Review by Choice Review
There must be few men of the past who have changed history as much as the emperor Constantine I. In his youth, the Romans worshipped various pagan cults; when he died, paganism was struggling to survive in the Roman Empire, and the Christian church was a power to be reckoned with. The climate of opinion, even the social structure of the empire, had changed, and the center of power had moved to a new capital, Constantinople. This Cambridge Companion has a meaty subject. Like other "Cambridge Companions," to say nothing of similar volumes published by Brill and Blackwood, this is a collection of separate essays dealing first with the empire before Constantine's conversion, then traditional religion before Christianity (Mark Edwards) and Constantine's impact on Christianity (H. Drake). Section 3 deals with law and society and section 4 with art and culture. The fifth and last section, "Empire and Beyond," looks at Constantine's army and his relations with the northern 'barbarians," the Teutonic tribes who invaded western Europe; finally, Elizabeth Key Fowden looks at the fragile frontier facing Persia. The essays cover the main bases. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. A. S. Evans emeritus, University of British Columbia
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