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Constantine

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Constantine

Paul Stephenson

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ISBN 13: 978-1-59020-324-8
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June 2010

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A fascinating survey of the life and enduring legacy of perhaps the greatest and most unjustly ignored of the Roman emperors—written by a richly gifted historian.

In 312 A.D., Constantine—one of four Roman emperors ruling a divided empire—marched on Rome to establish his control. On the eve of the battle, a cross appeared to him in the sky with an exhortation, “By this sign conquer.” Inscribing the cross on the shields of his soldiers, Constantine drove his rivals into the Tiber and claimed the imperial capital for himself.

Under Constantine, Christianity emerged from the shadows, its adherents no longer persecuted. Constantine united the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire. He founded a new capital city, Constantinople. Thereafter the Christian Roman Empire endured in the East, while Rome itself fell to the barbarian hordes.

Paul Stephenson offers a nuanced and deeply satisfying account of a man whose cultural and spiritual renewal of the Roman Empire gave birth to the idea of a unified Christian Europe underpinned by a commitment to religious tolerance.

Paul Stephenson is a professor of history at the University of Durham and a specialist in the early and middle Byzantine periods. His publications include The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-slayer and Byzantium’s Balkan Frontier: A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900–1204. Stephenson has researched and taught in the UK, Germany and the USA.



Praise for Constantine:

“Scholar Stephenson offers a stately though academic biography of the first Roman emperor who converted to Christianity, with a heavy emphasis on the archaeological record… Stephenson’s knowledgeable account pursues a wide variety of historical branches of Constantine’s story.” - Kirkus


“Everyone interested in the classical period should read this exemplary biography, which eschews psychological speculation and instead builds its case inventively from primary accounts and the iconographic record in statuary, architecture, and coinage.”—Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

"Stephenson writes in a very accessible style, and I would recommend this book to any non-specialist who is looking for a basic survey of Constantine's career."--NYMAS Review

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