Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Approaching Late AntiquityThe Transformation from Early to Late Empire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Simon Swain and Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297375.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2019

Pagan and Christian Monotheism in the Age of Constantine

Pagan and Christian Monotheism in the Age of Constantine

(p.211) 9 Pagan and Christian Monotheism in the Age of Constantine
Approaching Late Antiquity

Mark Edwards

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on a decisive moment — the reign of Constantine, who advanced his own religion by the suppression of idolatry and the multiplication of written documents. It might be said in general that the history of early Christianity is a story of words and images — one subject rather than two, perhaps, if Plato is right to say that words are images of meaning. Plato also said that words are seeds. It is argued that this spermatic metaphor enabled a Christian sovereign to tolerate many religions in his Empire while he aimed at the final victory of one. Finally, he warned us that when words begin to germinate they lose their truth as images, this is believed to have been the fate of ‘monotheism’ in recent scholarship.

Keywords:   Constantine, Roman Empire, religion, idolatry, monotheism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .