Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Women's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage R6 Siege Shop Now HTL
Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $5.90 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Constantine: Roman Empero... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This is a ex library book, stickers and markings accordingly.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor Hardcover – June 10, 2010

18 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$15.95 $4.66

"Their Promised Land"
A love story that lasted through triumphs and disasters, years of separation. Check out "Their Promised Land".
$24.10 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor
  • +
  • The Life and Times of Constantine the Great
  • +
  • Constantine the Emperor
Total price: $72.64
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stephenson, a historian at the University of Durham, successfully combines historical documents, examples of Roman art, sculpture, and coinage with the lessons of geopolitics to produce a complex biography of the Emperor Constantine. Rather than the divinely guided hero of legend who singlehandedly brought pagan Rome to Christian orthodoxy, Constantine is depicted as very much a product of his political environment. Recognizing the growing influence of the Christian Church, he adapted the generally pacifist faith to the Roman theology of victory and created a newly militant Christianity that would sustain his rule. Constantine wisely sought to impose religious toleration on the diverse Roman Empire while discouraging trivial disputes among the Christian faithful. Stephenson examines the variety of religious beliefs in the early fourth century with emphasis on Mithraism, a pagan mystery cult practiced by pre-Constantine soldiers, and on the bitter divisions within victorious Christianity that ultimately led to the Council of Nicaea. Constantine is revealed as a master politician who, while delaying his own baptism for reasons not fully explained in the text, became the ruler of both church and state. 24 pages of illus.; 8 maps. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Assessing the Roman emperor who embraced Christianity, historian Stephenson casts a critical scholarly eye on much of contemporary propaganda's attributions to Constantine. His vision of the cross before the 312 Battle of the Milvian Bridge, though a later construction of Constantine's apologists, nevertheless inspires Stephenson with a plausible explanation of Christianity's appeal to Constantine and his troops. Elaborating a Roman “theology of victory,” Stephenson delves into pagan cults and rituals practiced in the Roman army, emphasizing the primacy paid to gods associated with winning battles. Rather detailed discussion of evidence in coins, inscriptions, and monuments carries the religious part of Stephenson's narrative and supplements his scrutiny of written sources about Constantine and his actions to attain the imperial throne. Mindful that those flowed from civil wars with rival claimants, Stephenson tempers the insults heaped on those Constantine defeated and handles his adoption of a new, victorious god not as a single personal revelation but as an extended conversion process throughout the late Roman world. Constantine in his times is well illuminated by Stephenson's able and discerning work. --Gilbert Taylor

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (June 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590203240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590203248
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Cato on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The name of my post is a far more accurate description of this book than its given title. Those looking for a general historical biography will be disappointed, as will those looking for a military history or narrative account of Constantine's life.

However, that said, this book doesn't try to be any of the former. Rather, it is a fascinating scholarly examination of Constantine's imperial ideology. The author meticulously examines artifacts, murals, sculptures in great (at times too much) detail to describe how Constantine projected his power and wanted to appear to the masses. There is a great discussion of various religions competing with Christianity, the ideology of the imperial cult, and how Constantine co-opted the existing pagan symbolism and iconography into his new "christian" religion in an attempt to unify the empire. It was interesting to see the author describe how many of the dates Christians take for granted as holidays were actually pagan holidays that Constantine re-used and re-cycled. The author also uses coins and other artifacts to try and resolve conflicting historical accounts of Constantine's life.

While there is great detail as to the language and symbolism on the coins struck by Constantine, the book lacks any attention to detail on Constantine's campaigns. Very little attention is devoted to the makeup of Constantine's field army, his use of barbarian conscipts, changes in training, equipment, tactics, etc. There is some mention of Constantine's military reforms and changes to billeting, but not much analysis of the broader historical consequences of these decisions.

In summary, for what it is, this is a good book; it just was not what I was expecting based on the title.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Curren VINE VOICE on January 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book created by an author who has apparently done extensive research on the Roman Emperor Constantine. I thought the author did an excellent job of compiling a biographical history of Constantine. The author's historic sources are listed in great detail in the back of the book named "Biographical Essays". Then there the three (3) sections in the book with colored plates illustrating historic artifacts such as coins, cameos, triumphal arches, sarcophagi's, mosaics, a baptismal and other pieces of architecture/art/sculpture. All of this is carefully referenced to the main body of this book as the author does an excellent job of separating fact from Roman propaganda. I selected this book to get some kind of understanding of how the Christian cult grew into an Imperial Roman Religion known today as Catholicism. The following is a small sampling of what I found interesting:

During Constantine's life per Chapter 2, The Rise of Christianity, "It has been estimated that the number of Christians grew at a rate of forty percent per decade, through reproduction and conversion. From a tiny pool of believers, the number of Christians grew slowly at first, but eventually exponentially. The period of exponential growth began in the later third century, when from around one million in AD 250, there were more than six million Christians in AD300, and almost thirty-four million in AD 350. The total population of the empire remained relatively constant.............Thus, in the century that embraced Constantine's reign, the empire went from a tiny minority to a majority of Christians."

After the famous Battle of Milvian Bridge, Constantine sought to end the factionalism within the Christian community.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The Roman Emperor Constantine I, or Constantine the Great, is one of the most significant figures in history. Among the reasons for his historical stature are (a) after two generations of divided rule of the Roman Empire by as many as four emperors ("the Tetrarchy"), Constantine reunited the Empire under one ruler; (b) he established Constantinople as a second Rome, or new Rome, transforming it into one of the most important cities in the world, at times "the" most important city; and, most significantly, (c) he converted to Christianity, becoming the first Christian Roman emperor.

CONSTANTINE: ROMAN EMPEROR, CHRISTIAN VICTOR is a blend of biography and history. It covers the life of Constantine, though not in minute detail (which, for all I know, might not be possible). In general, it employs a broader historical perspective than the more typical biography, which, I think, is a plus in this instance.

In his Preface, author Stephenson writes that his book is a "narrative" of Constantine's life, and as such is "as much story as history." This suggests that he is aiming more for a popular lay audience than denizens of academia. If so, he is only partly successful. The text is not punctuated by footnotes (although at the end of the book there are 35 pages of rather detailed "bibliographical essays", corresponding to each chapter of the book), but nonetheless the narrative is somewhat denser and more detailed than most popular histories. Reading it is not easy going, though it is not quite at the extreme of strenuous.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor
This item: Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor
Price: $24.10
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: the mortal of julius caesar, constantine and christianity, constantine's conversion