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Title: Violence and authority in Eusebius of Caesarea's 'Ecclesiastical History'
Author: Corke-Webster, James Christopher
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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The first Christian historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, wrote his pioneering Ecclesiastical History in the early 4th century, just after the western emperor Constantine’s “conversion” to Christianity. It was a history born of Eusebius’ present and designed for the future. Reading Eusebius and the Ecclesiastical History within the second sophistic movement, I argue that Eusebius’ picture of Christian history appropriated the past to fundamentally re-imagine the essence of Christian authority. Eusebius’ descriptions of past Christians used them as exemplars of a new model of Christian leadership designed for his 4th century context. Eusebius was writing in the first place for the Christian clergy; elite provincial Christians who shared the mores and stereotypes of their elite non-Christian neighbours. He therefore presented a model of Christian authority not based around the extreme violence of martyrdom and asceticism which had characterised the charismatic heroes of earlier 2nd and 3rd century Christian literature. It was based instead on a traditional elite rhetoric of temperance, learned through paideia and manifested in care for dependents. Around this thread Eusebius built his Empire-wide church.
Supervisor: Cooper, Kate; Mazza, Roberta Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Eusebius of Caesarea ; Violence ; Authority ; Ecclesiastical History