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58- It’s Not Over Yet

Episode Link

Despite the Edict of Galerius, his nephew Maximinus Daia refuses to end the Great Persecution. After securing his power base, the emperor of the east launches a cunning campaign to resume the persecution of Christians and discredit their faith with slander and propaganda.

Martyrdom of Peter of Alexandria, Menologion of Basil II, johnsanidopoulos.com
Mural of Peter of Alexandria, johnsanidopoulos.com
Methodius of Olympus, johnsanidopoulos.com
Martyrdom of Silvanus of Emesa and his Companions, johnsanidopoulos.com
Martyrdom of of Lucian of Antioch, Menologion of Basil II, johnsanidopoulos.com
Lucian of Antioch, johnsanidopoulos.com
Theodotus of Ancyra and the Seven Virgins led by Tecusa, johnsanidopoulos.com

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Barnes, Timothy
    • Constantine and Eusebius
    • Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History
    • The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine
  • Corcoran, Simon
    • The Empire of the Tetrarchs: Imperial Pronouncements and Government A.D. 284-324. Rev. Ed.
  • Davis, Stephen
    • The Early Coptic Papacy: The Egyptian Church and its Leadership in Late Antiquity
  • Drake, H. A. 
    • “Lessons from the Great Persecution.” Ch. 3. The Great Persecution: Proceedings from the Fifth Patristic Conference, Maynooth, 2003. Ed. Twomey, D. and Humphries, Mark. 
  • Frend, W. H. C.
    • Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church
  • Mitchell, Stephen
    • “Maximinus and the Christians in A.D. 312: A New Latin Inscription.”Journal of Roman Studies 78. 1988. 105-124. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
  • Shin, Min Seok. 
    • The Great Persecution: A Historical Re-examination
  • Vivian, Timothy
    • Saint Peter of Alexandria: Bishop and Martyr

Schedule Update

Hello Listeners,

A quick schedule update. Due to my summer semester, I’m going to be moving the release day for new episodes from the Weekend to Tuesday. Episode 58 will be released tomorrow.

Thank you,
TY

57- In This Sign

Episode Link

Constantine experiences a vision in the sky assuring him of victory and longevity. Later during the final confrontation with Maxentius in Italy, Constantine has a dream which leads him to re-interpret the vision and look to the Christian God as his divine patron.

Primary Sources

  • Eusebius
    • Church History
    • Life of Constantine
  • Lactantius
    • Divine Institutes
    • On the Deaths of the Persecutors
  • Panegyrici Latini VI

Secondary Sources

  • Barnes, Timothy
    • Constantine: Dynasty, Religion, and Power in the Later Roman Empire
    • Constantine and Eusebius
    • Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History
    • “Maxentius and Diocletian.” Classical Philology 105. 318-322. July 2010. University of Chicago Press.
    • The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine
  • Degiser, Elizabeth
    • The Making of a Christian Empire: Lactantius and Rome
  • Drake, H.A.
    • Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance
    • “Solar Power in Late Antiquity.” The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity Ch. 16. 215-226. Ed. Cain, Andrew and Lenski, Noel.
  • Lenski, Noel
    • Constantine and the Cities: Imperial Authority and Civic Politics
    • “The Reign of Constantine.” Ch. 3. 59-90. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine. Rev. Ed. 2012. Ed. Lenski, Noel.
  • Long, Jacqueline
    • “How to Read a Halo: Three (or More) Versions of Constantine’s Visions.” The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity Ch. 17. 227-235. Ed. Cain, Andrew and Lenski, Noel.
  • Odahl, Charles
    • Constantine and the Christian Empire
  • Potter, David
    • Constantine the Emperor
  • Rodgers, Barbara
    • In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: The Pangeyrici Latini
  • Stephenson, Paul
    • Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor
  • Weiss, Peter. 2003. “The Vision of Constantine.” Trans. Birley, Anthony. Journal of Roman Archaeology 16. 237-259.
Artistic depiction of Constanine’s vision of the Cross in the Sky
The Emblem of Christ Appearing to Constantine
Peter Paul Rubens, 17th century
An example of a double-ringed Solar Halo.
Notice the two sun-dogs/mock suns on the left and right ends of the cross as well as the center of light above the sun.
Gabor Szilasi, 23 January 2015. Wikipedia.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
Battle of the Milvian Bridge
by Giulio Romano, 1524
Battle of the_Milvian Bridge
by Gérard Audran
INVICTVS CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG
“Unconquered Constantine Greatest Augustus”
Gold Medallion of Constantine (right, foreground) and Sol (left, background)
Minted early 313
Chi-Rho symbol from late antique Christian monument.
Greek letters Alpha and Omega on left and right of the Rho respectively
Chi-Rho depicted atop a cross on a fourth century Roman Christian sarcophagus

An Imperial Stemmata

I’ve taken the liberty of creating a Stemmata of the Tetrarchy and Constantinians. Hopefully you find it useful. I’ve also saved it on the “maps” page.

Augusti in ALL CAPS
Dotted line signifies adoption
Dotted double-bar signifies betrothal w/o marriage

Audio updated on Ep. 56

Some of you may have noticed the local wildlife in the background noise of the latest episode. Turns out I was having some driver issues for my mic, and after some attempts at editing out the chirping in Audition, I decided to do a fresh recording. The new audio file is live.

56- The Palinode of Galerius

Episode Link

During the lull in persecution following the Conference of Carnuntum, the Meletian Schism breaks out in Egypt, while in Palestine controversy erupts over the theology of Origen of Alexandria. Nevertheless the Great Persecution is soon resumed as the Fifth Edict is issued in order to revitalize paganism and marginalize Christians from society. However, just as Galerius prepares to celebrate his Vicennalia, he is struck by a horrific disease, eventually leading him to reconsider his persecution of Christians.

Primary Sources

  • Athanasius of Alexandria
    • Life of Antony
  • Eusebius of Caesarea
    • Church History
    • Martyrs of Palestine
  • Lactantius
    • On the Deaths of the Persecutors
  • Pamphilus of Caesarea
    • Apology for Origen
  • Peter of Alexandria
    • Letter to the Alexandrians against Meletius

Secondary Sources

  • Barnes, Timothy
    • Constantine and Eusebius
    • Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History
    • “Sossianus Hierocles and the Antecedents of the ‘Great Persecution’.” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 80 (1976), pp. 239-252. Department of the Classics, Harvard University
    • The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine
  • Behr, John
    • Formation of Christian Theology Vol. 2: The Nicene Faith
  • Corcoran, Simon
    • “Before Constantine.” Ch. 2. 35-58. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine. Rev. Ed. 2012. Ed. Lenski, Noel.
    • The Empire of the Tetrarchs: Imperial Pronouncements and Government A.D. 284-324. Rev. Ed.
  • Davis, Stephen
    • The Early Coptic Papacy: The Egyptian Church and its Leadership in Late Antiquity
  • Drake, H. A.
    • Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance
      • Quote in episode taken from p. 117
    • “Lessons from the Great Persecution.” Ch. 3. The Great Persecution: Proceedings from the Fifth Patristic Conference, Maynooth, 2003. Ed. Twomey, D. and Humphries, Mark.
  • Frend, W. H. C.
    • Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church
  • Hauben, Haus, ed. Van Nuffelen, Peter
    • Studies in the Melitian Schism in Egypt (AD 306-335)
  • Shin, Min Seok.
    • The Great Persecution: A Historical Re-examination
  • Vivian, Timothy
    • Saint Peter of Alexandria: Bishop and Martyr
  • Williams, Rown
    • “Damnosa haereditas: Pamphilus’ Apology and the Reputation of Origen,” in H. C. Brennecke, E. L. Gramück, and C. Markschies, eds., Logos, 151–69. Summarized in Behr, John. The Formation of Christian Theology Vol. 2: The Nicene Faith.

The Edict of Toleration

Posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311 A.D.

Emperor Caesar Galerius Valerius Maximianus, Invictus, Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Egyptians, conqueror of the Thebans, five times conqueror of the Sarmatians, conqueror of the Persians, twice conqueror of the Carpathians, six times conqueror of the Armenians, conqueror of the Medes, conqueror of the Adiabeni, Tribune of the people the twentieth time, Emperor the nineteenth time, Consul the eighth time, Father of his country, Proconsul;

and Emperor Caesar Flavius Valerius Constantine, Pius, Felix, Invictus, Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribune of the people, Emperor the fifth time, Consul, Father of his country, Proconsul;

and Emperor Caesar Valerius Licinius, Pius, Felix, Invictus, Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribune of the people the fourth time, Emperor the third time, Consul, Father of his country, Proconsul;

to the people of their provinces, greetings:

Among the other things which we have ordained for the public advantage and profit, we formerly wished to restore everything to conformity with the ancient laws and public discipline of the Romans, and to provide that the Christians also, who have forsaken the religion of their ancestors, should return to a good disposition. For in some way such arrogance had seized them and such stupidity had overtaken them, that they did not follow the ancient institutions which possibly their own ancestors had formerly established, but made for themselves laws according to their own purpose, as each one desired, and observed them, and thus assembled as separate congregations in various places.

When we had issued this decree that they should return to the institutions established by the ancients, a great many submitted under danger, but a great many being harassed endured all kinds of death. And since many continue in the same folly, and we perceive that they neither offer to the heavenly gods the worship which is due, nor pay regard to the God of the Christians, in consideration of our philanthropy and our invariable custom, by which we are wont to extend pardon to all, we have determined that we ought most cheerfully to extend our indulgence in this matter also; that they may again be Christians, and may rebuild the conventicles in which they were accustomed to assemble, on condition that nothing be done by them contrary to discipline.

In another letter we shall indicate to the magistrates what they have to observe. Wherefore, on account of this indulgence of ours, they ought to supplicate their God for our safety, and that of the people, and their own, that the public welfare may be preserved in every place, and that they may live securely in their several homes.

Eusebius Church History 8.17.3-10; cf. Lactantius On the Deaths of the Persecutors 34

Plaque of the Edict of Toleration in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Мико. 2012. Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Porphyry Bust of Galerius from Romulianum.
Shinjirod. 2008. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Pamphilus of Caesarea Maritima
johnsanidopoulos.com
Martyrdom of Pamphilus of Caesarea
Menologion of Basil II
johnsanidopoulos.com
Martyrdom of Hardian and Eubulus
Menologion of Basil II
johnsanidopoulos.com
Martyrdom of Porphyry of Caesarea, Julian of Cappadocia, and Theodulus of Caesarea
Menologion of Basil II
johnsanidopoulos.com
Martyrdom of Silvanus of Gaza
johnsanidopoulos.com

55- Toleration in the West

Episode Link

The accessions of Constantine and then Maxentius lead to an official end to the Great Persecution in the western provinces. However peace continues to elude both Church and State. Maxentius’ usurpation triggers a civil war while factional violence erupts within the Churches of Rome and Africa.

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Barnes, Timothy
    • Constantine: Dynasty, Religion, and Power in the Later Roman Empire
    • Constantine and Eusebius
    • Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History
    • The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine
  • Freeman, Stephen
    • Diocletian and the Roman Recovery
  • Green, Bernard
    • Christianity in Ancient Rome: The First Three Centuries
  • Kelly, J. N. D.
    • Oxford Dictionary of Popes
  • Odahl, Charles
    • Constantine and the Christian Empire
  • Potter, David
    • Constantine the Emperor
  • Stephenson, Paul
    • Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor

External Links

Modern Bronze Statue of Constantine outside of York Minster, York, UK
Replica Bust of Maxentius from the Pushkin Museium
by Shakko, Wikipedia, November 2017, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Bust of Licinius
The Roman Empire c. 300 A.D.
Christos Nussli, 18 April 1998, De Imperatoribus Romanis
Marcellus of Rome
Eusebius of Rome

Update on Episode 55

Hey Listeners,

There will be no episode this week as I’m currently in the midsts of exams season. However episode 55 will be released next weekend. Thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,
TY

54- The Worst of the Persecutors

Episode Link

The succession of the second Tetrarchy grants the eastern Christians a respite from the Great Persecution. However, it is not long before Galerius and his new Caesar Maximinus Daia resume the persecution and introduce new harsher methods of enforcement and punishment in the process. Meanwhile the seeds of schism are sown in the Church of Egypt by the controversial activities of the new bishop of Lycopolis.

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Constantine and Eusebius by Timothy Barnes
  • Constantine: Dynasty Religion and Power in the Later Roman Empire – Timothy Barnes
  • Diocletian and the Roman Recovery by Stephen Williams
  • Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History by Timothy Barnes
  • Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church by W. H. C. Frend
  • St. Peter of Alexandria: Bishop and Martyrs by Timothy Vivian
  • Stemmata of the Tetrarchy on DIR by R. Scott More
Bust of Maximinus Daia
Aureus of Maximinus Daia
numismatics.org
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Aureus of Galerius Augustus
numismatics.org
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Peter of Alexandria
johnsanidopoulos.com
Timlous of Pontus and his Companions
johnsanidopoulos.com
Apphianus of Lcyia
Theodosia of Tyre
johnsanidopoulos.com
Silvanus of Gaza
johnsanidopoulos.com
Ennatha, Valentina, and Paula
johnsanidopoulos.com

Pascha 2020

Christos anesti to all my eastern listeners!