Constantine [Paperback]

Paul Stephenson (Author)

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ISBN: 9780857381668 | Published by: Quercus | Year of Publication: 2009 | Language: English 358p, col pls



Paul Stephenson describes his new biography of Constantine and his age as "a narrative with notes" - that is to say that he provides an accessible account for the general reader, but also shows how and why he is deploying the evidence he does to reach his conclusions. His emphasis is not on Constantine "the man", the evidence does not in any case permit this, he argues - but on Constantine as a public figure and political operator. Stephenson shows how Constantine gained and maintained his grip on power, primarily through his military victories and by maintaining the loyalty of the army. The impulse to Christianity therefore was initially at least as guarantor of victory on the battlefield. Stephenson also focuses on Constantine's developing self presentation from Invictus (unconquered) to Victor, analysing coinage, statuary and the most impressive piece of iconography of the lot, his new city of Constantinople.

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