By Noel Lenski
Over the process the fourth century, Christianity rose from a faith actively persecuted by means of the authority of the Roman empire to turn into the faith of state—a feat mostly credited to Constantine the good. Constantine succeeded in propelling this minority faith to imperial prestige utilizing the normal instruments of governance, but his proclamation of his new non secular orientation was once on no account unambiguous. His cash and inscriptions, public monuments, and pronouncements despatched unmistakable signs to his non-Christian topics that he was once prepared not just to just accept their ideals concerning the nature of the divine but in addition to include conventional varieties of spiritual expression into his personal self-presentation. In Constantine and the towns, Noel Lenski makes an attempt to reconcile those obvious contradictions via studying the dialogic nature of Constantine's strength and the way his rule used to be inbuilt the distance among his objectives for the empire and his topics' efforts to extra their very own understandings of spiritual truth.
Focusing on towns and the texts and pictures produced through their electorate for and in regards to the emperor, Constantine and the towns uncovers the interaction of indications among ruler and topic, mapping out the terrain during which Constantine nudged his matters towards conversion. examining inscriptions, cash, felony texts, letters, orations, and histories, Lenski demonstrates how Constantine and his matters used the tools of presidency in a fight for authority over the faith of the empire.
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Additional info for Constantine and the Cities: Imperial Authority and Civic Politics
Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon comes in Palestinian Maiouma, for which we have solid testimony that this community’s choice to proclaim exclusive adherence to Christianity resulted in its liberation from its powerful 19 20 Introduction and religiously conservative neighbor Gaza and the receipt of a new name, Constantia. In similar fashion, Constantine granted the city of Antaradus independence from its meddlesome superior Aradus and renamed it Constantina or perhaps Constantia. Finally, two further hamlets were granted independence from their much larger neighbors and renamed Helenopolis.
92 Nevertheless, the exe- avg. Constantine facing cution in 326 of his son Crispus—the only inheritor of right, wearing jeweled his military genius—had deprived him of the chance diadem. RIC 7: Antioch 96. 47. 93 of the American Numismatic Society. 99 And by the time he undertook his expedition against Persia in 337, he seems to have had little intention of actively engaging in field campaigns. 101 Constantine was, in other words, now less interested in playing the role of the soldier emperor and more intent on projecting the image of a divine monarch.
70 More secure are coins minted at Siscia in 319 with obverse portraits of Constantine wearing a high-crested helmet on the side of which flashes a Christogram (see Fig. 72 Even so, the Christogram remained a relative rarity in Constantine’s portraiture even down to his final days. Figure 12. Obverse: After the victory at Chrysopolis in late 324, ConConstantine facing stantine added a second change to his portraiture by right, wearing jeweled introducing an elaborate jeweled diadem that quickly diadem.
Constantine and the Cities: Imperial Authority and Civic Politics by Noel Lenski