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A Greek Roman Empire

Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408–450)

Fergus Millar (Author)

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Paperback, 306 pages
ISBN: 9780520253919
August 2007
$34.95, £24.95
In the first half of the fifth century, the Latin-speaking part of the Roman Empire suffered vast losses of territory to barbarian invaders. But in the Greek-speaking half of the Eastern Mediterranean, with its capital at Constantinople, there was a stable and successful system, using Latin as its official language, but communicating with its subjects in Greek. This book takes an inside look at how this system worked in the long reign of the pious Christian Emperor Theodosius II (408-50), and analyzes its largely successful defense of its frontiers, its internal coherence, and its relations with its subjects, with a flow of demands and suggestions traveling up the hierarchy to the Emperor, and a long series of laws, often set out in elaborately self-justificatory detail, addressed by the Emperor, through his officials, to the people. Above all, this book focuses on the Imperial mission to promote the unity of the Church, the State’s involvement in intensely-debated doctrinal questions, and the calling by the Emperor of two major Church Councils at Ephesus, in 431 and 449. Between the Law codes and the acts of the Church Councils, the material illustrating the working of government and the involvement of State and church, is incomparably richer, more detailed, and more vivid than for any previous period.
Preface
Abbreviations
Ancient Sources: Texts, Editions, and Translations

I. Roman and Greek: State and Subject
1. Introduction: Roman and Greek
2. Imperial Legislation
3. Theodosius’s Greek Empire
4. Latin and Greek
5. The Greek City, and Greek Literary Culture
6. Letters and the Rhetoric of Persuasion

II. Security and Insecurity
1. Introduction
2. The Military Structure
3. Constantinople and the West
4. Border Wars in Libya and Egypt
5. The Eastern Frontier: Sasanids and Saracens
6. The Danube Frontier and the Huns

III. Integration and Diversity
1. Latin in Government
2. Greek as the Lingua Franca
3. Greek and Other Languages at the Church Councils
4. The Public Role and Status of Syriac in the Fifth-Century Church
5. The Empire, the Church, and Paganism
6. Samaritans and Jews

IV. State and Church: Civil Administration, Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, and Spiritual Power
1. Religious Conflicts and Spiritual Authority
2. State and Church: Regional Structures of Hierarchy and Authority
3. State and Church: Contested Borders
4. Theodosius and Heresy
5. The Nestorian Controversy and the Two Councils of Ephesus

V. State Power and Moral Defiance: Nestorius and Irenaeus
1. Introduction: Sources and Perspectives
2. Episcopal Persuasion and the Imperial Will
3. Nestorius: Return to Monastic Life, Condemnation and Exile
4. Renewed Controversy, Imperial Condemnation, and Popular Reaction

VI. Persuasion, Influence, and Power
1. Structures and Persons
2. The Routine of Public Persuasion: The Suggestio
3. Identifying Powerful Intermediaries
4. Approaching the Emperor

Appendix A. The Acta of the Fifth-Century Councils: A Brief Guide for Historians
Appendix B. Verbatim Reports of Proceedings from the Reign of Theodosius II
Illustrations
IA. The Theodosian Empire: Civil Government, Northern Half
IB. The Theodosian Empire: Civil Government, Southern Half
II. The Syriac Codex of 411, written in Edessa
III. Autograph Greeting by Theodosius on a Letter to an Official
IV. Church Built at Dar Qita, Syria, in 418
V. Statue of the Governor Oecumenius from Aphrodisias
VI. Reconstruction of the Statue of the Governor Oecumenius with its Inscribed Base
VII. The Structure of the Army of Theodosius’s Empire
VIII. Legionary Dispositions on the Danube Frontier
IX. Legionary Dispositions on the Eastern Frontier
X. Cities in the Balkan and Danubian Region whose Bishops attended one or more of the Fifth-Century Church Councils
XI. The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy in the Northern Part of the Secular Diocese of Oriens
General Index
Index of Sources
Fergus Millar is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The Roman Republic in Political Thought (2002), The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic (1998), and The Roman Near East 31BC – AD 337 (1993).
“The text is very well written.”—Edward Luttwak Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR)
“This is a book that will almost certainly become a standard reference for student of late antiquity and church history.”—Catholic Historical Review
“This is a book that will almost certainly become a standard reference for students of late antiquity and church history.”—Catholic Historical Review
“In Millar’s thorough, intelligent treatment, the administration of Theodosius II comes alive.”—Christian Century
"This masterful study will have its place on every ancient historian's bookshelf."—Claudia Rapp, author of Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition

Honorable Mention, Classics and Ancient History, 2006 PSP Awards for Excellence, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) of the Association of Ameri

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