By Ross R. Holloway
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Additional resources for Constantine & Rome
By maligning Constantine each critic found an outlet for articulating his own concerns, including a family feud, anger at the rise of Christianity, and despair over the welfare of the state. For pagans too “Constantine” served as a symbolic medium. Christian Historians Zosimus’ account of Constantine provoked a strong reaction from a Christian historian. Evagrius, a legal adviser for bishop Gregory of Antioch during the later sixth century, was especially offended. Because his ecclesiastical history covered the period from the council of Ephesus in 431 to the reign of the emperor Maurice at the end of the sixth century, his narrative did not overlap Zosimus’ historical narrative at all.
Diocletian, Maximian, and the other Tetrarchic emperors consistently included Valerius in their official names: see Van Dam (2007) 90–102. So perhaps Maximian was interested in celebrating the Secular Games as a reaffirmation of the “Valerian” dynasty of Tetrarchic emperors, in particular at Rome. ecclesiastical histories 37 Zosimus likewise could find nothing positive to say about Constantine’s promotion of Christianity. Even though he did attribute a moment of conversion to the emperor, his version was quite different from accounts that associated it with a vision and a battle.
26 remembering constantine at the milvian bridge One was theology. On the Church of St. Polyeuctus, constructed in the early sixth century, Constantine’s baptism by Silvester was depicted in a mosaic over the main entrance. According to the epigram inscribed near the mosaic, “it is possible to see . . judicious Constantine and how he fled from the idols . . ” The patron who financed the construction of this church was Anicia Juliana, a daughter of the earlier western emperor Anicius Olybrius.
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