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Chapter 12 - Cicero and Vergil in the Catacombs: Pagan Messianism and Monarchic Propaganda in Constantine’s Oration to the Assembly of Saints

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Jonathan J. Price
Affiliation:
Tel-Aviv University
Katell Berthelot
Affiliation:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris
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Summary

In the manuscript tradition, the four books of Eusebius’s Life of Constantine are followed by an appendix containing a speech known by its Latin title, Oratio ad sanctorum coetum.1 Moreover, in some manuscripts, the Speech of Emperor Constantine written for the Assembly of Saints (Βασιλέως Κωνσταντίνου λόγος ὃν ἔγραψε τῷ τῶν ἁγίων συλλόγῳ) figures as the fifth book of the Vita. In spite of its traditional attribution to Constantine the Great,2 this curious text has not received much scholarly attention.3 Yet the speech, which includes a lecture-style commentary on Vergil’s Fourth Eclogue accompanied by an almost complete translation of the poem into Greek, is an important landmark in the history of the Christian reception of Roman literature.

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The Future of Rome
Roman, Greek, Jewish and Christian Visions
, pp. 227 - 244
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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