Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire

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Harvard University Press, 2001 - History - 343 pages

As the high-ranking Bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373, Athanasius came into conflict with no fewer than four Roman emperors--Constantine himself, his son Constantius, Julian the Apostate, and the "Arian" Valens. In this new reconstruction of Athanasius's career, Timothy D. Barnes analyzes the nature and extent of the Bishop's power, especially as it intersected with the policies of these emperors.

Repeatedly condemned and deposed by church councils, the Bishop persistently resurfaced as a player to contend with in ecclesiastic and imperial politics. Barnes's work reveals that Athanasius's writings, though a significant source for this period, are riddled with deliberate misinterpretations, which historians through the ages have uncritically accepted.

Untangling longstanding misconceptions, Barnes reveals the Bishop's true role in the struggles within Christianity, and in the relations between the Roman emperor and the Church at a critical juncture.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Bishop Alexander
10
History and Apologia
19
A Journey to Cappadocia
34
Athanasius in Rome
47
Julius and Marcellus
56
The Intervention of Constans
63
The Council of Serdica
71
The Usurpation of Magnentius
101
Sirmium Arles and Milan
109
XTV Apologia Polemic and Theology
121
New Theological Controversies
136
The Homoean Creed
144
The Elder Statesman
152
The Emperor and the Church 324361
165
Appendices
183

EX Athanasius and the Martyrs of Adrianople
82
Return to Alexandria
87
The Condemnation of 349 and Its Context
94

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About the author (2001)

Timothy D. Barnes is Professor of Classics at the University of Toronto.

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