, planning a major assault on the Sassanian Empire in Persia even on his deathbed. Alongside the visionary who believed that his success came from the direct intervention of his God resided an aggressive warrior, a sometimes cruel partner, and an immensely shrewd ruler. These characteristics combined together in a long and remarkable career, which restored the Roman Empire to its former glory.

Beginning with his first biographer Eusebius, Constantine's image has been subject to distortion. More recent revisions include John Carroll's view of him as the intellectual ancestor of the Holocaust (Constantine's Sword) and Dan Brown's presentation of him as the man who oversaw the reshaping of Christian history (The Da Vinci Code). In Constantine the Emperor, David Potter confronts each of these skewed and partial accounts to provide the most comprehensive, authoritative, and readable account of Constantine's extraordinary life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190231620
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 761,476
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Potter is Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan. His books include Theodora, The Victor's Crown, Emperors of Rome, and Ancient Rome: A New History.

Table of Contents

Section 1 Imperial Resurrection
Chapter 1 The Crisis of 260 ad
Chapter 2 The Renewal of the Roman Empire
Section 2 Diocletian
Chapter 3 The New Emperor
Chapter 4 Emperors and Subjects
Chapter 5 A New Look
Chapter 6 Persia and the Caesars
Section 3 Constantine and Diocletian
Chapter 7 The Court of Diocletian
Chapter 8 Imperial Edicts and Moral Crusades
Chapter 9 Minervina
Chapter 10 The Succession
Section 4 Fathers and Sons
Chapter 11 The New Regime
Chapter 12 Maxentius and Fausta
Chapter 13 The End of Maximian
Section 5 The Road to Rome
Chapter 14 The Gathering Storm
Chapter 15 The Battle of the Milvian Bridge
Chapter 16 Freedom of Worship
Chapter 17 The Conversion of Constantine
Section 6 War and Peace
Chapter 18 Reworking Past and Future
Chapter 19 Governing the Empire
Chapter 20 Maximus and Bassus 319-323
Chapter 21 The Donatist Controversy
Section 7 Triumph and Tragedy
Chapter 22 Victory in the East
Chapter 23 The Eastern Empire
Chapter 24 Constantine Speaks to the Bishops
Chapter 25 The Arian Controversy
Chapter 26 Nicaea
Chapter 27 Constantinople and Rome
Section 8 Ruler of the World
Chapter 28 Constantine's Government
Chapter 29 Constantinople
Chapter 30 An Ordered Society
Chapter 31 Christians, Pagans and Jews
Chapter 32 Neighbours
Chapter 33 End Times
Dramatis Personae

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