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Paulus Orosius addressed his universal research “Historiae Adversum Paganos” in seven volumes to heathens. His main objective lays in demonstrating healthy infl uence of Christianity on the world historical process. The work was written a century after the age of Constantine the Great, so by that time, the Christian author had at his disposal an impressive collection of sources, which enabled him to create a relatively informative narration devoted to the personality and time of the fi rst Christian Emperor. However, due to the fact that Constantine’s biography included a number of obviously unfl attering moments (obscure origin, participation in internal wars for individual rule, which often turned in massacre, murder of relatives, unclear attitude towards Arian heresy) the task set by historian proved to be much more complicated. Addressing hostile audience, Orosius was deprived of the opportunity to distort and stretch the facts of common knowledge. Therefore, he made efforts to performing meticulous work on getting priorities straight, and the image of Constantine the Great crafted by him met the requirements of both historical objectiveness and idealization task.

The paper by Orosius has not yet been considered by major scholars as an informative source so far. Meanwhile, analyzing the image of the fi rst Christian Emperor crafted by Orosius may help to understand how Romans perceived the Age of Late Empire and viewed personality of Constantine the Great. By today, the work by Orosius has been analyzed in relation to the aforementioned issue only in the article by Russian historian I.Yu. Vashcheva, yet the researchers have not paid due attention to it, considering this paper along with other works by Christian authors of the mentioned period.


Roman Empire, Paulus Orosius, Constantine the Great, Early Christianity, emperor, ideology

Ivan A. Mirolubov

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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