Constantine the Emperor

Paperback | July 3, 2015

byDavid Potter

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No Roman emperor had a greater impact on the modern world than did Constantine. The reason is not simply that he converted to Christianity, but that he did so in a way that brought his subjects along after him. Indeed, this major new biography argues that Constantine's conversion is but onefeature of a unique administrative style that enabled him to take control of an empire beset by internal rebellions and external threats by Persians and Goths. The vast record of Constantine's administration reveals a government careful in its exercise of power but capable of ruthless, even savage,actions. Constantine executed (or drove to suicide) his father-in-law, two brothers-in-law, his eldest son, and his once beloved wife. An unparalleled general throughout his life, planning a major assault on the Sassanian Empire in Persia even on his deathbed. Alongside the visionary who believedthat his success came from the direct intervention of his God resided an aggressive warrior, a sometimes cruel partner, and an immensely shrewd ruler. These characteristics combined together in a long and remarkable career, which restored the Roman Empire to its former glory. Beginning with his first biographer Eusebius, Constantine's image has been subject to distortion. More recent revisions include John Carroll's view of him as the intellectual ancestor of the Holocaust (Constantine's Sword) and Dan Brown's presentation of him as the man who oversaw the reshaping ofChristian history (The Da Vinci Code). In Constantine the Emperor, David Potter confronts each of these skewed and partial accounts to provide the most comprehensive, authoritative, and readable account of Constantine's extraordinary life.

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No Roman emperor had a greater impact on the modern world than did Constantine. The reason is not simply that he converted to Christianity, but that he did so in a way that brought his subjects along after him. Indeed, this major new biography argues that Constantine's conversion is but onefeature of a unique administrative style that ...

David Potter is Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan. His books include Theodora (OUP), The Victor's Crown (OUP), Emperors of Rome, and Ancient Rome: A New History

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:July 3, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190231629

ISBN - 13:9780190231620

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Table of Contents

TimelineIntroductionSection 1 Imperial Resurrection1. The Crisis of 260 ad2. The Renewal of the Roman EmpireSection 2 Diocletian3. The New Emperor4. Emperors and Subjects5. A New Look6. Persia and the CaesarsSection 3 Constantine and Diocletian7. The Court of Diocletian8. Imperial Edicts and Moral Crusades9. Minervina10. The SuccessionSection 4 Fathers and Sons11. The New Regime12. Maxentius and Fausta13. The End of MaximianSection 5 The Road to Rome14. The Gathering Storm15. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge16. Freedom of Worship17. The Conversion of ConstantineSection 6 War and Peace18. Reworking Past and Future19. Governing the Empire20. Maximus and Bassus 319-32321. The Donatist ControversySection 7 Triumph and Tragedy22. Victory in the East23. The Eastern Empire24. Constantine Speaks to the Bishops25. The Arian Controversy26. Nicaea27. Constantinople and RomeSection 8 Ruler of the World28. Constantine's Government29. Constantinople30. An Ordered Society31. Christians, Pagans and Jews32. Neighbours33. End TimesEpilogueDramatis PersonaeNotesBibliographyIndex

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"The interested reader could find no better starting point for exploring the man and the era than David Potter's Constantine the Emperor." --Adrian Goldsworthy, The Wall Street Journal