Focusing on the fourth and fifth centuries, this book tries to investigate what religious violence meant to those involved, both actors and victims, how it was experienced, represented, justified, or contested. It devotes great attention to the representation of violence, and argues that discourse about violence affected the ways in which violence could be used in practice. It highlights the significance of considering emotions and attitudes, reactions as well as actions. It provides a brief discussion of existing scholarship on late antique violence. Additionally, it examines the representations of violence as a clue to how such acts were received and understood within the moral framework of late antique observers both supportive and hostile. Furthermore, it evaluates the ways in which religious discourses created a variety of new constraints on the state's ability to make effective use of its violent power. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is presented.
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