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Two RomesRome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity$
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Lucy Grig and Gavin Kelly

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739400.001.0001

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Claudian and Constantinople

Claudian and Constantinople

(p.241) 11 Claudian and Constantinople
Two Romes

Gavin Kelly

Oxford University Press

The poet Claudian’s relationship with Rome has been widely studied. Despite its intrinsic interest, his relationship with the New Rome has not been discussed with the same saturation. Claudian wrote when the western court’s relationship with Constantinople was in crisis (395-404), and he describes many events which took place there. Some of his work, especially In Eutropium 2, has been seen as evidence for growing western anti-Byzantinism, or even for the fissure between the western and eastern empires; others argue that this is a one-off piece of propaganda reflecting a particular narrow set of political circumstances. This chapter argues that the treatment of Constantinople should indeed be seen in opposition to that of Rome, and that the attitude of In Eutropium 2 is extreme but not a one-off, either in Claudian’s oeuvre or in fourth- and fifth-century western ideology more generally. Attention is also given to allusions to Claudian’s treatment of Constantinople by subsequent writers (including Sidonius).

Keywords:   Claudian, Rome, Constantinople, In Eutropium, Sidonius

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