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Büyük Konstantin

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Bölünmüş Roma İmparatorluğu'nu yöneten dört imparatordan biri olan Büyük Konstantin (sal. 306-337), anlatıya göre, tanrısal esinle gökyüzünde bir işaret görmüş, "Bu işaretle kazanacaksın" sözünü duymuş ve askerlerinin kalkanlarına kazıttığı o işaretin gücüyle 312 yılında Roma şehrini ele geçirmiştir.

Büyük Konstantin'in mutlak iktidarı elde etme süreci, Roma İmparatorluğu'n
...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published April 2016 by Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları (first published December 1st 2009)
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Zachary
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is less a biography of Constantine than it is an attempt to ground his conversion and promotion of Christianity within the theological and ideological understandings of imperial power that evolved from the upheavals of the Crisis of the Third Century. As such, I found this far more interesting than a simple retelling of the outlines of Constantine's life would have been. The Crisis of the Third Century shattered the Roman empire and many of the ideological and social bases upon which the em ...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
Paul Stephenson's Constantine is the best coverage by themes and best documented history of any of the Roman emperiors I have read thus far. Highly recommended. I gave it 5 stars but I realize that it won't be interesting to many. Good news is that this is Stephenson's first book.

Constantine was a strong emperor who made Christianity more strongly accepted in the Roman world and, hence, in history and later history of the RC church. The fun is that after a few short-lived decendents, Julian the
...more
Rob Collinge
Feb 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Professor Stephenson’s life of Constantine contains what I believe to be a fundamental flaw. I was astonished to find myself reading a version of history that clashed with everything I had ever read about this period. It was always my understanding that 4th Century Christianity was a minor sect that had made little progress in 300 years and without Constantine’s dramatic intervention might well have died out.

Now I learn (and the book places great emphasis on this) that 4th Century Romans had sud
...more
Kadir Kılıç
Beklediğim kadar iyi bir kitap değildi. Çok fazla tekrar vardı ve çoğu bölümünü okumak çok sıkıcıydı. Yine de Constantinus dönemine ait bazı olayları kavradığım için çok kötü puan vermedim.
Ryan Campbell
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Stephenson’s Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor is an enjoyable exploration of Constantine’s life and times. As previous reviews have stated, Stephenson’s study includes an exploration of the religious changes in the Roman Empire of the 4th century C.E. Stephenson concludes that Constantine and his subsequent embrace of Christianity caused the religion to be seen as the religion of victory, all based in the old imperial theology of victory.

I also enjoyed how Stephenson utilized h
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Louise
I don't know how to rate this and be fair to the author. I was looking for a general reader's introduction to Constantine and his times, but this was not the book. I have no idea if it was a good representation of this Emperor, but I know this book was too academic for me.

The first third of the book is devoted to introductory material. In the introduction, the author says this background is needed, but this background isn't re-visited much in the rest of the text. The intro could be reduced by 8
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Pieter Baert
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Constantine by Paul Stephenson is not your average 'Roman Emperor biography'. Stephenson is enormously detailed in his description of Constantine's world and the role religion played in the Roman world of the 3d and 4th centuries AD. He makes a detailed description of many layers of the Roman society and as such, gives us a nice detailed setting of the world Constantine lived in. The book is meticulous but never overreaches. Unlike many other biographies of the classical world, Stephenson never ...more
John Ball
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book.

The author tries to write a history book that is also a popular book for the general public, and he wanders at times from one genre to the other. He sometimes gives too much detail about loosely related people and events (as in a history book) and he sometimes spends paragraphs on speculative material that would be more appropriate in an historical novel. Endnotes are extensive, and I like that a lot.

His description of Christian church growth before Constantine, especially the role o
...more
Jeff
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read if you are interested in Constantine. Constantine as a political and historical figure is fascinating. This book drags at times; it's definitely a little dense, but there is much here to be mined in terms of our sanitized historical perspective of an emperor who's conversion may have had more to do with a solar flare and desire for political gain than a proper "conversion" and desire for Christianity to spread to the ends of the earth. Stephenson does a fantastic job of sett ...more
Red
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author makes a lot of assertions, including ones that diasagree with other historians. One of the most interesting assertions is that Constantine's conversion was gradual, arguing from a sociology viewpoint that all religious conversions are such. But the author is no sociologist, forcing him to rely on tye work of other sociologists to prove this contentious point. Thus, his argument is weakened, lacking in credibility due to lack of speciality.

I found similar things throughout the book.

I g
...more
David
If there's one thing I learned from this book, it's that the real man who was Constantine lies well hidden behind his historians' personal agendas and his own propaganda. I appreciate Stephenson's numerous photographs and allusions to coins and other ancient artifacts that help fill in blanks. I think his treatment of mystery religions and their connection to Christianity, however, is overemphasized and not current with Second Temple studies. ...more
Ahmet
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes drown in details but overall a very deep description of Roman perception of "religion" and its relationship with the society, politics and of course military (hint: Fortuna plays a huge part in deciding the "true emperor, religion").

Of course describes well how Constantine played a part during the rise of Christianity in Roman World and how he lived through the chaotic times of tetrarchy.
...more
Rodney
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book, always wanted to know why the Empire had a change of heart when it came to Christianity, now I know. I like the fact that Constantine was a family man and had the utmost respect for his mother, pretty much a momma's boy like myself. Will continue reading about the Empire, now I want to know why Nero was such a villain when it came to the Christians. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. ...more
Guillaume Dohmen
An excellent biography

This book puts Constantine in his time and does not judge him by today’s standards. It is a increasingly popular thing to judge historical personalities by today’s ethical standards. Historians sometimes forget that today’s standards are those of two world wars, the Vietnam War, the Middle East Wars, Hiroshima. - not better than those of the very early Middle Ages.
Asher
Nov 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, if a bit irritating at times due to the author's imperfect understanding of and occasionally snide attitude toward Christianity.

Frankly, I'm skeptical that Constantine was a Christian - he certainly didn't seem to act like it. But, who knows?
...more
Adam
More balanced than I expected, with a title like this
Ross
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very biographical for a biography. Focus is more on Christianity’s rise and Constantine feels like a shadow in the background.
David
Paul Stephenson tells the story of Constantine, first Christian emperor of Rome, with both a readable style and depth of background. The first part sets the stage, looking at religion in the third century Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, and the tetrarchy established by Diocletian. Most interesting here is the Roman theology of victory and the relationship of the Roman emperor to the military. Stephenson argues that Constantine's belief that the Christian god gave him victory fits right i ...more
Rob Atkinson
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boilerplate historical exposition and introductory background material get this history (for it is a history, rather than a true biography) off to a slow start. However as the book progresses its focus and themes become clear, and form a lucid and compelling analysis of what motivated Constantine to eventually adopt Christianity, thereby radically changing the course of history. Many stories of Constantine's life that are 'common knowledge' prove to be apocryphal, as during his own lifetime his ...more
Brian Collins
Stephenson produced a workmanlike biography of Constantine. It was consistently informative, if not always engaging. On the issue of Constantine's conversion, Stephenson steers a middle course between those who argue it was an insincere political machination and Eusebius's glowing portrait of the Christian emperor. Stephenson believes the evidence points to a sincere but gradual conversion. In other words, Constantine did sincerely convert, but he was emperor over a religiously diverse empire, a ...more
Ted
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was well written and interesting - not an ecclesial history, but with plenty of references to the church, and I think presented in a balanced way. Constantine rides to power through the military, but also sees his victory as coming from "the greatest God." He is not leading the growth of the church, but is riding the wave and attempting to harness its energies for his own purposes. He on one hand recognizes the authority of the church leaders - the bishops, but then also reminds them th ...more
Jeremiah
Informative biography from a secular and naturalistic point of view. Stephenson's explanation of pre-Christian religion in Byzantium and the rise of Christianity to what would soon be a world religion is very believable. There is a fair amount of conjecture presented as "history", which is common to many "historical" accounts. The author demonstrates bias by stating that Barack Obama's conversion story is more "believable" simply because it was gradual, compared to GW Bush's since his was rapid. ...more
Anthony Irven
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pointed out to me that history is often written by the Victors. History is forever changing as new archaeological finds are made and then end up in the reinterpretation of that history. Essentially, this is what this book is about.
Paul Stephenson meticulously outlines the known history of Constantine year by year and then puts the Christian overlay to that history. He cautions about the veracity and accuracy of much of the primary sources from the ancient world as they are definitely o
...more
Shawn
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, very little of this book was actually on Constantine the man and emperor.
Too much of this focussed on the history of the Roman empire and Christianity leading into the era of Constantine, the ongoing wars during the time, and even detailed accounts of artifacts in many museums around the world from his day as well as still-standing monuments and palaces.
For a lot of this book I felt as though I was reading a script for a tour guide.
Robert
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read, giving what appears to be a fairly balanced portrait of Constantine as both Roman Emperor and Christina Victor. Certainly Constantine was not particularly Christian by 3rd century standards, no army officer was - and certainly not someone who arranged the murder of his son and (possibly) wife. But he'd make a great 'Christian' by modern standard: war and violence over pacifism, absolute iron fisted orthodoxy over tolerance. ...more
Deborah
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I liked this book. I am a fan of ancient history and of church history. I will caution that you should have some basic knowledge of each before reading this book. It is not for the novice. That being said, the book give a very balanced view of the life of Constantine. Unlike some, Stephenson does not take Eusebius at face value. Where possible, multiple sources are used to create a balanced picture. thus, this is a good book to read for someone who wants to know more about Constantine.
Randall Morris
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read many parts of this book when writing my senior thesis on Constantine for my BA degree in history. Stephenson approaches the topic of Constantine unlike any other scholar I read. Accepting that Constantine could function as both a pagan and a Christian leads to a much clearer understanding of his reign and Stephenson provides ample evidence that this was probably the case. Great read for researchers or history buffs interested in Constantine or the Byzantine Empire.
Monique
He argues that the power and the culture of the Roman military were more important for understanding Constantine than has previously been appreciated.
Jerry-Book
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome
Other than Jesus Christ and Paul, Constantine is the most important figure of early Christianity. I liked the way the author uses archeology to confirm his theories and ideas.
Manoj Kewalramani
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book.. wonderful and engaging analysis of Rome's most intriguing ruler. ...more
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Paul Stephenson studies the early and middle Byzantine periods (A.D. 300-1204). His published work has focused on middle Byzantine political and cultural history; the history and historiography of Southeastern Europe, medieval to modern; and religious warfare. Currently he is: completing a cultural history of a Byzantine monument, the Serpent Column; researching late antique and Byzantine views of ...more

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