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Review

Reviewed Work(s): Constantine and Eusebius by Timothy D. Barnes


Review by: R. van den Broek
Source: Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, Vol. 39, Fasc. 1/2 (1986), pp. 218-221
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4431503
Accessed: 17-01-2018 10:18 UTC

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218 DE NOVIS LIBRIS IUDICIA

les remarques sur l'?tat pr?sent des questions co


ont n?cessit? une nouvelle ?dition du manuel.
Dans la pr?sente ?dition, dont le tome I a paru en 1979, M. Will
a repris le texte principal de la premi?re ?dition, ? l'exception de
quelques changements mineurs. Mais l'auteur a incorpor? les
r?sultats des recherches scientifiques de ces quinze derni?res ann?es
dans les notices explicatives et bibliographiques qui suivent chaque
section du livre. Il faut signaler qu'un nombre consid?rable
d'addenda et de changements en est le r?sultat. Pour ne citer qu'un
seul exemple: ? la p. 76 s. M. Will discute la nouvelle date de la
premi?re lettre de Philippe V aux Laris?ens, comme ?tablie par C.
Habicht, qu'il adopte. Le lecteur qui compare la nouvelle ?dition
avec celle qui l'a pr?c?d?e, constate aussit?t combien la documenta-
tion dans le domaine de l'histoire politique du monde hell?nistique
s'est augment?e d'une fa?on plut?t constante que spectaculaire
gr?ce aux documents arch?ologiques, ?pigraphiques, papyrologi-
ques et numismatiques. Il constate ?galement comment les recher-
ches continues et approfondies des historiens ont contribu? un
grand nombre de points de vue nouveaux, d'opinions et de sugges-
tions nouvelles. Gr?ce ? la peine assidue que s'est donn?e M. Will
les chercheurs dans le domaine de l'histoire si complexe des ?tats
hell?nistiques pourront d?sormais consulter la nouvelle ?dition. Ils
disposent maintenant d'un manuel excellent qui a ?t? mis ? jour, et
dont les donn?es bibliographiques, au futur prochain, pourront ?tre
compl?t?es par celles des Forschungsberichte de J. Seibert pr?vus dans
la s?rie Ertr?ge der Forschung, dont le premier fascicule (Das Zeitalter
der Diadochen) parut en 1983.
Par le nombre consid?rable des additions l'?tendue de ce tome
(sauf l'index) s'est accrue de 494 ? 553 pages. Pour compenser cette
augmentation, l'auteur a d?cid? d'omettre ses 'Notices sur les prin-
cipaux historiens anciens cit?s', un appendice utile, mais qui n'?tait
pas indispensable.

Baarn, Lt.Gen.v.Heutszlaan 14 G. J. D. Aalders H. Wzn.

Timothy D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, Cam-


bridge Ma., Harvard University Press, 1981. Vili, 458
pp. Pr. ? 24.50.
"The present work is neither a biography of Constantine nor a
comprehensive study of Eusebius as a writer and thinker, Nor,
Mnemosyne, Vol. XXXIX, Fase. 1-2 (1986)

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de novis libris iudicia 219

strictly speaking, is it a history of the ag


best described as an interpretative essa
centrated on Constantine and Eusebius
first to delineate an accurate portrait of
to depict their relationship to each ot
Timothy D. Barnes introduces his fascina
and Eusebius. Though he has not tried
sive picture of the age of Constantine"
reading for anyone who studies that pe
three parts, entitled "Constantine", "Eusebius", and "The
Christian Empire".
The discussion of Constantine's career follows the usual lines,
from the beginning of the Tetrarchy till the end of the Monarchy.
Barnes's views on Constantine's religious development are most in-
teresting. He does not accept the common view that Constantine
was an ill-educated soldier: the later Emperor may have studied
philosophy in his youth; in the years he spent at the court of Diocle-
tian he must have met the philosophers who were welcome there;
and he must have become acquainted with Lactantius in
Nicomedia. Therefore, Barnes accepts (73-76) the authenticity of
the Speech to the Assembly of the Saints, probably held at Serdica on
March 31, 321 (though Thessalonici, April 5, 323 or March 27, 324
cannot be excluded). In this speech there are striking agreements in
thought and diction with Lactantius' Divinae Institutiones and with
Calcidius' commentary on the Timaeus of Plato. Calcidius
dedicated his work to an Ossius, who "ought to be" the bishop of
Corduba, Constantine's advisor in religious matters. From this
follows that Barnes rejects the date of Calcidius proposed by J. H.
Waszink (ca. 400) and accepts that suggested by J. Dillon and J.
M. Rist (early in the fourth century). Though I still have some
problems, I think that the latter view and also Barnes's arguments
in favour of the authenticity of the Speech should be accepted.
One of the most convincing elements of Barnes's picture of
Eusebius, and also one of the main theses of the book, is that the
views of Eusebius on the universal truth and the triumph of Chris-
tianity were not formed after and under the influence of Constan-
tine's recognition and protection of the Church, but had already
found their mature form in the nineties of the third century. When
the Diocletian persecution started Eusebius was already a middle-
aged man, who until then had lived in a Church which prospered in
peace and was unofficially recognized by the State. "All of his

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220 DE NOVIS LIBRIS IUDICIA

works, even those which he wrote towards the


reflect attitudes formed in Caesarea when he w
the pupil of Pamphilus" (104 f.; see also 164
Eusebius was "a biblical scholar both by i
training" (94), not an original speculative
shows this by comparing Eusebius' exegesis of t
the historical interpretation of the text predom
Origen. He describes Eusebius as a poor th
learned from Origen to express the Christia
Platonic terms, "but never mastered the ph
(100). As an example he points to Eusebius
distinction between the functions of the first
of the Christian Trinity; both are called by
Maker of the universe". It seems more lik
Eusebius simply reflects the theological tend
identify the functions of the Father and the So
strongly increased after the Council of Nicaea.
Barnes rightly observes that "much of Eusebiu
neglected" and states that his book inten
balance" (V), but his discussion of the bishop's t
spite of its many acute remarks, remains unsat
Eusebius as a fervent adherent of Origen, which
to describe him as an important representativ
century theology of the Alexandrian type, whi
to him by his teacher Pamphilus, a pupil of Pie
Barnes points out that Eusebius' conceptual univ
of contemporary pagan philosophy, but still
Platonism of the second and early third cent
had studied closely" (183). But he does not se
that this feature is characteristic of almost all th
third and early fourth centuries, as he admits
to Athanasius (206). Eusebius' theological p
become clearer if his views had been compa
Athanasius, whose twofold work Contra GenteslDe I
boldly dated at about 318, when the author w
particular these works have been influenced by
especially the Demonstrate Evangelica. We sho
Eusebius was about 40 years old when Athan
famous and influential writer when Athana
theology. Perhaps this failure must be explaine
vious dislike of Athanasius, which especially

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de novis libris iudicia 221

his description of Athanasius' political


itself, he maintained the popular support w
outset and buttressed his position by o
mafia. In later years, if he so desired, h
prevent the orderly administration of th
gangster, he evoked widespread mistru
nocence?and usually succeeded in evadi
charges" (230). Speaking about the th
Theologia Ecclesiastica, completed in the p
Constantine (May 22, 337) and Euseb
339), Barnes says that even the most casu
that what Eusebius claims to be ecclesiasti
Arian orthodoxy" (265). I admit that t
Arianer, sondern Origenist" is not perf
that Eusebius was in fact an Arian doe
perception nor, what is more important, t
of the time. Barnes's book shows once
comprehensive study of the theology of E
and theological context. The thesis of H. B
Eusebius von Caesarea, Amsterdam 1939, r
too descriptive and neglects too much the
of the theological controversies. Unfortun
the gap.
Constantine and Eusebius is a fascinating book, indeed, but its
author shows himself more a historian than a theologian: his
historical observations, also those on Eusebius' career and writings,
are almost always illuminating, original and to the point, but he
does not seem to have penetrated deeply enough into the history of
theological speculation between, say, A.D. 230 and 330.
Utrecht, Faculty of Theology R. van den Broek

P. Keresztes, Constantine: A Great Christian Monarch


and Apostle. Amsterdam, J. C. Gieben, 1981. 218 pp. Pr.
Gld 45,?.

I have never read a book so depraved by the biases of its author


as this treatment of Constantine's personal beliefs and his imperial
administration relating to the Christian Church. For some reason,
the author feels himself compelled to defend the first Christian
emperor against the host of writers, ancient and modern, who have

Mnemosyne, Vol. XXXIX, Fase. 1-2 (1986)

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