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By Richard Flower

This cutting edge research illuminates the function of polemical literature within the political lifetime of the Roman empire by way of reading the earliest surviving invectives directed opposed to a dwelling emperor. Written through 3 bishops (Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers, Lucifer of Cagliari), those texts attacked Constantius II (337–61) for his vicious and tyrannical behaviour, in addition to his heretical spiritual ideals. This e-book explores the ideas hired by way of those authors to give themselves as fearless champions of liberty and guardians of religion, as they sought to reinforce their authority at a time once they have been out of step with the existing imperial view of Christian orthodoxy. moreover, by means of analysing this particular choice of writings along overdue vintage panegyrics and ceremonial, it additionally rehabilitates anti-imperial polemic as a significant political task and explores the ways that it functioned in the complicated net of displays and perceptions that underpinned overdue Roman energy relationships.

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