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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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The Religious Integrity of Constantine

The Religious Integrity of Constantine

Chapter:
(p.178) (p.179) Chapter 9 The Religious Integrity of Constantine
Source:
Religions of the Constantinian Empire
Author(s):

Mark Edwards

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.003.0009

Chapter 9 explores the religious sentiments and policies of Constantine, not only the dominant figure of this epoch but the one who has left most evidence of a history of his religious opinions. While the first accounts of his conversion are too inconsistent to warrant the ‘naturalistic’ explanations offered by Peter Weiss and others, the Oration to the Saints and other occasional writings leave no doubt that he embraced Christianity with conviction and understanding. On the other hand, his legislation, while it sometimes betrays his religious partialities, does not set out to Christianize the empire; we do not have sufficient evidence to decide whether he was restrained by pragmatic considerations or by a principled policy of tolerance.

Keywords:   conversion, Weiss, tolerance, Constantine, Oration to the Saints, legislation

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