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Life of Constantine (Clarendon Ancient History) Hardcover – December 9, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0198149170 ISBN-10: 0198149174 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`Overall, however, this volume will prove an enormously useful tool for scholars and students of church history and late antiquity in general.' Journal of Early Christian Studies

`This volume provides a fine introduction to the Life of Constantine in a format that is user-friendly both with regard to organization of content and graphic design ... The commentary helpfully assesses the historicity of Eusebius' accounts of specific events and how certain themes in the text serve the various literary purposes of the work. The book is a goldmine of bibliographical sources on particular topics in the Vita, for example, on Constantine's building programs in Jerusalem and elsewhere.' Journal of Early Christian Studies, 2001

`The commentary is a mine of information and succinctly distilled learning, drawn from an extensive modern bibliography supplemented by the authors' own combined wisdom.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 2001

`Their collaboration on Eusebius ... has resulted in what is sure to become an indispensable companion to Constantinian studies.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 2001

About the Author


Averil Cameron is Warden of Keble College, Oxford. The Rev. Stuart Hall is a retired priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, formerly priest in charge of St John's Pittenweem and St Michael's Elie.
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Product Details

  • Series: Clarendon Ancient History
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (December 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198149174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198149170
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,296,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This volume is a very scholarly translation of Eusebius' Vita Constantini into English, with a major introduction, massive notes (at the back) and bibliographical details. The detail in the notes alone makes it worth the purchase, while the discussion of issues in the introduction is masterly.

The intellectual integrity of Eusebius is discussed and upheld, the role of the work as panegyric rather than history discussed; even the authenticity of the chapter titles is handled (Cameron and Hall reject this).

The only gripe I have is that the notes are at the back, rather than at the foot of each page. I found I had to read it flipping to and fro. And one simply doesn't *want* to miss the comments -- they are detailed, documented, and tremendously informative.

This is in quite a different league to the ordinary English translation-only volume. It is easily of the same standard as the Ancient Christian Writers series, and in fact probably better, as it has less philology and much more useful historical matter.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Florentius VINE VOICE on October 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Life of Constantine is a panegyrical biography of Constantine the Great, written by his friend and admirer, Eusebius Pamphilus, bishop of Caesarea a few years after the emperor's death in AD 337. Though gushing in its praise for Constantine and sparse in its criticism of the darker aspects of his reign, this work is nonetheless the best and most detailed biography of Constantine available from an ancient source. Aside from being the sole source for much of the information we know about Constantine, the work also compiles several crucial Constantinian letters, edicts, and anecdotes for which Eusebius was a first-hand witness.

This modern translation of Eusebius's Life of Constantine by Averil Cameron is the most thorough and up-to-date available, containing a substantial introduction as well as a great mass of truly useful commentary which makes up nearly 1/2 of the book's bulk. If you are a scholar who is interested in a detailed treatment of this work (and who has the financial wherewithal to afford the hefty price tag), then this is certainly the book for you.

However, if you are a general reader or a student looking for a more approachable version of this classic Eusebian work, I recommend The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew74 on October 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for any Eusebius/Constantine researcher. The Life of Constantine is our single most important source about Constantine and this is by far the best English edition. The introduction is very objective, informative, and while directed at the Life of Constantine itself, is nonetheless something of an introduction to Eusebian scholarship. The notes amount to a running commentary. There is an excellent Index and extensive Bibliography. The editors put considerable effort into analyzing the form of the work, including a substantial outline, chapter headings, and list of passages from the Life of Constantine reworked from or similar to those in the Ecclesiastical History and In Praise of Constantine.
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By D. Peterson on August 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a resource which any person studying Constantine or any aspect related to the Romans should own or have quick access to. This book is one which has not been published for access for many years. Now that this very friendly layout has been published, no one studying this period should have any reason not to own, or at least read, this book.

Although much criticism has been leveled against Eusebius' accounts in this book for his possible (and pretty clear) bias, it is still one of the corner stones which any research on Constantine or the development of Christianity in the Roman Empire must come out of.

Take what you will from this book, but it is a book which you must take something from!
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