Emperors and Bishops in Late Roman Invective 9781107333444, 9781107031722

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Emperors and Bishops in Late Roman Invective
 9781107333444, 9781107031722

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E m pero rs a n d B ish o ps i n L at e Ro m a n I n v ec t i v e

This innovative study illuminates the role of polemical literature in the political life of the Roman empire by examining the earliest surviving invectives directed against a living emperor. Written by three bishops (Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers, Lucifer of Cagliari), these texts attacked Constantius II (337–61) for his vicious and tyrannical behaviour, as well as his heretical religious beliefs. This book explores the strategies employed by these authors to present themselves as fearless champions of liberty and guardians of faith, as they sought to bolster their authority at a time when they were out of step with the prevailing imperial view of Christian orthodoxy. By analysing this fascinating collection of writings alongside late-antique panegyrics and ceremonial, this study also rehabilitates anti-imperial polemic as a serious political activity and restores it to its proper place in the complex web of presentations and perceptions that underpinned late Roman power relationships. richard flower is Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter.

E M P E RO R S A N D B I S H O P S I N L AT E ROM A N I NV E C T I V E R I C H A R D F L OW E R

CAMBRIDG E UNI VER S I T Y P RE SS Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Mexico City Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge C B 2 8RU, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781107031722 © Richard Flower 2013 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2013 Printed and bound in the United Kingdom by the MPG Books Group A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data Flower, Richard, 1980– Emperors and bishops in late Roman invective / Richard Flower. pages  cm Includes bibliographical references (pages) and index. I S BN 978-1-107-03172-2 (hardback) 1.  Church history–Primitive and early church, ca. 30–600. 2.  Invective–-Rome–History.  I. Title. BR 205.F56 2013 270.2–dc23 2012043745 I S BN 978-1-107-03172-2 Hardback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For my grandmother, Hilda Flower who knew a thing or two about invective

Contents

Acknowledgements List of abbreviations

page viii x

Introduction: The use of abuse

1

1 Praise and blame in the Roman world

33

2 Constructing a Christian tyrant

78

3 Writing auto-hagiography

127

4 Living up to the past

178

Epilogue

220

Appendix 1: Altercatio Heracliani cum Germinio Appendix 2: Epistula Liberii papae ad Eusebium, Dionysium et Luciferum in exsilio constitutos Appendix 3: Epistula Luciferi, Pancratii et Hilarii Appendix 4: Letters of Eusebius of Vercelli Appendix 5: Hilary of Poitiers, Contra Auxentium Bibliography Index

230

vii

238 240 242 252 261 284

Acknowledgements

This book has its origins in my 2007 doctoral thesis at the University of Cambridge. Since then, it has, like the later Roman empire itself, been transformed into something new, both gaining and losing elements along the way. Moreover, as with the Roman empire, many people played their parts in bringing it to its conclusion. My greatest benefactor during my time as a doctoral student was the A. G. Leventis Foundation, which provided for the Leventis Scholarship in Hellenic Studies and whose generosity made my research possible. I also wish to thank the Master and Fellows of Clare College, Cambridge, both for administering the Leventis Fund and for awarding me the Wardale Bursary; the Faculty of Classics for their support through the Laurence Studentship and the Graduate Studies Fund; and the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers of the City of London for electing me to the Mark Quested Exhibition. I am also extremely grateful to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, for awarding me a Research Fellowship and providing an extremely pleasant environment in which to live and work for four years. During this time the thesis made its transition into a book, before achieving its final form in the welcoming surroundings of the Department of History at the University of Sheffield. I owe the greatest debt of gratitude to Christopher Kelly, who has worked tirelessly through the inception, development and completion of this research, first as my doctoral supervisor and then as a colleague. His diligence, encouragement and friendship over the last decade have been exceptional. I would also like to thank Peter Garnsey and Thomas Graumann, who read my thesis at various stages; Rosamond McKitterick and Mark Humphries, who were a very friendly pair of doctoral examiners; the two anonymous readers for Cambridge University Press, whose detailed and constructive advice improved the work significantly; and Michael Sharp, who has overseen the development of the book and provided invaluable support. They have all helped to make the book better; its remaining faults are therefore my sole responsibility. viii

Acknowledgements

ix

In addition, I am very grateful to the following people for their advice, assistance and general good humour over the last decade: Nick Allen, Max Beber, David Beckingham, James Bench-Capon, Paul Cartledge, Dave Doupé, Sue Goodbody, Suzannah Horner, Neal Morgan, Laura Morley, Rosanna Omitowoju, Robin Osborne, Martial Staub, Dorothy Thompson, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Michael Williams, Jane Wright, Peter Young, and the staff of the Cambridge University Library and the libraries of Clare College, Sidney Sussex College and the Faculties of Classics and Divinity. Finally, particular thanks and love go to Maria Whelan and to my parents and sister, whose support has been immeasurable.

Abbreviations

All journal abbreviations follow L’Année philologique. CCSL Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, Turnhout, 1967–. CSEL Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Vienna, 1866–. GCS Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte, Leipzig and Berlin, 1897–. ICUR Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., Rome, 1922–92. ILS H. Dessau (ed.), Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, 5 vols., Berlin, 1892–1916. LSJ H. G. Liddell and R. Scott (eds.), A Greek–English Lexicon, 9th edn with a revised supplement, revised by H. S. Jones et al., Oxford, 1996. OLD P. G. W. Glare (ed.), Oxford Latin Dictionary, Oxford, 1982. PL Patrologia cursus completus, series latina, ed. J.-P. Migne, 221 vols., Paris, 1841–64. PLRE i   A. H. M. Jones, J. R. Martindale and J. Morris (eds.), The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire i : a.d. 260–395, Cambridge, 1971. RIC H. Mattingly et al. (eds.), The Roman Imperial Coinage, 10 vols., London, 1923–94. An ci ent texts Unless noted here, all abbreviations follow OLD, LSJ and A. H. M. Jones (1964) iii 394–406. Ad Const.   Hilary of Poitiers, Liber II ad Constantium A. Feder (ed.), S. Hilarii Episcopi Pictauiensis Opera. Pars Quarta, CSEL 65, 1916, 197–205. x

List of abbreviations

xi

Ad Ep. Aeg. Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistula ad Episcopos Aegypti et Libyae K. Metzler (ed.), Athanasius: Werke i .1, Berlin, 1996–2000, 39–64. Adu. Val. et Ursac. Hilary of Poitiers, Aduersus Valentem et Ursacium (= Collectanea Antiariana Parisina) A. Feder (ed.), S. Hilarii Episcopi Pictauiensis Opera. Pars Quarta, CSEL 65, 1916, 43–193. Altercatio Heracliani  Altercatio Heracliani laici cum Germinio, episcopo Sirmiensi A. Hamman (ed.), Patrologiae Cursus Completus Series Latina, Supplementum i, Paris, 1958, 345–50. Aphth. Prog. Aphthonius, Progymnasmata H. Rabe (ed.), Aphthonii Progymnasmata, Rhetores Graeci 10, Leipzig, 1926. Apol. c. Ar. Athanasius of Alexandria, Apologia contra Arianos (= Apologia secunda) H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 87–168. Apol. Const. Athanasius of Alexandria, Apologia ad Constantium H. C. Brennecke, U. Heil and A. von Stockhausen (eds.), Athanasius: Werke ii.8, Berlin, 2006, 279–309. Ath. De synodis Athanasius of Alexandria, De synodis Arimini et Seleuciae H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 231–78. Ath. V. Ant. Athanasius of Alexandria, Vita Antonii G. J. M. Bartelink (ed.), Athanase d’Alexandrie: Vie d’Antoine, Sources chrétiennes 400, Paris, 1994. Chron. Pasch. Chronicon Paschale L. Dindorf (ed.), Chronicon Paschale, Bonn, 1832. Contra Arianos i– i i i Athanasius of Alexandria, Orationes III contra Arianos K. Metzler (ed.), Athanasius: Werke i .1, Berlin, 1996–2000, 109–381.

xii

List of abbreviations

Contra Auxentium Hilary of Poitiers, Contra Arianos uel Auxentium Mediolanensem sections 1–12: J.-P. Migne (ed.), Sancti Hilarii Pictauiensis Episcopi Opera Omnia, vol. ii, PL 10, 1845, 610–18. sections 13–15: M. Durst (ed.), ‘Das Glaubensbekenntnis des Auxentius von Mailand: historischer Hintergrund – Textüberlieferung – Theologie – Edition’, JbAC 41, 1998, 161–3. Cyprian, Ep. Cyprian of Carthage, Epistulae G. F. Diercks (ed.), Sancti Cypriani Episcopi Epistularium, 2 vols., CCSL 3b and 3c, 1994–6. [Cyprian], Laus Mart. [Cyprian of Carthage], On the Glory of Martyrdom G. Hartel (ed.), S. Thasci Caecili Cypriani Opera Omnia, CSEL 3.3, 1871, 26–52. De Ath. I Lucifer of Cagliari, Quia absentem nemo debet iudicare nec damnare siue De Athanasio Liber I G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 3–75. De Ath. II Lucifer of Cagliari, Quia absentem nemo debet iudicare nec damnare siue De Athanasio Liber II G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 77–132. De decr. Athanasius of Alexandria, De decretis Nicaenae synodi H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 1–45. De fuga Athanasius of Alexandria, Apologia de fuga sua H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 68–86. De morte Arii Athanasius of Alexandria, Ad Serapionem de morte Arii H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius Werke: ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 178–80.

List of abbreviations

xiii

De non conu. Lucifer of Cagliari, De non conueniendo cum haereticis G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 165–92. De non parc. Lucifer of Cagliari, De non parcendo in Deum delinquentibus G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 195–261. De regibus Lucifer of Cagliari, De regibus apostaticis G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 135–61. Dio Chrys. Or. Dio Chrysostom, Orationes G. de Budé (ed.), Dionis Chrysostomi Orationes, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1916–19. Ep. Enc. Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistula Encyclica H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 169–77. Ep. Lucif., Pan. et Hil. Epistula Luciferi Pancratii Hilarii ad Eusebium episcopum G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 319. Epiphanius, Panarion   Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion K. Holl (ed.), Epiphanius, GCS, 3 vols., rev. by J. Dummer from chapter 34 onwards, 1915, 1980, 1985. Epistula Liberii Epistula Liberii papae ad Eusebium, Dionysium et Luciferum in exsilio constitutos (= Adu. Val. et Ursac. b.vi i .2) G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 320–2. Eus. HE Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia ecclesiastica T. Mommsen and E. Schwartz (eds.), Eusebius Werke, vol. i i : Kirchengeschichte, GCS n.f. 6.1–3, 2nd edn, rev. by F. Winkelmann, 1999. Eus. LC Eusebius of Caesarea, Laus Constantini I. A. Heikel (ed.), Eusebius Werke, vol. i : Über das Leben Constantins. Constantins Rede an die heilige Versammlung. Tricennatsrede an Constantin, GCS 7, Leipzig, 1902, 195–223.

xiv

List of abbreviations

Eus. Mart. Pal. Eusebius of Caesarea, Liber de martyribus Palaestinae G. Bardy (ed.), Eusèbe de Césarée: Histoire ecclésiastique Livres VIII–X et les martyrs en Palestine, Sources chrétiennes 55, Paris, 1958, 121–74. Eus. SC Eusebius of Caesarea, De sepulchro Christi I. A. Heikel (ed.), Eusebius Werke, vol. i : Über das Leben Constantins. Constantins Rede an die heilige Versammlung. Tricennatsrede an Constantin, GCS 7, Leipzig, 1902, 223–59. Eus. V. Const. Eusebius of Caesarea, De Vita Constantini F. Winkelmann (ed.), Eusebius Werke, vol. i : part i: Über das Leben des Kaisers Konstantin, GCS, Berlin, 1975, rev. edn 1991. Eus. Verc. Ep. Eusebius of Vercelli, Epistulae V. Bulhart (ed.), Eusebii Vercellensis episcopi quae supersunt, CCSL 9, 1957, 103–10. Eutrop. Eutropius, Breuiarium ab urbe condita C. Santini (ed.), Breuiarium ab urbe condita, Leipzig, 1979. Greg. Naz. Or. 21 Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 21 J. Mossay (ed.), Grégoire de Nazianze: Discours 20–23, Sources chrétiennes 270, Paris, 1980, 110–92. Herm. Prog. Hermogenes, Progymnasmata H. Rabe (ed.), Hermogenis Opera, Rhetores Graeci 6, Leipzig, 1913, 1–27. Hilary, De synodis Hilary of Poitiers, De synodis J.-P. Migne (ed.), Sancti Hilarii Pictauiensis Episcopi Opera Omnia, vol. i i . PL 10, Paris, 1845, 479–546. Hippol. Haer. Hippolytus of Rome, Refutatio omnium haeresium M. Marcovich (ed.) Refutatio omnium haeresium, Patristische Texte und Studien 25, Berlin, 1986. Hist. Ar. Athanasius of Alexandria, Historia Arianorum H. G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 183–230. In Const. Hilary of Poitiers, Liber In Constantium A. Rocher (ed.), Hilaire de Poitiers: Contre Constance, Sources chrétiennes 334, Paris, 1987. Iren. Haer. Irenaeus of Lyon, Aduersus Haereses

List of abbreviations

xv

Book 1: A Rousseau and L. Doutreleau (eds.), Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies, Livre I, Sources chrétiennes 263–4, Paris, 1979. Lact. Diu. Inst. Lactantius, Diuinae institutiones Book 3: S. Brandt (ed.), L. Caeli Firmiani Lactanti opera omnia, Pars I: Diuinae Institutiones et Epitome diuinarum institutionum, CSEL 19, 1890. Book 5: P. Monat (ed.), Lactance: Institutions divines, Livre v, Sources chrétiennes 204–5, Paris, 1973. Book 6: C. Ingremeau (ed.), Lactance: Institutions divines, Livre vi, Sources chrétiennes 509, Paris, 2007. Lact. Mort. pers. Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum J. L. Creed (ed.), Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum, Oxford Early Christian Texts, Oxford, 1984. Lib. Prog. Libanius, Progymnasmata C. A. Gibson (ed.), Libanius’s Progymnasmata: Model Exercises in Greek Prose Composition and Rhetoric, Atlanta, GA, 2008. Men. Rhet. Menander Rhetor. D. A. Russell and N. G. Wilson (eds.), Menander Rhetor, Oxford, 1981. Moriundum Lucifer of Cagliari, Moriundum esse pro dei filio G. F. Diercks (ed.), Luciferi Calaritani opera quae supersunt, CCSL 8, 1978, 265–300. Olymp. Olympiodorus, Fragments R. C. Blockley (ed.), The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus ii: Text, Translation and Historiographical Notes, Liverpool, 1983, 151–220. Pan. Lat. Panegyrici Latini R. A. B. Mynors (ed.), XII Panegyrici Latini, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford, 1964 (repr. in Nixon and Rodgers [1994]). Philostorgius Philostorgius, Historia ecclesiastica J. Bidez (ed.), Philostorgius: Kirchengeschichte, GCS, 3rd edn, rev. by F. Winkelmann, 1981. Quint. Inst. Or. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria M. Winterbottom (ed.), M. Fabi Quintiliani Institutionis Oratoriae libri duodecim, Oxford Classical Texts, 2 vols., Oxford, 1970.

xvi

List of abbreviations

Rh. Al. Rhetorica ad Alexandrum M. Fuhrmann (ed.), Anaximenis Ars Rhetorica quae uulgo fertur Aristotelis Ad Alexandrum, Leipzig, 1966. Sent. Dion. Athanasius of Alexandria, De sententia Dionysii H.-G. Opitz (ed.), Athanasius: Werke ii.1, Berlin, 1935–41, 46–67. Sententiae episcoporum Sententiae episcoporum numero LXXXVII de haereticis baptizandis G. F. Diercks (ed.) Sententiae episcoporum LXXXVII de haereticis baptizandis, CCSL 3E, 2004. Soc. HE Socrates, Historia ecclesiastica G. C. Hansen (ed.), Sokrates: Kirchengeschichte, GCS n.f. 1, 1995. Soz. HE Sozomen, Historia ecclesiastica G. C. Hansen (ed.), Sozomenos: Kirchengeschichte, Fontes christiani 73, 4 vols., Turnhout, 2004. Syn. De regno Synesius of Cyrene, Oratio de regno J. Lamoureux and N. Aujoulat (eds.), Synésios de Cyrène, vol. v: Opuscules ii, Collection des Universités de France, série grecque 464, Paris, 2008. Theod. HE Theodoret, Historia ecclesiastica L. Parmentier and G. C. Hansen (eds.), Theodoret: Kirchengeschichte, GCS n.f. 5, 3rd edn, Berlin, 1998. Theon, Prog. Aelius Theon, Progymnasmata M. Patillon (ed.), Aelius Theon: Progymnasmata, Collection des Universités de France, série grecque 374, Paris, 1997. Zos. Zosimus, Historia noua F. Paschoud (ed.), Zosime: Histoire Nouvelle, Collection des Universités de France, série grecque 401, 268, 267, 307, 326, 5 vols., Paris, 2000, 1979–89.

Introduction The use of abuse

Friday the thirteenth, January 366, was an unlucky day for some inhabitants of the Illyrican city of Sirmium. Three men, Heraclianus, Firmianus and Aurelianus, were led out from their place of imprisonment and brought before a crowd to be questioned. Seated upon his throne, the presiding official, Germinius, interrogated the men, asking them a series of questions about their beliefs and actions. Heraclianus, the only one of the trio whose responses have survived, proceeded to explicate his Christian faith, in which he stood firm despite the hectoring of Germinius and his minions. In fact, Heraclianus’ theological arguments were so erudite that his interlocutors found themselves baffled and silenced. In response to the intransigence of the accused, Germinius ordered Heraclianus to be beaten. At the end of the encounter, a sentence of exile was passed on the three men, who were then led away to a chorus of hostile and menacing shouts from a mob of angry bystanders, who wished instead to murder the trio because of the discord and disunity that they had brought to the community. This tale reads like many other early Christian persecution stories. The heroes, victims of Roman judicial violence, steadfastly refused to deny their faith, preferring to endure mistreatment, exile and the threat of death at the hands of the authorities. Their fortitude was to be rewarded, both by the reverence they received from their fellow Christians on earth and through the eternal benefits they would receive in heaven. The Altercatio Heracliani cum Germinio, the short work that reports their exploits, therefore bears many similarities to the acta of Christian martyrs, which described the sufferings of the faithful under pagan persecutors and acted as models for imitation, both literary and literal. One distinctive feature of the Altercatio Heracliani, however, was the identity of its villain. Germinius was not a Roman governor or a 1

2

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tyrannical pagan emperor: he was the Christian bishop of Sirmium.1 This text was the product of the intense theological disputes of the fourth century, mostly centred on the Christological issue of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, although the divinity of the Holy Spirit is also a primary concern within the Altercatio Heracliani. Heraclianus defended the ‘homoousian’ credal formula – in which the Son was defined as being of the same ousia, or substance, as the Father  – which had been defined at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Germinius resolutely rejected this terminology, preferring instead to state that the Son was merely ‘like’ (homoios) the Father, leading to his designation as a ‘Homoian’ Christian in modern scholarship.2 In addition, the bishop was angry that Heraclianus, a layman, was daring to challenge his episcopal authority, and also complained that this impertinent individual was repeating the teachings of two other bishops, Hilary of Poitiers, in Gaul, and Eusebius of Vercelli, in northern Italy, who had been travelling through the provinces spreading their ideas and stirring up trouble.3 The echoing of martyr acta in the Altercatio Heracliani is evident in the literary form in which its anonymous author chose to record this theological debate. While there are a number of brief statements by a narrator, in order to keep the reader informed about non-verbal proceedings, the vast majority of the text takes the form of a dialogue, mostly between Heraclianus and Germinius, although two other Homoian interlocutors – the presbyter Theodorus and a certain Agrippinus, with no recorded clerical rank – also appear. The substance of the discussion is primarily concerned, as might be expected, with the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all parties quote liberally from Scripture. The full title of the piece and the first sentence of the narrator’s account set the scene with precise details of the circumstances in which it look place, in the manner of a formal court record: 1 See Simonetti (1967), (1975) 383–5; Duval (1985) 355–8; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 528–9; McLynn (1994) 95; D. H. Williams (1995) 66–7; Lim (1995) 137; Lenski (2002) 241. 2 On ‘Homoian’ theology, see p. 81 below. At the time, the term ‘Arian’ – referring to the presbyter Arius, whose ‘subordinationist’ views on the Son were rejected at Nicaea in 325 – was widely used by ‘Nicene’ Christians as a blanket term to denote anyone who rejected Nicene Christology – see pp. 15–16 below. On the Christological views of Germinius, whose ‘Homoianism’ differed from that of some of his contemporaries, see Simonetti (1967) 46–9; D. H. Williams (1996). 3 Altercatio Heracliani 345.24–6. On Hilary and Eusebius, see pp. 83–4, 155–6 below. The two bishops had returned from exile at different times and so are not likely to have travelled to Sirmium together – see Simonetti (1997) 166–7, where it is suggested that Hilary and Eusebius communicated during their exiles and arranged to visit Sirmium during their journeys to the West. This is an interesting hypothesis, but, I believe, not necessary to explain their respective visits.

The use of abuse

3

The dispute between Heraclianus the layman and Germinius, bishop of Sirmium, concerning the faith of the Nicene Council and that of Ariminum of the Arians. This happened in the city of Sirmium before the whole populace, on the Ides of January, Friday, in the consulships of Gratian and Dagalaifus. They led Heraclianus, Firmianus and Aurelianus out from custody in front of all the people, with the bishop sitting on his throne with the entire clergy before all the populace and the elders.4

This introduction immediately establishes the confrontation as a re-enactment of the sufferings of martyrs before the persecuting representatives of pagan emperors. The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs, which described events that took place on 17 July 180, prefaces its dialogue with the introductory formula: ‘With Praesens (for the second time) and Claudianus as consuls, on the sixteenth day before the Kalends of August, when Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Donata, Secunda and Vestia had been brought into the judgement chamber at Carthage, the proconsul Saturninus said: …’.5 This type of prefatory statement, describing the date, location, accuser and accused, is quite a common feature of accounts of martyrdom, providing the appearance of an official record of Roman judicial proceedings.6 In the Altercatio Heracliani, however, the imperial government and its representatives are nowhere to be seen. The roles as the persecuting villains of this piece are assigned instead to Germinius and his heretical supporters. Heraclianus’ performance of his religious knowledge and skill, which saw him engage in debate with purportedly learned figures and succeed in besting them, was similar to the behaviour of many protagonists in martyr acta.7 After one particularly searching question from Heraclianus, the narrator states that ‘Germinius was silent for more than an hour’.8 The presbyter Theodorus, who took up the questioning after Germinius, was described as speaking ‘with confusion’ before he himself, 4 Altercatio Heracliani 345.1–15. On the Council of Ariminum in 359, see pp. 80–1. 5 Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs 1. Unless stated otherwise, all references to martyr acta make use of the texts as they appear in Musurillo (1972). 6 See, for example, Martyrdom of Saints Carpus, Paphylus and Agathonice Latin Recension 1; Martyrdom of Apollonius Preface; Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions 2; Acts of Cyprian 1; Martyrdom of Fructuosus and his Deacons Augurius and Eulogius 1; Acts of Maximilian 1; Acts of Marcellus Recension N 1; Martyrdom of Felix 1; Martyrdom of Crispina 1; Acts of Euplus Greek Recension 1, 2; Acts of Euplus Latin Recension 1, 2. See also concluding statements of this sort in Martyrdom of Polycarp 21; Martyrdom of Saints Carpus, Paphylus and Agathonice Latin Recension 7; Martyrdom of Apollonius 47; Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions 23; Martyrdom of Dasius 12; Martyrdom of Agape, Irene and Chione 7; Martyrdom of Irenaeus of Sirmium 6. 7 On confrontations of this sort in martyr literature, see pp. 148–50 below. 8 Altercatio Heracliani 346.34.

4

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through Heraclianus’ superior dialectical skills, ‘was laid low and, humiliated, was silent’.9 After Heraclianus made a defiant statement of his faith, the bishop did not deliver a reasoned, intellectual response, but rather ‘was filled with anger and indignation and began to shout and say, “He is a heretic”’.10 This victory in disputation is presented in the text as a particular achievement on account of Heraclianus’ lack of clerical rank. Christians in martyr acts challenged the earthly authority of governors and the philosophical and sophistic learning of educated pagans, contrasting them with the simple, truthful speech of their own religion.11 Similarly, Heraclianus placed himself in opposition to the ‘Homoian Church’ that assailed him, claiming that he spoke with the voice of holy Scripture. When accused of merely parroting the opinions of Hilary and Eusebius, Heraclianus responded by stating that, ‘I speak with the right and authority of the sacred Scriptures’.12 Similarly, when asked how he, a mere layman, dared to challenge episcopal authority, he replied, ‘I am neither a presbyter, nor a deacon, but, as though the least of all Christians, I speak with my life as my warrant.’13 As such, he claimed for himself the sermo piscatorius, the plain ‘fisherman’s speech’ of the early Christians, speaking out against false learning to proclaim the true faith. The behaviour of the representatives of the church in Sirmium was thus presented as resolutely that of persecutors, rather than pious Christians. After Heraclianus’ statement about his lack of clerical office, events took a more violent turn, as Germinius’ exasperation boiled over into fury: G e r m i n i u s s a i d: See how much he speaks! Has no one knocked out his teeth? Then Jovinianus the deacon and Marinus the reader beat him. H e r ac l i a n u s s a i d: This leads to my good fortune and glory.14

It is not merely the physical violence inflicted on Heraclianus that makes this passage reminiscent of martyr acts; the hero’s response to his suffering, in which he claims that it brings him not pain and disgrace, but glory, is central to the Christian message of martyrdom, in which the Roman enforcement of social norms through judicial punishment is 9 Altercatio Heracliani 347.43, 47. 10 Altercatio Heracliani 350.22–4. 11 On this contrast as a trope in early Christian literature, see p. 210 below. 12 Altercatio Heracliani 345.27–8. 13 Altercatio Heracliani 345.34–6. 14 Altercatio Heracliani 345.37–42. This is reminiscent of Acts 23:2, where the high priest Ananias ordered Paul to be struck on the mouth. On Heraclianus’ comment as echoing martyr literature, see Simonetti (1967) 42 n. 11.

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transformed into a triumph by the victim. The conclusion of the text, in which Germinius declared that Heraclianus was a heretic and so must be excommunicated and given a sentence of exile, also contributed to this characterisation of the proceedings.15 The punishment that Germinius, like the judge in a martyr act, chose to inflict on the hero was not only supported by ‘all his presbyters and deacons’, but was even declared by them to be too lenient.16 This crowd, like those who petitioned Pilate for the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus, became more and more hostile. They demanded first that Heraclianus be forced to anathematise Nicene bishops and then repeatedly shouted ‘Let them be brought to the governor and killed!’, until Germinius himself had to step in to prevent this.17 While the clergy replayed the actions of persecuting pagans and the Jewish crowd before Pilate, Heraclianus created a pious role for himself. When faced with the prospect of exile, his response was to proclaim that ‘God, who liberated Israel from the hand of the king of the Amorites and the king of Bashan, and Paul from the hand of the Samaritans, will liberate me from your hands also’.18 This statement included a reference to a story from Numbers in which Moses attempted to lead the nation of Israel peacefully through the territory of the Amorites, but was attacked by this tribe, firstly under its king Sihon and then with the help of Og, king of Bashan, and his forces.19 Both assaults were repelled and the Israelites were also able to take over the land of their enemies. This parallel presented Heraclianus as following in the footsteps of those who not only were saved from unwarranted persecution by God, but also managed to supplant their foes. As such, the text functioned as both apology and invective, since the implication was that Germinius and his clergy would also find themselves defeated and replaced by God’s chosen people. In this way, the Altercatio Heracliani took the recognisable theme of persecuting authority and applied it to an urban church institution that was under the leadership of a heretical bishop. Just as the heroes of martyr acts refused to renounce their faith despite all the efforts of imperial officials and torturers, so Heraclianus and his associates defended their 15 Altercatio Heracliani 350.24–30. 16 Altercatio Heracliani 350.35. 17 Altercatio Heracliani 350.35–50. 18 Altercatio Heracliani 350.31–4. The final line of the whole piece, at 350.53–4, reports that Heraclianus and his associates ‘have escaped from their [the crowd’s] hands up to the present day’. 19 Numbers 21:21–35. The story of Paul escaping from the Samaritans is not found in the New Testament and may represent a textual corruption. The context would suggest that the story of Paul’s escape from Jewish plotters in Damascus at Acts 9:23–5 is alluded to here. It is also possible, but less likely, that the reference is to the episode, at Acts 21–3, in which Paul is taken from Jerusalem to escape a Jewish ambush.

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confession of the key Nicene term homoousios, shrugging off arguments, threats and violence.20 The current Christian emperor and his officials were, however, absent from this polemical text, which turned its gaze to identify the successors of pagan emperors and biblical villains in a heretical bishop and his clergy. The Altercatio Heracliani thus provides a small example of the Christian literary innovation that characterised the fourth century. Its author responded to novel circumstances by appealing to the familiar. He engaged with the tradition of persecution and martyrdom literature, both biblical and Roman, but transformed it for a new context, recasting contemporary theological debates as the latest round in the struggle between the true faith and its enemies. This book is about the use of these techniques in invective, particularly Roman imperial invective written by three Christian bishops – Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers and Lucifer of Cagliari. During the central decades of the fourth century, these individuals distinguished themselves through their vehement, and often belligerent, opposition to those Christians they regarded as heretical, most notably the emperor Constantius II (337–61), one of the sons of Constantine I (306–37). Their invectives are the earliest surviving substantial examples of Christian polemic towards a Christian emperor and thus provide valuable insights into the changing possibilities for the assessment of imperial power. From the climate of doctrinal uncertainty created by Christological disputes came textual attacks in a variety of literary forms: letters, rhetoric, history, exegesis and heresiology. Through these media, individual invectivists attacked the authority of their enemies, branding them as the heirs of impious kings, persecuting emperors and infamous heresiarchs. At the same time, they also sought to demonstrate their own adherence to authoritative Christian statements and models. In doing so, they drew upon exemplary accounts of Christian bravery and piety from Scripture and martyr literature, presenting themselves as imitators or successors of revered figures from an exclusively Christian past. Allied to this was their development of the persona of the theological expert: a figure whose knowledge of Scripture marked him out as a reliable exponent of orthodoxy amidst a sea of competing claims.

20 The term omousion appears at 345.17–18, 21. In pronouncing his judgement, Germinius says of Heraclianus (at 350.26) Omousianus est. On this text as picking up tropes of hagiographical literature, see also Simonetti (1967) 41–2.

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The three main authors discussed in this volume have been the subjects of a great deal of interest over the past few centuries. They have been studied mostly for their theological arguments, while many of their historical and polemical works have received less attention, often being dismissed as unworthy in comparison.21 The editor of the most recent English translation of Athanasius’ History of the Arians stated that ‘there are certainly many passages which one could wish that Athanasius had not written, – one, not necessary to specify, in which he fully condescends to the coarse brutality of the age, mingling it unpardonably with holy things’.22 Although this expression of disgust was penned over a century ago, the History of the Arians and many of the other texts discussed here still struggle to be taken seriously as powerful weapons in theological debates or as skilful constructions of identity and authority. Some of the more forceful invectives that have survived from this period have been dismissed more recently as ‘scurrilous pamphlets’ or ‘frenzied rantings’ and thus of little interest to ‘serious’ historians.23 However, it is vital to consider their particular fourth-century context and so reconstruct the persuasive purpose that lay behind their composition and the role that they played in the depiction of individuals and ideas within the theological conflicts of the time. One must therefore be careful when reading these authors’ descriptions of themselves, since they contributed significantly to the image of Athanasius and Hilary as the twin pillars of orthodoxy in East and West, never shrinking from the fight against heresy.24 Indeed, for most of the time since their deaths, all three of these authors have shared the same fate, which is to be judged, for good or ill, on their doctrinal statements and their literary prowess. This book, however, intends neither to bury nor to praise them. It will not attempt to analyse or criticise their theological arguments based on standards of quality, validity or sincerity. It will not even say whether they were ‘good’ or ‘bad’ authors. Instead of seeking to classify authors as orthodox or heretical, sublime or ridiculous, innocent or guilty, it will consider how they attempted to position themselves and others within these categories and to invest particular people, institutions and texts with authority. It will examine the employment of these

21 These works are sometimes studied for their relevance to modern Christianity – for instance, the main survey of Athanasius’ rhetorical technique, Stead (1976) 136–7, explicitly states that it has repercussions for the faith today. 22 Robertson (1892) 267. 23 ‘scurrilous pamphlets’ – Setton (1941) 93; ‘frenzied rantings’ – R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 323. 24 See, for example, Borchardt (1966) vii.

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l­iterary strategies by these three pro-Nicene bishops, who all responded to theological and institutional crises by penning vitriolic invectives. By exploring the ways in which these authors presented themselves and their enemies within these works, this study identifies the role played by polemic in constructing and destroying the authority and orthodoxy of people, events and texts. As such, although its focus is on the central decades of the fourth century and the writings it explores are Christian, it aims to reach broader conclusions about authority in the Roman empire. My intention is to place these invectives  – and Roman political invectives more generally  – into their historical context: to look at function at least as much as form. While the particular texts and events explored in detail are products of the fractious Christian doctrinal disputes of the reign of Constantius II, they illuminate the role that invective could fulfil within the wider political and ceremonial world of Roman imperial presentation and legitimacy. Such works may sometimes be dismissed as distasteful and embarrassing displays of coarse and vulgar calumny, equally unworthy when compared to loftier writings by the same author, whether he were a celebrated classical orator or a sainted Christian bishop. To sideline invectives, however, is to misunderstand their place in the political cultures in which these men functioned and the roles they played. One cannot merely present a sanitised version of Cicero, the noble philosopher and dignified stateman, or Athanasius, the sublime theologian and revered teacher, without also acknowledging that the same men pilloried their enemies with puerile accusations of sexual deviancy or emphatic denunciations as demonic Antichrists. Rather, invectives need to be assigned a place, alongside panegyrics, as vital parts of the political life of the Roman world, where authority relied on the widespread recognition and repetition of key virtues, and where the persona of the outspoken enemy of tyranny was a prized weapon in many forms of public conflict. By studying an unusual upsurge of imperial invectives by Christian authors in the middle of the fourth century, this book therefore intends to bring the political ramifications of polemical texts into sharper focus. Pow e r a n d pe rc e p t ion i n l at e a n t iqu i t y

Texts and authorship had particular importance for late-antique Christians. As Averil Cameron has observed, early Christianity ‘had a special relation to textuality’, since it was a religion based upon the authority of a set of Scriptures.25 In her Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire, she emphasised

25

  Averil Cameron (1991) 6, 110, quoting 6.

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both the ‘sheer power of discourse’ and the development of a separate discourse through which Christians ‘talked and wrote themselves into a position where they spoke and wrote the rhetoric of empire’.26 Cameron, dealing ‘primarily not with the relations of Christians to their own texts, but with Christian discourse in the context of the discourses of society at large’, described the efforts of many prominent fourth-century Christians to transform Christian writing to fit a changed political situation.27 The centrality of writing to late-antique Christianity is also evident from the attitudes taken towards the power of other texts beyond the emerging canon of Scripture. As Rosamond McKitterick has described in a discussion of the creation and use of history in the Carolingian period, ‘the act of writing in itself created authoritative knowledge’ and the burning of books, often on the orders of church councils, underlined the authority and power that these texts were perceived to possess.28 This was recognised in the imperial legislation that commanded the burning of Nestorian texts and the requests of fourth-century bishops and councils that other bishops not receive letters sent by ‘heretical’ bishops or send letters to them in return.29 Similarly, Averil Cameron, in her study of the importance of texts to Byzantine theological debates, has remarked that the disputants had an extraordinary sense of the importance of texts, as they ‘not only carried authority; they could also be, and indeed were, used as weapons. The religious polemic of the period is worth studying in itself in terms of the attitudes displayed towards textual authority, and the techniques used – in terms, in fact, of its contribution to the sociology of knowledge.’30 This awareness of the power of the written text is also evident in the works of fourth-century authors, including Athanasius, who explicitly referred to their texts and the Scripture they quoted as weapons to be deployed against heretics.31 As Walter Bauer remarked, in his Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, the literary battles between rival groups of bishops ‘took the form of an effort to weaken the weaponry of the enemy as much as possible’.32 The authority of councils, canons and 26 Averil Cameron (1991) 1–14, quoting 2 and 14. 27 Averil Cameron (1991) especially 120–54, quoting 7. On the centrality of rhetoric and eloquence to early Christianity, see also Laconi (2004) 177–9. 28 McKitterick (2004) 242, 218–20. 29 On the burning of Nestorian texts, see CTh 16.5.66; Allen (2000) 812. On refusing to receive letters, see, for instance, the instructions given in the letter sent to Africa by the eastern, ‘Arian’ bishops at Serdica in 343 at Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.iv.1.15–16, 24, 28 and also in the letters of the Nicene bishops at the same council, at b.ii.1.8 and b.ii.2.5. 30 Averil Cameron (1994) 200. On the importance and circulation of texts in early Christianity, see also Gamble (1995). 31 See Chapter 4.  32  Bauer (1971) 160.

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bishops was similarly constructed through the production and dissemination of a vast number of texts. While the extant writings from the fourth century are much greater in number than those from other periods of classical antiquity, they still form only a fraction of those originally written. Most of the Christian works that survive do so because they were judged to be orthodox and important to the Church. In comparison, there is only a relatively small number of texts that provide a glimpse of the opposing, ‘heretical’ viewpoints, and most of these are transmitted as extracts quoted for refutation in the works of ‘orthodox’ authors.33 Certain fourth-century individuals came to be accorded the status of ‘Church Fathers’, imbuing their writings with authority as ‘patristic’ literature, to which people felt confident to appeal in theological disputes.34 A precise list of canonical texts had not been established by the middle of the fourth century, although there was general agreement within mainstream Christianity about most books of Scripture. After a New Testament canon had finally found widespread acceptance and the notion of patristic writings emerged, these later texts came to be accorded an elevated position within the collection of literature that defined the theological beliefs and regulated the earthly practices of Christians. However, the process by which these texts attained this status must be explained, and part of that explanation lies in the authors’ own attempts to invest authority in both themselves and their writings. Patrick Gray, in a discussion of the employment of patristic texts in fifth-century theological disputes, observes that during the Nestorian controversy Cyril of Alexandria made use of ‘a father demonstrably more authoritative than any other – Athanasius’.35 However, the appearance of patristic texts at this time immediately raises the question of how an individual acquired recognition as a Father and thus how the very concept of patristics developed. Mark Vessey very aptly describes the shift in attitudes during this period by noting that when Hilary and Athanasius clashed with their opponents, they relied upon passages from Scripture to support 33 For the theological disputes discussed here, these include the epitome of the fifth-century ecclesiastical historian Philostorgius, as well as the ‘Arian’ statements preserved in the fragmentary Adu. Val. et Ursac. at a.iv.1–3; a.vi; b.viii.1. More broadly, there is also surviving material from both Donatist and Manichaean authors. On the Donatists, see pp. 131–2 below. For Manichaean writings, see Gardner and Lieu (2004). 34 See Lim (1999) 203–4. 35 Gray (1989) 22. At 32, Gray attributes the authority of these figures to their association with certain councils, although some fifth-century writers, such as Sulpicius Severus on Hilary, appealed to them as great warriors against heresy, who had proven their worth on the theological battlefield.

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their arguments; however, when late fourth-century Christians clashed in similar conflicts, they quoted patristic texts, such as the works of Hilary and Athanasius.36 This transition will be illuminated in the following chapters by examining authorial self-presentation in the works of these prominent bishops and exploring the power of texts to construct individuals as authoritative members of the Christian community. This book therefore engages with the work of Derek Krueger, who has explored the creation of authorial personas in hagiographical texts as part of his investigation of the importance of writing as a religious act in late-antique Christianity. He argues that, at least amongst the Greek authors he examines, ‘writing was a vehicle for the expression of piety as well as a technology for its cultivation … The act of writing bridged the mental and the bodily; while the written text, inscribed on papyrus or on skin, was embodied logos.’37 By becoming authors, these Christians made statements about their relationship to their subject matter and, by extension, about the status that ought to be accorded them for preserving and transmitting holy words: ‘These literary acts of the making of saints were doubly generative, producing both the saints and their authors. Composing hagiography made one a hagiographer.’38 In addition to the self-presentation performed by the very act of literary composition, late-antique Christian writers often explicitly placed themselves within their texts, either through framing passages and direct authorial interventions, or as active participants in the main narrative of events, thereby presenting themselves as performing a broader range of religious and authoritative roles.39 This book argues that these techniques of self-presentation were also central features of fourth-century polemical literature, enabling the bishops at the centre of this study to create literary personas as fearless and tireless opponents of heresy in both their actions and their authorship. In doing so, it reveals that the canonisation of (some of) these bishops and their texts was a process that was begun by the authors themselves. Ch r is t i a n a n d Ch r is t i a n i n a n age of a n x i et y

The history of the fourth-century Church has for a long time been dogged by two questions: firstly, from what sources did bishops claim to derive both their orthodoxy and their privileged position with regard to other Christians; and secondly, to what extent was there a conflict 36 Vessey (1996) 499.  38 Krueger (2004) 2. 

  Krueger (2004) 4.   Krueger (2004) 9.

37 39

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between secular and religious hierarchies? In turn, these questions are linked to a debate over the effect of the support given to the Church by a series of emperors and the ways in which this patronage created, exacerbated or resolved tensions between believers. The history of Christianity during this era has conventionally been written as the story of a triumphant success in a battle with paganism.40 Even for Edward Gibbon, who was accused of adopting a cynical or even hostile stance towards the emergent religion, the narrative was one of conflict and victory.41 Two great heroes of this story were the emperors Constantine I and Theodosius I, while the short-lived emperor Julian was singled out as the leader of an ill-fated counter-attack, or ‘pagan reaction’, by traditional Greco-Roman religion. This period was also seen as the stage for another great battle and victory, namely the triumph of ‘Nicene’ orthodoxy over a group of heretical Christological beliefs covered by the umbrella term ‘Arianism’.42 In recent decades, both of these quasi-teleological accounts have largely been superseded. The fourth century is now better described not as a period of continual religious conflict between diametrically opposed religious camps of Christians and non-Christians, but instead as a time during which a variety of belief systems co-existed and developed throughout the vast expanse of the Roman empire, leading, on occasion, to violent, but relatively infrequent and localised, outbreaks of violence between certain of their adherents.43 Research into fourth-century Christianity has moved to focus instead on the manner in which the Church developed during this period, exploring how the disparate Christian communities of the first centuries were organised into the hierarchical institutions that outlived the Roman empire. Alongside this interest in the institutional organisation of the Church, the role played by those outside these structures, particularly monks and ascetics, has been emphasised by a number of studies of these ‘fringes’, especially since Peter Brown’s important 40 See, for example, the collection of essays in Momigliano (1963). 41 Gibbon (1776–88) especially ii 355–411 on Julian, concluding (at 411) that, if he had lived longer, his anti-Christian policies would have precipitated a civil war. On Gibbon and Christianity, see Womersley (1994) xxxii–xl, as well as McCloy (1933) 13–48, although the latter is now rather dated. 42 See, for instance, the description of Athanasius as ‘the greatest of the defenders of the Church’s faith against heresy’ – Pollard (1958–59) 422. 43 See McLynn (2009); Alan Cameron (2011) especially 93–131, 783–801; and Chuvin (1990), where (at 36) this period is defined as ‘the wavering fourth century’. These three works certainly present very different views of the vitality of fourth-century ‘paganism’, but are nonetheless united by a rejection of any narrative of the victory of Christianity in a war with adherents of the old gods.

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work on the rise and function of the holy man.44 Historians have therefore sought new explanations for the sources and dynamics of power and authority within late-antique Christianity, often concluding that they lay both in its institutions, most notably an ecclesiastical hierarchy and a legislative system based on councils and canon law, and in a few exceptional individuals, including prominent bishops, such as Athanasius of Alexandria, Ambrose of Milan and the Cappadocian Fathers, as well as charismatic ascetics, such as Antony or Pachomius. This picture of complexity and uncertainty has been established slowly, helped considerably by the work of Walter Bauer, who, in 1934, proposed a model of Christianity as pluralistic, rather than rigidly split into orthodoxy and heresy.45 This plurality is in turn accompanied by a sense of the fragility of fourth-century orthodoxy. Even though it is generally accepted that the homoousian theological formula did not enjoy particularly widespread support during the decades immediately after the Council of Nicaea, the history of this period has not fully escaped from the shadow of hindsight: we know which orthodoxy would become the orthodoxy and so it is difficult to avoid a narrative that designates other theological standpoints as ‘rebellions’ against established, apostolic faith. The bishops and officials gathered at Nicaea in 325, counted as the first of the seven great Ecumencial Councils of the Church, did not know that this synod would come to hold such an important place in ecclesiastical history. During the course of the fourth and fifth centuries, the Council, its Creed and its canons gradually came to be regarded as inspired and unalterable, partly through the actions of Theodosius I in 381 and partly through the construction of Nicaea as a holy gathering of saints in the works of Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers and other defenders of Nicene Christology.46 It is vital to view fourth-century Christian texts, including conciliar decisions, not as authoritative descriptions of the status quo, but rather as attempts to alter or prevent certain practices and beliefs. Like Roman laws, they must be read as testimony of existing problems, not as evidence for their cure.47 Furthermore, just like their imperial counterparts, they sought to create and maintain the authority For a tiny sample of this field of scholarship, see Brown (1971), (1995) 57–78, (1998); Rousseau (1985); Brock and Ashbrook Harvey (1987); Elm (1994); Brakke (1995); Averil Cameron (1999); Caner (2002). 45 The first German edition was published in 1934. Bauer (1971) is the English translation of the second German edition of 1964. 46 On the Athanasian promotion of the term ‘ecumenical’ to construct the importance of the Council of Nicaea, see Chadwick (1972). 47 On the efficacy of late Roman law, see Harries (1999) 77–98; C. Kelly (2004) 214–15. 44

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of both the individuals and the institutions involved in their composition. In traditional accounts, therefore, the next great council after Nicaea was Constantinople in 381, disregarding the multitude of councils in between, many of which were called by emperors and were attended by more bishops than had assembled at Nicaea in 325.48 Within his account of the late Roman Church, which included the roles of certain orthodox councils as legislative institutions, A. H. M. Jones offered an important caveat concerning the ‘Arian’ theological innovations under Constantius II: ‘The new formula was solemnly ratified by the Councils of Ariminum, Seleucia and Constantinople, which – if their verdicts had been approved by posterity – would be reckoned as ecumenical.’49 The fragility and uncertainty of fourth-century Christianity must be borne in mind when reading any of its texts, in order to understand fully the role they played in the creation of posterity’s verdicts. This interpretative problem is most clearly illustrated by the concept of ‘Arianism’. The term comes from the early fourth-century Alexandrian presbyter Arius, who, in around 318, started preaching that the Son was inferior to the Father and not co-eternal with him.50 These subordinationist ideas received the support of a number of eastern prelates, but were rejected by Arius’ bishop, Alexander of Alexandria. Constantine I, who defeated Licinius and took full control of the East in 324, attempted to settle the dispute, firstly through correspondence and small councils and then, after these failed to resolve the matter, with the Council of Nicaea in 325. This gathering of around 250–300 bishops, the largest of its kind up to this point, condemned Arius’ teaching that the Son was not co-eternal with the Father. Constantine exiled Arius, only to recall him a few years later, and the emperor’s attitude towards Arius fluctuated until the latter’s death in 335 or 336.51 As Rowan Williams observes in his discussion of Arius: ‘By the time that the great upheavals within the empire were over, Arianism had been irrevocably cast as the Other in relation to Catholic 48 See A. H. M. Jones (1964) ii 885–6. Chadwick (1998) 583 notes that a Donatist council in 336 was attended by 270 bishops. Hunt (1998c) 35 notes that the attendance of over 400 bishops at the council of Ariminum in 359 made it the largest synod up to that point – see also Ath. De synodis 8.1; Soz. HE 4.17.2. 49 A. H. M. Jones (1964) ii 936. On creeds and councils during the reign of Constantius II, see pp. 80–1 below. 50 On the theology of Arius and the difficulties involved in its reconstruction, see Simonetti (1975) 46–55; J. N. D. Kelly (1977) 226–31; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 5–18; R. Williams (2001) 95–116; Ayres (2004) 54–7. 51 On Arius’ career from 324 until his death, see Simonetti (1975) 35–41, 78–87, 115–24, 128–9; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 136–7, 157–63, 175–8, 264–5; Ayres (2004) 17–20, 100–3. For Athanasius’ account of Arius’ final moments, see pp. 178–80 below.

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(and civilized) religion … No other heretic has been through so thoroughgoing a process of “demonization”.’52 It should, however, be made clear that ‘Arian’ as a label is largely the product of the polemical works of the authors discussed here, particularly Athanasius, together with those who followed them, and that ‘Nicene’ is something of a misnomer for the writings of Athanasius prior to the 350s, since the defence of the Council of Nicaea as a defining touchstone of orthodoxy does not appear prominently within them.53 The ‘Arian’ label has come to be applied not only to Arius’ teachings and those who followed them, but also to a host of fourth-century theological viewpoints other than the Nicene, including, as mentioned above, the ‘Homoian’, which enjoyed imperial favour under Constantius II and Valens. Rebecca Lyman, in an article on the ‘rhetorical creation of Arianism’, has examined a range of different applications of this term by different fourth-century theologians, concluding that ‘Arians’ ‘inhabited different theological and rhetorical spaces according to the perspective of the author in the shifting imperial orthodoxy’.54 A 2007 monograph on this subject by David Gwynn has argued that both the ‘Arian’/’orthodox’ theological dichotomy during Constantius’ reign and the very existence of a ‘Eusebian’ ecclesiastical party of ‘Arians’ (named after its supposed leader, Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia), were largely products of Athanasius’ prolific pen. However, this treatment of the ‘party politics’ or ‘affiliation’ of the 320s onwards as Athanasian rhetorical constructions has been critiqued strongly by Timothy Barnes.55 Nonetheless, whether or not the ‘Eusebians’ existed as an organised group, Athanasius clearly sought to construct them as a movement distinct from the ‘orthodox Church’, holding unacceptable theological beliefs and taking their name from Eusebius, rather than Christ. The ‘Arians’ thus exemplify vividly the late-antique practices of the ‘construction’ and ‘labelling’ of heresy. Such terminology is now common within scholarly discussion of early Christian theological disputes. As Averil Cameron has remarked, ‘it is the new orthodoxy to point out that heretics are made, not born’.56 The terms ‘Arian’ and ‘Nicene’ nonetheless appear throughout this book, often 52 R. Williams (2001) 1. See also Ayres (2004) 105–17. 53 See Lienhard (1999) 30–3; Gwynn (2007) especially 169–70, 224–44, (2012) 76–90. 54 Lyman (1993) 62. 55 Gwynn (2007). Barnes (2007) with characteristic vigour, dismisses Gwynn’s first argument as unoriginal and his second as erroneous. See also Parvis (2006), a recent, spirited defence of the Arian controversy as a thoroughly partisan affair. 56 Averil Cameron (2008) 103.

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without the safety net of quotation marks. They are used here for the sake of convenience and because the main focus of this book is the polemical rhetoric of the period and the ways in which individuals and groups were described.57 Chr isti a nit y a nd the empir e of r hetor ic

Literary self-construction in early Christianity also took a number of forms, many of which relied explicitly on displays of traditional, classical learning. This was a period that assigned great importance and authority to the rhetorical display of literary culture, both written and spoken. Peter Brown has explored the central role of paideia – the knowledge of ‘classical’ literature and literary forms – as a tool for the construction of status within the higher strata of late-antique society, allowing educated individuals to ‘set up a system of instant communication with men who were, often, total strangers to them’.58 Peter Brown has also highlighted another significant function of paideia in the fourth century: the movement of educated men into the episcopate and their continued use of this system of elite communication.59 This did not necessitate a significant change in the language of power, but rather its employment in the service of a different institution. As such, paideia retained its function of enabling an empire-wide elite to construct their identity, to recognise each other and so to be bound together in a community of shared understanding.60 Even if Christian authors explicitly challenged some ideas and stories from ‘pagan’ paideia, it was clear that they did so from within a shared late-antique culture where its value was widely recognised, rather than as inhabitants of a hermetically sealed ‘Christian community’ that did not engage with the traditions of education in the rest of the Roman world. The advent of Christianity did not, therefore, sweep away the vocabulary of elite power-relations, but it did open up new possibilities. 57 Attempts to clarify and separate the variety of contradictory beliefs categorised under the umbrella term ‘Arian’ have produced such terms as ‘Neo-Arian’, ‘Homoian’ and ‘Heterousian’ – see J. N. D. Kelly (1977) 247–51; Kopecek (1979); Brennecke (1988); R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 557– 636; Ayres (2004) 100–66. 58 Brown (1992) 35–70, quoting 40. See also pp. 33–5 below. 59 Brown (1992) especially 45–7, 118–26, 136–9. 60 See, for instance, Basil of Caesarea’s Address to Young Men on the continuing role of classical paideia in the education of Christians – Brown (1992) 122–3; Rousseau (1994) 48–57. McLynn (2010) argues against the traditional reading of Basil’s Address to Young Men, seeing the text instead as a polemical challenge to the notion that pagan paideia and Christian virtue could make easy bedfellows. Nonetheless, if Basil felt the need to undermine such an idea, then it must have been common amongst his contemporaries.

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Constantine’s proclaimed conversion and his promotion of an imperially sponsored Church had brought greater security and temporal power to some bishops. This sudden reversal of fortune turned the Roman imperial office, a position recently associated with the persecution and repression of the faithful, into the object of explicitly religious praise. Some Christians responded to this change by creating their own forms of imperial rhetoric, developed out of, but also explicitly demarcated from, classical panegyric. Eusebius of Caesarea exalted Constantine as an emperor whose victory and power resulted from his reverence towards the Christian God.61 The rhetorician and imperial tutor Lactantius singled out pagan emperors for abuse and condemnation on the basis of their violent hostility to Christianity, with other traditional vices granted a secondary status in the personalities of these literary tyrants.62 Similarly, although they often retained some of the classical exempla that formed the subject matter of so many imperial panegyrics, these texts also began to employ comparisons with explicitly Christian archetypes and offer a reorganised hierarchy of imperial virtues. This transformation of classical panegyric by individual Christian authors and the replacement of traditional exempla with Christian models were visible in the works of a number of different writers, as has been explored in modern scholarship, with particular attention paid to the use of Moses as a literary paradigm.63 This book explores attempts at the Christianisation of imperial invective alongside panegyric, as a separate, but related, literary phenomenon during the fourth century. For the first time, ‘orthodox’ Christians were faced with the challenge of how to respond to a hostile emperor who was also a Christian, albeit of a confession that they deemed heretical. The result was a new rhetoric of opposition that, like the panegyrical descriptions by Eusebius and Lactantius, sought to transform the ideal against which emperors were judged. The invectives of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer therefore have a vital role to play in explaining the creation and manipulation of the imperial image in this period. Unusually for invectives, they were directed against a living emperor. The vast majority of negative portrayals of powerful figures were composed and published when the political situation made it safe, or even advantageous, to air such opinions. When these three bishops composed their attacks on Constantius II, they constructed an imperial paradigm that prioritised 61 See pp. 69–75 below.  62  See pp. 65–7 below. 63 In particular, Averil Cameron (1983), (1997) and Rapp (1998). For more detail on this topic, see pp. 72–3.

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Christianity. However, their circumstances placed them in sharp contrast to their co-religionists who had composed earlier diatribes against Roman power; instead of fitting neatly into the recognisable mould of the pagan persecutor, Constantius was an avowed Christian, entwined in the Byzantine complexities of internecine theological disputes. These authors therefore redefined the image of proper imperial behaviour to place emphasis on the emperor not simply as a Christian, but as the correct sort of Christian. When Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer addressed Constantius, both to attack him and to praise him, they did not rely solely on traditional registers of imperial assessment, replete with learned references to the canon of classical literature, nor did they abandon them completely. Instead, they argued for a new Christian ideal for the actions of an emperor, prioritising orthodox belief and proper reverence towards the priests of the ‘true’ Church above all other virtues. On one level, their methods of praise and blame were highly traditional, retaining recognisably classical categories of assessment and schoolroom rhetorical commonplaces. No one familiar with the conventions of panegyric or invective could fail to recognise that these were engagements with the late-antique language of imperial power. However, these three bishops also sought to supplant the regular range of exempla that fleshed out depictions of emperors, replacing classical literature with Christian Scripture. While some of these biblical examples were introduced as proof-texts for detailed exegesis within theological arguments, many were simply incorporated into the main body of the text, often without anything to mark them out as quotations except the reader’s own knowledge. A more traditional practitioner of epideictic rhetoric, such as Libanius or Julian, might weave allusions to classical literature into his orations, reassuring his audience that both he and they were educated men, pepaideumenoi: he for deploying these literary fragments and they for recognising them. The use of explicitly Christian phrases and exempla by these bishops functioned in the same way: if readers were suitably familiar with the Scriptures, then they could decode the allusions that would be hidden from the less-educated. By recognising these passages, the knowledgeable Christian was invited to discover another, more complex reading of the text, which promoted the author and his allies as both erudite and orthodox. Such references united the author and his readership in a shared literary community that stretched across the empire; a community where the possession and display of this Christian literary learning acted as a new symbol of status and authority for a new Christian empire.

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This study therefore illuminates the interplay at work in the invectives of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, exploring how they wove subjects and exempla that were deliberately and unambiguously Christian together with techniques and purposes which were rooted firmly in the classical literary tradition. Their texts are thus highly important for understanding the transformations of rhetoric that took place within Christianity during the fourth century; the creation of new methods of defining status using traditional forms. Such explicitly Christian literary activities did not swiftly replace classical paideia in late-antique rhetoric and public life, but could run parallel to it, helping to construct an individual’s authority in religious matters. The shifts in expected imperial values evident from the works of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer were not simply the result of the growing prominence of Christianity or Constantine’s public affirmation of the religion. Neither all Christian authors, nor all writers describing Christian emperors, chose to make such a change. For those authors who did, this break with the classical past, at least in content if not in form, was a polemical statement. As Frances Young has said of the use of biblical exempla in Gregory of Nazianzus’ encomia for his deceased siblings Caesarius and Gorgonia, ‘the “implied audience” is one that can spot the biblical allusions while recognizing the traditional conventions of epideictic rhetoric’.64 In the same way, the polemics of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, written a decade or more before Gregory’s eulogies, were simultaneously examples of, and challenges to, the customary rhetoric of imperial power. Their great originality and force lay in this visible combination of the classical and the Christian. By close analysis of the rhetorical strategies employed within these texts and examination of their relationship to earlier models, the first two chapters of this book argue that these vicious invectives against Constantius and the Christian imperial panegyric of authors such as Eusebius and Lactantius need to be examined together as products of the same literary transformation, in which certain highly literate bishops and laymen argued for an overtly Christian vocabulary of kingship. Au t hor i t y a n d t h e s c a r e d

This deployment of texts to construct negative portrayals of one’s enemies was not a novel approach to conflict in either Christianity or the wider Greco-Roman world. Jacqueline Long has explored both continuity

64

  Young (2004) 256. See also Young (1993).

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and change in ancient political invective in her analysis of Claudian’s In Eutropium, a vehement denunciation of the eunuch consul of the eastern empire in 399, although the polemics against Constantius II do not feature in her survey.65 The identification and cataloguing of particular Schimpfwörter, or terms of abuse, deployed in various fourth-century authors has been spearheaded by Ilona Opelt, shedding light on the enduring currency of many polemical categories.66 It is vital, however, to place these within the political context of late Roman imperial presentation, particularly through panegyric, in order to appreciate their full impact. As Rebecca Lyman has discussed, heretical labels, such as ‘Arian’, came to be attached to particular groups and individuals in order to alienate them and exercise institutional control over them. This included claiming that they were the heirs of earlier heretical teachers and so part of a heretical genealogy that stood in contrast to the orthodox succession represented by the author.67 This was very similar to the inverted forms of classical panegyric identified in Mark Humphries’ studies of the anti-Constantian invective of Hilary, Athanasius and Lucifer, in which Constantius II was alienated from the legacy of his pious father and grandfather, and was instead characterised as the successor of earlier persecuting emperors.68 Chapters 2 to 4 of this book analyse the work of these three bishops in order to argue that they employed this genealogising approach extensively to label both Constantius and their other enemies as members of a chain of continuity that stood in stark opposition to the orthodox, apostolic line in which they positioned themselves. This book therefore hopes to avoid becoming trapped in a quagmire of debate over the relationship between ‘Church’ and ‘State’ in the fourth century, in which attempts have been made to reconstruct the opinions or political philosophy of individual bishops on this subject.69 Responsibility for this must lie at least partly with those bishops whose diatribes against 65 This summary of the history and historiography of ancient political invective can be found in Long (1996) 65–105. 66 See Opelt (1965), (1972), (1973a), (1973b), (1974) and (1980). 67 Lyman (1993). 68 Humphries (1997) especially 454–62, (1998) especially 213–17. 69 Of particular note for the authors discussed in this book are Voigt (1936) 12–43; Setton (1941) 71–103; Berkhof (1947); G. H. Williams (1951a), (1951b); Greenslade (1954); Aland (1960) especially 263–7; Dvornik (1966) ii 731–50; Barnard (1974); Girardet (1975); Tietze (1976) especially 3–20, 165–76; Corti (2004); Laconi (2004). This issue is discussed well in Klein (1977) especially 1–15, 116–44; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 321–2. Lizzi Testa (2009) also explores attempts by some late-antique bishops to define their individual ideals for the relationship between Christian clergy and imperial authorities, although the extent to which these were ever applied widely in reality is more questionable.

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imperial involvement have been so influential on later thought.70 However, I am not seeking to use these complaints to reconstruct the attitude either of individual Christians, such as Athanasius, or of ‘Christianity’ as a whole towards the emperor and the machinery of ‘secular’ government. Nor do I want to map a trajectory from Constantine and Eusebius to Theodosius and Ambrose, subsuming these remarkable invectives against Constantius into a clear narrative of the development of ‘Christian political theory’, or of the balance of power between emperor and Church. Instead of reading these texts as representing a coherent and absolute vision for the freedom of religion from ‘secular’ interference, it is my intention to treat these invectives as rhetorical constructions created for particular polemical purposes, as stances adopted by their authors in response to unfavourable circumstances. In this way, this book complements the growing collection of studies that emphasise the role of rhetorical construction in the development of Christian literature.71 To laud the emperor in one speech for exiling one’s opponents and then to lambaste him in another for interfering in ecclesiastical matters did not represent a change of policy by the author, but rather reflected a shift in circumstances. This is not to accuse these bishops of deception. To do so would be like accusing a panegyrist of lying because he vilified the deceased tyrant whom he had once hailed as a glorious emperor.72 Just as panegyrists responded to individual needs by selecting the appropriate materials from the wealth of rhetorical manoeuvres available to them, so educated clerics and laymen could use their oratorical skill to create Christian categories of praise and blame within which any individual could be positioned and repositioned at will. Literary disputes of this sort also have their antecedents in pre-Constantinian Christianity. Richard Lim has argued that when Tertullian, the second-century North African Christian author, lost a public debate with a Jewish proselyte, he returned home and penned his 70 See in particular the presentation of Constantius as claiming ‘whatever I want, let that be deemed a canon’ at Hist. Ar. 33.7, along with, for example, Voigt (1936) 29; G. H. Williams (1951a) 3, 22; Greenslade (1954) 25; Pietri (1989) 149. Barnes (1993) 279 n. 33 provides a useful list of historians who have taken this statement to be an accurate report of Constantius’ stance towards the Church. Lucifer’s claim at Moriundum xiii.2–3 that Constantius styled himself as episcopus episcoporum has also been persuasive, with some historians believing this to be a way in which the emperor was hailed by his Arian allies – see G. H. Williams (1951a) 24; Nordberg (1963) 46; Dvornik (1966) ii 743, 746; Corti (2004) 241, 243. For a more sceptical reading of Lucifer’s claim, see Girardet (1977) especially 97–9; Pietri (1989) 149. 71 See pp. 8–19 above. 72 On this less negative approach to panegyric, see MacCormack (1981) 1–6 and pp. 35–44 below.

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Aduersus Judaeos in order to make his points more forcefully to a wider group of people and so reverse the defeat he had suffered in front of a small audience.73 Whether or not the circumstances of composition can be reconstructed for individual texts in this way, the evolution of this type of disputation literature can be seen as a development from a culture of civic agonism.74 However, these texts were attempts not only to promulgate a particular representation of the author’s enemies, but also to construct a positive image of the author in the minds of the audience. Late-antique Christians presented themselves as holy followers of an ancient and unbroken tradition that stretched back to Christ and the Old Testament, and which was rooted in a sound interpretation of Scripture. This image was often created not from a position of security, but when the authors were in competition with other Christians for recognition as representatives of the ‘one true Church’. Keith Hopkins identified this theme in the correspondence of the third-century bishop and martyr Cyprian of Carthage, remarking that ‘in effect, he wrote the minutes of his own controversies’.75 David Gwynn has provided similar guidance to readers of Athanasius’ copious corpus: ‘Athanasius was not a historian. He wrote as a bishop and theologian engaged in a life or death struggle for his own conception of the Christian religion, and at the same time as an accused man who needed to justify himself against the charges on which he had been convicted and exiled.’76 This use of texts to promote the author’s agenda has similarly been explored by David Brakke in his study of the conflict between the ‘institutional’ authority of the bishops and the ‘charismatic’ authority of the ascetics in Egypt during the episcopate of Athanasius of Alexandria. In his Life of Antony, Athanasius portrayed the celebrated monk as a firm believer in the authority of Scripture and of the metropolitan episcopate, even leaving his cloak to Athanasius when he died, thereby entrusting to the bishop ‘the mantle of his authority’.77 Athanasius’ Antony 73 Lim (1995) 4–5. 74 See the stories of public debates and preaching at Acts 13:14–49, 17:1–34, 19:1–9, as well as Lim (1995) 16–24. 75 Hopkins (1999) 124. 76 Gwynn (2007) 5–6. Barnes (2007) 715–16 notes that this depiction of Athanasius as a polemicist, rather than a reliable reporter of events, is not new – see, for example, Schwartz (1959), originally published in 1904–11. As Gwynn states (at 8), however, the intention of his work is not merely to demonstrate that Athanasius’ works are ‘highly tendentious and potentially distorted’ (which is commonly accepted), but rather to explore the ways in which he shaped the interpretation of the ecclesiastical disputes of his time. 77 Brakke (1995) 246. On the debate over the authenticity of this text, see p. 132 n. 22 below.

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lived according to the models laid down in Scripture, sometimes even re-enacting scenes from the Bible within his own life and speaking in biblical tags, thereby displaying verbal conformity to a scriptural model and appearing to be the heir of the prophets and apostles.78 Despite writing a text that was ostensibly a biography, or even hagiography, of a charismatic monk, Athanasius managed to work himself into the narrative and thus to present his audience with a positive image of his pastoral actions and his theological beliefs. This tendency to present contemporary lives in literature as re-enactments of Scripture was, in some ways, to make the present biblical, and was a feature of many Christian biographies of this period, as explored by Michael Williams.79 This literary manoeuvre gave greater religious importance to both the events and characters described and to the author himself: ‘For many in late antiquity, the understanding of contemporary history came to be predicated on, and structured by, the re-enactment of Scripture.’80 Derek Krueger has similarly discussed the role of such comparisons (which he terms ‘typological allusion’) in Theodoret of Cyrrhus’ Religious History, observing that, ‘typology provided Theodoret a flexible literary mode and conceptual process through which to interpret the world of Christian ascetics. His application of biblical models to his own time posited an intertwining of the biblical narrative and late antique Christian experience.’81 While the presentation of ascetic behaviour as the imitation of biblical models served to exalt Theodoret’s subjects, the process of writing such a narrative also constructed the author as an authoritative figure: ‘Theodoret’s text itself is a reenactment, a mimesis of biblical narrative. His text as a text stands in typological relationship to the biblical texts in the same way that his subjects stand in typological relationship to the subjects of biblical narrative.’82 The following chapters seek not only to show that the re-enactment of earlier Christian models (both biblical and post-biblical) was central to the works of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, but also to place this literary manoeuvre in a broader polemical context, demonstrating that it was key to constructing the authority of these bishops and impugning that of their opponents. As both the authors and subjects of their ­narratives,

78 Brakke (1995) 259.  79  M. S. Williams (2008). 80 M. S. Williams (2008) 3. 81 Krueger (2004) 26. On the utility and limitations of the term ‘typology’, see pp. 180–2 below. 82 Krueger (2004) 27.

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they presented themselves as simultaneously performing two forms of scriptural imitation. The role of scriptural citation and allusion in the works of Athanasius has also been explored in James Ernest’s monograph, The Bible in Athanasius of Alexandria. In his examination of the ‘historical-polemical’ writings, Ernest identifies the presentation of contemporary individuals as imitators of biblical figures as a prominent Athanasian use of Scripture: ‘Most often the correlation is specifically with a biblical character that the contemporary character imitates, or does not imitate, or should or should not imitate.’83 In contrast, Claudia Rapp argues that, while both the ‘classical’ exemplum and the ‘Christian’ typos could appear in panegyrics, only the latter could be employed for invective: The exemplum assumes the possibility of agency and indeed encourages the effort to conform to an ancient model. Typos, by contrast, asserts that someone extends an established pattern to the present. Since negative models are held up, not for imitation, but only for condemnation, they are always invoked in the mode of the typos that shapes its imprint, not the exemplum that invites imitation.84

While it is important to recognise the way in which comparing a heretical emperor or bishop to a biblical villain could function ‘typologically’, Rapp’s division here risks both imposing a rigid division between ‘classical’ and ‘Christian’ polemical literature and also assuming that the primary audience for a panegyric or invective was the subject himself. As will be discussed below, ‘classical’ writers, such as Cicero and the authors of the Panegyrici Latini, drew upon characters from history and myth as exempla for invective, comparing them to tyrants both living and dead. This was, therefore, to connect the present with the past, branding later villains as the heirs of those from previous generations. Yet, it was also concerned with imitation, rather than merely condemnation: when the panegyrist Pacatus compared the deceased usurper Magnus Maximus to the revolting slave Spartacus, he could hardly have expected a corpse to change his ways, but that did not mean that Pacatus was not still making a statement about re-enactment.85 Maximus was here shown to 83 Ernest (2004) especially 183–268. The quotation is from 184. At 186, Ernest terms this practice ‘intratextuality’, since it is not ‘typology’ in the sense of a ‘promise-and-fulfillment hermeneutic’. 84 Rapp (2010) 192. At 191–2, Rapp briefly discusses the use of negative biblical examples in Athanasius’ History of the Arians. 85 Pan. Lat. ii(12).23.1–2. On this passage, see p. 49 below. References to the Panegyrici Latini follow the practice outlined in Rees (2012b) 24, where the numbering by manuscript position is

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have chosen the wrong exemplum to imitate, while his victorious rival, Theodosius I, was praised for resembling a great host of virtuous Roman heroes.86 Those who encountered the speech, either in spoken or written form, were therefore provided with models for how an emperor should and should not behave, creating a guide to legitimate and illegitimate authority in the minds of the audience, including, perhaps, the ruling emperor himself. As well as making statements about the emperor, the invectives discussed here also created images of their authors as brave opponents of tyranny and fearless possessors of parrhesia. This was the traditional quality of speaking out boldly against authority, which was admired by both the fourth-century pagan elite and the emergent Christian hierarchy.87 It became central to the religious authority and social role of late-antique bishops: as Peter Brown has argued, by taking the mantle of parrhesia from pagan philosophers and notables, bishops were able to enjoy greater influence with local governors and court officials.88 In addition, it was a quality that was associated with the Christian martyrs who had suffered for their faith under persecution.89 Claudia Rapp has explicitly drawn links between the roles of martyrs and holy men, particularly in their ‘spiritual’ authority and parrhesia, as well as explaining the processes by which bishops assumed the same status as holy men.90 In the conclusion of her Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity, Rapp looks forward to a later time when ‘the martyr’s fight against the forces of evil in the form of the persecuting Roman officials became the bishop’s fight against evil in the form of the absence of faith or, indeed, the absence of correct faith’.91 She therefore identifies the reconstruction of bishops as martyrs as an important process in hagiography, citing as her earliest example Gregory of Nazianzus’ argument that Athanasius’ endurance given as a Roman numeral, followed by the speech’s place in chronological sequence as an Arabic numeral in brackets. This is (for the most part) the same as the practice in Mynors’ edition of the text, while Nixon and Rodgers (1994) refer to the speeches by manuscript numeration. 86 The exempla used in this speech as helpfully tabulated in Nixon (1990) 32–3. 87 Brown (1992) 61–70.  88  Brown (1992) 117. 89 See pp. 148–50 below. 90 Rapp (2005) especially 59–60, 75–6, 86–90, 268. Rapp has also suggested that bishops became bearers of a second type of parrhesia by arrogating the ascetic authority of monks and holy men, who, as the heirs of the martyrs, had acquired two linked forms of patronage parrhesia through their holiness – see Rapp (2005) 67, 267–73. On the earthly parrhesia of monks, see also Brown (1992) 106–8. Brown also identified similarities between holy men and the veneration of martyrs, arguing that, in the West, the relics of the martyrs fulfilled something of the role of the holy man – Brown (1971) 100. 91 Rapp (2005) 300–1.  92  Rapp (2005) 297, referring to Greg. Naz., Or. 21.

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of exile made him a martyr.92 Michael Gaddis, in his excellent book on religious violence from Constantine onwards, also identifies the tropes of persecution and martyrdom in the literature of Christian opponents of Christian emperors, including Athanasius.93 Gaddis stresses the continued currency of the concept of ‘martyrdom’ during periods of religious turmoil: ‘Fourth-century Christians used discourses of martyrdom and persecution to problematize and challenge the state’s exercise of power in religious affairs … Invocation of “martyrdom” served to legitimize and even sanctify resistance to imperial power.’94 As the Altercatio Heracliani demonstrates, the topos of persecution was used not only to criticise the actions of the imperial government, but also to illegitimise ecclesiastical and theological opponents. This book explores the employment of these themes in the works of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer. In their self-construction as opponents of a tyrannical emperor, they made direct claims to martyrial authority in order to support their fragile positions in the 350s. Alongside the variety of other strategies available to bishops for the construction of their own authority, these authors chose to present themselves as re-enacting the celebrated sufferings of these peculiarly Christian heroes. The following chapters are therefore less concerned with providing a new narrative of this period than with exploring the narratives created during that time. In rejecting a reading of these events as the ‘triumph’ of orthodoxy over heresy, or an instantiation of a long-running ‘conflict’ of ‘Church’ and ‘State’, my intention is, rather, to avoid any attempt to mine these documents for definite information on the relationship between any such clearly defined communities or institutions. Instead, I shall be exploring how such concepts were used to produce interpretations of contemporary events that drew on competing classical and Christian pasts, in which authors could cast their friends, their enemies and, most importantly, themselves. In doing so, this book complements the work of Thomas Sizgorich, who analysed perceptively the ways in which such narratives were used in late antiquity in attempts to define the limits of religious communities and to encourage people to fulfil, or avoid, particular roles within them.95 As Sizgorich has explained, we must not simply take at face value ‘definitions forwarded by certain late antique Christians concerning the true and essential character of real Christians, enshrined in communal histories in which they themselves explained the events of 93 Gaddis (2005) especially 68–102. 94 Gaddis (2005) 69, 70.  95  Sizgorich (2009) especially 21–45.

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their age, the actions of their contemporaries and the character of their community’.96 Rather than being expressions of distinct and stable identities, such texts represent attempts to give greater rigidity and exclusivity to ‘Christianity’, imposing on a wider group the author’s own conception of the essence of Christian behaviour and belief.97 Just as Sizgorich illuminates the ways in which religious communities were conjured up by the words of those who sought to police their boundaries, so the same must be said of the notion of a clear divide between the ‘temporal’ and the ‘spiritual’. While broader themes and literary influences will be explored, this book will not present a clear vision of the ‘fourth-century Christian theory’, or even the ‘Athanasian theory’ of imperial power and its relationship with Christianity. Such an exercise would risk homogenising a range of associated, but distinct, responses to changing circumstances. Instead, I hope to demonstrate the striking similarities, and occasional differences, between the ways in which a number of bishops, most notably Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, employed the range of cultural materials at their disposal to narrate the events of their time and their own places within them. Rather than simply being classified as a period of theological turmoil and factional strife, the reign of Constantius II should be regarded as a highly creative episode in the history of Christianity. The emperor’s involvement in a convoluted series of credal reformulations provided the catalyst for these dramatic experiments in Christian rhetoric, concerning both the exercise of imperial power and the status of those bishops who found themselves opposing it. Consta nt ius a nd t h e bishops

In order to understand fully the functioning of the rhetorical strategies within these texts, it is vital first to explore their antecedents. Chapter 1 therefore surveys the range of literary forms and techniques that existed in the Roman world for the assessment of imperial rule and so illuminates the cultural context within which these invectives were written. It commences with an exploration of the central importance of rhetoric in the lives and relationships of educated members of the elite. This is most evident in the classical epideictic tradition, as exemplified by panegyrics, invectives and rhetorical handbooks. This chapter therefore considers the 96 Sizgorich (2009) 23. 97 For an exploration of this phenomenon in fourth-century Antioch, see also Sandwell (2007) especially 63–90, 125–53.

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techniques and topoi of this form of rhetoric, as suggested by teachers, such as Menander Rhetor and the authors of the educational progymnasmata, and deployed by orators, particularly those who composed the Panegyrici Latini. It then explains the central role played by panegyric in the ceremonial life of the Roman empire and in the construction of public expectations of the qualities and actions of emperors. Recent scholarship has shown that these orations were vital to late-antique society, constructing an image of the ideal emperor which could be remodelled for each individual set of circumstances and purposes. This chapter argues for a more nuanced and sympathetic reading of ancient invective as an important medium for the representation of power, placing it, like panegyric, firmly within the ceremonial world of late-antique government. These two interlinked forms of speech both created and recreated an imperial paradigm; one sought to show that the current emperor was its embodiment, the other its antithesis. Finally, the chapter examines explicitly Christian engagements with imperial power from the three centuries preceding the reign of Constantius II. Some were examples of opposition literature, especially the martyr acts and eschatological tracts that revelled in graphic descriptions of death and destruction, both real and predicted. However, beside these must also be placed the hagiographical descriptions of the emperor Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea and the discussions of imperial virtues and vices in Lactantius, which represent a similar Christianising trend to the polemical attacks of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer. It was against this complex textual background that new strategies for Christian imperial evaluation emerged. Chapter 2 investigates the interrelation of these themes within the invectives against Constantius II. These texts drew upon earlier criteria of imperial evaluation from classical rhetoric, particularly ancestry and virtues, and placed them at the service of an overriding concern with the subject’s attitude towards Christianity, as seen in pre-Constantinian opposition literature. This chapter looks in detail at this transformation of classical models to incorporate explicitly Christian content and create a new benchmark for imperial behaviour. Particular emphasis is placed on the exempla chosen by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer to construct this image. In their works, Constantius was repeatedly linked with earlier persecutors of Judaism and Christianity drawn from both biblical narratives and more recent Roman history. Through this deliberate and decisive move to an exclusively Christian set of references, these authors sought

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to create a ‘biblical present’ and so portray Constantius as the latest in a long line of enemies of the true faith.98 This chapter therefore examines the presentations of Constantius’ family background and pre-eminent vices, but also demonstrates that they were subordinate to the dominant theme of Constantius’ lack of piety. They thus made the ‘heretication’ of the emperor central to their portrait of him as a vicious tyrant. The final section of the chapter also considers accounts of the ceremony of aduentus as performed by both Athanasius and his enemies, demonstrating that this, like the rhetoric of imperial power, could be used to depict an individual as either a legitimate leader or a violent oppressor. The invectivists sought not to sweep away the rhetorical methods that were central to the construction and maintenance of authority, but to transform them to suit their own circumstances. These new methods of addressing and assessing an emperor retained the techniques of classical panegyric and invective, together with many of the characteristics celebrated in traditional constructions of the imperial ideal, and combined them with biblical quotations, Christian exempla and a remodelled hierarchy of virtues. It was as though they rewrote the language of imperial ideology, retaining the grammar and syntax, but imposing a different vocabulary. The result was a new rhetoric that was both recognisably Roman and distinctively Christian, creating a new literary trope of villainy that combined the tyrant, the persecutor and the heretic. Chapter 3 explores the role of these invectives in the construction of the authors’ public images and, therefore, their authority in the eyes of other Christians. Rhetorical self-fashioning, either by an author or an orator, had a long history in the ancient world, and this chapter pays particular attention to its use within another turbulent period in Roman politics: in Cicero’s Philippics against Mark Antony in the aftermath of Julius Caesar’s assassination. Within these works, the ex-consul presented Antony as similar to earlier enemies of Rome and also constructed himself as central to the defence of the state over a long period of time. His polemics against Antony were depicted as a repetition of notable conflicts between the Republic and its enemies, including Cicero’s own defeat of Catiline twenty years earlier. Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer similarly used their narratives of re-enacted persecution under Constantius to promote new images of both the emperor and themselves. This portrayal of present circumstances as the latest round   See also the similar concept of the ‘primordial present’ in Sizgorich (2009) 75. 98

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of attacks on the Church enabled these three bishops to cast themselves as a range of heroic defenders of the faith from throughout Christian history. This was performed both within these texts, in the descriptions of their resistance to Constantius, and through them, since their composition and promulgation acted as a statement of fearless opposition to tyranny. After exploring the use of biblical references, this chapter focuses on the main archetype employed by these authors in their self-constructions: the Christian confessors – those who had ‘confessed’ their faith before a pagan official, but had not yet been executed – and martyrs from the persecutions of the previous three centuries. The image of the confessor or martyr, with his or her confrontations with authority, pithy retorts and unwavering orthodoxy, provided a model that would have been recognisable to a large number of Christians. This section therefore includes a detailed analysis of Lucifer’s Moriundum esse pro dei filio, which incorporated substantial sections from descriptions of martyrdom found in the works of Cyprian of Carthage and Lactantius, rewritten for new circumstances. Finally, this chapter investigates the use of the literary trope of exile by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, as well as their contemporary, Eusebius of Vercelli, to support their claims to have suffered for the true faith. These texts, therefore, became a primary way in which these authors, isolated during the reign of a ‘heretical’ emperor, sought to promote themselves as protecting the principles and doctrines of the orthodox Church. Chapter 4 moves beyond the specifically anti-Constantian aspects of the polemic of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer to explore their presentations of the relationship between Christians and the authoritative text of Scripture. It therefore examines the role of biblical re-enactment in the literary creation of orthodox and heretical genealogies across a wide range of their works. Just as they argued for their own orthodoxy by linking themselves to important and revered figures from the Christian past, these bishops also cast their enemies as the successors of pagans, Jews and a long list of heretics. These family trees often stretched back to the proto-heresiarch Simon Magus, who was spurned by the apostles in Acts, thereby allowing the authors to claim that their opponents had been cast out of the Church by the apostles themselves.99 This process of labelling and association with groups widely condemned as heretical was an important feature of the religious disputes in the central decades of the fourth century. However, these three authors did not simply

  Acts 8:9–24.

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employ comparisons to common polemical tropes of heresy, but instead depicted their current opponents as re-enacting the deeds of specific earlier enemies of the true faith, as recorded in scriptural episodes. In particular, the Arians were presented as copying the actions, and sometimes the words, of Jewish figures from the New Testament who did not embrace Christianity. By constructing their enemies as imitators of earlier, recognisably heretical individuals and groups, these authors portrayed them as having already been separated from orthodoxy by the authoritative words of Scripture. In turn, Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary also constructed orthodox genealogies for themselves in parallel to their depictions of their opponents. When they presented their enemies as being once again condemned by the words of a revered, biblical figure, such as Solomon or Paul, then the authors positioned themselves within the re-enactment as imitators or heirs of these unquestionably orthodox characters. By claiming that contemporary circumstances replayed recognisable scenes from the Bible, these bishops created an authoritative framework for understanding their ecclesiastical disputes. Their actions were recast as the latest round in a long-running battle between the servants of God and their enemies: through this manoeuvre, they situated themselves securely within a genealogy of orthodoxy. These bishops claimed that they were passing on a tradition and creed that had been handed down to them from the very beginning of Christianity, unlike the ‘novelty’ of their opponents’ writings. The penultimate section of this chapter also examines the reinterpretation of earlier individuals, including many from the distant past, as enemies of Arianism. These writers presented authoritative figures from Jewish and Christian history, including Christ himself, as having been aware that Arianism would arise and thus having written certain passages of Scripture in order to combat it. While Arianism was denounced as novel, these bishops also argued that knowledge of it had existed for centuries: it was possible to decode the ancient warnings and so defeat heresy, but only if one was a properly orthodox reader. The works of notable figures from the first three centuries of Christianity were now recast as useful weapons for anti-Arian polemicists. This tactic also sometimes involved the use of a piece of Scripture or an extract from an earlier Christian author, either with certain key words changed or placed in a new context, so that the current writer was cast as the hero of the piece, and the Arians were presented as condemned by an authoritative voice. The final section examines Hilary’s Contra Auxentium, written in the mid 360s under Valentinian I, to explore how this bishop adapted his rhetoric of impious power in order to attack a heretical bishop without

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directly assailing the emperor. In doing so, he combined his presentations of both tyrants and heretics in order to produce an image of the persecuting ‘Arian Church’, which had abandoned appropriate beliefs and actions and replaced them with their opposites. Moreover, the chapter as a whole explores the ways in which these bishops presented the relationship between their own works and Scripture itself, breaking down not only the barriers between the biblical past and their own, fourth-century present, but also the gulf between their own writings and the supremely authoritative text of Scripture. Of the main invectives discussed here – Athanasius’ History of the Arians, Hilary’s In Constantium and Lucifer’s Moriundum esse pro dei filio – the first is available in a nineteenth-century English translation, the second in a more recent French version and the third in Italian.100 The appendices to this volume present, for the sake of convenience, my own annotated translations of some of the shorter works discussed in Chapters 3 and 4, as well as the Introduction. These are the three surviving letters by Eusebius of Vercelli; the Epistula Luciferi, Pancratii et Hilarii, addressed to Eusebius; the Epistula Liberii papae ad Eusebium, Dionysium et Luciferum in exsilio constitutos, in which Liberius of Rome praises the bishops exiled at the Council of Milan in 355; the Contra Auxentium of Hilary of Poitiers; and 100 Athanasius: Robertson (1892) 270–302; Hilary: Rocher (1987) 167–223; Lucifer: Ugenti (1980) 115–49. I am currently preparing new English translations of all three texts, to be published in the Translated Texts for Historians series from Liverpool University Press. 101 Both the Epistula Liberii and Letter 3 of Eusebius of Vercelli are preserved in Hilary’s Against Valens and Ursacius and so are also available in translation at Wickham (1997) 75–6, 95–6. The three letters of Eusebius of Vercelli are translated in Di Maio and Cunningham (1982) 63–71, but with numerous errors, misinterpretations and omissions.

the anonymous Altercatio Heracliani cum Germinio.101

ch apter one

Praise and blame in the Roman world

T h e r h e to r i c o f p ow e r

Rhetoric was everywhere in the Roman empire. It dominated the school syllabus of any young man aspiring to a post in the imperial administration or a legal career; it pervaded the edicts and proclamations issued from the imperial court; it resounded through the empire’s many cities in the speeches of judicial and epideictic orators. In fourth-century Athens, the most important university city of the ancient world, schools of rhetoric flourished under famous teachers such as Prohaeresius and Himerius, drawing students from across the empire.1 There the future pagan emperor Julian studied alongside the future Christian bishops Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus.2 In Antioch, the orator Libanius crafted and distributed countless letters and orations, as well as imparting the skills of rhetoric to his many students.3 In the 380s, Libanius produced a speech entitled To Those Who Do Not Speak, lamenting the failure of some young men to display their rhetorical skills in public and exhorting them to ‘become better than your slaves through your tongues, as now you are better only by chance’.4 Libanius treasured this climate of elite competition: an agonistic arena of civic discourse, where a public oration, such as for the dedication of a building or the arrival of an imperial official, would be carefully constructed according to conventional rhetorical models and larded with literary allusions. In Gaul, local orators composed panegyrics in praise of emperors, adhering to the precepts laid down by earlier writers. Several Gallic cities had publicly funded chairs in Latin grammar, Greek grammar and rhetoric, whose holders were commemorated in verse 1 Prohaeresius: E. J. Watts (2006) 48–78. Himerius: Barnes (1987); Penella (2007) 1–7. 2 Rousseau (1994) 32–4; Athanassiadi (1992) 127. 3 These are said to have included Basil of Caesarea and John Chrysostom: see Petit (1957) 40–1, 125–9; Rousseau (1994) 31 n. 16, 57–60. On Libanius’ school and his correspondence concerning current and former pupils, see Cribiore (2007). 4 Lib. Or. 35.15. On this speech, see Gleason (1995) 163–5.

33

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by the poet Ausonius.5 The empire’s great centres of learning attracted scions of the wealthy from far and wide, offering them the opportunity to complete their education in rhetoric, and sometimes philosophy, under some of the most famous teachers of the period. This was a luxury that few could afford; even among those children who received any form of education, most did not graduate beyond the more basic instruction available in local schools or under the tuition of travelling teachers.6 However, those lucky few who acquired literary and rhetorical paideia, although spread across thousands of miles, were united both by their shared literary heritage and by its employment in a public context. As Peter Brown has argued in his Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity, this formed ‘a common culture that was held to be the distinguishing mark of the diffused governing class of the empire, shared alike by the notables of each region and by the personnel of the imperial government’.7 Perhaps most importantly, these particular forms of elite cultural expression also reveal continuities in the social activities and expectations of the educated classes between the first century and the fourth: across the transition from the early to the late empire, the belief ‘that education and excellence went together’ remained prominent.8 However, the exhibition of rhetorical skill and self-presentation as a member of the educated elite did not depend solely on the limited, ephemeral opportunities afforded by a public oration.9 Paideia found its greatest expression not in the basilicas and agoras of the empire’s many cities, but in the written communications of an empire-wide educated stratum of society. Copies of an orator’s speeches were circulated amongst his friends and correspondents, regardless of whether they had ever been delivered publicly. Libanius is known to have distributed several of his speeches in this manner, including a plea to the emperor Julian on behalf of Aristophanes, a disgraced former imperial official.10 Although the 5 This collection of poems is known as the Professores, and is discussed, along with the nature of Gallic rhetorical education, in Sivan (1993) 74–93. Sivan points out (at 79) that, although more information is available concerning Ausonius’ native Bordeaux than other Gallic cities, one should not assume that it surpassed them all in educational provision. 6 On the range of educational opportunities in the Roman Empire, see Kaster (1988) 16–27; Cribiore (2001) 15–44; E. J. Watts (2006) 2–5. 7 Brown (1992) 36. On the importance of a rhetorical education in defining and maintaining social status, see also Morgan (1998) 234–9; Cribiore (2001) 238–44; E. J. Watts (2006) 1–23. While there are disagreements between scholars, particularly Teresa Morgan and Raffaella Cribiore, concerning the content of the educational ‘curriculum’, there is broad agreement on the centrality of paideia to the persona of the influential elite male. 8 E. J. Watts (2006) 6. 9 On the role of paideia in the construction of a public persona, see Whitmarsh (2001) 90–130. 10 Lib. Or. 14; PLRE i.106–7.

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oration retains the literary conceit that it was actually delivered before the emperor, it was, in fact, only sent to him. When Julian wrote back with praise of the orator’s eloquence, Libanius proudly published both the speech and Julian’s laudatory missive to his circle of like-minded correspondents.11 This was a moment of triumph in an endless cycle of agonistic literary endeavour.12 Libanius presented himself as a pepaideumenos, a member of the educated elite, by promulgating not only an example of his own paideia, but also evidence of its recognition by an individual who was both the most powerful man in the empire and a fellow pepaideumenos. It was a striking expression of status that travelled far beyond the confines of Libanius’ home city of Antioch. The possessor of paideia was able to deploy this symbolic capital, demonstrating that he had received the benefit of an education that had consumed large amounts of both time and money. These prominent demonstrations of literary erudition, either spoken or written, allowed men to acquire and maintain importance in the eyes of their peers; education, as Edward Watts has observed, was a ‘crucial tool’ and ‘a way of distinguishing the elite of Roman society from the average man. At the same time, it bound the men who possessed it closer together’.13 Thus when Libanius wrote to Themistius to recommend Julianus, a former consularis Phoenices who attained the rank of comes Orientis, he exalted the learning and culture of both the letter’s subject and its recipient.14 The acquisition of paideia, together with its recognition by men such as Libanius, acted as an endorsement for those seeking recognition and advancement outside their own communities.15 T h e p ow e r o f r h e to r i c

It is within this empire-wide cultural milieu, which privileged education and the public display of rhetoric as prominent markers of status, that the panegyrics and invectives of the fourth century were understood as important statements about power and authority. Panegyric has not always found 11 Liebeschuetz (1972) especially 25–31, which provides details of the delivery and publication of other speeches by Libanius. Several Ciceronian speeches were never delivered, including the Second Oration against Verres and the Second Philippic. On Dio Chrysostom, see Whitmarsh (2001) 325–7, arguing that the orations On Kingship were never performed before Trajan. 12 On this issue, see Schmitz (1997) especially 97–135; Whitmarsh (2001) 17–20. 13 E. J. Watts (2006) 5. See also Kaster (1988) 23–30; Brown (1992) 39. 14 Lib. Ep. 1296; PLRE i.472 (Julianus 15); Cribiore (2007) 217, 285–6. 15 On the prominence of paideia in letters of recommendation, see E. J. Watts (2006) 1–2; Cribiore (2007) 213–22.

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favour with classical scholars, especially when treated as an exclusively late-antique phenomenon. Edward Gibbon regarded it as symptomatic of the decline of the Roman empire into a decadent and theatrical society, in which autocratic military rulers displayed their dominance through the fawning praise of a faded aristocracy.16 In dismissing panegyric as ‘empty rhetoric’, Gibbon found an unlikely ally in Augustine of Hippo, the former public orator who memorably recalled that ‘I was preparing to deliver a panegyric to the emperor, in which I would tell many lies and would win approval from those who knew I was lying’.17 Sometimes panegyric has been mined for historical details, with all its literary qualities disregarded, or analysed in optimistic attempts to reconstruct ‘the’ late-antique model of the ideal emperor, as though such a uniform image could ever be said to have existed.18 Most frequently, it was simply shunned as obsequious and distasteful.19 In recent decades, however, panegyric has been approached more sympathetically. Many speeches have been subjected to detailed analysis of form and function, revealing nuances and innovations during the change from early to late empire and then onwards to the Byzantine period.20 This scholarship, especially the work of Sabine MacCormack, has played a significant role in the rehabilitation of panegyric, explaining its central role in Roman politics by placing it firmly within the broad context of imperial ceremonial.21 Such speeches were an integral part of a vast tapestry of protocol and pageantry that expressed the authority of a Roman emperor. Although they were filled with references to figures from mythology and classical history, the repetition of these stock exempla across

16 Gibbon (1776–88) ii 23–5. 17 Aug. Conf. 6.6. See also M. L. Clarke’s image of late Roman rhetoricians as powerless imperial propagandists: ‘In fulsome flowery periods they say what was expected of them, prove their loyalty and show that, if rhetoric no longer wielded power itself, it could at least grace and dignify power with fair words’ – Clarke (1996) 143. 18 Born (1934). These frustrating and failed attempts are discussed in MacCormack (1981) 2. 19 See the collection of hostile twentieth-century judgements collected in Rees (2012b) 15–16. 20 For extensive analysis of particular texts within the Panegyrici Latini, see, amongst others, Galletier (1949), (1952), (1955); Lippold (1968); Blockley (1972); MacCormack (1975) especially 154–86; Lieu (1989) 3–12; Nixon (1990); L’Huillier (1992); Nixon and Rodgers (1994); Rees (2002). Latin panegyrics from Statius to Sidonius are covered in Mause (1994). The orations of Themistius are explored in Vanderspoel (1995); Heather (1998); Penella (2000); Heather and Moncur (2001). On the relatively neglected figure of Himerius, see Penella (2007) especially the discussions and translations of panegyrics at 34–65, 207–71. On Julian’s panegyrics, see Athanassiadi (1992) 61–6; Curta (1995); Tougher (1998). Later developments are discussed in MacCormack (1975) 187–92, (1981) 6–8; Watson (1998); George (1998). 21 In particular, see MacCormack (1975), (1981); Asche (1983); L’Huillier (1992); Hägg and Rousseau (2000); and the essays collected in Whitby (1998).

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countless speeches was not a sign of artistic stagnation, but a key facet of panegyric’s contemporary relevance.22 The traditionalism of this rhetorical form ensured its continued prominence, since its persuasive force relied upon more than the ingenuity of individual orators or the novelty of their words. Their conservative collections of exempla were displays of loyalty and popular approval, presenting any emperor as conforming to an imperial model laid down by his illustrious predecessors; a status reaffirmed through its recognition and acknowledgement by prominent members of society.23 Through its strict adherence to conventional subject matter, panegyric illustrates an important aspect of the establishment and maintenance of monarchical power: the reliance upon a recognisable vocabulary of kingship. Augustine’s pronouncement can thus be read not as the artless confession of a disillusioned panegyrist, but rather as an episode in the carefully constructed autobiographical narrative of his conversion to Christianity and its plain-speaking truthfulness. Over several centuries of Roman rule, countless panegyrics were delivered. Only a tiny proportion of these are extant, offering a tantalising glimpse of imperial ceremonial, reconstructed from ‘fragments of a continuous frieze of imperial occasions’.24 In common with some other forms of literature, the few panegyrics that have survived are skewed towards the 22 On comparison with exempla in classical panegyric, see Aphth. Prog. 31.7–33.25 (Spengel 42.21– 44.19); Theon, Prog. 112.20–115.10; Herm. Prog. 18.16–20.5 (Spengel 14.8–15.5); Men. Rhet. 372.21–5, 376.31–377.9; Maguinness (1932) 45–52; Nixon (1990). All references to the progymnasmata attributed to Hermogenes and Aphthonius follow the page and line numbers of the Rabe edition, but with references (in brackets) to L. Spengel (ed.) Rhetores Graeci, vol. ii, Leipzig, 1854. References to Theon use the Spengel numeration. 23 More negative views of panegyric can still be found. For some scholars, while these texts might yield some fascinating details about late antiquity and its relationship with the earlier, classical era, the surviving panegyrics still act as a signifier of the essentially debased and epigonal nature of the period, an interesting embarrassment packed with ‘verbose and platitudinous vapouring’ – Nixon (1987) 10. Rees (2002) 19 is more positive, but also suggests that, while some surviving examples are sophisticated political tools, most panegyrics ‘were the insipid rehearsals of textbook formulae, trotted out by hack orators and deserving of the immediate oblivion which was to be their fate’. See also the similar comments at Rees (2007) 144, although Rees (2012b) avoids any such judgements. 24 MacCormack (1981) 9. On this point, see also MacCormack (1975) 151; Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 3; Rees (2007) 144, (2012b) 7–8, 32–3. 25 The major surviving early panegyrics are Pliny’s Panegyricus and Aelius Aristides’ On Rome, although Dio Chrysostom’s Kingship Orations display some panegyrical elements – see B. Gibson (2011) 109–16, which also discusses praise of Trajan in Frontinus, On Aqueducts. There also exists a short speech known as εἰς βασιλέα, which is transmitted with the works of Aelius Aristides but probably dates from the third century  – see Stertz (1979), de Blois (1986) and the discussion of differing views on the dating, authorship and addressee of the oration in Körner (2002) 218–27. C. P. Jones (1972) and (1981) defends the manuscript attribution to Aelius Aristides as correct, with the latter article responding to the claims advanced in Stertz (1979). In contrast, the late third and fourth centuries can boast (amongst others) the Panegyrici Latini, Julian’s encomia in praise of his imperial relatives and a number of speeches by Libanius, Themistius and Himerius.

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‘late’ period, with almost nothing extant from the ‘early’.25 Keith Hopkins neatly summed up the problems of interpretation caused by this imbalance when he asked: ‘Was the world of late antiquity … so markedly different … from previous centuries? Or is it just more fully known?’26 It is notable that the most celebrated early-imperial Latin oration of this type, Pliny’s Panegyric, is only preserved as the first speech in a collection conventionally known as the Panegyrici Latini, which itself cannot have been assembled before the late fourth century.27 Pliny’s speech was only saved from oblivion because, in one sense, it became a fourth-century document. It survived through the selective editorial project of a late-antique compiler, probably the active panegyrist Pacatus, whose speech in praise of Theodosius I also appears in the collection.28 If the compiler of the Panegyrici Latini had retained more first- and second-century speeches, then the modern view of early-imperial ceremonial might be radically different. As is evident in Gibbon’s assessment, as well as that of some more recent historians, this accident of survival can lead to a conception of late antiquity as a period prominent for the popularity of sycophantic speeches in praise of autocratic, military rulers; the extant panegyrics are thus treated as a literary barometer of the shift from the Principate to the Dominate.29 The position of Pliny’s speech at the head of the Panegyrici Latini is a register of its significance to the compiler, rather than just its temporal primacy, since the other speeches were not arranged chronologically.30 It was a model for imitation, and a number of these panegyrics reveal its influence.31 Pliny’s speech was delivered as a gratiarum actio to the emperor Trajan in ad 100, expressing the orator’s thanks on the occasion of his appointment 26 Hopkins (1993) 11, reviewing Brown (1992). 27 Galletier (1949) ix–xvi; Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 3–8; Rees (2011) 178, (2012b) 13–14. Five of the panegyrics have their own introductions in the manuscripts, while the other seven form a block with the title Panegyrici diuersorum vii. See also Rees (2007) 139–42, (2012b) 4–5 and Manuwald (2011) on panegyrical elements in some Ciceronian speeches. 28 For discussion of the proposed identification of this compiler with Pacatus, see Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 6–7, who conclude that, if it was not the work of Pacatus himself, it was certainly ‘a product of the late Gallic schools of rhetoric’. Rees (2011) 178 also accepts Pacatus as the editor of the collection. 29 See discussion at p. 37 n. 23 above. 30 Galletier (1949) vii–xi, xiv–xv; Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 4–5; Rees (2002) 20–2. 31 For instance, Pacatus, addressing the Christian emperor Theodosius I in 389, praised him for the same virtues extolled by Pliny three centuries earlier  – see C. Kelly (1998) 148–9. However, see also Rees (2011) for a detailed argument that, while Pliny’s speech heavily influenced Pacatus’ panegyric of Theodosius I, it had a much more limited role in shaping other orations in the Panegyrici Latini. 32 A gratiarum actio was an expression of thanks and so may be regarded as a form of panegyricus. Pliny’s speech was referred to as a gratiarum actio at the time, although it is preserved in manuscripts

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to a suffect consulship.32 Throughout the piece, Pliny sought desperately to distance himself and his audience of fellow senators from the disgraced emperor Domitian, assassinated in 96. The main force of Pliny’s argument relied on the claim that, even though the Senate had exalted the tyrant Domitian with effusive praise in public while cursing him in private, now, with the accession of Trajan, it could express its true and honest adoration for the new emperor both publicly and privately.33 Pliny promoted an elite ideology of consensus, praising Trajan as a model of ciuilitas, the Roman quality of distinctly unregal behaviour that involved acting as a citizen in a society of citizens, a senator amongst senators.34 However, Pliny’s optimistic rhetoric was in danger of being undermined by the already tired and tainted nature of the praise he heaped on Trajan. As he himself lamented while composing the speech, all his compliments were corrupted because they had already been used to flatter Domitian and other vicious tyrants: ‘Here I would like you to consider both the beauty of the subject and also its difficulty. In other matters, novelty itself keeps the reader attentive, but in this, all the phrases are familiar and cheapened.’35 Pliny needed new words. As Shadi Bartsch remarks: ‘Pliny speaks in a language already, to the ears of his audience, whittled thin and stripped of the potential to make moral distinctions that have any credibility or resonance.’36 Similarly, Bruce Gibson has identified similarities between Pliny’s praise of Trajan and descriptions of Domitian’s virtues, including modesty, in the works of Statius and Martial, leading to the conclusion that ‘the Plinian attempt to control and define notions of what is contemporary and what is past is doomed to failure’.37 However, this pessimistic assessment of Pliny’s task, derived from Pliny’s own statements about and within the oration, does not provide a full account of the Panegyric’s, or panegyric’s, engagement with the language of imperial power. The importance of panegyric stretched far beyond the individual words spoken and the imitation or innovation that characterised any particular oration. If the entire audience of Pliny’s speech, of the Panegyrici Latini under the title Panegyricus Plinii dictus Traiano and is also termed a panegyric in Sid. Ap. Ep. 8.10.3. The title gratiarum actio is also given to speeches by Ausonius and Fronto, as well as to Pan. Lat. v and iii in the manuscript headings – see Rees (2012b) 32–3; Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 4. 33 Bartsch (1994) 149–54; B. Gibson (2011) especially 116–24. 34 Wallace-Hadrill (1982) especially 41–8; Morford (1992). See also Ando (2000) 152–68 on the idea of senatorial consensus under a ciuilis princeps. 35 Pliny, Ep. 3.13.2; Bartsch (1994) 162–6. Pliny gave advice on the composition of another work of imperial praise in Ep. 6.27.3. 36 Bartsch (1994) 181. 37 B. Gibson (2011) 116–24, quoting 123.

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including Trajan himself, regarded panegyric as irretrievably stained through its association with tyrants, it would have been insulting to the emperor to be described in such a way and degrading for the orator to describe his own task in this manner. Pliny’s lament over the ‘linguistic bankruptcy’ of panegyric was not a criticism of the literary form, it was a rather deft employment of it: in stating that the rhetoric of praise had collapsed under Domitian, Pliny was able to laud its rehabilitation, alongside the rest of Roman political life, through the ciuilitas of Trajan’s rule, while simultaneously promoting himself as a key agent of this renewal.38 As Bruce Gibson has correctly observed, ‘the process of drawing the line which determines what is and what is not contemporary was an ideological one in Pliny’s time.’39 The Panegyricus’ declaration of a new beginning helped to maintain the status quo. Pliny’s claim to be distancing himself from the rhetoric of Domitian’s reign was not fatally undermined by continuities in the language of praise: rather, it allowed this language, and many of Rome’s leading men, to retain authority despite being linked with a fallen tyrant. Saying that the arrival of a new emperor had had such a transformative effect on society provided a way for most other aspects of political culture to remain stable, since they were cleansed and liberated by the new context of freedom. Therefore, any reading of panegyric which sees it as already denuded of meaning by the second century cannot account either for its continued prominence during the centuries following Pliny or for the influential position of his Panegyric in the work of Pacatus almost three centuries later. Panegyric retained its political currency. While late-antique orators may have shared many of Pliny’s concerns about how to praise an autocrat, they still chose to do so in a similar manner. Of course, it would be wrong to claim that the exercise of imperial power, and the ways in which it was presented, remained static over several centuries of empire. However, it would be similarly misleading to regard the motivations and intentions of Libanius or a fourth-century Gallic orator as incomparably different from those of Pliny addressing Trajan. Despite writing nearly three hundred years apart, these public figures faced many of the same problems: how to present an autocratic monarchy in terms acceptable to both emperor and audience, how to invoke the addressee’s approval in a ceremony of loyalty and consensus, and, often most difficult of all for the speaker, how to prove one’s own sincerity, especially when

  For the term ‘linguistic bankruptcy’, see Bartsch (1994) 181. B. Gibson (2011) 124.

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praising a new emperor with the same words recently used to extol the virtues of a fallen tyrant. It is only through the predominantly late-antique corpus of surviving material that we are offered an opportunity to explore more closely the fundamental role of panegyric in this construction of public conceptions, both of the qualities and virtues expected in an ideal emperor and of the current emperor as an embodiment of that ideal. In late antiquity, the central position of rhetoric in public life was inextricably linked with the pervasive presence of ceremonial. This was most keenly felt when an emperor was physically present. He might perform a ceremony of aduentus, in which he would make a formal entrance into a city, surrounded by a great procession of troops and attendants in a dazzling spectacle of colour and sound.40 Like many other late Roman ceremonies, an aduentus emphasised both the power of the emperor’s presence and his popularity. The crowds who lined the streets were, by their very presence, demonstrating their approval.41 Their public participation affirmed the status of the emperor, since their attendance and approval made this a ritual of consensus, which was sometimes also accompanied by the delivery of a panegyric.42 The Panegyrici Latini also include several speeches praising emperors or governors for visiting a particular city and making it fortunate by their very presence. A Gallic orator of 313 celebrated Constantine’s formal entry into Rome after the defeat of Maxentius, emphasising the approval and joy of the urban populace: The houses themselves, I hear, seemed to be moved and the rooftops to be raised up, wherever the chariot, with its gradual effort, carried your divine presence. So great a dense throng of the people, so great a crowd from the senate bore you along … the innumerable host jostled and surged with shifting movements … spread out along all the roads, while you were arriving, they waited, watched, wished and hoped, so that they seemed to besiege the man by whom they had been liberated with a siege.43

40 MacCormack (1981) 17–89; McCormick (1986) 18–21, 84–91; Dufraigne (1994) 41–92, 151–233, 249–68; Lehnen (1997); Vitiello (2000); Benoist (2005) 61–101. The most famous and vivid account of this ceremony is Ammianus’ description of Constantius II’s arrival at Rome in 357  – Amm. 16.10.4–10. 41 As a contrast to the idea of approval by attendance, see the absence of the Antiochene notables at the Temple of Apollo at Daphne during the reign of Julian, which is often interpreted as a protest against his unpopular actions in the city – Hunt (1998b) 69–73; Lieu (1989) 49; Athanassiadi (1992) 204–6. 42 On the politics of consensus in the Roman Empire, see Ando (2000) 131–205; Instinsky (1940); Drake (2000) 235–72. 43 Pan. Lat. xii(9).19.1, 2, 4. See also viii(4).19.1 on the arrival of Constantius I into London after his defeat of the usurper Allectus.

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Even if the emperor was absent, his presence could still be felt. Statues maintained his authority in towns and provinces that might not have seen a real emperor in living memory. They were public symbols that could be honoured and decorated in displays of local loyalty. Conversely, an attack on these images was an attack on the emperor himself, a very public act of defiance and rebellion that threatened to bring terrible retribution.44 Like statues, panegyric served as a public and civic reminder of the social order and of the reverence due to the emperor. Notable public figures performed such speeches on a number of occasions; sometimes they related to individual and extraordinary events, such as the arrival of an imperial official or the granting of a request to the city; sometimes they honoured one of the many days in the Roman calendar that commemorated important anniversaries connected to the emperor, such as that of his birth or accession, or the birthday of Rome itself.45 They could also, like statues, invoke the imperial presence across the vast expanse of empire. The panegyric of Constantine composed by Nazarius in 321 is believed to have been delivered at Rome in the emperor’s absence, even though the oration repeatedly addresses Constantine in the second person as though he were physically present.46 These speeches, like the ceremonies to which they contributed, were an expression of wide-reaching imperial power and of the approval of the audience. Whether or not the emperor was actually present, the performance and acclamation of a panegyric had a key role in the legitimation of imperial rule. It was a public display of loyalty by speaker and audience, who, either vocally or simply by their presence, gave approval to the orator’s sentiments. The whole city participated in this ritual, since ‘panegyric was not a dialogue but a drama and the mute characters had vital roles to play’.47 This was particularly evident in the shouted acclamations that often accompanied a panegyric, an aduentus 44 As would have happened in Antioch after the Riot of the Statues in 387, had the emperor Theodosius I not chosen instead a virtuous display of imperial clemency – see Lib. Or. 19–23; Zos. 4.41; Downey (1961) 426–33; Liebeschuetz (1972) 104–5; C. Kelly (1998) 154–5. See also Eus. V. Const. 3.4, where Eusebius comments on the seriousness of attacking the emperor’s images. 45 Rees (2002) 17–19, (2007) 144; Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 26–33; D. A. Russell (1998) 17. The Laus Constantini of Eusebius of Caesarea was delivered in honour of the thirtieth anniversary of the accession of Constantine. Other examples include Pan. Lat. x(2) (birthday of Rome), xi(3) (birthday of Maximian), viii(4) (probably the dies imperii of Constantius I), vii(6) (marriage of Constantine and Fausta), vi(7) (birthday of Trier), v(8) (quinquennalia of Constantine) and iv(10) (quinquennalia of Constantine’s sons Crispus and Constantine). 46 Pan. Lat. iv(10); Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 338. 47 Rees (2002) 15. 48 Roueché (1984), (1999); Alföldi (1970) 79–88; Alan Cameron (1976) 231–2; Dufraigne (1994) 169– 76; Aldrete (1999) 101–64.

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and numerous other public events in the later Roman world.48 The texts of these chants were sometimes even recorded and sent to the imperial court or inscribed on stone. Through these rituals of performance, transmission and display, the people of the empire ‘unconsciously iterated the binding links of imperial ideology’.49 Panegyric also created expectations in the minds of its audience, making all parties in the ceremony aware of the virtues that an emperor ought to embody and the responses and loyalty that ought to be expressed towards him. It was thus a traditional and integral part of the complex rituals of power that characterised and perpetuated Roman imperial society. Panegyric was a transaction between ruler and ruled, in which the emperor’s authority was affirmed by soldiers and civilians alike.50 This ritual function of panegyric as an implicit expression of widespread support for the status quo was allied with its important role in the construction of the concept of an emperor. It was not merely that these speeches expressed universally acknowledged views concerning the proper virtues and actions required of a monarch; they also created and perpetuated them in the minds of the empire’s many subjects. Panegyrics proclaimed the multitude of virtues that were both required of any emperor and possessed by this particular one. They announced the ideal and its fulfilment in a single instant. In order to create this image, panegyrists relied heavily on the presentation of their subjects as conforming to traditional models of behaviour. These orators stressed the conservative nature of their topoi; the sheer familiarity of the material gave a sense of security and continuity with the past.51 The art and innovation of the panegyrists are evident not in the invention of new virtues, but rather in the selective deployment of them.52 These existed, like individual pieces in a Meccano set, to be chosen and fitted together in countless different ways. Depending upon the individual emperor’s circumstances and the orator’s purposes, particular virtues could be prioritised and given prominence in each portrait of the ideal. All characteristics embodied by this one emperor were therefore presented as having always played an integral part in the imperial paradigm. Pliny portrayed Trajan as a paragon of virtuous self-restraint, pursuing 49 Ando (2000) 203–5, quoting 205. 50 See MacCormack (1981) 9, where panegyric is described as ‘a token of legitimate rule and a form of popular consent’. 51 On the authority of formalised rhetoric, see Brown (1992) 42. 52 This tension between traditionalism and innovation in late-antique panegyrics is brought out well in Rees (2011) 188: ‘This is a case not of cloning but of generic modification.’ 53 Wallace-Hadrill (1981) 316, 318.

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the interests and norms of Roman society and so fulfilling the criteria for a ‘good’ emperor.53 In the third and fourth centuries, successive emperors were praised in orations that recycled notable characters from literature and history, presenting their subjects as equalling or surpassing the achievements of men such as Odysseus, Romulus and Augustus.54 These links with the past implied stability and conservatism; using traditional materials, the ideal could be remade in every speech and the emperor praised for his adherence to traditional values. As Marie-Claude L’Huillier has argued in her detailed analysis of the Panegyrici Latini: C’est pourquoi dans l’instant où l’orateur exerce le pouvoir qui lui est imparti, il perpétue l’autre pouvoir par l’exemplarité du souverain polymorphe. Dans cet échange spéculaire, dans cette élaboration fantasmatique, les mots des discourse opèrent une incarnation, celle du corps social tout entier réduit à son empereur.55

Status was affirmed through public consensus expressed in a network of ceremonials. Although the emphasis of each speech might reflect the circumstances of its composition, its vocabulary of power remained stable and eminently recognisable. The identity of the individual emperor became almost irrelevant; the panegyric proclaimed that his virtues and achievements, when compared to those of earlier figures, made his imperial authority manifest. Learning to praise

In the fourth century, young men who desired training in panegyric and other forms of oratory, and whose families had ample resources, often studied under a notable teacher of rhetoric, such as Libanius in Antioch, Prohaeresius in Athens or Marius Victorinus in Rome. Some students aspired to a public career in the imperial administration, some wished to be prominent in the law-courts or their town’s curia, some sought rhetorical education not with a specific purpose in mind, but simply because it was an expected activity for young men of their class. Under expert guidance, they learned the proper forms and techniques prescribed by the conventions and expectations of public speaking. During the Roman 54 Odysseus: Julian, Or. 1.12d, 1.32b; Them. Or. 15.188b. Romulus: Pan. Lat. ii(12).20.3, x(2).13.1; Them. Or. 3.43c. Augustus: Pan. Lat. ii(12).11.6, ii(12).33.3, vii(6).11.2, xii(9).10.1; Them. Or. 5.63d, 15.193a. The references to history and literature in the Panegyrici Latini are tabulated in Nixon (1990) 30–3. Julian’s traditional terms of praise for Constantius II are discussed in Long (1996) 36. 55 L’Huillier (1992) 408.

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imperial period, a number of handbooks, many of which are conventionally known as progymnasmata, were produced for this purpose, focusing heavily on the various forms of display oratory.56 The best-known treatises on epideictic rhetoric are the two conventionally ascribed to Menander Rhetor, from Laodicea, just north of Aphrodisias in south-western Asia Minor, and usually dated to the late third century.57 The first outlined rules for the composition of hymns and the praise of countries and cities, including recounting their achievements and important topographical details, such as harbours, bays and citadels. The second mostly concerned the praise of individuals, and carefully divided and defined different forms of epideictic oratory for performance on a variety of ceremonial occasions, including two different types of speech, the ἐπιβατήριος and the προσφωνητικός, to be delivered to imperial officials on their arrival into a city.58 The notable local individuals who delivered such speeches were distinguished pepaideumenoi, and some were themselves teachers of rhetoric within their communities, providing a very public display of the value of their curriculum.59 Their speeches were created for a civic context, often in praise of a local person of importance or an imperial official, particularly one who was able to convey some benefit to the city.60 The handbook conventionally attributed to Aelius Theon is possibly the earliest of the progymnasmata and is usually assumed to predate Quintilian 56 The history and content of such texts are outlined in Clark (1957) 179–212; Bonner (1977) 250–76; Kennedy (1983) 54–73 and more recently, though in less detail, in Kennedy (2003) ix–xiii. A list of attested authors of progymnasmata is provided at Heath (2002–3) 129–41. See also D. A. Russell (1998) and Rees (2007) 137–9, 146 on rhetorical training for panegyrists, as well as Cribiore (2001) 220–38 on both progymnasmata and rhetorical training more generally, including evidence from Egyptian papyri. Morgan (1998) 190–226 also makes extensive use of this material, but argues that the surviving papyrus examples of rhetorical exercises were of a very basic level compared to progymnasmata. 57 Internal evidence is used to date the first treatise after 272 and the second treatise after the accession of Diocletian, while some have argued that the treatises are by different authors: see Russell and Wilson (1981) xxxiv–xl and Heath (2004) 93–4, 127–31. Heath concludes (at 128) that the first treatise is not by Menander, but that the second (which is of greater interest to this discussion) is correctly ascribed. 58 On these two types of speeches, see Men. Rhet. 377.32–388.15; 414.32–418.4. Other types of speech in Menander’s second treatise included the speech of departure (προπεμπτικὴ λαλιά) and the birthday speech (γενεθλιακóς). 59 Libanius is probably the most obvious example of this. On the educational activities of the authors of the Panegyrici Latini, see Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 10–14, 29–33. On the regular role of local teachers of rhetoric as panegyrists, see Kaster (1988) 123–4. 60 Local orators of note were often sent as civic ambassadors to the imperial court, and might be publicly honoured at home if they were successful. Menander also prescribed rules for the composition of an ambassadorial speech (πρεσβευτικóς). The frustration felt by an unsuccessful ambassador is displayed in the De regno of Synesius of Cyrene – see pp. 59–61 below. 61 Quint. Inst. Or. 3.6.48, 9.3.76.

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or Pliny, since Quintilian mentions two Theons in his Institutio.61 Even if this attribution is incorrect, the structure of the work and the authors cited in it are often taken as evidence for a date of composition in the Principate, probably in the first century, although Malcolm Heath has suggested that it could date from the fifth century.62 Another text of doubtful authorship has been transmitted under the name of Hermogenes of Tarsus, a famous second-century orator, although some have claimed it as the work of Libanius.63 This work shares many of the same topics and categories of epideictic rhetoric described by Theon, including fable, narrative (exposition of an event or story), thesis (discussion of a particular question or issue), synkrisis (comparison of two or more people or objects), encomium and invective. The most influential of the handbooks in late antiquity is securely attributed to a late fourth-century rhetorician named Aphthonius, who was a student of Libanius.64 This handbook used the same division of themes and material seen in Hermogenes and became a standard school text in the Byzantine and early modern periods, providing not only precepts for different forms of rhetoric, but also examples of their use, such as a synkrisis of Achilles and Hector.65 The surviving progymnasmata of Libanius consist entirely of an extensive set of such model exercises, including a number of sample encomia and invectives, but without the more general guidance on rhetorical composition provided by the other handbooks.66 There is little in these collections to suggest change or progression in rhetorical practice over the lifetime of the Roman empire. Instead, they bear witness to the continued vitality of epideictic oratory and its prominent role in the public life of the elite. The most important and prestigious speech of all was the imperial panegyric, which Menander titled the βασιλικὸς λόγος. This is described in detail at the beginning of his second treatise. Menander prescribed that it ‘will encompass a commonly agreed amplification of the emperor’s positive characteristics and excludes anything ambiguous or controversial, because this personage is most glorious; so you should compose the piece 62 Heath (2002–3) 141–58. For the ‘orthodox’ view of the dating and attribution of the text, see Kennedy (2003) 1. 63 Kennedy (2003) 73 provides a clear discussion of this text’s disputed authorship, including some claims that it is the work of Libanius. See also Heath (2002–3) 158–60, where the suggestion is made that this text could be the work of the second-century rhetorician Minucianus. 64 Kennedy (2003) 89–90. 65 Kennedy (2003) 2 notes that the chapter structure of Theon’s work was altered in late antiquity to resemble more closely the organisation of material in Hermogenes and Aphthonius. 66 See C. A. Gibson (2008), which reprints the Greek text of Foerster, together with an English translation and notes. 67 Men. Rhet. 368.3–8.

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according to widely accepted positive traits’.67 The other progymnasmata gave similar advice. Theon instructed the orator to begin by praising external qualities, starting with birth and ancestry, moving on to a discussion of a number of other factors, including education, reputation and wealth, along with physical strengths, and then finally discussing the subject’s virtues and virtuous actions.68 Hermogenes advised that the proper topics for encomium were national origin, birth, upbringing, education, physical and mental health, pursuits and, most importantly, deeds.69 Aphthonius also began his panegyrical scheme with a discussion of the subject’s origin and education, before prescribing that the main body of the text should be devoted to ‘the greatest chapter heading of encomia, actions, which you will divide into soul, body and fortune’.70 All the handbooks were in agreement about these main topics for describing an emperor, specifying that particular attention was to be paid to his actions, in war and peace, since they provided the best illustrations of the subject’s virtues.71 However, not all panegyrics followed the same rigid structure. One sign of the panegyrist’s skill was his ability to vary the set scheme in order to fit the circumstances of delivery. Theon suggested that orators should pass over negative aspects of their subject’s character or actions, since they were composing an encomium, not an apology.72 An emperor who was undistinguished or unsuccessful in war would, instead, be praised for his peacetime achievements. Also, a speech composed for a specific purpose, such as Pliny’s gratiarum actio on receiving the consulship, would be panegyrical in tone, but might not find a description of the emperor’s birth and associated portents either necessary or desirable.73 Despite not adhering rigidly to any template outlined in any particular handbook, Pliny’s speech was given pride of place in the Panegyrici Latini and used as a model by Pacatus for his praise of Theodosius I. Similarly, the anonymous panegyric of Constantine delivered around 313 made no mention whatsoever of his ancestors, birth or education, but instead praised his actions 68 Theon, Prog. 110.2–10. On the precepts for encomium in progymnasmata, see Kennedy (1983) 63, 68–70; Clark (1957) 194–8. 69 Herm. Prog. 15.18–16.12 (Spengel 12.6–20). 70 Aphth. Prog. 22.5–6 (Spengel 36.12–14). 71 The first five encomia in Libanius’ progymnasmata praise the Homeric characters Diomedes, Odysseus, Achilles and Thersites, as well as the orator Demosthenes, beginning with their homelands, ancestry and education, before describing their virtues and achievements  – Lib. Prog. Encomia 1–5. 72 Theon, Prog. 112.8–13. 73 After a long preamble, Pliny began his account of Trajan’s life at Paneg. 14 with a description of the emperor’s formative years. 74 Pan. Lat. xii(9); Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 289.

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and virtues, as demonstrated in his victory over Maxentius in the previous year.74 The formal schemata of Menander and other rhetoricians provided guidelines for the composition of such speeches, but individual authors did not remain tightly constrained by the precepts of their textbooks.75 Claudian’s poems in praise of Stilicho and Honorius should outdoubtedly be regarded as panegyrical, even though they do not slavishly conform to Menander’s rules, not least by being composed in verse.76 It was a facet of the panegyrist’s art to be able to produce a work that was carefully crafted for one particular moment and subject, while remaining securely within the recognisable framework and long tradition of imperial praise. Even though panegyrical texts did not always follow closely the rudimentary structure and division of material described in the handbooks, they all employed the same rhetorical techniques and register of praise to create positive portrayals of emperors for a variety of occasions. They were bound together by their constructions of an ideal emperor and the identification of their subject as its fulfilment. These descriptions of character traits were further embellished through comparison with exempla of famous individuals drawn from history or literature, presenting the subject as surpassing in virtue even the proverbially virtuous. This technique, known as synkrisis, was well established in the ancient world and the handbooks recommended it as an important tool for panegyrics and invectives, with Menander advising: ‘Also attach a comparison to each of the principal sections … picking out exempla as well, such as Roman emperors and generals, and the most estimable Greeks.’77 The greatest and most extensive expression of this literary technique to survive from the ancient world is Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, in which the author concluded most (if not all) of his pairs of Greek and Roman biographies with a synkrisis discussing their similarities and differences.78 Within an imperial panegyric, the comparisons were usually on a much 75 Mesk (1912); MacCormack (1981) 4–6; Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 10–14. 76 Alan Cameron (1970) 22–3, 253–5. 77 Men. Rhet. 372.21–5. See also 376.31–377.9. Aphth. Prog. 31.7–12 (Spengel 42.21–6) recommended comparing the subject with famous villains in order to make him look better by comparison. Aphth. Prog. 22.13–24.21 (Spengel 36.21–38.13) also provided a sample encomium of Thucydides which compared him favourably with Herodotus. See also Theon, Prog. 112.20–113.24; Herm. Prog. 18.16–20.5 (Spengel 14.8–15.5). Eutrop. 8.5.3 states that late Roman emperors were acclaimed in the Senate as ‘more prosperous than Augustus, better than Trajan’. Libanius included three model synkrises between individuals (Achilles and Diomedes; Ajax and Achilles; Demosthenes and Aeschines) in his progymnasmata – Lib. Prog. Comparisons 1–3. 78 On synkrisis in classical literature, especially Plutarch, see Focke (1923); Clark (1957) 198–9; Pelling (1986); Swain (1992); Duff (1999) 243–309. On the Panegyrici Latini, see Maguinness (1932) 45–52; Nixon (1990).

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smaller scale and served to illustrate the orator’s image of the emperor as qualitatively identical to the great leaders and heroes of the past, while also, in many cases, excelling them in virtue. Therefore, a Gallic panegyrist was able to praise Maximian with the exclamation that ‘even Alexander the Great now seems lowly to me for giving the Indian king back his kingdom when, emperor, so many kings are your clients’.79 Pacatus, in celebrating Theodosius I’s victory over the usurper Magnus Maximus, chose to compare the defeated general and his followers to Spartacus, leader of the great slave revolt against the Republic, as well as the proverbially brutal Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum.80 Through the deployment of these recognisable figures, orators tapped into shared terms of reference that were prevalent in Roman society, or at least the more educated sections of it, and so also demonstrated their own learning and credentials as members of the elite. The regular employment of comparisons with classical figures placed both the speakers and the objects of their praise within a well-established framework for describing the virtuous. Exempla were thus a vital part of this wider role of panegyric and ceremonial, through which the emperor was presented as the latest embodiment of traditional statesmanly virtues, and therefore as a suitable monarch, endorsed by speaker and audience alike. Through the rhetorical training they received from teachers and textbooks, and through participation in the ceremonies that accompanied panegyrics, the upper strata of Roman society acquired an understanding of the techniques of public praise and the fundamental role that it, and they, could play in the creation of imperial ideology. Learning to bl ame

The rhetorical handbooks also provided students with detailed instructions for the composition of invectives. In the technical schemes of these teachers, invectives were to be formal epideictic orations, with negative subject matter organised into the same categories and structure employed for panegyrics. Consequently, the two forms of rhetoric were often coupled together in handbooks. Hermogenes noted that invectives were sometimes also included under the umbrella title of ‘encomia’, since they used

79 Pan. Lat. x(2).10.3. Immediately before this, the orator had proclaimed that ‘you see, emperor, that I do not find anything from all of antiquity which I might compare to you, except the example of the Herculean race’. See also Pan. Lat. xii(9).5.1–3, in which Constantine was praised for surpassing the military achievement of Alexander the Great, and Nixon (1990) 8–9. 80 Pan. Lat. ii(12).23.1–2 (Spartacus and other slaves), ii(12).29.4 (Phalaris).

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the same topics as panegyrics, while Theon advised that blame should be derived from the opposites of the virtues and deeds praised in an encomium.81 Aphthonius’ instructions to budding invectivists prescribed that ‘when composing a preface, you will describe family, which you will divide in the same manner as in encomium, and you will arrange education, deeds, comparison and the peroration just as in encomia’.82 Synkrisis was also prescribed as a key feature of invective, just as it was for panegyric.83 When employed within an invective, it could be used to present the subject either as the antithesis of a paradigmatically virtuous figure or as even worse than a stock tyrant or villain. Aphthonius described synkrisis as ‘a double encomium or an invective composed of encomium and invective’.84 He also provided a sample invective against Philip of Macedon, describing the barbarian and servile nature of his race and home city, the weakness of his ancestors, the disgraceful conduct of his life, the shameful manner of his death and, finally, a comparison with the Homeric tyrant, Echetus.85 Libanius’ progymnasmata also included model denunciations of Philip, Achilles, Hector and the Athenian politician Aeschines, thus demonstrating the centrality of canonical classical authors to the late-antique schoolroom.86 Libanius’ attack on Philip was similar to that of Aphthonius, drawing on the speeches of Demosthenes in order to condemn all aspects of the king’s person and conduct.87 The invective opens with the statement that Philip was more worthy of such treatment that any other figure, ‘for while a tyrant is the worst of the evils amongst men, Philip is the worst of all tyrants’.88 Libanius then moved on to condemn Philip as hailing from a miserable little city in a barbarian homeland, while his ancestors had been subservient to the Persians and Athenians like slaves.89 Instead of providing the usual praise of the subject’s education that was regularly prescribed for a panegyric, Philip was instead criticised since he ‘was brought up in barbaric customs, where what is considered honourable is not love of music, or exercise of wisdom, or yearning for 81 Herm. Prog. 15.8–11 (Spengel 11.28–30); Theon, Prog. 112.17–18. For discussion of invective in progymnasmata, see Clark (1957) 198–9; Kennedy (1983) 63. 82 Aphth. Prog. 28.3–6 (Spengel 40.14–17). 83 On synkrisis in Claudian’s In Eutropium, see Long (1996) 36–7. 84 Aphth. Prog. 31.11–12 (Spengel 42.25–6). 85 Aphth. Prog. 28.8–31.5 (Spengel 40.19–42.19); Long (1996) 78–9. This invective is, unsurprisingly, much indebted to Demosthenes’ attacks on Philip. 86 Lib. Prog. Invectives 1–4. The next three invectives condemned wealth, poverty and anger. 87 Long (1996) 79–80. For the range of Demosthenic allusions in this invective, see the notes in C. A. Gibson (2008) 283–9. 88 Lib. Prog. Invective 3.1.  89  Lib. Prog. Invective 3.2.

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eloquence, or care for self-control or justice, but rather copious wine, drunkenness, gorging, gratifying lusts and not shrinking from any of the most shameful activities’.90 After that, Philip’s adult life was described in similarly excoriating terms, narrating his time as a hostage at Thebes, his disgraceful behaviour as the lover of Pammenes, his ungrateful treatment of Athens and his capture of many cities through treachery and deceit, rather than military prowess, leading to his impious destruction of temples and altars.91 While the virtuous deeds of a ruler, divided up between war and peace, might have been praised in an encomium, Libanius stated that ‘Philip was seeking peace when he ought to have waged war, while he was waging war in a time of peace. The first is a sign of weakness, the second of wickedness.’92 His private life was condemned in similar terms to his public activities, as he revelled in drunken, brutal and perverted behaviour, surrounding himself with the worst sort of people, while seeking to corrupt his betters.93 After describing Philip’s physical ugliness, which mirrored his moral turpitude, Libanius dismissed any praise of his victory at Chaeronea before stating that he paid his penalty to the gods when he ‘met with an end that deserves no praises’, being run through by Pausanias, whom he had disgraced in his youth.94 It was through studying such examples in rhetorical handbooks, as well as attending the lessons of practising orators, that select groups of young men throughout the empire were taught traditional methods for constructing both positive and negative portrayals of individuals or groups. The composition of both panegyric and invective was an integral part of rhetorical training. The rhetorical forms were intrinsically linked, using exactly the same scheme and topics for the assessment and evaluation of their subject: invective was the antithesis of panegyric, replacing celebrated ancestors with criminals, the notable with the notorious, virtues with vices.95 As with panegyrics, therefore, the handbooks acted as guidelines, providing topics and themes that could be selected and arranged depending 90 Lib. Prog. Invective 3.3.  91  Lib. Prog. Invective 3.4–8. 92 Lib. Prog. Invective 3.11.  93  Lib. Prog. Invective 3.9–10. 94 Lib. Prog. Invective 3.12–14 (quoting 14). 95 Menander, unlike these other rhetoricians, wrote specifically about imperial panegyric and did not provide details concerning the inversion of this praise, perhaps because that would have involved explicitly describing the method for assailing an emperor’s reputation. Arena (2007) 149–50 also outlines the discussion of invective in the works of Cicero and the Rhetorica ad Herennium, but does not consider the progymnasmata and so states (at 150) that ‘in ancient rhetorical treatises invective does not appear as a genus in itself ’.

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on the author’s particular purposes. Although there were strict frameworks prescribed for the composition of invective, they were rarely employed in surviving speeches. It was uncommon for a polemical work to describe the subject’s family, birth, upbringing, deeds and vices in the prescribed order.96 In fact, vivid descriptions of vices and unfavourable comparisons with famous characters were in evidence in a wide range of Greek and Latin texts. The term ‘invective’ has therefore come to be applied to a great variety of literary works, including the popular comedy and speeches of classical Athens and Republican Rome, the satires of Juvenal and the political poetry of Claudian.97 As mentioned above, passages employing invective techniques can also be found within eulogistic works, as seen most notably in the negative portrayals of ‘usurpers’ in the Panegyrici Latini.98 Similarly, when lamenting the untimely death of the emperor Julian, Libanius complained that, in contrast, his cousin, the worthless Constantius II, had held supreme power for such a long time.99 By creating synkrises with the positive portraits of the ‘legitimate’ emperors which formed the subjects of the speeches, orators were able to reinforce the texts’ panegyrical message. This distribution of material has encouraged intertextual approaches to invective, which have demonstrated the influence of popular images, particularly stock comic characters, on political orations. Demosthenes, in his On the Crown, portrayed his opponent Aeschines as a series of figures from comedy, using much of the same vocabulary of unusual compound neologisms and amusing diminutives.100 Scholarship on Latin invective has paid particular attention to the orations of Cicero, including the Pro Caelio, in which various figures in the narrative were cast as the regular character types seen in Roman comedy, and this practice has also been identified in Cicero’s attacks on other political enemies, including Antony, Clodius and Piso.101 This rhetorical device operated in a similar manner to the comparisons with exempla of famous individuals prescribed by 96 Long (1996) 31–8, 77, 107–39 argues that Claudian, in Eutrop. 1 largely follows this structure. 97 See p. 20 n. 65 above on Long. 98 Lassandro (1981); Barnes (1996) especially 60–1; Long (1996) 90–6. See also Ammianus’ pairings of positive and negative assessments of emperors at 21.16.1–19 (Constantius II), 25.4 (Julian), 25.10.14–15 (Jovian), 30.8–9 (Valentinian I), 31.14.1–7 (Valens). On these necrologies, see Blockley (1975) 35–49; Niccoli (1976); Matthews (1989) 112–14, 237–41, 468–9. 99 Lib. Or. 17.8. 100 See Rowe (1966) especially 397–403, on Demosthenes describing Aeschines as a political hireling, a ‘quack-doctor’ and a ‘third-rate actor’. 101 Geffcken (1973); Hughes (1998); Sussman (1998). On Ciceronian invective, see also Long (1996) 68–70, 73–77; Corbeill (1996), (2002); Craig (2004); Arena (2007); and the collection of essays in Booth (2007).

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the handbooks. The presentation of contemporary individuals as imitators of recognisable character types, either from history or fiction, thus employed the listener’s or reader’s preconceptions and prejudices. In this case, however, rather than portraying them as following in a long tradition of virtuous leadership, as would be implied by references to such figures as Achilles or Nestor, the orator’s opponents were transformed into objects of ridicule. The composer of invective, just like the panegyrist, was able to choose from a wide range of literary allusions and character traits in order to assemble his images. Writers could employ this technique to argue for their own versions of the perfect statesman or ruler to suit their particular circumstances, and then present their subjects as the fulfilment or inversion of this paradigm. By using the figures of the past as a means to understanding the present, the orator gave his speech a recognisable air of traditionalism and continuity. The panegyrist and the invectivist were both able to provide a familiar framework within which their audience were invited to view the orators’ subjects and measure them against an ideal. In contrast to the countless opportunities for performing public panegyrics, however, there were significantly fewer opportunities for the composition of invectives (and certainly for their delivery). The surviving orations of Libanius do offer several examples of attacks against living figures of authority, including a number of governors of Syria, sometimes within appeals to the emperor to take action against these unscrupulous and violent officials.102 Oration 33 was formally addressed to the emperor Theodosius I, but may only have been circulated among a small circle of Libanius’ sympathetic friends.103 In this speech, Libanius set about demolishing the status of the governor Tisamenus. The official’s grandfather was praised for his learning, in order that the contrast with his boorish scion might be brought into sharper relief.104 The main body of the speech was then devoted to an outline of Tisamenus’ career, with an emphasis on his failure to administer justice properly during his time at Antioch. As prescribed in the handbooks, here was an image of a public figure not only failing to live up to the model of virtuous leadership, but actually inverting 102 See, for example, Lib. Or. 4 (against Eutropius, consularis of Syria – PLRE i.318 [Eutropius 3]), 33 (Tisamenus, consularis of Syria – PLRE i.916–17), 37 (Polycles, governor of Phoenice – PLRE i.712), 38 (Silvanus, son of an Antiochene decurion – PLRE i.841 [Silvanus 3]), 45 (unnamed governors), 46 (Florentius, consularis of Syria  – PLRE i.364–5 [Florentius 9]), 54 (Eustathius, consularis of Syria  – PLRE i.311–12 [Eustathius 6]), 56 (Lucianus, comes Orientis  – PLRE i.516–17 [Lucianus 6]) and 57 (Severus – consularis of Syria – PLRE i.834 [Severus 14]). On the polemical techniques employed in these speeches, see Long (1996) 80–1, 85–90. 103 Long (1996) 86–8.  104  Lib. Or. 33.3.

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it. Libanius claimed that, when Tisamenus arrived as the new governor of the region, ‘inheriting a population that knew its own place, he led it into not knowing’, so that ‘the population has come to believe that it rules its ruler and that it has, through its insolence, subordinated the one to whom it has been subordinated by the law’.105 As the speech reached its conclusion, Tisamenus was denounced as a plague, from whom the cities of Syria needed to be rescued.106 Although this speech, together with Libanius’ other invectives, did not follow rigidly the formulae laid out in the handbooks and his own didactic exercises, they nonetheless demonstrate that some opportunities did exist to put the schoolroom techniques into use in the real world. Yet, while Libanius did employ some invective techniques to attack his political enemies, or to castigate formers friends and pupils, his targets did not extend to the very top of the social and political scale, at least when it came to discussing living emperors. Even when lamenting attacks on pagan temples under the Christian emperor Theodosius I, Libanius retained a deferential tone, blaming the crimes not on the emperor himself, but on his unworthy subordinates, who had deceived him and misrepresented his instructions.107 He chose to adopt the tone of the imperial advisor or the civic ambassador, presenting his case to a wise and just ruler. Some of his other flowerings of invective represent little more than spats with former friends or pupils.108 He never crossed the rhetorical Rubicon by attacking a living emperor directly, not even in a piece intended for very limited circulation. While invective is, overall, less common than panegyric in surviving late-antique literature, polemics against living emperors are extremely rare.109 Rhetoricians could find many opportunities to hear (and maybe deliver) panegyrics of emperors, but invective was usually only reserved for fallen ‘tyrants’. Where they could encounter such outspoken attacks on the powerful, however, was in the works of Demosthenes and Cicero, which provided much of the source material for formative rhetorical education in Greek and Latin respectively. The sets of Philippics by these two orators were canonical examples of invective deployed directly against living enemies. For the young men who were absorbing these models, such political polemic was not merely a chapter in a textbook on rhetorical theory; it had been central to the careers of the greatest classical orators. 105 Lib. Or. 33.11.  106  Lib. Or. 33.43.  107  Lib. Or. 30.46–55. 108 Lib. Or. 37 (Polycles) and 38 (Silvanus). 109 A notable exception is the De regno of Synesius of Cyrene. One might also place the In Eutropium of Claudian in the same category, due to the extremely powerful position that Eutropius held at the eastern court. Both of these texts will be discussed in the next section.

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These speeches against the domineering villains Philip and Antony helped to create the afterlives of the politicians who opposed them, ensuring their places in history as fierce and eloquent enemies of tyranny.110 In late antiquity, however, any budding invectivists must also have been aware that there was little chance of emulating the achievements of Demosthenes or Cicero. For most men who entered public life in the later Roman empire, the techniques for assailing their masters would have to remain firmly stowed in their rhetorical toolkits, while those of panegyric could be safely and publicly deployed. Despite its presence in the progymnasmata, political invective of this sort remained the preserve of those who laid claim to the greatest parrhesia; it was an exciting forbidden fruit that all had the skills to obtain, but that very few actually tasted. P o l e m i c a n d p ow e r

While studies of invective have sought to identify influences and trends across ancient literature, they have rarely placed it within the wider context of imperial ceremony and ideology. Just as invective was formally identical to panegyric, but with the features inverted, as in a photographic negative, so it also played the same role functionally. Compared to its more positive cousin, ancient invective is poorly represented in modern studies of late-antique imperial ideology. While panegyric suffered until relatively recently from being dismissed as ‘empty rhetoric’, so invective has also been viewed as ‘mere abuse’ and therefore somewhat distasteful, especially when its insults are graphic and sordid. Because it is split across a wide range of texts, incorporating both prose and verse, studies of defamatory literature have often concentrated on cataloguing and categorising the various forms of abuse found throughout antiquity, in an attempt to identify the ‘rules’ of ancient invective.111 Although helpful in identifying continuity across several centuries, these approaches also risk creating a false ‘canon’ of terminology, as similar analyses did for panegyric.112 They have tended to create an impression of ancient invective as static and hackneyed, endlessly recycling the same stock insults and so devoid of any real impact. Unlike panegyric, invective has yet to emerge fully 110 See pp. 134–40 below. 111 Süß (1910) 247–54 defined ten categories for Greek literature, which were taken up enthusiastically for a broad sweep of ancient literature in Koster (1980). For Latin authors, including some early Christian writers who are important for this book, this task has been exhaustively performed by Ilona Opelt in, amongst others, Opelt (1965), (1972), (1973a), (1973b), (1974) and (1980). On Lucifer of Cagliari, see also Tietze (1976) 82–164, 181–99. 112 See pp. 36 n. 18 and 97 n. 80.

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from this shadow; since its methods were direct inversions of those seen in encomia, it deserves to be assigned a similar ideological function in establishing the suitability of rulers. Jonathan Powell, in the opening chapter in a volume on Ciceronian invective, identifies four stages through which attitudes towards the credibility of Roman invective have moved: firstly, that political invective was common, comic and brushed off lightly in the late Republic; secondly, that it was a mere literary trope and not taken seriously; thirdly, that it was both humorous and taken seriously, since it was used against those designated as ‘the other’; finally, that the performance of the insult is most important, rather than its content or credibility, although accusations had greater force when the listeners believed them.113 While the fourth of these approaches is notable for its interest in both the polemicist and his audience, it is vital to move beyond questions about whether people ‘really believed’ the orator’s graphic slurs. Just as scholarship on panegyric has broken free from these concerns to concentrate on its role in constructing and manipulating authority, so similar consideration should be given to the analogous function played by its ugly sister. As Valentina Arena has stated in an essay on Ciceronian abuse, ‘invective is an attempt by one member of the community to disgrace another in the eyes of the rest, arrogating for himself the right to act on behalf of the whole group.’114 Anthony Corbeill, also working on Cicero, has emphasised the power of humorous invective not only to restate, but also to redefine, social values, arguing that ‘political humor, no less than serious political discussion, both creates and enforces a community’s norms’.115 These aspects of the social and political potential of invective should therefore be explored not just in the late Republic, but also in the late Empire. While some of the few surviving late-imperial invectives have been the subjects of detailed studies in recent years, these accounts have tended to underemphasise the role that these texts played in the highly ceremonial world of late antiquity.116 In her important study of Claudian’s In Eutropium, Jacqueline Long identifies the position of this work within long traditions of praise for consuls and abuse towards eunuchs, before turning to focus on its historical importance in the fractured relations between 113 Powell (2007) 19–20. See also Craig (2004) 194–7; Arena (2007) 157–8. 114 Arena (2007) 157. 115 Corbeill (1996) 3–13, quoting 9. Corbeill (2002) 215–16 provides a (somewhat apologetic) defence of the merits of Ciceronian invective. See also Arena (2007) 158–9; Connolly (2007) 58–65. 116 For example, Cameron and Long (1993) 128–9 discuss the relationship of Synesius’ De regno to the πρεσβευτικóς (ambassadorial speech) and στεφανωτικὸς λόγος (speech to accompany the presentation of a crown) as prescribed by Menander, but do not analyse the roles of any of these texts in the creation of imperial ideology.

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East and West under the sons of Theodosius.117 She concludes that the two books of invective formed a call to arms specifically for Stilicho and the western court, rather than for the East; in her view, ‘Claudian does not seek to undermine Eutropius through them’.118 Alan Cameron similarly remarks that ‘as a political manifesto, the poem has astonishingly little content’; he argues that ‘Claudian’s purpose was merely to arouse hatred and contempt against Eutropius’.119 Such statements, while recognising that In Eutropium was not ‘psychological’ propaganda in a modern sense, do not fully capture the manner in which this text, and others like it, undermined the images of powerful men that were constantly reaffirmed by court panegyric and ceremonial. Eutropius had been lauded at Constantinople for his victory over the Huns in 398, receiving a consulship the following year and being, for a time, the most powerful figure at Arcadius’ court.120 He would have been the subject of many panegyrics, describing him in terms appropriate to his rank. These orations, like those discussed above, would have employed an image of the ideal consul, while also claiming that Eutropius fulfilled that ideal. His personal attributes were largely irrelevant to the creation of this image: it is highly unlikely that these speeches would have mentioned that Eutropius was a eunuch, concentrating instead on the traditional trope of the successful military commander. Something of this sort of rhetorical reinvention can be glimpsed in Claudian’s praise of the western consul Stilicho in traditional Roman terms, despite his Vandal lineage: ‘trusting in Latin strength, with you as leader she [Rome] avenges herself with Roman rage. She herself gives orders to the standards, the toga-clad speaker instructs the departing general and the eagles watch for the decrees of the senate.’121 Here Claudian employed artfully archaising rhetoric that could have praised any consul from the previous few centuries, regardless of their background. This was a clear demonstration of the power of panegyric to celebrate a half-barbarian regent as a paragon of classical Roman leadership: it is likely that very similar language was

117 Long (1996) 221–62. On this text and its historical context, see also Alan Cameron (1970) 124–55; Koster (1980) 314–50; Burrell (2003). Classen (2002), somewhat surprisingly, pays very little attention to the In Eutropium in a survey of the deployment of virtues and vices in Claudian. 118 Long (1996) 262. 119 Alan Cameron (1970) 133, 134. Also at 134: ‘Eutr. i had the very limited objective of simply creating an unfavourable climate of opinion.’ 120 Alan Cameron (1970) 125. 121 Claudian, de cos. Stil. 3.83–6. On the emphasising of traditional Roman virtues in Claudian’s construction of Stilicho as ideal consul, see Classen (2002) 161–4.

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used at Constantinople to exalt Eutropius, the eunuch chamberlain and consul.122 Just as panegyric played an important role in constructing authority, invective could similarly be used to undermine it. Claudian launched a blistering attack on Eutropius by persistently describing him as fragile and effeminate, and thus incompatible with the masculine offices of consul and general.123 His campaign against the Huns was presented as a farce, in which an army of eunuchs achieved nothing and then returned to Constantinople for an undeserved triumphal procession, in which the weak and feeble Eutropius appeared ludicrously out of place.124 Participation in this great ceremony served only to highlight his unsuitability for office. This was elaborated with a caustic description of his literal inability to wear the toga and other consular dress, because of their weight: ‘he was like an ape, a mimic of the human form, which a mischievous boy had dressed up in expensive silks to amuse the diners, leaving its back and buttocks bare.’125 These attacks were more than just amusing and vindictive mockery of an eastern politican; they struck at the very heart of what made Eutropius a consul: his recognition as such in public rituals of consensus. The force of this attack lay in its proclaimed horror at the inversion of proper consular behaviour.126 If Eutropius was not man enough physically to wear the robes of his office, how then could he be expected to fulfil its duties? Instead, like the ape, he was merely an imitator of man, a comical sideshow rather than a victorious general.127 Claudian’s descriptions demonstrate the malleability and force of epideictic literature: he conjured up a paradigm of the Roman consul  – strong, masculine, victorious  – and then displayed the weakling eunuch Eutropius as its polar opposite. Of course, Claudian’s attacks were made from a position of relative security, 122 Claudian also inverted such an image in his In Rufinum, which employed the well-worn categories of Roman and barbarian, despite the fact that, by virtue of his Gallo-Roman ancestry, Rufinus could arguably be called more Roman than Stilicho – in Ruf. 2.78–85. Alan Cameron (1970) 71 argues that some aspects of Claudian’s presentation of Rufinus were not designed to undermine him, but merely to amuse the audience: ‘We must try to distinguish between the mud which he slung merely to entertain, and the mud he intended to stick.’ On the In Rufinum and its techniques of invective, see Alan Cameron (1970) 63–92; Prenner (2001); Classen (2002) 157–60. 123 Long (1996) 121–34. 124 Claudian, in Eutrop. 1.238–86; McCormick (1986) 48–9; Long (1996) 119–21. 125 Claudian, in Eutrop. 1.303–6. Alan Cameron (1970) 132. 126 This was followed with rhetorical exclamations recalling the great consular heroes of the Republic as the polar opposites of their latest successor: in Eutrop. 1.435–65. 127 The celebration of a triumph without achieving a real victory was similarly a hallmark of a failed ruler that dated back at least as far as Caligula – Suet. Cal. 46–7. Ammianus criticised Constantius II’s Roman aduentus for similar reasons – Amm. 16.10.1–2.

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composed at a western court that welcomed (and almost certainly encouraged) mockery of this eastern enemy.128 However, this should not be used as a reason to dismiss their ideological force: like the portraits of defeated tyrants in the Panegyrici Latini, this text constructed models of proper and improper behaviour, presented individuals as the embodiments of these paradigms and then drew its audience, both real and implied, into a community of condemnation. Moreover, Claudian’s attacks on Eutropius, unlike Pacatus’ on Magnus Maximus or Pliny’s on Domitian, were directed against a living figure. Even though it was unlikely that Claudian would ever find himself in real danger from Eutropius and his supporters, this possibility, however remote, nonetheless meant that his vitriolic poem could be viewed as an example of parrhesia, the philosophical virtue of free speech, in a way that lambasting a deceased tyrant could not. Criticising such a powerful figure during his lifetime allowed an author to present himself as fearlessly proclaiming a truthful ‘secret history’ despite the risks, a manoeuvre which was unavailable when attacking the dead. As such, it gave his words greater authority, with the implied threat of punishment acting as evidence for the accuracy of his grotesque portrait. Although it could be used against other powerful individuals at court, invective, like panegyric, found its greatest expression when directed at the emperor himself, the focus of all ceremonial. One of the very few examples of imperial invective to survive from late antiquity, Synesius of Cyrene’s De regno, has received significant scholarly attention.129 In this text, the author, who had been sent on an embassy to the imperial court on behalf of his native city, but had been unable to secure an audience, vented his frustration at his lack of access to the emperor. His text took the form of ‘an address to the emperor Arcadius about the virtues and duties of the ideal king’, but it is generally regarded as an invective.130 In fact, both descriptions are correct. To attack an emperor’s governance of his empire was, implicitly or explicitly, to present an ideal which the current subject 128 On the audience of In Eutropium, which may have included some easterners, see Long (1996) 195–202. The similarity between In Eutropium 2.335–8 and Jerome, Ep. 66.13 suggests that the second book of the invective had reached Jerome in Jerusalem by late 399 – see Alan Cameron (1965); Long (1996) 154 n. 20. 129 A recent edition of the text can be found in Lamoureux and Aujoulat (2008), which also provides an annotated French translation, as does Lacombrade (1951). An edition with Italian translation can be found in Garzya (1989) 382–451. On this text, and especially its dating, interpretation and historical significance, see Bregman (1982) 49–59; Heather (1988); Cameron and Long (1993) 103– 42; Hagl (1997) 63–102; Brandt (2003). 130 Cameron and Long (1993) 103. Bregman (1982) 53 describes the text as ‘the appeal of a “lobbyist” for the cause of Mediterranean ideals and civilization against the threat of northern barbarism’ and so argues that it was a serious appeal to Arcadius himself for the adoption of specific policies.

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failed to fulfil. Synesius therefore repeatedly referred to the dichotomy of king and tyrant, as displayed through the exercise, or the lack, of the virtues of diligence, prudence, wisdom, piety and friendship.131 However, he dwelt particularly on the notion that a Roman emperor should not rely on barbarian troops and certainly should not remain shut up in the palace like a luxurious prisoner.132 For this reason, Synesius stressed the importance of active, military leadership in his projection of the imperial ideal. By contrast, he argued that a major defining characteristic of tyrants was their avoidance of public appearances: ‘through a lack of true dignity they take refuge in affectation; thus for someone who has no health and knows it, what method is there for him to flee from contempt except by fleeing from sight?’133 This employed similar language to Pliny’s criticism of Domitian, as well as the panegyric of 313, which denounced Maxentius for avoiding military action, the traditional activity of a virtuous ruler, since he preferred instead to ‘meander through that palace with its marble walls’.134 Synesius then followed up his ideal description with exempla of good leaders from history who had appeared regularly in public, thereby setting up a synkrisis which further undermined Arcadius’ authority as a ‘proper’ emperor. In one of his most celebrated passages, Synesius compared Arcadius to a sea lung, living a life of hedonistic seclusion.135 Here, Synesius, thwarted and bitter at his inability to gain an imperial audience, stressed accessibility and personal leadership as major attributes of a legitimate Roman emperor. He was performing the same rhetorical manoeuvre as a skilful panegyrist, remodelling his paradigm of the imperial role to place greater importance on the virtue that he felt was most lacking in Arcadius. Drawing on traditional materials and reordering them to suit his circumstances, Synesius both created a definition of the ideal emperor with a particular emphasis and also held up Arcadius as failing to conform to it and so being unworthy of imperial rule, at least so long as he continued his closeted lifestyle. This was the role that invective could play within imperial ideology, and Synesius recognised this and explicitly drew attention to it: at the end of his speech, he exhorted Arcadius to fulfil this model for 131 Most notably in sections 4–12. 132 Syn. De regno 15.5 reproved Arcadius because he was caught ‘just like someone bound with gold or rather with shackles worth many talents’. 133 Syn. De regno 17.5. 134 Paneg. 48–9; Pan. Lat. xii(9).14.4. 135 Syn. De regno 14.3; see Cameron and Long (1993) 131, 138–9. Synesius’ image of the luxuriating jellyfish, which probably alludes to Plato, Phlb. 21c, does not really find a parallel in modern attitudes to the humble sea creature.

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ideal kingship, to bring to life his ‘statue of a king in words’ and then to ‘deliver to me the action of a king’.136 Therefore, rather than being pigeonholed as an unimportant, if sometimes amusing, sideshow, invective deserves to be regarded in the same light as its twin sister, panegyric. It was a vibrant and innovative mode of address and assessment, capable of being subtly reworked for individual circumstances and of playing a central role in the construction and presentation of imperial power. As seen in the examples discussed above, when it is reconsidered within the context of ceremonial, it emerges as an essential medium for discourse concerning the monarchical ideal and a powerful weapon for illegitimising influential enemies.137 Just as panegyric played a major role in creating the status and authority of a Roman emperor, turning any man into the embodiment of an ideal, so it must also be recognised that invective possessed the power to shatter this glorious image. Christianity and invective

The classical epideictic tradition was not the only way in which Roman emperors were praised or assailed. During the three centuries before Constantine, Christian literature had developed distinctive strategies for the assessment and criticism of imperial power. Owing to the circumstances of the religion’s foundation and its periodic repression by, or with the acquiescence of, government officials, many Christians were hostile to the Roman empire and its leader. This confrontational approach to imperial rule is clearly evident in contemporary eschatological literature. Jewish writers produced a number of such works in response to repression and persecution during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.138 Many early Christian groups and individuals continued this tradition, expectantly awaiting the return of Christ, who would avenge the wrongs committed against them by their enemies.139 The most famous and influential text of this type was Revelation, which probably dates from the late first 136 Syn. De regno 29.4. Synesius’ text was composed (and probably circulated to a limited audience) within its target’s empire and during his lifetime – Cameron and Long (1993) 127–42. 137 See also Elm (2010) especially 181–2, which highlights this aspect of Gregory of Nazianzus’ orations against Julian. 138 On Jewish apocalyptic and eschatological literature, see D. S. Russell (1992) 14–59; P. D. Hanson (1979); J. J. Collins (1986) especially 356–61. 139 On early Christian apocalyptic texts, particularly apocryphal material, and their relation to earlier Jewish literature, see Vielhauer and Strecker (1992a), (1992b); VanderKam and Adler (1996); Norris (2004) 33–4.

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century. It glorified those who had died for their faith, while presenting the Roman empire as the decadent persecutor of the saints and rejoicing in predictions of its impending destruction.140 Here, Rome appeared both as a blasphemous beast that ruled all nations and as a harlot named Babylon, who was dressed in rich clothing of scarlet, purple and gold, and drank the blood of martyrs.141 This combination of elements of opposition to Roman government and eschatological prediction is also evident in several of the Christian texts known collectively as the Sibylline Oracles, although they are by no means uniformly opposed to Roman power.142 The Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Oracles all looked forward to the imminent end of the world, which would be presaged by the return of Nero, who was widely recognised as the first emperor to persecute the Christians.143 They do not, however, represent all of Roman history as negative, or all Roman emperors as enemies of the faith. While the Fifth Oracle foretold the destruction of the empire, it opens with a paraphrase of imperial history which contains notably positive statements about a number of emperors, particularly Augustus

140 A. Y. Collins (1977) argues that Revelation incorporates praise of martyrs killed by Roman officials, but does not actively encourage or glorify violent uprising and rebellion, unlike other Jewish persecution literature, such as the books of Maccabees. 141 Revelation 13–18, especially 13 and 17. On the conventional interpretation of this passage and the dating of the text to the reign of Domitian, see, for example, A. Y. Collins (1977) 241, 245–7 and Lietaert Peerbolte (1996) 118–19, 142–53, 158–63 along with the less persuasive alternative reading proposed in Van de Water (2000). Eus. HE 2.15.2 also noted the use of the title ‘Babylon’ for Rome in 1 Peter 5:13. 142 The dating of these texts remains problematic. Potter (1990) 95–102 argues that the collection of the first eight Oracles was compiled after the late fifth century, while the others were not brought together until after the Islamic conquests in the eastern Mediterranean. Many of the individual texts themselves are, however, much earlier, and Potter attributes the Thirteenth Oracle to the middle of the third century. On attitudes towards Roman emperors within these texts, see Potter (1990) 132–40. 143 Potter (1990) 97–9; Lietaert Peerbolte (1996) 331–5. The Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle is not eschatological, but instead consists of a brief account of military and political events in the middle of the third century, presented as a prophecy from centuries earlier. Within this narrative, mention is made of ‘the murders of the faithful’ under the emperor Decius, whom some Christians regarded as the metator antichristi, whose coming would signal the end of the world – see Sibylline Oracles 13.87. See also discussion of this passage from the Thirteenth Oracle in Potter (1990) 261–7. Unlike Revelation, the Thirteenth Oracle does not condemn the Roman Empire and its rulers completely, but instead laments the destruction and bloodshed of the third century, while singling out Decius for particular criticism. In fact, it is extremely difficult to say whether this text should even be regarded as Christian, since it appears to be a compilation of work from a number of different authors, with only this one comment about Decius to suggest the involvement of a Christian author – see Potter (1990) 141–54, especially 147. Jewish and early Christian predictions of eschatological opponents are discussed in Lietaert Peerbolte (1996). Of course, this eschatological attitude was only one strand of Christian writing – see Alföldy (1974) 93–4, 95–7.

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and Hadrian.144 Similarly, in his Apology, written in the late second century, the North African author Tertullian addressed pagan opponents of Christianity, lambasting the persecutors for their failure and celebrating martyrs as victorious and glorious in their triumph over torture and death, but also arguing that Christians posed no threat to Roman power and were loyal to the empire and emperors.145 Tertullian thus expressed his desire to work within the system of imperial rule, while simultaneously developing a vitriolic language of defiance and opposition to those officials who refused to accept peaceful co-existence with Christianity. Rather than demonising Rome and all of its leaders, most Christians, like their pagan contemporaries and neighbours, assessed rulers according to criteria of success and failure, virtue and vice. While their polemical writings equipped later generations of Christians with a literary tradition of portraying Roman emperors as murderous demons, they did not, on the whole, offer a blanket condemnation of pagan rulers. As seen in the works of Tertullian, the prosecution and execution of Christians, and the accompanying literary phenomena of persecution and martyrdom, produced a Christian vocabulary of hostility towards Roman government and the imperial officials who regularly played central roles in the textual narratives.146 Using Christ’s appearance before Pontius Pilate as the archetype, confrontations between Christians and oppressive or unsympathetic representatives of Roman power were replayed on numerous occasions in martyr acts from across the empire.147 The volume of such literature increased significantly over the late third and early fourth centuries, partly as a result of a sequence of imperially supported general persecutions of Christians, culminating in the ‘Great Persecution’, which began in 303 during the rule of the Tetrarchy. Nonetheless, such a focus on the figures of the emperors and their officials was not a ubiquitous phenomenon within persecution texts, let alone Christian literature more broadly. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, martyred in 258, wrote a series of letters to imprisoned confessors, praising their steadfast defiance of official demands that they renounce their faith.148 In these writings, however, 144 Sibylline Oracles 5.1–51; Potter (1990) 98–9, 134–5. 145 Tert. Apol. 50, 30–3. 146 On persecution and martyrdom as literary tropes, see p. 87. 147 Matthew 27:11–27; Mark 15:1–15; Luke 23:1–25; John 18:29–19:22. The passage in John is the most extensive of the gospel accounts, with several lines of dialogue between Christ and Pilate. The treatment of Pilate by the authors of the Gospels is much more favourable than that given to other officials in the martyr acts. For a more detailed discussion of the common tropes of martyr acts, see pp. 146–8 and 163–70 below. 148 See especially Cyprian, Ep. 6, 10, 13, 15, 28, 37, 60 and 76, as well as Ep. 58 to the laity at Thibaris.

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individual emperors are not singled out for demonisation: Decius is never mentioned by name, while the one appearance of Valerian narrates the commencement of his persecution in neutral, descriptive terms.149 In fact, there is little invective against the persecuting authorities at all, with much greater attention paid instead to the earthly behaviour and heavenly rewards of the confessors and martyrs themselves.150 The actions of emperors received more extensive treatment in the works of Lactantius, an African teacher of rhetoric who wrote under both the Tetrarchy and the subsequent reigns of Constantine and Licinius. In his Divine Institutes, probably written during the Great Persecution and revised under Constantine, Lactantius repeatedly argued that acts of persecution displayed a multitude of vices, especially injustice, on the part of emperors and their officials.151 This idea appeared most prominently in Book 5 of the Divine Institutes, in which he not only proclaimed justice to be the most important of virtues, but also argued that it was a uniquely Christian attribute.152 Peppering his prose with quotations from Cicero, Lactantius declared that polytheistic worship was to blame for division and injustice, while the followers of the one true God were unanimous in their pursuit of virtue; pagan persecutors, in contrast, both failed to acknowledge real justice and then unjustly compounded their folly by killing the righteous Christians.153 This behaviour on the part of the Roman officials was therefore to be pitied as the product of ignorance about proper behaviour in both the human and divine spheres: But since we are informed about their doctrines, why do they either not believe us, who have knowledge of both systems, or envy us, because we prefer truth to falsehood? They say, ‘The sacred rites, adopted publicly, must be defended.’ With what good intentions the wretched wander from the truth! For they recognise that there is nothing more important in human affairs than religion and that it must be defended with the greatest 149 Valerian: Cyprian, Ep. 80. 150 Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned at Ep. 6.3.2 and 58.5.1, but these passages are much more concerned with the exemplum offered to contemporary Christians by the boys in the fiery furnace than with comparing any Roman emperor to the king who put them there. Ep. 10.4.1 describes the martyr Mappalicus speaking out against the presiding proconsul, while there are also vague references to persecutors and their eternal damnation at 28.2.1, 58.10.1 and 60.2.3, although these are not explicitly linked to the emperor or his subordinates. The reference to the metator antichristi at 22.1.1, which probably refers to Decius, is a highly unusual eschatological comment in the works of Cyprian. 151 On the dating of this text, see Creed (1984) xxvi–xxix; Bowen and Garnsey (2003) 2–3. 152 Bowen and Garnsey (2003) 29–35. 153 Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.8–9. In 5.10–11, Lactantius extended this argument by providing examples of the pagan gods and Virgil’s Aeneas acting unjustly, thus providing bad models for imitation.

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force, but they are just as wrong in the manner of their defence as in their religion.154

Lactantius thus sought to provide his own definition of imperial virtue, not by changing the qualities expected of an emperor, but by arguing that these could only truly be found in the Christian way of life. In creating this image, he repeatedly quoted approvingly from pagan authors, most notably Cicero and Seneca, downplaying the novelty of his message. Like the panegyrists and polemicists discussed above, he referred to a shared culture of recognisable references to present his argument as traditional. In criticising living emperors, Lactantius was, like any author in similar circumstances, playing a dangerous game. The Divine Institutes, however, while it provides an elegant philosophical discussion of the nature of virtue and vice, kingship and tyranny, within the context of a broader Christian apologetic work, does not engage in the sort of vituperative and direct rhetoric that is prescribed by the progymnasmata and is exemplified in Claudian’s portrait of Eutropius or Synesius’ treatment of Arcadius.155 The foolish and violent tyrants that appear in the Divine Institutes are still painted in rather vague terms, without extensive ad hominem attacks against specific rulers. Lactantius’ later work, De mortibus persecutorum, on the other hand, provides a sequence of portraits of individual pagan emperors as vicious villians. Written after the end of the Great Persecution, when, as the title suggests, the targets of his invective were safely out of the picture, this text shows Lactantius capitalising on the opportunity to revel in graphic accounts of certain emperors’ vile lives and disgusting deaths, held up as examples of divine retribution for their crimes.156 These emperors had attacked Christianity and so they were chosen for denunciation in this text precisely because of that behaviour. Before the Tetrarchy, the only emperors to appear in Lactantius’ account are those whom he deemed to have been enemies of Christianity: Nero, Domitian, Decius, Valerian

154 Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.19.20–1. 155 Lact. Diu. Inst. 6.17 argues, with supporting references to Cicero and Seneca, that proper knowledge of the divine (i.e. Christianity) will cause a philosopher to reconsider the nature of virtues and vices. 156 Especially at Lact. Mort. pers. 5 (Valerian), 33–5 (Galerius), and 49 (Maximinus Daia). On the dating of De mortibus persecutorum, see Creed (1984) xxxiii–xxxv. Similarly, Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Martyrs of Palestine 7.7, described God’s vengeance as the cause of the downfall of Urbanus, governor of Palestine and a vehement persecutor, who was sentenced to death by the emperor Maximinus: ‘divine judgment came after him … in one night he was stripped naked, deprived of such great honours and plunged into disgrace and dishonour before those who had previously admired him as though he were a ruler.’

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and Aurelian.157 After these short notices, the rest of the text consists of an account of the period from the accession of Diocletian to the time of composition, when Constantine and Licinius were joint Augusti, with a particular focus on the breakdown of the Tetrarchic system of shared rule. More than in the Divine Institutes, Lactantius here stressed the vicious behaviour of the enemies of Christianity and emphasised the punishment that had befallen, or would befall, them.158 Within this text, he created a more vivid and gruesome portrait of the paradigmatic tyrant, who tortured the innocent and railed against the truth. His explicitly Christian account differed from other, ‘classical’ invectives through its focus on hostile behaviour towards the faithful as the guiding criterion for designating an emperor as ‘bad’. There was no place for Caligula or Commodus in his list, since they were not enemies of Christianity. Other vicious character traits could enrich Lactantius’ portraits, but they were subordinate to the main point: a Christian hierarchy of values was being proposed for the assessment of emperors, in which religious policies and beliefs were privileged above all others.159 This was the principle that shaped the selection of emperors who were attacked in this piece. The overarching story was one of Christian triumph, with the gruesome deaths of persecuting pagan emperors, who were replaced by a pair of emperors who enjoyed divine favour. Nonetheless, despite this foregrounding of piety and impiety in the text’s labelling of heroes and villains, there is relatively little discussion of religious persecution in the text as a whole. Little detail is given of the actions of the pre-Tetrarchic persecutors, with Lactantius concentrating instead on narrating the circumstances of their deaths.160 Even when providing an extended account of the behaviour of the various Tetrarchs during the Great Persecution, descriptions of their crimes against Christians do not form the bulk of the piece.161 Instead, much more time is spent presenting ‘classical’ portraits of tyranny. Many of the traditional vices paraded in other invectives were also attributed to persecuting emperors by Lactantius: Galerius inflicted cruel and unjust tortures on many 157 Lact. Mort. pers. 2.5–6.3. At 3.4, it is stated that, between Domitian and Decius, there were ‘many good emperors’ who did not persecute Christians. 158 At Diu. Inst. 5.22–3, Lactantius had argued that persecuting emperors were simultaneously performing God’s will, in helping strengthening the resolve of his people, and incurring God’s wrath, as enemies of the faithful. See also the view of persecution as punishment from God for misbehaviour expressed by Eusebius of Caesarea at HE 8.1.7–9. 159 See, for example, the brief and positive description of Constantine’s father, Constantius I, at Lact. Mort. pers. 8.7. 160 Lact. Mort. pers. 2.5–6.3. 161 The actual persecution of Christians is described at Lact. Mort. pers. 11–16, 36.3–7.

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high-ranking individuals, not just Christians, and planned to slaughter the senate and people of Rome;162 Diocletian was insatiable in both his greed and his spending;163 Maximian indulged his lusts by debauching men and women alike.164 Cruelty, avarice and unrestrained sexual desire were stock characteristics of rhetorical depictions of tyrants, which would not have been out of place in the Panegyrici Latini or Cicero’s Philippics. Despite the restriction of its targets to pagan persecutors of Christianity, Lactantius’ De mortibus persecutorum does not represent a complete reinvention of the imperial ideal. In many ways, the classical structure of praise and blame was retained; Lactantius still argued that the dangerous subversion of proper imperial behaviour formed the hallmark of a tyrant, and his detailed criteria for that behaviour were, for the most part, not radically different from those seen in contemporary ‘pagan’ texts. Christian anti-imperial invective did not, therefore, represent either a completely separate literary tradition from ‘secular’ rhetoric, nor had it, by the time of Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge, developed into a new, ‘religious’ genre that disregarded other earthly crimes to focus exclusively on persecution of Christians qua Christians. This should not be seen as a surprise. Christian writers and their texts were products of the same society, and usually the same education system, that created the rhetorical handbooks and the Panegyrici Latini. These authors would, like other wealthier inhabitants of the later Roman empire, almost certainly have witnessed panegyrics being delivered to emperors or officials, and thus absorbed the language of imperial rhetoric. One should not expect Christians to have dismissed automatically all attitudes and modes of expression that are not specifically derived from their religion and its sacred texts.165 Rather, they used many traditional categories of assessment to construct a range of different attempts to negotiate their position within, or against, the Roman empire. This did, of course, bring the emperors’ treatment of Christians to the fore. In persecution literature, rulers might still be criticised for being foolish, unjust and violent, but these vices were often exemplified by their actions against the faithful: they ignored or could not understand the Christian message and they 162 Lact. Mort. pers. 21–3, 27.2. 163 Lact. Mort. pers. 7. The violent and exorbitant tax exactions of Galerius and Maximinus Daia are also described at 31.2–6 and 37.3–6 respectively. 164 Lact. Mort. pers. 8.5. At 28.4, Lactantius compares him to Tarquinius Superbus, as both rulers were driven out of Rome. See also 38.1–39.5 on similar behaviour by Maximinus Daia. On the polemical terminology in De mortibus persecutorum, see also Opelt (1973a). 165 On the issue of the ‘Christianisation’ of late Roman public discourse, see pp. 75–7 below.

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treated pious believers as dangerous criminals. Yet, these texts, especially the works of Lactantius, also remained rooted in a ‘Roman’ literary, rhetorical and historical context, which brought with it a long tradition of judging the powerful. C h r i s t i a n i t y a n d pa n e g y r i c

Pagan attacks on Christianity, although relatively infrequent, played a central role in the new religion’s development of a group identity: a blessed community of chosen people who were sometimes called upon to demonstrate their faith by suffering and dying under imperial persecution. These hostile emperors could be branded as unjust tyrants or precursors of the Antichrist, but emperors could continue to be assessed for their good or bad deeds, using the same ‘classical’ register of evaluation seen in other imperial panegyrics and invectives. As neither supporters nor enemies of the religion, most emperors did not feature prominently in explicitly Christian rhetoric. As described above, Lactantius chose to write only about those emperors deemed to be persecutors; the first seven books of Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History used imperial reigns to provide a chronological structure, but had little to say, positive or negative, about a number of rulers.166 After Constantine’s public affirmation of Christianity and the advent of the imperially sponsored Church, Christian authors were offered the opportunity to bring their religion to the fore in panegyric. Just as Lactantius argued that shameful vices and painful demises befell the persecutors because of their violence against God, so it now became possible to attribute an emperor’s success and virtuous character to divine favour. When he revised his Divine Institutes under Constantine, one of the small, but significant changes that Lactantius made was to include invocations of the new emperor. Thus, for example, in describing the lifestyles of virtue and vice, he made the statement that, ‘there are two roads, O emperor Constantine, along which it is necessary for human life to proceed: one which leads to heaven, the other which sinks down to 166 Barnes (1981) 128–38, mentioning at 137 that, from Trajan onwards, comments about the attitudes of emperors towards Christianity become more common, but still not universal. In this discussion, as well as Barnes (1980), an argument is presented that the first seven books of the Ecclesiastical History date from the late third century. Louth (1990) and Burgess (1997) 482–6 both argue for a later date of composition, placing the publication of the first nine books in 313/14. If this fourth-century dating is accepted, it is still notable that Eusebius did not make significant reference to the virtues and vices of emperors until he came to discuss those responsible for instigating the Great Persecution, as well as those who brought it to an end.

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the underworld’.167 While these amendments did not extend to producing a fully worked out model for Christian kingship, the inclusion of the new ruler as the addressee was a reflection of the changed circumstances, whereby Lactantius could suggest that his paradigmatic ruler, just like its tyrannical mirror image, might now find fulfilment in an actual emperor. Lactantius was certainly familiar with the schoolroom precepts of oratory as he was a notable teacher of rhetoric, holding an official position in Nicomedia under Diocletian and later tutoring Constantine’s eldest son, Crispus.168 Many other fourth-century Christian authors came from the educated curial elite and so had been schooled in the use of epideictic rhetoric, as outlined in the handbooks, and were familiar with the language of authority.169 They went on to employ the same rhetorical skills to create pictures of imperial power that suited their circumstances, fusing the techniques of panegyric with moral concepts and historical (or mythological) exempla particular to Christianity. This rhetorical redefinition thus claimed a fundamental place for Christianity in the public conception of the ideal emperor. Some of the earliest extant examples of this new mode of imperial presentation are to be found in the works of Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea from around 313 until 339.170 In 336 he delivered his Laus Constantini to Constantine, celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the emperor’s accession.171 The text displays many of the features expected of an imperial encomium, with even its claim to originality being expressed using a Homeric phrase: ‘Although countless others pursue this same course with me, I, shunning the beaten path of men, will proceed by a pathless route, upon which it is improper to tread with unwashed feet.’172 Eusebius’ panegyric, however, did promote a view of imperial authority which marked a departure from the classical tradition. Despite its failure to make explicit references to Christ or Christianity, this speech praises Constantine 167 Lact. Diu. Inst. 6.3.1. These references to Constantine are not included in the main text by Brandt, but do appear in the apparatus. 168 Barnes (1981) 13; Creed (1984) xxv–xxvii; Bowen and Garnsey (2003) 1–3; Lact. Diu. Inst. 3.13.12, 5.2.2; Jerome, De uiris illustr. 80. 169 On the backgrounds of late-antique bishops, see Rapp (2005) 172–207, especially 173–95, which builds on Gilliard (1984). Rapp argues (at 183) that the majority of bishops were from the curial class, for whom higher education appealed as ‘a gateway to upward social mobility’ (181). On this point see also Hunt (1998a) 264; Lizzi Testa (2009) 533. 170 On the dates of Eusebius’ episcopacy, see Barnes (1981) 94. On the developing notion of the ‘good king’ across Eusebius’ works, see Drake (2000) 384–92; Laconi (2004) 57–64. 171 On this text, together with the date and circumstances of its delivery, see Drake (1976) 10–31, (2000) 372–82; Barnes (1977), 341–3, (1981) 253–5. 172 Eus. LC Prologue 2, quoting Iliad 6.202. See Drake (1976) 37–8, (2000), 378–9; Barnes (1981) 253.

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for living a pious and religious life in accordance with divine commands, which included the destruction of pagan idols.173 Throughout the text, the emperor’s earthly realm is presented as an analogue to the heavenly kingdom, with Constantine recognising God as both the origin of his own earthly authority and a model for a good ruler to imitate.174 When Eusebius turned to describe the emperor’s virtues, he displayed the panegyrist’s art for simultaneous traditionalism and innovation. He has gained logical reason from the universal Logos, he is wise from communion with wisdom, good from association with the good, just from participation in justice, temperate from the form of temperance and courageous by partaking of the highest power. For a man may be deemed to be king with true reason, when he has shaped princely virtues in his soul in imitation of the kingdom beyond. But a man who has abandoned these and denied the king of all … will never be deemed to be a king with true reason. For how could someone be able to carry an image of monarchical power when he has created countless false images of demons in his own soul? How could a man be the ruler and lord of all when he trails after countless bitter masters, when he is a slave of base pleasure, a slave of unbridled lust, a slave of unjustly acquired wealth, a slave of his temper and rage, a slave of fear and terrors, a slave of murderous demons, a slave of soul-destroying spirits?175

The imperial virtues praised here, together with many of the contrasting vices, were recognisable from handbooks and panegyrics; the philosophical language of the emperor’s acquisition of these qualities, with which this passage opens, similarly stands in a tradition that ran back to Plato.176 Eusebius, however, here presents all of these virtues as being the exclusive preserve of Christians: just as lust and ignorance were commonly seen as qualities of the tyrant, the worship of numerous gods was now added to the list of activities which debarred an individual from attaining legitimate rule. He thus reformed the idea of the ‘good ruler’ to be an explicitly Christian figure, making this aspect of an emperor’s character central to his acquisition of earthly authority.177 As Hal Drake says of this passage, 173 Eus. LC 9.1–19. Barnes (1981) 253–4, 393 n. 89 rightly rejects Drake’s view that Eusebius was ambiguous in his language because of his concern about offending pagan members of the audience. 174 See especially Eus. LC 1.3, 1.6, 3.5, 4.1–2; Drake (1976) 47; Barnes (1981) 254. 175 Eus. LC 5.1–3. 176 Drake (1976) 37. See also Eus. LC 5.5–7, in which Constantine is described as being uninterested in praise and flattery, as well as wishing to shun splendour and fine clothes, but not doing so because he recognised that these were expected of an emperor. 177 Eus. LC 5.4 claims that, in order to be a philosopher-king, a ruler must acknowledge the heavenly origins of his blessings.

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‘Eusebius subordinates all the other stock imperial virtues to a celebration of the emperor’s piety’.178 In contrast to the favours lavished on God’s friend, Eusebius also found time to describe the punishments inflicted on persecuting tyrants who represented the opposite of his imperial ideal.179 A similar view of the vital importance of Christianity to the establishment of good governance is propounded in Eusebius’ De sepulchro Christi, which was delivered about a year before the Laus Constantini for the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.180 In this speech, Constantine rules with heavenly guidance, but Christian theology is explored in much greater detail than in the Laus Constantini.181 For Hal Drake, De sepulchro Christi is the much more polemical of the two: In short, the language of the LC [Laus Constantini] is universal and inclusive. The SC [De sepulchro Christi] differs in tone and substance. From the first sentences, the tone becomes adversarial and defensive … The classical learning that Eusebius will display in the LC here is mocked as the ‘folly’ that the philosopher pursues ‘with the conceit he calls wisdom’.182

This text, however, contains an engagement with the classical past which is in some ways less confrontational than might have been expected. While his Ecclesiastical History had assessed emperors on the basis of whether they were positively or negatively disposed towards Christianity, Eusebius now presented the Roman empire itself, with its sole ruler, as an agent of God’s salvation.183 Since the Incarnation and the establishment of the Principate were roughly contemporary, Eusebius here argued that they simultaneously brought peace and harmony to the world: When the knowledge of the one God was transmitted to all men, together with the way of piety and the teaching of Christ that brings salvation, then, at one and the same time with them, one king was established for the whole empire of the Romans and a profound peace embraced the world. Together at this particular moment in time, as though by one divine command, two shoots were produced to bring benefits to mankind.184

Rome and its emperors thus took their place firmly within God’s design for the world, rather than being treated either negatively or neutrally. Eusebius did engage with the persecutions of the Christians by celebrating 178 Drake (2000) 379.  179  Eus. LC 9.2, 9.13. 180 On this text and its performance(s), see Drake (1976) 30–6, 38–45, (2000) 372–3, 382–3; Barnes (1977), (1981) 249–50. 181 Eus. SC 18.3.  182  Drake (2000) 382. 183 Eus. SC 16.1–12. 184 Eus. SC 16.4. At 16.10, Eusebius also noted that the abolition of human sacrifice, here dated to the reign of Hadrian, also postdated Christ’s ministry.

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the martyrs and gloating over the deaths of the impious.185 His narrative, however, was not one of continual conflict between imperial authority and Christianity until the conversion of Constantine, nor was it a tale of periodic changes of policy between reigns, as outlined in his Ecclesiastical History; instead, the persecutions had been a brief blip in an otherwise peaceful co-existence: Then these men were snuffed out by a single command from God, men who only recently had been thrice-happy and revelling in luxury, who had been praised by all as the equals of gods, who had ruled their empire distinguishedly for great spans of years when their behaviour was friendly and peaceful towards Him on whom they later declared war.186

Here was a model for the ‘good ruler’ which prioritised reverence towards God and his followers as a sine qua non of legitimate and successful rule, but it was here written into a version of Roman history in which such behaviour had been the norm and in which the final years of the persecuting Tetrarchs  – rather than the reign of Constantine  – stood out as exceptional. Eusebius’ formulations of the imperial ideal were not restricted to his orations. In Book 9 of his Ecclesiastical History, written soon after Constantine began supporting Christianity, Eusebius incorporated panegyrical and polemical elements into a passage praising the new emperor’s victory over the usurper Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, presenting it as analogous to the destruction of Pharaoh and his troops in the Red Sea, while Moses looked on from the safety of the shore.187 This was the standard textbook tool of synkrisis, prescribed for use in panegyric and invective, yet here the figure chosen was from the Christian past, rather than the ranks of Homeric heroes and Roman emperors. Constantine’s victory in this battle was also celebrated by two surviving panegyrics from 313 and 321, replete with Virgilian allusions and discussion of the Tiber’s role in Roman history.188 The reader of Eusebius’ text, in contrast, was invited to understand Constantine’s success not as the latest in a long line of Roman victories over foreign enemies and treacherous usurpers, but as a repetition of a celebrated episode from the Old Testament. Eusebius’ scene was interspersed with direct quotations from the story of Pharaoh, woven into the main narrative: ‘In the same way also Maxentius and the foot-soldiers and bodyguards with him sank into the deep like a stone when he turned his 185 Eus. SC 16.11, 17.2–3, 17.10–11. 186 Eus. SC 17.3.  187  Eus. HE 9.9. 188 Pan. Lat. xii(9).16–18, iv(10).27.5–30.3.

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back on the divinely granted power of Constantine.’189 Eusebius followed this by quoting the words of rejoicing sung by the Israelites after the defeat of Pharaoh, which he reported that ‘Constantine, by his actual deeds, sang to God, the ruler of all and the agent of victory’.190 Constantine, like Moses, relied upon God’s grace and intervention to triumph in the latest battle of a war stretching back to the beginning of time. The emperor replayed a biblical episode, in which his actions functioned as a direct re-enactment of the words and deeds of Scripture.191 This explicitly Christian model for imperial assessment was further elaborated when Eusebius wrote his Life of Constantine, which featured other comparisons between the lives of Moses and Constantine.192 The tone of the text is undoubtedly panegyrical, employing many of the techniques and some of the structure prescribed for a βασιλικὸς λόγος or a funeral speech in the rhetorical handbooks.193 Early in the work, Eusebius employed synkrisis, choosing as one of its first objects Alexander the Great and declaring that ‘our ruler set out from where the Macedonian finished; he doubled in time his life and trebled the extent of his dominion’.194 This comparison was reminiscent of the panegyric delivered to Constantine by a Gallic orator in 313: Alexander the Great, although he could impose a limitless levy on all Greece and the whole of Illyricum, as well as his own Macedonians, still never commanded a force greater than forty thousand men, believing anything larger to be difficult for a leader to handle and to be a mob rather than an army. But, with a smaller force you waged a much greater war, for you were that much stronger in your own personal virtue, as he was better equipped in numbers.195

Eusebius’ description of Constantine’s achievements included many details perfectly suited to any traditional encomium, including his victories over the Scythians, the Aethiopians and ‘the land of the Britons and those 189 Eus. HE 9.9.5, incorporating Exodus 15:4–5. 190 Eus. HE 9.9.9. 191 Rapp (1998) 288–92, 295–7, (2005) 125–36 also explores the use of Moses as a paradigmatic model for emperors, bishops and saints in panegyric and hagiography from the decades and centuries after Constantine. 192 See Barnes (1981) 271; Averil Cameron (1983) 82–5, (1997) especially 158–61; Cameron and Hall (1999) 35–9; Drake (2000) 376–7; Rapp (1998) 292–5, (2005) 129–31; M. S. Williams (2008) 36–42. 193 The text does not, however, stick rigidly throughout to any textbook plan for an encomium – see Cameron and Hall (1999) 27–34; Barnes (1981) 265–71, (1989) 103–16. 194 Eus. V. Const. 1.8.1. 195 Pan. Lat. xii(9).5.1–2. Men. Rhet. 377.9 also suggests Alexander as an exemplum for a comparison of complete reigns in a panegyric.

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living at the Ocean near the setting sun’.196 Similarly, Constantine’s superiority over his predecessor was demonstrated by his just rule. Alexander ‘advanced through blood, a man like a thunderbolt, mercilessly enslaving whole nations and cities from the children upwards’; Constantine’s dominion over others employed very different, if no less powerful, methods: ‘By his magnanimous benevolences he enslaved those who came to know him, governing by laws of human kindness and achieving a rule that was gentle and much prayed for by all the ruled.’197 However, for Eusebius, Constantine was particularly worthy of praise because his extensive conquests allowed him to spread Christianity across the earth. While Alexander had died young, ‘carried off by revels and drunken binges’, Constantine ‘advanced through every virtue and took pride in the manifold fruits of piety’.198 In a celebrated passage, Eusebius explicitly stated that he would omit discussion of Constantine’s great secular deeds, the main categories of which he nonetheless listed, instead declaring that ‘the aim of my present work causes me to narrate and record only those things that pertain to the divinely favoured life’.199 This was to be a portrait not of Constantine the emperor, but of Constantine the Christian. Eusebius’ varying formulations of imperial power across his works, however, did not represent a definitive break with the classical past, but rather argued for a realignment of imperial values to prioritise the emperor’s Christianity as central to his character and exalted position.200 The construction of ideals and the presentations of virtues and vices, replete with apposite comparisons, were the common tools of panegyric and invective, as described in rhetorical handbooks and demonstrated by surviving examples. In Eusebius’ descriptions of Constantine, many of the virtues praised would have been recognisable to the audience of any fourth-century panegyric: justice, wisdom, victory over tyrants. Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge was celebrated in equally elaborate rhetoric by both Eusebius and the Latin panegyrists of 313 and 321. These ‘Christian’ texts did not, therefore, seek to break totally with the ‘classical’ past. Instead, they were to be understood both as part of a recognisable system of imperial presentation and as arguments for a

196 Eus. V. Const. 1.8.2–3.  197  Eus. V. Const. 1.7.2; 1.9.1. 198 Eus. V. Const. 1.7.1; 1.9.1. 199 Eus. V. Const. 1.11.1. The technique of paralipsis, in which a speaker states that he will not mention something, thus drawing attention to it, was commonly described in ancient rhetorical handbooks – see, for example, Rh. Al. 5.4, 30.10. 200 See Drake (2000) 378–9.

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realignment of the values that underpinned that system. As such, they cannot be divorced from other examples of late-antique rhetoric or from the wider context of imperial ceremonial. The main difference between the two approaches was that while the ‘classical’ panegyrics attributed the victory to Constantine’s own virtues alone, Eusebius portrayed it as the work of the Christian God, who recognised Constantine’s piety and so inspired him with the necessary qualities. The changing register of exempla reflected this shift: emperors were to be compared not only to victorious generals, such as Alexander the Great, but also to those who owed their victory to God, such as Moses.201 This construction of contemporary events as re-enactments of Scripture ensured that ‘the late Roman present was presented as inextricable from the biblical past’.202 By providing comparisons to a different, Christian history, Eusebius was aiming significantly to redefine the image of the ideal emperor. Yet it should not be assumed, as one might conclude from the works of Eusebius, that the rhetoric of rule underwent a rapid process of ‘Christianisation’. The traditional terminology for describing emperors did not disappear quickly after the conversion of Constantine. Classical paideia retained its currency in public panegyrics throughout the fourth century, at least as far as can be ascertained from the surviving examples. Themistius described himself as praising Constantius II in the manner that ‘Xenophon extolled Agesilaus, Aristotle praised Alexander and, finally, the adherent of Zeno his own king’;203 Ausonius described Gratian as more eloquent than Menelaus, Odysseus and Nestor, as surpassing the virtues of Titus, Trajan and Marcus Aurelius.204 Libanius, in his appeal for clemency after the Riot of the Statues in Antioch in 387, asked Theodosius I to ‘study the history of the Roman empire’.205 Similarly, in Rome in 389, Theodosius could, without any fear of causing offence, be asked, ‘what 201 A more comprehensive example of this replacement of the Greco-Roman past with Christian history is evident in the presentation of another great fourth-century bastion of ‘orthodoxy’, Theodosius I. In Ambrose of Milan’s Consolatio for the deceased emperor, written in 395, the former provincial governor chose not to compare him to a collection of his noble Roman predecessors or Homeric heroes, but instead set him against a background of Old Testament kingship. In this panegyrical eulogy, the pagan past is replaced with the biblical: ‘The pre-Christian empire is not mentioned with one single word: history progresses directly from the Old and New Testaments to the fourth century’ – MacCormack (1975) 172. On this practice of biblical re-enactment throughout the fourth century, see M. S. Williams (2008). 202 M. S. Williams (2003) 12. 203 Them. Or. 3.45d–46a. 204 Menelaus, Odysseus and Nestor: Auson. Gratiarum actio 4; Titus: 16; Trajan: 16, 17; Marcus Aurelius: 7, 16. 205 Lib. Or. 19.11.

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Hortensius, Lucullus or Caesar ever possessed so sharp a memory as your sacred mind?’206 Even under this vigorously Christian emperor, whose life was to be commemorated in unambiguously Christian terms by Ambrose of Milan, panegyric was not expected to contain explicitly Christian material. Such allusions to the classical past were still employed to praise Christian emperors and were still understood by educated Christians. Synesius, a philosopher who later became bishop of Ptolemais in Cyrene, and Claudian, a poet at a Christian court, both attacked the legitimacy of Christian rulers through texts that were still resolutely classical in their analogies and exempla.207 These works should not be treated as material for arguments over the religious sincerity of individual authors, but rather as illustrations of the rhetorical possibilities available to educated Christians. Synesius chose to criticise the Christian court of Arcadius in traditional, philosophical language, displaying his paideia and fulfilling his own ideal as ‘a man who is able to communicate and deal with people by being a competent practitioner of all forms of eloquence’.208 In contrast, Eusebius was turning to a different history, or to a different reading of the Roman past. The stock characters from ‘polytheist’ myth and history that recurred in countless other contemporary orations were starting, in his writings, to be replaced with unambiguously Christian concepts and exempla. This should be regarded not as an unsurprising and unavoidable consequence of the new emperor’s Christian beliefs, but as a deliberate and polemical action by this bishop. While his texts retained many recognisable elements of traditional rhetoric, they were also in conflict with the ‘classical’ register of imperial assessment; just as panegyric and invective had always played an important role in the creation and maintenance of the imperial ideal, so these texts sought to make Christianity an integral part of this image, transforming ‘pagan’ paradigms to make Christian history into the only history. However, this shift has for the most part only been explored by modern scholarship in works of imperial praise – panegyrics, biographies, funeral speeches; it is well documented in presentations of Constantine and Theodosius, whom later ecclesiastical 206 Pan. Lat. ii(12).18.3. 207 There has been much dispute about the religious beliefs of Synesius at the time when he composed the De regno: Cameron and Long (1993) 13–28 argue (in my opinion, convincingly) that Synesius was a lifelong Christian. Even if one prefers the ‘conversion’ accounts, such as Bregman (1982) 56–77, 155–63 and Hagl (1997) 15–18, Synesius married a Christian in 403 and certainly was not displaying hostility to orthodox Christianity during his time in Constantinople  – see Bregman (1982) 60. 208 Averil Cameron (1991), 127–9, quoting 128.

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historians have regarded as two great pillars of orthodoxy at either end of the fourth century, celebrated for their roles at the ecumenical councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. By recognising the key role that invective could play in the presentation and assessment of the imperial office (and the individuals who occupied it), more light can be shed on both the political culture of late antiquity and the impact of Christianity upon it in the fourth century. Invective is thus revealed to be neither an academic pastime, learnt in the schoolroom and practised for the amusement of the literati, nor a mere outlet for impotent rage. Like panegyric, it was a vibrant and innovative aspect of the public discourse of the later Roman empire, providing opportunities for men of learning to adapt to the shifting currents of imperial power.

Ch apter t wo

Constructing a Christian tyrant

When three supporters of Nicene Christology – Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers and Lucifer of Cagliari – set out separately to pen their attacks on Constantius II in the late 350s, they drew upon a range of antecedent literary techniques  – panegyrical and polemical, classical and Christian. As discussed in the previous chapter, by the time these invectives were written, Eusebius of Caesarea and Lactantius had already produced their explicitly Christian models for the character and behaviour of a legitimate ruler. They placed a reverence for the Christian God and his followers at the core of their imperial paradigms, while nonetheless retaining many of the traditional elements of the language of power. Eusebius, when praising Constantine, compared him to both Alexander the Great and Moses: the emperor was to be celebrated as both a military victor and a divinely protected leader. Similarly, Lactantius, in his discussion of princely virtue, bitterly decried the injustice of the persecuting Tetrarchs while citing approvingly the words of Cicero and Seneca. This praise and criticism displayed the authors’ classical education, albeit to varying degrees to suit different contexts, but reframed and reordered the rhetoric of authority to prioritise Christian religious belief. The discussion of invectives against Constantius II in this chapter demonstrates that the strategies employed by Lactantius and Eusebius formed part of a broader range of fourth-century reinterpretations of the imperial image, both positive and negative. Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer also responded to a new challenge: how to attack an emperor not because he attacked Christianity, like the villains of Lactantius, but because he embraced a deviant form of it. They were engaged in a similar exercise to Eusebius’ descriptions of Constantine, casting his son as the antithesis of a new construction of the ideal emperor. However, their answers differed from those adopted by Lactantius and Eusebius a generation earlier.1 1 Sizgorich (2009) 78 discusses how Ambrose of Milan, in writing to Valentinian II concerning the Altar of Victory, offered him the uncomfortable choice to ‘either step into the role of the good Christian emperor, a discursive role from the post-Constantinian Christian narrative …, or that

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Classical exempla and authors were assigned no place within their narratives. A traditional panegyrist had praised Constantine for surpassing Alexander’s military successes; Eusebius praised him both for that and for exceeding the Macedonian in virtue, attributable, at least in part, to the emperor’s Christian faith. In contrast, Alexander and other stock exempla were wholly absent from the rhetoric of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer: classical individuals and texts did not even appear in order to be dismissed disapprovingly. The literary landscapes created by these three bishops were populated solely by Christian characters and authors. Similarly, although Constantius’ many vices were enumerated and often described in detail, they were always placed within the context of his opposition to ‘orthodox’ Christianity. These texts thus combined these exclusively Christian characteristics, most notably the employment of biblical exempla, with techniques and rhetorical functions that were highly traditional. They built on the work of Constantinian authors to create hierarchies of virtues that presented piety towards both God and his priests as the most important character trait required for a good and legitimate emperor. Within their frameworks of imperial assessment, no longer were emperors to be judged on their actions towards Christians, but instead on their actions as Christians. In this one sense, therefore, these invectives marked a departure from both traditional panegyric and the models propounded by Eusebius and Lactantius. However, they also formed a distinctive break with earlier Christian opposition literature such as martyr acts and apocalyptic writings. These texts, with their vehement vitriol and grotesque gloating, could rely upon a dichotomy that pitched believers against pagans, and Christianity against a persecuting imperial government. However, Constantius II was an avowed Christian, supported by a large number of other Christians. Born in 317, the second son of Constantine and his second wife Fausta, Constantius was raised to the rank of Caesar in 324.2 Together with his brothers Constantine II and Constans, he acceded to the title of Augustus after his father’s death in 337, with a number of other of the persecuting emperor, devoid of authority and bound for a bad end’. What the invectives against Constantius II make clear is that ‘the good Christian emperor’ could be repeatedly redefined in response to the needs of particular individuals, even before the reign of Theodosius I, which Sizgorich, following Hal Drake, identifies as ‘a crucial step in the evolution of a model of Christian rulership’ – Sizgorich (2009) 106. See also Girardet (1977) on the relationship between the ideals of Christian kingship presented by Eusebius and Lucifer. 2 For surveys of the life and reign of Constantius II, see PLRE i.226 (Constantius 8); A. H. M. Jones (1964) i 112–20; Hunt (1998c) 11–43; Potter (2004) 462–88, 499–508.

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possible claimants being swiftly removed in a dynastic bloodbath.3 The violent deaths of Constantine II, in 340, and Constans, in 350, followed by the defeat and suicide of the usurper Magnentius in 353, left Constantius as sole Augustus of the Roman empire. This situation continued until his cousin, the Caesar Julian, was proclaimed Augustus in Gaul in 360. Civil war between Julian and Constantius was averted by the latter’s death from natural causes in November 361, while en route to deal with his rebellious relative.4 Many modern studies of Constantius’ policies focus on his engagement with Christianity, supported by the large corpus of fourth- and fifth-century theological literature on Arianism, which comes almost exclusively from the hostile, ‘orthodox’ standpoint and so condemned the emperor as an Arian heretic.5 Like his father, Constantius ruled over an empire populated by bishops who espoused a range of different theological positions concerning the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. Although the Nicene Creed had been approved by almost all of the bishops who had been present at Nicaea in 325, there remained significant opposition to its Christological formulation, most notably the description of the Son as homoousios (consubstantial) with the Father. The final decade of Constantine’s life saw the opponents of Nicaea gain more influence with the emperor, while several of the creed’s supporters were exiled, including Athanasius in 335.6 After Constantine’s death, Constantius II continued his father’s policies of imperial sponsorship of Christianity, including church-building, and involvement in doctrinal affairs. During his twenty-four years as Augustus, Constantius gave his support to a series of councils – Antioch in 341, Serdica in 343, Sirmium in 351, Milan in 355, Seleucia and Ariminum in 359, Constantinople in 360 – while groups of bishops strove to produce new creeds that would find widespread acceptance: the ‘Dedication’ or ‘Second’ Creed of Antioch in 341, the ‘Fourth Creed’ of Antioch in 342, the ‘Long Creed’ of 344, the Sirmium Creed of 351, the ‘Blasphemy of Sirmium’ in 357, the ‘Dated Creed’ of Sirmium in

3 On the circumstances of the accession, see Barnes (1993) 34–5; Hunt (1998c) 2–5; Potter (2004) 460–1; Burgess (2008). 4 Hunt (1998c) 41–3; Potter (2004) 505–8. 5 See, for example, Tietze (1976); Klein (1977); Brennecke (1984); Barnes (1993); Laconi (2004). 6 Simonetti (1975) 99–134; Barnes (1981) 227–44, (1993) 17–33; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 208–65, 274– 84; Ayres (2004) 101–3. R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 274–84 and Gwynn (2007) 128–47 argue that the depositions of pro-Nicene bishops did not form an organised anti-Nicene ‘conspiracy’ or ‘purge’. Nonetheless, by 337, ecclesiastical politics in the East had shifted away from Nicaea.

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359, the ‘Homoian’ Creed of Constantinople in 360.7 The last of these is so named because it stated that the Son was ‘like (homoios) the Father as the divine Scriptures say and teach’, while banning any use of the controversial term ousia (substance) which featured in the Nicene Creed.8 While those who had praised Constantine could celebrate the marriage of imperial authority with Christian faith, the enemies of his son were faced with the novel task of undermining this image of apparent harmony and so producing a portrait of failed Christian kingship. In this murky post-Constantinian world, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer needed to engage closely with the ideology of rule, creating new models for the ideal emperor and the paradigmatic tyrant that suited their fluctuating political and ecclesiastical fortunes. They drew upon the traditional role of panegyric and polemic in the assessment of emperors, but dramatically altered its content, not only replacing its vocabulary and register of exempla, but also reformulating its system of values. These were arguments for an overhaul of the imperial image, in which correct theological belief was assigned supreme importance in establishing legitimacy. While the invective techniques employed by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer have been examined before, they have rarely been placed within the wider social and historical context of imperial panegyric, invective and ceremonial.9 J. N. D. Kelly (1972) 263–95; Simonetti (1975) 153–249, 313–49; Klein (1977) 29–67; Brennecke (1984), (1988) 5–56; Pietri (1989) especially 163–71; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 284–386; Barnes (1993) 56–151; Chadwick (1998) 567–71; Ayres (2004) 117–66; Laconi (2004) 28–52. 8 Ath. De synodis 30.2–10, quoting 30.9; J. N. D. Kelly (1972) 293–5. On ‘homoian’ Christology and its exponents, see J. N. D. Kelly (1972) 290–5; Brennecke (1988); R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 557–97. 9 For instance, Ernest (2004) 243–68 explores comprehensively the use of negative biblical exempla for Constantius, but does not associate them with the presentation of Constantius as an imitator of persecuting Roman emperors or link them to the traditional rhetoric of imperial presentation. At 190–6, Ernest discusses the role of exempla in ancient rhetoric, but concentrates on Aristotle and does not make reference to panegyrics, invectives or progymnasmata. Similarly, the studies by Ilona Opelt and Walter Tietze of the terminology employed by Hilary and Lucifer have concentrated on cataloguing topics and Schimpfwörter and comparing them with other ancient invectives, rather than assigning them a role in imperial ideology – Opelt (1972), (1973b); Tietze (1976). Sonia Laconi, while concentrating on the details of Lucifer’s vocabulary and Wortparataxe, has started to bring out something of the importance of Lucifer’s invectives in attempting the delegittimazione of the emperor – Laconi (1992), (2001b), (2002), (2004). Her 2001 article – reproduced, with minor changes, at Laconi (2004) 87–118  – discusses Lucifer’s image of Constantius in relation to earlier depictions of tyrants, particularly emphasising the links made between folly, mental illness and demonic possession in the literature of the period, including Stoic and Platonic philosophy. Laconi (2004) 153–69 also surveys the presence of these themes in presentations of persecutors within martyr literature, while she links Lucifer’s work to the classical tradition of the uituperatio at (2001b) 29–31 and discusses the classical notion of the tyrannus at (2004) 151–2. On the link between madness, heresy and diabolical influence, see also Piredda (2001). Laconi (2001b) also identifies the promotion of piety and orthodoxy as key imperial virtues in Lucifer’s presentation of Constantius, although she does not place this within the context of recent scholarship concerning the ceremonial function of panegyric, instead considering it to be part of a struggle between ‘Church’ and ‘State’. 7

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Readings of these texts need to recognise the novelty of both the situation under Constantius and the responses made to it by these authors. They simultaneously villainised and hereticated the emperor. Their presentations of Constantius made his lack of orthodoxy the root of all his other vices and the defining characteristic that excluded him from the throne, thus presenting Constantius as the first explicitly heretical tyrant. Like Eusebius and Lactantius’ reformulations of ideal kingship, these texts provide further examples of the great versatility of panegyric and invective, allowing these modes of presentation to be reworked endlessly to suit changing circumstances and purposes. The anti-Constantian bishops discussed here are all remembered within ‘orthodox’ or ‘Catholic’ traditions for their fearless opposition to imperial heresy, with their writings and activities earning them places in Jerome’s De uiris illustribus, his catalogue of important authors for Christianity, written in around 392.10 Of the three, Athanasius is undoubtedly the most famous. His episcopal career spanned almost half a century and was notable both for its turbulence and for his own tenacity through a series of crises.11 Born around the end of the third century, Athanasius became a protégé of Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and, as a deacon, attended the Council of Nicaea in 325.12 After the death of Alexander in 328, Athanasius was consecrated as his successor, allegedly while most bishops were still debating the appointment.13 Throughout his life he continued Alexander’s opposition to the presbyter Arius and his teachings, and to any theological beliefs which he regarded as similar to them, and so frequently found himself in confrontations with bishops, emperors and their representatives. In total, he was exiled on five occasions under four emperors, regaining his

Laconi (2004) 53–84 similarly places Lucifer’s rhetoric within a context of theories of ‘Church–State relations’ that look back to Tertullian, Lactantius and Eusebius, as well as forward to Ambrose. On this theme, see also Opelt (1972) 226, which concludes that ‘die Sprache des Lucifer von Calaris ist nicht nur für die Polemik der Orthodoxie in dem christologischen Streit des 4. Jahrhunderts signifikant; man kann ihn als einen der ersten Kirchenmänner auffassen, die dem Kaiser die Stirn zu bieten wagten; er wird dann zum Vorläufer des Ambrosius, der Theodosius zu massregeln wagte.’ 10 Jerome, De uiris illustr. 87, 95, 100. 11 On Athanasius’ life and career, with particular reference to his relationship with Constantius II, see Nordberg (1963); Barnard (1974); Girardet (1975) 52–156; Arnold (1991); Barnes (1993); Gwynn (2012) 1–6, 25–53. On Athanasius’ polemic, see Setton (1941), 78–83; Tietze (1976) 229–41; Klein (1977) 116–21; Kannengiesser (1983) especially 181–253; Ernest (1993) 341–52; Lyman (1993), 53–8; Humphries (1997) 454–7; Gwynn (2007), (2012), especially 43–9, 76–85. On Athanasius’ literary style(s), see Stead (1976); Warmington (1986). Leemans (2000) provides a summary of some recent work on Athanasius, while Gwynn (2007) 1–8 provides a succinct guide to fluctuations in the bishop’s reputation. 12 Barnes (1993) 10–14.  13  Barnes (1993) 18.

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see for the final time in 366, seven years before his death.14 It was during the reign of Constantius II that he underwent his second and third periods of exile. Having returned to Egypt from his first exile in the West following the death of Constantine in 337, he fled to Rome two years later after his nominated episcopal successor, Gregory of Cappadocia, entered Alexandria.15 The support of Constantius’ brother, the western emperor Constans, led to another homecoming in 346, although Athanasius’ position was far from secure, especially after Constans’ violent demise in 350 at the hands of the usurper Magnentius. Athanasius’ third exile began when he was driven from Alexandria in 356, after which he concealed himself in various locations around Egypt until his return to his see in 362 under the general amnesty issued by the emperor Julian.16 It is during this six-year period that Athanasius composed his most vitriolic attacks against Constantius, especially his History of the Arians, in which the language of persecution and tyranny is particularly prominent.17 The early life of Hilary of Poitiers is less well documented than that of Athanasius. Almost nothing is known of him until his exile, probably after a council at Béziers in or around 356. Both Hilary’s career prior to this point and the precise causes and circumstances of his exile remain heavily disputed, especially since Hilary’s own account of events, in which he was exiled by heretics because of his steadfast defence of the orthodox faith, has been the subject of critical reassessment and scholarly debate.18 After this incident, he travelled in the eastern part of the empire, 14 Jerome, De uiris illustr. 87.1 notes that Athanasius ‘suffered many hardships through the plots of the Arians’. 15 Gregory had been appointed shortly before at a council held in Antioch. For Athanasius’ account of these events, see his Encyclical Epistle. 16 Barnes (1993) 118–22, 155. 17 For the dating of this text to the end of 357, rather than the traditional date of 358, see Barnes (1993) 126; Gwynn (2007) 40–1, (2012) 13; cf. Kannengiesser (1982) 990; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 420. David Gwynn’s volume on Athanasian polemic has also provided an in-depth account of the creation and extension of the heretical labels ‘Arian’ and ‘Eusebian’ across a broad range of the Alexandrian bishop’s writings, as well as a critique of ‘Church/State’ readings of these texts and a study of Athanasius’ descriptions of ‘Arian persecution’ – see Gwynn (2007) especially 147–67. 18 For more traditional accounts of Hilary’s early career and exile, see Jerome, De uiris illustr. 100.1; Borchardt (1966) 1–39, 165–77; Meslin (1969) 20–6, 32–8; Doignon (1971); R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 459–64; Burns (1985) 287–8. Brennecke (1984) 223–43 regards Hilary as having been exiled primarily for political reasons. D. H. Williams (1991), while not in total agreement with Brennecke, veers towards seeing a political motive as paramount. Barnes (1992), while regarding Hilary’s statements as misleading, nonetheless concludes that theological disagreement was the main factor, as does Burns (1994), building on Barnes’ arguments. Beckwith (2005) takes a mostly traditional line, arguing that Hilary’s version of events is largely accurate, although he states (at 36) that the bishop indulged in ‘a slight amount of exaggeration’ in the account of Béziers in his In Constantium. For a summary of the debate, see Beckwith (2005) 21–4.

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attending a council at Constantinople in 360 and composing two speeches addressed to Constantius: one deferential, the other polemical.19 At some point before the death of the emperor in late 361, Hilary returned to Gaul, although the circumstances under which this occurred remain obscure.20 After resuming his see, Hilary became a vehement opponent of Arianism, convening a series of Gallic councils and waging an ultimately futile campaign to depose Auxentius, bishop of Milan. It was during this period that he wrote his most celebrated theological work, De Trinitate. His reputation as an intelligent theologian and steadfast defender of Nicene orthodoxy increased rapidly after his death, resulting in his soubriquet of the ‘Athanasius of the West’.21 As with Hilary, Lucifer of Cagliari’s life and career before the 350s is extremely difficult to reconstruct. He was sent by Liberius, bishop of Rome, as the leader of a delegation to Constantius, in order to petition the emperor for the convening of a church council.22 Although this request was granted, when the Council of Milan took place in 355, Lucifer refused to agree to the condemnation of Athanasius that was tabled and so was exiled, alongside Eusebius of Vercelli, Dionysius of Milan and the two assistants who had accompanied Lucifer on his mission, Pancratius the presbyter and Hilarius the deacon.23 His peregrinations took him first to Germanicia, in south-eastern Asia Minor, then to Palestine and finally into the backwater of the Egyptian Thebaid.24 It was during this time that he wrote all his surviving works, which consist of a series of attacks against Arianism, focusing on the emperor Constantius. When Julian issued his amnesty to exiled bishops, Lucifer travelled to Antioch, where he exacerbated the city’s existing Christian schism by consecrating Paulinus as a third claimant to the see. After this incident, he returned to Cagliari, where he maintained his rigorist stance until his death in around 370 or 371.25 Lucifer differs from the other two bishops in one very notable 19 The Ad Const. and In Const. respectively. 20 See p. 209 n. 125 below. 21 On this title, see Brennecke (1984) 11 n. 37; D. H. Williams (1991) 217; Barnes (1992) 129. On Hilary’s life and career, see Borchardt (1966); Meslin (1969); Duval (1970); Brennecke (1984) 223– 367; Rocher (1987) 9–10, 12–29; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 459–71. On Hilary’s polemic, see Setton (1941) 98–103; Tietze (1976) 242–60; Klein (1977) 127–9; Humphries (1997) 458–62, (1998). 22 Jerome, De uiris illustr. 95.1; Tietze (1976) 59–61; Brennecke (1984) 150–1; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 509; Laconi (2004) 38. 23 Simonetti (1975) 218–20; Brennecke (1984) 164–95, especially 182–92; Pietri (1989) 157–8; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 332–4; Pietri and Pietri (1999–2000) ii 1325; Corti (2004) 63–85; Laconi (2004) 38–9. 24 On Lucifer’s exile, see Tietze (1976) 61–6; Meloni (2001); Corti (2004) 136–47. 25 On Lucifer’s life and death generally, see Pietri and Pietri (1999–2000) ii 1324–8, as well as Ugenti (1980) xvii–xxxv, which reproduces all the relevant ancient references.

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respect: while they are regarded as key orthodox patristic writers, he is remembered as the founder of a rigorist sect, the Luciferians, which came to be deemed heretical.26 Since the early lives of all three bishops are obscure, it is not possible to make any definitive statements regarding the extent to which any of them received the sort of rhetorical education described in the previous chapter. Arguments on this subject have therefore tended to rely on analysis of their writings, in order to establish the degree to which classical texts, phrases and methods have influenced their work. Hilary is generally regarded as having received some training, while Lucifer’s works demonstrate knowledge of a number of famous snippets of classical Latin literature, as well as detailed engagement with the writings of the Christian rhetorician Lactantius, as will be discussed below.27 The question of Athanasius’ education has, however, proven more controversial. While Christopher Stead argued forcefully for the presence of classical learning and rhetorical method in his writings, both Timothy Barnes and 26 Interestingly, Jerome, De uiris illustr. 95 praises Lucifer for possessing ‘wondrous constancy and a spirit prepared for martyrdom’, even though it postdates the Altercatio Luciferiani et orthodoxi, a fictional dialogue in which Jerome seeks to refute some of the views of Lucifer’s followers. Bibliographies of Luciferian scholarship, some of it quite hostile, can be found in Ugenti (1980) xiii–xvi, G. Castelli (1998) and Laconi (2001a) 281–3. Many of these works are by biblical scholars, who have been interested in Lucifer as a source for the Vetus Latina Bible which predates Jerome’s Vulgate  – see p. 111 n. 144 below. Krüger (1886) 25–9 described Lucifer’s works as ‘Pamphlete’, rather than ‘literary products’ and criticised them as boring and unpleasant due to their monotony and undisciplined style, even though he found a few aspects of them to admire. Frend (1984) 653 complained that Lucifer’s arguments against Constantius lacked ‘doctrinal rigour’, while Krüger (1886) 35 condemned his exegetical method as ‘haarsträubend’. Setton (1941) 92 labelled him as ‘perhaps the most striking and certainly the least attractive’ of Athanasius’ allies, while (at 93) calling his works ‘dreary reading’ and the dullest of all fourth-century patristic literature. Pietri (1989) 149 referred to him as ‘un polémiste frappant comme un bûcheron’. R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 323 describes Lucifer’s works as ‘one continued shrill monotone of abuse’, while at 508 n. 4 he declares that ‘almost everybody who writes about Lucifer finds him an intolerable bore and bigot except G. F. Diercks’. To Diercks can also now be added Sonia Laconi, whose work, both individually and as a conference organiser and editor, has done much to re-evaluate Lucifer’s writings – on this, see especially Laconi (1998) 15–22, (2004) 182. Studies of Lucifer’s vocabulary and style include G. Castelli (1971); Opelt (1972); Schilling (2001); Laconi (2002), (2004). On the debate concerning his attitude towards classical culture, see G. Castelli (1968), (2001); Laconi (2004) 119–82. For a discussion of Lucifer’s invective method, see Longosz (1972), stating (at 194) that one of the objectives of his fourteen-page article is ‘to point out the stupidity encompassed in inveiglement and to terminate its propagation’. Tietze (1976) provides a comprehensive survey of the forms of abuse employed in Lucifer, including classifying them thematically, although his analysis is still mostly concerned with Lucifer’s conception of the relationship between ‘Church’ and ‘State’. 27 On Hilary, see, for example, Borchardt (1966) 6–8; Wickham (1997) xii; Rocher (1987) 9–10. On Lucifer, see the indices of sources provided in Diercks (1978) 363–4 and Laconi (1998) 437–8, as well as a number of chapters in Laconi (2001a), especially those by Ugenti, Marin, Pizzani and Piredda. Laconi (2004) 119 also suggests that Lucifer received some education in the ‘classics’, possibly at Rome.

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David Gwynn have argued that he was not as familiar with these subjects as some of his contemporaries, most notably the Cappadocian Fathers, although Barnes’ argument is partly based on his rejection of the attribution of Athanasian authorship to the Life of Antony.28 In contrast, Andrew Louth has argued that Athanasius ‘shows skill in rhetorical methods of argument’, even if he had not received formal, ‘classical’ education with a rhetor.29 Furthermore, even if Athanasius’ literary education was primarily received through ‘Christian’ texts, rather than studying in depth the orations of Demosthenes or the poetry of Homer, this should not be taken to mean that his was a ‘pure’ and wholly ‘biblical’ mode of speech uninfluenced by any ‘sophistic’ devices and ‘pagan’ learning.30 Such an approach runs the risk of seeing ‘pagan’ and ‘Christian’, or ‘ecclesiastical’ and ‘secular’, as too neatly and rigidly divided as communities or cultures in the later Roman empire. However much time Athanasius spent sitting in the schoolroom or studying progymnasmata, he was, undoubtedly, a man who knew how to play the game of late Roman politics at the highest levels. In fact, it is clear that, regardless of the insoluble question of the degree of formal rhetorical education that they had received, all three of these bishops had experience of the political discourse of their day and the techniques that were employed in speaking about (and sometimes to) the most powerful men in the empire. It is this knowledge of practical rhetoric and imperial presentation that was key to their polemical writings, rather than an ability to recite Virgil or Euripides by heart. This chapter will compare these bishops’ portraits of Constantius with earlier and contemporary literary accounts of emperors from both classical and Christian texts. In doing so, it will consider the traditional epideictic methods for evaluating an individual introduced in the last chapter, including discussion of the subject’s family and virtues (or vices), and then demonstrate the manner in which these were transformed and subsumed within the new imperial ideals created by these three bishops. This analysis will also explore Athanasius and Hilary’s rhetorical transformations of Constantine into a paragon of imperial virtue that ran parallel to their vilification of his son as its polar opposite. This is not, however, an attempt 28 Stead (1976); Barnes (1993) 11–12; Gwynn (2012) 3–4. Greg. Naz. Or. 21.6 stated that Athanasius learned a little of the usual subjects of a ‘traditional’ education, but only so that he would not be completely ignorant of things which he rejected. 29 Louth (2004) 275. 30 cf. Barnes (1993) 126, where the De fuga is said to reflect ‘the vigor of his native intelligence rather than the influence of pagan literary culture’, while, in the History of the Arians, ‘instead of deliberate and conscious art, he [Athanasius] uses native wit’.

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to ‘set the historical record straight’, to argue that Constantius was or was not a ‘real persecutor’.31 While there do appear to be discrepancies between these authors’ accounts of their own likelihood to suffer martyrdom and the testimony of some other contemporary writers, the question of whether their treatment deserves to be labelled as ‘persecution’, or their response as ‘confession’ or even ‘martyrdom’, is fruitless. Persecution and martyrdom were, from their very beginnings, literary tropes, textual reworkings of the judicial and extrajudicial violence that was a quotidian feature of Roman society. As Daniel Boyarin remarks in his study of the development of martyrdom in Judaism and early Christianity, For the ‘Romans’, it didn’t matter much whether the lions were eating a robber or a bishop, and it probably didn’t make much of a difference to the lions, either, but the robber’s friends and the bishop’s friends told different stories about those leonine meals. It is in these stories that martyrdom, as opposed to execution or dinner, can be found, not in ‘what happened’.32

Persecution developed as a technique for describing the actions of one’s enemies, in particular those whose power and authority were derived from, or sanctioned by, Roman imperial government. When these bishops attacked Constantius using the language of martyrdom, they were not distorting minor events to make them reach an objective standard of persecution, but instead developing this recognised theme to encompass new characters and circumstances and to fit them into pre-existing narratives for understanding Christian history.33 Even though they sought to undermine Constantius’ position in the minds of their audience, these bishops were not authors of an ‘outsider literature’, standing in stark opposition to the Roman empire and its power structures; nor were they representatives of a fiercely independent ‘Church’, defending themselves against interference by the machinery of the ‘State’.34 Rather, they sought to position themselves inside the system, using the conventions of epideictic oratory to refashion the imperial ideal in a manner that suited their agenda. Of course, it is very difficult to know exactly who the audience was for these polemics: Athanasius has often been thought, possibly incorrectly, to have been writing the History of the Arians primarily for Egyptian monks; Hilary may only have circulated his In Constantium within Gaul 31 R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 318–25 attempts to weigh up the evidence for this presentation of Constantius, as well as surveying earlier opinions. 32 Boyarin (1999) 94–5. 33 On the broader development of these narratives during this period, see Gaddis (2005) 68–102; Sizgorich (2009) 46–86. 34 See pp. 20–1 above.

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at first; Lucifer is reported to have posted his writings to the emperor for his edification.35 It seems likely, however, that most of these texts were only circulated within a relatively small group of like-minded people, at least until after Constantius’ death in November 361. They did, after all, write from positions of institutional and theological insecurity, the result of being vocally out of step with the prevailing definition of orthodoxy. It can be easy for us, equipped with the knowledge that Nicene theology went on to be reaffirmed under Theodosius I and his successors, to forget that these three ‘orthodox’ bishops penned their texts as exiled heretics, lone voices denouncing a second-generation Christian emperor who, like his father, Constantine, lavished wealth and attention on the Church. It is unclear whether writing works of this sort really placed the exiled authors in danger of martyrdom, as they themselves claimed. If Lucifer did indeed send some of his diatribes to the imperial secretariat, he does not seem to have been deemed worthy of any punishment, except perhaps a change in the location of his exile. Even if they were only circulated among a relatively small group of readers in the first months or years after their composition, these polemics were able not only to denounce Constantius as a heretic, but also to tie his heresy firmly into the question of his legitimacy as an emperor. Also, like the descriptions of fallen tyrants in the Panegyrici Latini, they must have been read by a much larger group of people once Constantius was safely dead, thereby helping to build the reputations of these three bishops. Furthermore, the force of their new model emperor did not die with Constantius; these texts continued to promote a redefined image of the virtues and actions required of a legitimate ruler. As 35 Athanasius: the argument in favour of a monastic audience rests mainly on the text’s manuscript position immediately after the Epistula ad monachos, which describes an accompanying text which the recipients are asked not to circulate – see Barnes (1993) 126, which defends the assumption that, if the work had a specific intended audience, it was addressed to monks, and Gwynn (2007) 41–2, which rejects this conclusion, but assumes ‘a wider but still Egyptian audience’. At 26, Gwynn says of Athanasius’ ‘polemical works’ in general that they ‘had a dual audience and a dual purpose, to reinforce Athanasius’ position among his own supporters and to persuade others to uphold his presentation both of himself and of his opponents’. Hilary: Jerome, De uiris illustr. 100.3 states that the work was written after Constantius’ death, although this dating is not widely accepted. Rocher (1987) 29–38, 41–2 argues that most of the text was written and circulated among some Gallic bishops during Constantius’ lifetime, but that the work was not brought into its final form until after the emperor’s death. Barnes (1988) 610 argues very convincingly against Rocher, dismisses Jerome’s testimony and concludes that the entire text dates from 360. Brennecke (1984) 361 also places the composition after Hilary’s return to Gaul, but before Constantius’ death. Lucifer: Jerome, De uiris illustr. 95.2 states that Lucifer dispatched an invective to the emperor. An exchange of letters between Lucifer and Florentius, Constantius’ magister officiorum, in which Lucifer confirms that he is the author of a book sent to the emperor under his name, is preserved along with his works – Diercks (1978) 305. Krüger (1886) 24–5 and Laconi (2002) 227, (2004) 119–20 take at face value the idea that the primary (or sole) intended audience of Lucifer’s works was Constantius himself.

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will be explored in the following sections, their descriptions of the ideal emperor (and his converse, the archetypal tyrant) retained many qualities that would be recognisable to anyone familiar with the conventions of panegyric and invective. The appearance of these regular elements of the rhetoric of rule therefore invited the audience to perceive the authors of these texts not as outsiders, ranting against the establishment, but as comrades in a community with a common system of values and forms of expression. Yet, it would also have been clear to a contemporary audience that the works produced by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer did not remain securely within rhetorical conventions. While the traditional panegyrist or polemicist could innovate by shuffling and selecting exempla from centuries of epideictic tradition, these authors went further, introducing Christian characters to trump the classical, making it clear that the rules of engagement had changed. In doing so, they created a new, unambiguously Christian rhetoric for a Christian empire. Fa m i ly a n d a n c e s t r y

Family history was regularly employed in both panegyrics and invectives. An orator could embellish his image of an emperor’s character traits by focusing on the famous and infamous qualities of his ancestors, and so argue that these were the sources of the current ruler’s virtues or vices.36 Menander Rhetor advised those composing a βασιλικὸς λόγος to ‘examine whether his family is distinguished or not. If it is, give attention to this topic; if it is undistinguished or humble, leave it out.’37 Panegyrists regularly exalted the achievements of an emperor’s predecessors and relatives, claiming that he was worthy of the imperial throne by virtue of his noble birth.38 When the future emperor Julian wrote a panegyric of Constantius, he catalogued the great deeds of the late Constantine and then emphasised the theme of legitimacy and continuity, informing his imperial cousin that ‘he [Constantine] seems to rule still’.39 Such praise could even function without a real dynastic link. In a panegyric delivered in 310, Constantine was presented as descended from the short-lived third-century emperor Claudius Gothicus, who had won a victory against the Goths and was notable as one of the few emperors in that period to have died peacefully. The panegyrist 36 Aphth. Prog. 22.2–3 (Spengel 36.9–11) recommended the use of this topic in an encomium; the use of family in invective is then suggested at 28.3–4 (Spengel 40.14–15). See also Herm. Prog. 15.8–11, 15.19 (Spengel 11.28–30, 12.7) and Theon, Prog. 110.2–4, 111.13. 37 Men. Rhet. 370.10–13. 38 See Mause (1994) 63–76.  39  Julian, Or. 1.9a.

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now exalted Claudius as a great victor, whose achievements were exaggerated to include nothing less than the restoration of the entire Roman empire.40 Coins proclaiming ‘divvs cl avdivs’ had previously been issued under Claudius’ successors Aurelian and Probus, and Constantine was also celebrated with other references to his newly created divine ancestry, being described on inscriptions as ‘divi cl avdi nepos’ and minting coins with the legend ‘divo cl avdio optimo imp’. This provided Constantine, and his father, Constantius I, with a claim to legitimate rule that was not dependent on either Constantius’ position as a senior member of the defunct Tetrarchy or Constantine’s own marriage into the family of the former emperor Maximian, against whom he had recently fought a civil war.41 Over four decades later, when Julian came to compose his panegyric to Constantius II, the role of Claudius as founder of the dynasty was still emphasised, although the praise of relatives also encompassed the deeds and virtues of Constantius’ grandparents Constantius I and Maximian (the latter rehabilitated here as a legitimate ruler), his parents Constantine and Fausta, and his brothers Constantine II and Constans.42 For the author of invective, an alternate strategy was available: negative synkrisis with relations and ancestors. By praising the positive qualities of these individuals, the subject was made to look even worse, since he had declined from seemingly virtuous beginnings. When Hilary and Athanasius chose to compare Constantius II with his immediate relations, particularly his father Constantine, it was to attack him for failing to live up to their example of good relations with orthodox bishops. Mark Humphries has performed acute analysis of this theme, closely examining the construction and ideological function of these invectives as ‘anti-panegyric’, paying particular attention to the relationship between the images of Constantius and Constantine in these texts.43 Humphries, in his discussion of Hilary’s invective, states that, ‘far from emerging from the work as a paragon of 40 Pan. Lat. vi(7).2.1–3. 41 Aurelian and Probus: RIC v.1.233–7. Constantine: Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 215–17, 219–20 n. 6; Syme (1974) 240–5; ILS 699, 702, 723, 725, 730, 732; RIC vii.180, 252, 310, 394, 429, 502. The Constantinian coinage from 317–18 is part of a series that also celebrates the deified Constantius I and Maximian. The link to Claudius was therefore maintained even when the memory of Maximian was rehabilitated. 42 Julian, Or. 1.6c–10a. In his satirical Caesars, written after Constantius II’s death, Julian celebrated Claudius as a virtuous man and claimed that ‘all the gods bestowed the empire on his family’ (313d). Constantius I  – ‘my grandfather’  – is also described in positive terms, while criticism is levelled at ‘Maximian’, although it is unclear whether this refers to Maximian or Galerius (315a–c). Constantine and his sons are criticised and punished both for their Christianity and for killing their relatives, ‘until Zeus gave them some respite on account of Claudius and Constantius’ (336a– b, quoting 336b). 43 Humphries (1997), (1998).

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imperial virtue – as Constantius would have appeared in a panegyric – the lasting image of the emperor created by Against Constantius is that of a bestial tyrant waging war on the Church’.44 Hilary accused Constantius of being ‘a rebel against your father’s piety’ and told him that ‘your father himself, dead now for a long time, is anathema to you, since he cared deeply for the Council of Nicaea, while you overthrow and defame it through your false ideas’.45 Athanasius also claimed that Constantius callously pretended to share the pious sentiments of his father and brothers, while in reality he sought to overthrow their policies.46 After Constans’ death, Athanasius argued that Constantius ought to ‘become heir to his [Constans’] opinion just as to his empire’.47 These passages applied the terminology of political succession and legitimacy to theological beliefs, presenting them as central to the reigns of Constantine and Constans and defining characteristics of their personalities. If Constantius shared his relations’ views, he was their ‘heir’; if not, he was a ‘rebel’. This representation necessarily involved the careful depiction of Constantine as a constant supporter of orthodoxy.48 Hilary stressed Constantine’s support for the Council of Nicaea and urged Constantius to ‘hear the professed faith of your father’.49 This was the image of the pious and divinely sanctioned ruler seeking unity within the Church that was central to Eusebius of Caesarea’s portrayal of Constantine at Nicaea, in which the emperor did not impose his views on the bishops without discussion, but instead carefully guided them to reach a widely acclaimed state of concord.50 Hilary and Athanasius both provided panegyrical and, most importantly, orthodox accounts of Constantine. They failed to mention either the mysterious deaths of Constantine’s son, Crispus, and second wife, Fausta, or the emperor’s later support for ‘Arian’ bishops, including his deathbed baptism by Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia. This Eusebius’ closeness to Constantine was central to the image presented 44 Humphries (1998) 219. 45 In Const. 27.  46  Hist. Ar. 49–51.  47  Hist. Ar. 49.2. 48 See Humphries (1997) 464. For a succinct survey of the ancient accounts of Constantine and the problems of their interpretation, see Averil Cameron (2005) 90–4, 106–8. This selective interpretation of the past was similar to Eusebius of Caesarea’s description of Constantine’s father, Constantius I. Although Constantius had been one of the Tetrarchs, Eusebius cast him as a non-persecuting monotheist, who could then be sympathetically portrayed to a Christian audience. See Eus. V. Const. 1.13–18, as well as Lact. Mort. pers. 8.7, 15.7. 49 In Const. 27. 50 Eus. V. Const. 3.4–14; Barnes (1981) 215–17; Averil Cameron (1997) 166–7; Cameron and Hall (1999) 256–7, 264–7. Drake (2000) 252–4 is, uncharacteristically, keener than some other historians to accept Eusebius’ account as accurate.

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by the fifth-century ecclesiastical historian Philostorgius, who supported Eunomian theology and was vehemently opposed to Athanasius.51 In contrast, Athanasius and Hilary ignored this relationship and denounced the Nicomedian prelate as an Arian heresiarch. Athanasius chose to recall that Constantine had referred to Arians by the title ‘Porphyrians’, thereby linking them with Porphyry, the vehement Neoplatonist opponent of Christianity, and had condemned Arius as a heretic.52 He even glossed the story of his own exile under Constantine and transformed it into a benevolent act in which the emperor had sent him ‘to Gaul for a while because of the savagery of the plotters’, while preventing the Arians from appointing a new bishop in Alexandria.53 Athanasius depicted Constantine as his protector in times of crisis and a solid supporter of his theological position, so that Constantius could be portrayed as departing from his father’s example. This ‘reconstructed Constantine’ consistently approved of the Nicene Creed and never interfered in the affairs of the Church, unlike his nefarious son.54 This was not merely the straightforward adoption of the model of Constantine presented by Eusebius of Caesarea: like other panegyrists, Athanasius and Hilary both created images of the ideal emperor and also proclaimed Constantine and Constans as their embodiment. In doing so, they presented ‘orthodoxy’ as a fundamental requirement of imperial rule. Their versions of Constantine as the paradigm of the unwavering orthodox emperor formed a yardstick against which to measure Constantius: if he failed to live up to their expectations, then he was to be condemned not just as a heretic, but also as an illegitimate usurper who was not worthy to be adjudged Constantine’s son and heir. As discussed in Chapter 1, the author of an invective had two forms of synkrisis available: as well as arguing that a figure had sunk to iniquitous depths, when compared to his virtuous ancestors, he could also stress the bad qualities of his subject’s predecessors, and so present him as continuing a tradition of villainy. The latter technique was used by Lucifer of Cagliari in his depictions of both Constantine and Constantius. Unlike Athanasius and Hilary, Lucifer focused on Constantine’s later years, during which the emperor could be said to have moved away from Nicene 51 Philostorgius 2.16. Eunomianism was regularly characterised by its opponents as ‘Arian’. On Philostorgius’ anti-Nicene tradition, see Nobbs (1990); Trompf (1997) 22–33; Argov (2001); Amidon (2007) xviii–xxiii. 52 Hist. Ar. 51.1. 53 Hist. Ar. 50.2. See also the letter of Constantine II in Athanasius’ Apol. c. Ar. 87.4–7, which supports this interpretation of the bishop’s first exile. 54 Hist. Ar. 52.3–6; Gwynn (2007) 154–5.

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theology, exiling Athanasius and supporting many ‘Arian’ bishops, including Eusebius of Nicomedia. Lucifer therefore bracketed the two emperors together, claiming that Constantius and Constantine were both supporters of Arians who pursued the same poisonous policies, particularly towards Athanasius.55 He even claimed that Constantius might use his father’s success in establishing a dynasty as a sign of divine approval for his favouring of Arianism, proclaiming to the world, ‘if my father had not acted well in transferring himself to the Arians, his sons would not rule’.56 The image of a model emperor that Lucifer created was similar to those constructed by Athanasius and Hilary: a virtuous, orthodox ruler. However, Lucifer differed from the other two authors in presenting Constantine not as the fulfilment of this paradigm, but as its opposite, an opponent of pious Christians.57 According to this version of events, Constantius was, ironically, recast as a worthy successor: the irreligious son of an irreligious father. These three bishops also linked Constantius with the most prominent recent enemies of Christianity: persecuting Roman emperors. These claims sought to sever or invert the ideological link of legitimacy that was a key theme of panegyric by creating a new association with recognised tyrants. Just as the panegyrist of 310 sidestepped the Tetrarchy and created a new family tree linking Constantine to Claudius Gothicus, so these authors now connected Constantius to the Tetrarchy, rather than to his Christian relations. The Tetrarchs also appeared here not as former incumbents of the imperial throne, as they did in Julian’s panegyric, but explicitly in their roles as pagan enemies of the true faith. By emphasising his familial links with the persecutors of the early fourth century, the bishops presented Constantius as both a violent enemy of Christianity and an illegitimate Christian emperor with an irreligious genealogy.58 Athanasius referred to the Great Persecution as having been carried out by ‘Maximian, the grandfather of Constantius’.59 This theme of illegitimate ancestry was developed by drawing comparisons with earlier persecuting emperors, who were deemed to be Constantius’ forefathers in policy, if not literally in bloodline. Hilary made reference to the former emperors Nero, Decius and Maximian, before continuing to explain that Constantius’ 55 De Ath. I xxix.20–7, 45–8.  56  De regibus vi.18–20. 57 On this presentation of Constantine, see also Tietze (1976) 187–8; Humphries (1997) 457–8. 58 Humphries (1997) especially 454–62. 59 Hist. Ar. 64.2. This description of Constantius as the grandson of Maximian also appears in the letter attributed to Ossius of Cordoba at Hist. Ar. 44.1 – see p. 155 below.

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malevolence surpassed even theirs.60 Although Nero might have been used by any author at this time as an example of a bad emperor, here in this text, alongside two otherwise unremarkable emperors, he completed a trio of persecutors chosen specifically for their place in ‘Christian history’.61 Hilary went on to call Constantius a persecutor whose villainy surpassed these earlier models, arguing that ‘your ancestors [patres] were enemies of Christ alone: but you fight against God the Father’, while also stating that the emperor had learned his nefarious skills from his father, the Devil, ‘the author of human deaths’.62 Lucifer also specifically referred to the Devil as fulfilling this role, alongside his criticism of Constantine.63 Moreover, when Lucifer used a phrase such as ‘your cruelty, and that of your father’, it was not always completely clear from the context which of Constantius’ fathers was being referred to by Lucifer when he employed the ambiguous word pater.64 Constantius was therefore furnished with a doubly negative patrimony: his actual father was an emperor who helped Arians and banished Athanasius, while his ‘spiritual’ father was the author of all heresy and persecution. Like Hilary, Lucifer also compared Constantius to Nero, as well as Maxentius, who had been defeated by Constantine at the Milvian Bridge.65 As discussed in Chapter 1, this invective technique was not novel to these texts.66 The panegyrist of 313 compared Maxentius’ rule in Rome to the late Republican purges perpetrated by Marius and Cinna.67 When Ammianus Marcellinus incorporated elements of invective into his summation of Constantius’ deeds and character, his synkrisis denounced the emperor as more vicious than a resolutely Roman trio of monsters, Caligula, Domitian and Commodus.68 The exclusive use of ‘anti-Christian villains’ as exempla by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, rather than more recognisably classical ‘bad emperors’, demonstrates the reformulations of In Const. 8; Humphries (1998) 213. Humphries identifies Hilary’s ‘Maximian’ as Galerius, which is a likely explanation, as Galerius was widely regarded as a major instigator of the ‘Great Persecution’. It is, however, possible that Maximian, the father of Fausta and grandfather of Constantius, is meant here. This trio of emperors also appears at In Const. 7. 61 At De fuga 1.1, Athanasius referred to his opponent Narcissus of Neronias (also known as Irenopolis) as ‘Narcissus from the city of Nero’, thereby seeking to associate the Cilician bishop with the famous persecutor. On Narcissus, see Lienhard (1999) 88–9. 62 In Const. 9, 8. 63 De Ath. I xliii.3–4; De Ath. II ii.35–9, xiv.74, xxx.12. 64 Moriundum v.66 See also Moriundum vii.4–5; De non parc. xiii.19–20; De non conu. ix.60–5. Diercks (1978) 475 regards all uses of pater that are not obviously about Constantine to be references to the Devil. 65 De Ath. I xii.1–4; Tietze (1976) 186; Gustafson (1994) 197–8; Simonetti (2001) 13; Laconi (2001b) 49. 66 See pp. 49–55 above.  67  Pan. Lat. xii(9).20.3. 68 Amm. 21.16.8. This was preceded at 21.16.1–7 by a panegyrical account of Constantius’ virtues. 60

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traditional epideictic practice made within their texts. By emphasising these particular tyrannical links, Constantius was presented not as the latest member of a Christian dynasty, nor the imitator of traditional ‘good’ emperors such as Augustus and Trajan, but as the heir of Christianity’s most famous and violent opponents. This image of Constantius as an enemy of his own family was expanded by Athanasius by reference to the murders of several of his relatives in the dynastic massacre that followed Constantine’s death in 337.69 Athanasius placed the blame for this incident squarely on Constantius, dismissing any involvement or approval by his ‘orthodox’ brothers: ‘he did not spare his own family. He murdered his uncles; he removed his cousins; he showed no mercy to his father-in-law, even though he had married his daughter, or to his suffering relatives.’70 Other enemies of Constantius similarly used this incident to besmirch his reputation: Julian blamed Constantius alone for the death of his relations when he wrote to the Athenians to justify his own usurpation;71 Ammianus Marcellinus, when comparing Constantius to earlier bad emperors, stated that ‘he emulated their savagery at the outset of his reign, exterminating completely all those linked to him by blood and family’.72 In Athanasius’ story, Constantius’ actions were not just internecine murders, they were also contradictory to the wishes of his father Constantine, who had raised two of the victims to important positions in the empire, with control over specific territories: his half-brother’s son Dalmatius to the rank of Caesar, alongside his own three sons, and Dalmatius’ brother Hannibalianus to the title of ‘King of Kings and of the Pontic peoples’.73 The violent slaughter could therefore also be cast as a rebellion against his father’s established order for the succession, and thus as a form of usurpation. It is, of course, difficult to reconstruct the other side of the story, to see the Constantius who was exalted as a champion of orthodoxy, furthering his father’s advancement of Christianity.74 Although there are extant panegyrics of Constantius by both Julian and Themistius, the surviving contemporary Christian literature is almost exclusively hostile; no equivalent

69 See pp. 79–80 above.  70  Hist. Ar. 69.1. 71 Julian, Ep. ad Ath. 270c–d. 72 Amm. 21.16.8. Unfortunately, Ammianus’ books covering the reigns of Constantine II and Constans have not survived, so it is impossible to know whether he also blamed them for the massacre. 73 Frakes (2006) 95–6. 74 For discussion of ways in which Constantius II did and did not continue in his father’s footsteps, see Girardet (1977); Pietri (1989).

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text to the Life of Constantine survives for him.75 One can only speculate how he was praised by bishops such as Eusebius of Nicomedia, Valens of Mursa or Ursacius of Singidunum.76 A glimpse of how Constantius might have been represented in Christian panegyric is offered by surviving glimpses of the lost work of Philostorgius.77 In his account of Constantius’ accession, Constantine was poisoned by his brothers, but, shortly before he died, he left instructions for his sons to avenge his death. This text was hidden from the murderous brothers by Eusebius of Nicomedia, the confidant of Constantine, who delivered it to Constantius. In this alternative version, the dynastic massacre became an act of filial piety in which Constantius and his brothers faithfully carried out their father’s dying wishes, aided by the loyal and orthodox Eusebius. These diametrically opposing narratives of the events of 337 highlight the variety of ways in which panegyrists and invectivists could employ the same details within their narratives: for Philostorgius, the story of the dynastic massacre lauded the ‘Arian’ Eusebius and fortified, rather than weakened, Constantius’ legitimacy as Constantine’s heir; for Athanasius, it was another example of Constantius’ hostility towards his father’s wishes and his own family, and another disqualification from the right to rule. Despite the lack of much surviving material beyond Philostorgius’ isolated voice from around seventy years after the emperor’s death, it is highly likely that Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer were reacting against panegyrics of the emperor as a model of religious government. Although there were differences between their portraits of Constantine, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer all constructed similar ideal emperors who excelled in virtue and respected the ‘orthodox’ bishops. These were the aspects of Constantine’s character on which they dwelt and, analogously, the traits they found most wanting in Constantius. Here they departed from the more traditional techniques of invective visible in the works of Ammianus and Julian: Constantius was primarily denounced for emulating enemies of Christianity and failing to live up to the religious example left by his relatives. Within the new paradigms of imperial practice created by these three bishops, it was 75 On the panegyrics of Julian and Themistius, see p. 36 n. 20 above. 76 A deferential letter to Constantius written by ‘Homoian’ bishops attending the Council of Ariminum is preserved by Hilary at Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.vi. While it does offer praise of the emperor, including calling him domine piissime imperator, it is very brief and undeveloped. On this fragmentary work by Hilary, see p. 120 n. 192 below. 77 Philostorgius 2.16. See Tantillo (2000); Amidon (2007) 33–4 nn. 45 and 48; Burgess (2008) 20–1. See also Brennecke (1988) 134–41; Amidon (2007) 205–38; and pp. 107–8 below for discussion of a lost pro-Constantius source which was used by both Theophanes the Confessor and the author of the Chronicon Paschale.

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this ideological succession, more than ties of blood (which he also disrespected), that determined genealogies and made Constantius the successor of persecutors. At the time they were themselves isolated figures, sounding a discordant note against a chorus of praise. Posterity and textual preservation has made them appear mainstream. V i rt u e s a n d v i c e s

These negative portrayals of Constantius also employed the enumeration of virtues and vices that was central to classical panegyric and invective. As discussed in Chapter 1, rhetorical handbooks encouraged the parallel deployment of good and bad qualities for praise and blame respectively.78 Menander Rhetor, in his guidelines for the composition of a βασιλικὸς λόγος, instructed encomiasts: ‘always divide the deeds of those whom you are about to praise into the virtues (there are four virtues: courage, justice, temperance and wisdom)’.79 Nevertheless, despite Menander’s confident statement, there was no fixed canon of imperial virtues, trotted out on every ceremonial occasion, but rather a much broader collection of praiseworthy attributes applied to emperors at different times.80 Panegyrists made a selection from this pool of virtues based on the character of the individual emperor and the circumstances of the oration. In 389, Pacatus praised Theodosius I for his constantia, patientia, prudentia and fortitudo; a fitting set of virtues for a victorious general.81 The panegyrist of 310, however, praised Constantine’s father, Constantius, for his misericordia, iustitia and prouidentia, after the recovery of Britain from the usurper Allectus.82 Although Constantius, like Theodosius, had been successful in a civil war, 78 See pp. 48–53 above. These guidelines from progymnasmata can be found at Theon, Prog. 110.7– 10, 112.2–8; Herm. Prog. 16.3–10 (Spengel 12.12–18); Aphth. Prog. 22.7, 28.4–6 (Spengel 36.14–15, 40.15–17). 79 Men. Rhet. 373.5–8. 80 The four virtues identified by Menander derive from Greek philosophical thought and can also be found at Herm. Prog. 16.7–8 (Spengel 12.15–16) and in Pan. Lat. iii(11).5.4, vii(6).3.4, xi(3).19.2. Theon, Prog. 110.8–10 also mentions these four, along with others. While the use of this quartet was a regular trope, it should not be taken as a comprehensive list. On the various virtues and other Roman imperial benefits, particularly as expressed on Roman coins, see Wallace-Hadrill (1981) especially 298–307, who argues convincingly against the more rigid, ‘canonising’ approach in Charlesworth (1937), which expounded the existence of a fixed set of cardinal Roman virtues, centred on the quartet of uirtus, clementia, iustitia and pietas recorded on Augustus’ golden shield. Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 23 discuss the presence of Menander’s four cardinal virtues in the Panegyrici Latini, alongside other positive imperial qualities. 81 Pan. Lat. ii(12).40.3; Wallace-Hadrill (1981) 303. 82 Pan. Lat. vi(7).6.1. Another panegyric, from c. 297, also celebrates Constantius’ conquest of Britain, emphasising the slaughter of the enemy, although they are specifically identified as barbarians, rather than Romans – Pan. Lat. viii(4).16–17.

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the panegyrist of 310 seems to have wished to place greater emphasis on Constantius’ role as merciful conqueror. When Constantius II’s opponents wished to portray him as an unworthy tyrant, they, like the panegyrists, produced their own particular conceptions of the ideal ruler by drawing upon certain traditional themes and motifs, but altering their relative importance. Many of the virtues that Constantius was presented as lacking were panegyrical commonplaces, including the four listed in Menander’s catalogue. However, these texts differed greatly from other representations of emperors through their prioritisation of piety, in a particular Christian form, as the central quality required in a good emperor. This was a recognisably Roman imperial virtue, celebrated particularly under the Tetrarchy, when the emperors sought to present themselves as restoring traditional values after a period of instability.83 The panegyric of 313 exalted Constantine as the beneficiary of divine favour, placing him in contrast to the impious ‘tyrant’ Maxentius, here branded as a despoiler of temples.84 However, piety had never enjoyed a special status above the other virtues in classical assessments of imperial character and was not included in Menander’s cardinal quartet. Like other imperial attributes, the emphasis given to it in any particular panegyric varied with individual circumstances. Lactantius’ and Eusebius’ descriptions of emperors had already begun to reorganise the relative importance of imperial virtues to make piety the central factor in the evaluation of Christian rulers.85 Eusebius compared his ‘good’ emperors, Constantine and Licinius, with the ‘tyrant’ Maximin by describing them as ‘surpassing him in everything: in family and upbringing and education, in honour and intelligence, and in that which is most important of all, in temperance and piety towards the true God’.86 Here was an explicit statement 83 Augustus was keen to stress his religious activities after the Civil Wars, mentioning them in Res Gestae 9–13 (priesthoods, honours and religious activities), 19–21 (building and rebuilding of temples), 24 (replacing the ornaments removed by Antony). The Golden Shield mentioned in Res Gestae 34 also paid tribute to his pietas. On pietas as an essential quality of a Roman emperor, see Nixon and Rodgers (1994) 90 n. 40; Charlesworth (1937) 113–14, (1943) 7–9, with the qualifying arguments in Wallace-Hadrill (1981). The emperor’s piety was regularly exalted in Tetrarchic panegyrics, including Pan. Lat. x(2).1.4, x(2).6.5, xi(3).6.1–7, xi(3).11.1, xi(3).13.1, xi(3).18.5–19.6, vii(6).11.5–6, vi(7).7.3–8.6 (with references to Constantine’s father as Constantius Pius), vi(7).14.4, vi(7).20.1–4, vi(7).22.4–6, v(8).7.4. Laconi (2001b) 30 also argues that, in classical rhetoric from the Fourth Philippic down to the Panegyrici Latini, the sacralità of the legitimate ruler was contrasted with the sacrilegium of the usurper. While this was an aspect of the rhetoric of virtues and vices, Laconi’s claim that this dichotomy formed the main ideology of panegyrics overplays the importance of piety when compared to other imperial virtues. 84 Pan. Lat. xii(9).4.4. 85 See pp. 64–75 above.  86  Eus. HE 9.10.1.

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of a new framework for assessing emperors. Eusebius’ Constantine ruled through the grace of God and was fully aware of his subordination to divine authority. He was a template for good governance, by embodying the virtues traditionally expected of a good emperor, married with a great respect for the bishops as the representatives of God on earth, so that he became ‘an instruction of the religious example for the mortal race’.87 The conceptions of virtue and the imperial ideal employed by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer bore some similarities to those of Eusebius.88 Hilary, before describing the emperor’s attacks on the righteous, informed him: ‘I do not record any actions except those performed in the Church; otherwise I would be mentioning any other tyranny than that against God.’89 However, the portrayals of Constantius by these authors were more than simple inversions of Eusebius’ Constantine; they were arguments for a new Christian register for judging an emperor. While Constantine had been praised by Eusebius for calling and presiding over the Council of Nicaea in order to bring peace to all the churches, Constantius was assailed for interfering in religious matters and imposing his heretical will upon the orthodox. While the three bishops’ approval for Nicaea and disapproval for Constantius’ councils and their creeds might have been formed more through differences in the councils’ decisions than in their methods, their responses to the latter included a transformation of the piety expected of Christian emperors. Piety was the virtue referred to most often by Athanasius and Hilary when they addressed Constantius deferentially in earlier works, calling him ‘most pious emperor’, ‘best and most religious emperor’ and ‘most religious Augustus’.90 Although these texts, the Ad Constantium by Hilary and the Apologia ad Constantium by Athanasius, were written before these authors’ most polemical tracts against that emperor, they still display the same concern to place reverence for true religion at the heart of their portrait of legitimate kingship.91 Within his letter, Hilary also claimed that imperial authority rested on orthodoxy, arguing that an emperor 87 Eus. V. Const. 1.4; Cameron and Hall (1999) 30–1, 34–9. 88 See also Laconi (2004) 133–8 for a table of the negative terms used by Lucifer to describe the vices of Constantius. 89 In Const. 11. On this theme in Hilary’s polemic, see also Opelt (1973b) 211. 90 Ad Const. 1.1, 4.1; Apol. Const. 1.1. See also Ad Const. 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 8.1; Apol. Const. 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 5.2, 6.2, 10.4, 12.1, 14.1, 14.3, 15.5, 16.2, 17.4, 17.5, 18.1, 18.6, 19.3, 19.5, 19.6, 21.1, 21.2, 21.3, 24.1, 24.2, 24.4, 25.1, 25.4, 25.6, 26.4, 26.6, 27.1, 28.1, 29.1, 32.1, 32.3, 32.6, 33.4, 33.5, 34.2, 34.3, 34.4. 91 On the dating of the Ad Constantium, see Barnes (1993) 150; Wickham (1997) ix. On the complicated issue of the composition and revision of the Apologia ad Constantium, see Barnes (1993) 196–7; Gwynn (2007) 37–9, (2012) 13.

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who did not seek honestly to fill his breast with the knowledge of divine words would be anathema or the Antichrist.92 Similarly, Constantius’ lack of piety was very frequently assailed through both direct invective and Lucifer’s ironic compliments.93 Lucifer also claimed that the Arians had impiously termed Constantius ‘bishop of bishops’, possibly drawing on the pejorative use of such a title by Cyprian of Carthage,94 while Athanasius even invented a speech and placed it in the mouth of the emperor, so that Constantius was reported to have proclaimed, ‘whatever I want, let that be deemed a canon; the so-called bishops of Syria allow me to speak in this way.’95 The versions of imperial piety promoted by these invectives required emperors to respect the judgement of the clergy in religious matters. They evoked the image of the persecuting Roman tyrant, casting Constantius as a violent enemy of the Church, like other emperors before him.96 However, Athanasius and Hilary were not unambiguous champions of the independence of ‘Church’ from ‘State’. Even Lucifer, whose rhetoric is more uniformly critical of imperial interventions than that of the other two, did not present an ideal of complete detachment from ecclesiastical affairs by emperors. All three bishops did not treat Christianity and the Roman empire as incompatible, but rather worked from the axiom that an emperor should be a Christian who sought to spread orthodoxy and root out heresy. Peaceful interaction with, and support for, the true Church was not just desirable in an emperor, it was required.97 Piety was presented as the most important of virtues for a ruler and, moreover, the presence or absence of this piety was to be established by examining the emperor’s dealings with ‘orthodox’ priests. By adopting this stance, they argued that the opposite of this paradigm, the worst possible tyrant, was not someone who was indifferent to Christianity or who attacked it as a pagan, 92 Ad Const. 8.1. 93 Lucifer’s terms of address included piissimus (De Ath. I xxx.12; De Ath. II xxiv.1; Moriundum iv.59) and sanctissime (De Ath. II iv.32). 94 Moriundum xiii.1–3. For Cyprian’s use of this term at a council in Carthage in 256, see Sententiae episcoporum lines 21–2; Brent (2010) 318–19. On Lucifer’s claim that the ‘Arians’ used this title for Constantius, see p. 21 n. 70 above. 95 Hist. Ar. 33.7. See p. 21 n. 70 above. 96 In some ways this attitude echoed the views expressed by earlier opposition literature and the contemporary complaints of the Donatists, whereby good emperors were expected not to interfere with Christians. See, for example, the famous cry of the Donatists at Optatus 3.3: ‘What has the emperor to do with the Church?’ 97 This can be seen in Athanasius’ Apologia ad Constantium and Hilary’s Ad Constantium, both of which sought not to keep Constantius out of religious disputes, but rather to shift his support to the pro-Nicene faction. See also the appeals by the Donatists for Constantine to intervene in their dispute with Caecilian – Optatus 1.22–3, Appendix 5–6; Eus. HE 10.5.18–24.

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but someone, such as Constantius, who perniciously sought to infect and destroy it with heresy.98 All the other negative features of his character, including his relations with his family and his many vices, were linked with, and subordinated to, his impiety towards the Christian God and his representatives on earth. The examples used to illustrate Constantius’ failure as an emperor were therefore drawn almost exclusively from his interaction with Christianity and, in particular, the Church hierarchy. This involved the reweighting of familiar imperial virtues and vices: the quartet of virtues described by Menander appeared in these heretications of Constantius, but only in order to better illustrate his impiety. These three bishops promoted the idea that it was of paramount importance for an emperor to act virtuously towards bishops. They claimed that, more than anything else, it was Constantius’ actions in this field which supplied examples of his character and so undermined his legitimacy. Justice was a central virtue that emperors were expected both to possess and to display. Conversely, its absence could be used to demonstrate the tyrannical characteristics of a villain. The panegyrist of Constantine in 313 had compared him favourably to Maxentius, exclaiming that: clemency accompanied you, cruelty him … he was followed by the sins of temples despoiled, the Senate butchered, the Roman plebs killed by famine; you [were followed] by thanksgiving for accusations abolished, denunciations prohibited, not even the blood of murderers spilt.99

Here the image of Maxentius the tyrant was constructed from a range of unjust actions attributed to ‘bad’ emperors throughout Roman history.100 Eusebius of Caesarea similarly criticised the Tetrarchs with his description of the paradox of the Great Persecution, when prisons designed to hold base criminals were instead filled with pious Christians.101 When Athanasius was still addressing Constantius with appeals to embrace Nicene theology, he explained in his Apologia ad Constantium that he had ‘hurried to your piety, knowing your benevolence, keeping in mind your truthful promises and having confidence that, according to what is written in the divine Proverbs, just arguments are acceptable to a benevolent 98 See also Barnes (1993) 126–32, 150–1. 99 Pan. Lat. xii(9).4.4. At xii(9).4.2, the orator also claimed that ‘although, for himself, he sent in countless forces to block your advance, Justice was fighting for you’. 100 False accusers and delatores were often associated with portraits of villainous emperors from the early Principate – see Pliny, Paneg. 35.1, in which he praised Trajan for disposing of Domitian’s delatores not by direct execution, but by setting them adrift on the open sea. 101 Eus. HE 8.6.9. See also Pan. Lat. iv(10).31.1, where Constantine was praised for freeing ex-consuls who had been cast into prison by Maxentius.

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king’.102 In this positive portrayal of Constantius, the emperor possessed a proper sense of justice and so would acquit Athanasius of the charges levelled against him by his enemies. However, this appeal stressed its explicitly Christian nature, rejecting traditional allusions to classical literature or references to paradigmatically just figures from Greek or Roman history, and appealing to a passage from Proverbs, introduced and identified as such by the author.103 When these three bishops assailed Constantius, they inverted these panegyrical tropes, just as the rhetorical handbooks prescribed. Athanasius accused Constantius of ruling an unjust empire, where ‘the prosecutor is plotted against, rather than the guilty man actually shamed’.104 Hilary portrayed Constantius as a tyrant fighting ‘against human and divine judgement’.105 Lucifer described himself as standing firm against the ‘slaves and ministers of your injustice’, as well as sarcastically addressing the emperor as aequissime rex and iustissime imperator.106 Here these forms of deferential address to the emperor were employed to stress how far Constantius deviated from this model of ideal kingship. Around the same time that these invectives were penned, Julian also accused Constantius of disregarding his promises, which ‘ought to be written in ashes, for they are that trustworthy’.107 This was similar to Eusebius’ image of the tyrant Licinius, who attacked Constantine ‘paying no heed to the laws of nature, recalling to mind neither oaths, nor blood, nor treaties’, or the oath-breaking Maximian depicted in a panegyric of Constantine from 310.108 Athanasius claimed that when Constantius previously praised him ‘he confirmed his words with oaths, calling on God to act as a witness to them’.109 However, the bishop proceeded to describe the breaking of these oaths, and furthermore exclaimed that Constantius ‘has always been a breaker of oaths towards all’, including members of his own family.110 Such a portrayal of wanton injustice was a recognisable characteristic of the traditional image of the unlawful tyrant who had no right to rule, but Constantius’ conduct was presented by the bishops as even worse, because it included disrespect of God and his representatives. 102 Apol. Const. 27.1, paraphrasing Proverbs 16:13. 103 At Apol. Const. 11.4–12.5, Athanasius made numerous similar arguments, illustrated with comparisons to Solomon and more scriptural passages, including a number from Proverbs. 104 Hist. Ar. 3.3.  105  In Const. 27. 106 Moriundum V.43–6; De Ath. I xiv.1; De Ath. I xxiv.1; Laconi (2001b) 32–3. Hilary had also praised Constantius as dignantissime imperator at Ad Const. 3.1. Eus. Verc. Ep. 1.1 similarly addressed Constantius as clementissime imperator. 107 Julian, Ep. ad Ath. 286c. Zos. 2.55.1 also claimed that Constantius’ associates indulged in false accusations for financial gain. 108 Eus. HE 10.8.3; Pan. Lat. vi(7).15.6–16.1. 109 Hist. Ar. 22.3.  110  Hist. Ar. 30.3–4, 69.1.

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Constantius was also presented as insufficiently endowed with the virtues of manliness and wisdom, especially in his portrayal by Athanasius. These two qualities, and the lack of them, were regularly described in panegyric and invective, particularly in descriptions of military prowess. Nazarius, in his account of Constantine’s defeat of Maxentius, described how Constantine bravely approached Rome, while his frightened enemy first cowered inside, ‘clinging to the bowels of the city’, and then arranged his troops so badly that they were almost certain to be destroyed.111 When the battle finally took place, Maxentius could not even meet his end like a proper Roman emperor, since ‘not a virile death but a disgraceful flight betrayed the tyrant, and the blood-stained eddies finished him off in an end appropriate to his sloth and savagery’.112 In invective literature, the subject’s lack of these particular virtues could also be demonstrated through his being controlled by individuals deemed to be less than masculine. Emperors and officials were regularly criticised for being under the influence of women or eunuchs, two groups regarded as unsuitable to wield imperial power.113 An emperor became emasculated by his subservience to people who were themselves not wholly ‘masculine’. Ammianus Marcellinus complained that Constantius was prevailed upon by his intimates to recall the magister equitum Ursicinus and ‘was far too much enslaved to his wives and the piping voices of eunuchs’.114 Athanasius very frequently mentioned the involvement of eunuchs on the Arian side in the conflict, always referring to his opponent Leontius, bishop of Antioch, as ‘Leontius the eunuch’.115 Athanasius also claimed that eunuchs controlled Constantius’ actions, since ‘whatever seems right to them, Constantius decides upon it’.116 Similar stress was placed on the influence exerted by women, and the Arians were said to have ‘received an introduction to the emperor through the women, and were regarded with fear by all’.117 Athanasius went so far 111 Pan. Lat. iv(10).27.5; iv(10).28.1–5. A similar description is found in xii(9).16.1–6. 112 Pan. Lat. iv(10).30.1. 113 Long (1996) 97–102, 104–5; Hopkins (1963) especially 78–80, (1978) 172–80, 193–6; Guyot (1980) 157–76; A. H. M. Jones (1964) i 341; C. Kelly (2004) 221–4. See also Synesius’ closeted Arcadius discussed on pp. 59–61 above and a similar portrait of him as an easily controlled emperor in Philostorgius 11.3–6. 114 Amm. 14.11.2–4; 21.16.16. On Ursicinus, see PLRE i.985–6 (Ursicinus 2). On the influence of Constantius’ wife, see Wieber-Scariot (1998). See also the accusations in Julian, Ep. ad Ath. 272d, 274a–b; Zos. 2.55.2. 115 Eunuchs generally: Hist. Ar. 10.1, 35.4–5, 37.1–2, 38.3–5, 41.1, 43.2, 51.2, 58.1, 60.4, 67.4, 75.3. Leontius: Hist. Ar. 20.5, 28.1. 116 Hist. Ar. 38.5. 117 Hist. Ar. 6.2. Philostorgius 3.12 claimed that Athanasius gained the assistance of Constans by bribing those at court who had the emperor’s ear.

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as to claim that ‘he is driven solely by people who make suggestions, having no mind of his own whatsoever’.118 This portrayal of Constantius as controlled by scheming women, eunuchs and Arians did not propose that an emperor should not listen to theological advice, but that he should only listen to good advice. When Constantius was acting against Athanasius, he was depicted as a weak emperor under the control of others, but when he sided with Athanasius, the bishop presented him as acting on his own ideas, without the interference of others.119 Constantius’ failures of wisdom and forethought in action were also ridiculed directly by Lucifer. He criticised the emperor’s lack of understanding, addressing him as rex stultissime, as well as deriding the emperor for believing that people might think him ‘a pious, prudent and just Christian’ on account of his heretical religious policies, when he was actually ‘blind, stupid and ignorant of the truth’.120 This portrait of a weak and foolish emperor, controlled by women, eunuchs and court favourites even in matters of religion, was a ludicrous image of imperial power, an inversion of the panegyrical topos of the brave and wise ruler, intelligently leading his empire to peace and victory. Constantius was also criticised by Athanasius and Hilary for his inconstancy or lack of self-control, a vice that featured regularly in negative portrayals of emperors.121 Aphthonius, in his textbook invective against Philip of Macedon, concluded the piece with the neat phrase: ‘while the living Philip did not know to stop, the complete speech about him must stop.’122 Virtuous rulers were expected to be able to restrain their passions and to keep a level head in times of crisis. Ammianus portrayed Constantius as frequently uncertain; he had plotted the downfall of Gallus, with ‘the changeable motion of his mind swirling plans around’.123 Hilary spent the last few chapters of his In Constantium analysing the theological vicissitudes of ecclesiastical councils during the previous two decades of Constantius’ rule and used this information to claim that the emperor bore sole responsibility for this continual disruption, since he had forced 118 Hist. Ar. 69.2. 119 Warmington (1986) 13; Gwynn (2007) 156–8. 120 Moriundum xiv.1, vi.50–2. See also i.5–6. He also made sarcastic use of phrases such as prudentissime imperator (De Ath. I vi.20–1; De Ath. II xxix.1), prudentissimus imperator (De Ath. I xxxvi.36; De Ath. II vi.39) and rex prudentissime (De Ath. I xlii.41) – see Laconi (2001b) 32–3. 121 See Pan. Lat. vi(7).15.1–3 on the boundless and foolish lust for power exhibited by Maximian in waging war on Constantine. 122 Aphth. Prog. 31.4–5 (Spengel 42.18–19). 123 Amm. 14.11.4. See also 19.11.7, where his military troubles were presented as the result of his unrestrained desire for gain.

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the Church repeatedly to change its creed.124 He presented Constantius as being like a general confused and inconsistent in the midst of battle, claiming that ‘you quarrel with your friends and as a enemy you rebel against your own people’.125 Hilary even stated that ‘you demand that everything previously approved must now be condemned’, thereby driving bishops to impiety as they repeatedly have to alter their professions of faith.126 This was an emperor who could not be trusted to comment on the ‘unchanging doctrine’ of the Christian Church. Athanasius similarly complained about Constantius, claiming that ‘he writes, and writing he repents, and repenting he becomes angry, and then he goes back to lamenting; not knowing what to do, he reveals his witless soul’.127 This was contrasted with the supposed constancy of the orthodox bishops. Athanasius praised Ossius (also known as Hosius), bishop of Cordoba, who, like the wise man in the parable, ‘fixed on his purpose, he built his house of faith upon the rock’.128 He later praised anyone who had ‘remained pure from this impious heresy from the beginning’, including himself amongst their ranks, while others, including even such great men as Ossius and Liberius of Rome, had been forced to lapse.129 For an emperor to prevaricate over military tactics or decisions of state was bad enough, but here Constantius was represented as doing so in his support for particular theological groups, thereby endangering the survival of the Church and the salvation of mankind. In all of these descriptions of Constantius, the emperor was portrayed as lacking a variety of virtues often associated with emperors in panegyric and invective. Moreover, as in any such piece of epideictic oratory, the selection of virtues or vices employed and the placing of emphasis within them varied between authors and circumstances: for example, while all three bishops attacked Constantius’ lack of justice, only Athanasius focused on presenting him as controlled by women and eunuchs. Yet, by describing these various character flaws, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer were unified in their presentation of the emperor as a vicious tyrant who was weak and unsuitable for rule. These attempts to illegitimise Constantius employed the same stock criticisms of failed kingship that 124 Ammianus also blamed many of the theological controversies on Constantius, who ‘fuelled them with the wrangling of words’ – 21.16.18. 125 In Const. 23. Zos. 3.1.1–2 also describes Constantius as prevaricating in the face of military danger. 126 In Const. 25.  127  Hist. Ar. 70.1. 128 Hist. Ar. 43.3, referring to Matthew 7:24. See also Matthew 16:18, where Peter is described as the rock on which the church will be built. Athanasius went on, at Hist. Ar. 45.5, to state that Ossius had eventually been forced, through persecution, to commune with Arians, but had never condemned Athanasius himself and had also rejected Arianism on his deathbed. 129 Hist. Ar. 80.3.

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appeared in progymnasmata and countless examples of classical panegyric and invective, including the hostile portraits of Constantius provided by Ammianus Marcellinus and Julian. Here were textbook vices, which any reader familiar with the conventions of ‘secular’ imperial presentation would recognise as the hallmarks of tyranny. However, these three bishops all departed from earlier images of emperors through their continual emphasis on the religious sphere. Their descriptions of Constantius’ failings were centred on his interaction with theological debates and Church hierarchies. The three bishops therefore performed two-fold refashionings of the imperial ideal: firstly, while their new paradigms retained many virtues that would have been familiar to pagans and Christians alike, bringing their audience into a community of shared values, they also focused almost exclusively on their expression in the emperor’s relations with the Church, thereby employing the panegyrist’s technique of painting a novel image using traditional materials. Secondly, their notions of imperial piety were rooted firmly in the emperor’s interaction with the authors and other figures whom they regarded as orthodox. Nicene bishops and priests were therefore presented both as the recipients of imperial piety and impiety and as the sole figures qualified to assess these traits. In the rhetorical world created here, what really made an emperor an emperor was not courage or temperance, but piety towards the Christian God and his clerics. T h e e m p e r o r ’ s n e w pa s t

The creation of this distinctively Christian vocabulary of praise and blame is most evident in the deployment of the conventional epideictic device of synkrisis, the comparison of the subject with historical and mythological exempla. As discussed above, Constantius was described as the latest in a group of evil emperors united by their actions against Christianity. This was part of the much wider literary programmes followed by these authors, positioning Constantius, and themselves, within an exclusively Christian context. Their gaze extended beyond the three centuries of Roman rule to enrich their argument with examples from the biblical past, assessing Constantius explicitly within a Christian framework. As was argued in Chapter 1, this should not, however, be regarded as a natural or necessary transition occasioned by the conversion of Constantine and the continued Christianity of his successors. The material chosen for public panegyrics (at least as exemplified by the surviving speeches) remained resolutely classical throughout the fourth century. The examples

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and motifs of synkrisis used in the panegyric of Constantius by the future emperor Julian were highly traditional and rooted in paideia of the schoolroom, employing a stream of Homeric comparisons, with the result that the emperor emerged from the oration ‘more kingly than Agamemnon, more successful in victory than Achilles, braver than Ajax, Hector, or Sarpedon, wiser than Nestor, and more eloquent than Odysseus’.130 This was despite the fact that Constantius was a Christian and Julian (at least at the time) presented himself as such. When the Christian polemicists of the 350s made use of this technique, they replaced the heroes and villains of classical history and myth with those of an exclusively Christian history. Like Eusebius’ image of Constantine as Moses, this was not the result of a general Christianising shift in the vocabulary of public praise; it was an active and polemical argument for a new exemplary framework. When viewed against the background of Homeric heroes and Republican consuls, a Christian emperor was an unusual novelty, breaking with centuries of polytheistic tradition. However, when placed in the context of Christian history, he became the latest divinely sanctioned ruler in a narrative of growth and triumph. The invectives against Constantius were more than just attempts to supplant the pagan past with the Christian; they were also created in opposition to an alternative account of the relation between the Christian past and present, in which this emperor was praised for following in the footsteps of earlier religious heroes. As discussed above, the contemporary positive presentations of Constantius can now only be glimpsed from a few surviving fragments, most of which postdate the emperor by at least several decades. In his Ecclesiastical History, Philostorgius praised Constantius for building churches and installing holy relics, and, in a passage reminiscent of the stories of Constantine’s vision in 312, he provided an account of Constantius’ defeat of Magnentius that linked this event with the appearance of a cross in the sky at Jerusalem, accompanied by a crown, which ‘signified the victory of the emperor’, as was reported at the time by Cyril of Jerusalem.131 Theophanes the Confessor, the early ninth-century chronicler, also preserves a pro-Constantian story of the defence of Nisibis against the 130 Long (1996) 36. 131 Philostorgius 3.2, 3.26, including the claim that this vision was also seen by the armies of Constantius and Magnentius. The ecclesiastical historian Sozomen (HE 4.5) has the same story of the cross at Jerusalem, but makes no mention of Constantius’ victory, merely stating that it occurred at the time when Cyril became bishop of Jerusalem and may have been in fulfilment of a prophecy. On Cyril of Jerusalem’s letter to Constantius, see Humphries (1997) 452–3; Drijvers (2009) 241–5. The divinely favoured, church-building Constantius also appears in Chron. Pasch. p291d (Dindorf 539.18–19).

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Persian king Sapor II.132 In this story, the prayers of the Christians brought divine help: Sapor’s attempt to divert a nearby river to destroy the city’s walls resulted in many Persians being drowned. The king, with his troops and elephants, became stuck in the mud and was terrified by the thunder, lightning and heavy rain: ‘Sapor, the new Pharaoh, was squeezed from every side and overwhelmed by waves of fear. Staring at a fallen section of the wall, he saw an angel standing on the top, dressed magnificently and leading the emperor Constantius by the hand.’133 A similar account, probably derived from the same source, is preserved in the Chronicon Paschale.134 Like Maxentius in Eusebius’ account of Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge, Sapor’s defeat was presented as the re-enactment of the biblical story of the crossing of the Red Sea, with Constantius on the side of the angels. These dissenting voices help to illuminate the fundamental status of depictions of emperors, secular or religious, positive or negative, as literary constructions, conforming to the author’s particular paradigm of imperial rule. Just as an orator could organise the techniques and stock motifs of classical epideictic in a variety of ways to present any individual as an emperor or a usurper, so Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer remodelled and deployed Christian rhetorical strategies in attempts to further their own political and theological aims. Within their new ideals of kingship, these authors deliberately ignored characters and events that did not have a role in the narrative of Christian history; they invited their readers to judge a contemporary emperor not against classical individuals famed for their military prowess or intelligent leadership, but against biblical characters who rose and fell depending on their behaviour towards the Christian God and his representatives. These images of Constantius as a paradigmatic tyrant within a thoroughly Christian context were constructed in part by the exempla employed in these texts. These parallel figures were not simply chosen from the ranks of those deemed to have been impious or displeasing to the Christian God; rather this was a select group composed of those who had persecuted his priests or martyrs. Eschewing references from the classical canon of paideia, the authors of these invectives deployed their biblical learning to promote

132 Theophanes 39b–40b. 133 Theophanes 40a. The vision of Constantius also appears in the description of the siege in Theod. HE 2.30.9–10, although there is no allusion to Exodus and the salvation of the city is attributed to the bishop Jacob. 134 Chron. Pasch. p290a–291b (Dindorf 536.18–539.2). On the preservation of a ‘Homoian’ historical tradition in the Chronicon Paschale, see Brennecke (1988) 114–34.

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new standards against which emperors were to be judged.135 Instead of concentrating on one story or period, figures for comparison were drawn from both the Old and New Testaments.136 These authors therefore presented Constantius not merely as re-enacting individual villainous lives, but as fulfilling familiar roles that recurred throughout Christian history. This use of scriptural paradigms eroded the boundaries between the canonical past and contemporary events to create a ‘biblical present’.137 Constantius was thus cast as the successor of earlier enemies of God, mimicking their actions in persecuting priests and therefore damned to the same fate as them, in this world and the next. Hilary accused Constantius of surpassing the crimes of Joash, the king of Judah who, with his impious followers, murdered the priest Zechariah after he reprimanded them for forsaking true religion.138 He also turned Constantius into Judas, claiming that ‘you receive priests with the kiss by which Christ was betrayed’.139 In this account, even the manner of the emperor’s actions was used as evidence of his opposition to true religion, since it replayed the ultimate Christian story of treachery. Athanasius and Lucifer both used Doeg, who betrayed and murdered the priests loyal to King David, to fill the role of the cunning and treacherous 135 As with a ‘traditional’ panegyric or invective, the familiarity of audiences with these exempla must have varied from person to person, although the change to a Christian register must have been striking to a reader or listener, even if some of the biblical characters and events were new to them. Athanasius, Hilary and, in particular, Lucifer regularly flagged up the introduction of biblical quotations with phrases such as ‘hear what is written in the twenty-sixth psalm’, ‘the blessed apostle said’ or simply ‘it is written’. 136 For Lucifer’s works, see Opelt (1972) 208–11; Tietze (1976) 183–6; Laconi (2004) 124–32. Timothy Gustafson, in a doctoral thesis on Lucifer and Constantius, has also explored at length Lucifer’s employment of scriptural passages, concluding that the bishop argued that Constantius’ authority was derived from God – see Gustafson (1994) 176–229, including the argument at 176–7 that Lucifer would have been annoyed at Constantius’ ‘interference in ecclesiastical affairs’, even if the emperor had been orthodox. This approach, however, runs the risk of divorcing these texts from the milieu of late Roman panegyric, invective and ceremonial. Their function must be explored within the context of contemporary imperial representation and the arguments that they made for a paradigm shift in imperial rhetoric. Ernest (2004) 243–68 discusses Athanasius’ use of ­biblical exempla in presentations of Constantius, including providing, at 244–53, a list of all the biblical comparisons, both positive and negative, in the History of the Arians. The presence of biblical exempla for Constantius in this text is also noted at Dvornik (1966) ii 739; Martin (1996) 513; Kannengiesser (2001) 135, 137. 137 As James Ernest states in his study of Athanasius’ employment of Scripture, ‘not only is the narrative from Genesis to Revelation unbroken, but the narrative continues beyond the New Testament to the present, so that there is an “unbroken continuity of the story of salvation”’ – Ernest (2004) 186–7, quoting a translation of the phrase ‘ungebrochenen Kontinuität der Heilsgeschichte’ from Schneemelcher (1980) 213. 138 In Const. 11 referencing 2 Chronicles 24.20–2. Joash’s impiety was soon repaid in the form of an Aramaean invasion, quickly followed by his bloody end in a palace coup. 139 In Const. 10. This was followed shortly by an accusation that Constantius was acting like Judas at the Last Supper.

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adviser that might have been taken by Sinon or even Odysseus in a more traditional Greco-Roman polemic.140 Doeg was noted for having the ear of Ahab and so provided a useful comparison with the ‘Arian’ bishops who curried favour with Constantius. Athanasius similarly made references to other villains from Christian history, including Pharaoh, whom Eusebius had employed as the archetype for his tyrannical Maxentius. Athanasius exclaimed that it was unsurprising that Constantius regularly changed his mind and broke oaths, since ‘Pharaoh, the former tyrant of Egypt, having made promises many times and so attained respite from his trials, changed his mind, until in the end he was destroyed along with his adherents’.141 Tyrants, Athanasius argued, were always the same: it was possible to identify the same traits, the same crimes and the same ultimate demise. The use of these exempla reinforced the argument that these were recognisable roles to be played and replayed throughout history. In some cases, Athanasius employed synkrisis to describe Constantius as surpassing the villainy of these earlier individuals: ‘he is probably more vicious that Pilate. For while he [Pilate] recognised the injustice and washed his hands, this man gnashes his teeth even more and exiles the blessed.’142 This comparison with Pontius Pilate incorporated further aspects of the Gospel narrative, including the story of Barabbas, allowing Athanasius to push the parallel further by also accusing Constantius of releasing violent prisoners while continuing to imprison pious priests. He then described the ‘Arian’ bishops by asking, ‘Has it not been clearly revealed to all from this that the Jews, who once asked for Barabbas and crucified the Lord, were the same as these men who now join Constantius in fighting against Christ?’143 This re-enactment of biblical events provided the narrative force for Lucifer’s De Athanasio I. In this text, Lucifer trawled the Old Testament for characters and references that could be woven together to form an image of Constantius as the latest in a long series of enemies of true religion. If the quotations are tabulated, it quickly becomes apparent that 140 Hist. Ar. 67.4; De Ath. I xiv.1–15. See also Apol. Const. 20.3. For the story of Doeg, see 1 Samuel 21–2; Psalms 52 (51 LXX). 141 Hist. Ar. 30.4. Pharaoh also appeared at 68.1. 142 Hist. Ar. 68.3. Pontius Pilate also appeared at Hist. Ar. 32.4 and 41.2. Athanasius also made substantial use of Ahab (Hist. Ar. 45.5, 53.3, 68.1). This description of Constantius as worse than biblical villains is particularly prominent in Hist. Ar. 67.3–68.3. The use of biblical exempla in these passages is also similar to Athanasius’ more measured Apologia ad Constantium, in which he exhorted Constantius not to act like Saul and Ahab, but instead to follow the examples of David and Solomon – see Apol. Const. 20.3. See also Barnard (1974) 141. 143 Hist. Ar. 68.3.

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their order in the text matches their order in the Old Testament.144 While in the opening chapter, Constantius was compared to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, as the text progressed he came to be linked to a range of other villainous individuals, including Cain, Saul and Jezebel.145 By proceeding through the Old Testament in this systematic manner, Lucifer offered more than just a guided tour of biblical apostasy and persecution; he also traced its development and repetition across the centuries, presenting Constantius as both imitator and heir. Lucifer paid particular attention to his portrayal of Constantius as Ahab, stating that the resemblance was so great that ‘you find yourself to be Ahab today’.146 Past and present were elided, with current events recast as authoritative biblical episodes, complete with ready-made heroes and villains. As François Heim has argued, ‘Lucifer projette le passé dans le présent et le présent dans le passé avec passion, conviction et une dextérité verbale telle que la notion de temps s’efface.’147 In his Moriundum esse pro dei filio, Lucifer informed Constantius that ‘not one can be found, out of all those kings who are called tyrants, who was crueller, most detestable or a greater blasphemer than you’, before directing Constantius to his earlier text De regibus apostaticis for more details.148 This work, like De Athanasio I, drew its examples from the Old Testament, to demonstrate the fate of those who opposed the word of God.149 These texts surveyed biblical stories in a similar manner and with a similar purpose as Lactantius’ retelling of the persecutions in De mortibus persecutorum; these enterprises created narratives of divine punishments designed to act as both warnings to others and evidence to support the author’s religious views. When Lucifer recounted various tales of Ahab and other Jewish kings ignoring or persecuting the true prophets, or when Hilary or Athanasius employed similar exempla, they engaged in the same 144 See Diercks (1978) cv–cvi; Piras (2001) 132. This has been of particular interest to those seeking to reconstruct the pre-Hieronymian Vetus Latina Bible – Piras (2001) 135. On the terms of abuse used in this text, see Tietze (1976) 101–18. 145 Serpent: i; Cain: ii; Eli and his sons: x–xi; Saul: xiii–xv; Jezebel: xviii–xix. On this theme, see also Simonetti (2001) 13. 146 De Ath. I xvi–xx, quoting xvi.32–3. See also Laconi (2004) 141–2. 147 Heim (1999) 144. See also Kannengiesser (2001) 138 on Athanasius’ History of the Arians and Laconi (2002) 298–9, (2004) 127–8 on Lucifer. 148 Moriundum xii.50–4. 149 The biblical references are fewer and less extensive than in De Athanasio i, although, once again, they appear roughly in textual order. Tietze (1976) 95–7, lists the exempla used. See also Laconi (2002) 243–6, (2004) 129–32, 140–2. On the large number of extensive biblical quotations in the works of Lucifer, see Krüger (1886) 28 n. 2; Piras (2001) 131; Laconi (2004) 123; and also the index of biblical references in Diercks (1978) 331–62.

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process of biblical re-enactment that appeared in the panegyrical Christian accounts of emperors during the fourth century. However, they argued both for the exclusive use of Christian history, and for their particular interpretation of Constantius as a tyrant opposed to the true priests. The readers of these texts were invited to view contemporary events as the continuation of a narrative that ran back to the Creation: the latest round in the eternal struggle between good and evil. Moreover, Ahab, like the other ‘apostate kings’ employed in these invectives, was not simply a biblical enemy of God’s chosen people, but was instead a ruler of Israel who fell into impiety, listening to bad advisors, persecuting the true priests and prophets and, finally, meeting with a grisly end. While Eusebius had compared the pagan Maxentius with Pharaoh, Constantius’ status as a heretical emperor, rather than a pagan, opened up new possibilities for Christian invective. The terminology used for Constantius’ involvement in ecclesiastical disputes contributed to these narratives of renewed persecution. As well as dealing with the events of the Old Testament, they also moved forward to engage with the more recent paradigm of the persecuting Roman emperor.150 Just as these authors linked Constantius’ genealogy with these enemies of Christianity, they also presented his actions as re-enactments of scenes from these earlier attacks. Contemporary strife between Christian factions was thus recast as a continuation of the celebrated struggle against the machinery of the hostile, pagan governments that preceded Constantine. Through this presentation, Constantius and his theological allies were excluded wholly from Christianity and instead classified as external enemies. Athanasius therefore described the commencement of Constantius’ attack on the Alexandrian Church in similar terms to accounts of the early days of other imperial persecutions, beginning with the receipt of imperial letters, followed by violent repression by the prefect, assisted by ‘a mob of herdsmen, shepherds and other insolent young men’.151 Hilary conjured up comparable images of persecution with characteristic inversion of the proper order of justice; bishops were treated like common criminals, being cast into prison or sent to the mines; the army was used to terrify the Christian citizens of the empire, rather than being employed properly to attack the great traditional enemy, Persia.152 150 See also the discussion of persecuting genealogies on pp. 93–5 above. 151 Hist. Ar. 10. ‘Herdsmen and shepherds’ could be a very oblique, deliberate allusion to Euripides, Bacchae 714, although it is more likely that it merely refers to characteristically unruly folk. On the proclamation of edicts beginning persecution, see Eus. HE 8.2.4–5, 8.5 and Lact. Mort. pers. 13. 152 In Const. 7, 11. This upheaval in justice and order can be seen in the descriptions of persecution in Eus. HE 8.6.

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His account of Constantius’ actions towards Athanasius and Alexandria reported that cities and communities ‘throughout the whole East are subjected to either war or terror’, after which he accused Constantius of having ‘directed all your arms against the faith of the West and turned your armies on Christ’s flock’.153 He even described the emperor as ‘a deceptive persecutor, a flattering enemy, Constantius the Antichrist’.154 He also addressed Constantius as being like Nero, Decius and Maximian, while Lucifer called him praecursor antichristi.155 These statements combined classical rhetorical techniques with the terminology of the eschatological opposition literature in which certain Roman emperors, particularly Nero, were associated with the coming of the Antichrist and the end of the world.156 Hilary’s description of the emperor simultaneously recognised the differences in appearances between him and earlier persecutors, and also forged a link between them. His portrait of Constantius as persecutor was made very clear in an extended description of the emperor’s actions: you fight against God, you rage against the Church, you persecute the saints, you detest those who proclaim Christ, you abolish religion, you are now a tyrant not just in human matters but also divine. The characteristics that I describe are common to both you and those persecutors. Accept them now as your own: you pretend that you are Christian, although you are actually a new enemy of Christ.157

However, he also claimed that, while in any earlier persecution he would happily have fought ‘openly and with confidence against deniers, against torturers, against cutthroats’, Constantius was an even more pernicious enemy, since ‘instead of torturing flanks, he invades the heart; instead of cutting off the head with a sword, he destroys the soul with gold; instead of openly threatening flames, he secretly kindles hell’.158 In Hilary’s account, this was an emperor who had gone much further than the violent pagans, 153 In Const. 11. 154 In Const. 5. Hilary also called Constantius the Antichrist in chapters 1, 6 and 11, as well as describing him as preceding the coming of the Antichrist in chapter 7 and referring to the Antichrist in chapter 2. 155 On Constantius as being like these persecutors, see In Const. 7 and pp. 93–4 above, as well as the comparison with the trio at In Const. 8. Lucifer: Moriundum i.30. Lucifer also called Constantius ‘friend of the Antichrist’ at xi.68 and made links between Constantius and the Antichrist throughout his works – see the catalogues of terms of abuse in Tietze (1976) 82–164. On this theme in Athanasius, see also Hist. Ar. 74–7; Campenhausen (1964) 167; Kannengiesser (2001) 135–6; Ernest (2004) 254–9. 156 See pp. 61–2 above. 157 In Const. 7.  158  In Const. 4, 5.

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since they had only sought to deprive Christians of their earthly lives: by supplanting the Nicene Creed with heresy, Constantius not only tried to destroy the current generation of the faithful, but even, through his assault on the faith, attacked the Fathers who had already died.159 Such references harked back to the pre-Constantinian Christian literary traditions for abusing ‘pagan’ emperors, blending the familiar with the novel and so categorising Constantius as the latest in a long line of enemies of Christianity. Athanasius similarly drew upon the language of earlier descriptions of persecutions, and paid particular attention to the deaths of those who had attacked orthodox Christians. As discussed in Chapter 1, this was the subject of Lactantius’ De mortibus persecutorum, although it also featured in other accounts, including the works of Eusebius. This emphasis on the divine punishment of enemies reinforced the sense of continuity with previous events, strengthening the argument that Constantius and his associates were to be understood as the latest incarnation of anti-Christian opposition. Athanasius recounted the false accusations made against his theological ally, Paul, bishop of Constantinople, before describing the exile and murder of this cleric through the agency of the prefect, Philip.160 This tale then concluded with an account of the divine retribution that swiftly brought about Philip’s own disgrace and death, ‘like Cain, moaning and trembling’.161 A similar fate befell other individuals who insulted orthodoxy: the dux Valacius, who spat on a letter from the monk Antony, was thrown from his horse and killed; a licentious young man, who sat down on the episcopal throne in the Great Church at Alexandria, was crushed when he accidentally dragged the throne down upon himself.162 According to Athanasius, all three of these incidents resulted from the intervention of ‘divine justice’ (θεία δίκη), which would not allow such impiety to go unpunished. This was the same phrase employed by Eusebius in his description of the death of the persecuting governor, Urbanus.163 These narrative and verbal similarities to earlier accounts were another technique employed to position current troubles within a framework of imitation and re-enactment that branded Constantius as unquestionably evil. Just 159 In Const. 27. 160 For a detailed reconstruction of the career of Paul, see Barnes (1993) 212–17. 161 Hist. Ar. 7.1–6, quoting 7.6, which refers to Genesis 4:12 LXX. 162 Valacius: Hist. Ar. 14.4 (the story also appeared with slight variations in Ath. V. Ant. 86.1–7)  – see Kannengiesser (2001) 133. Impious young man: Hist. Ar. 57.1–4, where his crime and fate are compared both to the Philistines who, in 1 Samuel 5, were punished for taking the Ark of the Covenant, and also Judas, who, at Acts 1:18, expired with his bowels gushing out. 163 Eus. Mart. Pal. 7.7. On Athanasius’ references to ‘divine justice’, see Trompf (1997) 14–15.

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as his actions were identical to those of the earlier persecutors, so the punishments meted out to his associates, and the ways in which they were reported, were also identical. This reuse of a celebrated past took on a novel form in Lucifer’s Moriundum esse pro dei filio.164 As the title suggests, this work was an extensive description of sufferings and potential martyrdom under Constantius. Throughout this text, Lucifer incorporated a large number of sections about tyrants and persecution from works by Cyprian of Carthage and Lactantius. However, he never acknowledged his sources, or even introduced them as quotations, as he did with references to Scripture. Instead, he wove these pieces into his own narrative of contemporary persecution, in some cases only changing a couple of words to make them fit particular circumstances or the grammar of the passage.165 This was, in part, an extension of the use of exempla: current events and individuals were presented as qualitatively similar to those that had gone before. However, Lucifer took it to a new extreme, reusing whole sentences from orthodox and authoritative accounts of persecution to preclude any notion of Constantius as a well-meaning participant in theological disputes. Lucifer may have intended these passages to be recognised by his readers, or he may have simply expected that his audience would find the rhetoric of persecution and martyrdom familiar, but not actually identify its source. It is impossible to determine which scenario is accurate. Even if he did not expect the words of Lactantius and Cyprian to be recognised, their tropes of persecution and martyrdom under vicious rulers would have had great resonance for his audience, and the texts appear to have been chosen because of the prominence of these themes. He adapted a large number of passages to present the actions of Constantius as identical to earlier attacks on the Church, thereby inviting the reader to recognise the evils of earlier tyrants in their current emperor.166 Just as the employment of scriptural paradigms created a ‘biblical present’, Lucifer here performed a similar manoeuvre, using descriptions of earlier persecutions to portray his own experiences as re-enactments and so creating a ‘martyrial present’. 164 On this text, see Cerretti (1940) especially 99–110; Laconi (1998) 7–22; Simonetti (2001) 13. 165 As with Lucifer’s use of biblical quotations in De Athanasio i and De regibus apostaticis, these references to Cyprian and Lactantius appear mostly in their original textual order, indicating that Lucifer probably composed this tract with copies of the earlier texts open beside him. 166 These passages are tabulated in Merk (1912) 22–4, 26–32; Ferreres (1977) 110–15; Ugenti (1980) 155–6. Although there are small differences between these lists, overall they identify more than fifty separate passages from Lactantius and Cyprian redeployed within this text. On Lucifer’s use of Lactantius in this text and a tabulation of Lactantian passages, see Pizzani (2001). A detailed survey of Lucifer’s sources can be found at Tietze (1976) 200–28.

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Lactantius had outlined his understanding of the motivations of tyrants in their persecution of Christians: quia ipsi errant, irascuntur iis qui ueram uiam sequuntur, et cum corrigere se ipsi possint, errores suos insuper crudelibus factis coaceruant. Because they stray, they even grow angry with those who follow the true path and although they could correct themselves, they heap up their errors on top of cruel deeds.167

Lucifer’s version of this piece incorporated only minimal changes: quia tu erras, etiam nobis irasceris, cur ueram teneamus uiam, et cum nostra salubri admonitione corrigere te possis, errores tuos insuper crudelibus factis coaceruas. Because you stray, you even grow angry with us, since we follow the true path, and although you could correct yourself through our salutary advice, you heap up your errors on top of cruel deeds.168

Lucifer also minimally reworked Lactantius’ description of tyrants who ‘torment and inflict agony with refined forms of torture’,169 making it ‘you torment us as violently as possible and inflict agony with refined forms of torture’.170 These incorporations presented Constantius as a vicious persecutor, devoid of any sense of justice, as depicted in the pages of Lactantius. Lucifer similarly adapted a section from the pseudo-Cyprianic On the Glory of Martyrdom, which described tyrants straying from the path of righteousness: ducente dementia, furore rapiente, omni denique illos inmanitate uexante qua instigantur pariter ac feruntur led by their folly, seized by their rage and finally tormented by their whole savagery, which equally spurs them on and sweeps them away.171

Lucifer’s version of this statement, which came in the middle of a long passage taken from pseudo-Cyprian, once again made very few substitutions to bring the quotation into his narrative: ducente dementia, furore rapiente, omni denique te inmanitate uexante qua instigaris pariter ac fereris 167 Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.1.7. 168 Moriundum ii.22–5. See Pizzani (2001) 236. 169 Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.9.10: uexant ergo, et exquisitis poenarum generibus excruciant. 170 Moriundum iii.58–9: nos quam acerrime uexes, exquisitis poenarum generibus excrucies. See Pizzani (2001) 236–7. 171 [Cyprian], Laus Mart. 5. Although modern scholarship has concluded that the attribution of this text to Cyprian is spurious, there is no reason to believe that Lucifer doubted its authenticity.

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led by your folly, seized by your rage and finally tormented by your whole savagery, which equally spurs you on and sweeps you away.172

Here Constantius was again cast in the role of the pagan persecutor, whose irreligious actions would lead him to eternal damnation.173 Like other panegyrists and polemicists, including Athanasius and Hilary, Lucifer used traditional and recognisable materials to create a virtuous ideal and proclaim its fulfilment. His technique in his Moriundum esse pro dei filio, however, went further than the usual practice of rhetorical synkrisis employed in both traditional epideictic rhetoric and Christian literature. By adapting these earlier passages and incorporating them into his own text in this way, rather than introducing them as notable exempla, he argued for an even stronger link between historical and contemporary events than that created by synkrisis. In order to present Constantius as re-enacting the actions of earlier tyrants, Lucifer performed his own re-enactment, writing an account of his own times that, through the reuse of these passages, was also written by Lactantius and Cyprian. The past was made present, and Constantius was transformed into the latest in a long series of persecuting emperors, through a two-fold rhetorical manoeuvre: his actions mirrored those of these earlier figures and, even more importantly, this image was strengthened because his deeds were met with the same literary responses. Constantius was condemned not simply by the testimony of Lucifer, but also by that of two authoritative Christian authors from the previous century. He was not merely similar to earlier villains, he was identical to them. Making an entrance

This picture of persecution and illegitimate rule was reinforced with scenes of inverted aduentus. As discussed in Chapter 1, this formal entry into a city played an important role in the construction and legitimisation of power, particularly for emperors and senior officials.174 As explored by Pierre Dufraigne in Aduentus Augusti, aduentus Christi, descriptions of this ceremony in late antiquity came to celebrate not only emperors and other representatives of imperial power, but also Christ and his earthly representatives.175 The authority that it conferred was thus extended 172 Moriundum iii.72–4. See also Marin (2001) 166–7. 173 On Lucifer’s ‘simplification’ of this pseudo-Cyprianic text, see Marin (2001) 158. 174 See p. 41 above. 175 On the ‘Christianisation’ of aduentus in Latin literature, see Dufraigne (1994) 249–455, especially 268–84 on the development of it within the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

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through its association with both temporal and spiritual authority: ‘Avec le Christianisme, l’aduentus est devenu la fête des avènements successifs du Christ … il a pu aussi renouveler le sens et la forme de l’accueil réservé aux représentants du Seigneur, dignitaires de l’Église, saints hommes ou saintes femmes, ainsi qu’à leurs reliques après leur mort ou leur martyre.’176 This celebration and recognition of authority was reversed in the invectives produced by Hilary and Athanasius, creating an image of a failed and impious ceremony that made a mockery of the public consensus that it purported to express. Mark Humphries, in his analysis of the ‘anti-panegyric’ employed in the In Constantium, argues that Constantius’ progress through the West, persecuting the orthodox churches in each town as he went, was presented by Hilary as the opposite of an imperial aduentus.177 Instead of bringing cheers and benevolence, he inflicted misery and fear. Athanasius employed a similar rhetorical technique in his Encyclical Epistle, which gave an account of the arrival of his episcopal rival, Gregory of Cappadocia, into Alexandria. Gregory entered the city in March 339, leading to Athanasius’ departure in April and his composition of this text later in the same year.178 Here Athanasius portrayed Gregory not as a new bishop processing triumphantly into his see amidst the acclamations of the people, but as the leader of a persecuting mob, such as featured both in the imperially backed attacks on Christianity of the third and early fourth centuries and in smaller and more sporadic localised pogroms. According to Athanasius, the clergy and laity were at peace until ‘suddenly the Prefect of Egypt posted up publicly a notice, in the form of an edict, that a certain Gregory from Cappadocia was coming from the court as my successor’.179 This description of these events entirely disregarded Athanasius’ depositions by synods, as well as the Council of Antioch in 338/9 that had chosen Gregory as the new bishop of Alexandria, but instead made the appointment a secular matter, enforced by governor, edict and court.180 Athanasius then carefully constructed the scene when Gregory entered 176 Dufraigne (1994) 461. 177 Humphries (1998) 211–13. On the improper performance of aduentus, see Olympiodorus’ description of the early fifth-century magister militum, consul and (short-lived) emperor, Constantius, who was regarded as looking like a tyrant – Olymp. frag 23. 178 On this dating, see Barnes (1993) 47–50; Gwynn (2007) 20–1, (2012) 9. R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 419 dates this text to 338. This text is not to be confused with the Encyclical Letter of the Egyptian council held at Alexandria in 338, which is preserved in Apol. c. Ar. 3–19 and also describes the Arians as persecutors in chapters 15 and 17. 179 Ep. Enc. 2.1. See also Barnes (1993) 47–50; Gwynn (2007) 51–7. 180 Barnes (1993) 49–50; Gaddis (2005) 81–2; Gwynn (2007) 53; E. J. Watts (2010) 178–80. See also the account of Gregory’s appointment in Hist. Ar. 9.1–10.2.

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the city, turning it into a subverted episcopal aduentus. The cheers and acclamation of the people were replaced with a series of violent attacks perpetrated by secular officials, pagans and Jews. Athanasius sarcastically described the event as Gregory’s ‘marvellous and magnificent arrival’.181 The group was led by Philagrius, the Prefect of Egypt, an ‘apostate’ who ‘had previously persecuted the Church and her virgins’.182 Athanasius then presented the details with great rhetorical zeal, asking, ‘Were events like these the subjects of tragedies among the ancients? Has such a thing ever occurred in persecution or war?’183 According to his account, these events could find no parallel, either in classical fiction or Christian history. The scene involved the burning and looting of the church, monks being beaten, virgins stripped, Scriptures burned, idols worshipped, birds and pinecones sacrificed on the altar, and even pagans and Jews cavorting naked in the baptistry, ‘performing and saying things so shameful that one is ashamed to recount them’.184 The men involved were even described as ‘imitating the bitterest actions of the persecutions’,185 while Athanasius lamented that ‘there is a persecution here, a persecution the like of which has never before arisen against the Church’.186 This should not simply be dismissed as rhetorical hyperbole; like other references to persecution within these texts, it represented a way of understanding contemporary events, and the author’s own place within them, through their incorporation into a continuing narrative that encompassed authoritative stories from a Christian past. This description of a peaceful community disturbed by a sudden edict, like Athanasius’ other scenes, invited the reader to recognise echoes of the commencement of the Great Persecution, as described by Eusebius, when ‘in every place a great number were incarcerated and everywhere the prisons first constructed long before for murders and tomb-robbers were filled with bishops, presbyters and deacons, and readers and exorcists’.187 Through such a vivid account of the attacks, Athanasius transformed a theological dispute within the Christian hierarchy into the continuation, or possibly escalation, of earlier persecutions. Furthermore, it is also possible to see some of the impact which this version of events had on its audience. Extant writings by Julius of Rome and the western delegates who assembled at the Council of Serdica in 343 not only support Athanasius’ claim to be the rightful and orthodox bishop of Alexandria, but also reproduce elements of his narrative of vindictive 181 Ep. Enc. 4.1.  182  Ep. Enc. 3.2.  184 Ep. Enc. 3.4–5, quoting 3.5. 185 Ep. Enc. 3.6.  186 Ep. Enc. 5.7. 187 Eus. HE 8.2–6, quoting 8.6.9.

  Ep. Enc. 3.3.

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persecution by a heretical faction.188 Julius, when writing to some of the eastern bishops opposed to Athanasius, complained about the violent behaviour of Gregory on his arrival in Alexandria as its new bishop: the church was set alight, virgins were stripped naked, monks were trampled, presbyters and many of the laity were tortured and suffered violent treatment, bishops were thrown into prison, many people were dragged about, the holy mysteries … were plundered by pagans and thrown to the ground, in order to make certain people accept the introduction of Gregory.189

The Encyclical Letter from Serdica also condemned the actions of the Arians, which were said to include ‘false accusations, imprisonments, murders, beatings, schemes involving fabricated letters, tortures, strippings of virgins, banishments, destructions of churches and conflagrations’.190 The presence of a similar characterisation of events in their texts demonstrates that the message of Athanasius’ Encyclical Epistle found a receptive audience during the bishop’s second exile. The factious Council of Serdica also yielded another description of a violent arrival that has much in common with Athanasius’ account of Gregory’s violent aduentus, as well as Hilary’s story of Constantius’ murderous sojourn through the West.191 This letter was written by the ‘eastern’ ‘Arian’ bishops and is preserved in Hilary of Poitiers’ fragmentary Against Valens and Ursacius.192 The authors of this missive provided a hostile account of Athanasius’ return from his first exile in 337, his entry into Alexandria and his subsequent departure: Setting past events at nought, he excelled more violently in his crimes; those that he committed at first seem trivial in comparison with what followed. On every step of his route he overthrew churches; he restored some condemned bishops, to others he provided hope of a return to the episcopacy, while in some places he set up bishops from among the faithless, 188 Gwynn (2007) 89–97. These texts are preserved in Apol. c. Ar. 21–50. 189 Apol. c. Ar. 30.3. See also 31.1, where the Arians are described as being in league with the prefect, as well as pagans and Jews, and 33, where violence at Ancyra and the torture and imprisonment of other bishops throughout the East are reported. On this issue, see Gwynn (2007) 91–2. 190 Apol. c. Ar. 47.1. Similar violent behaviour against priests and the laity is described at 43, as well as in the preceding two (almost identical) letters from the Council to the Church of Alexandria and to the bishops of Egypt and Libya, the second of which is not printed by Opitz. See Gwynn (2007) 94–7. 191 On the divided Council of Serdica, see R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 293–306; Barnes (1993) 71–86; Ayres (2004) 122–6; Parvis (2006) 210–45. On the long-running issue of whether the Council should be dated to 342 or 343, see Parvis (2006) 210–17, which argues coherently for 343. 192 On this text and its reconstruction, see Brennecke (1984) 248–65, 297–312, 325–34; Smulders (1995) 1–28; Wickham (1997) ix–xii, xxii–xxvi. On its hostility to Marcellus, see Lienhard (1999) 173–5.

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even though there were priests there who had remained safe and upright through the attacks and slaughters of the pagans. He paid no attention to the laws, but gave everything over to despair. Thus through force, through slaughter, through war, he pillaged the Alexandrian basilicas. When a holy and upright priest had been appointed in his place by the judgement of a council, he [Athanasius], like a barbarian foe, like a sacrilegious pestilence, burned down God’s temple with the support of the pagan masses, smashed the altar and then quietly and secretly fled the city as an exile.193

For Timothy Barnes, while this passage is a vivid diatribe, the ‘sober facts’ of Athanasius’ actual violent activities lie behind it.194 Whether he really was a vicious thug or not, this polemical description of the bishop’s visit to his see presents an alternative version of events that bears striking similarities to Athanasius’ own description of Gregory’s behaviour.195 Like the fragments of Philostorgius that laud Constantius and other ‘Arians’, this passage, with its image of exemplary cruelty, pagan assistance and impious disregard for ecclesiastical process, demonstrates that the same rhetoric of persecution was also employed by Athanasius’ opponents in their attempts to undermine his episcopal authority. It was within this battle of competing claims and counter-claims that Athanasius created his narrative of a heretical emperor and his minions, whose cruelty surpassed even the most infamous persecutors. Athanasius’ negative image of Gregory’s arrival was, in turn, carefully paralleled with a description of his own aduentus into Alexandria. He wrote up the story of his return to the city in 346, after his second period of exile, as a triumphal entrance in the style of a great emperor or official, celebrating it with an effusion of rhetorical praise to match his exalted status. Athanasius’ portrayal of himself was therefore in sharp contrast to the depictions of Constantius and the Arians, or the hostile account of his own actions, with their violent aduentus through the towns and cities of the empire, leaving persecution in their wake. Instead, Athanasius processed victoriously into the city, surrounded by scenes of rejoicing from the assembled people. He stated that bishops wrote from every part of the empire to congratulate him, while the clergy and laity of Egypt ‘all hurried together and were filled with ineffable joy’.196 Athanasius used a sequence 193 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.iv.1.8. This is followed by a description of violent scenes that attended the returns of Marcellus of Ancyra, Asclepas of Gaxa and Lucius of Adrianople to their sees. 194 Barnes (1993) 35–6. Parvis (2006) 139–46 also discusses the details of Athanasius’ return, as well as the evidence for Marcellus’ guilt. 195 Similarly, Philostorgius 7.2 portrayed Athanasius as a troublesome heretic who incited a pagan mob to murder George, bishop of Alexandria. 196 Hist. Ar. 25.1–5, quoting 25.3.

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of rhetorical exclamations to emphasise the religious fervour that accompanied his return, proclaiming: How many single women, formerly prepared to be married, remained as virgins for Christ! How many young men, admiring others, adopted the monastic life! … How many enemies repented! How many former slanderers gave excuses!197

He even stated that his appearance caused a vast number of people to increase their piety and ‘their desire for virtue was so great that one would believe every household and every home to be a church’.198 Like Constantine or Constantius I in the Panegyrici Latini, Athanasius’ arrival had a dramatic effect on the people of the city, his very presence causing his enemies to retract their accusations and his supporters to devote themselves to God.199 Once again it is possible to recognise the techniques of selective use of material and promotion of particular imperial qualities that characterised all rhetorical portrayals of emperors, both panegyrical and polemical, both ‘classical’ and ‘Christian’. By drawing upon conventional panegyrical depictions of imperial aduentus, Athanasius’ account of this wildly enthusiastic reception presented him as the focus of a ceremony of consensus and authority, a position usually reserved for senior officials or the emperor himself. Furthermore, this scene, just like the inverted aduentus of Constantius and Gregory (and that of Athanasius, penned by the ‘Arians’ at Serdica a few years later), brought piety and respect for God and his servants to the fore as the key characteristics that distinguished success from failure. Athanasius’ positive narrative of his own episcopal aduentus was recounted again by Gregory of Nazianzus, in a speech celebrating the bishop’s life.200 In describing Athanasius’ return from his third exile in 362, Gregory wrote that the people of Egypt ‘ran together to that place from all sides and from the furthest edges of the land, some wishing to fill themselves with the voice of Athanasius, some with his appearance’.201 Just in case his audience failed to recognise the ceremonial significance of his description, Gregory introduced an anecdote about two ordinary Alexandrians. While watching another aduentus into the city, this time being performed by the prefect Philagrius, one man remarked that he did 197 Hist. Ar.25.4, 27.1.  198  Hist. Ar. 25.5. 199 On the aduentus of these emperors, see p. 41 above. 200 On Gregory’s image of Athanasius as an ideal bishop in this speech, see Pouchet (1997). The use of aduentus imagery in this speech is noted at Dufraigne (1994) 280 n. 116. 201 Greg. Naz. Or. 21.27. Gregory went on to state that the only celebration that could be compared to this was the one surrounding Athanasius’ previous return from exile in 346.

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not believe that even Constantius would be welcomed so exuberantly. The other, laughing at this suggestion, said that it was even better: the welcome was fit for Athanasius himself. Gregory used this story to illustrate his claim that Athanasius performed a better aduentus than Constantius would have done, before going on to argue that the event mirrored the unambiguously Christian exemplum of Jesus’ aduentus into Jerusalem.202 Athanasius had woven one of the most important late-antique ceremonies into the narrative of his struggle against heresy, claiming that he enjoyed great popularity and legitimacy, in contrast to Constantius. Gregory, redeploying the same rhetorical device, albeit with rather less subtlety, made the comparison unambiguously clear through the addition of this conversation. At the same time, he also continued the mythologisation of Athanasius that had been begun by the author himself.203 Within the episcopal ideal created here, a legitimate bishop, like a legitimate emperor, would be greeted with effusive outpourings of praise and devotion: Athanasius was proclaimed to be conforming to this paradigm, which was inverted in descriptions of the ‘Arian’ Gregory of Cappadocia. This was both a Christianisation of an imperial ritual, promoting the importance and popularity of bishops within cities, and, perhaps more importantly, a way of defining Athanasius and his opponents as opposites. These invectives against Constantius II represent unprecedented outpourings of polemic against a living emperor. It is almost certain that, over the course of several centuries of Roman rule, a number of other attacks on different emperors were composed, but have not survived to the present day, even though we can assume that imperial invectives were much less common than panegyrics. Nonetheless, the near-simultaneous decisions by these three bishops to resort to explicit literary abuse of their ruler give rise to the possibility that these texts represent a united campaign. The degree to which these men were communicating or co-operating during this period is unknown. It is possible that examples of invective by one bishop might have reached another, but no firm evidence of direct contacts during the second half of the 350s exists to support such an argument.204 202 Greg. Naz. Or. 21.27–9. Gregory was (probably unwittingly) undermining Athanasius here by describing Philagrius as extremely popular, in sharp contrast to Athanasius’ account of him as a hated persecutor. On the entry of Christ into Jerusalem as aduentus in late-antique Latin literature, see Dufraigne (1994) 349–74. 203 On Gregory’s role in constructing Athanasius as an exemplary figure, see Young (1993) 204; E. J. Watts (2010) 183–4. 204 Lucifer regularly mentioned Athanasius’ plight and the imperial use of violence, especially in De Athanasio I and II. Athanasius listed Lucifer (but not Hilary) among his exiled western supporters

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Additionally, while there are many shared themes and strategies in these texts, the variations between the treatment of enemies and allies by the three authors, most prominently displayed in Lucifer’s attitude towards Constantine, suggest that these works were not the product of a closely co-ordinated programme. While there may have been some communication and cross-fertilisation, as well as influences from other inflammatory texts that are no longer extant, overall these polemics should be regarded as products of the same literary and political milieu, representing distinct reactions to their authors’ common situation as exiles under a ‘heretical’ emperor. Imperial paradigms were central to criticisms of Constantius, since the emperor could be represented as falling short of each individual author’s ideal. Julian presented Constantius as a murderous tyrant, slaughtering his own family; Ammianus compared him to a trio of paradigmatically bad Roman emperors. The Christian invectives of Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary similarly inverted the techniques of panegyric, with each author emphasising particular recognisable vices in order to present Constantius as a worthless tyrant, the diametric opposite of the ideal ruler. More significantly, however, they all argued for a substantial and wide-reaching remodelling of imperial ideology. They rewrote paradigms of emperor and tyrant in order to construct new criteria for the assessment of all emperors, privileging Christian piety and orthodoxy as key criteria for legitimate imperial authority, subordinating, although not supplanting, other virtues and actions. Moreover, the new images of the perfect emperor created by these texts argued that piety was most properly displayed in the ruler’s benevolent and reverential attitude towards God’s true priests. These three bishops then inverted these pictures of perfect kingship to present Constantius as an illegitimate usurper and an impious tyrant, unsuitable for rule on account of his persecuting ancestors, both literal and ideological, his personal vices and his violent attacks on ‘orthodox’ Christians. This involved the renegotiation of the past and the creation of a ‘biblical present’ through detailed comparisons with scriptural exempla. at Hist. Ar. 33.6 and 76.3. The two extant Latin letters supposedly sent by Athanasius to Lucifer are not regarded as genuine – see Diercks (1978) 306–10. Hilary gives an account of Constantian persecution and Athanasian orthodoxy at Alexandria in In Const. 11. The survival of a manuscript of several works by Hilary, including In Constantium, from Cagliari suggests the possibility that he sent some of his texts to Lucifer, although there is no reason to assume that this happened before the latter’s return from exile after Constantius’ death – see Rocher (1987) 91–6. Simonetti (1997) 161–2 also suggests that Hilary maintained contact with Eusebius of Vercelli while they were both in exile, and may even have visited him in Cappadocia, but this idea is highly speculative.

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These texts therefore developed literary tactics seen in the panegyrical accounts of Eusebius, arguing for the replacement of the classical past with the Christian. When Athanasius and Hilary created images of a regal paragon, they identified its embodiment in Constantine, the pious supporter of orthodoxy. Like Eusebius, they carefully employed panegyrical techniques to create their own Constantine, who represented a desirable model of theological beliefs and relationships with the Church. Lucifer, in pursuit of the same goal, produced a starkly contrasting portrait of the first Christian emperor as a supporter of Arianism and a worthy father to Constantius. For all three of these polemical authors, the Christian past, both biblical and more recent, offered useful comparisons with either the pagan persecutors or a newly constructed Constantine. Furthermore, they brought impious rulers and apostates, such as Ahab, to the fore, opening up new sets of negative exempla. In doing so, they forged novel methods of presentation from alliances of traditional classical and Christian techniques: they drew upon other texts to a much greater extent than classical panegyrics and invectives, which were usually confined to citing famous characters and scenes or borrowing pithy phrases from epic or drama. These Christian authors used larger sections, mostly from Scripture, but also, especially in the case of Lucifer, from much more recent Christian writers, in order to emphasise continuity with earlier events.205 The polemical attacks against Constantius also show that, even with these dramatic changes of exempla, theoretical framework and textual engagement, the essential role of invective in making and remaking the imperial image still remained. Here was a range of different virtues, examples and techniques which could be rearranged to provide a new version of the ideal emperor to suit each author’s purposes. Since they wanted to make pious orthodoxy the central defining characteristic of an emperor, these writers portrayed Constantius’ ‘religious policy’ as the most important aspect of his reign, emphasising his attacks on Christianity and its bishops. This method of presentation could also, through a careful process of selection, give any image of any emperor: the pious, virtuous Constantines of Eusebius, Athanasius and Hilary were just as much products of this process as the tyrannical persecuting Constantii of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer; or indeed the pious, virtuous Constantii of Philostorgius and the anonymous source used by Theophanes and the Chronicon Paschale. These works were engaged in two simultaneous arguments with other literature: on the one hand, they overhauled strategies of imperial presentation and

  See Chapter 3.

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legitimation, substituting classical exempla with Christian and dramatically realigning hierarchies of virtues; on the other, they confronted competing Christian narratives which employed the same methods to exalt or vilify different beliefs and individuals. These were explicitly Christian invectives, written to persuade a Christian audience that the emperor was anything but Christian.

Ch apter Th ree

Writing auto-hagiography

The literary construction of present circumstances as re-enactments of earlier episodes in Christian history performed a function beyond the illegitimation and heretication of the emperor discussed in Chapter 2. Within these recognisable stories, the authors and their theological allies fulfilled a range of authoritative roles: pious priests, noble prophets and unwavering martyrs. Through their narratives of renewed persecution and suffering, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer proclaimed themselves to be leading opponents of tyranny, continuing a struggle against evil that stretched back unbroken to biblical times. By presenting contemporary events as qualitatively identical to those recorded in the Bible and more recent martyr literature, these three bishops sought to arrogate to themselves the same respect and authority accorded to those who had resisted earlier attacks on Old Testament Judaism and Christianity. These self-constructions, like the polemical portraits of Constantius II, were fashioned using the rhetorical techniques of panegyric and invective to proclaim their virtues, with the emphasis placed firmly on piety. They also made extensive use of synkrisis, matching their images of Constantius as archetypal villain with a corresponding set of heroes drawn from an explicitly Christian past. While Constantius was to be seen as a failed emperor, a paragon of impiety and tyranny, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer promoted themselves as the true heirs of a succession of orthodox and authoritative individuals. While all three bishops drew on a range of earlier Christian writings for their exempla, the greatest emphasis was placed on relatively recent stories of the sufferings of the orthodox under the Roman empire, particularly as recorded in literary accounts of martyrdom. The presentation of current events as restagings or continuations of these celebrated episodes cast both the emperor and the authors in important roles. The persistent portrayal of Constantius as the most recent example in a series of imperial persecutors allowed these bishops to create martyrial personas, identifying themselves with those who had remained steadfast during earlier attacks and so 127

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earned the reverence of later generations. By fitting their circumstances to this scheme, these authors were able to write themselves into this story, fulfilling the heroic roles of the confessors and martyrs, the protagonists of a timeless drama. Readers were therefore invited to view these authors not as representatives of an embattled theological faction, but as new martyrs for a new persecution, whose status proclaimed their closeness to God.1 Their positionings as contemporary additions to the ranks of the revered martyrs were vital to the self-presentations created by these three bishops: not only were they unstinting champions of orthodoxy, continually battling Constantius’ heretical attacks on Christianity, but they were also central figures in that struggle. In their claims to both theological orthodoxy and martyrial authority, they, like the rigorist Donatists and Meletians, sought to be regarded as legitimate leaders of the Church. Throughout his History of the Arians, Athanasius consistently portrayed himself as exceptionally important to both the orthodox and the heretics. He was the hero of his own story; the entire narrative revolved around his actions and those taken because of him. In Athanasius’ tale, Constantius resumed his persecution of the orthodox not because they opposed his theological standpoint or represented a threat to his authority, but because he ‘perceived the communion of the bishops with Athanasius’.2 This was elaborated in the speech that Athanasius placed in the mouth of Constantius in a scene in which the emperor attempted to recruit Ossius, the bishop of Cordoba who had been an adviser to Constantine and one of only a handful of western bishops at the Council of Nicaea: ‘Are you the only one still against the heresy? Yield and subscribe against Athanasius. For the man who subscribes against him will assuredly adopt Arianism with us.’3 Here Athanasius assigned himself a position as the most important opponent of Arianism and, crucially, as the defining character in a polarised battle that replayed numerous recognisable conflicts between good and evil. An individual’s stance towards Athanasius thus functioned as the key to establishing sides: to condemn Athanasius was to choose heresy; to support him was to embrace orthodoxy. Hilary similarly presented himself as unwaveringly orthodox and in 360 stated: ‘I myself am firmly grounded and still abide in the creed 1 The use of martyrial identity within later fourth-century Christian narratives, such as representations of the conflict between Damasus and Ursinus for the Roman episcopal throne and Ambrose of Milan’s appeal to Valentinian II concerning the Altar of Victory, is also explored in Sizgorich (2009) 46–80. 2 Hist. Ar. 30.3. 3 Hist. Ar. 43.4. On the bishops who attended Nicaea, see R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 156–7.

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composed by the Fathers at Nicaea and so have no need of these words [the so-called Second or Dedication Creed of the ‘Dedication Council’ of Antioch].’4 His past was not, however, as unproblematic as he claimed here. Only a few months earlier he had written a fawning letter praising Constantius’ piety. He also did not appear in Athanasius’ lists of western bishops exiled for their stand against heresy.5 If Hilary had supported Athanasius, either the news had not reached the Alexandrian bishop, or he felt that Hilary was not important enough to be mentioned. An allusion in Hilary’s De synodis also seems to imply that he had not even heard the Nicene Creed until he was about to go into exile,6 even though the Creed had been written thirty years earlier and had been known and supported in some parts of the West for at least ten years.7 When in exile in the East, Hilary apparently enjoyed relative freedom of movement and does not even appear to have been detained anywhere, let alone tortured or executed.8 Despite all this, Hilary’s narrative in his In Constantium was that he had been condemned by heretics because he exposed their villainy, and that he had never wavered in his orthodox faith despite exile and persecution.9 Similarly, Lucifer does not appear to have suffered significant privations while in exile in the East. Despite his lengthy descriptions of torture, he seems to have had a fair amount of free time and access to reading material during his exile, as shown by the sheer volume of his writings from this period. Few details are known of his actions during this time, but it is recorded by Epiphanius of Salamis that, while staying in Scythopolis in Palestine, Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, who had been exiled alongside Lucifer, was able to enjoy the hospitality of a wealthy man called Josephus.10 In the classical literary tradition, exile and parrhesia  – freedom of speech in the face of authority  – were intrinsically linked, often in the 4 In Const. 23. On the ‘Dedication Council’ of Antioch in 341 and the creeds associated with it, see J. N. D. Kelly (1972) 263–74; Simonetti (1975) 153–60; Brennecke (1984) 5–16; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 284–92; Barnes (1993) 57–9; Ayres (2004) 117–22. The ‘Second Creed’ is preserved at Hilary, De synodis 29–30 and Ath. De synodis 23. 5 Hist. Ar. 33.6, 76.3. 6 Hilary, De synodis 91: fidem Nicaenam numquam nisi exsulaturus audiui. 7 D. H. Williams (1991) 207 argues that this passage refers to Hilary encountering the Creed for the very first time. Barnes (1993) 282–3 n. 50 disagrees with this reading, suggesting instead that Hilary was explaining that he had not heard the Creed recited, rather than not having heard of it at all. 8 Brennecke (1984) 242; D. H. Williams (1991) 214–15; Wickham (1997) xiv; Pelland (1997) 248–9. 9 See especially In Const. 2. 10 Epiphanius, Panarion 30.5.1. On the known specifics of Lucifer’s exile, see Meloni (2001). R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 323 remarks that ‘all that Constantius did to Lucifer was to exile him to various places in the Levant, forbidding him for a period to be visited by his friends but permitting him the full use of his virulent pen. A mild martyrdom indeed!’

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character of the philosopher.11 To have suffered exile under a tyrant could be paraded as a mark of integrity, a sign of an individual’s unwillingness to be cowed by the powerful. Dio Chrysostom flaunted his exile at the hands of the (now defunct) emperor Domitian as a badge of his own resistance and sincerity, proclaiming, ‘previously, when it seemed necessary to everyone to speak falsely because of fear, I alone dared to speak the truth and so endangered my life’.12 Dio was able to present himself as the possessor of significant parrhesia and thus a reliable political commentator both on the vices of the former emperor and on the virtues of the new ruler, Trajan. Opposition to a figure of great power, particularly an emperor, opened up rhetorical possibilities. Depending on the author and audience involved, the same imperial action, such as the imposition of a sentence of exile or execution, could be portrayed as either the proper exercise of judicial authority by a legitimate monarch or tyrannical oppression by a despot who refused to listen to truth or reason. As discussed in Chapter 2, a prime example of a discourse of this sort can be found in the literature of Christian martyrdom.13 In describing their dislocation from their sees, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer all constructed similar narratives of their experiences, drawing on traditional techniques of self-presentation and marrying them with Christian exempla of pious opposition to persecution. Even though the details of their exiles may make these tales appear to be little more than ridiculous hyperbole, my purpose here is not to ‘out’ these bishops as cunning liars, who used their rhetorical skills to claim they existed under threat of imminent martyrdom, even though they knew that their lives were not in danger. The degree to which they ‘believed’ these narratives is unrecoverable. Instead, this chapter explores how their accounts engaged with existing literary models from the Roman world and capitalised on the authority that could accrue to the author of an imperial invective. In writing such tales, these bishops made good use of their exile, constructing literary personas for themselves as staunch, unflinching opponents of heretical autocracy, whose accuracy as narrators was guaranteed by the punishments they had received for their parrhesia. They were, therefore, the heroes of their own stories. In some cases, appeals to martyrial authority can be regarded as having posed a threat to ‘orthodox’ or ‘mainstream’ Christianity in the fourth 11 On parrhesia, see p. 25 above. 12 Dio Chrys. Or. 3.13; Bartsch (1994) 173; C. P. Jones (1978) 45–55, 119–20; Moles (1978) 96–100. Whitmarsh (2001) 156–67 argues that Dio’s description of his exile in Or. 13 plays archly with the topoi of exile literature. 13 See pp. 112–17 above.

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century. It is possible to talk in terms of ‘charismatic’ figures (to use the language of Max Weber) challenging the ‘institutional’ authority of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, particularly in the violent scenes at Carthage during the Great Persecution, in which the future bishop Caecilian clashed with confessors and their supporters, whose appeal as religious leaders stemmed, at least in part, from their individual actions rather than their office within a church structure.14 One might also identify a watershed at the end of the fourth century with the actions of certain prominent bishops, particularly Ambrose of Milan, who began to make martyrs subject to the control and authority of the Church through the collection, housing and regulated veneration of their relics.15 Identification with the martyrs during this period was particularly prominent in the presentation of two groups on the ‘fringes’ of late-antique Christianity: ascetics and rigorist heretics. The heterodox, or schismatic, groups linked most closely with martyrdom were the Donatists in North Africa and the Meletians in Egypt. Although the conversion of Constantine had seen imperial persecution replaced with imperial promotion, Christianity nonetheless remained bitterly divided, with some of its disagreements focused on the behaviour of certain Christians, particularly clergy, under the recent persecutions. Donatism and Meletianism were both movements that opposed the readmission of those who had lapsed during the Great Persecution.16 Both groups had their own institutional structures and churches and enjoyed significant popularity, although Donatism was more successful for longer. Significantly, both groups claimed the title of ‘Church of the Martyrs’ in an attempt to acquire for themselves the same authority as these popular and charismatic figures.17 Many Donatist churches had a circle carved on the altar to represent the ‘crown of the martyrs’, underneath which relics of these revered figures were preserved.18 It was reported that ‘circumcellions’, fanatical figures within Donatism, provoked martyrdom in attacks on pagans, Catholics and figures of authority; some, if they failed, were 14 On the Weberian dichotomy of institutional and charismatic authority, and the applicability of such a model to the late-antique Church, see pp. 12–13, 22–3 and Rapp (2005) 3–18, especially 16–18. On Caecilian, see Tilley (1996) xi; Acts of the Abitinian Martyrs 20. 15 Brown (1981) 36–9. On Ambrose and martyr relics, see also McLynn (1994) 209–17, 236–7, 284. 16 Donatism: Frend (1952), (1965) 541–3, 552–60; Greenslade (1964) especially 42–8, 58–61, 117–20, 129–43, 192–3, 225–6; Tilley (1996) xi–xvii, (1997); Chadwick (2001) 382–93; Gaddis (2005) 49–58, 103–30; Shaw (2011) especially 66–145, 307–47, 490–586. Meletianism: Kettler (1936); Greenslade (1964) 51–5, 226–7; Barnard (1973); Martin (1974); Hauben (1998). 17 Donatists: Acts of the Abitinian Martyrs 22; Greenslade (1964) 118; Tilley (1997) 21–3. Meletians: Epiphanius, Panarion 68.3.7; Greenslade (1964) 53; Barnard (1973) 182; Hauben (1998) 332–3. 18 On the burial of martyr relics below Donatist altars, see Frend (1952) 53–5.

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alleged to have resorted to suicide.19 The Donatists also responded to sporadic repression under Constantine and his sons by continuing to write martyr acts, celebrating those who had died for their particular form of Christianity under these ‘persecuting’ emperors.20 For monks and ascetics, geographically or metaphorically dislocated from society in the deserts of the East, physical privations became a new form of imitation of the martyrs, now that the age of persecution had passed.21 Athanasius, in his influential Life of Antony, reported that the monk had actively sought death at the hands of the Roman authorities and had prayed that he might become a martyr.22 After the end of persecution and his failure to achieve this traditional form of martyrdom, he threw himself into ascetic life with even greater severity, withdrawing to his cell, ‘and there he was every day being martyred in his conscience and competing in contests of faith’.23 This link between asceticism and martyrdom was quickly established in biographical literature: Gregory of Nyssa described his sister Macrina in this manner, employing athletic analogies, which were a common trope within martyr literature.24 Ascetics, suffering physical privations for their faith, came to be presented as ‘heirs of the martyrs’. However, although the arrogation of martyrial authority to these ‘marginal’ groups has been the subject of significant studies, recent scholars have also been keen to recognise its deployment by ‘mainstream’ Christians in the fourth century.25 The literary self-presentations created by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer must be considered within this broad context of competing and complementary authority claims. The evocation 19 Frend (1952) 172–6; Chadwick (2001) 385–6; Gaddis (2005) 111–19. See Shaw (2004), (2006), (2011) 630–720 on the interpretive problems presented by stories about ‘circumcellions’ and the difficulties involved in finding accurate information on this subject. Such stories are reminiscent of the actions of some Christians under pagan emperors, most notably the famous example in Tert. Ad Scapulam 5. 20 Recently collected and translated in Tilley (1996). See also Frend (1952) 337, (1965) 554–5. 21 Malone (1950); Markus (1990) 69–72; Rapp (2005) 75–6; Gaddis (2005) 168–70; Sizgorich (2009) 124–7. 22 The debate over the authenticity of this text has been particularly active in the last three decades – see the balanced accounts in Leemans (2000) 154–9 and Rousseau (2000) 100–104. For arguments in favour of Athanasian authorship, see Abramowski (1988); Lorenz (1989); Bartelink (1994) 27–35; Brakke (1994), (1995) 201–65. For those against, see Draguet (1980) ii 15*–112*, especially 109*–112*; Barnes (1986); Barnard (1993). This book follows the traditional attribution to Athanasius, although it does not rely upon it for its argument. Readers who disagree should feel free to add square brackets where appropriate. 23 Ath. V. Ant. 46.1–47.3, quoting 47.1; Brakke (1995) 223–4; van Loveren (1982) especially 529–32. 24 van Loveren (1982) 533–4. On athletic imagery in martyr literature, see p. 153–4 below. 25 See especially Markus (1990) 92–5; Brakke (1995) 165–6; Tilley (1997) 22–3; Gaddis (2005) 68–102; Shaw (2011) 587–629.

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of martyrdom was not the exclusive preserve of those on the margins of fourth-century Christianity, but was to be found in the writings of educated, urban bishops who went on to be celebrated as touchstones of orthodoxy. Lucifer could be regarded as an exception to this description, since his see of Cagliari was only a short distance away from North Africa and he was rigorist in his attitude towards former ‘Arians’ after the death of Constantius, leading to his eventual branding as a heretic.26 However, this should not be taken as an excuse to brand him as some form of ‘crypto-Donatist’ or to see his interest in martyrdom as an indicator of a peculiarly ‘African’ mindset: at the time when he composed his texts, he was a staunch supporter of Nicaea and Athanasius, and had been exiled to the East while acting as an envoy for Liberius of Rome.27 Moreover, the similarities between his attitude towards martyrdom and that of the securely ‘orthodox’ duo of Hilary and Athanasius allow him to be seen in the wider context of literary opposition to Constantius II, rather than as merely an imitator of ‘Donatist’ or ‘African’ rhetoric. Claudia Rapp, building on the links between martyrdom and asceticism, has also argued that a reputation for ascetic practice was a major source of authority for many fourth- and fifth-century bishops.28 The aim of this chapter is not to dispute that claim, but instead to regard it as merely one amongst a growing number of rhetorical options available to Christian self-presentation. For a bishop to claim ascetic or martyrial status was not so much an appropriation of the ‘charismatic’ by the ‘institutional’: it was simply the addition of another element to his image as an authoritative religious leader. The invectives of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer demonstrate that alternative strategies could run concurrently. When these authors, like the Donatists, found themselves opposed to imperially endorsed orthodoxy, they responded in a similar fashion. However, instead of becoming martyrs in reality, as some Donatists allegedly rushed to do, they constructed martyr identities for themselves in texts. At a time when they were physically and institutionally removed from their sees, these three bishops drew together recognisable Christian literary depictions of religious authority to create the image of the bishop as confessor and martyr. As with all ancient panegyric and invective, 26 Lucifer also made extensive use of the works of the North African authors Cyprian and Lactantius. 27 See Frend (1965) 557–60 on comparisons between Donatists and Lucifer (and, to a lesser extent, Hilary and Athanasius as well). On Lucifer as Liberius’ envoy up to the Council of Milan, see Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.vii; Ep. Lucif., Pan. et Hil.; Simonetti (1975) 217–20; Brennecke (1984) 150–77; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 332; Barnes (1993) 116–17; Corti (2004) 45–56; Laconi (2004) 38. 28 See p. 25 above.

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these works both constructed a paradigm and proclaimed its embodiment, in this case in the person of the author himself. In particular, as will be explored in the next section, the concept of the noble invectivist was a literary and cultural phenomenon that would have been recognisable to a late-antique audience, regardless of their religious beliefs. Just as the polemical portrayals of Constantius combined traditional rhetorical practices and techniques with explicitly Christian content, these bishops’ accounts of their own actions also resembled a powerful classical trope: the author as exile; a lonely figure, heedless of personal danger and bravely confronting autocracy. These texts, with their primarily ‘Christian’, theological concerns, therefore need to be viewed simultaneously within the context of Roman political traditions. Drawing on this legacy, the composition and (albeit probably limited) promulgation of these invectives against a living emperor contributed to images of the authors as fearless defenders of Christianity against a vicious tyrant. By presenting themselves as the victims of another great persecution, awaiting their inevitable execution with unshakeable constancy and piety, these three bishops made themselves into living martyrs. I n v e c t i v e a n d t h e o r at o r

Within the educated elite of the Roman empire and its culture of epideictic display, invective was a powerful medium for self-construction. Not only did it provide the author with an opportunity to display his rhetorical skill and literary knowledge, but it also allowed him to create an image of himself as a brave opponent of vice and tyranny; sometimes explicitly, through discussion of his own actions within the text, and always implicitly, since the delivery or distribution of such a text was an act of self-promotion in itself. This aspect of invective has not, however, been the subject of significant study, reflecting the relative dearth of scholarly interest in its social and political role.29 Since most literary attacks on rulers were composed after their targets had died, or otherwise been removed from power, the author was free to express his ‘true’ opinions, or, perhaps more importantly, to claim that he did.30 These invectives therefore often found themselves bound up within panegyrics of the new regime, stressing the difference between the two reigns, along with the speaker’s preference for, and loyalty to, his new emperor. 29 See pp. 55–61 above. 

  See pp. 53–5 above.

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Orators seized upon this chance to rewrite their own histories and careers, playing down their proximity to a deceased tyrant and exaggerating their credentials as fearless opponents of cruel autocracy. Pliny the Younger, in his Panegyric, viciously attacked the fallen emperor Domitian and gave thanks that he had fortuitously managed to avoid the thunderbolts that had struck down so many of his friends.31 This description neatly glossed over his own rise to power and prominence through Domitian’s favour: to survive under a tyrant, let alone to prosper, might be seen as a dangerous sign of complicity.32 As mentioned above, Dio Chrysostom similarly attacked Domitian in speeches addressed to Trajan, making use of his own exile under the former emperor to construct portraits of himself and of Domitian as plain-speaking philosopher and vicious despot respectively.33 This rhetorical strategy retained its currency throughout the lifespan of the empire. As discussed in Chapter 2, when the anonymous panegyrist of 313 praised Constantine for destroying Maxentius and ‘liberating’ Rome, he provided a series of comparisons between the two emperors, pairing piety with impiety, clemency with cruelty, decency with depravity.34 By arranging this passage as a synkrisis, the orator carefully outlined, point by point, Constantine’s status as an ideal emperor, fully deserving of extravagant plaudits, while Maxentius was his opposite in all characteristics, only ever receiving false praises necessitated by fear. Such explicit rejections of earlier rulers appeared frequently in panegyrics.35 The fourth-century orator Themistius, who achieved prominence and favour under a series of emperors, often found it politic to distance himself publicly from the previous reign and to compare it unfavourably with the new one, as he did after the accession of Theodosius I.36 Like Pliny almost three centuries earlier, he proclaimed himself now finally able to speak completely freely: ‘O most wise one, observe that I have come here today to neither fawn nor flatter … When freedom of speech [parrhesia] is completely secure, then to opt for wicked and servile words … is ludicrous.’37 31 Pliny, Paneg. 90.5. The trope of the return of freedom after the assassination of Domitian is also present in the works of Tacitus, most notably Agricola 1–3. 32 Bartsch (1994) 167–9. 33 See p. 130 above. 34 Pan. Lat. xii(9).4.4. See pp. 98, 101 above, as well as a similar contrast between Theodosius I and Magnus Maximus in Pan. Lat. ii(12).31.3. 35 See also other images of deceased ‘tyrants’ in the Panegyrici Latini – for example, Carausius and Allectus: Pan. Lat. viii(4).12–16. Maxentius: Pan. Lat. xii(9).3–4; iv(10).8–13, 30–1. Magnus Maximus: Pan. Lat. ii(12).23–9. 36 Them. Or. 15.190a–197a, 16.205d–206c; Vanderspoel (1995) 195–203; Heather and Moncur (2001) 19–29, 208–11, 232. 37 Them. Or. 15.190a–b.

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Within the context of a panegyric, criticism of a former ruler could therefore be politically beneficial. It contributed to the ceremonious praise of the current emperor as the embodiment of traditional virtues and as a figure who would restore proper mores after a hateful and dissolute reign. It also enabled both the speaker and the audience to distance themselves from a defunct administration and to affirm their loyalty to their new rulers. While it was obviously much more dangerous to attack an important living ruler than a dead one, this action provided even greater force to the author’s self-presentation as a brave and steadfast leader. Although the body of surviving ancient speeches against living political opponents is very small, it includes arguably the most famous orations ever to fall within the category of invective: the two sets of Philippics by Demosthenes and Cicero.38 These texts were immensely important in the development of the images of these two orators as brave figures defending their views against tyranny, regardless of personal danger. Cicero, in particular, fostered this notion within the texts themselves through his repeated references to the vital part that he continued to play in a long-running battle to defend the Roman state.39 His influential orations therefore provide a valuable insight into a classical paradigm of self-construction through invective.40 Instead of being a contender for power in the conflict following Caesar’s assassination, Antony, as presented by Cicero, was already assuming the role of a tyrannical dictator. In this version, Cicero was not an orator supporting a particular political faction, but the standard-bearer for Roman liberty. Through his allusions to earlier individuals, particularly the great heroes of the Roman Republic, the Cicero of the Philippics could be seen to fulfil a familiar role. By emphasising similarities in circumstances and context, he could instantly create a positive image of himself in the minds of his audience and, soon afterwards, his readership; even before someone had read a single word of Cicero’s Philippics, their title had already begun this

38 On the relationship between the two sets of orations, see Wooten (1983). Dugan (2005) 333 describes Cicero’s Philippics as an attempt ‘to redeem and resuscitate his consular togate discourse and to fashion himself as the true heir to Demosthenes’ oratorical and political legacy’. 39 This ‘self-fashioning’ in a selection of Ciceronian works is examined extensively in Dugan (2005) – see particularly 21–74 on Pro Archia and In Pisonem, and 337–41 on the Second Philippic, although he does not look at the other Philippics in any detail. On the Philippics generally, see the fine introduction in J. Hall (2002). 40 In Inst. Or. 10.1.105, Quintilian recommended Cicero as the most important Latin orator for students to read. See also Morgan (1998) 99.

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process, casting Antony as Philip and Cicero as Demosthenes, re-enacting a paradigmatic struggle between barbaric tyranny and civilised freedom.41 Throughout the Philippics themselves, Cicero cast Antony as the successor to a variety of individuals who had threatened to overthrow the Republic and consequently had been suppressed by the actions of great men. These included both ‘external’ foes, such as Hannibal and the rebellious gladiator Spartacus, and also subversive politicians, most notably Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, as well as Saturninus and Glaucia who met their deaths in 100 bc.42 When Cicero criticised the senator Fufius Calenus for supporting Antony, he asked him to reveal to the assembled crowd his opinion of Lucius Opimius and other distinguished Romans who had defeated a succession of earlier threats to the stability of the res publica.43 He also informed Calenus that ‘your father, who as an old man was regarded as an authoritative guide by my young self, was a strict and prudent man who was accustomed to celebrate Publius Nasica, who killed Tiberius Gracchus, as the greatest of all citizens’.44 By presenting himself as sharing the opinions of his former mentor, Cicero staked his claim as the ideological heir of both Calenus’ father and Nasica, in contrast to Calenus himself, who became the acolyte of a new Gracchus, rather than following in his own father’s footsteps.45 Cicero therefore argued for his own inclusion amongst the ranks of those who had opposed dangerous enemies of the res publica, just as Antony was to be viewed as their successor.46 The example that Cicero used most extensively in his attacks on Antony and his associates was that of Catiline, whose conspiracy had been suppressed twenty years earlier during Cicero’s own consulship. At the end of his list of famous villains, together with the ‘consuls and most distinguished men’ who had defeated them, Cicero asked Calenus whether he 41 Cicero himself used the term ‘Philippics’ to describe these works in his ad Brut. 2.4.2, which also provides evidence that some of these texts had reached Brutus in the East – Dugan (2005) 335. This title was well established by the time of Juvenal – see Satires 10.123–6. 42 Hannibal: Phil. 5.10, 13.11, 14.4; Spartacus: Phil. 4.6, 13.10; Gracchi: Phil. 8.4; Saturninus and Glaucia: Phil. 8.5. Antony was also compared to Tarquinius Superbus at Phil. 3.4. See also the complaint at Phil. 11.1 that Antony and Dolabella were worse than Cinna, Marius and Sulla, as well as the comparison of Antony’s brother Lucius to the Gracchi at Phil. 7.6. On the use of these exempla in the Philippics, see J. Hall (2002) 284, 287. 43 Phil. 8.4–5. See also Seager (2007) 33–4. 44 Phil. 8.4. 45 Cicero had earlier drawn on the same exempla, including the Gracchi, Saturninus and Glaucia, in his Catilinarian speeches, in order to justify his position as a consul who needed to use capital punishment against rebellious citizens  – In Cat. 1.3–4, 1.29–30, 2.3, 3.15, 4.4. See also Wooten (1983) 170. 46 Cicero was also keen to stress the nobility of those who had fought against Saturninus, listing the great families of the Scauri, Metelli, Claudii, Catuli, Scaevolae and Crassi – Phil. 8.5.

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would have left Catiline unpunished.47 The contemporary struggle for supremacy, occasioned by the assassination of Caesar, was portrayed as a re-enactment of Catiline’s armed rebellion against the Roman state. This was most evident in the Second Philippic, which was never actually delivered, but was instead circulated after Antony had fled Rome to deal with a mutiny.48 As John Dugan observes in his analysis of this speech, ‘Cicero figures his attack on Antony as a reprise of his consular attack on Catiline on behalf of the republic.’49 In the opening passage, Cicero declared that Antony was ‘more audacious than Catiline’, while towards the end he proclaimed his own willingness to face this new threat, remarking that ‘I defended the res publica as a young man, I will not desert it as an old man: I paid no heed to the blades of Catiline, I will not shudder at yours.’50 In fact, Cicero’s references to the events of the Catilinarian crisis were more frequently about himself than explicitly about Catiline or Antony. He invoked the memory of these events in the first paragraph of the Second Philippic – ‘in these twenty years, there has been no enemy of the res publica who did not also declare war on me at the same time’ – and also the last – ‘almost twenty years ago in this temple I proclaimed that a consular’s death could never be premature’.51 Just as he made Antony into a new Catiline, Cicero portrayed himself as re-enacting his own deeds of twenty years earlier, which he celebrated as a classic exemplum of legitimate government’s victory over revolution.52 He thus built upon his own image as saviour of the Republic that had been a prominent feature of his Catilinarian Orations. While rising to a rhetorical climax at the end of the Sixth Philippic, he asked his audience ‘Am I a political novice? Who is more experienced than I, who have already spent twenty years waging war against faithless citizens?’53 Cicero thus allied his own fate with that of the state: he had always defended it; its enemies had been his enemies, 47 Phil. 8.5. 48 The date of publication is unknown and may have been after Cicero’s death – for suggestions, see Frisch (1946) 143; Wooten (1983) 155; Sussman (1998) 116; Dugan (2005) 341. 49 Dugan (2005) 339. 50 Phil. 2.1, 2.46; Dugan (2005) 339. Cicero also mentioned that Antony seemed to be following in the footsteps of his stepfather, Publius Lentulus Sura, who had been executed by Cicero for plotting with Catiline – Phil. 2.6. On Cicero’s image of Antony’s moral turpitude in this speech, see Long (1996) 75; J. Hall (2002) 288–90. 51 Phil. 2.1, 2.46, referring to In Cat. 4.3. Phil. 12.10 also makes reference to having been attacked by wicked men for twenty years. 52 Cicero claimed that, when Catiline plotted, ‘the Senate and Roman people had a leader such that, if there were anyone like him now, the same fate would have fallen to you as befell those men’ – Phil. 2.7. 53 Phil. 6.6.

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and vice versa.54 He rewrote his entire political career as a continual battle to defend the state; even his exile became an act of self-sacrifice for the greater good – ‘On one occasion, having been besieged by a chosen force of the most powerful men, I fell, knowing that I would be able to rise again most honourably’55 – thus lauding both his younger and older selves simultaneously. By repeatedly evoking his role as the hero of an analogous crisis from twenty years earlier, Cicero presented himself as the obvious person to lead Rome to victory against its latest enemy. Cicero’s attacks on Antony form a paradigmatic example of Roman political invective. They illustrate classical rhetorical techniques for dismantling the public images of their subjects and for constructing those of their authors. By attacking an individual as a vicious tyrant, whose actions mirrored those of earlier villains, an orator could conjure up a particular narrative of both past and present and cast himself in the roles of the earlier virtuous figures who had stood up to these dangerous men. This allowed him to emphasise the threat posed by his opponents in order to claim a more prestigious or authoritative status for himself: just as Cicero turned Antony into Philip and sought to be regarded as a new Demosthenes, so Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, in constructing Constantius as a persecutor, portrayed themselves as free-speaking martyrs. I do not intend to argue that these three were consciously imitating Cicero, Demosthenes or any other exemplary polemicist, but rather that their use of invective as a tool of self-promotion had a long pedigree in political discourse.56 The rest of this chapter will explore the methods employed by these fourth-century bishops to further their claims to authority in this period of theological and institutional upheaval. These traditional tactics were reworked with radically different sets of references and ideals which reflected the new imperial ideals created by these authors. Classical heroes had bravely defended liberty; their self-appointed successors placed the highest value on piety and orthodoxy. Cicero had argued that every action of his during 54 This theme also appears at Phil. 4.6, 8.5, 12.10. See also Phil. 14.5 for Cicero’s refutation of the claim that he was acting like Catiline. 55 Phil. 12.10. Similarly, Cicero explained his failure to confront Antony earlier, arguing that he preserved his own life for the sake of the Republic, since if he had died, ‘I would not now be able to look after the res publica’ – Phil. 3.13. 56 There is a clear Ciceronian allusion at Moriundum xii.38, where Lucifer asks quousque tandem abuteris dei patientia, Constanti?, echoing In Cat. 1.1: quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? However, this is not developed significantly, unlike the biblical references and the passages from Lactantius and Cyprian – see Meloni (2001) 73; Pizzani (2001) 229. Arguments have, however, been made for a more significant influence of Ciceronian texts and polemical vocabulary on the works of Lucifer – see Opelt (1972); Longosz (1972) 186–7; Ferreres (1992); Laconi (2004) 171–7.

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the preceding twenty years, whether speaking out, suffering exile or running away, had been taken in defence of the state; these bishops similarly rewrote their experiences as narratives of persecution and exile for the sake of the true faith, linking its cause intrinsically with theirs. Against this background of recognisable villainy, constructed through exempla, authors used invective against a living individual to create literary identities for themselves as fearless opponents of tyranny. Reliving without dying

The authorial self-constructions produced by these bishops paralleled the transformations of classical rhetorical models evident in their descriptions of Constantius. Within their narratives, these authors became imitators of earlier heroic enemies of brutal autocracy, selected exclusively from the realm of Christian history. While some of their references were to passages from the Old Testament, they placed the greatest emphasis on more recent events, especially the tales of Christian martyrdom suffered at the hands of the Roman authorities. They presented themselves as recreating the acts of the martyrs, resisting impious tyranny for the sake of the true faith. In response to competing claims to religious authority, most notably from the ascendant ‘Arians’ who enjoyed Constantius’ support, the texts of self-praise written by these three bishops created an episcopal paradigm that incorporated martyrial resistance to persecution as a central quality. Furthermore, as in all ancient panegyrics, these writings proclaimed their subjects as the embodiments of this paradigm. If Constantius was a persecutor, and real bishops fought against persecutors, then this select group of bishops, physically and institutionally dislocated from their sees, possessed a special claim to episcopal authority. By drawing on scriptural exempla, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer provided frameworks within which to understand current events and their own roles within them. In this sense, their comparisons of Constantius with a catalogue of biblical villains did not merely present the emperor as replaying the lives of earlier vicious figures. Instead, these texts created more wide-ranging narratives of Christian history stretching from the Old Testament to the present day. Readers were invited to view the confrontations between the pro-Nicene bishops and Constantius as the latest round in a long-running battle between good and evil, whose earlier episodes were recalled through the many scriptural vignettes woven into these texts. These authors chose to explain their experiences through biblical passages

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that recounted the persecution of the faithful, particularly prophets, at the hands of kings or emperors. The reader was directed to recognise in these stories analogous figures not only for Constantius, but also for the authors themselves. By presenting contemporary theological and ecclesiastical struggles as paralleling scriptural events, these bishops could portray themselves as the latest prophets of orthodoxy. Athanasius, when describing his isolation in exile, wrote that he took his refuge in God, just as ‘the persecuted Elijah was alone, and God was all and in all for the holy one’.57 In his Festal Letter 10, dating from 338, he compared himself to a host of biblical figures who overcame persecution or great troubles, including Hezekiah, David, Jacob, Joseph, Elisha, the three boys in the fiery furnace and even Christ himself.58 Similarly, in his Encyclical Epistle, written after the start of his second exile, he also drew upon a series of scriptural precedents, stating that his enemies imitated the actions of the Babylonians who falsely accused Daniel,59 and that Gregory of Cappadocia, his rival for the Alexandrian see, ‘assuming the attitude of Caiaphas, together with the governor Pilate, raged maniacally against those who piously revere Christ’.60 The story of Gregory’s arrival in Alexandria, aided by the prefect of Egypt, which led to Athanasius’ flight from the city, was here to be understood as a re-enactment of the most significant and best-known Christian tale of an alliance between an impious religious persecutor and an intransigent Roman official.61 Even more importantly, it cast Athanasius as an imitator of Christ himself. Similarly, Athanasius wrote in his Festal Letter 29, for the year 357, that anyone who continued to support him in exile was an imitator of Old Testament saints.62 Athanasius also quoted a series of biblical precedents in his De fuga to claim that his flight from his see was not an act of cowardice, but an identical course to that followed by earlier authoritative figures:63 57 Hist. Ar. 47.2–3, quoting 47.3. A comparison of his own situation with that of Elijah also appeared at 53.2. As mentioned above, Athanasius’ biblical comparisons in this text are tabulated at Ernest (2004) 244–53. E. J. Watts (2010) 183–4 discusses Gregory of Nazianzus’ comparisons of Athanasius to biblical figures in Or. 21, but incorrectly states (at 184) that Athanasius had not used scriptural exempla in his own self-constructions. 58 Festal Letter 10.3–6. See Barnes (1993) 43–4; E. J. Watts (2010) 176. 59 Ep. Enc. 5.7–8.  60  Ep. Enc. 4.3. 61 For Gregory’s arrival, see pp. 118–20 above. 62 Brakke (1995) 166, with translation of this letter at 323–6. 63 Brakke (1995) 132. The De fuga is securely dated to the second half of 357 – see R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 419–20; Barnes (1993) 124; Gwynn (2007) 39–40, (2012) 13.

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Writing auto-hagiography For if they heap abuse on those who hide from men who seek to kill them, and slander those fleeing from persecutors, what action will they take when they see Jacob fleeing from his brother Esau, or Moses escaping to Midian through fear of Pharaoh? Saying such rubbish, how will they justify David’s flight from home because of Saul, when the latter sent men to murder him … what might they say, these men who shamelessly say anything, when they behold the great Elijah appealing to God and raising the dead, but also hiding on account of Ahab and fleeing because of the threats of Jezebel?64

Athanasius presented his flight from the ‘persecution’ of Gregory of Cappadocia as obedience to Christ’s instruction to his proselytising disciples: ‘I stole myself away from the people, remembering the saying of the Saviour: If they persecute you in this city, flee to another.’65 By this reasoning, his departure was not only justified by Scripture, but was an act of obedience for any orthodox Christian and a mark of apostolic succession. He sought to support his actions with the words of Scripture in order to show that everything he did was guided by this text. His flight from danger was proof that he followed the precepts of Christ and resembled the Apostles, since both his suffering and his response echoed their experiences. In the same way, when he sought the support of other bishops, he claimed that an attack on him was an attack on the Church, ‘for if one member suffers, all the members suffer together, and, according to the blessed Apostle, it is necessary to weep with those who weep’.66 This deployment of biblical precedent and instruction for his situation portrayed any refusal to help on the part of a fellow bishop as a deviation from the precepts of Paul. He also claimed that Arius hated him because he told the truth and stated that ‘as an enemy of Christ, he will not shrink from persecuting those who embrace Christ’s teachings, as the Lord himself predicted, If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you’.67 Here Athanasius offered some biblical backing for his self-construction as the latest in a long line of authoritative persecuted figures, using the words of Christ himself to argue that the events of the Gospel were being repeated in the present day. His most lengthy passage on the subject was again reserved for the greatest Christian paradigm: Christ. In this version of events, the very fact that Athanasius was being persecuted showed that he must be a follower and imitator of Christ, and a guardian of pure doctrine. He therefore collected 64 De fuga 10.4–6. As well as these biblical figures, Athanasius cited the examples of the sons of the prophets who accompanied Obadiah, the disciples of Jesus and also Paul. 65 Ep. Enc. 5.2, citing Matthew 10:23. The same biblical passage is also used at De fuga 11.4 to justify Athanasius’ later flight from Alexandria after the arrival of the rival bishop George of Cappadocia. 66 Ep. Enc. 6.4, using 1 Corinthians 12:26 and Romans 12:15. 67 Sent. Dion. 24.1, quoting John 15:20.

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a series of biblical passages in which Christ left a location to avoid persecution, beginning with the Flight into Egypt, since the appointed time for his sacrifice had not yet arrived.68 Athanasius argued that, rather than being a cowardly flight from persecution, in the manner of those bishops who had provoked the hatred of rigorist Donatists and Meletians, his actions had been part of a sustained and conscious programme of biblical re-enactment. Since his deeds were to be seen as analogous to those of Christ, to attack him was to criticise the Son of God: ‘If only they felt shame and restricted their recklessness to mankind, and were not so deranged as to bring a charge of cowardice against the Saviour, working to blaspheme him.’69 Athanasius’ removal of himself from the city was to be viewed as a form of exile, suffered for the sake of true religion, and therefore as an example of persecution in which he was to be seen as an imitator of respected paradigms. Instead of being a cause of shame, his flight was displayed as proof of his holiness and authority. By turning his enemies into biblical villains, he constructed his own story as a retelling of earlier Christian suffering in which he echoed the words and deeds of a number of authoritative and orthodox figures. Similarly, Hilary, when defending himself against a possible charge of speaking rashly for having called Constantius the Antichrist, responded with a series of quotations from the Bible. For the first of these, he wished that ‘whoever judges this [his accusation] to be impudence rather than fearlessness should first read again what John said to Herod: It is not lawful for you to do that.’70 By explicitly stating that he was recounting the words of John the Baptist to Herod, he provided a framework for understanding both his words to Constantius and his literary persona as the latest opponent of impious autocracy. However, Hilary’s ‘quotation’ from John the Baptist does not actually appear anywhere in Scripture. The closest biblical passages to this are the two almost identical accounts of John’s comment when Herod married his brother’s wife: ‘it is not lawful for you to have her.’71 Hilary’s subtly altered version of the wording of the passage made it applicable to any crimes committed by a ruler, rather than being confined to the narrow context of sexual impropriety. He took the 68 De fuga 12–15. 69 De fuga 13.3. Athanasius developed this theme of following Christ’s example with more biblical stories of flight from persecution in chapters 16–22. 70 In Const. 6. (non tibi licet facere istud). Constantius was also portrayed as Herod condemning John the Baptist at Hist. Ar. 52.6. 71 Matthew 14:4 (non licet tibi habere eam); Mark 6:18 (non licet tibi habere uxorem fratris tui) in the Vulgate. The Greek and Vetus Latina versions concur with the Vulgate or are very similar, clearly making reference to the wife.

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confrontation between John and Herod, an exemplary instance of parrhesia under persecution, and produced a more generalised version of John’s statement that was suitable for his own use against Constantius. In order to re-enact the scene, he had to rewrite it. Hilary continued this passage of scriptural quotation by drawing upon the story of the martyrdom of the mother and her seven sons from 2 Maccabees. He reproduced three examples of their brave statements under torture, once again for the benefit of his hypothetical critic, prefacing them with the words ‘let him know what was said by the martyr to king Antiochus’.72 Lucifer also reinforced his self-presentation with a series of quotations from the Old Testament, spread throughout his De Athanasio I, which cast him as a number of different prophets who had chided the kings of Israel. He therefore recounted a confrontation between Saul and Samuel, describing the king as someone who ‘persecuted the prophet and priest of the Lord’.73 He also quoted Samuel’s response to God’s commands: ‘How can I go, so that Saul does not hear it and kill me?’74 Lucifer then asked Constantius: ‘Do you really think that, when you persecute Athanasius unjustly, you will not be compared with Saul, since you long to butcher the innocent Athanasius in this way, as Saul wanted to kill not only Samuel, but also David?’75 While Constantius became Saul, Athanasius and Lucifer were written into this narrative as his opponents, since he was trying to kill them. Moreover, Lucifer, by quoting Samuel’s reply to God, cast himself as Samuel, since he bravely confronted a tyrant with the truth, even though it might result in his own death.

72 In Const. 6. Hilary’s three quotations, all from 2 Maccabees 7 were ‘You unjustly banish us from this present life, but the king of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto eternal life’ – 2 Maccabees 7:9; ‘Having power over men, you do whatever you want, even though you are mortal; but do not think that our race has been abandoned by God. Wait patiently and see how his awesome power will torture you and your seed’ – 2 Maccabees 7:16–17; ‘You, who have become the author of every crime against the Hebrews, will not escape the hand of God. For although the Lord is angry towards us for a little while, while we are alive, for our chastening and correction, he will yet be reconciled again to his servants’ – 2 Maccabees 7:31, 33. Hilary’s Latin version of 2 Maccabees 7:33 deviates from the sense of the Septuagint in referring to nobis uiuis, while the original Greek applies the term ‘living’ (ζῶν) not to ‘us’, but to ‘the Lord’. The only other attestation of this variation is by Lucifer at De non parc. xxii.55. For both bishops, this alternative reading was better suited to the rhetoric of martyrdom, since it implied that the reconciliation with the Lord would be post mortem. 73 De Ath. I xiii.1–28, quoting 10–11. On the theme of madness in this passage, see also Piredda (2001) 255. 74 De Ath. I xiii.20, 26; 1 Samuel 16:2. 75 De Ath. I xiii.28–32.

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Later in De Athanasio I, as Lucifer continued his journey through the Old Testament, he related a conversation between king Ahab and the prophet Elijah. The prophet of God heard Ahab say with a sacrilegious mouth: Are you the one who subverts Israel? In this way you say to Athanasius or to us that we are subverting the people of God, although you are summoning Christians to take up your heresy. But you hear from us what Ahab himself, the cultivator of idolatry, heard from the glorious Elijah: We do not subvert the house of God, but you and the house of your father subvert it. Or will you deny that you plan nothing except to make us all apostates with you?76

Constantius’ accusations against Lucifer and Athanasius were made to echo the words of Ahab to Elijah, particularly through the use of the verb uertere for his own words to Constantius, echoing euertere in the passage cited from 1 Kings. By pairing a passage of dialogue from Scripture with an invented dialogue between himself and Constantius, Lucifer invited his audience to witness the similarities between the two confrontations. Having presented the two incidents as analogous, Lucifer then collapsed the boundary between past and present, between Scripture and his own text, by portraying himself as addressing Constantius using exactly the same words that Elijah had spoken to Ahab. The conversation stopped echoing Scripture and instead replayed it verbatim. The reader was not even required to recognise the quotation, since Lucifer prefaced it with its biblical context. Just as these texts posited a new vocabulary of tyranny in their comparisons between Constantius and impious biblical rulers, such as Saul or Ahab, so they also provided a set of Christian exempla of piety and parrhesia which their authors could then apply to themselves and their allies. Eusebius of Caesarea had compared the usurper Maxentius, swept away by the Tiber at the battle of the Milvian Bridge, to Pharaoh, engulfed by the Red Sea, and so was able to cast Constantine as Moses, leading his people to victory with divine assistance.77 In the same way, Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary ranged widely through the Bible to select characters who exemplified steadfast resistance to impious tyranny. The various types of references and comparisons that they employed, ranging from allusions to individuals and events through to the deployment of scriptural passages in new contexts, demonstrate the importance of biblical imitation and re-enactment to these literary self-constructions: canonical characters and situations were being used to compose new narratives within which De Ath. I xvi.39–46, quoting from 1 Kings 18:17–18.   On Eusebius’ presentation of Constantine and Maxentius, see pp. 72–3 above.

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these three bishops were easily recognisable as defenders of an eternally unchanging faith. Within their new Christian panegyrical registers, biblical characters were introduced as stock figures for synkrisis, just as Trajan or Alexander the Great might have been used in a ‘secular’ encomium. Significantly, this extended beyond the use of scriptural exempla to transform the rhetoric of imperial kingship. By drawing specific comparisons between themselves and heroes of the Old and New Testaments, the authors of these texts sought to redefine the language of parrhesia and opposition to tyranny, promoting a set of specifically Christian exempla that also had resonance within the classical discourse of illegitimate power. T h e h e i r s o f t h e m a rt y r s

While Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary made use of biblical synkrisis in these ways, they also compared themselves to revered characters from the more recent Christian past. Their most frequently employed image was not that of the Old Testament priest or prophet, persecuted by an apostate Israelite king, but a much more contemporary and familiar figure from the Roman empire: the fearless martyr. These three authors all presented themselves as bravely opposing tyranny, following in the footsteps of those who had been tortured and executed by the machinery of Roman government before the advent of Constantinian toleration. Contemporary events were therefore placed within these narratives of martyrdom in order to cast the authors and their opponents in these roles. As with their use of scriptural exempla, these three bishops employed many classical rhetorical techniques of self-construction to create these accounts, but they also drew upon a specifically Christian array of texts and system of values to construct a recognisable martyr-persona.78 As with Donatist accounts of repression, it is impossible to reconstruct all the details of Constantius’ religious policies and the opposition to them, or to acquire a complete sense of the scale of rhetorical exaggeration employed by these authors.79 However, it is notable that none of them gives an account of any actual instances of torture 78 McGuckin (1993) 41 argues that Athanasius made surprisingly few references to martyrs and that ‘it is a theme that hardly figures for him except in a stock manner’. However, his argument is based solely on Athanasius’ use of the word ‘martyr’, rather than his wider employment of the themes of persecution and martyrdom within his accounts of contemporary events. Gaddis (2005) 75–88 provides a good introduction to Athanasius’ employment of the trope of persecution; see also E. J. Watts (2010) 176–82. 79 For differing views of the ‘persecution’ of the Donatists, see Frend (1952) 159–62, 177–87; Tilley (1996) xv–xvii; Averil Cameron (2005) 94–5; Drake (2006) 119–121; Van Dam (2007) 264.

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that they suffered, or detailed descriptions of other bishops martyred for steadfast support of Nicene theology.80 Acts of imperial repression do not appear to have been on anything close to the scale or ferocity of those described in accounts of the third and early fourth centuries. The most important factor, however, is not whether the events of the 350s should be termed ‘persecution’, but that Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer chose to present them as such. The deeds of the martyrs were celebrated throughout the empire in a variety of literary accounts: in the letters of notable bishops, such as Cyprian of Carthage, himself a martyr, whose works were swiftly collected and widely promulgated; in ecclesiastical histories, especially Eusebius of Caesarea’s account of the three centuries leading up to the conversion of Constantine, which included many descriptions of individual martyrdoms; and, most importantly, in martyr acts, which both amplified and glorified the final days of these figures through a narrative of violent torture, miraculous healing and pithy statements. These texts were circulated throughout the empire and recited in churches on the anniversaries of the events they related.81 They brought to countless Christians not just the details of individual acts of constancy and piety, but also a paradigm for opposition to oppression, together with a revered, authoritative status for those who embodied it.82 As a recognisable form and structure for these acta emerged, certain features became standard elements within any account of a martyr’s trial and death. Later acts not only frequently conformed to the models created by the earliest examples, but also gradually amplified the accounts of torture and miracles as the centuries progressed. They therefore functioned much like modern pantomimes; before the audience had heard a single word, they knew which characters were going to appear, what the narrative arc would be and how the final act would play out. By portraying Constantius as an imitator of the earlier persecuting emperors, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer had already set the scene for their own dramatic triumphs. Like some Donatist authors they responded to their circumstances by appealing to the prominent paradigm of the 80 One possible exception might be Paul of Constantinople, who died in custody, although the details of his demise are unclear and might relate to his receipt of correspondence from the usurper Magnentius. See Hist. Ar. 7.1–5; Barnes (1993) 102, 214–15. Other references to deaths include De fuga 7.4–5, in which Athanasius listed Egyptian and Libyan bishops banished for their orthodoxy, stating that ‘some died during their journeys, some died in their actual exile’, although he did not state which individuals these were. 81 Grig (2004) 34–53.  82  Grig (2004) 4.

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martyrs. However, rather than employing the literary form of the martyr acta, they instead chose to weave elements of this theme into their texts. Just as they brought biblical elements into their evaluations of both Constantius and imperial authority itself, so they also drew upon common tropes from martyr literature. The world created by these new texts was eminently recognisable: Christianity was being troubled not by complex and arcane internal theological divisions, but by a vicious assault from an external enemy, an anti-Christian Roman emperor.83 One central feature of martyr acts employed by these authors was the heroes’ boldness before authoritarian Roman officials. This was a demonstration of parrhesia, the ‘freedom of speech’ traditionally associated with fearless individuals who spoke truthfully to (and sometimes against) the powerful.84 As discussed in the Introduction, Claudia Rapp has argued that late-antique bishops, particularly those who lived ascetic lifestyles, gained a form of parrhesia through their religious authority.85 However, these invectives against Constantius reveal another literary employment of parrhesia by fourth-century bishops. Rather than using their authority to acquire parrhesia, these authors, in presenting themselves as bearers of parrhesia, sought to acquire authority. This self-promotional tactic mirrored the strategies of earlier Roman and Greek authors, such as Cicero or Dio Chrysostom, which were discussed above. However, these fourth-century texts, written for a different audience and context, relied upon the paradigm of martyrdom, presented here as resolutely Christian. This is not to say that ‘classical’ parrhesia and its martyrial counterpart were unrelated, being as they were the product of the same social and cultural environment, but rather that Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer explicitly presented themselves as following in the footsteps of their co-religionists within narratives that were resolutely and forcefully Christian.86 In many of the surviving martyr acts, the hero confronted the Roman official, freely confessed his or her faith, and so embraced or provoked martyrdom at the hands of the Roman government.87 Some of the Greek acta 83 For a parallel use of martyr literature by Donatist authors, presenting the ‘orthodox’ figures Mensurius and Caecilian of Carthage as persecutors, see Tilley (1990) 392–6. 84 See also the fragmentary Acts of the Pagan Martyrs, in which the heroes fearlessly addressed the emperor, sometimes using terms of abuse and correction such as ‘tyrant’ – see Acta Appiani (P. Oxy. 33) in Musurillo (1954) 65–70. 85 See p. 25 above. 86 For competing accounts of the origins of the Christian phenomenon of martyrdom, see Bowersock (1995) 1–21; Boyarin (1999) 93–126. 87 Hopkins (1999) 112–21; Grig (2004) 21–2.

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even used the word parrhesia to describe the actions of martyrs.88 These literary accounts stressed not merely the resolute constancy of the confessors and martyrs in preserving their faith intact, but also their willingness to reproach the presiding officials for their impiety and cruelty. In imitation of the conversation between Christ and Pontius Pilate, the martyrs responded to questions with either further questions or bold statements of faith, which caused the officials to become frustrated, bemused or angry.89 This formed part of the broader concept of martyrdom as imitatio Christi, since the martyrs were, through their suffering and death at the hands of the authorities, in some way re-enacting the passion of Christ and so becoming the focus of reverence themselves.90 In addition, while many of the earlier, ‘authentic’ martyr acts portrayed their subjects confronting prefects, legates and other local representatives of power, the ultimate object of the Christians’ defiance was often the emperor himself, as 88 For uses of parrhesia and its cognates, see Martyrdom of Saints Justin, Chariton, Charito, Evelpistus, Hierax, Paeon, Liberian and their Community Recension B 5.6/Recension C 4.6; Martyrs of Lyons 1.18, 1.49, 2.4. 89 Christ and Pilate: Matthew 27:11–14; Mark 15:1–5; Luke 23:1–7, 13–16; John 18:28–38, 19:10–11. The account in John contains the fullest dialogue between the two. In some examples of martyr literature, these conversations are relatively brief and simple, consisting of establishing the guilt of the accused and attempting to make them reject Christianity, either through argument or torture, with little philosophical discussion – see Martyrdom of Polycarp 9–11; Martyrdom of Saints Carpus, Papylus and Agathonice; Martyrdom of Saints Justin, Chariton, Charito, Evelpistus, Hierax, Paeon, Liberian and Their Community Greek Recension 1–35, Latin Recension 2–4, 6; Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs; Acts of Cyprian 3–4; Martyrdom of Fructuosus and his Deacons Augurius and Eulogius 2; Martyrdom of Marinus; Acts of Maximilian and Acts of Marcellus (both fairly plain courtroom scenes, although there is some discussion of Christian rejection of military service); Martyrdom of Felix; Martyrdom of Agape, Irene and Chione 3–6. Certain texts, mostly those believed to have been written later, go into much more detail, sometimes even including dialogues with officials or other pagans on the correctness of the Christian faith – see Martyrdom of Apollonius (which also includes a Cynic philosopher as an interlocutor at 33–4); Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions 4–10 (including an evil lawyer named Alexander at 6), 15–20; Martyrdom of Conon 4–5; Martyrdom of Marian and James 8 (in which the dialogue takes place within a dream); Martyrdom of Montanus and Lucius 19–20; Martyrdom of Julius the Veteran 1–3 (affirming the primacy of divine law); Martyrdom of Dasius 6–10 (including a creedal statement about the Trinity at 8); Martyrdom of Irenaeus of Sirmium 2–5 and Martyrdom of Crispina (in both of which the martyrs confound the vicious official’s questions by quoting Scripture); Acts of Euplus (the Latin recension includes more detail than the Greek, particularly quotation from Scripture); Acts of Phileas (with a lengthy philosophical discourse between Phileas and the prefect Culcianus and the conversion of a Roman tribune named Philoromus in the Latin recension). On the development of martyr literature, see Bowersock (1995) 1–57, especially 23–39. 90 On martyrdom as imitatio Christi, see Frend (1965) 14–15, 197–8; Hopkins (1999) 112–19; Boyarin (1999) 95; Grig (2004) 16; E. A. Castelli (2004) 54. Cyprian, in Ep. 31.3, argued that confession made an individual into ‘a colleague of Christ in his suffering’. See also the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 18.9, where those awaiting martyrdom ‘were filled with joy because they had acquired a part of the Lord’s sufferings’, as well as the many allusions to Christ’s trial and death in the Martyrdom of Polycarp.

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displayed through a refusal to offer him sacrifices or swear by his genius.91 Later on, as martyr literature developed, emperors appeared as characters; as they were the greatest secular authorities, outspokenness against them was a greater act of defiance.92 Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer therefore portrayed themselves as freely conversing with Constantius in the manner and vocabulary of martyrs confronting persecuting emperors. Lucifer frequently presented himself as a confessor who was speaking out against an abominable tyrant and was himself in imminent danger of martyrdom. He regularly termed himself in this way, using the verb confiteor and the nouns confessor and confessio on numerous occasions to describe his actions and status.93 He used this persona to stake a claim to immortal fame, stating that ‘an illustrious confession persists in us’, before describing the eternal rewards that awaited him in heaven because of his actions.94 Hilary addressed the emperor by stating: ‘I proclaim to you, Constantius, what I would have said to Nero, what Decius and Maximian would have heard from me.’95 Although Hilary was obviously not in any danger of being tested under the persecutions of these paradigmatic villains, he presented himself as demonstrating the same bravery and parrhesia as earlier confessors and therefore as eligible for the same status. Within the opening section of his diatribe, Hilary included a sequence of rallying cries to the faithful, often incorporating biblical phrases, such as ‘Let us advance to martyrdom by these words, because the angel of Satan has transformed himself into an angel of light’ and ‘Let us stand before judges and powers for the sake of Christ’s name, because blessed is he who will endure even unto the end’.96 Like Lucifer, he also referred to his own defiant opposition to Constantius as a confessio.97 All of these statements were centred on the theme of opposition to diabolical opponents and the rewards that awaited confessors and martyrs, 91 Martyrdom of Polycarp 9–10; Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs 3–6; Martyrdom of Apollonius 3–9; Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 6; Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions 8; Martyrdom of Fructuosus and his Deacons Augurius and Eulogius 2.2–6; Martyrdom of Dasius 7–8; Martyrdom of Agape, Irene and Chione 4. Offering sacrifices or swearing to the emperor’s genius were performed by the apostate Christians in Pliny, Ep. 10.96.5–6. 92 On confrontations and the increasing literary elaboration of martyr acts, see Hopkins (1999) 118– 21. See also the boldness of Maris of Chalcedon in confronting Julian at Soz. HE 5.4.8–9, although the emperor did not punish him. 93 Moriundum i.42, i.45, ii.46, iv.24–5, vi.21, vi.23, vi.42, vii.11, ix.9, xi.64, xiii.52, xiv.46, xiv.72–3 and xv.60 are just a few examples. 94 Moriundum xv.26–51, quoting 27. 95 In Const. 7. 96 In Const. 1. See 2 Corinthians 11:14; Matthew 10:18; Matthew 10:22. 97 In Const. 2, 4, 8.

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as assured by the words of Scripture. He also explained to his audience that both his decision not to speak out against Constantius earlier and his present outpouring of abuse were demonstrations of a righteous parrhesia, which he held in check when appropriate. ‘Now I speak for no other cause than that of Christ: it is for him that I had to keep silent until now, and I understand that I must be silent no longer.’98 In the same section, Hilary also stated that his ‘faithful libertas in Christ bears witness’, while he later declared that he possessed an ‘apostolic libertas’.99 This term is here employed to mean ‘freedom of speech’, making it analogous to the Greek parrhesia and thus furthering his claim to be a fearless narrator of the truth in the face of oppressive authority.100 Athanasius similarly claimed that he suffered persecution, ‘a persecution the like of which has never before arisen against the Church’.101 Within his narrative were encounters between notable bishops and Constantius himself, with scenes reminiscent of the courtroom encounters in the martyr acts: Liberius, bishop of Rome from 352 to 366, was dragged before Constantius and ‘addressed him with much freedom of speech’.102 Athanasius here used the term parrhesia to describe Liberius’ actions when faced with imperial persecution. Like the confessors and martyrs, instead of giving in to the emperor’s demands, Liberius faced Constantius fearlessly and delivered a speech, beginning by simply saying ‘stop persecuting Christians’, and then professing himself unafraid of imperial punishments.103 Athanasius also presented a group of his own western supporters, including Lucifer, as boldly standing firm when instructed by Constantius to both abandon Athanasius and embrace heresy.104 Thus, while also making claims about his own importance, the Alexandrian bishop’s presentation of Lucifer chimed with the Sardinian bishop’s image of himself as a brave martyr, speaking out against persecutors and apostates. In this passage, Athanasius described these bishops’ stance as a ‘confession’ and twice referred to them as ‘confessors’.105 This designation was supported by his account of their confrontation with Constantius in which they acted like 98 In Const. 3.  99  In Const. 3, 6. 100 For libertas as a Latin version of parrhesia, see OLD s.v. 7 and, for example, Tac. Hist. 1.85; Suet. Ves. 13. It is praised as a positive characteristic of martyrs in Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 18.5 and Martyrdom of Montanus and Lucius 19.5. 101 Ep. Enc. 5.7 and p. 119 above. 102 Hist. Ar. 39.2. On Liberius’ exile and lapse, see Simonetti (1975) 221–3; Brennecke (1984) 265–97; Barnes (1993) 118, 138; Gustafson (1994) 66–71. 103 Hist. Ar. 39.2–4, quoting 39.2. 104 Hist. Ar. 33.6–34.4. 105 Hist. Ar. 33.6, 34.4. The terms are ὁμολογία and ὁμολογητής.

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martyrs before the imperial tribunal: ‘stretching their hands up to God, they employed much parrhesia towards him [Constantius] in their speech, teaching him that the kingdom was not his, but belonged to God, who had given it.’106 Constantius also played his part in this persecution narrative: ‘He neither listened, nor allowed them to say anything else, but threatened them even more, bared his weapon against them and commanded that some of them be taken away. But, like Pharaoh, he changed his mind again.’107 In both of these passages, Athanasius emphasised the parrhesia of his theological allies, employing this particular term to argue that their simultaneous defence both of him and of Nicene beliefs was a re-enactment of the deeds of earlier confessors and martyrs. Athanasius also extended his definition of the title ‘martyr’ in order to include those who had not been killed by persecuting officials. In his letter Ad episcopos Aegypti et Libyae, he claimed that ‘it is not only refusing to offer incense that reveals martyrs; refusing to renounce the faith also provides illustrious evidence of conscience’.108 He then supported this with a list of biblical characters who were revered, despite not having been killed for their beliefs: The Patriarch Abraham achieved the crown [of martyrdom] without having been killed, but because he was faithful to God. And the other blessed men, about whom Paul speaks, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David and Samuel and those with them were not perfected through spilt blood, but were proven through faith, and are still honoured because they were ready to suffer death for their devotion to the Lord.109

Just as he was later to claim in his De fuga that his flight from the city was an imitation of biblical precedents, Athanasius here employed a similar argument to bolster his own claims to be a recognisable martyr figure.110 As in his Life of Antony, written at around the same time, Athanasius was here engaged in an extension of the activities that could be seen as analogous to martyrdom.111 He thus sought to transform the image of the confessor or martyr, arguing that these titles could belong to pious 106 Hist. Ar. 34.1.  107  Hist. Ar. 34.2. 108 Ad Ep. Aeg. 21.2. The term ‘evidence’ here translates μαρτύριον, which can also mean ‘martyrdom’ or ‘martyr’s shrine’. This work can be securely dated to within the first year following the start of Athanasius’ third exile in February 356, although chapter 22 appears to be a later addition – see Kannengiesser (1982) 988; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 420; Barnes (1993) 122; Gwynn (2007) 35–6, (2012) 13. 109 Ad Ep. Aeg. 21.3, referring to Hebrews 11:32–40. On the practice of terming the living as martyrs within Montanism, see Klawiter (1980) especially 255–6, 260–1. 110 On the De fuga, se pp. 141–3 above. 111 On Antony as martyr in the V. Ant., see p. 132 above.

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and faithful followers of God, even if they had not suffered physical torture or death. At the end of his list of biblical heroes, he introduced the example of Alexander, his immediate predecessor as bishop of Alexandria. Athanasius stated that Alexander ‘fought against this heresy up to his death, and what afflictions and great toils he endured, even as an old man, until at an advanced age he himself was laid unto his fathers’.112 This description, which evoked accounts of agonistic martyrdom, transformed Alexander’s theological disputes with Arius into the actions of a confessor bravely defending his faith, particularly as the statement that he ‘fought … up to his death’ (μέχρι θανάτου … ἠγωνίσατο) could serve to steer the reader towards the (erroneous) belief that Alexander had been martyred. By praising those who battled heresy and denoting them as martyrs, Athanasius not only attempted to present himself in that light, but also exalted Alexander, so that he could describe himself as the successor of an orthodox martyr. This was in sharp contrast to the Arians, and Athanasius made frequent reference to the story that his opponent Asterius was an apostatising ‘sacrificer’, who therefore lacked authority for precisely the same reason that the ‘confessor’ Athanasius possessed it.113 Similar rhetoric can also be observed in the depiction of Lucifer, Eusebius of Vercelli and Dionysius of Milan in a letter addressed to the three exiled bishops by Liberius of Rome.114 This was written in the aftermath of the Council of Milan in 355 and before Liberius himself went into exile.115 In this epistle, Liberius praised the men for their opposition to the enemy and declared that ‘your outstanding and singular faith has demonstrated here, however, that you priests, who are most pleasing to God, are approved by God, and has already marked you out for future glory as martyrs’.116 He went on to describe them using other language common to the literature of persecution and martyrdom, including stating that they had achieved a ‘palm’ and that ‘through perseverance in the faith, you come first to the illustrious glory of confession’.117 The palm was a traditional reward of victors in contests, particularly athletic competitions, and so came to mean ‘victory’.118 This term, along with other athletic imagery, 112 Ad Ep. Aeg. 21.4, using a reference to David in Acts 13:36. 113 Contra Arianos ii.24.5; De decr. 8.1. The false confessor, who sacrificed to the pagan gods when faced with persecution, also sometimes featured in martyr acts – see, for example, Martyrdom of Polycarp 4. 114 References to the Epistula Liberii cite line numbers following Diercks (1978) 320–2. For a translation of this letter, see Appendix 2. 115 On the Council of Milan, see p. 84 above. 116 Epistula Liberii 6–9. See also D. H. Williams (1995) 59–60; Gaddis (2005) 68. 117 Epistula Liberii 18–19, 19–20.  118  OLD s.v. ‘palma’ 4, 5.

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had since at least the third century come to be applied to the struggle of the martyrs under persecution, allowing their judicial execution to be recast as a triumph in a competition.119 The actions of these three bishops were thus elided with those of the Christians who had suffered under the pagan persecutions of previous generations, thereby making them eligible to receive the same rewards in heaven and adoration on earth that were due to those who had died for their faith. Liberius went on to compare the two sets of martyrs in the different periods of persecution: For indeed you achieved such great glory and so you are able to know more truly that, while any of those who were crowned with martyrdom in persecution were able to experience the bloody swords of the persecutor only, in contrast, you, devoted soldiers in God in all things, have even endured false brethren as enemies and have achieved victory over the treacherous.120

Regardless of the details of physical torture and privation, the bishop of Rome claimed that, because the enemy were now pretending to be true believers, this persecution was even more dangerous than those carried out by pagan emperors. Moreover, Liberius also mentioned his own situation within this letter, equating his position to that of the exiled bishops. He twice asked the three bishops to regard him as having been carried off into exile with them;121 while this could serve as a reassurance to the bishops, comforting them that they were not alone in their troubles, it also presented Liberius as being on a par with a group of men whom he was simultaneously presenting as on a par with the martyrs. He went on to ask that the confessors help him achieve this goal. Be secure, therefore, in the heavenly promise and, because you have been made closer to God, help to raise me, your fellow priest and servant of God, to the Lord through your prayers, so that I might be able to bear more tolerably the mounting attacks, which inflict more serious wounds as they are announced day by day, and so that with inviolate faith and the position of the catholic church safe, the Lord will deign to make me your equal.122

Here Liberius argued both that he was the victim of an escalating attack by the forces of heresy and that he would, nonetheless, come through the assaults and be regarded in the same light as the men whom he now praised. 119 On the specifically martyrial use of this term, see Souter (1949) s.v. ‘palma’; Martyrdom of Marian and James 4.2, 11.5; Martyrdom of Montanus and Lucius 4.6; Acts of Marcellus Recension N 5.2; Martyrdom of Irenaeus of Sirmium 5.2. On athletic imagery in martyr literature, see, for example, Bowersock (1995), 50; Grig (2004) 17; E. A. Castelli (2004) 117–18, 151–2. 120 Epistula Liberii 24–8.  121  Epistula Liberii 13–14, 21. 122 Epistula Liberii 30–6.

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Athanasius’ account of the persecution of Ossius, bishop of Cordoba, followed similar lines, except that Ossius was presented as writing to the emperor, rather than facing him in person as the bishops at Milan had allegedly done. The Spanish bishop opened his letter, as reproduced by Athanasius, by informing Constantius: ‘I first became a confessor when a persecution arose under your grandfather Maximian. If you persecute me, I stand ready now also to suffer absolutely anything rather than to spill innocent blood and betray the truth.’123 He then launched into a vigorous defence of Athanasius, which occupied the majority of the letter, as well as restating his own fearlessness in the face of renewed persecution, just as martyrs did before official tribunals.124 Here, Athanasius made skilful literary use of a bishop already notable for his actions as a confessor during earlier persecution and for his involvement in religious politics under Constantine; not only was Ossius’ parrhesia brought into the foreground through this account of his sufferings under past and present persecution (allegedly addressed defiantly to the emperor), but he was also presented as devoting much of his letter to declaring his support for Athanasius. Around the same time, the Alexandrian bishop used his Life of Antony to portray the revered ascetic as a vehement enemy of Arianism and an adherent of Nicene theology, supporting Athanasius in his battles with heretics.125 In the History of the Arians, he made similar use of the authoritative figure of Ossius, a steadfast opponent of earlier enemies of Christianity. Even though Athanasius acknowledged that both Liberius and Ossius were eventually forced to lapse by Constantius, he still claimed for them the position of confessors, whose bravery and outspokenness in the face of persecution echoed the deeds of earlier Christians. A similar deployment of the trope of persecution and martyrdom is evident in a letter written by Eusebius of Vercelli during his exile under Constantius.126 Eusebius was, like the three bishops whose writings are the 123 Hist. Ar. 44.1. On Ossius’ words and deeds at this time, see Simonetti (1975) 223–4; Tietze (1976) 261–4; Barnes (1993) 174–5; Gustafson (1994) 71–5. For the conflicting opinions concerning the authenticity of the ‘letter of Ossius’, see De Clercq (1954) 449 (who regards it as genuine); Ernest (2004) 364 (who sees no reason to doubt its authenticity); Klein (1982) 1002–10 (who argues that the letter as reported by Athanasius is not genuine). Laconi (2004) 40 regards it as genuine and calls it ‘un importante documento della storia del rapporto Chiesa–Stato del IV sec.’. I remain uncertain of its authenticity, especially since it is immediately preceded in Athanasius’ text by the claim that Constantius repeatedly wrote to Ossius to ask him to embrace his ‘heresy’. 124 Athanasius also compared Ossius to Abraham and Daniel in Hist. Ar. 45.1–3, as well as stating, at 43.3, that he ἐπαρρησιάζετο (‘spoke with parrhesia’) against the Arians. 125 Ath. V. Ant. 68.1–70.1, 82.4–13, 86.1–2, 91.4; Brakke (1995) 135–7, 245–8. 126 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2 is addressed to the clergy and laity in Vercelli and nearby towns. For a translation of this letter, see Appendix 4. For an extended discussion of this letter, including a timeline of the events it describes, see Washburn (2009), with brief analysis of martyrial themes at 751–3.

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main focus in this chapter, languishing in exile in the East, having been exiled, alongside Lucifer, at the Council of Milan. He had been born in Sardinia and was a member of the clergy at Rome before becoming bishop of Vercelli, a town to the west of Milan.127 After his exile in 355, he was sent first to Scythopolis in Palestine, then to Cappadocia and finally to the Thebaid, where Lucifer was also residing at the end of Constantius’ reign.128 His second letter demonstrates his self-construction as both a martyr and a fierce opponent of impious tyranny, although his focus in this text is not on the figure of the emperor himself, but instead on the ‘Arian’ priests who are cast as the main persecutors. This epistle is addressed to the clergy and laity of Vercelli and nearby towns in northern Italy and allegedly outlines his experiences at the hands of Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis.129 The letter not only describes what has happened to Eusebius there, but also narrates his difficulties in getting the letter out to his correspondents, since his lines of communication had been cut by his nefarious enemy. The veracity of this account has been defended through cross-reference to other accounts of ‘persecution’ in fourth-century authors, including Athanasius.130 My purpose here is neither to affirm nor to reject the story of Eusebius’ confinement and the treatment he received in Scythopolis. Instead, I shall concentrate on the narrative that he created to describe his time in exile, the details (real or imagined) that he included and the historical and literary comparisons that he chose to draw. The letter as a whole presents Eusebius as suffering under a persecution which is being carried out by Patrophilus and his associates, who claimed that ‘total power’ had been given to them by the emperor.131 While Daniel Washburn reads this letter as ‘another example of a larger polemical assault by Nicene bishops on the regime of Constantius’, in fact it differs from the other, more direct invectives in its treatment of the emperor.132 Unlike 127 On Eusebius’ life and career, see Jerome, De uiris illustr. 96; Pietri and Pietri (1999–2000) i 692–7; Simonetti (1975) 217–20, 371–2, 381–2, (1997); R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 507–8; Barnes (1993) 155–8; D. H. Williams (1995) 49–68; Saxer (1997); Humphries (1999) 93–4, 116–19, 129–30, 145–6. 128 As mentioned on p. 129 above, Eusebius’ presence in Scythopolis at the house of a man called Josephus is described at Epiphanius, Panarion 30.5.1. On this visit, see Washburn (2009) 747–8. On Eusebius’ exile, see Simonetti (1997) 159–62 and Pelland (1997) 247–8, both of which take Eusebius’ claims about his treatment at face value. 129 On Patrophilus, see Washburn (2009) 734–6. 130 D. H. Williams (1995) 60 concludes that ‘we have no reason to doubt the historical reliability of his report’. For a good survey of these ‘straight’ readings of the letter, see Washburn (2009) 737–9. At 743–8, Washburn also performs an acute and critical analysis of some of Eusebius’ claims about his ill-treatment, including that he was starved and isolated by his enemies. 131 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.3.2. 132 Washburn (2009) 751–3, quoting 752.

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Hilary, Athanasius and Lucifer, Eusebius does not explicitly condemn Constantius, never mentioning him except in the passing comment where the ‘persecutors’ alleged that they derived their authority and licence in this matter from Constantius. The real villain here is Patrophilus, who is said, in turn, to be under the control of the Devil.133 Eusebius’ enemies are repeatedly called ‘Ariomaniacs’, a term which was also frequently employed by both Lucifer and Athanasius.134 During the course of the account, Eusebius is twice seized by his enemies after violent irruptions into the lodgings where he is staying with his presbyters and deacons. On the first occasion, he is placed in solitary confinement and goes on hunger strike until his opponents return him to his home, which they consent to do on the fourth day. Eusebius also included within his letter a copy of the message which he wrote to Patrophilus during this period of confinement. In this he twice states that he will neither eat nor drink until his opponents have stated, both orally and in writing, that they would not exclude his brethren from visiting him. He argues that, if they do not consent to this, they ‘will become murderers by prevention’.135 He also informed them that they would not be able to claim that he had died of his own accord, since he had written letters to the orthodox so that the whole world ‘might realise what the unblemished faith … suffers at the hands of the Ariomaniacs’.136 The second violent episode was said to have been caused because his opponents became enraged at the sight of Eusebius and his associates ministering to the poor. Eusebius was seized and imprisoned with only the presbyter Tigrinus for company; some of his brethren were exiled, while others were locked up in the public prison.137 Eusebius here claims that the intention of Patrophilus and his associates was to kill him through starvation, although, after being riven by internal disagreements, they eventually allowed food to be brought to him. These details are, like many of the passages already discussed from the works of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, obviously reminiscent of scenes from earlier persecutions. Eusebius then goes on to make the comparison explicit: See, most blessed brothers, whether this is not persecution, since we, who preserve the orthodox faith, suffer these things; and consider more deeply whether this is even much worse than what was done by those 133 Washburn (2009) 739–40. 134 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2, at 3.1, 5.2, 6.5, 7.2, 8.1 and 11.2. 135 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.4.3. In this passage, Eusebius also wishes to make clear that he was not trying to commit suicide, but was instead in danger of being martyred by his captors. 136 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.5.2.  137  Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.6.2–3.

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Writing auto-hagiography who worshipped idols! Those men sent individuals into prison, but they did not prevent their own people from coming to them. How much has Satan wounded the churches through the cruelty of the Ariomaniacs! They send people into the public prison when they ought to set them free; they commit violence although they teach that one should suffer for the sake of justice; they plunder the property of others although they are taught by divine law not to try to recover what has been plundered from them; I omit to mention what great cruelty has seized possession of them, because they rejoice in temporal powers. The opportunity to see one’s own is not denied to robbers shut up in prison either by inquisitors or judges; but our people are kept away from us and, lest the devoted brothers come to us, not only are they driven off from the lodgings in which we are held, but, so that they do not approach, they are terrified by the threat of imprisonment.138

The Arians are therefore characterised as surpassing the cruelty of pagan persecutors, who, while imprisoning Christians, at least allowed them to receive visitors. The passage also picks up a theme from earlier persecution literature, in which the pagans were said to be inverting the norms of society by placing the righteous in prisons that had been built to house the worst elements of society.139 By stating that he is being treated more harshly than robbers, Eusebius continues to place his experiences within a recognisable narrative of persecution and to draw comparisons between Patrophilus and the persecuting officials recorded in martyr literature. However, this passage does not simply echo these stories; it also seeks to present the inversion of proper roles that is taking place within the Church itself. The ‘Arian churches’ are depicted as acting under the guidance of Satan and so, while they are behaving like (or more cruelly than) persecutors, they are also doing the exact opposite of their proper activities as guardians of the faith. The tricolon that depicts the Arians in this manner ascends to emphasise the ways in which they have failed. Firstly, they are described as sending people ‘into the public prison when they ought to set them free’. Moreover, in the second clause they are not merely doing the opposite of what they ought to do, but are actually contradicting their own teachings; this is not simply sinning through ignorance, but represents hypocritical viciousness. Finally, they are said to be acting in opposition to what ‘they are taught by divine law’; their disobedience is now specifically impious, a rebellion against God’s own teaching and the precepts of Scripture. The Arians are therefore characterised both as surpassing the cruelty of the pagan exempla of the persecutors and also as undermining 138 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.7.1–3. 

  See pp. 101 and 119 above.

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their own claims to be clergy through their deliberate contravention of proper Christian behaviour. In parallel with the presentation of his Arian enemies as persecutors, Eusebius also sought to promote the orthodox nature of his own circumstances and actions. In part this rested on his characterisation of the situation as persecution, which therefore placed him, like the other bishops discussed here, in the role of the confessor or martyr who suffered for his faith. In his letter to Patrophilus, he declared that he did not fear death, but that his demise at the hands of his enemies would be known and celebrated.140 Eusebius also described the situation in which he was writing the letter, stating that he was kept under a close guard and that it was very difficult to write a long letter to his friends back in Italy.141 It is notable, however, that he chose to include this detail within the letter itself. While Eusebius ostensibly offered this information in order to explain his brevity and the lack of detail concerning ‘the evils of those men by which not only have I been oppressed but also very many others of us’,142 it also served to reinforce his self-presentation as an oppressed confessor who was constantly guarded by his enemies yet was still able to reach out to his congregation and continue his religious work, just as earlier martyrs, such as Ignatius of Antioch, had done. This image of Eusebius was also bolstered by his references to biblical episodes. At the start of the letter, when describing his joy at receiving a communication from his Italian allies, he stated: ‘I discovered, most beloved brothers, that you were safe, as I hoped, and I thought that I had travelled to you, as though snatched suddenly from the most remote part of the earth, as was Habakkuk, who was borne by the angel all the way to Daniel.’143 This was a reference to Bel and the Dragon, in which an angel came to the prophet Habakkuk, who was preparing a meal, and transported him to Babylon so that he might deliver sustenance to Daniel in the lions’ den.144 Eusebius thus cast himself in the role of Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet who complained of the impiety and iniquity of the people and who was assured by God that divine vengeance would be suffered by all those who commit evil. By using this story, Eusebius also presented the role played by his own letter(s) as similar to the food delivered by Habakkuk to Daniel. His words to the faithful, suffering as

140 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.5.2.  141  Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.9–10. 142 Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.9.1.  143  Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.1.3. 144 Bel and the Dragon 33–9.

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they were in this time of persecution, were sustenance which had been conveyed to them through divine aid. Eusebius’ enemies also stood in stark contrast to the orthodox, as illustrated by another biblical allusion: ‘But just as those evil elders, who sought to violate the chastity of Susanna, did not rejoice, so these men, who try to subjugate the Church to their faithlessness with various persecutions and great pressure, will also not rejoice forever: for the holy Daniel said to those men: Fearing thus the daughters of Israel lay with you.’145 The apocryphal History of Susanna recounts the tale of the beautiful and pious Susanna, who refused the advances of two wicked elders. Angered at the rebuff, they falsely accused her of adultery and secured a conviction, at which point Daniel was inspired to speak out against them, interrogate them individually and uncover their lies. Susanna was absolved, Daniel was revered and the two men were sentenced to death. Eusebius unambiguously linked biblical and contemporary events, arguing not only that the Arians had sought to violate the orthodox Church in the manner of the elders trying to persuade Susanna, but also that the same fate awaited both sets of sinners. The scriptural quotation, which was ascribed to Daniel, illustrates one of Eusebius’ central arguments that Arianism only succeeded through fear and that Christians should resist the threats of heretics, despite privations and ill treatment.146 By drawing on this particular story, Eusebius simultaneously took on the roles of both Susanna and Daniel. On the one hand, he was notable for standing up for his beliefs in the face of persecution and was willing to suffer death rather than to submit to threats;147 on the other, through his promulgation of his story, he also acted as Daniel, revealing the trickery and lies of the impious and so seeking to stop them from causing further harm. It is notable that both of the biblical allusions that are woven into this letter are taken from additions to the Book of Daniel that are found in the Septuagint. By drawing on these texts, Eusebius caused his readers to bring the story of Daniel to mind when contemplating his situation, as well as that of other supporters of Nicene theology during this period. Eusebius presented himself as Daniel in the Book of Susanna, but he also cast his congregation in the same role when he employed the story of Habakkuk from Bel and the Dragon, since they were the recipients of his assistance during their time of trouble. The readers were therefore invited to see the actions of Daniel, Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.8.2, quoting Susanna 57. See especially Eus. Verc. Ep. 2.7–8. 147   See Susanna 22–3, where she weighs up the options available to her.

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Susanna and Habakkuk, pious and celebrated opponents of idolatry, violation and mendacity, as being replayed now that God’s people were once again suffering under persecution.148 Even before he had been sent into exile, Eusebius was praised in a similar fashion in a letter sent to him by Lucifer and his two associates, the presbyter Pancratius and the deacon Hilarius, in which the three men urged the bishop to attend the Council of Milan in 355.149 The epistle opens with typical Luciferian language, proclaiming that ‘the Devil’s head and his depraved ideas have been trampled underfoot’,150 before urging Eusebius to hurry to the council and help defeat the Arians. Lucifer then turned to a biblical reference in order to heap praise on Eusebius: ‘For the Lord and His Christ know that, just as, at the arrival of the most blessed apostles, the name of God is exalted in the overthrow of Simon, so in the same way, with [bishop] Valens having been expelled at your arrival, the dissolute trickery of the blasphemous Arians may be destroyed completely.’151 Once again, roles are given to the protagonists, with Eusebius acting in the manner of the apostles Philip, Peter and John, who drove away the irreligious Simon Magus.152 Valens of Mursa, who is here imagined as being put to flight by the anticipated arrival of Eusebius at the 148 Similar self-presentation can be seen in Eusebius’ third letter, composed after the Council of Ariminum in 359, in which he wrote to Gregory, bishop of Elvira, to thank him for his correspondence and to praise him for avoiding those transgressors who had decided to agree to a creed other than the Nicene, in which category Ossius of Cordoba was placed. Eusebius referred to himself, at 2.1, as ‘labouring in our third exile’, which means his third place of exile since the Council of Milan, rather than his third period of exile, as is the case when discussing Athanasius. He also complained that the Arians placed all their hope in the earthly kingdom and so ignored Scripture, before quoting a pair of biblical passages (from Jeremiah 17.5 and Psalms 124.8 [123.8 LXX]) which proclaimed that the accursed did precisely this, while the righteous placed their faith in God. Eusebius then went on to use the language of persecution and to proclaim the eternal benefits that he would receive in return for his experiences: ‘We want to endure in sufferings so that, following what is written, we might be exalted in the kingdom [sc. of heaven].’ For a translation of this letter, as well as the debate over its authenticity, see Appendix 4. 149 Diercks (1978) xi; D. H. Williams (1995) 56–7. Williams argues that Eusebius had attended the council, departed, and was being asked to return. This conclusion is, however, based on his reading of the letter (at 56) as saying ‘after Valens was repulsed at your coming, the scheme of the Arian blasphemy was thwarted and destroyed from within’. In fact, this passage states that Valens and the Arians would be overthrown if Eusebius were to come to the council, so there is no need to assume that the letter was written between two periods of attendance – see Appendix 3 for a translation, as well as the comments at Simonetti (1997) 170–2. References to the Epistula Luciferi, Pancratii et Hilarii cite line numbers following Diercks (1978) 319. 150 Ep. Lucif., Pan. et Hil. 5. 151 Ep. Lucif., Pan. et Hil. 8–12: scit enim dominus et Christus eius quia, sicut in aduentu beatissimorum apostolorum glorificatur dei nomen in ruina Simonis, ita Valente expulso in aduentu tuo dissoluta blasphemantium Arrianorum machina penitus destruatur. 152 Acts 8:5–24. See p. 30 on Simon Magus as the archetypal heretic.

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council, is now compared with Simon, who was cowed and driven away by Peter’s invective. Here the balancing of the sentence and the repetition of the word aduentus draw a very clear parallel between the biblical episode and the power ascribed to Eusebius’ presence at the council. The moment of Eusebius’ appearance was presented as a dramatic, public scene, an aduentus, which, like Athanasius’ entry into Alexandria in his History of the Arians, would produce a powerful effect on the audience, spreading orthodoxy and vanquishing heresy through the ceremonial arrival of a figure of great authority.153 In these letters, Eusebius both presented himself and was presented by others as an imitator of biblical paradigms and more recently persecuted Christians. Unlike the self-constructions of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, this rhetoric did not focus on the relationship between bishop and emperor, portraying it as analogous to that between Old Testament prophet and impious Jewish king, or martyr and pagan governor. Instead, Eusebius chose to assail his more immediate enemies, casting them as the protagonists in this narrative of renewed attacks on God’s chosen people. His techniques, however, like those of the other three bishops, relied heavily on the recognisable words of Scripture and tropes of martyr literature, positioning himself within a long tradition of fearless opposition to impious authority. The claims to parrhesia made by these authors were not confined to the episodes they related or the analogies to earlier individuals and events contained within their narratives: the very composition and promulgation of their texts played an integral part in creating their public images as opponents of tyrannical persecution. By the act of abusing and rebuking a living emperor or his subordinates through a polemical inversion of panegyrical techniques, albeit in works probably circulated among a relatively small group of supporters, these bishops contributed to the images of themselves as confessors and martyrs within the texts. Lucifer and Hilary both addressed Constantius directly in the second person in their tracts, as though actually recounting speeches delivered to the emperor himself, and Athanasius depicted Ossius as performing the same fearless act; Athanasius’ portrait of the emperor and Eusebius’ description of Arians were both phrased in similarly violent terms within a wider narrative of the authors’ own actions and suffering. Moreover, after Constantius’ death, these texts could enjoy much wider circulation and so play a major

  On Athanasius’ aduentus, see pp. 121–3 above.

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role in creating the narratives of these individuals as brave opponents of persecution and heresy. These texts therefore functioned in the same manner as the confrontations between persecuting officials and fearless confessors within martyr literature: they became extended versions of the martyr’s speech, in which he or she entered into theological dialogue with their tormentors and professed their willingness to die for their beliefs. As such, they were displays of parrhesia in themselves, reinforcing the descriptions of other displays of parrhesia that they contained. Previously, such stories had been promulgated after the martyr’s death by their supporters, who recorded and embellished their deeds and words.154 Athanasius, Hilary, Lucifer and Eusebius took the novel step of composing these accounts themselves. In doing so, they followed the classical tradition of self-aggrandisement exemplified by the writings of Cicero, Pliny and Dio Chrysostom, who recounted their lives as narratives of opposition to autocracy. However, their texts marked a clear departure from this model: they employed the exclusively Christian imagery of martyrdom to construct a model for episcopal behaviour in a blend of autobiography and hagiography. For them, the concept of parrhesia/libertas, terms explicitly used by Athanasius and Hilary in this context, was not to be associated exclusively with philosophical resistance or court patronage, but also applied to the revered actions of Christian martyrs and their authoritative, episcopal heirs. Lu c i f e r a n d m a rt y r d o m

As seen above, these techniques were used by a number of Christian writers in order to stake their claims to martyrial authority. They did, however, find their most extensive and elaborate employment in Lucifer’s tract Moriundum esse pro dei filio.155 The Sardinian bishop devoted this entire piece to constructing an image of himself as a martyr by echoing the situations and language found in earlier martyr literature, dwelling on his own parrhesia and fearlessness when facing imminent death. This was most prominent in his redeployment of pertinent passages from Lactantius and Cyprian, breaking down the barriers between past and present by 154 One possible example of a martyr writing up their own acta is the ‘diary’ of Perpetua, on which see pp. 164–6 below. Even if the core of this text is a genuine first-hand account, it was framed, expanded and circulated by at least one later redactor, in contrast to the authorial control exercised by the bishops discussed here. 155 On Lucifer’s image of himself as a martyr in this text, see also Simonetti (2001) 13; Laconi (1992), (2001b) 49, (2004) 142–82; Marin (2001); Pizzani (2001) 231–44.

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describing both sets of events using the same words. Much of his discussion dwelt on martyrdom as an extreme form of imitatio Christi, which entitled the martyr to an exalted status.156 Lucifer exhorted his readers to assume this role – ‘let us embrace the instructions of His blessed apostle and seek to be recognised as imitators and allies of Him’157 – adding later that ‘we know that martyrdom is an individual imitation of the Lord’s courage’.158 In contrast, Constantius was described as an imitator of Judas and the Jews, held responsible for the betrayal and death of Jesus.159 Through these particular references, Lucifer reiterated the importance of the martyr as the imitator of Christ, brought closer to him by re-enacting his suffering. By creating such an image, Lucifer also presented himself as its fulfilment, the confessor who bravely prepared himself for martyrdom in a manner eminently recognisable to his audience. Even though most of the earliest acta purported to be descriptions of the deeds and words of martyrs by observers, the authors of these texts nonetheless laid claim to authority as the narrators and recorders of such significant events. As Kate Cooper has argued: The voice of the author and the voice of the martyr are often difficult to distinguish from one another; in general, this is the author’s intention. The martyr’s acutely embodied and gendered performance establishes him or her as the bearer of a supremely authoritative voice, one which lends its power to the anonymous writer as a sharer in the martyr’s truth.160

The author therefore became part of the story, a witness to the witnesses, whose words, like Scripture, were read, recited and revered by the faithful. Lucifer, by employing this rhetoric of persecution to transform his experiences into his own account of his own pious act of witness, combined these roles of martyr and author to become the narrator of his own martyr act.161 This autobiographical perspective did have a famous and influential antecedent in martyr literature: the ‘diary’ sequences in the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas.162 This first-person narrative of the events leading 156 See pp. 148–50 above; Laconi (1992) 474. 157 Moriundum v.75–6.  158  Moriundum ix.33–4. 159 Moriundum ii.12, xi.71–2. The terms imitatio and imitator are also used by Lucifer to describe Constantius’ relationship to earlier persecutors in De regibus viii.53, xii.2; De Ath. I xx.10, xxv.12; De Ath. II xx.30; De non conu. v.58; De non parc. i.33, viii.3, xxi.12. 160 Cooper (1998) 148. 161 Lucifer’s arguments have not impressed all readers – see, for example, Frend (1965) 559: ‘There is no theory of martyrdom in Lucifer, only the lengthy assertion of its necessity in face of an impious tyrant.’ 162 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 3–10. This is probably the martyr act that has been the subject of the most intense modern scholarship, in part because of Perpetua’s unusual position both as a

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up to Perpetua’s death dwells upon the young woman’s relationship with her family, as well as recounting her visions, the most famous of which saw her transformed into a male gladiator fighting in the arena. This central portion of the text is framed by the words of an editor, who provides an account of Perpetua’s martyrdom, along with those of her companions Felicitas and Saturus. This bracketing has sometimes been regarded as evidence of the ‘institutional Church’ subsuming and arrogating the experiences of a charismatic female figure, with a male editor controlling the text ‘in such a way that the reader enters it, and exits from it, through his interpretations, through his words’.163 Whether or not this text provides evidence for a battle between ‘institutional’ and ‘charismatic’ elements within early Christianity, it is clear that ‘Perpetua’s diary’, even though it did not describe her actual death, but merely looked forward to it, quickly became a celebrated martyr account and a model for many later acta.164 The text of the diary sequence itself also constructs the importance and authority of Perpetua as a martyr, fearlessly confronting the proconsul with her refusal to sacrifice.165 Despite the claims of Brent Shaw that ‘Perpetua’s diary’ was a ‘simple and bare record of a human experience’ before it was appropriated by an editor with greater literary and theological pretensions, it is clear that it contained elements of self-construction designed to fortify the audience’s conception of Perpetua as a martyr worthy of reverence.166 Elizabeth Castelli, in a discussion of ‘self-writing’ in both this text and other persecution literature of the period, describes the practice as ‘a commanding and, indeed, masterful attempt by each writer to maintain control over their own textual and interpretive destiny, even as they surrender themselves’.167 In one of her visions, Perpetua saw a ladder bristling with sharp, dangerous objects and guarded by a large dragon; she nevertheless trampled the beast underfoot and ascended to heaven in a passage echoing biblical paradigms.168 She was then greeted by a host of thousands female author and as a female martyr, along with her gender-swapping vision, and in part because of its claim to be a first-hand account. On this text, see Sardella (1990); Halporn (1991); Shaw (1993); Bowersock (1995) 32–4, 51; Cooper (1998); E. A. Castelli (2004) 85–92 (including an extensive bibliography); and the collection of essays in Bremmer and Formisano (2012). 163 Shaw (1993) 30–3, quoting 31. 164 Musurillo (1972) xxv–xxvii; Shaw (1993) 15–16. 165 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 6.1–7. 166 Shaw (1993) 30. 167 E. A. Castelli (2004) 69–103, quoting 103. The other texts discussed here are Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Romans and the Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions. 168 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 4.3–7. Musurillo (1972) 111 nn. 5–7 identifies three biblical parallels in this passage: Genesis 28:12 for the ladder to heaven; Revelation 12:3 for the dragon; Genesis 3:15 for trampling the dragon (although there are many examples of trampling enemies underfoot

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dressed in white and a man in the garb of a shepherd, who welcomed her and offered her milk to drink.169 This vision of heavenly baptism, combined with the biblical allusions, ascribed to Perpetua a divinely sanctioned authority. In another vision, Perpetua saw her disfigured brother Dinocrates, who had died in childhood, in a state of suffering: ‘I had faith that I could bring relief to his hardship’, she recalled, and, having prayed repeatedly, she was rewarded with another vision of Dinocrates, now healed of his facial wounds.170 Claudia Rapp has identified this text as ‘one of the most interesting and touching documents of the self-fashioning of martyrs’, arguing that Perpetua here claimed for herself the intercessory power of a confessor, thereby contributing to the growth of martyrial authority within Christian communities.171 While I do not want to argue for any direct borrowings from this text in Lucifer’s self-presentation, the story of Perpetua provides a notable precedent for his creation of a martyrial persona by a living author, rather than an observer, and finds a number of parallels in the Sardinian bishop’s diatribe. The remainder of this section will, therefore, explore Lucifer’s deployment of terms and tropes from martyr literature, as well as passages from Lactantius and Cyprian, in an attempt to establish his authority. One of the most prominent borrowings made by Lucifer from martyr literature was the topos of confrontation with the Roman authorities. He invented passages of dialogue between himself and Constantius in which he cast himself in the role of the noble confessor, forced to deny his Christianity or be killed.172 One striking aspect of this portrayal was the use of the phrase Christianus sum. This simple and powerful statement of faith was a common feature of Latin martyr acts, particularly those from North Africa.173 In the brief exchange between the procurator Hilarianus in the Bible, including Isaiah 63:3; Lamentations 1:15; Psalms 91:13 [90:13 LXX]). The image of trampling the head reappeared in Perpetua’s final vision, in which she trampled the head of her opponent in the arena, and this is again recalled in the editor’s account of her martyrdom – Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 10.11, 18.7. 169 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 4.8–9. 170 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 7–8, quoting 7.9. 171 Rapp (2005) 87–8, quoting 87. 172 See Gustafson (1994) 128–53 on the importance of these exchanges to Lucifer’s works. Gustafson also speculates that some of the ‘quotations’ might record the substance (or even the actual details) of real conversations between Lucifer and Constantius. 173 This Latin phrase (or its female equivalent) is uttered by martyrs under interrogation in Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 3.2, 6.4; Acts of Cyprian 1.2; Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs 9, 10, 13; Martyrdom of Fructuosus and his Deacons Augurius and Eulogius 2.3; Acts of Maximilian 1.2, 1.3, 2.6, 2.8, 2.9; Acts of Marcellus 2.1; Martyrdom of Julius the Veteran 1.4. Bremmer (1991) 16 n. 13 provides an extensive list of examples of this phrase (and the Greek cognate Χριστιανός εἰμι) in martyr acts, commenting that it was a form of self-definition particularly associated with martyrs and that it

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and Perpetua in the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas, Perpetua only spoke twice: once to proclaim non facio when encouraged to sacrifice and once to confirm her status with the words Christiana sum.174 Similarly, when her father attempted to sway her and make her renounce her faith, she dismissed him simply by stating that she was Christiana, which caused him to be ‘defeated along with the Devil’s arguments’.175 Tertullian, when chastising pagans for inflicting persecutions, also complained that ‘The man cries out “I am a Christian”. He says to you what he is, but you want to hear what he is not.’176 For Tertullian, as for the authors and readers of martyr acts, this phrase was the unmistakable cry of the martyr. Lucifer therefore portrayed himself as bravely facing Constantius as a martyr and simply stating Christianus sum, rather than putting forward the complex arguments of a theological dispute, while the emperor was presented as a diabolically inspired tyrant, demanding: ‘Deny that you are Christians.’177 Later on, Lucifer invented another passage of dialogue, addressing Constantius with the same authoritative phrase.178 The emperor, in contrast, was made to reply: ‘Deny the Son of God, or the uirtus of my rule will destroy you.’179 This statement both echoed the commands of persecuting officials in martyr literature and sarcastically undermined the claims to virtuous rule which were central to imperial rhetoric. Panegyrics regularly celebrated the piety and virtue of the emperor, while moralising legislation often proclaimed a return to traditional Roman virtue as the justification for action, including the suppression of religious groups deemed subversive.180 Lucifer’s fictional Constantius therefore erred in the manner of other persecuting emperors, including the Tetrarchs, by believing that attacking Christians was an act of virtuous piety.181 This dialogue was followed by a declaration of the bishop’s fearless attitude to martyrdom, before describing the punishments suffered by John the Baptist and appears in all but two of the early acta that he examines. See also Laconi (2004) 145 n. 167. On the use of this phrase and the role of direct speech in martyr acta in general, see Elliott (1987) 20–6. Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 6.4. 175 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 3.2–3. On the shocking nature of this Christian rejection of Roman familial links in preference for membership of the community of the faithful, see Cooper (2009) 191–2. 176 Tert. Apol. 2.13.  177  Moriundum ii.42–8. 178 Moriundum xi.64. See Gustafson (1994) 151–2; Laconi (2004) 145. 179 Moriundum xi.66–7. uirtus can be translated as both ‘virtue’ and ‘power’ or ‘strength’. 180 On panegyrics, see pp. 97–8 above. This rhetorical of moral renewal was often employed under the Tetrarchy – on its use in the Tetrarchic Letter on the Manichees, see Corcoran (2000) 135–6, Z. Watts (2006) 146–54. 181 This topic is the subject of much of Book 5 of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes. For Lucifer’s use of this text, see p. 115 n. 166. 174

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the apostles James, John, Peter and Paul.182 Lucifer then claimed: ‘But you Constantius, temporary emperor, have been enslaved by Arian idolatry and say “I gnash my teeth in my resurgent madness and desire your death; be afraid and become apostates with me”.’183 This self-presentation as a martyr included a series of descriptions of the many possible ways that he might be killed. The death of the martyr, usually in a public execution, was a seemingly paradoxical event: a gruesome demise recast in literature as a spiritual triumph.184 In the account of the executions that followed the ‘diary’ section of the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas, the author announced that ‘the day of their victory dawned and they proceeded from the prison to the amphitheatre with a noble expression, rejoicing as if going to heaven; if they were shaking, then it was with joy, not fear’.185 Lucifer claimed that the actions of Constantius were the continuation of a persecution narrative, with this scene being replayed across the empire, thus producing a new batch of martyrs whose deaths at the hands of a Christian emperor nonetheless deserved to receive this holy designation. He therefore informed Constantius that ‘you committed the greatest massacre in Alexandria, you ripped apart other individuals throughout the whole world, you destroyed those who were resisting you in many different locations; but, even though you are loath to hear it, they are all martyrs’.186 Not all martyrs died in public, however, and Lucifer was keen to emphasise that the manner of his death did not affect his authoritative position, stating that even if he did not suffer a public execution, he would still earn ‘the eternal glory of the blessed martyrs’.187 He therefore confronted his ‘interlocutor’ Constantius with the argument that ‘it matters for what cause, not from what tree, I hang’.188 Lucifer thus sought commemoration as a martyr, even if he died in an exile imposed by Constantius, rather than through any act of judicial violence ordered by the emperor. Lucifer’s predictions of his own martyrdom were often expanded into near-pornographic, violent fantasies speculating about the many and 182 Moriundum xi.67–77. 183 Moriundum xi.88–90. The description of Constantius as a ‘temporary emperor’, which also appears at Moriundum vi.4–5, contrasts the emperor’s fleeting, earthly authority with the eternal, heavenly authority of God. 184 Potter (1993); Cooper (1998) especially 148–52; E. A. Castelli (2004) 119–26. 185 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 18.1. On athletic imagery in martyr literature, see pp. 153–4 above. 186 Moriundum ii.6–8. 187 Moriundum xiii.57–62, quoting 59. Examples of martyrs who died away from the public gaze, usually in prison, can be found in The Martyrs of Lyons; Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas 14; Martyrdom of Montanus and Lucius 2; Letter of Phileas (Greek recension). 188 Moriundum xiii.62–3.

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varied ways in which he might be tortured and executed.189 These disturbing visions, placing great emphasis on the physical sufferings of the condemned, followed the trend set by earlier martyr literature. Graphic accounts of brutal torture both appalled and titillated the audience, allowing them to relive the martyr’s suffering through ‘a sacred pornography of cruelty’.190 In particular, Lucifer’s graphic imagery and sense of impatience were reminiscent of the early second-century bishop Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote to the Roman church about his own impending martyrdom, stating that he looked forward to ‘fire and the cross and packs of wild animals, dissections, dismemberments, scatterings of bones, severing of limbs, grindings of the whole body’.191 A display of such fearlessness and even joy at his destruction for the sake of the faith presented Ignatius to his audience(s) as an imitator of Christ and an authoritative figure who spurned earthly pleasures and suffering in preference for eternal, heavenly rewards. Lucifer similarly regularly announced his willingness to die and, in one of his more extensive passages, proclaimed that: .

it makes absolutely no difference how I meet my end, whether you kill me with a nail or a lance, with my hands tied back behind my back or spread and stretched out, whether I am bent over or upright and raised high; it does not matter whether you kill me sleeping in my bed, whether you cut my neck with a sword while I am standing or shear my head off with an axe, whether you fix me to a stake or a cross, whether you roast me with fire or bury me alive, whether you cast me from a rock or submerge me in the sea, whether, having endeavoured with a labandago and great forces, you propel my head far from my body with one enormous blow, or whether you trifle with my body, piercing it for a long time with an arrow sharper than all sharpness; even though your cruelty devises a hundred thousand different forms of execution, the death that you inflict from any of them will bring me nothing except immortality.192

This great catalogue of methods of capital punishment not only enumerates the myriad forms of Roman judicial violence but also surveys with it the annals of martyrdom, reminding its readers of individual celebrated deaths from the recent Christian past.193 By using exaggerated language 189 On Lucifer’s vocabulary of torture, see Laconi (2004) 149–50. 190 Hopkins (1999) 114. 191 Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans 5.3. See also Grig (2004) 17–18; E. A. Castelli (2004) 78–85. 192 Moriundum xiv.4–16. The term labandago is a hapax legomenon and the identity of this gruesome apparatus remains a mystery. 193 While damnatio ad bestias is missing from this list, a detailed description of it follows shortly afterwards at Moriundum xiv.18–23.

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and details familiar from earlier accounts of martyrdom, Lucifer enriched his self-presentation as suffering in the same manner as the revered and venerated martyrs, and perhaps even surpassing them. Lucifer’s reuse of passages from Lactantius and Cyprian in his Moriundum esse pro dei filio also made a significant contribution to his self-construction as a confessor and martyr. As discussed in Chapter 2, the employment of this authoritative persecution literature, often almost verbatim, allowed Lucifer to place Constantius (and the opposition to him) within a ‘martyrial present’.194 Just as he recycled these laudatory accounts of Christian bravery to present Constantius as the latest and worst example of an anti-Christian tyrant, so Lucifer also assumed for himself the role of the persecuted hero. Lactantius, in a passage on true virtue and the value of persecution, had praised the Christians who prized constancy and bravery, especially when confronted by violent autocracy: nullos cruciatus, nullam mortem recusant … qui non tyrannicas iussiones, non praesidum gladios tremunt. They do not refuse any punishments or any death … they do not tremble at tyrannical orders or the swords of officials.195

Lucifer made only minor emendations before incorporating this phrase into his own work, proudly stating that: Christiani nullos cruciatos nullamue mortem recusamus; non tyrannicas tuas iussiones, non iudicum tuorum gladios tremere possumus. We Christians do not refuse any punishments or any death; we cannot tremble at your tyrannical orders or the swords of your judges.196

Here Lucifer applied this Lactantian praise to himself, as someone who fitted this model of the brave martyr, freed from fear and possessing the parrhesia to speak the truth to emperors. Similarly, Lactantius had described the force and robustness of virtue: agitata enim malis quatientibus stabilitatem capit et quanto frequenter impellitur, tanto firmiter roboratur Shaken by buffeting evils, it acquires stability and however often it is struck, so much more firmly is it strengthened.197

Lucifer took this passage and changed the subject from virtue to himself: 194 See pp. 115–17 above.  196 Moriundum viii.33–5. 

  Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.13.17.   Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.7.9.

195

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malis tuis quatientibus non frangamur quantoque uarie continua crudelitate uexamur, tanto firmiter roboremur We are not broken by your buffeting evils and, however variedly we are tormented by your continual cruelty, so much more firmly are we strengthened.198

Just as he had attacked Constantius for imitating the villains described by Lactantius, Lucifer here employed Lactantian praise of virtue to create a eulogy to himself as the physical embodiment of that virtue. Lactantius had also praised the exercise of psychic virtues: hic uerus est cultus, in quo mens colentis se ipsam deo inmaculatam uictimam sistit This is the true worship, in which the mind of the worshipper offers itself as an immaculate victim for God.199

Lucifer, however, framed this within his own version of Christian virtue, which placed greater emphasis on physical suffering: non doloribus uulnerum, non ictibus quaestionum frangamur, sed potius erigamur; hic uerus est dei cultus, in quo mentes colentium se ipsas deo inmaculatas uictimas sistunt Rather than being broken by the agonies of our wounds or the blows of interrogation, we are exalted instead. This is the true worship of God, in which the minds of the worshippers offer themselves as immaculate victims for God.200

Lucifer thus reworked Lactantius’ paradigmatic descriptions of bravery and nobility, exemplified by the actions of the martyrs, to create an episcopal ideal that he himself fulfilled. Lucifer also employed certain of Cyprian’s letters, relying most heavily on four which were either addressed to confessors and martyrs or contained extensive discussion of their plight.201 Lucifer adapted these, like the other texts, to present himself as a brave confessor and martyr in the face of Constantius’ vicious persecution, and thus as an imitator of the Christians discussed by Cyprian. This is particularly evident in his reuse of a Cyprianic passage discussing Cornelius of Rome’s defiance of the persecuting emperor Decius’ executioners: 198 Moriundum ii.56–8. See Pizzani (2001) 238–9. 199 Lact. Diu. Inst. 6.2.13. 200   Moriundum xii.16–19, also incorporating a phrase from [Cyprian], Laus Mart. 25. 201 Cyprian, Ep. 6, 10, 55, 58. He also used a single short passage from Ep. 37.

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Writing auto-hagiography tantum temporis sedit expectans corporis sui carnifices et tyranni ferocientis ultores, qui Cornelium aduersus edicta feralia resistentem et minas et cruciatus et tormenta fidei uigore calcantem uel gladio inuaderent uel crucifigerent uel igne torrerent uel quolibet inaudito genere poenarum uiscera eius et membra laniarent. For he [Cornelius] sat at that time waiting for the butchers of his own body and the executioners of the ferocious tyrant to slaughter with the sword or crucify or scorch with fire or hack at his bowels and limbs through some form of punishment as yet unknown, inflicting these on Cornelius who was resisting monstrous edicts and trampling threats and tortures and torments through the power of faith.202

Lucifer employed this passage almost verbatim, making only subtle changes in order to transform it into a narrative of his struggle with Constantius: expectantes denique sumus momentis omnibus super ista quae iam intulisti tormenta adhuc addas constituendo saeuiores carnifices, ferociores ultores, qui deuotos deo milites aduersus edicta feralia tua resistentes, quo minas et cruciatus et tormenta fidei uigore per dei misericordiam calcemus, possint uel gladio inuadere uel crucifigere uel igni torrere uel quolibet inaudito genere poenarum uiscera nostra ac membra laniare. In fact, on top of those tortures you have already inflicted, at every moment we wait for you still to add to them by appointing more savage butchers, more ferocious executioners, who can slaughter with the sword or crucify or scorch with fire or hack at our bowels and limbs through some form of punishment as yet unknown, inflicting these on the soldiers who are devoted to God and who resist your monstrous edicts, so that we trample your threats and tortures and torments through the power of faith and the compassion of God.203

In deploying such an extensive passage in this manner, Lucifer presented himself as an imitator and successor of Cornelius, bravely confronting identical tortures inflicted by an identical tyrant. Lucifer even reused Cyprian’s famous praise of the importance of Cornelius and the Roman see, in which he had claimed that Decius: multo patientius et tolerabilius audiret leuari aduersus se aemulum principem quam constitui Romae dei sacerdotem. would be able to hear with greater patience and tolerance that a rival emperor was being raised up against him than that a priest of God was established at Rome.204 202 Cyprian, Ep. 55.9.2. 

  Moriundum ix.14–21. 

203

  Cyprian, Ep. 55.9.1.

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Lucifer stated that Constantius continued in his crimes against the Sardinian bishop and his allies because: multo tolerabilius audire semper desiderans fueris ac sis aduersum te aemulos surgere principes quam Christum dei filium confitentes existere uictores you have always preferred and still would prefer to hear with greater tolerance that rival emperors are rising up against you than that victors stand firm, confessing that Christ is the Son of God.205

Cyprian’s image of Cornelius, the bishop with the power to make emperors tremble, had been replaced by Lucifer’s image of himself as a powerful champion of Nicene theology, proclaiming the true relationship between the Father and the Son. In Cyprian’s account, these acts of bravery demonstrated that Cornelius was ‘to be commended with the highest testimony of virtue and faith’ and thus ‘to be esteemed among the glorious confessors and martyrs’.206 Cornelius died in exile at Centumcellae in 253 and is traditionally regarded as a martyr, being described as such on his tombstone.207 Lucifer, by using Cyprian’s words to cast himself as a new Cornelius, sought to arrogate to himself the same revered status amongst his contemporaries, even if he were only to suffer exile rather than execution. The text entitled On the Glory of Martyrdom, traditionally attributed to Cyprian but now regarded as spurious, offered Lucifer further possibilities for self-promotion.208 Unlike Lactantius’ Divine Institutes, which contained both praise of martyrs and criticism of officials, this short text was much more concerned with the persecuted than the persecutors. It is, as the title suggests, an extended eulogy of martyrs, extolling their virtue and promoting martyrdom as an unquestionable route to heaven. It is therefore unsurprising that On the Glory of Martyrdom featured heavily in Lucifer’s self-construction. Some readers of Lucifer might have recognised these passages as the words of an authoritative bishop and martyr from the third-century persecutions; others would still have been familiar with the sentiments expressed and would have perceived them as drawing on regular tropes of martyr literature. Lucifer, therefore, employed this text to present himself as identical to earlier martyrs, including Cyprian himself. Marcello Marin, while arguing that Lucifer’s selective employment of this text simplified and diluted the force of its portrayal of martyrdom,

205 Moriundum ix.7–10.  206  Cyprian, Ep. 55.9.2. 207 ICUR iv.9367.  208  See pp. 116–17 above.

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described his literary activity as ‘l’utilizzazione di significativi scritti “martiriali”, ripresi letteralmente, minutissimamente rimescolati, parzialmente rielaborati in un personale impasto espressivo’.209 The pseudo-Cyprianiac text claimed that: mors quippe integriorem facit uitam, mors magis deducit ad gloriam For death makes life more complete, death leads away rather to glory.210

This passage received only minor emendation by Lucifer. He addressed Constantius with the Pauline instruction to ‘open the eyes of your heart’, so that: inuenies quod mors tua fragili inlata potestate integriorem reparet uitam, quod haec magis nos deducat ad gloriam per ignes, per gladios, per catenas ac feras, per quidquid denique rabies tua piissimi imperatoris in nostram censuerit ingerere necem You will find that the death which you inflict through your flimsy power actually remakes life more complete, that it leads us away rather to glory, through fires, through swords, through chains and wild beasts, through whatever your madness, most pious emperor, will choose finally as the instrument of our murder.211

As elsewhere, Lucifer altered and updated the earlier passage to refer to his own times, incorporating verbs and possessive adjectives into the text so that it discussed himself and Constantius, as well as adding more speculations about possible forms of execution and an ironic term of praise.212 Lucifer took these general statements about the power of martyrdom and recontextualised them within a narrative of his conflict with Constantius. Elsewhere, pseudo-Cyprian had described the rewards awaiting martyrs, proclaiming: sanguini nostro patet caelum, sanguini gehennae cedit habitaculum Heaven is opened by our blood and the dwelling-place of Gehenna gives way to our blood.213

Lucifer reproduced this passage with a few minor changes that placed even greater emphasis on the martyr’s sacrifice. These words were then deployed 209 Marin (2001), quoting 168.  210  [Cyprian], Laus Mart. 7. 211 Moriundum iv.56–60. The instruction, at iv.54, is taken from Ephesians 1:18 and also appears at iv.37–8. 212 On Lucifer’s comments concerning Constantius’ lack of piety, see pp. 115–17 above. 213 [Cyprian], Laus Mart. 9.

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by him within the context of a passage expounding the impotence of Constantius’ persecution: ad extinguendos nos malo prauoque consilio erigeris ac tu es uelox ad effundendum dei unici filii seruorum cruorem, ignorans quod sanguine nostro patefiat caelum, sanguine nostro gehennae extinguatur ardor An evil and depraved policy drives you to extinguish us, and you are swift to spill the blood of the servants of God’s only Son, not knowing that heaven is laid open by our blood and the fires of Gehenna are extinguished by our blood.214

In this narrative, Constantius had failed precisely because he was ignorant of the significance of martyrdom. A little later, Lucifer questioned the emperor’s promotion of heresy, asking ‘Why do you think you can dislodge the truth, ignoring the fact that it is strong by its own power?’215 This was an allusion to a passage in Lactantius which states plainly that ‘the truth is strong by its own power’.216 Constantius was here presented as failing to recognise, and be guided by, a piece of religious knowledge, and therefore also as unsuitable to be regarded as a legitimate Christian emperor; instead, he attacked the followers of true religion, not even realising that he was the latest in a long line of persecutors, doomed always to lose. In contrast, the text regularly claims that Lucifer ‘knows’ or ‘understands’ proper Christian behaviour, some aspects of which are taken, like the examples of Constantius’ ignorance, from these earlier texts.217 As discussed above, it is unclear whether Lucifer’s readers would have recognised these passages as modified quotations. If they did, then they could join the author in a fellowship of Christian learning where they were invited both to acknowledge Lucifer as well-educated in martyr literature and to exclude the emperor for his lack of religious erudition. However, those Christians who failed to spot Lucifer’s literary borrowings were nonetheless incorporated into his community of shared understanding. The emphasis on the significance of martyrdom would have been recognisable, 214 Moriundum vi.6–9. Laconi (1998) 70 suggests reading ac erectus es in place of Diercks’ ac tu es. Ugenti (1980) 57 retains the standard reading of actus es, which seems to me to be inferior to either of the other recent suggestions. On this passage, see also Marin (2001) 164–5. 215 Moriundum vii.15–16.  216  Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.13.1. 217 See, for example, Moriundum vi.44–6: ‘For we know that great is the glory, immense the exaltation and unique the sanctity that adorn the life of eternal salvation through the honour of suffering’ using [Cyprian], Laus Mart. 12: ‘For great is the glory, most beloved brothers, that adorns the life of eternal salvation through the honour of suffering’; or Moriundum xi.42–3: ‘We know that religion must be defended not by killing, but by dying for God’ using Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.19.22: ‘Religion must be defended not by killing, but by dying’.

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even if the individual statements were being inculcated here for the first time. Whether or not their specific textual origins were recognised, these ideas were deployed by Lucifer as tokens of his own orthodoxy and adherence to the martyr tradition, a concept which Constantius was presented as completely failing to comprehend: the implication was that, unlike Lucifer, the emperor had not read and understood his Cyprian. Throughout the Moriundum esse pro dei filio, Lucifer employed themes, scenarios and vocabulary from martyr literature to create an image of his own bravery and suffering as analogous to these archetypal portrayals of Christian piety. The selection of particular sections of certain texts by Lactantius, Cyprian and pseudo-Cyprian demonstrates his desire to draw specifically on images of martyrdom from respected sources. In particular, his extensive transformation and recontextualisation of these passages allowed him to compose an autobiographical narrative using the words of revered authors describing revered figures: in his new version of the text, he fulfilled both roles himself. Like Lucifer, Athanasius, Hilary and Eusebius also presented their own actions, and those of their theological allies, as identical to, or even greater than, those witnessed under earlier persecutions, portraying both themselves and Constantius as imitators of famous individuals. By the reuse of terms, scenes and character types from martyr acts and other persecution literature, these authors invited their audience to read contemporary events as part of the same narrative as these earlier circumstances, and so to recognise orthodox confessors and martyrs in the authors themselves. As invectives, the texts by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer employed similar techniques to the rhetorical handbooks and imperial panegyrics, but used the language and imagery of Christian opposition literature to create a particular Christian ideal of kingship that suited the authors’ purposes. Similarly, as panegyrical self-constructions, they, along with the letters of Eusebius of Vercelli, invited the reader to witness a transformation of the classical ideal of outspoken opposition to tyranny. These authors created portraits of themselves in the same manner as Cicero, by emphasising the similarity of their circumstances to recognisable earlier events and promoting their own centrality within these conflicts. However, they also proclaimed their departure from earlier paradigms: rather than defending ‘secular’ institutions and values, they spoke out for the much more important subject of orthodoxy, depicting themselves as emulators of specifically Christian models, particularly the martyrs. By describing their

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sufferings as persecutions, they sought the same reverence given to the heroes of the recent past. These texts therefore demonstrate another strand of Christian identification with the martyrs during the fourth century, the period in which ‘the cult of the martyrs came into its own when martyrdom was a thing of the past’.218 Like the claims to ascetic status explored by Peter Brown and Claudia Rapp, this literary strategy formed one of the options available to authors for constructing themselves as authoritative and orthodox figures, regardless of their ecclesiastical positions. Rather than being in conflict with the status accorded by membership of the institution and hierarchy of the Church, this martyrial persona could run in parallel with other strands of episcopal self-presentation. Athanasius, Lucifer, Hilary and Eusebius did not write from positions of security. They had fallen out of favour with many of their episcopal colleagues; their theological beliefs did not have the backing of the reigning emperor; they had been exiled from their sees and, at least in the case of Athanasius, replaced by rival claimants. Although they had been exiled, these bishops still clung steadfastly to their ecclesiastical positions as bishops. Isolated, both geographically and institutionally, they sought to boost their prominence and authority by rewriting their lives into narratives that continued the age-old struggle between persecutors and martyrs. In effect, they wrote their own martyr acts. 218 Markus (1990) 92. Markus was, however, primarily discussing its use by orthodox Christians in positions of relative security, rather than those who were out of favour with the imperial authorities.

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Sometime after 336, Athanasius wrote to his close ally, the Egyptian bishop Serapion of Thmuis, in response to the latter’s request for an account of the death of Arius.1 Athanasius relayed to his correspondent the story that he had received from his presbyter Macarius:2 Eusebius of Nicomedia and other prominent Arians had declared their intention to readmit Arius to communion in Constantinople after the emperor Constantine pronounced that he would not interfere, preferring to leave judgement on the matter to God. Alexander, bishop of the city, was horrified by the possibility of Arius’ readmission: And so, when he heard these things, bishop Alexander was extremely distressed. Having entered the church and stretched out his hands to God, he lamented bitterly. Throwing himself face down in the chancel, he prayed while lying on the floor. Macarius, who was also present, prayed with him and heard what he said. He entreated God for these two things, saying, ‘If Arius is admitted tomorrow, release me, your servant, and do not destroy the pious along with the impious; but if you spare your Church (and I know that you will spare it), consider the statements of Eusebius’ faction and do not give your inheritance to destruction and reproach, but remove Arius.’3

No sooner had he uttered this prayer than it was answered; Arius, having stopped to relieve himself at a public convenience, suffered a sudden and violent death. Athanasius’ gruesome description of the heresiarch’s final moments included the detail that ‘falling headlong, he burst asunder in

1 The De morte Arii was traditionally assigned to 358, during Athanasius’ third exile, although this certainty has crumbled under the analysis of Charles Kannengiesser, with a date in the second exile (339–46) now seeming more likely – see Kannengiesser (1982) 993–4; Barnes (1993) 278 n. 27; Gwynn (2007) 26–9, (2012) 9. R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 280, 419 remains undecided. 2 On the colourful career of Macarius, see Barnes (1993) 27–9, 37–8. 3 De morte Arii 3.1–2.

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the middle’, a phrase taken from the account of the death of Judas in Acts.4 This episode was invoked here as an example of Alexander’s orthodoxy and the punishment that awaited all heretics. In addition, Athanasius’ narrative of divine intervention and vengeance also evoked a scene from the Old Testament book of Joel, in which the prophet issued instructions to the people of Judah: ‘Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and give not your inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them.”’5 Rather than quoting these passages and setting them apart as useful exempla for comparison with contemporary events, Athanasius wove them into the action and dialogue of his account. He relied upon his readers to recognise the biblical references and their contexts, just as a classical orator might have appealed to the shared paideia of his audience by interspersing his rhetoric with Homeric tags or Ciceronian allusions. A formal synkrisis would have weighed up the similarities between Arius and Judas, the greatest biblical exemplum of treachery and its pernicious rewards: Athanasius’ account, however, did not place these two figures side by side, but rather collapsed them into a single character type, so that Arius was presented as replaying the events of Scripture in the present day.6 Similarly, not only was Alexander exalted as a pious cleric whose prayers flew swiftly to the ears of the Lord, but the entire episode was carefully constructed as a re-enactment, or even a fulfilment, of the words of the prophet Joel. The heathen, who menaced the people of Judah, had been replaced in this text by Arius, Eusebius and their fellow heretics, who threatened to corrupt the Church. Alexander (and, alongside him, the loyal Athanasian presbyter Macarius), took on the role of the true priests of God, as demonstrated by their prayers and their tears, and even by their physical position within the church building, a detail that mirrored the location described in Joel. By writing this tale through rewriting Scripture, Athanasius sought to blur the boundary between a canonical past and a fragile Christian present: Arius, through the actions of his life and the manner of his death, had shown himself to be the latest Judas; Alexander, in contrast, was not only 4 De morte Arii 3.3, using Acts 1:18; see also Leroy-Molinghen (1968) 106; Ernest (2004) 214. Athanasius also used this comparison with Judas when describing Arius’ death at Ad Ep. Aeg 18.7. Soz. HE 2.30.1–5 preserves the version of this story which appears in Ad Ep. Aeg. 18.6–19.5. 5 Joel 2:17. In the Septuagint, the term used for ‘porch’ was κρηπίς, which usually means the groundwork or foundations of a building or altar – LSJ s.v. ii.1. Athanasius also presented the persecuted Christians of Alexandria as raising the same plea to God at Hist. Ar. 79.1. 6 On Athanasius’ uses of Judas, see Ernest (2004) 259–62.

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an imitator of the earlier servants of the Lord, but, in word, in deed and in response, he became a living exemplar. This approach thus recast contemporary internecine theological conflicts as the latest battle in an eternal war between good and evil, whose previous engagements had already been recorded in Scripture. Far from being a member of an isolated ecclesiastical faction, Athanasius’ Alexander was the orthodox heir of an unbroken tradition that ran back to the pious priests of the Old Testament. The actions of Arius and Alexander repeated those related in the Bible, and the deployment of biblical phrases reinforced this identification: identical circumstances met with identical literary responses. This reliving of Scripture has been explored in Chapters 2 and 3 in the specific context of polemical literature written by pro-Nicene bishops against the emperor Constantius II. Within those texts, the biblical references concentrated on incidences of persecution, often through direct comparisons with famous enemies from a specifically Christian history. This chapter examines the same phenomenon in attacks on opposing theological factions written by Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary during this period. It considers the construction of genealogies of orthodoxy and heresy through the inclusion, often without explicit mention, of biblical passages or allusions within descriptions of both heretical groups and the authors themselves. Verses from Scripture were also regularly employed as proof-texts to support doctrinal positions, but this chapter is primarily concerned not with this ‘theological’ deployment, but rather with their ‘polemical’ use in constructing the authors and their enemies.7 Readers were invited to decipher contemporary events as either repetitions of canonical events or fulfilments of revered prophecies. As discussed earlier, a few surviving fragments of ‘heretical’ literature also reveal that these rhetorical techniques were not restricted to the supporters of Nicaea.8 The texts discussed here also provide further evidence of the development of an exclusively Christian register of exempla, centred on Scripture, although not restricted to it. By incorporating so many biblical references within their works, these authors demonstrated their sacred learning to It is not my intention here to say that the works of these authors, or individual passages in these works, should be neatly pigeonholed as either ‘theological’ or ‘polemical’, as though the two were separate. Such as rigid divide could easily, if one were not careful, lead towards the claim that some of these statements were ‘about religion’ and some ‘about politics’. Rather, I wish to argue that the use of a quotation from Scripture as evidence to support a particular theological stance, such as consubstantiality of the Father and the Son, is a different rhetorical and literary activity to weaving it into the story of Arius’ death or placing it in the mouth of a contemporary ‘Nicene’ bishop addressing a hostile emperor. 8 See pp. 107–8 and 120–1 above. 7

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their readers and so argued for their own orthodoxy: they, unlike their heretical opponents, possessed both the knowledge and the understanding to perform exegesis properly and so to give a reliable account of orthodoxy. They sought to reassure other Christians that their comprehension of the world was based upon unambiguously Christian precepts by describing it with lines not of Homer, but of Scripture. While the practice of labelling and association has been recognised by modern commentators as an important weapon in the rhetorical construction of heresies, the role played in this process by literary re-enactment has not been sufficiently emphasised. It went well beyond the technique of labelling, since contemporary theological opponents were portrayed not only as harbouring the same beliefs as earlier anti-Christian villains, but also as performing the same actions and uttering the same words as them. In addition, while these Nicene authors did seek to link their enemies with recognisable groups and stock characters, such as Jews or idolaters, they also frequently incorporated much more specific references to biblical events and prophecies. This ‘typological’ approach was a sharper instrument than allusions to persecution or non-specific accusations of heresy: by portraying current circumstances as re-enactments of episodes from Scripture, specifying the particular individuals imitated and the events replayed, these authors drew very close parallels between the authoritative past and the uncertain present.9 Just as typological correspondence between the Old and New Testaments was taken to demonstrate the essential unity of Christianity pre- and post-Incarnation, just as the persecutions of Stephen and Paul in Acts echoed the sufferings of Christ, as well as Old Testament prophets, so the recurrence of biblical events and characters in these fourth-century texts tied them firmly into a narrative of sacred history, of which these Charity (1966) 1–164 is an extremely useful exploration of typology and fulfilment in the Old and New Testaments, including the expectations it places on the reader. See also the detailed argument for the centrality of typology in constructing the unity of the Old and New Testaments in Frye (1982) especially 78–138, as well as the defence and elaboration of Frye’s ideas in Fabiny (1992) 1–77. As Markus (1996) 3–11 makes clear, typological interpretation of events or individuals, unlike the allegorical, does not deny the literal reality of the original ‘type’. See M. S. Williams (2008) 9–16 for an outline of the various scholarly interpretations of the meaning and scope of typology and their relevance for discussions of re-enactment in fourth-century Christian literature. Rapp (2010) also discusses the difference between the exemplum and the typos, arguing (at 179) that typology is ‘a specifically Christian hermeneutical strategy that connects the present with the biblical past of the Old Testament’. Due to the contentiousness of ‘typology’ and ‘fulfilment’, as well as the danger that they might be taken to imply that the ‘type’ is necessarily less important than the ‘antitype’ that it prefigures, these and related terms are used extremely sparingly in this chapter. I have preferred the vocabulary of ‘re-enactment’, ‘replaying’ and ‘reliving’, since these (hopefully) remove any sense that any given event or character is subordinate to its counterpart. ‘Fulfilment’ has only been employed in discussions of biblical prophecies. 9

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authors were simultaneously readers and writers.10 The age of the patriarchs, prophets and apostles was not to be viewed as a distant and fundamentally different time (as a modern classicist might view the ancient world), but as a continuing reality. The inclusion of biblical phrases within these texts proclaimed both the authors’ similarity to revered characters and their reliance upon canonical words. They therefore employed the authoritative voice of Scripture to construct both contemporary circumstances, and themselves, as biblical. These applications of the Bible therefore served to increase the religious authority of the polemical texts themselves. The presence of such passages testified that the works were created in accordance with, and as fulfilment of, God’s teaching. These texts, like their authors, were re-enacting biblical paradigms and so demonstrating their own authoritative positions within genealogies of orthodox literature. In addition, this employment of Scripture was a two-way transformative process. Derek Krueger, in a reading of Ephrem Syrus’ Hymn on the Nativity, has shown how the ascetic characteristics of a number of biblical figures, including Elijah, Elisha and Moses, were brought to the fore in this work: ‘Here the poet’s knowledge of ascetics and asceticism has conditioned his interpretation of the Bible. His exegesis highlights the prophets’ control over the body as a key to their power and renders the Bible an ascetic text.’11 Particularly striking in the works of Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary is the employment of Scripture to present the authors’ own relationship to it and, in contrast, the Arians’ distance from it. James Ernest has explored Athanasius’ discussion of his method of exegesis in the Orationes contra Arianos and the way in which he contrasted it with that carried out by the Arians. Ernest concludes that ‘his interpretations of the disputed texts are often governed by biblical images and related texts that he uses as touchstones of correct exegesis’.12 According to Ernest, Athanasius repeatedly employed a small collection of biblical quotations to support both his own Nicene faith itself and also his Nicene interpretations of other, more contentious, passages of Scripture. Other biblical statements had to be interpreted so that they agreed with these touchstone texts.13 This was not, however, the only way in which these authors used the Bible to support their own readings of it. In addition to portraying 10 On Stephen and Paul, see Charity (1966) 150–2; Fabiny (1992) 66–7. 11 Krueger (2004) 19–20, quoting 20. This forms part of his wider discussion, at 15–32, of typology in Theodoret of Cyrrhus’ Religious History. 12 Ernest (2004) 356. 13 See Ernest (2004) 154–5, for a table of the relevant passages.

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themselves as imitating biblical models, they wrote the narratives of their experiences using the words of Scripture. In this way they also became imitators of the authors of the Bible, by writing texts that were, at least to some extent, biblical.14 Comparisons might also be drawn with the literary phenomenon of the Virgilian cento, especially the surviving fourth-century examples by Ausonius and Faltonia Betitia Proba, in which lines and half-lines from Virgil were selected and rearranged to create new compositions, one a bawdy wedding hymn, the other an epic account of biblical history, centred on the life of Christ.15 These works were simultaneously Virgil and not Virgil: they were the authors’ own creations, but they were also granted a certain authenticity and authority because they were constructed from poems that were uniquely revered within the canon of Latin literature. Just as a cento presented (or revealed) another possible ‘meaning’ of Virgil, so Scripture, the supremely authoritative text, could be employed for the same purpose. Through their twin biblical re-enactments as actors and authors, Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary proclaimed themselves to be reliable and orthodox exegetes. The sacred text flowed through their words and deeds, situating them in a sacred narrative which ran from Creation to Salvation. The Arians, in contrast, were excluded, distanced from Scripture by both their resemblance to negative biblical exempla and their failure to live, think or speak in accordance with the word of God. This chapter is, therefore, concerned both with the way in which the past and present were brought together into a continuous Christian narrative and, perhaps more importantly, in the ways in which these authors sought to create and define relationships between their own writings and the sacred text of Scripture. The eternal heretic

The association of enemies with individuals, groups or beliefs that were widely regarded as heretical, or otherwise anti-Christian, was a common polemical strategy in late antiquity. This process of labelling, which was already evident in the second-century authors Justin and Irenaeus, marked particular groups out as the successors of those who had already deviated 14 See pp. 23–4 above. 15 For Proba, see the text, translation and discussion in Clark and Hatch (1981). For Ausonius, see the text and entertaining Shakespearean translation/adaptation in Slavitt (1998) 46–75. See also McGill (2005) on the literary phenomenon of the Virgilian cento more broadly. Usher (1998) discusses the Homeric centos of the empress Eudocia, wife of Theodosius II. M. S. Williams (2010) 96–105 is a fine exploration of the relationship of the cento to the canonical literary texts that it employs.

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from orthodox Christianity, thereby positioning them within a parallel but heretical genealogy.16 However, it reached unprecedented levels of sophistication and intensity in the rhetorical construction of ‘Arianism’ during the fourth and fifth centuries.17 The deployment of this strategy against ‘Arians’ has been subjected to detailed study by Rebecca Lyman, who details its use in works by Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem and Gregory of Nyssa.18 Lyman deftly illuminates the different concerns and priorities of the three authors, although she argues that the growth in condemnations and heresiological literature at this time ‘reflected not only theological diversity, but the emerging consolidation and complexity of imperial orthodoxy. The associations of certain theological ideas with previously condemned groups therefore offer important clues in understanding this process of theological control and classification.’19 While the ramifications of imperial involvement in doctrinal matters were undoubtedly far-reaching, one must always be alive to the danger of presenting these authors, with their confident declarations of the triumph of the Nicene orthodoxy over heresy, as writing from a position of security in order to crush their unfortunate enemies. As the reconstructions of ecclesiastical politics by both Timothy Barnes and David Gwynn have emphasised, albeit in different ways, the ‘anti-Arian’ diatribes of this period represent skilful attempts to undermine opponents as part of a defensive strategy to avoid widespread condemnation.20 Such strategies of heretical association and labelling at this time must be seen not as the silencing of dissenting voices by a powerful Church institution, but as the polemical means by which a series of ‘Catholic’ and ‘heretical’ writers struggled to assert their orthodoxy in a dangerous climate of uncertainty and confusion.21 This damnation by association with earlier ‘heretical’ beliefs was widespread throughout anti-Arian polemic, and is particularly identifiable in the voluminous writings of Athanasius. For example, the Alexandrian bishop argued that Arian beliefs were to be condemned because they were not traditional and apostolic, but had instead ‘been invented just 16 Le Boulluec (1985); Burrus (1995) especially 3–4, 15–18; Lyman (1993) 46–7. 17 See pp. 14–16 above.  18  Lyman (1993). 19 Lyman (1993) 47–8. See also 53–8 on Athanasius’ creation of an Arian ‘demonic succession’ that incorporated the Manichaeans. 20 Barnes (1993); Gwynn (2007). 21 For the rhetorical construction of other fourth-century heresies, see also Burrus (1995) especially 126–40, 155–9 on the creation of the heretical lineage of Priscillian; Ferreiro (1993a) and (1993b) more specifically on Jerome’s opposition to Priscillian; Elm (1997) for Jerome on Evagrius Ponticus and Pelagius; Logan (1989) on attacks on ‘Arians’ that may have been made by Marcellus of Ancyra.

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now’ and were ‘what Asterius the sacrificer wrote, what Arius copied and gave to his supporters’.22 The Arians of Athanasius’ time were presented as deriving their beliefs not from authoritative Scripture or an unbroken succession of legitimate bishops, but from a much shorter chain that had its origins in someone who had recently discredited himself under persecution. In the opening of his first Oration against the Arians, Athanasius claimed that to follow Arianism was ‘to say that Caiaphas is a Christian, to count the traitor Judas as still one of the Apostles, to state that those who demanded Barabbas instead of the Saviour did nothing wrong, and to hold up Hymenaeus and Alexander as wise thinkers’.23 After listing this series of New Testament villains, the passage continued with mockery of the Arians for revering other unsuitable figures, stating that ‘amongst them, they have Arius instead of Christ, as Manichaeus is amongst the Manichaeans, and instead of Moses and the other saints a certain Sotades, who is derided among the Gentiles, is found amongst them, together with the daughter of Herodias’.24 Similarly, Athanasius repeatedly claimed that the only father that Arianism had was the Devil himself, the father of all heresies.25 James 22 Contra Arianos i.8.8; De decr. 8.1. On Asterius, whose lapse under pagan persecution was put to good polemical use by Athanasius, see Wiles (1985); Vinzent (1993); Lienhard (1999) 89–101; Gwynn (2007) 205–11. On Athanasius’ construction of a ‘heretical genealogy’ for his opponents, see Lyman (1993) 55–8 for Ad episcopos Aegypti and Orationes contra Arianos, with particular emphasis on Manichaeans; Kannengiesser (1983) 122–7 for the Orationes contra Arianos; Parvis (2006) 180–92 on Contra Arianos i, as well as comparisons with the writings of Marcellus of Ancyra; Gwynn (2007) 106–14, 171–7 for an excellent survey of the creation of the ‘Eusebians’ as the heirs of heretics. 23 Contra Arianos i.2.1. See Parvis (2006) 189–90. Hymenaeus and Alexander are condemned at 1 Timothy 1:19–20, where they are described as having been ‘delivered unto Satan’ by Paul on account of their ‘shipwreck’ of the faith. Hymenaeus also appears at 2 Timothy 2:17 and Alexander at 2 Timothy 4:14. Of the four Orations against the Arians, the authorship of the first two is uncontested, the fourth is universally regarded as spurious, and the third, despite the objections raised by Charles Kannengiesser, is widely regarded as genuine and is accepted as such in this chapter – see Kannengiesser (1975), (1982), (1983) 310–66, 405–16, (1993), along with defences of the authenticity of the Third Oration by, amongst others, Stead (1985) 227–9; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 418; Barnes (1993) 54, 254–5 n. 26; Ayres (2004) 110 n. 16; Gwynn (2007) 21–6, (2012) 10 n. 18. Kannengiesser (2006) 30, in response to criticisms of his earlier arguments, cautiously accepts Athanasian authorship of the Third Oration. Kannengiesser’s dating of these works to around the period of Athanasius’ second exile has been received much more positively, even if his account of the process of composition has been questioned – see Kannengiesser (1982) 988–94, (1983) 374–403, (2006) 28–33; Stead (1985) 222, 226–7; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 418–19; Barnes (1993) 53–5, 254–5 n. 26; Ayres (2004) 110; Gwynn (2007) 24–6, (2012) 10. 24 Contra Arianos i.2.2. On Sotades, a Hellenistic author of cinaedic verse who famously ridiculed the incestuous marriage of Ptolemy II, see Alan Cameron (1995) 18–22. Arius’ theological poem, the Thalia, was apparently written in the Sotadean metre, which Athanasius deemed unsuitable for the exposition of sacred matters. On the Thalia, see pp. 194–5 below. The daughter of Herodias was Salome, who was credited with bringing about the execution of John the Baptist: Matthew 14:6–11; Mark 6:22–8. 25 De decr. 27.4; Ad Ep. Aeg. 3.5, 4.6–7, 8.2; Contra Arianos i.1.3, ii.73.3, iii.59.1.

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Ernest has described Athanasius’ characterisation of the heretics: ‘The Arians imitate the mindset and conduct of biblical characters who rejected God’s Word; they disobey biblical commands; they resemble, in actions and character, the people for whom doom is predicted in biblical proverbs.’26 However, it is clear that, as with the range of exempla explored in Chapters 2 and 3, this imitation was not limited to biblical figures, but was part of a broader project of associating the Arians with impious characters. Similarly, in his tract De non conueniendo cum haereticis, Lucifer argued that the pernicious influence of Arius, as well as the manner of his expulsion from the Church, along with Constantius, echoed the careers and fate of Sabellius, Marcion, Paul of Samosata and other heretics.27 These characters provided the Arians with a separate genealogy, alien from orthodoxy and pieced together from a collection of earlier heretics, in order to show that, in the words of Athanasius, they had ‘fallen away from the foundation of the Apostles’28 and were therefore the spiritual descendants of those who had opposed many of the most revered and influential teachers of Christianity. Association with biblical figures was certainly one of the strategies available for the heretication of the Arians. When Athanasius wanted to accuse them of being stubborn, he claimed that they had ‘a harder heart than Pharaoh’.29 When the Arians made an alliance with the Meletians, they were said to be imitating Jezebel, while they also destroyed their enemies by writing new creeds and rejecting the old, ‘as Pilate washed his hands’.30 Hilary accused the Arians of transforming the Church into a ‘synagogue of the Antichrist’, a phrase echoing the designation of blasphemers as a ‘synagogue of Satan’ in Revelation.31 While Lucifer employed numerous biblical exempla to present Constantius as a persecutor, he was also keen 26 Ernest (2004) 115. 27 De non conu. ix.26–50. On Sabellius, a third-century Roman presbyter who argued that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were merely ‘modes’ of the Godhead, see Epiphanius, Panarion 62; Simonetti (1980); Bienert (1993). On Marcion, a second-century theologian who rejected the Old Testament and its God, as well as reducing the New Testament to ten Pauline epistles and an edited version of Luke’s Gospel, see Iren. Haer. 1.27.2–4; Hippol. Haer. 7.29–31, 10.19; Epiphanius, Panarion 42; Harnack (1924); and the collection of essays in May and Greschat (2002). On Paul of Samosata, a third-century bishop of Antioch who was deposed from his see, possibly for stating that Christ possessed a human soul and body and that the ‘Son’ did not exist before the Incarnation, see Eus. HE 7.27.1–30.19; Epiphanius, Panarion 65; Bardy (1923); Loofs (1924); Riedmatten (1952); Burrus (1989); R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 70–2; Lang (2000); Chadwick (2001) 166–9. 28 Sent. Dion. 27.3. 29 Contra Arianos iii.50.2. A similar expression also appeared at Contra Arianos iii.26.1. On Athanasius’ use of Scripture and its exempla across the Orationes contra Arianos, see Ernest (2004) 113–82. 30 Ad Ep. Aeg. 23.3; 6.2, quoting Matthew 27:24. 31 In Const. 2, using Revelation 2:9, 3:9.

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to find parallels between Old Testament apostasy and the actions of the emperor and other Arians. He presented the Nicene challenge to Arianism as a repetition of the confrontation between Elijah and Ahab: For clearly he [Elijah] said: Do not serve idols, but the one God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Now, because it is said to you, Do not be a heretic, but be a Christian, you call us your enemies, since, as you are introducing idolatry, you are rebuked with these same words with which king Ahab was rebuked through Elijah.32

As discussed above, Ahab was a useful new exemplum of persecution in the rhetorical armoury of these authors; however, he also provided scope for this extra significant parallel with Constantius. Since Arian Christology was attacked for supposedly regarding the Son as part of the created order, the worship of such a Christ, the product of a form of artifice, was here presented as a new idolatry that replayed the deeds of Ahab. Correspondingly, Constantius was seen to be both accused of the same crimes as Ahab and admonished with a similar instruction. The same tactic was employed when Lucifer, after describing the impious actions of King Jeroboam, asked the rhetorical question: ‘What is it to say: Condemn the faith written at Nicaea and take up mine, except that which Jeroboam said: Abandon God and serve my idols?’33 Espousing an Arian theological position was here equated with the idolatry of Old Testament kings: although the actions of Constantius, like the words attributed to him in this passage, might appear different to the untrained eye, the message of Lucifer was that they were essentially identical. Athanasius similarly claimed that since the Arians re-enacted the heresies of earlier villains, they would also be confronted in the same ways and with the same words. Thus, after comparing Arius to the serpent in the Garden of Eden and describing some of the heresiarch’s theological writings, Athanasius stated that ‘heaven, as the Prophet says, was astonished and the earth was horribly afraid at the transgression of the Law’.34 God’s response to earlier blasphemy by his chosen people was then compared to the present day: Will the Lord himself not rather rightly exclaim at such impious, such ungrateful men, using the words which he proclaimed through the prophet Hosea: Woe to them, for they have turned away from me; they are wretched, 32 De Ath. I xix.33–8, describing the events of 1 Kings 18. On re-enacting Ahab, see pp. 111–12 and 145 above, as well as De non conu. iv.1–19. 33 De Ath. I xx.33–5, referring to 1 Kings 12:27–33. On Jeroboam, see also De non conu. iii. 34 Contra Arianos i.7.2, quoting Jeremiah 2:12.

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Living up to the past because they have acted impiously against me; I redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me?35

Athanasius here demonstrated his biblical learning and his understanding of the punishment that awaited the enemies of God. In his version of events, the modern Arians were identical to those impious individuals castigated by Hosea, and so Athanasius repeated the words of the Lord against a new, but eminently recognisable, enemy within a long genealogy of heresy. It is also possible to glimpse the use of a similar rhetorical deployment of Scripture by those who were labelled ‘Arian’ by these authors. The ‘eastern’ bishops at the Council of Serdica in 343 complained that Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, through their blasphemy, ‘are crucifying the Son of God afresh and are once again putting him to an open shame, and have pierced him with bitter blows’.36 This description employed a passage from Hebrews, in which those who fell away from piety were said to be recrucifying Christ. The identification here was two-fold; Athanasius and Marcellus were equated both with those responsible for the death of Christ and with those re-enacters of this crime denounced in Hebrews. The actions attributed to this pair and the words used to condemn them evoked a biblical type, as well as the repetition of this type which had already been indicated by Paul. These two bishops and their allies were also described as disturbing the peace of the Church to such an extent that the whole world was in danger of being ruined by their ‘harsh and savage tempest’: If they had any seeds of religion, they would imitate the prophet, saying: Take me up and cast me forth into the sea and the sea shall be made calm by you, since this tempest has been created because of me. But they do not imitate these words, since they do not follow the just.37

Just as Nicene bishops accused their opponents of reliving impious deeds from Scripture, so now Athanasius and Marcellus were accused of failing to live up to a positive example. The ‘eastern’ bishops at Serdica argued that any orthodox bishop would have sought to be an imitator of the prophet Jonah and so would have left ‘the Church’ in order to avoid bringing down divine wrath upon all Christians. By describing the current 35 Contra Arianos i.7.3, quoting Hosea 7:13. 36 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.iv.1.23.2, using Hebrews 6:6. 37 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.iv.1.25.2, citing Jonah 1:12. See Lienhard (1999) 129–34 on Eusebius of Caesarea’s accusations that Marcellus copied impious Jews, Sabellius and Paul of Samosata, and 210–40 on other texts equating Marcellus’ theology with Sabellianism.

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struggles as a ‘tempest’ in the passage immediately preceding this scriptural phrase, the authors of this letter argued for the correspondence of the two situations, biblical and contemporary, and the jarring dissimilarity between the responses of Jonah and the Nicenes. This meteorological metaphor was maintained in an appeal to the African recipients of the letter: Rebuke those who communicate with the accursed, amputate the evil from the churches by the roots, so that Christ the Lord, floating on the rushing tempest that they caused, will order all the winds and maritime gales to depart and so grant perpetual peace and calm to the blessed Church.38

Here the act of excommunicating heretics was to bring about the reproduction of another biblical scene: Jesus’ calming of the tempest. Christ had criticised his companions for their lack of faith in him. By alluding to this story, the eastern bishops urged their readers not to be afraid, like the castigated disciples, but to maintain their support for ‘Arian’ theology, safe in the knowledge that, as in biblical times, Christ would end the storm. As much of the theological wrangling of this period was centred on the human and divine nature of Christ, Nicene bishops consistently portrayed Arians as enemies not just of ‘orthodox’ theologians, but of Christ himself, characterising them as assailing his divinity. They therefore made repeated comparisons between the Arians and the Jews, claiming that the two groups were identical in their hostility towards Christ.39 In addition, this association with Jews allowed these authors to present the Arians as failing in their exegesis of Scripture, just as the Jews did in their refusal to recognise Christ as the Son of God. Athanasius claimed that the Arians ‘emulate the associates of Caiaphas’ in their rejection of Christ.40 This was just one of a number of references that he made to pertinent ‘Jewish’ terms, characters and events plucked from Scripture.41 When discussing 38 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.iv.1.26.3, using Matthew 8:24–7; Mark 4:37–41; Luke 8:22–5. 39 On Athanasius, see Brakke (2001) 467–75; Gwynn (2007) 172–3. As the attacks on Athanasius and Marcellus just discussed have shown, the polemical use of association with Jews was not restricted to anti-Arian rhetoric. 40 Sent. Dion. 3.2. 41 See also the description of Arians using the term θεομάχοι that was applied to the Jews in Acts 5:39 – Contra Arianos iii.7.1. The Arians with their arguments stoned Christ as the Jews had done – Contra Arianos iii.41.1. Arian theology was ‘a false invention of these present-day Judaisiers’ and ‘a Jewish pretence from those wishing, as Solomon’s says, to separate themselves from the truth’ – Contra Arianos i.39.2, i.14.3, using Solomon’s description of ‘a foolish man’ from Proverbs 18:1. Athanasius also stated that if anyone were to choose to compare the beliefs of Arians and Jews ‘he will assuredly find that they agree in the same unbelief, that the recklessness of their impiety is equal and that their battle against us is shared’  – Contra Arianos iii.27.3. This was followed by a long explanatory passage comparing Jewish teachings to Arian statements, which were termed ‘Judaic madness

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Arian Christology, Athanasius accused the Arians of being ‘truly stupid and blind’, which was the description used by Christ of the Pharisees who had been disputing with him.42 Athanasius also provided his readers with an exposition of a proof-text from Acts which described the conversion of a large group of Jews to Christianity through the teaching of Peter.43 After extensive exegesis of the apostle’s words, Athanasius stated that ‘hearing these things, most of the Jews were persuaded and from then on acknowledged Christ, as has been written in Acts. The Ariomaniacs, however, choose to remain Jews and to fight against Peter.’44 The Arians therefore became heretics twice: once because their theological ancestors, the unconverted Jews, had not embraced Christianity, and again because they, in a re-enactment of this scene, failed to accept Nicene theology when expounded by an Athanasius who spoke with the words of Peter. After describing how ‘true’ Christians used apostolic advice about the reading of Scripture, Athanasius complained that the heretics ‘failed to understand this, have erred from the way of truth and have stumbled at a stumbling-stone, holding opinions other than what they ought to think’.45 This particular reference to the ‘stumbling-stone’ came from Paul’s accusations, echoing Isaiah, that some Jews had lost their way from the path of righteousness and had been shut out from Scripture because of their failure to recognise Christ.46 Just as Paul had presented these Jews as the fulfilment of the words of Isaiah, so Athanasius now positioned the Arians as both fulfilling this prophecy and re-enacting the deeds of the Jews condemned by Paul. The Arians became the errant Jews of the New Testament, who thought that they understood Scripture, but had in fact lost their way. In doing so, Athanasius provided an alternative genealogy for Arianism that saw them replaying biblical descriptions of Jewish irreligiousness and so continuing a long-running and well-known battle against Christ.47 from the traitor Judas’ (exploiting the similarity between the words Ἰουδαϊκός and Ἰούδας), and by Athanasius’ invitation to the Arians: ‘let them confess publicly that they are pupils of Caiaphas and Herod, rather than disguising Judaism under the name of Christianity’ – Contra Arianos iii.28.1 – see Ernest (2004) 143, 262. See also Athanasius’ association of Arius with Judas which opened this chapter on pp. 178–80. 42 Contra Arianos ii.19.4; Matthew 23:17, 19. 43 Contra Arianos ii.11.3–18.2, using Acts 2.36. 44 Contra Arianos ii.17.1. 45 Contra Arianos iii.28.6, using Wisdom of Solomon 5:6; Romans 9:32; Romans 12:3. 46 Romans 9:32, referring to Isaiah 8:14. See also 1 Peter 2:8. 47 On Arians possessing no knowledge of Scripture and having ‘enclosed themselves in the unbelief of the present-day Jews’, see Contra Arianos ii.1.5, using Romans 11:32. Other comparisons between Arians and Jews can be found at Contra Arianos i.53.3, iii.2.1, iii.55.1–4 and De decr. 1.1–2.2, 27.4. See also Ernest (1993) especially 346–52.

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Lucifer similarly employed the accusation that the actions of the Arians marked them out as identical to Jews condemned in Scripture. After quoting from Hebrews, Lucifer addressed the Arians directly, asking, ‘Since these things are so, how could any of us have come across to you, when you are persisting in the treachery of the Jews? What argument could unite us Christians with you Arians, when we have seen that you are imitators of that all-treacherous race?’48 This in turn was followed by a passage from the same story in Acts that Athanasius used, in which Peter exhorted a crowd of Jews to convert, and so escape from their generatio praua.49 Lucifer concentrated on this phrase, defining it as a reference to the scribes, Pharisees and Jewish leaders who had denied the divinity of Christ, and arguing that, because of their theological position, ‘you Arians are a generatio praua, as the Jews were and still are’.50 Within this particular section of his work, which addressed the Arians directly in the second person, Lucifer reproduced a series of scriptural passages that exhorted unbelievers to turn to true religion, lest they suffer damnation.51 By placing these passages within his own text, Lucifer now caused them to be directed at the Arians, a point made clearer by the linking explanatory statements, which themselves echoed the language of the biblical quotations in their descriptions of Arians. The message of these passages was plain: the beliefs and deeds of the Arians were identical to those of several generations of impious Jews, who fell away from true religion both before and after the coming of Christ. By re-enacting these scenes, the Arians in turn made themselves the subject of scriptural admonitions, becoming the Jews who had been condemned in the original contexts of these passages.52 Similarly, Athanasius wrote of the Arians that ‘they neither comprehend (for the impious man, he says, does not comprehend knowledge), nor 48 De non conu. x.76–9; Hebrews 4:11–13. 49 Acts 2:38–40. 50 De non conu. x.88–96, quoting 88–9. 51 These passages included Matthew 5:29–30; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Colossians 2:4, 2:8–9, 2:18–19; Hebrews 3:5–4:10, 4:11–13; Acts 2:38–40; Luke 12:1; 1 Corinthians 5:1–2, 5:3–7, 5:9–11, 6:15–18. 52 See also De non conu. viii.24–35, using Jeremiah 2:26 and 2:29 on the impiety of the children of Israel, in which Lucifer stated that, if the Nicene bishops departed from their faith, ‘these things, which were said about your co-blasphemers the Jews, would have been said by God about us’. Just before this, Lucifer made a similar statement at De non conu. viii.1–18, in which he stated that he did not want Jeremiah 2:4–8 to have been about him. He also expressed a similar concern at De non conu. v.46–58, using Psalm 28:2–4 (27:2–4 LXX) and calling Constantius an imitator of the Jews. Other associations between Arians and impious Jews can be found at De non conu. ii.37–46, v.25–7; De non parc. viii.2–4, ix.19–20, xvi.24–5, xvii.20–5, xx.20–35, xxiii.55–7, 84–6, xxxii.16–18,

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suffer pious words. For they find them heavy when they are spoken.’53 He deployed a quotation from Proverbs here, just as he used New Testament passages concerning the Jews, to present the Arians as condemned as unsuitable exegetes by the very text which they sought to expound, since they displayed ‘ignorance of the truth and inexperience of the divine Scriptures’.54 Elsewhere, he asked, ‘are they not thus shown to be abominations unto the Lord, holding divers weights amongst themselves, reckoning up these other matters with one and blaspheming the Lord with another?’55 This accusation echoed another passage from Proverbs, which stated that ‘divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord’.56 Athanasius now transformed this divine regulation of trading standards into a rule about the proper standards of exegesis. These authoritative words attributed to Solomon formed part of this presentation of the Arians as excluded from the understanding of Scripture: if they could not even recognise their own condemnation within the sacred texts, then they certainly could not be trusted to employ them in theological debates. He also ridiculed the Arian use of one passage from Mark: For they are extremely ignorant about this and are made dizzy by it, and so believe that they have in it a great pretext for their heresy. But I see these heretics, who use this passage as an excuse and equip themselves with it, as those giants once again fighting against God.57

Athanasius here claimed that his orthodoxy and knowledge of the Scriptures meant that he could see through the Arians’ attempts to misappropriate biblical passages to support their heresy and could identify them as a resurgence of earlier enemies of God. He contrasted the teaching of ‘the Arians’ with that of ‘the Church’58 and claimed that the true followers of Christ had become ‘God’s temple, and we have thus been made sons of God, so that the Lord is now worshipped in us, and those who see us report, as the Apostle said, that God is really in them’.59 Paul’s descriptions of believers prophesying and speaking in tongues were here applied exclusively to the Nicene Christians who, in Athanasius’ presentation, were the only true Christians. Athanasius therefore cast himself in the role

53 Contra Arianos iii.25.7, quoting Proverbs 29:7 LXX. 54 De decr. 17.1.  55  Contra Arianos ii.4.2. 56 Proverbs 20:23. See also Proverbs 20:10 and Deuteronomy 25:13 for similar statements. 57 Contra Arianos iii.42.2. The passage is Mark 13:32 on the Last Judgement. 58 Contra Arianos iii.10.1. 59 Contra Arianos i.43.3, using 1 Corinthians 3:16, Galatians 3.26 and 1 Corinthians 14:25.

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of the orthodox individual who knew about heresy and could make it manifest to all.60 On occasion, Athanasius’ quotations of biblical passages deviated from the original text in ways that made them fit more closely with his attacks on the Arians, just as can be seen in some of Lucifer’s uses of both Scripture and the works of Lactantius and Cyprian.61 After introducing a quotation from Jesus advising his followers to ‘keep watch, for you do not know when your Lord comes’, Athanasius extended the text, adding the line: ‘for you do not know; I, the Lord, know when I come, but the Arians do not look for me, who am the Word of the Father’.62 This alloy of paraphrase, polemic and theological assertion transformed a recognisable scriptural passage into a message of support for Nicene Christology, placed in the mouth of Christ himself. The statement that Christ was the Word of the Father, which was the subject of the surrounding theological dispute, was therefore grafted onto the authoritative words and person of Christ. Similarly, when describing how some Arians would not be persuaded, Athanasius declared, ‘for according to the prophecy, if the Ethiopian will change his skin, or the leopard its spots, they will want to think piously, who have been taught to be impious’.63 This was a reworking of a passage from Jeremiah, which stated that if the Ethiopian and the leopard could change their natural characteristics, ‘then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil’.64 Athanasius’ refinement of this to refer specifically to the impious, rather than the more general category of evil-doers, made the passage more relevant to his current struggle against the Arians. These variations of biblical passages were an extension of the literary recreation that pervaded these texts: the Arians were to be regarded as reliving the actions of a range of inveterate enemies of Christianity, most notably the Jews, and so, in turn, finding themselves expelled from the Church in

Elsewhere, Athanasius employed passages of Scripture to support his claims that the Arians imitated other irreligious paradigms. See also De decr. 10.4–6, where Athanasius accused the Arians of being ignorant like their predecessors, the followers of Paul of Samosata – see p. 186 above on Lucifer’s association of Arians with this heretic. In the same passage of De decretis, Athanasius described the Arians’ confusion of the sense of Scripture as ‘to mix wine with water and to throw strange fire on the altar with the divine fire’. This employed two Old Testament descriptions: Isaiah 1:22 about how the holy city had been devalued, and Leviticus 10:1 concerning the impious actions of the sons of Aaron. The mixing of water with wine was also associated with the Arians at Contra Arianos ii.80.2. At Contra Arianos i.22.6, Athanasius also used Paul’s description of the impious from Romans 1:23 to present Arian theology as similar to idolatry. 61 See pp. 115–17, 144–5 and 170–6 above. 62 Contra Arianos iii.49.4 using Matthew 24:42. 63 De decr. 32.4.  64  Jeremiah 13:23. 60

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the same manner, and sometimes using the same words, as these earlier heretics had been.65 Athanasius also sought to confirm the heretical nature of the Arians by claiming that they had alienated themselves from Scripture by supplanting it with alternative texts. Many of these accusations centred on Arius’ theological poem, the Thalia.66 Athanasius claimed that the Arians ‘have forsaken the inspired sayings of the divine Scriptures and refer to Arius’ Thalia as new wisdom’, since, ‘while there are many treatises by many authors and a great number of discourses upon the Old and New Testaments, a Thalia is found in none of them’.67 He claimed that ‘Arius invented myths in little songs and his own Thalia’, starkly contraposing these unsuitable writings with the Scriptures relied upon by the orthodox.68 According to Athanasius, ‘abandoning the Scriptures, they mimic the perversity of Valentinus’, thereby claiming that, by choosing the writings of a heresiarch in place of these sacred texts, the Arians demonstrated that they were not to be designated as ‘Christians’.69 This opposition was exemplified in Athanasius’ account of two competing theologies, ‘those things which you vomited out, and these which we have pronounced and proclaim from the Scriptures’.70 He then described the Thalia as ‘a model of evils, filled with all impiety; anyone who falls into this does not know that the earthborn perish by it and fall into Hades’ trap’.71 This employed the description of the fate of the foolish woman from Proverbs, but here the cause of foolishness was the Thalia itself.72 This work was contrasted with the ‘proper’ theological writings through a comparison between Arius and

65 See also Contra Arianos iii.65.3, in which Athanasius proclaimed of the Arians, ‘let them hear, as Simon Magus heard: Let the impiety of Valentinus perish with you’. This employed Acts 8:20, in which the Apostle Peter dismissed Simon Magus, who wished to purchase miraculous powers, with the words: ‘Let your money perish with you.’ Athanasius therefore presented his conflict with the Arians as a repetition of the famous biblical confrontation between Peter, representing apostolic authority and the orthodoxy genealogy of the ‘true’ Church, and Simon Magus, the archetypal Christian heretic. The Arians were also given a second link to heterodoxy, since, instead of the money proffered by Simon, they now sought to corrupt Christianity with the theology of Valentinus. On Valentinus, a second-century Gnostic theologian who taught that there were thirty celestial powers, known as ‘aeons’, see Iren. Haer. 1.1–9, 1.11; Hippol. Haer. 6.21, 6.29–37, 10.13; Epiphanius, Panarion 31; Sagnard (1947); Frend (1984) 207–8; Markschies (1992); DeConick (2003). On Athanasius’ alteration of biblical passages, see Brogan (1997) 264–81; Ernest (2004) 178–80. 66 On the Thalia, see Stead (1978), Kannengiesser (1983) 128–51; S. G. Hall (1985); Metzler (1991); R. Williams (1985), (2001) 62–6. 67 Contra Arianos i.4.2.  68  De decr. 16.3. 69 Contra Arianos iii.60.1.  70  Contra Arianos i.10.1. 71 Contra Arianos i.10.2.  72  Proverbs 9:18 LXX.

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Dionysius, the third-century bishop of Alexandria.73 Athanasius argued that: While one is a teacher in the catholic church, the other became the inventor of a new heresy. In setting out his own false doctrine, Arius wrote his Thalia in an effeminate and ludicrous manner like the Egyptian, Sotades; but Dionysius wrote other letters, defended himself from the suspicions laid against him and was shown to be an orthodox believer.74

Athanasius was keen here to show that the very tone and metre of the Thalia were a bar to Arius’ text being considered authoritative. By presenting the Arians as setting up their own writings as alternatives to accepted Scripture, Athanasius thus claimed that their statements had no authority, since they had alienated themselves from the inherited orthodox texts of Christianity. Not only were they failed readers of Scripture, they even sought to replace it. By repeatedly associating ‘Arians’ with groups or individuals widely regarded as impious, these authors, especially Athanasius, sought to dismantle their enemies’ episcopal authority.75 Instead, the Arians were to be regarded as successors and imitators of a series of opponents of true religion, particularly the Jews, who were manifestly separated from Christianity and Scripture both by their denial of Christ and their inability to understand the transmitted word of God. In a period of theological and institutional uncertainty, these polemics were a vital tool in assailing the authority of the ‘Arians’, challenging their beliefs by claiming that they, like their predecessors the Jews, were unable to perform proper exegesis.76 The readers of these texts were invited to recognise the similarities, in both actions and speech, between contemporary events and biblical accounts, and so to regard their own circumstances as essentially identical to those recounted in the pages of Scripture: these authors thus sought to create a narrative of a ‘biblical present’, extending into the fourth century, in which 73 The De sententia Dionysii was probably composed during the first half of the 350s, shortly after De decretis (for which see p. 205 n. 115 below). On the dating, see Kannengiesser (1982) 988, as well as Gwynn (2007) 33–4, arguing against its placement at the end of the 350s, which has been suggested by Heil (1999) 22–35. Abramowski (1982) 255–65 and Heil (1999) 36–71 both suggest that some statements attributed to Dionysius in this text may be fourth-century forgeries. 74 Sent. Dion. 6.1. On Sotades, see p. 185 n. 24. 75 Other examples of this tactic include Ad Ep. Aeg 5.6, which used the image of heresy being like gangrene from 2 Timothy 2:17, Ad Ep. Aeg 18.4–5, which used passages from Proverbs 13:9, Luke 16:8 and Matthew 5:15 to describe the Arians, and Contra Arianos i.32.4, which accused the Arians of arguing amongst themselves in the manner denounced by Paul in Galatians 5:15. 76 See also the comparison of Arian and biblical phrases at Ad Ep. Aeg 13 and the presentation of the Arians as ignorant of Scripture at Contra Arianos i.52.6.

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the Arians were condemned with the same authority that excluded Ahab, Caiaphas and Simon Magus from the roll of orthodoxy. In contrast, these texts constructed Athanasius, Lucifer and all other orthodox Christians as the heirs of the supreme, biblical text, which pervaded their thought and writings: they spoke and wrote in an appropriately religious style, interweaving their prose with the words of God and replaying the deeds of the righteous. In these accounts, the lives of these orthodox bishops were lived through Scripture, while Scripture, in turn, was brought to life and made current through its presence in contemporary texts and events. Chain of continuity

This presentation of contemporary circumstances as recognisable scenes from Scripture was therefore a vital tool for these authors in positioning not only their enemies but also themselves within narratives of biblical re-enactment. In particular, they selected passages that were about or by priests and prophets, characterising themselves as the latest heirs of these figures. In the opening of his Encyclical Epistle about the arrival into Alexandria of Gregory of Cappadocia, Athanasius made skilful use of a passage from Judges. The original story described how a man’s concubine had been raped by a gang of locals. When he awoke in the morning to find her dead, he cut her body into twelve pieces and sent these out to all the men of Israel, as the means of informing them of the outrage and rousing them to help him exact his revenge, which they did, slaughtering the offending individuals.77 When Athanasius related this story, he omitted many of the details, although he mentioned several times that the wronged man was a Levite, a member of the priestly tribe of Israel.78 He then went on to describe his motive in beginning the letter in this way: I recalled this narrative so that by comparing these earlier events with those happening now and understanding how the latter have surpassed the cruelty of the former, you might become even angrier than those men were towards these earlier criminals … for then there was only one woman who was wronged and one Levite who suffered violence; but now the whole Church has been wronged, the clergy is abused and, worst of all, piety is persecuted by impiety.79 77 Judges 19–20. On Athanasius’ use of this passage, see Ernest (2004) 210–13; Gaddis (2005) 86–7; Gwynn (2007) 51–2. 78 Ep. Enc. 1.2–3.  79  Ep. Enc. 1.4, 1.6.

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Athanasius’ own circumstances were thus presented as a replaying of the events of Judges, but with greater persecution; more importantly, the pieces of the woman, which had summoned the Israelites to help the Levite, were replaced not only by the bishops who spread news of Arian iniquities but also by this letter, which was distributed far and wide as the means of rousing Christians to help Athanasius. Just as a classicising rhetorician might have employed the tale of the summoning of the Greek army to attack Troy, Athanasius here selected a vignette from Christian Scripture that suited his purpose well. His reuse of this biblical tale invited the reader to view this particular episode in the fourth-century doctrinal disputes as a replaying of an archetypal confrontation between piety and impiety. Athanasius and his close allies could assume orthodox roles, reliving the sufferings of the Levite whose beloved (the conveniently feminine ekklesia) had been so viciously defiled. Athanasius’ text and, through it, the circumstances it described were tied into Scripture in a way that sought to control both the interpretation of recent events and the direction of future ones. As it stood, this re-enactment had only definitively cast two of its parts: the Levite and his enemies. The recipients of the letter were now presented with a script that invited them to assume the characters of the Israelites, spring to Athanasius’ defence and so complete the scene. To fail to do so would lay them open to being decried for not following the biblical model, or even for becoming additional imitators of the impious attackers. Athanasius’ twin narratives of past and present sacrilege were therefore designed to converge at the same conclusion: a display of unity by the faithful and the defeat of their enemies. As well as assailing the authority of their enemies, presentations of Arians and other heterodox groups as recognisable anti-Christian individuals and groups could also portray the authors as the opponents of such characters, just as they did in the narratives of persecution discussed in Chapter 3. Many of the confrontations replayed within these texts allowed the authors to cast themselves as reliving authoritative and orthodox words and deeds from Scripture. In one passage, Athanasius addressed the Arians directly, asking, ‘why have you, like the heathen, raged and also imagine empty little statements against the Lord and against his Christ?’80 This was a reworking of the opening to Psalm 2, which asked ‘Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine empty things? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord

  Contra Arianos i.11.4.

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and against his Christ.’81 In reciting this biblical text, Athanasius took on the role of David, lamenting the impiety of his enemies. He made minor changes to the original, casting the Arians as an irreligious composite of the ‘heathen’, the ‘people’ and the ‘kings of the earth’. In doing so, while he staged current theological arguments as a repetition of earlier attacks on God’s people, he promoted his own ability to recognise and combat them.82 Likewise, Lucifer also quoted extensively from the Old Testament in his De non parcendo in Deum delinquentibus, in order to compare himself to a sequence of leaders and prophets who had chided the impious, including Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elisha, Amos, Tobit, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Thus, after quoting the words of the priests to Uzziah, king of Judah – ‘it is not permitted for you to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn it’ – Lucifer stated that Constantius would hear similar words from him: It is not permitted for you, Constantius, an Arian, to come together with the people of God. It is not permitted for you, author of the heresy of Arian idolatry, denier of God’s only Son, to judge the priests of God, sacrilegiously pretending that you are a Christian, although you are actually the precursor of the Antichrist.83

Athanasius also actively promoted his own ability, through his texts, to combat heresy, using biblical imagery to claim that his words, which, by the use of quotations and allusions, formed a tapestry that incorporated words of Scripture, were sufficient to refute and defeat all Arian arguments. 81 Psalms 2:1–2. 82 At Contra Arianos iii.1.1 Athanasius also accused the Arians of brazenly and erroneously appropriating the words of Scripture and stated that ‘as a whore’s countenance, they have become shameless towards all in their impieties’. This employed a phrase from Jeremiah 3:3, complaining that the people had turned their backs on the Lord and so, just like the passage from Psalms, it cast Athanasius as the modern successor to a revered prophetic figure, who was able to identify impiety and to denounce it using biblical phrases. Similarly, in Ad Ep. Aeg. 23.4–5, Athanasius advised the other bishops to continue the struggle against Arianism, assuring them that ‘you will be able to boast, saying We have preserved the faith, and you will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. And may it happen that with you I will also inherit the promises, which are preserved, not only for Paul, but also for all those who love the appearing.’ This employed phrases from 2 Timothy 4:7–8, James 1:12 and Hebrews 6:12, stating that true followers of Christ would endure hardships and be rewarded in the kingdom of heaven. At Ad Ep. Aeg. 2.5, Athanasius also identified the orthodox Christians with the group marked out for salvation in Ezekiel 9:4. He also argued that the other bishops of Egypt ought to examine Arian beliefs, since they had the responsibility for ‘bearing the vessels of the Lord and vindicating the doctrines of the truth’ – Ad Ep. Aeg. 19.6. This was an allusion to Isaiah 52:11, in which the pious Jews, who ‘bear the vessels of the Lord’, were advised to flee from unclean things. 83 De non parc. vi.6–7, 12–15, using 2 Chronicles 26:18. On Constantius as the Antichrist or his precursor, see p. 113 above. On Lucifer’s comparisons between himself and Old Testament prophets, particularly in De non parc., see Gustafson (1994) 203–8.

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After stating that the Arians were aware of their heretical status, Athanasius explained that ‘since they hide and are afraid to speak, we must strip the veil from their impiety and reveal the heresy, for I know what the Arians said previously’.84 Introducing an extended discussion of Arian theology, he claimed that his aim was ‘to divide the fold of the breast-plate of this abominable heresy and reveal the foul stench of its folly’.85 This phrase drew upon the description of the leviathan in Job, where God asked rhetorically: ‘Who can enter the fold of his breast-plate?’86 Athanasius here portrayed Arianism as the leviathan and so provided an answer to the Bible’s question: he and his text, both of which contained the true faith of Christianity, were able to destroy this monstrous heresy.87 This textual relationship with Scripture was also central to Lucifer’s self-presentation. By providing a series of examples of biblical figures who had criticised heretical or impious kings, he created an orthodox genealogy of outspokenness for himself. In his De Athanasio I, he outlined the similarities between the Arian Constantius and the Old Testament figure Rabshakeh, who acted as spokesman for the invading Assyrian king Sennacherib. The general of the Assyrian king reproached the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: Do not let Hezekiah persuade you, saying that your God can deliver you from the hands of the Assyrian king. So you, the general of the Antichrist, say through your underlings: Do not let the words of your bishops, who speak against me, persuade you, saying that the faith that they proclaim can deliver you.88

While Constantius imitated Rabshakeh in his scaremongering tactics, Lucifer and other Nicene bishops assumed the role of Hezekiah, the pious king. Although Lucifer could easily have been characterised by a hostile author as similar to Rabshakeh, vociferously dismissing the religion of the present-day monarch, this passage performed a neat role reversal, stripping Constantius of both religious and imperial authority, while Lucifer behaved in a properly regal fashion. He then recounted more of this story which, in support of the narrative that he wished to construct, saw the people of Jerusalem remain true to their God and ended with the destruction of the Assyrian army at the hands of the angel of the Lord. As with 84 Ad Ep. Aeg. 11.6.  85  Contra Arianos i.1.4.  86  Job 41:13 (41:5 LXX). 87 For Athanasius’ claims about the ability of his texts and their exegesis to refute and defeat heresy, see also Contra Arianos i.17.1, i.25.6, i.26.3, i.46.1, ii.24.2, ii.26.1, ii.29.5, ii.32.4, ii.33.1, ii.35.1, ii.58.2, ii.72.5, ii.77.4, iii.7.1, iii.18.3, iii.22.3, iii.37.3, iii.44.5, iii.47.1, iii.56.5, iii.67.5; De morte Arii 5.1; Sent. Dion. 4.1. 88 De Ath. I xl.45–51, citing Isaiah 36:18.

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Athanasius’ story of the wronged Levite, this passage prepared a role for the audience, inviting them to re-enact the behaviour of Isaiah and the pious people of Judah who had remained steadfast. Just as these earlier figures had been rewarded with salvation from the enemy, so their contemporary successors would be delivered from evil and receive everlasting salvation through their adherence to Lucifer’s Nicene orthodoxy. Lucifer similarly evoked biblical scenes in order to claim that he would not allow himself to become an imitator of those individuals who had abandoned the true faith. In one passage he declared defiantly: We have refused to be joined with you heretics; we have refused to join you in raising hands to attack the house of God; we have refused to take up idolatry with you as an insult to God; we have refused to be embroiled in your sacrilege, lest we also become worthy to hear, alongside you, what was heard from the mouth of the prophet Hosea by the priests, people and king of Israel, who had all abandoned God and brought themselves over to idolatry.89

Lucifer here claimed that, if he were to subscribe to Arian theology, he would be joining Constantius’ bishops in replaying the criminal activities of the impious priests who had been chided by Hosea. He therefore offered his readers a glimpse of a possible re-enactment that he might perform, but which he was resolutely determined to avoid.90 F i d e s t r a d i ta p e r b e at o s a p o s t o l o s

As well as presenting themselves as reliving the experiences of prominent biblical characters, Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary also employed Scripture in order to create orthodox genealogies for their theological statements. As might have been expected in any exposition of a theological point, they often sought to prove that their beliefs were in accordance with scriptural teachings, and so employed detailed exegeses of particular passages. This section examines the use made by these three bishops of a rhetorical strategy that went further than simply claiming that the Nicene faith was in agreement with the Bible: they described it as the faith held by the pious throughout history, including those who had lived well before the Christian era. Similarly, these revered characters were presented as also possessing foreknowledge of the coming of 89 De Ath. I xxxv.21–6, followed by a quotation from Hosea 5:1. 90 Lucifer also described himself and Athanasius as imitating Job in De Ath. I xl–xli. At De Ath. I xvi.6–7, Lucifer posed the rhetorical question of whether he should imitate David or Constantius.

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later heresies, particularly Arianism. These authors therefore claimed that prophecies of current events had been placed deliberately within Scripture in order to provide warnings to future generations. This allowed them to argue both that a succession of great figures from Christian history had been enemies of Arianism and that they themselves were the latest exponents of orthodoxy, who received the faith, safe and unchanged, and for whom these scriptural messages had been left. This therefore promoted their own status and authority as interpreters of the sacred texts, since, through their piety and exegetical skill, they were able both to comprehend these warnings and to extract correct theology. Moreover, by presenting the authors of the Bible as active voices composing their texts specifically to combat Arianism and other heresies, these bishops, in performing the same task, transformed themselves into imitators and successors of these authoritative figures.91 Athanasius sought to assert his own orthodox status and to distance his enemies from it by claiming that the Arians had been foreseen and damned by earlier Christians. In part this was performed through prefacing some of his quotations from Scripture with the statement that the authors of these texts had been enemies of Arianism. During a discussion of the meaning of certain biblical passages, he declared: ‘I would say in addition that these words were actually spoken in advance about the folly of these enemies of Christ.’92 Similarly, during an attack on the Arian theological concept that the Son was a ‘work’ of the Father, he introduced the line ‘O bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord’, which was taken from a song uttered by the three boys in the story of the Fiery Furnace.93 Athanasius, however, prefaced the passage with the statement that ‘perceiving this, the martyrs in Babylon, Ananias, Azarias and Misael, refute the Arian impiety’.94 Before using a quotation from Proverbs to argue against Arian theology, Athanasius claimed that ‘you are accused by Solomon of having made false accusations about him many times’.95 Lucifer similarly claimed on a number of occasions that the coming of Constantius and the Arians had been foreseen and described in Scripture. He conjured up the image of a confrontation between Constantius and the pious king Jehosaphat, in 91 See Parvis (2006) 117–18 for an interesting example of Marcellus of Ancyra using a passage from Psalms to present Eusebius of Caesarea as condemned by the voice of God. 92 Contra Arianos iii.8.7. 93 Song of the Three Holy Children 35 (or Daniel 3:57 in the Vulgate). 94 Contra Arianos ii.71.5. 95 Contra Arianos ii.50.1. See also Ad Ep. Aeg. 17.6, which suggested that someone might reasonably say that Psalm 14:1 (13:1 LXX) about the foolish man had been written about the Arians.

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which each monarch attempted to persuade Lucifer of the rightness of his own cause: Meanwhile, Constantius, imagine that king Jehosaphat was in his body today and that each of you addressed us. He would say: Be careful what you will do. You will judge not for man, but for the Lord, and he is with you in the judgement. Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you, so that you take heed and do it. For with the Lord our God there is no iniquity or respect of a particular person.96

The words here directed to Constantius were not only coming from Lucifer, but also from Scripture. Lucifer’s passages describing the biblical foretelling of Constantius often appeared as the introductions to biblical quotations, employing such phrases as ‘see what the Holy Spirit says in the Ninth Psalm, in which you seem to me to have been specifically described’ and ‘you seem to me to be have been revealed already in the Thirty-Fifth Psalm’.97 This idea of prophetic fulfilment was a common feature of early Christian texts, since many authors, from the New Testament onwards, sought to find predictions of the coming of Christ in the Old Testament, particularly Isaiah.98 This strategy was also applied to classical texts, including Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue, which prophesied the advent of a new Golden Age after the birth of a child. Virgil’s text was reinterpreted by a number of Christian authors from the early fourth century onwards, most notably the emperor Constantine in his Oration before the Assembly of the Saints.99 Just as other Christian authors sought out these passages in order to prove to non-believers that Christ really was the Son of God, these bishops now developed the same tactic to support their claim that the battle between Nicene theology and Arianism was already predicted within the Bible. This, like re-enactment, was an important literary manoeuvre for demonstrating their own orthodoxy: their actions, foreseen by the authoritative words of Scripture, became biblical. 96 De Ath. I xxii.1–6, quoting 2 Chronicles 19:6–7, giving the king’s advice to the judges. See also Girardet (1977) 116–17. 97 De Ath. I xxiii.2–3, 61. Similar passages, in which Constantius and Arianism are foreseen by Scripture, can be found, for example, at De Ath. I vii.60–1, xxiv.28–30, 33–5, 37–8, xxv.1–2, 31–2, 38–9, xxvi.8–9, 19–20, 27, xxx.28–9, xxxiv.6–7, 11–12, xxxviii.4–5, xxxix.4–6, 8–10, 12–13. The coming of Lucifer and the Nicene bishops was also said to have been foreseen by Jeremiah at De Ath. I xxii.8–9. 98 Lampe and Woollcombe (1957) especially 9–49; Charity (1966) 103–47. 99 On this oration, which is now widely accepted as being authentic, see Eus. V. Const. 4.32; R. P. C. Hanson (1973) (who rejected the attribution to Constantine); Drake (2000) 292–305; Barnes (2001); Edwards (1995), (1999), (2003) xvii–xxix. On the broader phenomenon of Christian exegesis of the Fourth Eclogue, see Courcelle (1957).

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Lucifer also made repeated claims to the eternal nature of his faith, describing it on one occasion as that which was held by: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, son of Nun, Job, the judges and the other kings, that is David, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah; that which all the prophets, apostles and martyrs held; that which all those who are found to have been pleasing to God have held.100

In fact, a shorter version of this genealogy of orthodoxy, making reference to ‘the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs’ was regularly repeated by Lucifer as he sought to emphasise the unchanging status of his theology.101 At one point, Lucifer contrasted this genealogy with that of the Arian faith, which could only muster Arius, Judas Iscariot and ‘all the Jews’ as its ancestors.102 Athanasius employed a similar method in his self-depiction in opposition to the Arians. He traced the lineage of his beliefs back through famous biblical characters, saying ‘Moses taught what Abraham maintained; Abraham maintained what Noah and Enoch knew’, before extending this line backwards to Abel, Adam and God himself.103 He then moved forward to the New Testament, in order to argue that God then taught the Apostle Paul, who described the ‘ecclesiastical roles’ of deacons and bishops and said that no other Gospel should be taught.104 It was similarly important for Athanasius to establish an ancient pedigree for his Christology so that he could present the Arians as innovators and attackers. He therefore claimed that ‘the rules and forms were not given to the churches recently, but were properly and securely passed down from our fathers’.105 This not only portrayed his views as those of Scripture and of notable pious Jewish and Christian figures, but also tied them to the succession of ‘the Church’, as this implied an unbroken chain back to the Apostles and Christ. By doing this, he was then able to employ the title of ‘the Church’ to bolster his own orthodox credentials and those of his arguments. This was also applied to the interpretation of Scripture when Athanasius claimed that he expounded the ‘ecclesiastical meaning’ of passages of Scripture.106 David Brakke, in his discussion of Athanasius’ 100 De non parc. i.55–60. A slightly shorter version appears at De non conu. viii.26–7. See Laconi (2001b) 49, (2004) 149. 101 This phrase can be found at Lucifer, De Ath. I v.13–14, vi.3, xi.22–3, xl.73–4, xliii.23–4; De Ath. II iii.21, xxix.18, xxxiv.48–9; De non conu. ix.49–50; De non parc. i.51–2, viii.26, xxvi.62, xxxi.33–4; Moriundum xi.70. See also Gustafson (1994) 201. 102 De Ath. I vi.2–5.  103  De decr. 5.1. 104 De decr. 5.2.  105  Ep. Enc. 1.8. 106 Contra Arianos i.44.1, iii.58.3. On this ‘ecclesiastical scope’, see Ernest (1993) especially 351–2, (2004) 148.

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engagement with asceticism, has explored the Alexandrian bishop’s attempts to bring the monks of Egypt under the control of his metropolitan episcopate. When criticising particular ascetic practices, Athanasius employed the authority and interpretative categories associated with his institutional position, regulating the monks’ behaviour by defining it in terms of correct and incorrect exegesis of Scripture, orthodoxy and heresy.107 For Brakke, this appeal to biblical authority, as interpreted by the bishop, played an important role in bringing ascetics within the Church’s domain: ‘Athanasius tied the monastic movement to the episcopate in part by making the monk’s work, namely the cultivation of proper ascetic practices, also a part of the bishop’s work. He did so in part by subordinating ascetic practice to a ‘right’ (ὀρθός) understanding of Scripture, which the bishops defined.’108 Athanasius’ more explicitly anti-heretical works demonstrate that this joint appeal to both episcopal authority and biblical exegesis was not limited to his dealings with ‘charismatic’ ascetics, but was applied more widely to provide greater weight to his arguments in a variety of challenges. He thus employed his position as a member of the ‘true’ Church as proof that he, unlike the Arians, could perform proper exegesis of the Bible, as he had received knowledge and faith from Apostles, bishops and martyrs. This interpretation of the Scriptures therefore allowed these authors to construct themselves as the individuals for whom these biblical warnings were left, strengthening their claims to possess an orthodox lineage and to be skilful readers of Scripture. In the opening of his letter Ad episcopos Aegypti et Libyae, Athanasius outlined his claim to hold the divinely sanctioned power and authority to understand the Bible and recognise the ‘false prophets’ foretold by Christ: ‘he did not remain silent about those who fight against us, but certainly stated beforehand, so that, when these things happened, we would immediately be found to possess an understanding fortified by his teaching.’109 In Athanasius’ account of the history of Christianity, the righteous, of whom he was certainly one, were those who had received the teaching of Christ, and so were blessed with the ability to interpret the sacred texts and defeat heresy. After describing Christ’s encounters with demons, Athanasius stated that ‘he did not put up with them jabbering such things, nor does he want us to put up with such things, so he has instructed us himself, saying: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.’110 107 Brakke (1995) 80–99, 111–29. 108 Brakke (1995) 98–9.  109  Ad Ep. Aeg. 1.1. 110 Ad Ep. Aeg. 3.4, quoting Matthew 7:15. For more examples of Athanasius claiming that forewarnings about the Arians had been left for the orthodox in Scripture, see De decr. 4.2–3, using James

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This portrayal of revered figures as supporters of Nicene orthodoxy is particularly evident in Athanasius’ presentation of the Council of Nicaea and the process of composition that took place there.111 One of the major criticisms made against the Council by its opponents was that the contentious term homoousios was not to be found anywhere in the Bible and therefore was a neologism that was unworthy to appear in a statement defining the relationship between the Father and the Son.112 As has been discussed above, a major tactic employed by supporters of Nicaea was to present their enemies as alien to Scripture. It was therefore imperative for them that the Council and its Creed be presented as being in accordance with the sacred texts, otherwise they were laid open to the same charge. Hilary described the Nicene Creed as ‘established by the gospel doctrines’ and stated that the Council did not make new statements, but merely ‘opened out’ the words of the apostles.113 Athanasius’ earlier works, especially the Orations against the Arians, are notable for their lack of emphasis on either the Council of Nicaea or homoousios as touchstones of orthodoxy.114 However, from the early 350s onwards, Athanasius began to assign an exalted status to the Nicene Creed and launched into an extensive defence of the Council’s scriptural basis in his work De decretis.115 He portrayed the Arians present at the Council, led by Eusebius of Nicomedia, as ‘muttering to each other and signalling with their eyes’, as well as taking refuge in sophisms, rather than discoursing openly and religiously.116 In contrast: 1:8 and Hermas, Mand. 9.9; Contra Arianos i.8.8, using 1 Timothy 4:1–2 and Titus 1:14; Ad Ep. Aeg. 20.2, using 1 Timothy 4:1 and Titus 1:14; Ad Ep. Aeg 23.1; Contra Arianos iii.15.1. On Athanasius’ description of his own exegetical abilities, see Contra Arianos ii.77.6, quoting Proverbs 1:5–6 (‘the man of understanding will understand a proverb and an obscure statement, the speeches of the wise and dark sayings’) in order to justify his interpretation of the ‘dark saying’ of Proverbs 8:22; Sent. Dion. 12.3, quoting Proverbs 8:9; Contra Arianos i.11.8, ii.4.1–3. At Contra Arianos i.54.1–6, he attributed his method of enquiry to a number of orthodox figures, including the Apostles, before arguing that Jews and heretics had failed to follow the same precepts. 111 See Gwynn (2007) 239–44, (2012) 85–90 on Athanasius’ reinterpretation/manipulation of the Council and its statements in the 350s. 112 De decr. 1.1. It was condemned as unbiblical by the ‘Blasphemy of Sirmium’ in 357, as preserved by Hilary, De synodis 11 and Ath. De synodis 28. See also the ‘Arian’ letter from the Council of Ariminum in 359, preserved at Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.vi.1–2, condemning both homoousios and all ousia language. In contrast, a defence of substantia (a Latin translation of ousia) as ‘nothing new’, since it ‘was placed in our minds by many sacred Scriptures’, was also written by the ‘Catholic’ bishops at the same council – Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.ix.1.2. On attempts to move away from the use of ousia in theological discourse during the late 350s, see p. 81 above. 113 Adu. Val. et Ursac. b.ii.11.1.2; b.ii.9.7. 114 Gwynn (2007) 22. 115 Like most Athanasian works, the dating of the De decretis is heavily debated, although most suggestions fall within the period 350–6  – see Kopecek (1979) i 116–17; Kannengiesser (1982) 988; Barnes (1993) 110–12, 198–9; Gwynn (2007) 29–33, (2012) 11. R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 419 dates it to 356–7, while Brennecke (1984) 11 n. 41 places it later in the third exile. 116 De decr. 20.1.

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Unlike their opponents, the orthodox bishops had taken recourse to the Bible, from which one of Solomon’s Proverbs was here quoted to condemn the Arians. More importantly though, it was not just Athanasius who spoke with the words of Scripture: the bishops at Nicaea were presented as conduits for the sacred texts. Although the term that they created was not actually present in Scripture, it was instead to be regarded as a clarified version of it. Athanasius stated that it was the bishops’ intention to ‘destroy the statements of the Arians’ impiety and write the agreed sayings of the Scriptures’118 and that all they had done was written the Bible’s words ‘more clearly and in a parallel manner’.119 After expounding his beliefs, Athanasius provided a selection of scriptural proof-texts to support them, introducing each one with the claim that the original author had made their biblical statements while being fully cognisant of Nicene theology.120 This presentation positioned revered and authoritative figures, including David, Solomon and Paul, as believers in the same faith held by Athanasius, and thus the bishop bolstered his own claim to be following the true path of Christianity through his ownership of characters and texts that were respected by all Christians.121 Hilary also made skilful use of biblical passages in order to support his arguments and theological statements in the deferential Letter to Constantius. While most of the scriptural citations in this short text were 117 De decr. 20.3, using Proverbs 12:20. 118 De decr. 19.1.  119 De decr. 22.4. 120 De decr. 17.5–8. On the presentation of the Council of Nicaea as a fixed norm against which heretics rebelled, see also Lyman (1993) 56. 121 The garnering of support from earlier writers was also employed in Athanasius’ De sententia Dionysii, in which he argued that the works of Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria from 247 to 264, did not support Arian theology. In his analysis of these writings, Athanasius was keen to point out where he thought that Dionysius refuted Arianism, despite dying fifty years before Arius began his preaching. At Sent. Dion. 12.1, Athanasius stated that, through his writings, Dionysius ‘is able to cry out against them, saying “I do not hold the same opinion as you, you enemies of God, nor do my works supply Arius with a pretext for his impiety”’. At Sent. Dion. 27.1, after making his own inferences from Dionysius’ statements, in order to reach a Nicene conclusion about the relationship between Father and Son, Athanasius simply stated that ‘knowing these things, Dionysius wrote’ and ‘in his earlier works he muzzled Sabellius, in the later ones he trampled the Arian heresy’. See also Sent. Dion. 25.2, equating Arianism and Sabellianism. Athanasius also criticised Arian use of Dionysius’ works with biblical parallels at Sent. Dion. 3.1–4, quoting Matthew 3:9 (or Luke 3:8) and John 8:40. See also Sent. Dion. 13.1–3. for the casting of Dionysius of Rome as an enemy of Arianism. This tactic, like Athanasius’ use of biblical figures, was an attempt to claim Christian history as the exclusive preserve of the Nicene camp and to separate Arianism from it as novel and heretical.

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employed as theological proof-texts, one passage contained three biblical phrases in quick succession as part of a description of the role that Hilary could play in explaining orthodox theology to Constantius. After praising the emperor for wishing to secure a creed that was in full agreement with Scripture and for having a heart ‘filled with knowledge of divine sayings’, Hilary made an appeal to Constantius. Deign to hear a few things from me about the Gospel Scriptures and let me speak with you with the words of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose exile or priest I am. For earthenware vessels hold noble treasuries and weaker bodies are more worthy of respect, and, amongst us, uneducated fishermen also spoke of God. According to the prophet, God shows concern for the lowly man who trembles at his words. You seek a faith, Emperor. Hear it, not from new pamphlets, but from the books of God. Know that it can also be provided in the West, whence they shall come and recline with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God.122

Only one of these three biblical phrases was signposted, and then merely as the words of ‘the prophet’, so Hilary was reliant upon the recognition of these passages by his audience, which was most probably intended to be wider than just the emperor himself. To a reader who failed to notice them, this passage would be a straightforward justification of Hilary’s capacity, as a humble man from the West, to expound the faith. For those who recognised them, however, it had greater force. Having already proved himself capable of producing detailed theological arguments from Scripture, Hilary here displayed his own knowledge of and reliance upon the sacred texts. He was one of Paul’s hidden gems, one of the humble, pious figures praised by Isaiah, one of the righteous men from the West foretold by Jesus. Like Christ in the Gospels, Hilary here used the words of Scripture within his own statements in order to present himself as their fulfilment.123 His promise to proclaim a wholly biblical creed was here expressed in a passage that was itself constructed using biblical phrases. As such, it provided support to Hilary’s argument that, contrary to the claims of their opponents, Nicene bishops based their writings upon the Word of God. H i l a r y a n d Au x e n t i u s

The literary techniques explored in this chapter, including the employment of re-enactment, both in presentations of the author and his 122 Ad Const. 8.1–2, using 2 Corinthians 4:7, Isaiah 66:2 and Matthew 8:11. 123 See, for example, Matthew 24:15, referring to Daniel 9:24–7, and Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, in which Jesus utters a phrase from Psalms 22:1 (21:1 LXX). See also Fabiny (1992) 59–63.

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ecclesiastical enemies, continued to feature prominently in Hilary’s later polemical writings, which postdate his return from exile. Just as he did in the In Constantium, Hilary drew upon the rhetoric of persecution and Christian opposition to the impious forces of secular authority, as well as characterising his foes as alienated from Scripture through both their actions and their words. He thus cast his battles with western ‘Arians’ as another round in the eternal struggle between good and evil, in which he, on account of his time in the East, could already claim to be a veteran. These later texts also demonstrate that polemic of this sort did not require an emperor as its ultimate target. The first half of the 360s saw a rapid turnover of rulers and an accompanying series of shifts in imperial policies towards Christianity and its theological disputes. Hilary sought, where possible, to gain imperial support for his activities. When this was not forthcoming, however, he was able to turn his failure to his advantage, making a virtue of his lack of ‘earthly’ assistance. He nonetheless walked a fine line with this argument, avoiding the bitter personal attacks that he had launched against Constantius and claiming that an unsupportive emperor was not necessarily the precursor of the Antichrist. Instead, Hilary turned his attention towards those bishops whom he regarded as the chief local enemies of Nicene orthodoxy, most notably Auxentius of Milan.124 While this prelate was, like the Arian priests discussed above, accused of continuing in the footsteps of earlier heretics, he was also portrayed in the role of a secular persecutor, terrorising those around him, including the emperor Valentinian I. The vivid image of the anti-Christian tyrant, which Hilary had crafted to denounce Constantius II, was thus refined for application to Auxentius the bishop. He was presented as combining in himself the two impious lineages of priestly heresy and monarchical tyranny to create a dangerously powerful ‘Arian Church’. When Constantius II died in November 361, his cousin Julian, now the undisputed Augustus, swiftly revealed himself to be a pagan, although he did allow all the bishops exiled under Constantius to return to their sees. Hilary, however, was already back in the West before Constantius’ death. After attending the Council of Seleucia in 359 and then visiting Constantinople, where Constantius held another council in January 360, he soon travelled to Gaul, which passed out of Constantius’ direct control 124 Auxentius, whom Athanasius claims came from Cappadocia, had replaced Dionysius, who had been deposed at the Council of Milan and subsequently died in exile – see Hist. Ar. 75.1; Sulp. Sev. Chron. 2.39; Barnes (1993) 117; McLynn (1994) 20–31; Pietri and Pietri (1999–2000) i 238–41.

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after Julian’s usurpation.125 Once back from exile, Hilary turned his attention to ‘Arians’ in the West, attempting to undo much of the work of the Councils of Milan, Ariminum and Constantinople. He travelled to Paris, there taking a leading role in a Gallic council which wrote to the bishops of the East to report its excommunication of a number of major supporters of Homoian theology, including Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursa, as well as Auxentius.126 This brief letter mentions Hilary three times: as the bearer of reliable eastern information about ‘the deceit of the Devil and the schemes of the heretics conspiring against the Church of the Lord’, as ‘the faithful preacher of the Lord’s name’ and as a figure who has steadfastly ‘refused to make peace with those who pursue the errors of them [the Homoians]’.127 While it is unclear whether Hilary was actually the author of this letter (which survives in his controversialist collection Against Valens and Ursacius), he certainly played a prominent role at the council. The conciliar letter, like the In Constantium, promoted an image of Hilary as a constant opponent of Arianism and a reliable exponent of orthodoxy. The brief reign of Julian, the final polytheist emperor, came to an abrupt end when he was killed on campaign in Persia in June 363 and was replaced by the Christian Jovian, who himself died eight months later, possibly asphyxiated by fumes from the brazier in his bedroom.128 The army chose as his successor Valentinian, a military tribune from Pannonia, who raised his brother Valens to the rank of Augustus and divided the army and administration of empire with him: Valentinian took the praetorian prefectures of Italy (including Illyricum) and the Gauls, while Valens held the prefecture of Oriens.129 Valentinian then moved west to establish his capital in Milan during 364–5.130 The presence of the new emperor presented an opportunity for Hilary to challenge the position of Auxentius, who had been in secure possession of the see of Milan since the death of the exiled Dionysius.131 Hilary sought to undermine Auxentius by accusing him of 125 Meslin (1969) 38–9; Duval (1970) especially 253–66; Brennecke (1984) 352–61; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 464–5; D. H. Williams (1992) 10–12; Barnes (1993) 150–1, 153; Pelland (1997) 249–50; Wickham (1997) xiv. 126 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.i; Borchardt (1966) 178–9; Brennecke (1984) 364–5; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 465–6; D. H. Williams (1992) 14–15, (1995) 42–6; Barnes (1993) 153–4. 127 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.i.1.2, 4.1, 4.2. 128 Amm. 25.3, 25.5, 25.10.12–13 (including the suggestion that Jovian may have been murdered); Lenski (2002) 14–19; Potter (2004) 518–21. 129 Amm. 26.1.1–7, 26.2, 26.4–5.5; Zos. 3.36.2–4.3.1; Lenski (2002) 19–27; Potter (2004) 521–2. 130 Lenski (2002) 27. 131 The date of Dionysius’ death is unknown, although it is likely to have taken place before Julian’s general amnesty for exiled bishops in early 362 – see Pietri and Pietri (1999–2000) i 564.

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blasphemy while Valentinian was residing in the city.132 The emperor asked two officials, alongside ten bishops, to investigate the matter.133 Their conclusion was that Auxentius was orthodox and, consequently, Hilary was driven from the city for trying to disrupt the peace. This story is related by Hilary in his Contra Auxentium, in which he sought to promulgate his version of events and also to expose what he claimed was the cunning trickery used by Auxentius to conceal his heresy from the emperor.134 This text mixes themes from both of Hilary’s earlier works addressed to Constantius II. As in his deferential Ad Constantium, Hilary does not explicitly blame the emperor for the ascendancy of heretics.135 Instead, the emperor and his court are depicted as having been fooled by the ambiguous language of the mellifluous Arian. In his account of his own intervention, Hilary explained: ‘I added that he [Auxentius] held different views from those which the king himself or all the others held.’136 Auxentius, like the malevolent courtiers who were said to have deceived Constantius, deviously planned his fraud: ‘Turning his plans round in his mind for a long time, he very cunningly deceived the king’s faith.’137 The Milanese bishop therefore came up with a description of Christ as deus uerus filius. Hilary explained to his readers that while most people believed that Auxentius was saying that Christ was ‘true God’ (deus uerus), he was in fact only stating that he was ‘true Son’ (uerus filius) and so not really renouncing his heretical views.138 Hilary therefore sought to expose this as a tactical manoeuvre calculated to allow Auxentius to continue his Arian project: ‘He made this profession to the king in order to deceive; he deceived in order to blaspheme.’139 Here Hilary ascribed to Auxentius the ‘clever eloquence’ which was frequently linked in Christian literature with pagan sophistry, and so contrasted with the plain and truthful words of the faithful.140 132 Borchardt (1966) 180–2; Meslin (1969) 39–41; Simonetti (1975) 381–3; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 466– 7; McLynn (1994) 25–31; D. H. Williams (1992) 18–22, (1995) 78–80; Kaufman (1997) 428–34; Durst (1998) 125–32; Humphries (1999) 117–18; Barnes (2002) 227–31; Lenski (2002) 239. For the debate over whether Hilary was assisted by Eusebius of Vercelli, see the opposing views of D. H. Williams (1992) 21, (1995) 79 and Simonetti (1975) 381–2, (1997) 172–3. 133 The identities of these bishops are unknown, while the lack of clarity in Hilary’s text has led to speculation about their role in the proceedings. For a succinct summary of this debate, see Durst (1998) 127–8. 134 On this text, see the introduction to the translation in Appendix 5 below. 135 On Hilary’s Ad Constantium, see p. 99 above. 136 Contra Auxentium 7.  137  Contra Auxentium 7. 138 Contra Auxentium 8. See Borchardt (1966) 180; Simonetti (1975) 382; McLynn (1994) 26; Kaufman (1997) 428; Durst (1998) 131. 139 Contra Auxentium 12. 140 See, for example Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.19.16: ‘And so let them understand from this how great a gulf separates truth and falsehood; for, although they are eloquent, they are not able to persuade.

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Valentinian, therefore, was not to be blamed for being taken in by Auxentius’ verbal sleight of hand: ‘After which the king, on account of his sincerity of faith, came to his [Auxentius’] communion.’141 Throughout this piece, the emperor is consistently presented as a supporter of the orthodox, Nicene faith expounded by Hilary. While Valentinian is attested as having adhered to this confession personally, he also followed a general policy of non-interference in religious matters, not seeking to impose a uniform creed on the empire.142 Although Hilary was probably accurate in stating that Auxentius held different views from Valentinian, his presentation of the emperor’s acceptance of the bishop as based solely upon deception glosses over Valentinian’s policy of non-interventionism. Transmitted along with Hilary’s text is a letter from Auxentius to the emperors in which it is clear that the bishop of Milan saw no danger in affirming his acceptance of the views ratified at Ariminum in 359 and Constantinople in 360.143 Auxentius opened his address by denouncing the rabble-rousing of Hilary and Eusebius of Vercelli, declaring: ‘I certainly think that the unity of six hundred bishops, achieved after such great hardships, ought not, through the controversy of a few men, to be torn open by matters rejected ten years ago.’144 He appended a statement of faith which also avoided all mention of ousia, or its Latin equivalents substantia and essentia, before stating that the bishops at Ariminum had done sterling work in condemning and anathematising heresies.145 Even if Auxentius had employed some clever phrasing in his statement of faith, any emperor who was as vigorously pro-Nicene as Hilary would have baulked at the affirmation of Ariminum.146 Hilary therefore sought to depict the incident purely as the The unskilled and the inelegant can persuade, because the truth and the matter itself speaks.’ The phrase res ipsa et ueritas echoes Cic. Pro Roscio 15.44. Lucifer, in one of his borrowings from Lactantius, expressed a similar sentiment at Moriundum xi.13–16: ‘So we, for whom nature suffices for eloquence and who are strangers to all knowledge of pagan literature, have the power to destroy every heresy, because the truth and the matter itself speak.’ See also the continued discussion of this issue at Moriundum xi.16–22, using Lact. Diu. Inst. 5.1.15–16. It is not clear whether Lucifer was aware of the irony of using a Ciceronian phrase to make this point. Laconi (2004) 121 reads this passage as a clever example of Lucifer showing that he is able to be eloquent, but chooses to reject such rhetoric. 141 Contra Auxentium 9. 142 Amm. 30.9.5; Soc. HE 4.1.12; Soz. HE 6.6.10; McLynn (1994) 26–9. Lenski (2002) 238–42 both discusses Valentinian’s religious policies and also speculates about his doctrinal beliefs. 143 On the manuscript tradition of the Contra Auxentium and Auxentius’ own statement, see Durst (1998) 132–45. 144 Contra Auxentium 13. 145 Contra Auxentium 14–15. On the importance of ousia in the theological arguments of the 350s, see pp. 205–6 above. On the inconsistencies of Hilary’s use of substantia, essentia and natura to translate Greek theological terminology, see R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 486–92. 146 McLynn (1994) 26–7.

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deception of a pious, Nicene emperor rather than his own failure to persuade a co-religionist that drastic action needed to be taken against the bishop of a major Italian see. While Hilary sought to present Valentinian as an ally in theological matters, the Contra Auxentium simultaneously deployed the same rhetoric of opposition to interfering and persecuting Roman government that featured so prominently in the In Constantium, as well as the other invectives against Constantius II. Hilary complained about the involvement of secular power in religious matters, explaining that Christianity had never required any such assistance to spread throughout the world. I ask you, you bishops who trust in this, what influential recommendations did the Apostles use to proclaim the Gospel? Helped by what powers did they proclaim Christ and bring nearly all the nations from idols to God? Did they take on some office from the imperial palace, singing the hymn to God in prison among chains and after whips; when Paul was a spectacle in the theatre, did he unite the church in Christ through the edicts of a king?147

Disregarding his own attempts to persuade Valentinian to expel Auxentius, Hilary depicted his enemies as falling away from the example set by the Apostles and relying, instead, on secular authority to enforce their decisions. In contrast, Hilary tried to make a virtue of his lack of official support in his account of the activities of the early Christians: ‘Sustaining themselves with their own hands and work, coming together in attics and secret places, travelling through towns and forts and almost all the peoples by land and sea against senatus consulta and the edicts of kings, did they not certainly hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven?’148 True Christians were distinguished by their lack of reliance on imperial assistance and the fact that they succeeded despite being stymied by opposition from the government. Just as he had done during his exile under Constantius, Hilary claimed that his failure to persuade the emperor of the righteousness of his cause was not detrimental to his case, but actually proved his orthodoxy, as demonstrated by his similarity to the members of the primitive Church. This theme was reprised in the concluding part of the text, in which Hilary argued that physical possession of a see and its churches was no guarantee of correct theological belief. Wrongly has love of walls seized you; wrongly do you revere the Church of God in buildings and structures; wrongly within these do you bestow the 147 Contra Auxentium 3. 

  Contra Auxentium 3.

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name of peace. Is there any doubt that the Antichrist will be enthroned in these? For me, mountains and woods and lakes and prisons and chasms are safer, for the prophets, either abiding or having been confined in these, prophesied with the spirit of God.149

Like lack of official support, expulsion from the churches and their urban setting was presented as proof of piety: prophets and apostles had been treated in this fashion and so Hilary, who suffered in the same manner as these earlier religious figures, was staking a claim to be their successor. In his complaints about the circumstances at Milan, Hilary drew upon the same technique of inversion employed by Eusebius of Vercelli in order to argue for the falsity of Arian claims to be the true Church. He used references to the rise of Christianity during periods of persecution in order to present the Arians as having taken on the roles of their former enemies. The Church terrifies with exiles and prisons; the Church, which was trusted in during exiles and prisons, forces people to trust in it. The Church, which was made sacred by the terror of persecutors, rests upon the status of those who commune. The Church, which was propagated by exiled priests, exiles priests. The Church, which could not have been of Christ unless the world despised it, boasts that it is loved by the world. The matter itself, which is in the eyes and mouth of all, has shouted out these things about the difference between the former Church, which was handed down to us, and its current, corrupted state.150

Not only was Hilary claiming that persecution continued to take place, but also that ‘the Church’, now controlled by the Arians, was the agent of these attacks, committing precisely what it was supposed to suffer. Just as Hilary, Athanasius and Lucifer had painted Constantius as the mirror image of their own conceptions of an ideal emperor, so here Hilary portrayed the Church as characterised by its opposition to persecution in order to label Auxentius’ institution as its polar opposite. This presentation was amplified with a sarcastic rhetorical question concerning the primitive Church: ‘Was it protected, I suppose, with Nero, or Vespasian, or Decius as defenders?’151 This was a trio of emperors chosen for their hostility towards Christianity: Nero and Decius were used as representative of the worst pagan persecutors on three occasions in the In Constantium: once 149 Contra Auxentium 12. McLynn (1994) 27–9 sees in this passage a reference to Auxentius’ use of the spectacular Basilica Nova. On this passage as an invocation of apostolic Christianity, see Kaufman (1997) 430, 432. 150 Contra Auxentium 4. 151 Contra Auxentium 3. See also Opelt (1973b) 214–15.

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on their own and twice bracketed with Maximian.152 Hilary thus sought to evoke the memory of persecution and to link it with any involvement of secular power in ecclesiastical matters.153 Hilary was therefore able to argue both that his opponents had lost any claim to be following in the footsteps of the Apostles and also that, by seeking to stop them, he and his allies were to be revered. While he did complain about heretics succeeding through imperial support, his major accusations of persecution were made not against the emperor and his officials, but against the Arian Church. The focus of his attention had shifted away from the machinery of imperial government, but his tactics remained broadly the same and so allowed him to continue his self-construction as the latest in a long line of confessors and martyrs. Not only were Auxentius and his ecclesiastical allies cast as persecutors, but they were also specifically said to be anti-Christian.154 The word antichristus appears fifteen times within this brief text, spread throughout the whole work. Like the letter from the Gallic council which praises Hilary, the Contra Auxentium argued that there could be no peace and agreement with heretics of this sort: ‘they are those who glory in their own peace, which is the unity of their impiety, acting not as bishops of Christ, but as priests of the Antichrist.’155 This rhetoric ran in parallel to his presentation of a persecuting Church as an inversion of the proper order. By complaining that Auxentius had denied that Christ was deus uerus, Hilary went on to accuse him of denying Christ and, by extension, being antichristus. We know that there are many Antichrists, as the Apostle John actually proclaims. For, as the Apostles declared, anyone who has denied Christ is an Antichrist. It is an inherent characteristic of the name of Antichrist to be antithetical to Christ. This is now carried out under the name of false piety, 152 In Const. 4, 7, 8. See pp. 93–4 above. The inclusion of Vespasian in this list is more surprising, since he was not notable as a persecutor of Christians and was certainly not described as such in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History. Eusebius did give an extensive account of the fall of Jerusalem during Vespasian’s reign, but regarded this rather as punishment due to the Jews than an attack on true believers. It might be that Hilary was referring to a separate tradition or, alternatively, that the text is corrupt. 153 See D. H. Williams (1992) 19. It is also possible that Hilary’s complaints about the involvement of secular power are a reference to Constantius II’s policies, although he is never mentioned (and nor is any emperor after Decius depicted as a persecutor here). Laconi (2004) 71 sees this as a development of Hilary’s stance in his In Constantium, but one should be careful not to see this as an expression of his own theory of ‘Church–State relations’, rather than a standpoint adopted after he failed to gain imperial support. As Hilary states in this text, he had first reported Auxentius to Valentinian I. 154 On the Antichrist in Christian polemic, see pp. 61–2 and 113 above. 155 Contra Auxentium 1.

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this is performed under the pretence of proclaiming the Gospel, so that the Lord Jesus Christ, while he is thought to be proclaimed, is denied.156

This accusation picked up the statement in 1 John 2:18 that many Antichrists had appeared, signalling the beginning of the end. Through his characterisation of Auxentius’ ‘Arianism’, Hilary portrayed the bishop as fulfilling a role identified in Scripture, while Hilary in turn was the follower of the Apostle, as demonstrated by his ability to recognise antiChristian characteristics. This presentation of Auxentius as belonging to a separate, heretical institution was extended through reference both to Arius, the heresiarch whose ideas he was said to follow, and the Devil, the spiritual instigator of all doctrinal error. Hilary stated that ‘we have come into the actual age of the Antichrist, with, following the Apostle, his ministers transforming into an angel of light’.157 Hilary’s self-proclaimed role in uncovering heretical activity was underpinned with reference to Paul’s warning that Satan and his ministers would try to trick believers by claiming to be Christians.158 Within this narrative, Auxentius’ protestations of faith were a sign of his faithlessness: the more he defended himself, the more he proclaimed himself to be one of the figures condemned by both Hilary and Paul. Just as, in the In Constantium, Hilary had condemned ‘a deceptive persecutor, a flattering enemy, Constantius the Antichrist’, he now argued that Auxentius was particularly dangerous because, unlike a pagan persecutor, he could not be easily identified as an enemy of the true faith.159 After giving examples of ambiguous theological language used by his enemies, Hilary complained about this trickery and attempted to explain the lack of opposition to it from the mass of ‘true Christians’, 156 Contra Auxentium 2. 157 Contra Auxentium 5; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14. 158 This identification was coupled with the creation of a brief heretical genealogy for Auxentius and his theological allies using this Pauline phrase at Contra Auxentium 5: ‘hence the spirit of Arius recently transformed from the angel of the devil into an angel of light: Arius, whose whole succession extended and sank down to Valens, Ursacius, Auxentius, Germinius and Gaius.’ The four bishops associated with Auxentius here – Valens of Mursa, Ursacius of Singidunum, Germinius of Sirmium and Gaius (of an unidentified Illyrian see) – had all been condemned by the pro-Nicene bishops at Ariminum in 359 – see Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.ix.3.1; Barnes (1993) 145. Valens, Ursacius and Gaius were also condemned at the Gallic council at Paris after Hilary’s return from the East – see Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.i.4.2. See also Contra Auxentium 11, where Auxentius is addressed as ‘heir of Arius’ and 12, where he is ‘the angel of Satan, the enemy of Christ, ruined destroyer, denier of the faith’. 159 In Const. 5; see p. 113 above. See also Hilary’s determined proclamation at Contra Auxentium 12: ‘Now let him gather against me whatever synods he wants, and let him proscribe me as a heretic by a public notice, as he has already often done, and let him rouse against me as much of the rage of powerful men as he wants.’

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lamenting that ‘now the people of Christ do not die under the priests of the Antichrist, because they think that what is spoken is the faith’.160 Here was another attempt by Hilary to respond to his own failure to persuade a supposedly orthodox emperor that Auxentius posed a heretical threat. His Ad Constantium had attempted to win Constantius’ support for the Nicene theological position by presenting the emperor as deceived by bad advisers; the Contra Auxentium, with its more bombastic rhetoric, wove this trope together with biblically supported references to the Antichrist(s) and descriptions of persecution similar to those which had featured so prominently in the In Constantium. The ‘Arian’ Church of Auxentius had therefore not only become the agent of persecution, rather than the victim, but now even exercised its power over Valentinian himself. Thus Hilary addressed Auxentius directly, asking ‘why do you circumvent the king, the comites, the Church of God through the trickery of your father, that is, Satan?’161 As discussed above, this deceit, which Hilary declared himself to be determined to expose, had supposedly been performed through rhetorical trickery. Auxentius’ statement of faith, by which he had persuaded Valentinian and others of his orthodoxy, was described by Hilary as ‘a text written with the pen of the Antichrist’.162 Both Hilary and Auxentius had claimed that their writings, unlike those of their opponents, represented a correct interpretation of the Scriptures.163 With this phrase, Hilary not only continued his anti-Christian characterisation of Auxentius, but also, through the use of the word scriptura to describe the document in question, made it seem that the bishop of Milan was trying to set up a false Scripture to accompany his false Christ.164 As has been discussed throughout this chapter, writing could be presented as a religious act through which the author demonstrated his understanding of the faith and so demonstrated his orthodoxy and holiness. By presenting Auxentius as wielding ‘the pen of the Antichrist’, Hilary turned that model on its head, contrasting his own biblically driven literary activity with the irreligious compositions of his enemy. Hilary’s attacks on Auxentius therefore represent a development of, or a departure from, his earlier anti-Constantian rhetoric. The tropes of persecution and anti-Christian deceit were retained, but now applied to a 160 Contra Auxentium 6.  161  Contra Auxentium 11. 162 Contra Auxentium 7 – scripturam stylo antichristi compositam. There is also a reference to Auxentius using (or being) stylus satanae at chapter 11, although five manuscripts transmit this as filius satanae. 163 See Contra Auxentium 14–15 for Auxentius’ defence of his faith as the exposition of Scripture. 164 On the characterisation of Arius’ Thalia as a rival to Scripture, see pp. 194–5 above.

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bishop rather than an emperor. Just as the In Constantium had involved the construction of an ideal Christian emperor in order to cast Constantius as its opposite, so the Contra Auxentium similarly painted an image of the ‘true Church’, which suffered persecution and shunned worldly power and finery, and portrayed Auxentius as a tyrannical, heretical figure who even managed to dominate the emperor himself. They will not last long. But, as it is written, the hearts of the impious will swiftly fail. So, having clothed ourselves, as it is written, in the words of the holy Scriptures, let us resist them as apostates and men who desire to establish insanity in the house of the Lord, and let us neither fear corporeal death, nor emulate their ways … We did not wish to make an agreement with them, but chose instead to be persecuted by them rather than to imitate the behaviour of Judas. And they have certainly done what they threatened: imitating Jezebel, they took on the deceitful Meletians as their agents, knowing how they were opposed to the blessed Peter the martyr, and, after him, the great Achillas and then the blessed Alexander.165

With these words, Athanasius encouraged his supporters at the conclusion of his letter Ad episcopos Aegypti et Libyae. Two rival ecclesiastical camps were clearly delineated for the readers: on one side were the Arians, fulfilling the words of Solomon in Proverbs, emulating Judas and Jezebel, persecuting the orthodox and allying themselves with heretics; against them stood Athanasius who, like a whole host of faithful Christians before him, was ready to face martyrdom at the hands of persecutors. He also provided a list of three bishops of Alexandria who had opposed these enemies of Christ: one was ‘great’, one ‘blessed’ and the third, Peter, not only achieved the latter distinction but had even received the glorious crown of martyrdom. This pious and authoritative triumvirate consisted of Athanasius’ immediate predecessors in the metropolitan see of Egypt: he was the institutional and spiritual heir to this orthodox succession. In addition to this, Athanasius’ exhortation made explicit reference to the power of Scripture in the struggle against heresy: firstly, it provided evidence of the impending defeat of the Arians, evidence that could be recognised by those properly instructed in the interpretation of the sacred texts; secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it was a means of defence against the attacks of the impious. Athanasius’ battle cry of ‘clothe yourselves in the words of holy Scripture and resist’, with its echoes of Paul’s words to the Ephesians, staked his claim to be regarded both as an imitator of revered biblical

  Ad Ep. Aeg 23.1–3, using Proverbs 10:20 LXX.

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­ aradigms and as an expert exponent of theology whose every word and p deed relied upon the unassailable authority of Scripture.166 The deployment of scriptural passages by Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer formed another authority claim alongside their evocation of the tropes of persecution and martyrdom. Through such textual strategies, they fought to establish the primacy of their beliefs within a fractured and often hostile theological environment. All of these texts involved detailed exegesis of Scripture in order to argue that the Nicene faith was the correct interpretation of the sacred text. As this chapter has argued, however, this was not the only way in which the Bible was employed to support their orthodoxy. The ‘literary’ or ‘polemical’ use of Scripture acted as the justification of the actions and methods employed by Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary, as well as the ‘easterners’ at the Council of Serdica. It allowed these bishops to claim that, instead of merely speaking as more voices within a cacophony of rival interpretations, they were actually acting in complete accordance with the words and deeds of patriarchs, prophets, apostles and even Christ himself. For them the past was not a foreign country; they did things identically there. By stating that enemies were combated by the same actions, or even the same words, as those used against the famous and paradigmatic biblical enemies of God, these authors presented contemporary events as re-enactments of events that their readers already knew and respected, and in which they could easily recognise who was on the side of righteousness. The heroes and villains were identified as imitators of the examples provided by the sacred texts; the readers were thus invited to join the cast, either in specific roles, as in Athanasius’ use of Judges or Lucifer’s reliving of Hezekiah, or more generally as an audience who accepted the authors’ presentations of their ecclesiastical wrangling as part of a continuing biblical narrative.167 In addition, it was claimed that the Arians, through their reproduction of the ignorance and impiety of earlier heretics, particularly the Jews, had separated themselves from Scripture, as proven by their active condemnation by its authors and actors. The heretics were depicted as lacking the skills or the authority to expound the sacred writings and so not qualified to explain theological ideas. In contrast, the fourth-century authors of these texts, through their self-constructions, claimed that they, as the 166 cf. Ephesians 6:11. 167 See Charity (1966) 8, which emphasises ‘the essential reference of typological writing in the Bible to the life of its hearer or reader’. See also Piras (2001) and Laconi (2004) 179–82 on sermo biblicus in the works of Lucifer.

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latest in a long series of revered champions of orthodoxy, possessed the ability to interpret the Bible correctly and so defeat heresy. Their actions and words, as described in their writings, relived Scripture; their texts, in narrating such events and incorporating authoritative biblical language, were both written from, and rewritings of, Scripture. These authors thus proclaimed their symbiosis with the sacred text that guaranteed their status as reliable exegetes. When the audience recognised carefully selected biblical phrases, scenes and allusions, sometimes signposted, sometimes interwoven, within the works of Athanasius, Hilary or Lucifer, a similar message was conveyed by these three bishops. By presenting their own actions and writings as re-enactments of scriptural models, and thus simultaneously portraying their own beliefs and behaviour as central to the sacred text and its characters, they harmonised the different works: just as their narratives elided past and present, so the barriers between Scripture and these latest Christian compositions were broken down by this intertextuality. These authors not only made their texts biblical, but also made the Bible Nicene.

Epilogue

What can be more extraordinarily wicked, than for a person … to pretend freedom for all men, and under the help of that p[r]etence to make all men his servants? … to pretend the defence of Parliaments, and violently to dissolve all even of his own calling, and almost choosing? to undertake the Reformation of Religion, to rob it even to the very skin, and then to expose it naked to the rage of all Sects and Heresies? to set up Counsels of Rapine, and Courts of Murder? … to break his faith with all Enemies, and with all Friends equally? and to make no lesse frequent use of the most solemn Perjuries than the looser sort of People do of customary Oaths? … to set himself up as an Idol (which we know as St. Paul sayes, in it self is nothing) and make the very streets of London, like the Valley of Hinnon, by burning the bowels of men as a sacrifice to his Moloch-ship? to seek to entail this usurpation upon his Posterity, and with it an endlesse War upon the Nation? and lastly, by the severest Judgement of Almighty God, to dye hardned, and mad, and unrepentant, with the curses of the present Age, and the detestation of all to succeed. A. Cowley, The Visions and Prophecies concerning England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1660, 15–18.

Attacking an autocrat makes a powerful statement, about both the assailant and the assailed. While Abraham Cowley wrote his tract after Oliver Cromwell’s death and published it after the Restoration, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer used invective to assert their importance at a time when they found themselves sidelined, having been condemned by their colleagues and exiled by the imperial authorities. In their attacks on the emperor Constantius II they drew upon the rhetorical methods of representation that appeared regularly and prominently in the textbooks of the schoolroom and the panegyrics of civic and imperial ceremonial. Their remarkable works, the earliest surviving invectives against a living Roman emperor, provide another angle from which to approach the study of imperial authority and representation. The literary techniques of 220

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character assassination were inculcated to students of rhetoric by countless teachers and widely circulated progymnasmata. Authoritative models were to be found in the Philippics of Demosthenes and Cicero, together with the latter’s other great verbal barrages, including the Catilinarians. Young men were educated that invective was the mirror image of panegyric, constructed from the same materials, describing family background and upbringing, vices and crimes, all illustrated with apposite exempla. As in effusive speeches of praise, different elements could be emphasised or downplayed depending on the subject’s characteristics and the speaker’s purposes. Invective therefore deserves to be assigned a place alongside panegyric in the study of Roman power politics. Whether deployed in the sustained attacks of these three bishops, or the condemnatory poetry of Claudian, or the portraits of tyranny in the Panegyrici Latini, depictions of failed leadership sit alongside panegyrics, acclamations and aduentus as part of the discourse of idealised kingship that was central to the ceremonial life of late antiquity. Invectives had a vital role to play, not only in allowing individuals and communities to distance themselves from a defunct regime, but also in reshaping the image of an exemplary emperor to criticise the particular failings of a real one. Just as each laudatory speech both constructed an imperial paradigm and recognised its fulfilment in the current ruler, so invectives could seek to illegitimise a monarch by casting him as the perfect tyrant. While the image of the ideal emperor was mutable in the hands of skilful orators, capable of being reshaped endlessly to suit individual contexts, the diatribes against Constantius represented a greater transformation of the language of power. The bishops who penned these works made their rhetoric explicitly and polemically Christian, rewriting the criteria for political legitimacy. In one sense, these texts still looked to ‘classical’ models, employing many of the standard techniques of panegyric and invective. They were not a form of outsider literature, standing in stark opposition to the political and cultural domination of the Roman empire. Instead, by working within that tradition, reworking it for their own purposes, these authors positioned themselves as insiders, representatives of an elite who could identify and condemn the improper exercise of power. A tyrant could still be recognised by his character flaws and vicious behaviour; he was still subjected to synkrisis with other famous figures, revealing how he departed from the good models and dwarfed the villainy of the bad. As in any other panegyric or invective, the selection and emphasising of particular virtues and vices varied between the different portraits produced by these three bishops. Nonetheless, their approaches were united by their

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novel and distinctive focus on religion. Not only did they exalt Christian piety as the sine qua non for imperial authority, their imperial rhetoric was also stripped of classical exempla. In their place was an exclusively Christian history, filled with paradigms of pious and impious kingship drawn from both the Old and New Testaments, as well as the more recent history of Christianity under Rome. Such an approach to the assessment of earthly authority had already begun to develop during the turbulent opening decades of the fourth century, as is evident from the praise heaped on Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea or the condemnations of vicious tyrants by Lactantius. Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer, however, surpassed these earlier authors in the extent to which they Christianised their image of the perfect ruler and the literary world that he inhabited. These texts would have been simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar to their audience, recognisable as the rhetoric of power, but with distinctive innovations. Operating within this conceptual framework, the three bishops were able to depict Constantius as the polar opposite of their new ideal emperor and so argue that, as the successor to apostates and persecutors, he was unworthy to wield imperial power. By assailing Constantius in this manner, Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer made their own circumstances biblical, with their actions and those of their opponents cast as re-enactments of revered scenes from Scripture. They thus presented themselves as imitators of earlier Christian heroes, inviting their readers to perceive contemporary events as identical to recognisable and authoritative passages from the holy texts, with good and evil clearly defined, and thus to position their own experiences in an eternal religious narrative. These bishops, together with Eusebius of Vercelli, concentrated on images of persecution and martyrdom, using earlier literary accounts, including the familiar tropes of martyr acta, to portray the emperor as replaying the actions of well-known anti-Christian tyrants and themselves as heroic defenders of the true faith. Lucifer, in particular, made extensive use of these themes, weaving passages from Cyprianic, pseudo-Cyprianic and Lactantian texts into his own work, thereby strengthening the link between his own position and the less ambiguous circumstances of the pre-Constantinian pagan persecutions. While the references employed by these bishops were resolutely religious, their tactics of self-presentation were integral to the broader function of invective, both classical and Christian. Polemical texts were not only engagements with the public perception of imperial legitimacy, they were also a vital tool in the creation of authorial authority. By criticising the powerful in this fashion, ancient writers could seek to position themselves as

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fearless opponents of tyranny, defending the audience from oppressive domination, regardless of the personal risks involved. Furthermore, these displays of parrhesia constructed the speaker as the mouthpiece of truth, guaranteed by the dangers in which he had been placed by his steadfast refusal to remain silent. By accepting the account of righteous opposition that he created, his readers and listeners were thus also invited to believe his exposition of other subjects, including religious doctrine, since he had already established his credentials as an artless and reliable narrator. In presenting themselves in this fashion through their attacks on Constantius, the three bishops discussed here responded to a position of insecurity by claiming that they were imbued with authority and worthy of respect not in spite of, but because of, their isolation and exile. The strategy of literary re-enactment was not confined to these bishops’ direct attacks on Constantius or their self-presentations as prophets, confessors and martyrs: it was integral to their characterisations of their theological opponents and of their own role in combating them. They cast their own actions against the ‘Arians’ as restagings of famous confrontations between piety and impiety, orthodoxy and heresy. In part, this was performed through labelling, associating their enemies with ideas and individuals widely accepted as heterodox, thereby creating genealogies of heresy that stood in opposition to the apostolic succession of the Church. However, these bishops also repeatedly employed biblical passages to describe their own actions and those of the ‘Arians’, creating an account that was written both by them and by the Word of God. In addition to this, by presenting themselves as uttering scriptural phrases in circumstances analogous to their original context, repeating the words of the saints to combat new threats to salvation, they strengthened their claims to be imitators of revered figures from the Christian past. This was particularly clear in their presentation of exegetical practice. While these bishops, the successors and re-enacters of revered biblical heroes, possessed the knowledge and the authority to interpret the Bible in an orthodox manner, the Arians, as imitators of the impiety of heretics and Jews, had separated themselves from Scripture through both their failure to understand its meaning and their reliance on other literature, including Arius’ Thalia. Moreover, while the works of Athanasius, Hilary and Lucifer became ‘biblical’ through their employment of phrases and scenarios from the holy books, this intertextual relationship also attempted to shape the audience’s engagement with the Bible itself. Just as the New Testament changed the Old, echoing its phrases, fulfilling its prophecies, altering the way that it was to be read, so these fourth-century texts, which placed themselves and

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their authors in a biblical present, sought to establish a similar relationship with Scripture as a support for their theological and ecclesiastical claims. Rather than representing a transitional stage in the development of the relationship between ‘Church’ and ‘State’, or an episode in the struggle between the ‘institutional Church’ and the ‘charismatic’ figures that flourished on its fringes, these invectives reveal the range of methods of self-construction that could be employed within the fractious central decades of this uncertain century. Through their varied techniques of presentation and promotion, these individuals used polemic to construct themselves as orthodox and apostolic bishops whose authority was not dependent on the decisions of councils or the decrees of emperors. However, they challenged the legitimacy of one emperor and certain individual councils, rather than rejecting the authority of these institutions outright. In the same manner as the Donatists, these bishops appealed to the judgements of councils and the opinions of bishops when these were likely to support their cause. Also, like the episcopal arrogations of ascetic status explored by other historians, these claims to martyrial, biblical and exegetical authority were stances that could be adopted by fourth-century Christians in order to promote themselves to their fellow believers. Just as imperial panegyrists emphasised particular themes and characters to suit the different contexts of individual orations, these bishops responded to their circumstances with a variety of constructions of themselves and their enemies. In doing so, they transformed existing rhetorical and literary models and developed new forms of Christian discourse. As such, these texts bear witness both to the power and vitality of polemical literature and to the complex nature of the creation of imperial and episcopal authority in the fourth century. The death of Constantius II certainly did not bring an end to the involvement of these bishops in controversies, but it did see a shift in the ways in which they wrote about them. As well as trying to unseat Auxentius, Hilary continued his fight against Arians in the West, apparently with greater success in Gaul than Milan.1 Athanasius returned to Alexandria in February 362, shortly after the publication of Julian’s general pardon and two months after his rival, George of Cappadocia, had been murdered by an angry mob. Together with Eusebius of Vercelli, he then quickly organised a council, which reaffirmed Nicene theology 1 Sulpicius Severus 2.45.7 proclaimed (with the sweeping generalisation characteristic of panegyric) that ‘it is agreed by all that our provinces of the Gauls were liberated from the sin of heresy by the actions of Hilary alone’.

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and invited Christians across the empire to return to this orthodoxy, as well as trying to resolve the schism within Antioch, with Eusebius taking the lead in delivering this message.2 Meanwhile, Lucifer set off from the Thebaid and preceded Eusebius in arriving at Antioch, where he fuelled existing tensions by consecrating Paulinus as bishop, thus creating a three-way schism between two separate pro-Nicene congregations and the supporters of the Homoian Euzoius.3 While the remaining years of their lives did not lack disputes and setbacks, these authors have not left us any other invectives to rival those discussed in this book, nor have any of their contemporaries. In shifting the focus of his polemic from the emperor to his advisors and bishops, Hilary’s Contra Auxentium represented a return to the political strategy that he had previously employed in his Ad Constantium, and which can also be seen in Athanasius’ Apologia ad Constantium.4 While piety was still presented as central to the imperial ideal, these texts maintained the exalted position of the emperor inviolate, instead venting their vitriol against those who supposedly misled him. Such writings can therefore be seen as attempts to persuade the emperor by providing him with a theological exit strategy: he was invited to change course, switching to support the authors while simultaneously being distanced from any active involvement in his earlier ecclesiastical policies. Similarly, there is no extant invective by Athanasius against Valens, despite this emperor’s adherence to the ‘Homoian’ formula favoured by Constantius at Constantinople in 360. This may be partly explained by the fact that, even though Valens chose to exile Athanasius from his see in 365, the bishop was soon reinstated in the context of Procopius’ rebellion and was then left unmolested for the final seven years of his life.5 Yet even during the more turbulent final years of Valens’ reign, when he was actively hostile to Nicene bishops, there is no evidence of an outpouring of direct invective against him, at least not until after his violent death at Adrianople in 378.6 Theodoret of Cyrrhus preserves statements by Athanasius’ episcopal successor, Peter, describing the military assault 2 Simonetti (1975) 358–72, (1997) 162–5; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 385–6, 639–45; Barnes (1993) 155–8; Camplani (1997); Gwynn (2012) 49–51. 3 Simonetti (1975) 360–2, 371–2, (1997) 165; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 643–4; Barnes (1993) 155–6. 4 On these texts, see p. 99 above. 5 Barnes (1993) 162–4; Lenski (2002) 242–3, 246–7, 249–50; E. J. Watts (2010) 163–4, 182; Gwynn (2012) 52. 6 Lenski (2002) 255–63. At 262, Lenski does note some criticism of Valens, including a comment by John Chrysostom, but there is nothing even remotely close to the invectives against Constantius II.

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that drove him from Alexandria.7 The letter contains many similarities to Athanasius’ accounts of attacks on Alexandrian Christians under Constantius, yet Valens himself is never blamed by Peter. The invective is directed instead against Lucius, the Homoian rival bishop, Aelius Palladius, the prefect of Egypt, and Vindaonius Magnus, the comes sacrarum largitionum.8 Peter even explicitly distanced the emperor from the actions of these men, stating that Magnus tried to persuade Nicenes to abandon their apostolic faith, ‘asserting boldly that the most benevolent Valens Augustus would be pleased by this’.9 The false bishop and his associates were thus cast as the real villains of the piece, rather than being presented as a tyrant’s underlings. Even Epiphanius of Salamis, whose heresiological Panarion is packed with invective against a wide range of individuals and groups, did not heap opprobrium on this emperor during his lifetime. Epiphanius reported that Valens had refused Lucius’ requests to expel Athanasius from Alexandria, and then did not blame the emperor for the violence that followed Lucius’ eventual arrival, assigning the responsibility instead to the ‘Meletians and Arians’.10 Similarly, the contemporary success of the ‘Ariomaniacs’ was credited by Epiphanius not to the emperor’s tyrannical and heretical nature, but to the bad advice that he received. Eudoxius, bishop of Constantinople, was said to have ‘crept secretly into and again corrupted the hearing of the pious, most devout and God-loving emperor Valens’, allowing the Arians to act ‘through the patronage of the emperor, which is their protection’.11 As far as we can tell, Valens was never subject to the same type or volume of personal abuse as Constantius, even though the theological outlook and ecclesiastical policies of the two emperors were remarkably similar. Moreover, the controversialist texts of the following decades largely adhere to the model of the Contra Auxentium rather than the In Constantium. Just as the anti-Constantian invectives are unprecedented as attacks on a living Roman emperor, they also stand out in contrast to later writings. Despite Ambrose of Milan’s encounters with Valentinian II and other ‘Arians’, Theodosius I’s pursuit of a new orthodox settlement and the continuing upheavals of the early fifth century, reigning emperors do 7 Theod. HE 4.22.1–36. 8 Palladius: PLRE i.661 (Palladius 15); Magnus: PLRE i.536 (Magnus 12). 9 Theod. HE 4.22.13. 10 Epiphanius, Panarion 68.11.4–7. 11 Epiphanius, Panarion 69.13.1, 3. See also the preceding description of Constantius II as pious but ignorant at 69.12.5–7.

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not seem to have been blamed directly by opponents of their theological views, at least in the surviving literature. The concentration of polemics against Constantius II does not represent the start of a long lineage of Christian imperial invectives, but instead stands out as a remarkable anomaly. Their model of the ideal emperor which prioritised piety and deference to episcopal authority was certainly to be seen in the works of other authors, including post-mortem criticisms of ‘heretical’ or ‘persecuting’ rulers, but it was not regularly employed for invective during these emperors’ lifetimes. This therefore raises the question of why these unique effusions of vitriol marked the final years of Constantius’ reign, but not the writings of the next generation. Attributing them to the personalities of those involved is not a sufficient answer: Athanasius and Hilary were both able to deal with theological disputes, before and after this point, without breaking out into ad hominem attacks on the emperor; if Lucifer chose to spend the final decade of his life describing Constantius’ successors in the same terms, no evidence of such writings survives. As discussed in Chapter 1, the educational system and public discourse of power were not rapidly transformed by the growth of Christianity or of the Church as an institution. Therefore the images of imperial authority encountered by other ecclesiastical authors in this period, as well as the rhetorical training that they received, are not likely to have differed significantly from those experienced by these three bishops. The solution to this question may lie in the unprecedented situation in which Nicene Christians found themselves at the end of the 350s. Despite the condemnation of Arius at the Council of Nicaea, he and his supporters went on to find Constantine more receptive to their pleas in the final years of his life; simultaneously, however, the supporters of Nicaea had nothing to gain from demonising the emperor. Both ‘sides’ therefore had reasons to keep lobbying, rather than burning their rhetorical bridges. Similarly, it may have been that during the reigns of Constans and the usurper Magnentius, the possibility of winning Constantius II around was not abandoned by Athanasius and other Nicene bishops. By the late 350s, however, for the first time some Christians found themselves feeling that there was nothing left to lose in making an explicit break with the emperor, while they could potentially increase their own authority through their self-presentation as outspoken enemies of tyranny.12 It may be, therefore, 12 The one possible precedent for such rhetoric, as discussed above, comes from the unsuccessful Donatist attempts to curry imperial favour.

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that these invectives, written right at the end of Constantius’ long reign, represent changes of rhetorical policy, or acts of frustration, after repeated attempts at reasoned persuasion had failed.13 Perhaps, however, the question should not be why these bishops attacked Constantius in this way, but rather why other authors did not follow their example. It is possible that the brief reign of the pagan Julian shook the confidence of some budding polemicists, causing them to feel less hostile towards a heterodox Christian emperor who, despite all his faults, was still the devil they knew. The actions of Constantius may have seemed terrible compared to the policies of the preceding members of the Constantinian dynasty, but the reign of a pagan emperor, however brief, could have restored a sense of perspective. Yet this explanation, while deservedly bringing the insecurity of fourth-century Christianity to the fore, probably ascribes too great an impact to Julian, as well as making the assumption that heresy was regarded as less threatening than paganism. It also does not seem convincing to claim that later emperors were less tyrannical, or later bishops less brave. The intransigence of Valens, Gratian or Theodosius I could easily be regarded as the equal of that displayed by Constantius II, leaving one to assume that the lack of similar polemics against them represents either a quirk of textual survival or a deliberate policy decision by their opponents. The answer may be that, after the novel opportunities and problems presented by Constantine and his sons, authors in the following generation, such as Ambrose of Milan and Basil of Caesarea, were more aware of the possible range of engagements with imperial power: with greater experience of the extremes that Christian panegyric and invective could reach, they chose to steer themselves through a narrower selection of middle courses. They may never have felt that it was to their advantage to promote themselves so explicitly as pious opponents of tyrannical power, preferring instead to keep more options for reconciliation open, especially since opportunities existed for appealing to imperial colleagues for support, as had originally been the case when Constantius ruled alongside his brother Constans in the late 330s and the 340s. These later authors may, therefore, never have reached the point where they felt that their best remaining strategy was to embrace the radical option of denouncing the emperor as Ahab, Nero or the Antichrist. Any conclusions of this sort must, of course, remain highly speculative, especially 13 In addition, Hilary’s In Constantium may have been written after his return to Gaul, by then under the control of the usurping Julian, thus allowing the bishop greater literary licence – see p. 88 n. 35 above.

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since it would be a simplification to assume a unified motive for all ecclesiastical authors of this time. What is clear, however, is that the lack of later imperial invectives in the decades after Constantius’ death means that the works of Athanasius, Lucifer and Hilary were left high and dry, as fascinating, yet extremely unusual, artefacts from this period of transition, when Christian writers experimented with new ways of defining and articulating the position of the emperor in their conceptual world.

Appendi x 1

Altercatio Heracliani cum Germinio

This text purports to be the record of a confrontation in the Illyrican city of Sirmium between three Nicene laymen, led by a certain Heraclianus, and the ‘Arian’ bishop, Germinius.1 The dramatic date of the dispute is Friday 13 January 366, meaning that it took place under the emperor Valentinian I, although none of the participants appeals to his authority or judgement in the matters at hand. As with martyr acta, however, it is dangerous either to take these ‘authentic records’ at face value or to try too hard to separate out a factual ‘core’ from later fictional ‘elaborations’. The Altercatio is unlikely to be a verbatim account of an exchange between these religious disputants, not least because of the triumphant way in which the hero, Heraclianus, is able to defeat easily all of those who come forth to debate with him, including the experienced bishop himself. Manlio Simonetti discusses this and other passages which demonstrate a degree of invention in the work, as well as suggesting that the conclusion, in which Germinius saves the Nicene laymen from the murderous rage of the hostile crowd, gives the text an air of authenticity, since the more positive presentation of the bishop at this point does little to support the text’s general condemnation of him.2 Such speculations must, however, necessarily remain extremely tentative. Instead, the text is more profitably read as a vehicle for presenting a positive view of Nicene superiority over Arianism. It provides an opportunity for a number of anti-Arian theological points, with appropriate supporting scriptural quotations, to be brought to the audience’s attention, as well as simultaneously exalting the brave trio for having survived their ordeal at the hands of the persecuting authorities, much like the boys in the fiery furnace.3 1 See pp. 1–6 above. The clearest succinct introduction to this text is Simonetti (1967). 2 Simonetti (1967) 41–4, concluding that the text is not a faithful reproduction of the events of that day. 3 The text is taken from A. Hamman (ed.), Patrologiae Cursus Completus Series Latina, Supplementum i (= PLS 1), Paris, 1958, 345–50 (reprinting C. P. Caspari, Kirchenhistorische Anecdota, Oslo, 1883,

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T h e d i s p u t e b e t w e e n H e r a c l i a n u s t h e l ay m a n and Germinius, bishop of Sirmium, concerning t h e fa i t h o f t h e N i c e n e C o u n c i l a n d t h at o f Ariminum of the Arians. This happened in the c i t y o f S i r m i u m b e f o r e t h e w h o l e c o m m u n i t y, o n t h e I d e s o f J a n u a r y, F r i d a y, i n t h e c o n s u l s h i p s o f G r at i a n a n d D a g a l a i f u s .

[C133] [H345] They led Heraclianus, Firmianus and Aurelianus out from custody in front of all the people, with the bishop sitting on his throne with the entire clergy before all the populace and the elders. Germinius said to Heraclianus: Why did it seem right to you to urge men towards homoousios, which was composed by foolish men? Heraclianus said: So, were the three hundred and more bishops foolish? Germinius said: What does homoousios mean? Heraclianus said: You, who are preaching this as a stumbling-stone for the people, are also able to speak Greek.4 [C134] Germinius said: The exiled Eusebius [of Vercelli] has taught this to you, as has Hilary [of Poitiers], who has recently returned from exile. Heraclianus said: I speak with the right and authority of the sacred Scriptures. Why do you address these things to me, in order to divert me from the way of truth? Let us argue according to sacred laws! For the opportunity of speaking and disputing lies open. Germinius said: And who might you be, wicked slave? Are you a presbyter, or a deacon? Heraclianus said: I am neither a presbyter, nor a deacon, but, as though the least of all Christians, I speak with my life as my warrant. Germinius said: See how much he speaks! Has no one knocked out his teeth?

Then Jovinianus the deacon and Marinus the reader beat him. Heraclianus said: This leads to my good fortune and glory. Germinius said: Speak, Heraclianus! I baptised you; how did you receive baptism from me? Heraclianus said: I accepted it from you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But I did not accept it in the greater God and the lesser God and in that which was created. For you speak in this way about the Holy Spirit. 133–47), incorporating textual emendations proposed at Simonetti (1967) 39 n. 1. Page references are given for both the Caspari and Hamman editions. This text is the result of Caspari’s consultation of two manuscripts, one tenth-century, the other twelfth-century, both of which preserve the Altercatio alongside a selection of Augustine’s works – see Simonetti (1967) 39 n. 1. 4 For the notion of a ‘stumbling-stone’, see Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:32–3; 1 Peter 2:8.

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Germinius said: If the Spirit was not created, [H346] then the apostle Paul lied, for he says: Everything in the heavens and [C135] earth, visible and invisible, was created through Christ.5 If, therefore, the Spirit was not created through him, then all things were not created through him. Heraclianus said: If you command it, I will speak. Germinius said: Speak! Heraclianus said: It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Hear me Jacob, and Israel, to whom I call: I am the first and I am eternal; and my hand founded the earth, my right hand fixed heaven. I will call them all and they will stand together and all will come together and listen. Who announced these things to them? Loving you, I did your will against Babylon, so that the seed of the Chaldeans might be destroyed. I spoke, I called, I brought him forth and made a favourable journey for him. Approach me and hear these things. I have not spoken in secret from the beginning, nor in the shadowy place of the earth; when these things happened, I was there. And now the Lord and his spirit have sent me. Thus speaks the Lord, who liberated you, holy Israel: I am the Lord God, who showed you the way in which to walk. And if you had listened to my instructions, your peace would have been made like light, and your justice like the waves of the sea and your seed like sand.6 Now, therefore, you speak, bishop. About whom were these things written? And he said: You yourself speak. Heraclianus said: You ought to speak; for it is proper for me to listen. Germinius said: These things were written about the Father. Heraclianus said: And the Father, by whom was he sent?

Germinius was silent for more than an hour. Heraclianus said: Evidently these things were said about the Son of God and the Spirit of the living God. Behold, you have the Trinity proven and divinity proclaimed through the mouth of the blessed prophet Isaiah.

And when Heraclianus had said this, Germinius began to praise him, saying: You have a good heart and you are well born, and we have kno[C136] wn you since your infancy; turn back to our church. And all the others said to him: Lord bishop! He was the one who fought against the heretics of the shady Photinus.7 How can he now have become a heretic? 5 Colossians 1:16. 6 Isaiah 48:12–19 LXX. The description of peace as being like light (lux) is unusual, as the verse usually states that it is like ‘a flowing river’. The Septuagint has ποταμὸς; the Vulgate has flumen. It may be that flumen was changed here, firstly into lumen and then lux. Alternatively, the original may have read fluxus. Lucifer, De regibus xi.81 has fluuius. 7 The phrase tenebrosus Photinus puns upon the meaning of the name, which is ‘light-bringing’. Photinus was a pupil of Marcellus of Ancyra who became bishop of Sirmium in the early 340s. See Barnes (1993) 88 and Ath. De synodis 26.vi.1 for a similar, Greek pun in the ‘Long Creed’ of 344, where Photinus’ name is changed to ‘Scotinus’.

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Germinius said: I explained my faith to Eusebius and made it clear, and it was pleasing to him. As the Son of God himself says: The Father, who sent me, is greater than me8 and I have not come to do my will, but that of the Father, who sent me.9 For it is also written thus about the Holy Spirit: If I do not depart to my Father, the Paraclete Spirit will not come to you10 and He does not speak from himself. He will hear from me and will announce to you.11 (He spoke these words to the people.) But I hold this faith: I profess the Father to be unborn, invisible, immor[H347]tal, without beginning, without end. I profess the Son truly to have a beginning from the Father before the ages, to be God from God, light from light, but I do not say that he is such as the Father is. For he himself says: The Father, who sent me, is greater than me and I have not come to do my will, but that of the Father, who sent me. I profess the Holy Spirit to be chief of the angels and of the archangels. For just as the Son is not like the Father in all things, so neither is the Holy Spirit like the Son in all things. Heraclianus said: The Father is greater, but in name only. For the Apostle Paul says: Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.12 Do you not believe that he is the particular power of God and Son of God and true God? For God is all power and we recognise that through that same power all powers were made. For thus is it written: By the Word of the Lord, the heavens were fixed and every power of them by the spirit of his mouth.13 Understand, therefore, that [C137] through this one power, all powers in the heavens and on earth and in hell came forth, through this one power they came forth from nothing. Germinius said: Therefore do you say that the Son is such as the Father is? Heraclianus said: Thus is it written in the Gospel according to John: When the Apostle Philip said, ‘Lord, show the Father to us, and he suffices us’, Jesus responded to him: ‘I am with you for so great a time and have you still not recognised me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen my Father also, and I and the Father are one. How do you say: Show the Father to us? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?’14 Understand therefore that the Son is such as the Father is.

And Germinius was silent. But the presbyter Theodorus spoke and said: It is written, where the Son of God speaks, that no one knows of the day and 8 This conflation of John 11:42 and 14:28 is precisely the phrase that was to land Palladius of Ratiaria in significant trouble at the Council of Aquileia in 381 – see McLynn (1994) 133. On the use of this conflated statement more widely in Greek theological discourse in the fourth century, see R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 836. 9 This is largely John 6:38, although the reference to the Father’s will follows in verse 39. 10 John 16:7.  11  John 16:13. 12 1 Corinthians 1:24.  13  Psalms 33:6 (32:6 LXX). 14 John 14:8–10, although ‘I and the Father are one’ has been brought in from John 10:30.

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the hour, not the angels, not the archangels, not the Son, but the Father has put it in his own power.15 How, therefore, do you say that the Son is such as the Father is? Heraclianus said: You proclaim a God of a sort that is ignorant about the day and the hour!

[C138] Theodorus said, with confusion: Thus is it written. Heraclianus said: Have you not read that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life?16

And when this man [sc. Theodorus] was laid low and, humiliated, was silent, Agrippinus said: It is written in the Apostle Paul: When he will have handed the kingdom over to God, even the Father; when he will have emptied every dominion and every authority and power. He must reign until he places all enemies beneath his feet; for he has subjugated everything beneath his feet. The enemy that will be destroyed last of all is death. But when he says that everything has been made subject to him, it is clear that he, who has made everything subject to him, is excepted. But when everything will have been made subject to him, then the Son himself will also be subject [H348] to him, who has made everything subject to him, so that God may be all in all.17 How, therefore, do you say that the Son is such as the Father is? Heraclianus said: If the opinion must be held, in the way you say, then, therefore, God will be in future time towards the end, for he is not now. For if it is written thus: so that God may be all in all ……18 [C139] Therefore your faith is stupid; do you make a mistaken assumption, when you preach that God is before all time? In what way is he? I ask you: Is there one divinity or two? Agrippinus said: There is one. Heraclianussaid: You have spoken well. Therefore divinity that is subordinate is not the Father’s divinity. But he said: Do you deny that the Son is subject to the Father? Heraclianus said: By will, not by necessity. For, as you know, by will he washed the feet of his disciples. For it is written in another place: The Spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets.19 Therefore, are the prophets greater than the divine spirit of God, because it is written? For also in another place the Apostle Paul says to Timothy: All divinely inspired Scripture is useful for teaching, for strengthening.20 How, therefore, do you say that the Son of God 15 Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32 (together with a final phrase taken from Acts 1:7). 16 2 Corinthians 3:6.  17  1 Corinthians 15:24–8. 18 There is a lacuna in the text at this point. 19 1 Corinthians 14:32.  20  2 Timothy 3:16.

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is a creature and also say that he speaks through the prophets and that the Paraclete, who is called the helper, speaks through the Apostles? If, therefore, the Son speaks, having been established as God before the ages, as you say, and the Holy Spirit was created through him, then not all Scripture is divinely inspired. And what shall we do with the multitude of such great testimonies? Firstly that of the prophet Isaiah, who says: Who will describe his generation?.21 For also John the Evangelist says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word.22 Can the Word of God be created? If the Word, then also he whose Word it is. For the Apostle Paul also says about the Holy Spirit: No one sees the things that are in God, except the spirit of God, which even probes the depths of God.23 [C140] Who, therefore, is this spirit, who knows the things that are in God? Is it not with God? Since it is written in Isaiah: Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who was his counsellor?24 If the spirit of God was created, then he himself was once without spirit, although it is written in the Apostle Paul: We have not received the spirit of this world, but the spirit which is from God.25 And he says again: You are the letter of Christ, written not in ink, but in the spirit of the living God.26 And he says again: The Lord is the spirit; but where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, there is God.27

Agrippinus desisted at these words. [H349] Germinius said: See how he blasphemes, when he says that the Holy Spirit is God, even though it is written that no one is able to say that Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit.28 For David also says: The Lord speaks to my Lord: Sit at my right hand, until I will place your enemies as a stool for your feet.29 Heraclianus said: I already said a little earlier that it is by will, not by necessity. For it is also written about the Son of God: I go to my God and to your God and to my Father and to your Father.30 And he says in another place: I give thanks to you, Lord, Fa[C141]ther of heaven and earth.31 Therefore is the Son of God not Lord and God because he called the Father Lord and God? Although these things are written, you do not blush to say Lord and God. What therefore made you ashamed to call the Holy Spirit God, when it is written: God is Spirit?32 If a man blasphemes against him, that man will not be forgiven by him, not now nor in the future. He will be more tolerant towards Sodom and Gomorrah than towards those who sin against the Holy Spirit. For the Apostle Peter also said that the Holy Spirit is God, speaking to Ananias and his wife Saphira, who committed fraud concerning the price 21 Isaiah 53:8.  22  John 1:1. 23 This phrase is a conflation of 1 Corinthians 2:11 and 2:10. 24 Isaiah 40:13 LXX.  25  1 Corinthians 2:12.  26  2 Corinthians 3:3. 27 2 Corinthians 3:17. The phrase ‘there is God’ is not found in the biblical text. 28 1 Corinthians 12:3.  29  Psalms 110:1 (109:1 LXX). 30 John 20:17.  31  Matthew 11:25.  32  John 4:24.

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of some land, which they sold ——; then the blessed Peter said to Ananias: Who persuaded you to lie to the Holy Spirit? You have not lied to a man, but to God.33 And at once he fell to the earth and was dead. Germinius said: How is the Holy Spirit God, when it is written in Jeremiah: This is our God and no other will be reckoned besides [C142] him. He devised every way of instruction and gave it to his servant, Jacob, and Israel, his beloved. After these things he was seen on earth and conversed with men?34 Heraclianus said: You have spoken well in your ignorance, saying that he prophesied correctly about God, that God had conversed with men. For as you know that the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father together with the Holy Spirit, so understand that besides this Trinity, no other God is to be feared, worshipped or venerated. Germinius said: So is Christ the brother of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit? Heraclianus said: We do not hold such a belief. For just as there is one Father, there is also one Son and one Holy Spirit, one force. For the three are one.35 Germinius said: From where do you prove this? Heraclianus said: From the Apostle Paul. Germinius said: Where is this written? Heraclianus said: To the Ephesians. Germinius said: Read. [C143] Heraclianus said: There is one body and one spirit, just as you have been called in one hope of your calling. There is one Lord, one faith, one [H350] baptism, one God Father of all, who is above all and is in us all.36 Germinius said: Heraclianus, how do you explicate the faith? Heraclianus said: For when a ray is extended from the sun, this is a part from the whole; but the sun will be in the ray, because the ray is of the sun, nor is it separated in substance, but it is extended, as a light kindled from a light.37 The substance remains [C144] whole and unfailing, even if you were to borrow more branches of its qualities. Thus is also that which has advanced from God, the Son of God is also God, and both are one. (This is also the case concerning both the Holy Spirit and God in mode.)38 And so it made another position, but not another state, not having departed from it, but having extended. [C145] And so the Son of God, as was always predicted long ago, descended into a certain virgin, was shaped as flesh in her womb and is born, man mixed with God. Flesh established with spirit is born, grows, speaks, teaches, works and is Christ. This is my faith.

33 This is a conflation of Acts 5:3 and 5:4. 34 Baruch 3:35–7.  35  cf. 1 John 5:7. 36 Ephesians 4:4–6 (with slight variation at the end). 37 This statement of faith is taken, almost verbatim, from Tertullian, Apology 21.12–14. 38 This section, which is one of the points at which this text deviates from Tertullian, may represent a corruption of the original.

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When Heraclianus had said these things, Germinius was filled with anger and indignation and began to shout39 and say: He is a heretic, because he says that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all God. He is homoousian; don’t believe him. And, speaking, he made a request to the people that any [C146] male or female servant of God who met him should exorcise him, because he was now dead. And he swore with an oath to send him into exile. Heraclianus said: God, who liberated Israel from the hand of the king of the Amorites and the king of Bashan,40 and Paul from the hand of the Samaritans,41 will liberate me from your hands also. And when he said these things, all his [sc. Germinius’] presbyters and deacons said: Do not let him leave here, unless he makes anathema those bishops, whom he named and whose faith he said he holds. For this was said to Heraclianus and Firmianus with all the brothers. But they did not do this. Germinius said …… It is not written.42 And so they sent them away. And when they had sent them away, some of the people who were present shouted: Let them be brought to the governor and killed, because they have crea[C147]ted discord and have made two communities from one! And these people compelled them to subscribe to the creed of the heretics. And they were redoubling with their shouts, saying: Let them be brought to the governor and killed! Then Germinius said: Don’t, brothers! They do not know what they say. If bishops were made to believe this, how much more were these men. And others compelled them to humble themselves under his hands. And they did this. And they have escaped from the hands of these men up to the present day. 39 Although the text of Caspari and Hamman reads nociferare, I have, following Caspari’s note, read uociferare, which also appears at Simonetti (1967) 44. 40 Numbers 21:21–35. 41 The episode alluded to here is unclear. 42 There is a lacuna in the text at this point. Presumably, the phrase ‘it is not written’ is a scribal comment on the lacuna, rather than part of the text itself.

Appendi x 2

Epistula Liberii papae ad Eusebium, Dionysium et Luciferum in exsilio constitutos

This letter was written by Liberius of Rome in 355 and is addressed to Eusebius of Vercelli, Dionysius of Milan and Lucifer of Cagliari.1 All three bishops had recently been condemned to exile at the Council of Milan, and Liberius himself was to follow them a short time later. As discussed in Chapter 3, the letter is notable for its use of the language of martyrdom to describe the bravery of the bishops, who are presented by Liberius as brave confessors standing up to a persecuting tyrant. The letter is preserved in the fragmentary Aduersus Valentem et Ursacium of Hilary of Poitiers, also known as the Collectanea Antiariana Parisina.2 Bishop Liberius to his most beloved brother Lucifer. Although the enemy of the human race seems, under a disguise of peace, to have raged more vehemently against the limbs of the church, your outstanding and singular faith has demonstrated here, however, that you priests, who are most pleasing to God, are approved by God, and has already marked you out for future glory as martyrs. And so in fact I cannot discover with what proclamation of praise, with what exultation of voice, I might exhibit the rewards of your virtue, while I am caught between the sorrow of your absence and the joy of your glory, except that I know that I provide consolations more agreeable to you, if you were to believe that I had been driven off into exile at the same time as you. Indeed, while I am still hanging in this state of suspense, I am greatly saddened, because a harsher necessity drags me away for the moment from your company. For I had previously wished, most devoted brothers, to be sacrificed first for all of you, so that your love might rather pursue an example of glory through me. But the palm of your merits is that, through perseverance in 1 On this text see pp. 153–4 above, as well as D. H. Williams (1995) 59–60, 237 and Wickham (1997) 8, both of which date the letter to 355, shortly before Liberius’ own exile began. 2 Adu. Val. et Ursac. b.vii.2. The text translated here is taken from Diercks (1978) 320–2. An English translation of this letter can also be found at Wickham (1997) 75–6.

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the faith, you come first to the illustrious glory of confession. Therefore, I ask your beloved selves to believe me to be present with you and from this perceive that I am not absent in spirit and so understand that I am sorely aggrieved that I am, for the moment, separated from your company. For indeed you achieved such great glory and so you are able to know more truly that, while any of those who were crowned with martyrdom in persecution were able to experience the bloody swords of the persecutor only, in contrast, you, devoted soldiers in God in all things, have even endured false brethren as enemies and have achieved victory over the treacherous. However much their violence has been able to intensify in the present world, so much more are they found to bestow rewards of praise upon the priests. Be secure, therefore, in the heavenly promise and, because you have been made closer to God, help to raise me, your fellow priest and servant of God, to the Lord through your prayers, so that I might be able to bear more tolerably the mounting attacks, which inflict more serious wounds as they are announced day by day, and so that with inviolate faith and the position of the catholic church safe, the Lord will deign to make me your equal. And since I desire to know more accurately what happened in that encounter,3 I beseech your holiness to deign to communicate everything faithfully in letters, so that either my mind itself, which is tortured by contradictory rumours, or the strengths of my body itself, which have already been diminished, can experience a greater increase from your encouragement. [in another hand] May God keep you safe, my lords and brothers.

  A reference to the Council of Milan.

3

Appendi x 3

Epistula Luciferi, Pancratii et Hilarii

This letter also dates from 355 and was addressed to Eusebius of Vercelli by Lucifer of Cagliari and his associates Pancratius the presbyter and Hilarius the deacon.1 These three men, who were acting as envoys of Liberius of Rome at the Council of Milan, were requesting Eusebius’ presence to help support their case against their theological opponents, most notably Valens of Mursa, who is singled out for criticism in the letter. Eusebius’ presence was also requested both by Constantius himself and by those ‘Arian’ representatives of the council who were opposed to Athanasius.2 As discussed in Chapter 3, the letter is notable for its equation of Valens of Mursa with Simon Magus, the archetypal heresiarch from Acts. The text was preserved in a manuscript (now lost) in the archive of the church of Vercelli and was first published by Baronius in his Annales Ecclesiastici.3 Lucifer the bishop, Pancratius the presbyter and Hilarius to the most glorious lord Eusebius the bishop. Now that the Devil’s head and his depraved ideas have been trampled underfoot, holy lord, we ask that you do not neglect the favour granted to you by our Lord, and that you now think fit to act more quickly so that, with you attacking, the doctrine of the Arians might be put to flight, the quicker the better. For the Lord and His Christ know that, just as, at the arrival of the most blessed apostles, the name of God is exalted in the overthrow of Simon, so in the same way, with Valens having been expelled at your arrival, the dissolute trickery of the blasphemous Arians may be destroyed completely.4 We, most holy lord, from the first day on which we came to Vercelli up to the present day, have longed for your religion, 1 On this text see pp. 161–2 above, as well as McLynn (1994) 17; D. H. Williams (1995) 56–7, 238; Corti (2004) 73–4. 2 For these letters, see Bulhart (1957) 119, 120–1. 3 See Diercks (1978) 302–3. The text translated here is taken from Diercks (1978) 319. 4 For the story of Simon Magus, see Acts 8:5–24.

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and we ask the Lord that all the blessed might extol your everlasting restoration in this church and honour your spiritual virtue with deserved praise. We believe that this will come to pass, because we have faith that the Saviour’s passion cannot be defeated. May Christ the Lord preserve you glorious, most holy and blessed one.

Appendi x 4

Letters of Eusebius of Vercelli

Eusebius of Vercelli, Let ter 1

This brief letter is Eusebius’ response to Constantius’ letter to him concerning the Council of Milan in 355, and also refers to a communication that he had received from the council itself.1 Eusebius employs the same laudatory forms of address to the emperor that are to be found in Hilary’s Ad Constantium, and which are also employed ironically by Lucifer in his writings.2 The letter is preserved in a ninth-century vita of Eusebius and, like the letter of Lucifer, Pancratius and Hilarius, was first published by Baronius.3 Eusebius to Constantius imperator Augustus, greetings. (1) Seeing, most merciful emperor, that your mind, which is devoted to God, desires a way in which a firm ecclesiastical peace might persist through the whole world, I have received your letter with great joy.4 I also received the letter of my brothers and fellow bishops, in which they deigned to communicate that a full explanation would be provided to me through those whom they had sent and that I should do what they wanted.5 (2) But because an explanation could not be given to me in full and I was under an obligation to obey your clemency, I thought it necessary that I should hurry to come to Milan. Once I have come into your presence, lord emperor, I promise that I will do whatever seems just and pleasing to God. May God protect you, most glorious emperor. 1 See McLynn (1994) 17; D. H. Williams (1995) 50, 55, 238, where this letter is dated to late 354 or early 355. For the two letters to Eusebius, see Bulhart (1957) 120–1, 119. 2 See pp. 99–100 and p. 102 n. 106 above. 3 See D. H. Williams (1995) 50; Bulhart (1957) 103 (where the text is also to be found). 4 See the letter of Constantius to Eusebius at Bulhart (1957) 120–1. 5 The two men sent from the council to Eusebius were the bishops Eustomius (or Eudoxius) and Germinius. For the text of this letter, see Bulhart (1957) 119.

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Eusebius of Vercelli, Let ter 2

This piece, by the far the longest of the three extant letters of Eusebius, dates from his time in exile in the East, after he had been condemned at the Council of Milan in 355, but before he was moved to his later places of exile in Cappadocia and then the Egyptian Thebaid.6 It describes his sufferings at the hands of the ‘Arian’ Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis in Palestine, who is presented as inflicting a range of different punishments on Eusebius. The letter is addressed to the clergy and laity of Vercelli and nearby towns in northern Italy, but also incorporates a shorter message which Eusebius claims to have sent to Patrophilus in order to complain about his treatment at the hands of the bishop’s minions. As discussed above, it is impossible to judge the authenticity of the details included in this account, although the rhetoric of the encounter between Eusebius and Patrophilus can be analysed profitably. The ‘Ariomaniacs’ are assigned the roles of persecutors within this narrative, treating Eusebius violently, denying him the company of his associates and even attempting to starve him to death. Patrophilus, rather than the emperor Constantius himself, was assigned the chief role as the leading enemy of the faith in this letter, being presented as the agent of Satan, who was continuing his war against the followers of God by attacking the holy Eusebius. This image was supported with the use of biblical examples that cast Eusebius as following on from earlier pious individuals who had triumphed over evil.7 To the most beloved brothers and the dearly missed presbyters and also to the blessed laity of Vercellae, Novaria, Eporedia and also Dertona remaining in the faith, Eusebius the bishop sends eternal greetings in the Lord.8 (1) Although our Lord supports us with many gifts while we are separated from you in body and he displays your presence to us to a great degree through the arrival and visits of very many brothers, we were however sad and miserable and not without tears because for a long interval of time we did not receive any writings of your sanctity. For we feared lest any diabolical cunning had taken you or any human power had subjugated you to the faithless. While we were troubled by these thoughts and I was thus turning every consolation of the brothers, who came to us from many different provinces, more to pain at your absence than to joy, the Lord See p. 156 above, as well as R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 507–8; D. H. Williams (1995) 50, 60–1, 238 (dating the letter to 355–9); Washburn (2009). 7 The text is taken from Bulhart (1957) 104–9. 8 These northern Italian cities are now known as Vercelli, Novara, Ivrea and Tortona respectively. 6

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deigned to allow that I could receive just the information I was anxious for, not only from the letters of your sincerity but also through the presence of our dear friends Syrus the deacon and Victorinus the exorcist. And so I discovered, most beloved brothers, that you were safe, as I hoped, and I thought that I had travelled to you, as though snatched suddenly from the most remote part of the earth, as was Habakkuk, who was borne by the angel all the way to Daniel.9 Receiving letters from each of you and encountering your blessed spirits and love in your words, (2) my tears were mixed with joy, and my mind, although keen to read, was detained by the presence of tears. And both of these activities were necessary, for my individual senses wished to act out their own duties of love in this fulfilment of desire. And so occupied in this through the days and believing myself to converse with you I forgot my former toils. For in this way joys surrounded me on all sides, here a stable faith, here love, here the offerings of donations,10 so that, provided with so many and such great gifts, I suddenly thought myself, as I said above, not to be in exile but to be with you. And so I rejoice, most beloved brothers, in your faith; I rejoice in the salvation that follows faith; I rejoice in the offerings which you have not only established there but even distribute far and wide. For just like a farmer who has planted a good tree, which because of its fruit does not suffer the axe, nor is surrendered to fire, thus to your sanctity we wish and desire not only to practise slavery according to the flesh but also to devote our souls to your salvation. As I said, you have extended branches firm with fruit and you have laboured to reach me through so long distances of the world. As a farmer I rejoice and cheerfully pluck the apples of your labour, because you wished to do so much; I do not do this alone, nor do our most blessed presbyters and deacons who are with me, or the other brothers, but all of us who are missing you. As the most blessed Apostle says, you filled up my viscera, when you fulfilled the divine instructions that Christians ought to fulfil towards the bishop or other ecclesiastical men, whom you know to be suffering in exile for the sake of the faith.11 You fulfilled what brothers must practise towards brothers, and sons towards their father. But when, following the divine instructions and wanting with you to make heavenly fruit from earthly, stable from crumbling, eternal from fragile, we began to plant seeds, suffering through necessity every day, the poor rejoiced at your donations and not only were the men of this town glorifying God, but all 9 Bel and the Dragon 33–9. 10 ‘Donations’ here translates fructus, which is also translated as ‘fruit’ or ‘offerings’ elsewhere in the passage where appropriate. On Eusebius’ almsgiving in Scythopolis, see Washburn (2009) 739–43. 11 See Philemon 7, 20.

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those who have been able to see or hear, seeing from these offerings how much love you have with me, were glorifying God and endowing us with every honour along with your blessing. (3) Seeing this, the Devil, the enemy of innocence, the foe of justice, the opponent of faith, because God was being blessed in this action [the almsgiving], inflamed against us his Ariomaniacs. They had already been sighing with anguish for a long time, not only because of this activity but also because of their faithlessness, to which they could not persuade us. So they become violent, in that fashion in which he has always acted, so that, through force and power, he might terrify those whom he could not persuade. And so he gathered together a multitude of his partisans who snatched us away to the workshop of their faithlessness, shut us in and said that this total power had been given to them by the emperor. Therefore, to these people saying many things and those glorying in their power, I wanted to show that they were incapable of anything, since I silently handed my body over to these butchers, because the Lord said that it could be handed over in persecutions. But while I suffered at their hands and was locked up and watched for four days and heard the scolds and persuasive words of many different people, I demonstrated how free my spirit was because I never said one word. They wanted to add to their wickedness so that the brothers, that is the presbyters and deacons, would be absent from me; but they said that they would prohibit the others so that they could not come to me. Lest I eat faithless food from the hands of the faithless, or rather of faithless transgressors (which is worse), as the Apostle says,12 I wrote a message to them in this fashion: (4) Eusebius the servant of God with his fellow servants who labour with me for the sake of the faith, to Patrophilus the guard and his men.13 God knows and the town is aware, and you cannot deny now or in the future, by what force of many men and with what fury I was not only dragged across the earth but also, with my body stripped bare, brought by you supine from those lodgings which you gave to me through your men and the agentes in rebus and from which I have never departed except through your violence now.14 I therefore defer the case for God so that he might give it a conclusion in whatever way he prescribes. Know in the 12 See 1 Corinthians 5:11. 13 Eusebius here referred to Patrophilus as nothing more than a custos, rather than recognising his episcopal rank. 14 The agentes in rebus were bureaucratic officials who were sometimes sent on particular missions and consequently attracted criticism from those who fell foul of their reports – see C. Kelly (2004) 206–7.

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meantime that, in these lodgings in which you hold me locked up, in which, thrusting me away after my first transportation, you then dared more cruelly to carry me off in the same way and throw me into a single room, I have resolved that my plan is now and will remain in the future not to eat any bread or drink any water until each of you has declared, not only by word but also on paper, that you will not exclude my brothers, who suffer these things with me willingly for the sake of the faith, from the lodgings in which they abide, and nor will you prevent them, or those, who have deigned to seek me out, from offering necessary food. I had to be removed from the body so that I would not be compelled to say to those often wanting to know how great a crime you have committed against the laws of God and men. But lest anyone from the faithless calls you cruel towards us and thinks that we are ignoring divine instructions and wanted more to avoid disgrace than to obey the Lord, and that therefore we wanted to take this upon ourselves, I say again that unless you make this statement by word and in writing then you will become murderers by prevention. (5) Omnipotent God knows that I will not be a defendant in my case, but you will, you who wanted to prevent my fellow servants from providing necessities; his only-begotten Son, born indescribably from him, knows this; his Son who, as God of eternal virtue clothed himself a complete man for the sake of our salvation, wanted to suffer and, with death defeated, rose again on the third day, who sits at the right hand of God and will come to judge the living and the dead; the Holy Spirit knows this; the catholic Church, which confesses in this manner, is a witness to this. But if you decide that you ought to disregard this, not on the grounds that I fear death, but so that after my death you do not say that I wanted to die through a voluntary death and you do not invent some cloud of accusation against us, know that I will assemble the churches, which while imprisoned I am able to reach through letters, and I will assemble the servants of God so that with them coming together the world might realise what the unblemished faith, which has been approved by all the orthodox bishops, suffers at the hands of the Ariomaniacs, whom it previously condemned. I, Eusebius the bishop, have signed here for my part. I entreat you, who will read this letter, by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit not to stifle it but to hand it over to be read by another. (6) And so then on the fourth day they were softened by this letter and compelled us to return famished to these lodgings in which we had been staying. Meanwhile they saw how the people received our return with joy

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and surrounded our lodgings with lamps. With the Lord supporting we began to minster to the destitute again; the inhumanity of those men [sc. the Arians] did not sustain this and they destroyed our love for their hatred. They were able to tolerate it for only about twenty-five days. Again they burst forth and with a depraved band of many men they came to our lodgings armed with clubs, broke into the house by another entrance and came upon us violently, snatched us away again and shut us up with a closer guard, accompanied only by our most dear presbyter Tegrinus. They also seized and locked up our brothers, that is all the presbyters and deacons, and after three days through their power they sent them into exile in diverse locations. They sent the other brothers, who had come to visit us, into the public prison and kept them locked up for many days. Rushing again to the lodging they scattered everything that was either for expenses or had been collected for the poor. But because this public crime of theirs became known to all the citizens, they used the argument that they returned some more trivial things and boasted that they had returned our property to us; but in fact they kept the resources for themselves. And after so great a crime they sought, if possible, to kill by allowing no one from my people to come to me to deliver the food necessary for the body. Then reluctantly on the sixth day, when they were shouting at each other in disagreement, they allowed one to come to me. As much as they could, they showed their murderous intentions. Lest they desist from their malice, they first sent him [sc. the one man] away on the fourth day; later on the sixth, with us then weakening, they reluctantly allowed him to come with food. And so these are the deeds of the Ariomaniacs. (7) See, most blessed brothers, whether this is not persecution, since we, who preserve the orthodox faith, suffer these things; and consider more deeply whether this is even much worse than what was done by those who worshipped idols! Those men sent individuals into prison, but they did not prevent their own people from coming to them. How much has Satan wounded the churches through the cruelty of the Ariomaniacs! They send people into the public prison when they ought to set them free; they commit violence although they teach that one should suffer for the sake of justice; they plunder the property of others although they are taught by divine law not to try to recover what has been plundered from them; I omit to mention what great cruelty has seized possession of them, because they rejoice in temporal powers. The opportunity to see one’s own is not denied to robbers shut up in prison either by inquisitors or judges; but our people are kept away from us and, lest the devoted brothers come to us, not only are they driven off from the lodgings in which we are

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held, but, so that they do not approach, they are terrified by the threat of imprisonment. Thus they have subjugated everyone, as I have come to know very clearly  – I will begin with the bishops  – because certain ones are afraid to lose their position, they have abandoned the faith, and because they do not want to abandon earthly powers and tax exemptions, they have set at nought the heavenly treasury and true security. In this way others have also been led astray, because they see bishops fearing to abandon these things and they start to love them, although they cannot have them forever. (8) So the Ariomaniacs terrify the rich, because they threaten them with proscription, and they terrify the poor, since they have the power to shut them up in prison. What great madness this is! In the place where we are held not only do they send into prisons the men who look after us but, without any fear of God, they also shut up devoted virgins in public custody. But just as those evil elders, who sought to violate the chastity of Susanna, did not rejoice, so these men, who try to subjugate the Church to their faithlessness with various persecutions and great pressure, will also not rejoice forever: for the holy Daniel said to those men: Fearing thus the daughters of Israel lay with you.15 But let human fear retire from your minds, most blessed ones, since you have the consolation of the Lord, who says: Do not fear those men who kill the body, for they cannot kill the soul.16 This is the time of trial, this is the time to make clearly known who has been approved. Therefore these men have accepted human help because they lack divine; if they had it, they would never subjugate the souls of the innocents to themselves through earthly power. (9) We ought to have written much about the evils of those men by which not only have I been oppressed but also very many others of us; but we are held by them under a very close guard, so that we cannot do this and communicate their cruelty in letters; and so others of our people and friends are prohibited from coming to us. But the Lord has allowed me to send this letter to you through our dearest deacon Syrus, who provided me with an opportunity to send a letter, because through the providence of our Lord at that time he had gone to see certain holy sites and was not discovered with the other brothers. (10) But we have scarcely been able to write this letter at all, always beseeching God to restrain the guards and allow the deacon to bear some letter of greeting to you rather than merely an announcement of our toil.

  Susanna 57 (with a paraphrase of most of this story). Matthew 10:28.

15 16

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Because of this I entreat you very strongly to guard the faith with all vigilance, preserve concord, devote your energies to prayers and be mindful of us without intermission, so that the Lord deigns to free his Church, which toils throughout the whole world, and so that we who are oppressed might be liberated and rejoice with you; the Lord will deign to provide this to you who ask for it through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is with him blessed by the ages and in all the ages of ages. Amen. (11) I also entreat and beg you by the mercy of God that each one of you should recognise his own greeting in this letter; because through the action of necessity I was not able to write to you individually, as I was accustomed to do. So, in this letter, all you brothers and the blessed sisters, sons and daughters, I greet every sex, I beseech every age, so that, happy with this greeting, you deign also to greet on our behalf those who are outside your community and deign to love us. Our brothers the presbyters and deacons who are with me greet you, as do all of our people; with me, they entreat you very strongly to deign to send greetings on our behalf to all your people who are mindful of us. Moreover I have sent the letter which I wrote to my guard Patrophilus, so that from this you might know that we cannot be frightened by the threats of the Ariomaniacs nor led across to their fellowship by their flattering serpentine cunning. May divinity protect you and allow you to live flourishing with all your people both now and in the future, most dear and dearly missed brothers. Eusebius of Vercelli, Let ter 3

This letter, which is addressed to Gregory, bishop of Elvira in Spain, appears to date from 360–1, as it makes reference to the Council of Ariminum in 359, but seems to predate the death of Constantius II in 361.17 However, unlike the two letters that precede it, its authenticity was questioned in the early twentieth century and has divided scholarship ever since, with it sometimes being denounced as a later Luciferian forgery.18 This is based primarily on the ‘rigorist’ stance taken in the letter, including the harsh way in which Ossius of Cordoba was described as a ‘transgressor’.19 For example, R. P. C. Hanson rejected it as inauthentic because ‘had Eusebius 17 See p. 161 n. 148 above. On the dating of the letter, see D. H. Williams (1995) 61–2, 238. Gregory of Elvira wrote a De fide orthodoxa and, like Lucifer of Cagliari, remained a vehement opponent of former ‘Arians’ after Constantius’ death – see Jerome, De uiris illustr. 105; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 519–26. 18 For outlines of the debate, see D. H. Williams (1995) 50–1; Smulders (1995) 25. 19 Ossius of Cordoba had been forced to subscribe to the theological formula known as ‘Blasphemy of Sirmium’ in 357 – see J. N. D. Kelly (1972) 285–8; Simonetti (1975) 229–33; Brennecke (1984)

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held the views expressed in it he could hardly have brought himself to co-operate with Hilary in attacking Auxentius’.20 Such a judgement does, however, assume that Eusebius could not have changed his stance according to shifting circumstances, such as the death of Constantius. In addition, since this letter is preserved in Hilary’s fragmentary Against Valens and Ursacius, it seems strange that the bishop of Poitiers would have included in his collection a document supposedly written by his friend but misrepresenting his opinions.21 Recently, opinion has shifted more towards accepting the authenticity of the letter, with Daniel Williams arguing vehemently in favour of it, while both Lionel Wickham and Lewis Ayres accept it without comment.22 In general, the letter does have a harsher tone than Eusebius’ other letters, as well as being more directly critical and dismissive of imperial power (in the form of the ‘earthly kingdom’) than Letter 2, written a few years earlier, had been. Eusebius’ rhetoric had therefore become closer to that used by other Nicene opponents of Constantius at this time, especially Lucifer, with whom he was in exile in Egypt. To his most blessed lord and brother Bishop Gregory, Eusebius sends greetings in the Lord. (1.1) I have received the letter of your sincerity, from which I learnt that, as befits a bishop and a priest of God, you have resisted Ossius the transgressor and you have refused to give your assent to the many who have fallen at Ariminum in their communion with Valens [of Mursa], Ursacius [of Singidunum] and the others, whom they themselves previously condemned on an acknowledged charge of blasphemy, for you are 312–25, especially 323–4; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 343–7; Barnes (1993) 138–9. On the Council of Ariminum in 359, see pp. 80–1 above. R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 508 n. 2. 21 Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.ii. The text translated here is from Bulhart (1957) 110. An English translation of the letter can also be found at Wickham (1997) 95–6. Simonetti (1997) 161–2, 166–70, 172–4 argues that Eusebius and Hilary communicated and worked together closely over a number of years, but nonetheless rejects the authenticity of this letter. 22 D. H. Williams (1995) 51 n. 66; Wickham (1997) 12; Ayres (2004) 178. See also Maritano (1997) 418, where Ep. 3 is included amongst the authentic works of Eusebius. See, however, the arguments against Williams in Simonetti (1997) 174–5, which appears in the same edited volume as Maritano’s extensive Eusebian bibliography. While Simonetti makes the point that Williams does not engage with the counter-arguments as much as he might, his own arguments are not convincing. These are mostly concerned with his belief that the letter assumes knowledge of a ‘Luciferian’ account of a confrontation between Ossius and Gregory, as well as that it would have been very difficult for Eusebius to send a letter out from his place of exile in the Thebaid. I am not convinced that the letter displays awareness of the story of the confrontation; even if it does, Eusebius could easily have received an account of this sort in the letter of Gregory to which he stated he was replying. I also do not believe that Eusebius was as isolated in the Thebaid as Simonetti assumes. 20

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truly maintaining the faith which the Nicene Fathers wrote. We congratulate you for this, and we congratulate ourselves as well, because you live with this resolve and, remaining strong in this faith, you have deigned to remember us. (1.2) Count upon our communication with you, who remain in the same confession and maintain no fellowship with hypocrites. With whatever tracts you can create, with whatever toil you can bear, chastise the transgressors, scold the faithless, fearing nothing from this earthly kingdom, as you have been doing, since he who is in us is more powerful than he who is in this world.23 (2.1) For we, your fellows priests labouring in our third exile,24 say this, which we thought was obvious, that all the hope of the Ariomaniacs hangs not in their disunified agreement, but in the protection of the earthly kingdom, not knowing that it is written that cursed are those who have hope in man; but our support is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.25 We want to endure in sufferings so that, following what is written, we might be exalted in the kingdom [sc. of heaven]. (2.2) Deign to write to us to say what you have achieved in correcting wrongdoers and how many brothers you have either recognised as still standing firm or have yourself corrected through your advice. All those who are with me send their greetings to you, especially Diaconus,26 and together they ask you to deign to greet on our behalf all those who cling faithfully to your side. 23 cf. 1 John 4:4. 24 This is a reference to his third place of exile, in the Thebaid. 25 Jeremiah 17:5; Psalms 124:8 (123:8 LXX). 26 Bulhart prints Diaconus, but Feder suggests that the correct reading may actually be diacones – ‘the deacons’ – which is also followed by Wickham (1997) 96.

Appendi x 5

Hilary of Poitiers, Contra Auxentium

This text was Hilary’s response to his failed attempt to unseat Auxentius, bishop of Milan since the expulsion of the pro-Nicene Dionysius, and is the only surviving record of these events.1 It appears to have been written shortly after he left Milan, after failing to persuade the new emperor Valentinian I to support his cause and oust the ‘heretical’ bishop from his see. The piece as a whole is marked by Hilary’s contention that Auxentius is a slippery Arian who uses sophistical tricks to deceive good, orthodox people, most notably the emperor himself. The exact circumstances that led to Hilary’s failure to depose Auxentius are, unsurprisingly, disputed. Both Neil McLynn and Daniel Williams regard Auxentius as a determined Homoian partisan who maintained strong control over his see, which was predominantly filled with supporters of his own theological position.2 This is a picture which derives, to a fairly large extent, from Hilary’s depiction of Auxentius in the Contra Auxentium. In contrast, Peter Kaufman has argued that Auxentius was a much more pragmatic and latitudinarian bishop, and that Milan was much less staunchly Homoian, as seen in the election of the pro-Nicene Ambrose after Auxentius’ death.3 Moreover, Timothy Barnes has argued against both these positions, putting forward the view that, while the twenty years of Auxentius’ episcopacy would have meant that the clergy was predominantly Homoian, almost all the ordinary Christians of Milan were still Nicene by the time of Ambrose’s election as bishop.4 Whatever the exact nature of Auxentius’ episcopal policies 1 For a fuller discussion of the context and themes of the text, see pp. 207–17 above, as well as McLynn (1994) 25–7; D. H. Williams (1992) 18–22, (1995) 78–80, (1997) 443–4; Kaufman (1997) 427–35; Durst (1998) 120–32; Barnes (2002) 227–31. 2 McLynn (1994) 13–43; D. H. Williams (1992) 18, 20–1, (1995) 76–83, 102–127. Durst (1998) 121–2 also regards the majority of Christians in Milan as coming over to accept Auxentius as bishop, with a small, hardline Nicene minority remaining opposed. At 132, he refers to Milan under Auxentius as ‘das Bollwerk des Homöertums im lateinischen Westen’. 3 Kaufman (1997); although see also the rejoinders to Kaufman in D. H. Williams (1997) and (in a more nuanced fashion) McLynn (1997). 4 Barnes (2002) 235–6.

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and his network of local and regional support may have been, he was able to remain in possession of the see until his death in 374, despite not only Hilary’s actions, but also a number of attempts to remove him instigated by Martin of Tours, Filastrius, the future bishop of Brescia, and even Damasus of Rome.5 Hilary’s literary attack should, therefore, probably be read as an attempt to crystallise opposition to Auxentius outside Milan, since he had been unable to achieve his aims within the imperial court and the city itself.6 To his most beloved brothers remaining in the faith of the Fathers and hating the Arian heresy, to the bishops and all the communities, your fellow servant Hilary gives eternal greetings in the Lord. 1. Indeed the name of peace is attractive and the notion of unity is beautiful. But who doubts that the only unity of the Church and the Gospels is that peace which is of Christ? He said this to the Apostles after the glory of his passion; he commended this, when about to depart, as a pledge of his eternal instruction.7 We, most beloved brothers, have taken care to seek it out when lost, restore it when disturbed and retain it when found. But the sins of our time have not allowed us to become assistants or authors of this, nor have the harbingers and ministers of the coming Antichrist permitted it. They are those who glory in their own peace, which is the unity of their impiety, acting not as bishops of Christ, but as priests of the Antichrist. 2. And lest we are accused of using the slanderous abuse of words against them, lest the cause of public ruin be unknown to anyone, we are not silent about it. We know that there are many Antichrists, as the Apostle John actually proclaims.8 For, as the Apostles declared, anyone who has denied Christ is an Antichrist. It is an inherent characteristic of the name of Antichrist to be antithetical to Christ. This is now carried out under the name of false piety, this is performed under the pretence of proclaiming the Gospel, so that the Lord Jesus Christ, even while he is thought to be proclaimed, is actually denied. 3. And first one may pity the hardship of our age and sigh deeply for the foolish notions of our times, by which human matters are thought 5 McLynn (1994) 22, 39–43; D. H. Williams (1992) 18, (1995) 76–8, 80–2; Durst (1998) 132. 6 The text is taken from PL 10: 609–18, except for the statement of Auxentius in sections 13–15, which uses the critical edition in Durst (1998) 161–3. 7 This is probably an allusion to Jesus’ references to peace after the Resurrection: see Luke 24:36; John 20:19–26. 8 1 John 2:18.

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to be a means of support for God and profane lobbying is used to protect the Church of Christ. I ask you, you bishops who trust in this, what influential recommendations did the Apostles use to proclaim the Gospel? Helped by what powers did they proclaim Christ and bring nearly all the nations from idols to God? Did they take on some office from the imperial palace, singing the hymn to God in prison among chains and after whips; when Paul was a spectacle in the theatre, did he unite the church in Christ through the edicts of a king? Was it protected, I suppose, with Nero, or Vespasian, or Decius as defenders? The confession of divine preaching blossomed through the hatred of these men towards us. Sustaining themselves with their own hands and work, coming together in attics and secret places, travelling through towns and forts and almost all the peoples by land and sea against senatus consulta and the edicts of kings, did they [the Apostles] not certainly hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Or did the excellence of God not then stretch itself forward manifest against human hatreds, since however much Christ was prevented from being proclaimed, so much more was he proclaimed? 4. But now, ah grief! Earthly judgements approve divine faith. Deprived of his own power, Christ is accused, while advancement is procured by his name. The Church terrifies with exiles and prisons; the Church, which was trusted in during exiles and prisons, forces people to trust in it. The Church, which was made sacred by the terror of persecutors, rests upon the status of those who commune. The Church, which was propagated by exiled priests, exiles priests. The Church, which could not have been of Christ unless the world despised it, boasts that it is loved by the world. The matter itself, which is in the eyes and mouth of all, has shouted out these things about the difference between the former Church, which was handed down to us and its current, corrupted state. 5. But I will now explain briefly what it is that must not be ignored any longer. Following the abundance that was pleasing to God, the times have become constricted. For a succinct explanation of these things is taught in the heavenly books: it must be that we have come into the actual age of the Antichrist, with, following the Apostle, his ministers transforming into an angel of light;9 almost from the perception and understanding of all, he who is Christ is destroyed. Uncertain opinion is preferred over truth, so that the assertion of error might be made certain: the way is already open for the Antichrist to pretend that he himself is Christ, about whom there is now continual disagreement. Hence there are these various

  See the description of Satan and his ministers at 2 Corinthians 11:14–15.

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opinions; hence under the faith of the one Christ there is the proclamation of many; hence the spirit of Arius is recently transformed from the angel of the devil into an angel of light: Arius, whose whole succession extended and sank down to Valens, Ursacius, Auxentius, Germinius and Gaius. For now they have introduced a new Christ, so that the Antichrist might sneak in though him. 6. For they want this Christ of theirs not to be of the same divinity as the Father is, but to be a powerful creature, superior to all other creatures, created from nothing through the will of God and born before all ages and all time, God from God, but not to be from the substance of God, nor to be of divine origin in him, nor to be of his majesty, which must be understood to be the truth of God. This is said to prevent the Son being true God as the Father is, so that, when the Father and the Son are proclaimed to be one in the Gospels,10 this might be only in the partnership of will and love, and not in the truth of divinity. But if this is not the same in the Son as that which is of God, so that there is one God in the confession of faith, why do they profess God the Son, why do they profess before all time and ages, unless because the name of God has been established for every holy person through the forgiveness of eternity? Or are all those who have been reborn not truly sons of God, or were all the angels, who were certainly originated through Christ, not created before all times and all the ages of all? But they give the name of God to Christ, in order to introduce the Antichrist with less hatred and make the wretched believe in him, because this name has also been assigned to men. They truly proclaim the son of God, because each man is made a son of God by the sacrament of baptism. They profess before times and ages, which must not be denied for the angels and the Devil. Thus to Christ the Lord are given only these things which either belong to the angels or are ours. But what is genuine and true to Christ God – Christ is true God, that is, there is the same divinity of the Son as of the Father – is denied. And indeed it is brought to this point through the fraud of impiety so that now the people of Christ do not die under the priests of the Antichrist, because they think that what is spoken is the faith. They hear ‘Christ God’; they think that this is what is said. They hear ‘the son of God’; they think that the truth of God is contained in the birth of God. They hear ‘before time’; they think that it really is before time, which is always. The ears of the people are more holy than the hearts of the priests. If the Arians proclaim Christ to

  John 10:30.

10

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be true God then they have confessed God without fraud. But if they say God and deny ‘true’, they grant the name and deny the truth. 7. Therefore although all the writings of the churches are full of their most impious blasphemies and the books are already abundant, nonetheless what happened most recently must not be passed over in silence. When by a grave edict and under the stated aim and desire of unity, the blessed king had ordered the Milanese church to be disturbed, a church which confesses Christ to be true God and of one divinity and substance with the Father, by a prompt intervention I indicated that Auxentius was a blasphemer and was to be regarded as in every way an enemy of Christ. And I added that he held different views from those which the king himself or all the others held. The king was deeply disturbed by these things and ordered that we be heard by the quaestor and the magister, with about ten bishops sitting together with us. At first, as is customary in court, false ad hominem attacks were made, that I had once been condemned by Saturninus and so ought not to be heard as a bishop.11 There is not now time to relate what was said in response to these claims, but those who listened then decided that they ought rather to concern themselves with faith, as the king had ordered. Since there was already danger in the north in denying it, Auxentius professed himself to believe that Christ is true God and of one divinity and substance with God the Father. It was therefore decided that this should be written down and, lest what had been said might slip from the memories of the audience, I immediately offered to the king, via the quaestor, a pamphlet relating what had happened. And lest I be accused of lying, I appended a copy of this same document. It is agreed by all that Auxentius professes these things widely: he was made to write them down. Turning his plans round in his mind for a long time, he very cunningly deceived the king’s faith. He provided a text written with the pen of the Antichrist. 8. For at first he declared those things to be holy which the impiety of all had settled at Niké in Thrace, affirming indeed that force imposed on bishops was the faith of the true confession.12 He also denied that he knew Arius, even though he had started out as a presbyter in Alexandria in the Arian church, over which Gregory presided. But let us say nothing about the Ariminum synod, which has been annulled religiously by all; 11 Saturninus, bishop of Arles, had been involved in Hilary’s exile and was excommunicated in the letter sent by the Gallic council held in Paris after Hilary’s return from exile – see Adu. Val. et Ursac. a.i.4.4. 12 This refers to the Homoian creed eventually signed by the western delegation from the Council of Ariminum in 359 – see J. N. D. Kelly (1972) 291–2; R. P. C. Hanson (1988) 378–80.

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only the Devil’s schemes must be laid open. Although it had been decided therefore that it should be written that Christ is true God and of one divinity and substance with the Father, a statement was imposed by him [Auxentius], as though by the cleverest Devil, to describe Christ as God true son born before all ages, so that, following the Arians, truth would be a reference to ‘son’, not to ‘God’.13 And so that the extremely important distinction of this expression might arise, the phrase from the Father true God was appended, so that the truth of God would be in the Father, but in Christ the truth of the Son only would be written. Then in a following speech a single divinity was proclaimed by Auxentius, but he did not confess that the Son was also in this, so that there might be one single divinity in the Father alone, not in the Son as well. 9. Indeed it was circulated amongst the people that Auxentius had written that Christ was true God and of the same divinity and substance with the Father, and that he did not differ from the expression of faith expounded through me. After which the king, on account of his sincerity of faith, came to his [Auxentius’] communion. But since this secret of impiety, hidden for a long time, was already not being kept quiet, I said that he falsified everything, denied the faith and he ridiculed God and men; I was ordered to depart from Milan, since there was no freedom for me to remain there with the king unwilling. 10. Therefore, brothers, I demonstrate that these events happened in this way, by which the judgement of God is in a state of alarm. What Auxentius feared to deny, he did not want to confess. For I have appended examples of this statement. If he wrote the same thing, make an accusation of lying. If indeed he wrote something other than what he professed, know that now a different Christ, the Antichrist, that is, is proclaimed through him. Indeed he has played with words so that he can deceive even the chosen, but the profession of such great impiety lies open. 11. He denies that he professes two Gods, because there are not two Fathers. Following these things, who does not see that the confession of one God therefore belongs only to the Father, because He is only? From this he appears as the pen of Satan: We know one sole true God the Father. And after his ill-intentioned statements, he said the Son is like the begetter his Father, following the Scriptures. If this is written anywhere in the sacred volumes, then he has a profession of innocence. If truly the Father and Son are one in the truth of divinity, why is the imperfect concept of similitude preferred? Christ is indeed the image of God, but it is not doubted

  On this point see p. 210 above.

13

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that man is the image of God, since Adam was made to the image and similitude of God. Why do you, heir of Arius, grant only our attributes to Christ? Why do you circumvent the king, the comites, the Church of God through the trickery of your father, that is, Satan? You say that Christ is God; why do you deceive in the name? Deny that Moses was said to be a God to Pharaoh.14 You say that Christ is Son and firstborn of God. Deny that Israel is the firstborn Son to God.15 You assert that Christ was born before times. Also deny that the Devil was created and existed before times and ages. You say that Christ is like the Father. Deny that man began to exist to the image and similitude of God. You reject what is unique to Christ, lest he be true God and of one divinity and substance with the Father. And you are accustomed, together with your masters, to accuse me of being a heretic. Put forward, with whatever documents you can, the case of my impiety, and set forth the notice of my blasphemies. But to me the Antichrist is he who does not confess that the Son is of one divinity with the Father. And he does not proclaim that the Father is the one true God in this way, so that the truth of divinity is not also perceived in the Son. If Christ and God are of one divinity, why have you not written this straightforwardly? If you think that they are not, why have you not denied this straightforwardly? 12. I would therefore have chosen, brothers, to reveal the secret of so pernicious a mystery myself, rather than through letters, and to explain all the blasphemies of Auxentius word by word. But because this is not permitted, let everyone at least comprehend what he may. Shame prevents me from revealing many other things to the Church and I shudder to commit to a letter the disgraces of the Arians’ blasphemies. I give one piece of advice: beware of the Antichrist. For wrongly has love of walls seized you; wrongly do you revere the Church of God in buildings and structures; wrongly within these do you bestow the name of peace. Is there any doubt that the Antichrist will be enthroned in these? For me, mountains and woods and lakes and prisons and chasms are safer, for the prophets, either abiding or having been confined in these, prophesied with the spirit of God. Therefore withdraw from Auxentius, the angel of Satan, the enemy of Christ, the ruined destroyer, the denier of the faith. Thus he made this profession to the king in order to deceive; he deceived in order to blaspheme. Now let him gather against me whatever synods he wants, and let him proscribe me as a heretic by a public notice, as he has already often 14 Exodus 7:1. 

  Exodus 4:22.

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done, and let him rouse against me as much of the rage of powerful men as he wants. Assuredly he will never be anything to me other than the Devil, because he is an Arian. Nor will peace ever be sought with anyone except those who, following the statement of our fathers at Nicaea, and with the Arians anathematised, will proclaim Christ to be true God. E x a m p l e o f t h e B l a s p h e m y o f Au x e n t i u s

Auxentius, bishop of the catholic church at Milan, to the most blessed and glorious emperors Valentinian and Valens Augusti. 13. Most pious emperors, I certainly think that the unity of six hundred bishops, achieved after such great hardships, ought not, through the controversy of a few men, to be torn open by matters rejected ten years ago, just as the writings reveal.16 But if any people from the community, who had never been in communion, not even with those bishops who were before me, have now been roused further by Hilary and Eusebius, disturbing certain people, and have called me a heretic, rightly has your own piety commanded praiseworthy men, the quaestor and the magister, to find out about them and, just as I said before, also that those who were once deposed should not play the part of accusers or pass judgement (and here I mention Hilary and those who agree with him). However, being obedient to your Serenity, I have come forward to make the matter clear to those who make false claims, and those blaspheming and those calling me an Arian, as though I do not confess that Christ the Son of God is God. 14. I have expounded my profession of faith to friends of your piety, giving satisfactory assurance firstly that I have never known Arius, nor have I seen him with my eyes, nor have I studied his doctrine; but since infancy I was taught in this way, just as I received from the sacred Scriptures, I have believed, and I believe, in the one, alone true God the Father omnipotent, invisible, impassible, immortal; and also in his only-begotten son our Lord Jesus Christ, born from the Father before all ages and all beginnings, deum uerum filium17 from the Father true God, following that which is written in the Gospel: But this is eternal life, that they recognise you as the alone true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.18 For through him all things, 16 The 600 bishops are those who attended the councils of 359–60 that agreed a Homoian Christological formula. 17 I have chosen to leave this phrase untranslated as it is so central to Hilary’s claims that Auxentius was introducing a secret blasphemy through his statement of faith. See section 8 and p. 210 above. 18 John 17:3.

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visible and invisible, were made. He descended from the heavens by the will of the Father for our salvation, was born from the Holy Spirit and from the Virgin Mary according to the flesh, just as is written, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, buried, and rose again on the third day, and he ascended to the heavens to sit at the right hand of the Father and will come to judge the living and the dead; and also in the Holy Spirit the Paraclete, whom the Lord and God our saviour Jesus Christ sent to the disciples, the Spirit of truth. Thus I have believed and I believe, just as, when ascending into the heavens, the only Son of God handed down to his disciples, saying: Go teach all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.19 15. But I have never proclaimed two gods. For there are not two Fathers, so one cannot speak of two gods, nor two sons, but one Son from one Father, alone from alone, God from God, just as it is written: One God the Father from whom all things and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things.20 On account of this we proclaim one divinity. Therefore all heresies, which come against the catholic faith, the assembled catholic bishops have certainly always condemned and anathematised, and particularly those bishops coming together at Ariminum; and so we have condemned all heresies, while we have guarded faithfully the catholic faith of the Evangelists, which the Apostles handed down. But so that your piety might become more truly acquainted, I have sent you what was transacted in the Council of Ariminum and I beseech you to order them to be read freely. Thus your serenity will come to understand that those who were formerly deposed, that is, Hilary and Eusebius, strive to create schisms everywhere. For your piety discerns that these matters, which have been expounded properly from the sacred Scriptures of the catholic faith, ought not to be re-examined. 19 Matthew 28:19. 

  1 Corinthians 8:6.

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Index

Aaron (Old Testament priest), 198, 203 Abel (son of Adam), 203 Abraham (Old Testament patriarch), 152, 155n.124, 187, 199, 203, 207 acclamations, 42, 221 Achillas, bishop of Alexandria, 217 Achilles (Homeric hero), 46, 47n.71, 48n.77, 50, 107 acta, see martyr literature Acta Appiani, 148n.84 Acts of the Pagan Martyrs, 148n.84 Adam (first man), 203 Adrianople, battle of (378), 225 aduentus, 29, 45, 221 of Athanasius into Alexandria (346), 121–3 of Athanasius into Alexandria (362), 122–3 of Constantius II into Rome, 41n.40, 58n.127 episcopal, 118–23, 161–2 of Eusebius of Vercelli, 161–2 imperial, 41, 117–18 inverted, 118–21 Aelius Aristides (orator), 37n.25 Aeneas (Homeric hero), 64n.153 Aeschines (orator), 48n.77, 50, 52 Aethiopians, 73 Agamemnon (Homeric hero), 107 Agesilaus II (king of Sparta), 75 Agrigentum, 49 Agrippinus (‘Homoian’ interlocutor), 2 Ahab (king of Israel), 110, 111–12, 142, 145, 186–7, 196, 228 Ajax (Homeric hero), 48n.77, 107 Alexander (heretic), 185 Alexander (lawyer in Martyrdom of Pionius), 149n.89 Alexander III (king of Macedon), 49, 75, 146 compared with Constantine I, 73–4, 75, 78–9 Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, 82, 178–80, 217 as martyr, 153

Alexandria, 83, 92, 113, 114, 118–23, 141, 168, 196, 217, 224, 226 Council of (362), 224 Allectus (usurper), 41n.43, 97, 135n.35 Altar of Victory controversy, 78n.1, 128n.1 Altercatio Heracliani cum Germinio, 1–6, 26, 32, 230 Ambrose, bishop of Milan, 21, 75n.201, 76, 78n.1, 82n.9, 128n.1, 131, 226, 228 as ‘patristic’ author, 13 Ammianus Marcellinus (historian), 41n.40, 52n.98, 58n.127, 94, 95, 96, 103, 104, 106, 124, 209n.128, 209n.129, 211n.142 Amorites (biblical tribe), 5 Amos (Old Testament prophet), 198 Ananias (Jewish High Priest), 4n.14 Ananias (or Hananiah, Old Testament persecuted figure), 201 Antichrist, 62n.143, 64n.150, 68, 100, 113, 143, 186, 198, 199, 208, 213, 214–16, 228 Antioch, 33, 35, 41n.41, 44, 53, 84, 186n.27, 225 Council of (338/9), 118 Council of (341), 80, 129 Riot of the Statues (387), 42n.44, 75 Antiochus IV (Seleucid king), 144 Antonius, Lucius (brother of Mark Antony), 137n.42 Antonius, Marcus, see Mark Antony Antony (monk), 13, 22–3, 114, 132, 155 Aphrodisias (Asia minor), 45 Aphthonius (rhetorician), 37n.22, 50, 89n.36, 97n.78, 104 Apollo, Temple of (at Daphne), 41n.41 Aquileia, Council of (381), 233n.8 Arcadius (emperor), 57, 59–61, 65, 76, 103n.113 Arena, Valentina, 56 Arianism, 3, 80–1 construction of, 12, 14–16, 20, 30–2, 83n.17, 92, 178–80, 183–8, 189–219 supported by Constantine I, 92–3

284

Index Arians Ariminum, Council of (359), 3, 14, 80, 96n.76, 161n.148, 205n.112, 209, 211–12, 215n.158, 249 called Ariomaniacs, 157–8, 190, 226, 243 as henchmen of Constantius II, 100, 110 as persecutors, 155–62, 207–17, 226 Aristophanes (friend of Libanius), 34 Aristotle (philosopher), 75, 81n.9 Arius (presbyter), 14–16, 82, 92, 142, 185, 203, 206n.121, 215, 227 death, 178–80, 190n.41 Thalia, 185n.24, 194–5, 216n.164, 223 Ark of the Covenant, 114n.162 asceticism, 22–3, 132 Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, 121n.193 Asterius (‘Arian’ theologian), 153, 185 Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria Ad episcopos Aegypti et Libyae, 152–3, 179n.4, 185n.22, 185n.25, 186, 195n.75, 198–9, 201n.95, 204, 217–18 aduentus into Alexandria (346), 121–3 aduentus into Alexandria (362), 122–3 Apologia ad Constantium, 99, 100n.97, 101–2, 110n.140, 110n.142, 225 Apologia contra Arianos, 92n.53, 118n.178, 119–20 and asceticism, 203–4 audience for invectives, 87–9 biography, 82–3 on the Council of Nicaea, 13 De decretis, 153n.113, 184–6, 190n.47, 192, 193, 194, 195n.73, 203, 204n.110, 205–6 De fuga, 86n.30, 141–3, 147n.80, 152 De morte Arii, 178–80, 199n.87 De sententia Dionysii, 142, 186, 189, 194–5, 199n.87, 206n.121 De synodis, 14n.48, 129n.4, 205n.112 education, 85–6 Encyclical Epistle, 83n.15, 118–21, 141, 142, 151, 196–7, 203 Epistula ad monachos, 88n.35 exile, 80, 82–3, 92, 141–3, 225 Festal Letters, 141 History of the Arians, 7, 21n.70, 24n.84, 32, 83, 86n.30, 87, 89–115, 121–3, 124n.204, 128, 141, 143n.70, 147n.80, 151–2, 155, 179n.5, 208n.124 as invectivist, 6, 7, 8, 16–19, 20, 23, 26–7, 28–9, 78–117, 123–6, 151–3, 155, 220–2, 227–9 Life of Antony, 22–3, 86, 132, 152, 155 as martyr, 25 Orationes contra Arianos, 153n.113, 182, 184–6, 187–8, 189–90, 191–4, 197–8, 199, 201, 203, 205, 205n.110

285

as ‘patristic’ author, 10–11, 13 as pillar of orthodoxy, 7, 84, 93, 94, 113, 155, 240 use of Scripture by, 24, 178–82, 183–8, 189–90, 191–9, 200–1, 203–6, 217–19, 222–4 self-presentation, 22, 29–32, 92, 121–3, 127–34, 139–43, 146–8, 151–3, 155, 162–3, 176–7, 180–2, 183, 190, 196–9, 200–1, 203–6, 217–19, 222–4 as violent persecutor, 120–1, 188–9 Athens, 33, 44, 51 Augustine, bishop of Hippo, 36, 37 Augustus (emperor), 44, 48n.77, 62, 95, 97n.80 Res Gestae, 98n.83 Aurelian (emperor), 66, 90 Aurelianus (Nicene layman), 1, 3 Ausonius, Decim(i)us Magnus (poet), 34, 39n.32, 75, 183 Professores, 34n.5 authority ascetic, 22–3, 25n.90, 132, 182 biblical, 223–4 charismatic, 130–3 episcopal, 127–34, 139–77, 178–219, 220–4 exegetical, 182, 189–96, 200–7, 223–4 imperial, 35–44, 46–9, 53–61, 78–117, 123–6, 220–2 invectivist, 53–61, 127–77, 222 martyrial, 25–6, 29–30, 112–17, 118–21, 127–34, 139–77, 212–17, 222–3 scriptural, 178–207 Auxentius, bishop of Milan, 84, 207–17, 224, 250, 252–3 Ayres, Lewis, 250 Azarias (or Azariah, Old Testament persecuted figure), 201 Babylon, 62, 159, 201 Babylonians, 141 Barabbas (biblical villain), 5, 110, 185 Barak (Old Testament general), 152 Barnes, Timothy, 15, 85, 121, 184, 252 Bartsch, Shadi, 39 Bashan (biblical land), 5 Basil, bishop of Caesarea, 33, 228 Address to Young Men, 16n.60 Bauer, Walter, 9, 13 Béziers, Council of (c. 356), 83 Bordeaux, 34n.5 Boyarin, Daniel, 87 Brakke, David, 22, 203–4 Britain, 97 Britons, 73

286

Index

Brown, Peter, 12, 16, 25, 34, 177 Brutus, Marcus Junius (assassin of Caesar), 137n.41 Caecilian, bishop of Carthage, 100n.97, 131, 148n.83 Caesarius (brother of Gregory of Nazianzus), 19 Cagliari, 84, 133 Caiaphas (Jewish High Priest), 141, 185, 189, 190n.41, 196 Cain (son of Adam), 111, 114 Caligula (emperor), 58n.127, 66, 94 Cameron, Averil, 8, 9, 15 Cappadocia, 156, 243 Carausius (usurper), 135n.35 Carolingians, 9 Carthage, 3, 131 Council of (256), 100n.94 Castelli, Elizabeth, 165 Catiline (Roman rebel), 29, 137–9 cento, 183 Chaeronea, battle of (338 bc), 51 Christianus sum (martyrial statement), 166–8 Chronicon Paschale, 96n.77, 107n.131, 108, 125 Cicero, Marcus Tullius, 8, 24, 55, 148, 163, 176 Catilinarians, 137–9, 221 In Pisonem, 136n.39 as invectivist, 51n.95, 52, 54, 56, 136–40 In Verrem, 35n.11 Philippics, 29, 35n.11, 54, 67, 136–40, 221 Pro Archia, 136n.39 Pro Roscio, 211n.140 writings used by Lactantius, 64, 65, 78 Cinna, Lucius Cornelius (Republican politician), 94, 137n.42 circumcellions, 131 Cittinus (African martyr), 3 ciuilitas, 39, 40 Claudian (poet), 48, 52, 76, 221 De consulatu Stilichonis, 57n.121 In Eutropium, 20, 50n.83, 52n.96, 54n.109, 56–9, 65 In Rufinum, 58n.122 Claudianus (consul 180), 3 Claudius II Gothicus (emperor), 89–90, 93 Clodius Pulcher, Publius (Roman politician), 52 Commodus (emperor), 66, 94 confessors, 29–30, 131, 148–55 Constans (emperor), 79, 80, 83, 90, 91, 92, 95n.72, 103n.117, 227, 228 Constantine I (emperor), 6, 61, 64, 66, 68, 69, 76, 79, 80, 83, 88, 103, 147 compared with Alexander the Great, 73–4 as ideal ruler, 69–75, 78–9, 86, 89–97, 98–9, 123–6, 135, 222

as impious persecutor, 92–3, 94, 124, 125, 132 intervention in Arian controversy, 14, 90–2 Oration before the Assembly of the Saints, 202 praised by Eusebius of Caesarea, 17, 28, 42n.45, 69–74, 78–9, 91, 92, 98–9, 102, 107, 125, 145, 222 praised in the Panegyrici Latini, 41, 42, 47, 49n.79, 73, 89, 97, 98, 101, 102, 104n.121, 122, 135 reign as turning point, 12, 17, 19, 21, 68, 75, 131 victory at the Milvian Bridge (312), 67, 72–3, 74, 94, 108, 145 vision, 107 Constantine II (emperor), 42n.45, 79, 80, 90, 95n.72 Constantinople, 57, 58, 76n.207 Council of (360), 14, 80, 84, 208, 209, 211, 225 Council of (381), 14, 77 Constantius I (emperor), 41n.43, 42n.45, 66n.159, 90, 91n.48, 97, 98n.83, 122 Constantius II (emperor), 6, 21n.70, 27, 28, 52n.98, 243 aduentus into Rome, 41n.40, 58n.127 biography, 79–81 death, 208, 224, 249, 250 as ideal ruler, 107–8, 121, 125 as recipient of invective, 20, 28–9, 52, 78–126, 127–34, 140–8, 150–5, 163–76, 186–8, 191n.52, 198, 199–200, 201–2, 208, 212, 213, 215, 217, 220–3 as recipient of panegyric, 44n.54, 75, 89, 90, 95–6, 107 religious policy, 8, 14, 15, 80–1, 240, 242 role in dynastic massacre (337), 95–6 unusual effusion of invectives during reign, 227–9 Constantius III (emperor), 118n.177 Cooper, Kate, 164 Corbeill, Anthony, 56 Cornelius, bishop of Rome, 171–3 Cowley, Abraham, 220 creeds ‘Dated’ (Sirmium 359), 80 ‘Dedication’ (Antioch 341), 80, 129 ‘Fourth’ of Antioch (342), 80 ‘Homoian’ (Constantinople 360), 81 ‘Long’ (344), 80 Nicene (325), 80, 81, 92, 114, 129, 161n.148, 205–6 Sirmium (351), 80 Crispus (caesar), 42n.45, 69, 91 Cromwell, Oliver, 220 Culcianus (prefect in Acts of Phileas), 149n.89

Index Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, 22, 30, 63, 100, 147, 149n.90 Letters, 171–3 On the Glory of Martyrdom (pseudonymous), 117, 173–6 writings used by Lucifer of Cagliari, 115–17, 133n.26, 139n.56, 163–76, 193, 222 Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, 10 Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, 107, 184 Dagalaifus (consul 366), 3 Dalmatius (caesar), 95 Damascus, 5n.19 Damasus, bishop of Rome, 128n.1, 253 Daniel (Old Testament prophet), 141, 155n.124, 159–61 Daphne (near Antioch), 41n.41 David (king of Israel), 109, 110n.142, 141, 142, 144, 152, 153n.112, 198, 200n.90, 203, 206 Decius (emperor), 62n.143, 64, 65, 93, 113, 150, 171–3, 213 Demosthenes (orator), 47n.71, 48n.77, 50, 50n.85, 52, 54, 55, 86, 137, 139 Philippics, 54, 136, 221 Devil, the, 94, 150, 157, 158, 161, 167, 185–6, 209, 215, 216, 243, 254n.9 Dinocrates (brother of Perpetua), 166 Dio Chrysostom (orator), 130, 135, 148, 163 On Kingship, 35n.11, 37n.25 Diocletian (emperor), 45n.57, 66, 67, 69, 91n.48 Diomedes (Homeric hero), 47n.71, 48n.77 Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, 194–5, 206n.121 Dionysius, bishop of Milan, 84, 153–4, 208n.124, 209, 238, 252 Dionysius, bishop of Rome, 206n.121 Doeg (Old Testament villain), 109, 110 Dolabella, Publius Cornelius (Republican politician), 137n.42 Domitian (emperor), 38–40, 59, 60, 62n.141, 65, 94, 101n.100, 130, 135 Donata (African martyr), 3 Donatism (schism), 10n.33, 14n.48, 100n.96, 128, 130–3, 143, 146, 147, 224, 227n.12 Drake, Hal, 70, 71 Dufraigne, Pierre, 117 Dugan, John, 138 Echetus (Homeric tyrant), 50 ecumenical councils, 13–14, 77 Eden, Garden of, 111, 187 Egypt, 110, 121, 143, 198n.82, 204, 217, 250 Eli (Old Testament priest), 111n.145 Elijah (Old Testament prophet), 141, 142, 145, 182, 187

287

Elisha (Old Testament prophet), 141, 182, 198 Enoch (Old Testament patriarch), 203 Ephrem Syrus (Christian poet), 182 Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, 129 Panarion, 131n.17, 156n.128, 186n.27, 226 Epistula Liberii papae ad Eusebium, Dionysium et Luciferum in exsilio constitutos, 32, 153–4, 238 Epistula Luciferi, Pancratii et Hilarii, 32, 133n.27, 161–2, 240, 242 Ernest, James, 24, 186 Esau (brother of Jacob), 142 eschatological literature, 61–2 Eudocia (wife of Theodosius II), 183n.15 Eudoxius, bishop of Constantinople, 226 Eunomian Christianity, 92 eunuchs, 103 Euripides (tragedian), 86, 112n.151 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, 17, 19, 21, 28, 76, 78–9, 82, 125 attacked by Marcellus of Ancyra, 201n.91 attacks on Marcellus of Ancyra, 188n.37 De sepulchro Christi, 71–2 Ecclesiastical History, 62n.141, 66n.158, 68, 71, 72–3, 91n.48, 98–9, 101, 102, 107, 108, 110, 112, 119, 145, 147, 214n.152 Laus Constantini, 42n.45, 69–71 Life of Constantine, 42n.44, 73–5, 91, 92, 96, 202n.99, 222 Martyrs of Palestine, 65n.156, 114 Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, 15, 91, 93, 95–6, 178, 179, 205 Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, 32, 102n.106, 124n.204, 129, 213, 240 action against Auxentius of Milan, 210n.132, 211, 250 at the Council of Alexandria, 224 exile, 84, 155–62, 238, 243, 249–50 Letter 1, 242 Letter 2, 155–62, 243, 250 Letter 3, 161n.148, 249–50 as presented by Liberius of Rome, 153–4 self-presentation, 30, 155–63, 176–7, 222 visit to Sirmium, 2, 4 Eustathius (consularis of Syria), 53n.102 Eustomius (or Eudoxius), bishop at Council of Milan (355), 242n.5 Eutropius (consul 399 and eunuch), 20, 54n.109, 56–9, 65 Eutropius (consularis of Syria), 53n.102 Eutropius (historian), 48n.77 Euzoius, bishop of Antioch, 225 Evagrius Ponticus (monk), 184n.21

288

Index

exempla Christianisation of, 16–19, 28–9, 72–7, 78–117, 123–6, 127–34, 139–77, 178–219, 221–4 in invective, 23–5, 49–53, 60, 65–7, 78–117, 220–1 in panegyric, 23–5, 36–7, 48–9, 72–7 Ezekiel (Old Testament prophet), 198 Fausta (wife of Constantine I), 42n.45, 79, 90, 91, 94n.60 Felicitas (African martyr), 164–8, see also martyr literature: Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas Filastrius, bishop of Brescia, 253 Firmianus (Nicene layman), 1, 3 Florentius (consularis of Syria), 53n.102 Florentius (magister officiorum), 88n.35 Frontinus, Sextus Julius (technical writer) On aqueducts, 37n.25 Fronto, Marcus Cornelius (orator), 39n.32 Fufius Calenus, Quintus (supporter of Mark Antony), 137–8 fulfilment of prophecy, 180, 190, 200–2, 204, 206–7, 217, 223 Gaddis, Michael, 25 Gaius (unidentified Illyrican bishop), 215n.158 Galerius (emperor), 65n.156, 66, 67n.163, 90n.42, 94n.60 Gallus (caesar), 104 Gaul, 33, 84, 88n.35, 208, 209, 224, 228n.13 genealogies of heresy, 183–200, 218, 223–4 of orthodoxy, 200–7, 217–19, 223–4 George of Cappadocia, ‘Arian’ bishop of Alexandria, 121n.195, 224 Germanicia (Asia Minor), 84 Germinius, bishop of Sirmium, 1–6, 215n.158, 230, 242n.5 Gibbon, Edward, 12, 36 Gibson, Bruce, 39, 40 Gideon (Old Testament judge), 152 Glaucia (Republican politician), 137 Gorgonia (sister of Gregory of Nazianzus), 19 Goths, 89 Gracchus, Gaius (Republican politician), 137 Gracchus, Tiberius (Republican politician), 137 Gratian (emperor), 3, 75, 228 Gray, Patrick, 10 Greece, 73 Gregory of Cappadocia, ‘Arian’ bishop of Alexandria, 83, 118–21, 141, 196 Gregory, bishop of Elvira, 161n.148, 249–50 Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop of Constantinople, 19, 25, 33, 61n.137 on Athanasius, 86n.28, 122–3, 141n.57

Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, 132, 184 Gwynn, David, 15, 22, 86, 184 Habakkuk (Old Testament prophet), 159–61 Hadrian (emperor), 63, 71n.184 Hannibal (Carthaginian general), 137 Hannibalianus (nephew of Constantine I), 95 Hanson, R. P. C., 249 Heath, Malcolm, 46 Hector (Homeric hero), 46, 50, 107 Heim, François, 111 Heraclianus (Nicene layman), 1–6, 230 heresy construction of, 11–16, 20, 30–2, 180–2, 183–219 Hermogenes (rhetorician), 37n.22, 46–9, 89n.36, 97n.78, 97n.80 Herod Antipas (tetrarch of Galilee), 143–4 Herod the Great (king of Judaea), 190n.41 Herodias (wife of Herod Antipas), 185 Herodotus (historian), 48n.77 Heterousian Christianity, 16n.57 Hezekiah (king of Judah), 141, 199, 203, 218 Hilarianus (procurator), 166 Hilarius (deacon), 84, 161–2, 240, 242 Hilary, bishop of Poitiers Ad Constantium, 84n.19, 99–100, 102n.106, 206–7, 210, 216, 225, 242 Aduersus Valentem et Ursacium, 9n.29, 10n.33, 32n.101, 96n.76, 119–21, 133n.27, 188–9, 205, 209, 215n.158, 238, 250, 256n.11 audience for invectives, 87–9 biography, 83–4 Contra Auxentium, 31, 32, 207–17, 225, 226, 250, 252–3 on the council of Nicaea, 13 De synodis, 129, 205n.112 De Trinitate, 84 education, 85–6 exile, 83–4, 129, 208–9, 212, 256n.11 In Constantium, 32, 84n.19, 87, 89–115, 118, 124n.204, 128, 129, 143–4, 150–1, 186, 208, 209, 212, 213, 215–17, 226, 228n.13 as invectivist, 6, 16–19, 20, 23, 26–7, 28–9, 78–117, 123–6, 150–1, 220–2, 227–9 as ‘patristic’ author, 10–11 as pillar of orthodoxy, 7, 84, 209 self-presentation, 29–32, 127–34, 139–41, 143–4, 146–8, 150–1, 162–3, 176–7, 180–2, 183, 200–1, 206–17, 218–19, 222–4 use of Scripture by, 180–2, 183, 186, 200–1, 206–7, 218–19, 222–4 visit to Sirmium, 2, 4 Himerius (orator), 33, 36n.20, 37n.25 Hinnon (biblical valley), 220 Hippolytus, bishop of Rome, 186n.27

Index Holy Sepulchre, Church of the, 71 Homer (poet), 86, 181 Iliad, 69n.172 Homoian Christianity, 2, 4, 15, 16n.57, 81, 108n.134, 209, 225, 252–3 homoousios (theological term), 6, 80, 205–6 Honorius (emperor), 48 Hopkins, Keith, 22, 37 Hortensius (orator), 76 Hosea (Old Testament prophet), 187, 188, 200 Hosius, bishop of Cordoba, see Ossius, bishop of Cordoba Humphries, Mark, 20, 90, 118 Huns, 57, 58 Hymenaeus (heretic), 185 Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, 159, 165n.167, 169 Illyricum, 73, 209 imitatio Christi, 149, 164, see also Jesus Christ: as exemplum Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, 183, 186n.27 Isaac (Old Testament patriarch), 187, 199, 203, 207 Isaiah (Old Testament prophet), 190, 200, 207 Israel (Old Testament kingdom), 5, 112, 144, 191n.52, 196–7 Israel (Old Testament patriarch), see Jacob (Old Testament patriarch) Israelites, 5, 73 Italy, 209 Jacob (Old Testament patriarch), 141, 142, 187, 199, 203, 207 Jacob, bishop of Nisibis, 108n.133 James (apostle), 168 Jehosaphat (king of Judah), 201, 202, 203 Jephtha (Old Testament judge), 152 Jeremiah (Old Testament prophet), 198, 202n.97 Jeroboam (king of Israel), 187 Jerome (monk), 59n.128, 184n.21 Altercatio Luciferiani et orthodoxi, 85n.26 De uiris illustribus, 82, 83n.14, 83n.18, 84n.22, 85n.26, 88n.35, 156n.127, 249n.17 Vulgate Latin Bible, 85n.26 Jerusalem, 5n.19, 59n.128, 71, 107, 123, 199 Jesus Christ, 5, 71, 141, 142n.64, 161, 183, 185 as exemplum, 109, 123, 141, 142–3, 150–1, 164, 181, 188–96 as prophet, 31, 204, 207 second coming, 61 Jews as exemplum, 164, 181, 188n.37, 189–96, 203, 218, 223 Jezebel (wife of Ahab), 111, 142, 186, 217 Joash (king of Judah), 109

289

Job (Old Testament figure), 200n.90, 203 Joel (Old Testament prophet), 178–80 John (apostle), 161, 168, 214 John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, 33n.3, 225n.6 John the Baptist, 143–4, 167, 185n.24 Jonah (Old Testament prophet), 188–9 Jones, A. H. M., 14 Joseph (son of Jacob), 141, 203 Josephus (inhabitant of Scythopolis), 129 Joshua (Old Testament figure), 198, 203 Josiah (king of Judah), 203 Jovian (emperor), 52n.98, 209 Jovinianus (‘Homoian’ deacon), 4 Judah, 200 Judaism, 30, 87 linked with Arianism, 110 Judas Iscariot (exemplary betrayer), 109, 114n.162, 164, 178–80, 185, 190n.41, 203, 217 Julian (emperor), 18, 52n.98, 150n.92, 228n.13 accession, 80, 208–9 amnesty for exiled bishops, 83, 84, 209n.131, 224 at Antioch, 41n.41 Caesars, 90n.42 death, 52, 209 impact on Christian literature, 228 Letter to the Athenians, 95, 102n.107, 103n.114 as invectivist, 96, 102, 106, 124 and his ‘pagan reaction’, 12, 12n.41 as panegyrist, 36n.20, 37n.25, 44n.54, 89, 90, 93, 95, 107 praised by Libanius, 34, 52 as student, 33 as target of invective, 61n.137 Julianus (comes Orientis), 35 Julius Caesar (Roman geezer), 29, 76, 136, 138 Julius, bishop of Rome, 119 Justin Martyr (Christian apologist), 183 Juvenal (poet), 52, 137n.41 Kaufman, Peter, 252 Krueger, Derek, 11, 23, 182 L’Huillier, Marie-Claude, 44 labandago (unidentified method of execution), 169 Lactantius (Christian author), 17, 19, 28, 30, 68, 78–9, 82, 85, 98 De mortibus persecutorum, 65–7, 91n.48, 111, 112n.151, 114, 222 Divine Institutes, 64–5, 66n.158, 68–9, 115–17, 167n.181, 170–1, 173, 175, 210n.140 writings used by Lucifer of Cagliari, 115–17, 133n.26, 139n.56, 163–76, 193, 222 Laodicea (Asia minor), 45

290

Index

Lentulus Sura, Publius (father-in-law of Mark Antony), 138n.50 Leontius, bishop of Antioch, 103 leviathan (monster), 199 Levites, 196–7, 200 Libanius (orator), 18, 33–5, 37n.25, 40, 44, 45n.59, 46, 52, 75 as invectivist, 53–4 progymnasmata, 47n.71, 48n.77, 50–1 To Those Who Do Not Speak, 33 Liberius, bishop of Rome, 32, 84, 105, 151–2, 153–4, 155, 238, 240 Licinius (emperor), 14, 64, 66, 98, 102 Lim, Richard, 21 London, 41n.43, 220 Long, Jacqueline, 19, 56 Louth, Andrew, 86 Lucianus (comes Orientis), 53n.102 Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari, 240, 242 audience for invectives, 87–9 biography, 84–5 De Athanasio I, 93n.55, 94n.63, 94n.65, 100n.93, 102n.106, 104n.120, 110–11, 115n.165, 123n.204, 144–5, 164n.159, 186–7, 199–200, 201–3 De Athanasio II, 94n.63, 100n.93, 104n.120, 123n.204, 164n.159, 203n.101 De non conueniendo cum haereticis, 94n.64, 164n.159, 186, 187n.33, 191, 203n.100, 203n.101 De non parcendo in deum delinquentibus, 94n.64, 144n.72, 164n.159, 191n.52, 198, 203 De regibus apostaticis, 93n.56, 111, 115n.165, 164n.159, 232n.6 education, 85–6 exile, 84–5, 129, 153–4, 156, 238 as invectivist, 6, 16–19, 20, 23, 26–7, 28–9, 78–117, 123–6, 150–1, 220–2, 227–9 letter to Eusebius of Vercelli, 161–2 Moriundum esse pro dei filio, 21n.70, 30, 32, 89–117, 139n.56, 150–1, 163–76, 203n.101, 211n.140 as presented by Athanasius, 151–2 as presented by Liberius of Rome, 153–4 role in the Antiochene schism, 225 self-presentation, 29–32, 127–34, 139–41, 144–8, 150–1, 162–77, 180–2, 183, 196, 198, 199–203, 218–19, 222–4 use of Scripture by, 180–2, 183, 186–7, 191, 193, 198, 199–203, 218–19, 222–4 Luciferians (heretics), 85, 249 Lucius, bishop of Adrianople, 121n.193 Lucius, Homoian bishop of Alexandria, 226 Lucullus (orator), 76 Lyman, Rebecca, 15, 20, 184

Macarius (presbyter), 178, 179 MacCormack, Sabine, 36 Macedon, 50, 73 Macrina (sister of Gregory of Nyssa), 132 Magnentius (usurper), 80, 83, 107, 147n.80, 227 Magnus Maximus (usurper), 24, 49, 59, 135n.34, 135n.35 Mani (or Manichaeus) (heretic), 185 Manichaeanism (heresy), 10n.33, 167n.180, 184n.19, 185 Mappalicus (African martyr), 64n.150 Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, 121n.193, 121n.194, 184n.21, 188–9, 201n.91, 232n.7 Marcion (heretic), 186 Marcus Aurelius (emperor), 75 Marin, Marcello, 173 Marinus (‘Homoian’ reader), 4 Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, 150n.92 Marius Victorinus (orator), 44 Marius, Gaius (Republican politician), 94, 137n.42 Mark Antony (Republican politician), 29, 52, 55, 136–40 Martial (poet), 39 Martin, bishop of Tours, 253 martyr literature, 1, 22, 25–6, 29–30, 61–8, 79, 86–7, 93–5, 112–17, 118–21, 127–34, 146–77, 222–3, 230 Acts of Cyprian, 3n.6, 149n.89, 166n.173 Acts of Euplus, 3n.6, 149n.89 Acts of Marcellus, 3n.6, 149n.89, 154n.119, 166n.173 Acts of Maximilian, 3n.6, 149n.89, 166n.173 Acts of Phileas, 149n.89 Acts of the Abitinian Martyrs, 131n.14, 131n.17 Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs, 3, 149n.89, 150n.91, 166n.173 Letter of Phileas, 168n.187 Martyrdom of Agape, Irene and Chione, 3n.6, 149n.89, 150n.91 Martyrdom of Apollonius, 3n.6, 149n.89, 150n.91 Martyrdom of Conon, 149n.89 Martyrdom of Crispina, 3n.6, 149n.89 Martyrdom of Dasius, 3n.6, 149n.89, 150n.91 Martyrdom of Felix, 3n.6, 149n.89 Martyrdom of Fructuosus and his Deacons Augurius and Eulogius, 3n.6, 149n.89, 150n.91, 166n.173 Martyrdom of Irenaeus of Sirmium, 3n.6, 149n.89, 154n.119 Martyrdom of Julius the Veteran, 149n.89, 166n.173 Martyrdom of Marian and James, 149n.89, 154n.119

Index Martyrdom of Marinus, 149n.89 Martyrdom of Montanus and Lucius, 149n.89, 151n.100, 154n.119, 168n.187 Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions, 3n.6, 149n.89, 150n.91, 165n.167 Martyrdom of Polycarp, 3n.6, 149n.89, 149n.90, 150n.91, 153n.113 Martyrdom of Saints Carpus, Paphylus and Agathonice, 3n.6, 149n.89 Martyrdom of Saints Justin, Chariton, Charito, Evelpistus, Hierax, Paeon, Liberian and their Community, 149n.88, 149n.89 Martyrs of Lyons, 149n.88, 168n.187 Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas, 149n.90, 150n.91, 151n.100, 163n.154, 164–8 Maxentius (usurper), 41, 47, 60, 72–3, 94, 98, 101, 103, 108, 110, 112, 135, 145 Maximian (emperor), 42n.45, 49, 67, 90, 90n.42, 93, 102, 104n.121, 113, 150, 155, 214 Maximinus Daia (emperor), 65n.156, 67n.163, 67n.164, 98 McKitterick, Rosamond, 9 McLynn, Neil, 252 Meccano, 43 Melchizedek (Old Testament priest), 203 Meletianism (schism), 128, 131, 143, 186, 217, 226 Menander Rhetor, 28, 37n.22, 44–9, 51n.95, 56n.116, 73n.195, 89, 97–8, 101 Menelaus (Homeric hero), 75 Mensurius, bishop of Carthage, 148n.83 Midian, 142 Milan, 207–17, 224, 252–3 Council of (355), 32, 80, 84, 133n.27, 153, 155, 156, 161–2, 208n.124, 209, 238, 240, 242, 243 Milvian Bridge, battle of the (312), 67, 72–3, 74, 94, 108, 145 Minucianus (rhetorician), 46n.63 Misael (or Misha’el, Old Testament persecuted figure), 201 Moloch (Old Testament god), 220 Montanism (heresy), 152n.109 Moses (Old Testament lawgiver), 5, 17, 72, 73, 75, 78, 107, 142, 145, 182, 185, 198, 203 Narcissus, bishop of Neronias, 94n.61 Nartzalus (African martyr), 3 Nazarius (panegyrist), 42, 103 Nebuchadnezzar (Babylonian king), 64n.150 Neo-Arian Christianity, 16n.57 Nero (emperor), 62, 65, 93, 94, 113, 150, 213, 228 Neronias (also known as Irenopolis), 94n.61 Nestor (Homeric hero), 75, 107 Nestorianism (heresy), 9

291

Nicaea, Council of (325), 2, 3, 14, 77, 80, 82, 91, 99, 128, 227 afterlife, 13–14 presentation in 350s, 205–6 Nicomedia, 69 Nisibis, 107–8 Noah (Old Testament patriarch), 203 Nun (father of Joshua), 203 Obadiah (Old Testament figure), 142n.64 Odysseus (Homeric hero), 44, 47n.71, 75, 107, 110 Og (king of Bashan), 5 Olympiodorus (historian), 118n.177 Opelt, Ilona, 20 Opimius, Lucius (Republican politician), 137 orthodoxy construction of, 11–16 Ossius, bishop of Cordoba, 93n.59, 105, 128, 155, 161n.148, 162, 249 Pacatus, L. Drepanius (panegyrist), 24, 38, 38n.31, 40, 47, 49, 59, 97 Pachomius (monk), 13 paideia, 16–19, 33–5, 44–51, 75–6, 85–6, 108, 134, 179, 220–1 Palestine, 65n.156, 84 Palladius, Aelius (prefect of Egypt), 226 Palladius, bishop of Ratiaria, 233n.8 Pammenes (lover of Philip of Macedon), 51 Pancratius (presbyter), 84, 161–2, 240, 242 panegyric Christianisation of, 68–77 in Roman politics, 28, 35–44 training in, 44–9 Panegyrici Latini, 24, 28, 35–44, 45n.59, 47, 49, 52, 59, 67, 72n.188, 73n.195, 76n.206, 88, 90n.40, 94n.67, 97–8, 101n.99, 101n.101, 102–3, 104n.121, 122, 135, 221 Pannonia, 209 Paris, Council of (360/361), 209, 215n.158, 256n.11 parrhesia, 25–6, 29–30, 53–61, 129–30, 134–77, 222–3 patristic literature, 8–11 Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, 155–62, 243 Paul (apostle), 4n.14, 5, 31, 142, 152, 168, 174, 181, 185n.23, 188, 190, 192, 195n.75, 198n.82, 203, 206, 207, 212, 215, 217, 220 Paul of Samosata (heretic), 186, 188n.37, 193n.60 Paul, bishop of Constantinople, 114, 147n.80 Paulinus, bishop of Antioch, 84, 225 Pausanias (murderer of Philip of Macedon), 51 Pelagius (heretic), 184n.21

292

Index

Perpetua (African martyr), 164–8, see also martyr literature: Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas persecution of Christians, 61–8, 86–7, 93–5, 112–17, 119, 130–2, 146–77 Persia, 112, 209 Peter (apostle), 161, 162, 168, 190, 191, 194n.65 Peter, bishop of Alexandria, 217, 225–6 Phalaris (Sicilian tyrant), 49 Pharaoh (Old Testament villain), 72–3, 108, 110, 112, 142, 145, 152, 186 Pharisees, 190, 191 Philagrius, Prefect of Egypt, 119, 122 Phileas (martyr), 149n.89 Philip (apostle), 161 Philip (Praetorian Prefect of the East), 114 Philip II (king of Macedon), 50–1, 55, 104, 137, 139 Philistines, 114n.162 Philoromus (tribune in Acts of Phileas), 149n.89 Philostorgius (ecclesiastical historian), 10n.33, 92, 103n.113, 103n.117, 121n.195 on Constantius II, 95–6, 107, 121, 125 Photinus, bishop of Sirmium, 232n.7 Piso Caesoninus, Lucius Calpurnius (Roman politician), 52 Plato (philosopher), 60n.135, 70 Pliny the Younger, 45, 59, 60, 163 on the persecution of Christians, 150n.91 Panegyricus, 37n.25, 41, 43, 47, 101n.100, 135 Plutarch (biographer), 48 Polycles (governor of Phoenice), 53n.102, 54n.108 Pontius Pilate (Prefect of Judaea), 5, 63, 110, 141, 186 Porphyry (Neoplatonist philosopher), 92 Powell, Jonathan, 56 Praesens (consul 180), 3 Priscillian (heretic), 184n.21 Proba, Faltonia Betitia (poet), 183 Probus (emperor), 90 Procopius (usurper), 225 progymnasmata, 28, 37n.22, 44–51, 55, 81n.9, 86, 97n.78, 106, 221 Prohaeresius (orator), 33, 44 Ptolemy II (king of Egypt), 185n.24 Publius Nasica (Republican politician), 137 Quintilianus, Marcus Fabius (rhetorician), 45, 136n.40 Rabshakeh (Old Testament Assyrian messenger), 199 Rapp, Claudia, 24, 25, 133, 148, 166, 177 Red Sea, 72, 108, 145 re-enactment

autobiographical, 137–9 biblical, 23–5, 28–32, 106–15, 127–34, 140–6, 159–62, 178–207, 212, 217–19, 222–4 historical, 136–40 martyrial, 112–17, 127–34, 146–77, 212–17, 222–3 Rhetorica ad Herennium, 51n.95 Rome, 41, 42, 44, 62, 67, 94, 103, 135, 156 Romulus (mythical king of Rome), 44 Rufinus (consul 392), 58n.122 Sabellius (heretic), 186, 188n.37, 206n.121 Salome (daughter of Herodias), 185n.24 Samaritans, 5 Samson (Old Testament judge), 152 Samuel (Old Testament prophet), 144, 152, 198 Sapor II (Persian king), 107–8 Sardinia, 156 Sarpedon (Homeric hero), 107 Satan, see Devil, the Saturninus (proconsul), 3 Saturninus (Republican politician), 137 Saturninus, bishop of Arles, 256n.11 Saturus (African martyr), 165 Saul (king of Israel), 110n.142, 111, 142, 144, 145 Scythians, 73 Scythopolis (Palestine), 129, 155–62, 243 Secunda (African martyr), 3 Seleucia, Council of (359), 14, 80, 208 Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (philosopher), 65, 78 Sennacherib (Assyrian king), 199 Serapion, bishop of Thmuis, 178 Serdica, Council of (343), 9n.29, 80, 119–21, 188–9, 218 Severus (consularis of Syria), 53n.102 Shaw, Brent, 165 Sibylline Oracles, 62 Sidonius Apollinaris (poet), 36n.20 Letters, 39n.32 Sihon (king of the Amorites), 5 Silvanus (son of Antiochene decurion), 53n.102, 54n.108 Simon Magus (heretic), 30, 161–2, 194n.65, 196, 240 Simonetti, Manlio, 230 Sinon (legendary deceiver), 110 Sirmium, 1, 3, 4, 230 Blasphemy of, 80, 205n.112, 249n.19 Council of (351), 80 Sizgorich, Thomas, 26 Socrates Scholasticus (ecclesiastical historian), 211n.142 Solomon (king of Israel), 31, 102n.103, 110n.142, 189n.41, 192, 201, 206, 217

Index Sotades (poet), 185, 195 Sozomen (ecclesiastical historian), 14n.48, 107n.131, 150n.92, 179n.4, 211n.142 Spartacus (insurrectionist slave), 24, 49, 137 Speratus (African martyr), 3 Statius (poet), 36n.20, 39 statues imperial, 41–2 Riot of the (Antioch 387), 42n.44, 75 Stead, Christopher, 85 Stephen (martyr), 181 Stilicho (magister militum), 48, 57, 58n.122 Suetonius (biographer) Caligula, 58n.127 Vespasian, 151n.100 Sulla Felix, Lucius Cornelius (Republican politician), 137n.42 Sulpicius Severus (ecclesiastical historian), 10n.35, 208n.124, 224n.1 Susanna (Old Testament figure), 160–1 Synesius, bishop of Ptolemais in Cyrene De regno, 45n.60, 54n.109, 56n.116, 59–61, 65, 76, 103n.113 synkrisis, 46, 48–53, 60, 65–7, 72–7, 78–117, 123–6, 135, 139–77, 178–207, 220–2 Syria, 53, 100 Tacitus (historian), 151n.100 Tarquinius Superbus (king of Rome), 67n.164, 137n.42 Tarsus, 46 Tertullian (Christian apologist), 21, 63, 82n.9, 167, 236n.37 Ad Scapulam, 132n.19 Thebaid (Egypt), 84, 156, 225, 243 Thebes (Greece), 51 Themistius (orator), 35, 36n.20, 37n.25, 44n.54, 75, 95, 135 Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhus, 23, 182n.11, 225, 226n.7, 226n.9 Theodorus (‘Homoian’ presbyter), 2, 3 Theodosius I (emperor), 12, 13, 21, 25, 38, 42n.44, 47, 49, 53, 54, 57, 75, 76, 79n.1, 88, 97, 135, 226, 228 Theodosius II (emperor), 183n.15 Theon (rhetorician), 37n.22, 45–50, 89n.36, 97n.78, 97n.80 Theophanes Confessor, 96n.77, 107, 125 Thersites (Homeric hero), 47n.71 Thibaris (Byzacena), 63n.148 Thucydides (historian), 48n.77 Tiber (river), 72, 145 Tigrinus (presbyter), 157 Tisamenus (consularis of Syria), 53–4 Titus (emperor), 75

293

Tobit (Old Testament figure), 198 Trajan (emperor), 35n.11, 37n.25, 38–41, 43, 47n.73, 48n.77, 68n.166, 75, 95, 101n.100, 130, 135, 146 Trier, 42n.45 Troy, 197 typology, 23–5, 180–2, 218n.167 Urbanus (governor of Palestine), 65n.156, 114 Ursacius, bishop of Singidunum, 96, 209, 215n.158 Ursicinus (magister equitum), 103 Ursinus, bishop of Rome, 128n.1 Uzziah (king of Judah), 198 Valacius (dux), 114 Valens (emperor), 15, 52n.98, 209 as non-recipient of invective, 225–6 religious policy, 225, 228 Valens, bishop of Mursa, 96, 161, 209, 215n.158, 240 Valentinian I (emperor), 31, 52n.98, 208, 209–12, 214n.153, 216, 230, 252 Valentinian II (emperor), 78n.1, 128n.1, 226 Valentinus (heretic), 194 Valerian (emperor), 64, 65 Vandals, 57 Vercelli (northern Italy), 155n.126, 156, 243 Vespasian (emperor), 213 Vessey, Mark, 10 Vestia (African martyr), 3 Vetus Latina Bible, 85n.26, 111n.144, 143n.71 vices cowardice, 103–4 family relationships, 89–97, 137 ignorance, 103–4 impiety, 98–106 injustice, 101–2 intemperance, 104–5 in invective, 27–9, 49–68, 78–117, 123–6 Vindaonius Magnus (comes sacrarum largitionum), 226 Virgil (poet), 64n.153, 72, 86, 183, 202 virtues courage, 97–8, 103–4 family relationships, 89–97 justice, 97–8, 101–2 in panegyric, 27–9, 35–49, 68–77, 86, 89–106 piety, 98–106 temperance, 97–8, 104–5 wisdom, 97–8, 103–4 Washburn, Daniel, 156 Watts, Edward, 35 Weber, Max, 131

294 Wickham, Lionel, 250 Williams, Daniel, 250, 252 Williams, Michael Stuart, 23 Williams, Rowan, 14 Xenophon (Athenian author), 75

Index Young, Frances, 19 Zechariah (Old Testament priest), 109 Zeno of Citium (philosopher), 75 Zeus (god), 90n.42 Zosimus (historian), 102n.107, 105n.125