Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Constantine and the Captive Christians of PersiaMartyrdom and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kyle Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520289604

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520289604.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 June 2020

Patronizing Persians

Patronizing Persians

Constantine’s Letter to Shapur II

Chapter:
(p.17) One Patronizing Persians
Source:
Constantine and the Captive Christians of Persia
Author(s):

Kyle Smith

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520289604.003.0002

This chapter examines Constantine's letter to the Persian king Shapur II and its significance as a source for Roman–Persian relations in the fourth century. More specifically, it analyzes the content of the letter, its probable date and context, and the debates over its authenticity. It considers whether the letter can (or should) be understood as a cause of persecution in Sasanian Persia and how Constantine deploys Valerian's capture and death to write a new, Christian history of the Roman Empire. On the basis of its date, context, and content, the chapter suggests that the letter should be read primarily as a reconfiguration of divine support for Roman kingship in the person of Constantine. It argues that the emperor's letter, despite being unique, neither led to Shapur's persecution of Persian Christians nor to a religious war.

Keywords:   letter, Shapur II, Roman–Persian relations, persecution, Persia, Constantine, Valerian, Roman Empire, Persian Christians

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.