Constantine’s Letter to Shapur II
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.
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.
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.