Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Religions of the Constantinian Empire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Latin Apologists and Roman Culture

Latin Apologists and Roman Culture

(p.19) Chapter 2 Latin Apologists and Roman Culture
Religions of the Constantinian Empire

Mark Edwards

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 presents the Latin apologists of this period as complementary figures to Eusebius, challenging Rome from her own traditions rather than foreign sources and taking positions which are more obviously opposed to the ideology of empire. Lactantius may be responsible for the widespread popularity of Euhemerism (the theory that gods are deified humans) in subsequent Christian writing, but he is not, as Cantwell Smith surmised, the first author to speak of a plurality of religions. The most remarkable feature of Arnobius’ treatise Against the Nations (apart from its recondite erudition) is its refusal to accept antiquity as a test of veracity in religious matters. It is argued that recent scholarship has not put the dating of this work to 303 beyond doubt, and that Jerome’s date of 326 remains tenable.

Keywords:   Lactantius, Arnobius, Cantwell Smith, Jerome, apologetic, Latin, Euhemerism, divine transcendence, imperial ideology, chronology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .