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Melania the YoungerFrom Rome to Jerusalem$
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Elizabeth A. Clark

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190888220

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190888220.001.0001

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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: 20 April 2021

To Constantinople and Back

To Constantinople and Back

(p.170) 9 To Constantinople and Back
Melania the Younger

Elizabeth A. Clark

Oxford University Press

Chapter 9 follows Melania as she trails her still-pagan uncle Volusian to Constantinople; he was one of two chosen to represent the West at the wedding of the eastern princess Licinia Eudoxia to the western emperor, Valentinian III. The chapter describes travel arrangements of the period, including use of the cursus publicus, and the city of Constantinople and its institutions. It traces the development of Christianity in the city, the rise of monasticism, the building of churches, and the search for relics. It describes the eastern court and Melania’s associations with high aristocracy and the Constantinopolitan imperial family. Volusian, although converted, did not live to participate in bringing the recently finished Theodosian Code to the West. The chapter also details the theological politics and Christological controversies (in which Melania participated) that disturbed the city in the fifth century. After mourning her uncle, Melania left Constantinople in late February 437, making record progress through the snow in order to reach Jerusalem in time for Easter (April 11, 437). In Jerusalem, she continued her building activities and acquisition of relics, and she greeted and escorted the empress Eudocia on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Constantinople. A few days before her death in December 439, Melania accompanied her cousin Paula to celebrate the nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem. Back in her monastery, she bade farewell to various groups before dying on probably December 31. Her remarkable life, according to her biographer, was crowned by a similarly spectacular death and entry to heaven.

Keywords:   Christology, churches, emperors/empresses, monks, palaces, relics, Theodosian Code, travel

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