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History Associates talk by Elizabeth Depalma Digeser | “Constantine the Crusader: The Roman Emperor as Christian Soldier”

April 16, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

UC Santa Barbara, History DepartmentConstantine I (306-37) was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. Almost two millennia later, we may not be surprised that Constantine promoted an image of himself as a Christian military commandant. Nevertheless, this image is strikingly opposed to the previous conception of the Christian hero, that of the martyr, a person known for enduring—not promoting—violence. This talk will explore why, despite its novelty, this new image of the emperor became one reason for Constantine’s long and ultimately stable reign. The longevity of this image, in fact, is testimony to its success, as European monarchs from Charlemagne to Elizabeth I all strove to be the “new Constantine.”

Elizabeth DePalma Digeser is a professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a leading authority on early Christian thought. Her focus is on the intersection of religion and philosophy with Roman politics and the process of religious conversion in late antiquity. Digeser is the author of The Making of a Christian Empire: Lactantius and Rome (2000) and A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution (2012), which explores the interactions of Platonist philosophers and Christian theologians leading up to the Great Persecution of 303-311 CE.

Date: Sunday, April 16, 2023

Time:  2:00 PM

Venue: Goleta Valley Library, Multipurpose Room 500 N. Fairview Avenue, Goleta

History Associates talks are free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided. Please RSVP to historyassociates@ia.ucsb.edu


April 16, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Goleta Valley Library, Multipurpose Room 500 N. Fairview Avenue, Goleta
Goleta Valley Library
Goleta, CA 93106 United States
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