Remembering Constantine at the Milvian Bridge

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Overview

Constantine's victory in 312 at the battle of the Milvian Bridge established his rule as the first Christian emperor. This book examines the creation and dissemination of the legends about that battle and its significance. Christian histories, panegyrics, and an honorific arch at Rome soon commemorated his victory, and the emperor himself contributed to the myth by describing his vision of a cross in the sky before the battle. Through meticulous research into the late Roman narratives and the medieval and Byzantine legends, this book moves beyond a strictly religious perspective by emphasizing the conflicts about the periphery of the Roman empire, the nature of emperorship, and the role of Rome as a capital city. Throughout late antiquity and the medieval period, memories of Constantine's victory served as a powerful paradigm for understanding rulership in a Christian society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"van Dam has written a knowledgeable and inspiring book, which enriched the research with Constantine, a new approach. —BMCR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107096431
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/29/2011
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Van Dam is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. His most recent publications are Rome and Constantinople: Rewriting Roman History during Late Antiquity (2010) and The Roman Revolution of Constantine (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviations; 1. Foreword: visions of Constantine; 2. The afterlife of Constantine; 3. Ecclesiastical histories; 4. Constantine's memories; 5. Eusebius' commentary; 6. Shaping memories in the west; 7. Rome after the battle; 8. Backward and forward; 9. Remembering Maxentius; 10. Back word: the bridge; List of editions and translations; Bibliography.

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