Imperial Invectives against Constantius II

Athanasius of Alexandria, History of the Arians, Hilary of Poitiers, Against Constantius and Lucifer of Cagliari, The Necessity of Dying for the Son of God

Translated with commentary by Richard Flower

£85.00
- +

ISBN: 9781781383278

Publication: December 12, 2016

Series: Translated Texts for Historians 67

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
The Roman emperor Constantius II (337–361) has frequently been maligned as a heretic, standing in sharp contrast to his father Constantine I, who set in motion the Christianisation of the Roman world and the establishment of Nicene orthodoxy. This reputation is the result of the overwhelmingly negative presentation of Constantius in the surviving literature written by orthodox Christians, who regarded him as an ‘Arian’ persecutor. This volume presents new translations of texts that were central to the shaping of this hostile legacy: Athanasius of Alexandria's History of the Arians, Hilary of Poitiers' Against Constantius and Lucifer of Cagliari's The Necessity of Dying for the Son of God. These contemporary invectives against the emperor were composed by three bishops who all opposed Constantius’ religious policies and were exiled by the imperial and ecclesiastical authorities during the 350s. By constructing polemical accounts of their sufferings at the hands of the emperor and his supporters, these authors drew on the traditions of both classical rhetoric and Christian persecution literature in order to cast Constantius as imitating villains such as Ahab, Judas and Nero, while presenting themselves as fearless opponents of impious tyranny. Moreover, as the earliest surviving invectives against a living Roman emperor, the writings of these three bishops offer a unique opportunity to understand the place of polemical literature in the political culture of the later Roman empire. The translations are accompanied by a substantial introduction and notes which provide a clear guide to the historical and theological context of the period, as well as literary analysis of the texts themselves. This volume will therefore be valuable both to those studying the religious and political history of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages and also to anyone interested in the development of Roman rhetoric and early Christian literature.

Richard Flower is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter

Preface

Abbreviations

INTRODUCTION: SCREEDS, COUNCILS AND CONTROVERSIES
Ecclesiastical and theological politics, 318–361
Authors and texts
Invective, imperial criticism and self-presentation
Notes on the translation

ATHANASIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, HISTORY OF THE ARIANS

HILARY OF POITIERS, AGAINST CONSTANTIUS

LUCIFER OF CAGLIARI, THE NECESSITY OF DYING FOR THE SON OF GOD

Editions and Translations of Ancient Texts

Bibliography

Glossary

Map

Index

Format: Hardback

272 Pages

1 map

ISBN: 9781781383278

Publication: December 12, 2016

Series: Translated Texts for Historians 67

Related products

Scroll to top