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Religions of the Constantinian Empire$
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Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.001.0001

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Retrospectives, Christian and Pagan

Retrospectives, Christian and Pagan

(p.295) Chapter 14 Retrospectives, Christian and Pagan
Religions of the Constantinian Empire

Mark Edwards

Oxford University Press

Chapter 14 collates the reactions of both pagan and Christian witnesses to the ascendancy of Constantine, and hence of Christianity, in the second quarter of the fourth century. Eusebius’ Tricennial Oration depicts him as a second Logos, the vicegerent on earth of the Father above; the treatise of a Athanasius Against the Nations celebrates the downfall of idolatry, while the sequel On the Incarnation, borrowing much from Eusebius’ Theophany, explains why it was necessary for God the Son to display the living image of God in is ministry on earth. A counterpoint is afforded by the epigrams of Palladas (now convincingly dated to the reign of Constantine by Kevin Wilkinson) which allude both elegiacally and satirically to the destruction of sacred images. In the final section, Firmicus Maternus (On the Error of Profane Religions) speaks for the Christian zealots who believed that reform had not gone far enough.

Keywords:   Eusebius of Caesarea, Constantine, Logos, Christianity, Athanasius, Palladas, Firmicus Maternus

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