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Constantine the Great: The Man and His Times
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Constantine the Great: The Man and His Times

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Constantine the Great delves into the reasons why the reign of this Roman emperor (306-37) marked an historical epoch, albeit one charged with irony. Founding his capital at Constantinople, he revitalized the Eastern half of the empire, enabling it to flourish as the Byzantine Empire for another 1000 years. Yet this shift of power would prove fatal to the Western empire &a ...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published April 1994 by Charles Scribner's Sons (NY et al.) (first published 1993)
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Erik Graff
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: late antiquity, early Xianity fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
This is one of Michael Grant's better books. One of his poorer books is another biography, that of Herod the Great. The reason for the difference may be that while there are relatively few sources for Herod, there are relatively many for Constantine, allowing Grant a broader canvas and more materials to reconstruct the character of the man and his times.

There is also some humor--a major virtue in an historian--in this book, more than I've been accustomed to from Grant's popular histories. Of cou
David Elkin
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Just started Aug 30. Grant's style is very readable and this is basically a book that covers not only the man but deals well with Church History in the 300's. Grant states in the beginning that original sources are either all positive (some even overt flattery) by Christian authors or down right condemning (Pagan authors). I have enjoyed Grant's books over the years. Good for the casual fan.

The book is more "general" and an overview that I thought it would be. It certainly is an introduction to
D.K. Brantley
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
As the two stars indicate, "it was okay."
Ginger Heskett
I registered a book at!
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, roman-empire
Constantine the Great. What can I say that already isn't in the title. I have a passionate love for learning about the Roman Empire. Nothing make me sadder than reading about the barbarian incursions on the Empire's northern frontier while the threat in the East continues to grow against Constantinople. A tragedy every time I read about the civil wars after the retirement of Diocletian leading to the sole rule of Constantine. In his greatest hours he sowed the seeds of the destruction of the Wes ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Glenda
There is no reason for it to take me so long to read a book that only had 225 pages of actual text, but it was

I don't know why that was. Grant is know as a good writer and an excellent historian, and he certainly had an interesting subject, but I guess everyone's going to be off their game at some time or another. I struggled to even finish it. For the first hundred pages, every ten pages I kept thinking I was going to give up and put it down, because the writing was choppy and
Michael Vincent
I read this over a period of many years, but overall it gave some interesting history and background to an important person in history. I mostly appreciated the chapters on Constantine and the Christian God and Church, the story of his conversion, and found interesting how many churches he (and his mother Helena) built.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took a long time since I read it only when charging my nook. A bit dry in parts, but that's history. Grant focused more on the battles and victories, and not so much on the expansion of Christianity.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Very dry from the very beginning with an opening chapter on sources. Who starts a biography of a roman emperor who most readers will know very little about already with a chapter on that? The writing style is dry and turgid.
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history-politics
Kindling-dry history of the emperor that transformed Rome and ensured it's survival by transferring the capital east.
A solid general biography. 3rd/4th Centuries are not my favorite period and this book makes me no more excited about it.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
I really tried to get into this book, but finally gave up halfway through.
Douglas Wilson
Jan 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Reynold Levocz
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a student of History, I enjoyed this book's detail of an age that changed the world forever
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Dec 29, 2013
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Michael Grant was an English classisist, numismatist, and author of numerous popular books on ancient history. His 1956 translation of Tacitus’s Annals of Imperial Rome remains a standard of the work. He once described himself as "one of the very few freelances in the field of ancient history: a rare phenomenon". As a popularizer, his hallmarks were his prolific output and his unwillingness to ove ...more
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