The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine

Christian Roman Empire Series

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Constantine the Great is one of those rare historical figures who is nearly as controversial today as he was in his own time. Lauded, both then and now, as a military hero who ended the brutal persecutions of Christians and as the first Roman emperor to himself embrace Christianity, Constantine is just as often vilified as a destructive innovator, a coddler of heretics, and a tyrannical hypocrite with the blood of his own family on his hands. The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine was penned shortly after the emperor's death in AD 337 by the great Church historian Eusebius Pamphilus, bishop of Caesarea. Though criticized as mere panegyric lionizing Constantine's virtues while ignoring his flaws, Eusebius's Life is nonetheless the most substantial and detailed biography of the first Christian emperor to come down to us from antiquity. The work is also the sole source for several key episodes in Constantine's life--including the emperor's famous vision of a cross in the sky accompanied by the words, "Conquer by this.""
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About the author

Eusebius is best remembered for his celebrated Ecclesiastical History, which provides a history of Christianity from the apostolic age down to the early fourth century. It is primarily this work that earned Eusebius the title of Father of Church History. Eusebius was born in Palestine about A. D. 264. Beginning about 315, he was made bishop of Caesarea. His Praeparatio Evanglica contains valuable extracts from the ancient philosophers. His Chronica is likewise valuable to students of ancient history. Theologically, Eusebius is remembered for his retelling of Christian history to include a positive role for the admired Roman emperors as instruments of God's will. Eusebius died about 340.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Arx Publishing, LLC
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Published on
Dec 31, 2009
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Pages
219
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ISBN
9781889758930
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / Ancient / Rome
Religion / Christian Church / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"Having witnessed the endless string of disasters that shattered his beloved Italy in the late 6th century AD, Pope Saint Gregory the Great set down in the Dialogues a sequence of tales to help his contemporaries escape from their worldly troubles and contemplate eternal life. Peter, Gregory’s interlocutor, laments that he has never heard of anyone famous in Italy for virtue. To set him straight, Gregory offers an entire litany of stories of Italian saints—from Honoratus of Funda who pinned a great rock to a mountainside to prevent it from crushing an abbey, to the holy virgin Tarsilla who received a vision of Pope Felix immediately before her death. Several of these stories are well known even to this day, while others, like the story of Florentius and his ill-fated bear, are merely strange and picturesque. Perhaps most importantly, Gregory’s Dialogues contain an entire book dedicated to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia. This portion of the Dialogues represents the most detailed and lengthy biography of Benedict from a near contemporary and is the source of many of the stories told about this important saint. Often viewed as mere folk-history, the Dialogues served a higher function than simple history—they were a spiritual exhortation to Gregory’s worn and weary countrymen. To modern readers, these tales of visions, miracles and extraordinary Christian virtue paint a vivid portrait of daily life amid the wreckage of once-prosperous Roman Italy. In addition, the Dialogues offer a glimpse into the theology of one of the great minds of the Church during the time when Roman authority ebbed forever in the West and ecclesiastical authority emerged to fill the void."--
Few figures from antiquity are as well known to us as Augustine of Hippo. Thanks to his Confessions, we know a great deal about Augustine's life prior to his conversion to Christianity. Yet, without this little biography written by his intimate friend Possidius, bishop of Calama, we would know comparatively little about Augustine's life after his baptism. In straight-forward, unadorned prose, Possidius shows Augustine as a powerful intellect, voluminous writer, and compelling orator, willing and able to defend the Church against all comers be they pagans, Donatists, Arians or Manichaeans. But he also presents an Augustine who humbly endured the everyday trials and difficulties of life as a bishop in Roman Africa. He shows a man who ate sparingly, worked tirelessly, despised gossip, shunned the temptations of the flesh, and exercised prudence and frugality in the financial stewardship of his see. Possidius also supplies one of the only first-hand descriptions of the great tragedy of Augustine's life-the Vandalic conquest of Roman Africa. He poignantly describes Augustine's final illness as he lay locked inside Hippo Regius with the barbarian host literally at the city gates. More than simply the biography of a great saint, The Life of Saint Augustine provides a tantalizing glimpse into life in late Roman Africa-a prosperous society on the verge of destruction. This edition of Weiskotten's translation has been completely re-typeset for the modern reader. The text has been amended to include several corrections from an errata sheet that accompanied the original publication. It includes an expanded bibliography, updated citations, and a revised map. (Note: this edition does not include Weiskotten's revised Latin text.)
"Having witnessed the endless string of disasters that shattered his beloved Italy in the late 6th century AD, Pope Saint Gregory the Great set down in the Dialogues a sequence of tales to help his contemporaries escape from their worldly troubles and contemplate eternal life. Peter, Gregory’s interlocutor, laments that he has never heard of anyone famous in Italy for virtue. To set him straight, Gregory offers an entire litany of stories of Italian saints—from Honoratus of Funda who pinned a great rock to a mountainside to prevent it from crushing an abbey, to the holy virgin Tarsilla who received a vision of Pope Felix immediately before her death. Several of these stories are well known even to this day, while others, like the story of Florentius and his ill-fated bear, are merely strange and picturesque. Perhaps most importantly, Gregory’s Dialogues contain an entire book dedicated to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia. This portion of the Dialogues represents the most detailed and lengthy biography of Benedict from a near contemporary and is the source of many of the stories told about this important saint. Often viewed as mere folk-history, the Dialogues served a higher function than simple history—they were a spiritual exhortation to Gregory’s worn and weary countrymen. To modern readers, these tales of visions, miracles and extraordinary Christian virtue paint a vivid portrait of daily life amid the wreckage of once-prosperous Roman Italy. In addition, the Dialogues offer a glimpse into the theology of one of the great minds of the Church during the time when Roman authority ebbed forever in the West and ecclesiastical authority emerged to fill the void."--
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