By Timothy D. Barnes
This good documented learn makes a speciality of the profession of Archbishop Athanasius of Alexandria in the course of the 300s advert. yet past that, Barnes illuminates the encircling age with its assumptions, passions, and realities. in the back of the legitimate statements of a winner in church historical past, Barnes indicates us the proof of a fallible, formidable, vindictive guy, striving to defeat his opponents by way of virtually any capacity worthy. The ups and downs of this man's profession are as regards to breathtaking. Barnes' cautious learn unearths a saga of worrying political hardball over the way forward for strength in Rome's new imperial faith.
--author of Correcting Jesus
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Additional info for Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire
The decisions he makes are entirely his own, as are the actions which follow from them. 26 Once a man acquired this felicitas it was, in a certain sense, regarded as his personal quality which would endure unto death and could even assure its holder happiness in the hereafter. Felicitas, too, carried with it a basically primitive notion of abundance or plentifulness of good things. As a result, it was believed that the personal felicitas of the man of virtus radiated from him and was transmitted to all who came into contact with him.
By war he had gained his auctoritas and by war he would preserve it. In 99, however, there was one slight problem: Rome was not actually at war with anybody worthwhile. A conflict would have to be provoked somewhere. Luckily a prime candidate lay at hand in the person of Mithridates who had just invaded Cappadocia. He surely could be provoked. This was not the first time Marius had tried to set the king up. Some years before, his ally Saturninus had insulted one of the king’s ambassadors, patently with the idea of starting a war for his friend to wage.
He commended himself to the voters purely on the strength of his military record, a move which, contrary to his expectations, turned out to be very unwise. It is true that it was usual for a man, on these occasions, to parade his record in the courts or in the battlefield but, in Sulla’s case, there were complicating factors. He had been a subordinate officer and a very able one at that but, nevertheless, a subordinate. The main part of the fame and glory from the recent wars had gone to Marius who, for a brief spell, was Rome’s darling, and the residue had been craftily garnered by Catulus, who had turned out to be a far better propagandist than general.
Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire by Timothy D. Barnes