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Out of the shadow of the father

22 October 2020

New volume explores under-appreciated period of Roman Empire

Ancient Historians at Cardiff are the editors of a new volume on an often forgotten period of the Roman Empire.

Reader in Ancient Religions Dr Nicholas Baker-Brian and Professor of Late Roman and Byzantine History Shaun Tougher have brought together the new volume featuring thirteen academics from the UK and overseas.

The Sons of Constantine, AD 337-361: In the Shadows of Constantine and Julian focuses on the Roman empire under the reigns of brothers: Constantine II (337-340), Constans I (337-350) and Constantius II (337-361), following the death of the first Christian Roman emperor. They were succeeded by their cousin Julian, the last pagan Roman emperor.

The collection shines a light on the heirs of Constantine as guardians of his legacy, who oversaw the nature of the world in which Julian would grow up, and examines their influence on imperial, administrative, cultural, and religious facets of the empire in their own right.

The editors explain:

“The attention lavished on the Roman emperors Constantine ‘the Great’ and Julian ‘the Apostate’ has meant that the reigns of Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans have been cast into shadow. This has impeded understanding of the reigns of Constantine’s sons, but has also prevented a fuller appreciation of Constantine’s own imperial legacy and the immediate context for the decisions taken by Julian during his reign. This volume aims to reveal the historical significance of the twenty-four years between the two imperial giants, and to provide a better understanding for the events of the fourth century in toto.”

The book is launched with a virtual discussion and question and answer session with the contributors on 26 October 2020.

The Sons of Constantine: In the Shadows of Constantine and Julian is part of Palgrave Macmillan’s New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture series.

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