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Article

Henry Chadwick and M. J. Edwards

Chalcidius (Calcidius is more correct), 4th-cent. ce Christian translator and commentator on *Plato (1)'s Timaeus (to 53c only), using earlier Platonic and Peripatetic exegetes, especially *Adrastus (2), Gaius, *Numenius and *Porphyry. He dedicated his work to Hosius, according to MS tradition Constantine's bishop of Corduba (d. 358), though a high Milanese official of c.395 has also been suggested. The silence of *Macrobius and *Isidorus (2) of Seville about Chalcidius proves little, as Augustine, who is certainly later, uses *Cicero's Timaeus. It was Calcidius’ crabbed version, however, that was read in the west throughout the Middle Ages.

Article

Chosroes II was one of the most important Sasanian rulers of Late Antiquity. After having prevailed with the help of Emperor Maurice in a civil war against the usurper Bahrām Čōbin, in 591 ce, the king attacked the Roman Empire after the fall of Maurice in 602. By 622, the Persians had conquered Syria and Egypt, but after the failure of the siege of Constantinople in 626, Chosroes, whose empire was attacked in the east by the Turks, was overthrown by dissatisfied aristocrats in 628. After his death, civil wars broke out that decisively weakened the Sasanian Empire in the wake of the Islamic conquests.Chosroes II “the Victorious” (M[iddle] P[ersian] Husrōy Abarwēz)—whose name occurs under the following spellings: Husraw, Khusro, Kisrā, and Khosroes—was the last great king of kings (šāhān šāh) of the Sasanian Empire and, together with the Roman emperor Heraclius and the Prophet Muhammad, one of the towering figures in the turbulent transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages. He was the grandson of Chosroes I Anōširvān (MP Husraw Anušuwān), with whom he often merged into a single figure in the traditions of the East. Born around .

Article

J. H. D. Scourfield

(5th–6th cents. ce), poet from *Coptus in Egypt. All that survives complete is an *ekphrasis on the statues decorating the baths of Zeuxippus in *Constantinople, which in diction and metrical practice shows clear traces of the influence of *Nonnus, and two epigrams. He was, however, a prolific author; lost works include an epic on Anastasius I's Isaurian victory in 497, versified histories (patria) of *Thessalonica, Nacle, *Miletus, *Tralles, *Aphrodisias, and *Constantinople (Suda, entry under the name), and a poem on the pupils of *Proclus (Lydus, Mag. 3. 26). He may have written the fragmentary poems in P. Vienna 29788 A–C.

Article

L. M. Whitby

Chronicon Paschale (‘Easter Chronicle’), a universal history from Creation to c. 630 ce. A particular concern is the establishment of chronological connections between Church feasts and the Creation and Incarnation; there are several computations and each year is dated by different methods. The anonymous narrative amalgamates Old and New Testament, Jewish, Christian, and secular material. *Malalas was an important source for mythological events and, increasingly, from c.400 to 532; between c.330 and 469 it uses the Constantinopolitan city chronicle also preserved in fasti Hydatiani and Marcellinus Comes, supplemented by Arian information paralleled in *Philostorgius. The fifth ecumenical council (553) dominates the sparse account of 532–602, but the 7th-cent. narrative constitutes an important witness to secular and ecclesiastical affairs until it breaks off in 628 in a letter from the emperor Heraclius describing Chosroes II's overthrow.

Article

Bryan Ward-Perkins

The first Christians met in the private houses of the faithful. Gradually, as local Christian communities became more established both in numbers and in wealth, they might acquire their own church-houses, using them specifically as places of worship and for other religious activities, such as the granting of charity and the instruction of converts. Externally these buildings looked just like other private houses, though internally they might be adapted for their new function, for instance by combining rooms to create a large enough space for worship. The best example of an early church-house is that excavated at Dura-*Europus on the Euphrates: an ordinary town house, built around ce 200, adapted for Christian use before 231, and destroyed when the city walls were reinforced in 257. Before the conversion of Constantine I, and his conquest of the empire between 312 and 324, some Christian communities may already have commissioned halls specifically for worship, and certainly small shrines, such as the 2nd-cent. aedicula over the supposed tomb of St Peter in Rome (see vatican), were already being built over the bodies of the martyrs.

Article

John Frederick Drinkwater

Claudius Mamertinus was the author of a speech delivered on 1 January ce 362 in *Constantinople, thanking the emperor *Julian for the gift of the consulship. Though highly eulogistic, his work is useful in reconstructing and assessing Julian's time as Caesar. He was disgraced in 368.

Article

Collatio legum Romanarum et Mosaicarum was put together in Rome or Italy by a Jewish or Christian author with some knowledge, perhaps professional, of Roman law, in the 4th cent. ce. By juxtaposing biblical passages on the law of Moses with extracts from Roman imperial constitutions and juristic texts, the compiler aimed to demonstrate the compatibility of the older Mosaic law with its Roman counterpart. Although eccentric in its approach on occasion, the treatise is symptomatic of a general interest in assimilating Judaeo-Christian to Roman culture prevalent at the time, and contains legal material not found elsewhere.

Article

Colluthus (Κόλλουθος) of Lycopolis (modern Asyut, Egypt) is the author of the Abduction of Helen (Ἁρπαγὴ Ἑλένης), an epyllion of 392 lines narrating the events leading to the beginning of the Trojan War, from the wedding of Thetis and Peleus to the arrival of Paris and Helen at Troy. According to the Suda (K 1951), Colluthus was a contemporary of emperor Anastasius (reigned 491–518) and composed a Calydoniaca in six books (probably on the hunt of the Calydonian boar; perhaps celebrating the love of Meleager and Atalanta), verse encomia, and a Persica (most likely a verse encomium on Anastasius, celebrating the end of the war against the Persians in 505). The Suda does not mention the Abduction of Helen, Colluthus’s only extant work, which has been transmitted in a very poor state.1

The Abduction can be divided into three sections. After the initial invocation to the nymphs of the Troad (ll. 1–16), Eris retaliates for not being invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis by throwing a golden apple amongst the banqueters, which leads to the contest of Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, resolved by Paris in favour of the latter (ll. 17–191). Paris then voyages to Sparta and encounters Helen (ll. 192–325). Finally, a desolated Hermione tries to make sense of her mother’s absence (ll. 326–392).

Article

Michael Crawford

Almost any statement that one might wish to make about the colonate as an institution of the Late Roman Empire is contestable. It would probably be widely agreed that evidence begins to appear in the 4th cent. ce for coloni who are not simply tenants, but who are adscripti (assigned), adscripticii (characterized by their being assigned), originarii (characterized by reference to their origo), inquilini (inhabitants of a place); that the term coloni, tout court, is sometimes used to refer to these categories; and that the three distinguishing features of these categories are (1) that their agreement with the landowner included a provision that made him liable for the payment of their taxes, which is not the same as to say that he collected them, (2) that they were registered accordingly in the census, and (3) that they owed services to the landowner. By way of contrast, ‘free’ coloni, who co-existed with the categories just described, owed no such services. A necessary condition for the existence of the categories in question is the possibility for an estate to be the origo of someone, as well as a city or village; it cannot be determined when this possibility emerged, but presumably during the 3rd cent.

Article

Columbanus is important for two reasons: he was the earliest Irish scholar to have composed a significant corpus of writings in Latin, and he founded an austere but influential form of monasticism which flourished in France and Italy from the 7th century onwards. He was born in Leinster about 550 ce; his Irish name was Columba (perhaps a diminutive of Irish Colmán, perhaps a baptismal name influenced by Latin columba “dove,” which was subsequently Latinized as Columba-nus). (Scholars often refer to him as “Columba the Younger,” in order to distinguish him from the well-known abbot of Iona.) His earliest studies took place at Clain Inis (Cleenish, county Fermanagh) under one Sinell, but he subsequently became a monk at Bennchor (Bangor, county Down) under Abbot Comgall. The only written testimony to his years at Bangor is a Latin hymn for Eastertide in rhythmic verse (beginning “Precamur patrum”), which is preserved, anonymously, in the famous “Antiphonary of Bangor,” written around 700 and now preserved in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan (MS. C 5 inf.). With the permission of Abbot Comgall, Columbanus left Bangor in 590 or 591, accompanied by twelve monks (a number symbolic of the twelve disciples of Christ), on a “pilgrimage for the love of God,” the aim of which was to convert pagan peoples to Christianity. His journey took him first to Brittany, then subsequently to Burgundy, where, apparently through the patronage of King Guntram (d. 592), he was granted the site of a hermitage in the wilderness at Annegray (département Haute-Saône), probably in 592; a year or so later, through the patronage of Guntram’s son Childebert II (d. 596), he was given a site for a monastery in the Roman ruins at Luxeuil (Luxovium), where he became the abbot of an ever-growing community of monks, both Irish and Frankish. While at Luxeuil, Columbanus enjoyed the patronage and protection of Childebert’s son Theuderic II (596–612); however, he lost this support when he chastised Theuderic for consorting with concubines, and, without royal support, the Burgundian bishops and nobles, who were unhappy with his (royally protected) independence from their jurisdiction, were able to secure his arrest and expulsion from Burgundy in 610. After proceeding to Auxerre and Nevers, Columbanus took a boat down the Loire to Nantes. When he failed to find a boat to take him to Ireland, he refocussed his attempts to find a permanent home for his monks, looking first in the region of Lake Constance, then ultimately in the Lombard kingdom of northern Italy, where at Milan in 612 he secured the patronage of the Lombard king Agilulf, from whom he obtained possession of a ruined church at Bobbio. After rebuilding the church there, he re-established his monastic community and ended his days, dying there on 23 November 615.

Article

R. S. O. Tomlin

Collective term for units of the late Roman mobile army, so called because they were attached to the imperial court (comitatus), as distinct from units of the frontier armies (*limitanei). This distinction existed earlier, but was completed by Constantine. Comitatenses were grouped into large armies commanded by the magistri militum (see magister militum) and small armies commanded by *comites.

Article

comites  

R. S. O. Tomlin

Comites, under the Principate, the ‘companions’ of the emperor on his journeys abroad. Constantine I gave the formal title comes (‘count’), in three grades, to imperial emissaries and senior office-holders, since they were members of his court (comitatus). The title became attached to certain high offices, including later the command of small regional armies of mobile troops (*comitatenses).

Article

E. D. Hunt and Jill Harries

Youngest son of *Constantine I, along with his two surviving brothers he became Augustus after his father's death in 337 ce, assuming control of Italy, Africa, and Illyricum. In 340 he extended his rule over all the western provinces, after his brother *Constantine II was killed near Aquileia. In 341–2 he successfully campaigned against the Franks, and the next year crossed the Channel in winter to visit Britain (the last legitimate Roman emperor to be seen there).

Article

Article

Constantina, born in c. 320, was the eldest daughter of Constantine I. She was married twice, first in 335 to her cousin Hannibalianus, whose death in 337 left her widowed, and second in 351 to another cousin, Gallus Caesar. Between her marriages, she resided in Rome, founding the church of St. Agnes on the Via Nomentana, where she would be buried in an adjacent mausoleum after her death in 354. Constantina was an active political player in the early 350s. In 350, she intervened against the usurpation of Magnentius through proclaiming the magister militum Vetranio Caesar to her brother Constantius, and she exerted influence on her husband Gallus when the couple resided in Antioch from 351 to 354. Constantina was venerated as a saint in Rome in the 7th century.Flavia Constantina’s name is recorded with this variant of her cognomen on two inscriptions erected during her lifetime in Rome (CIL VI 40790; ILCV 1768 = ICUR VIII 20752; for the full texts see below, .

Article

Constantine the Great (Flavius Valerius Constantinus) (c. 272 ce/3–337), born at Naissus, was son of *Constantius I and Helena. When his father was appointed Caesar (293) Constantine remained as a tribune at the court of *Diocletian. He fought alongside *Galerius against Persia (298) and the Sarmatians (299), and was at Nicomedia in 303 and again in 305 when Diocletian abdicated. Constantius was now senior Augustus; his eastern partner Galerius reluctantly released Constantine for service with his father. Constantine, fearing interception by the western Caesar, Flavius Valerius *Severus, hastened to Britain to aid his father against the Picts.When Constantius died at York (*Eburacum, 306), his troops proclaimed Constantine Augustus; Galerius gave this rank to Severus, but grudgingly conceded Constantine the title Caesar. Based mainly at Trier (*Augusta Treverorum), Constantine ruled his father's territories of Spain, Gaul, and Britain. At Rome *Maxentius usurped power; Severus and then Galerius failed to dislodge him.

Article

Constantine II (Flavius Claudius Constantinus), second son of *Constantine I, was born at Arles (*Arelate) in 316 ce and proclaimed Caesar 1 March 317. After his father's death he became senior Augustus (9 September 337) and continued ruling Gaul, Britain, and Spain. He quarrelled with his youngest brother *Constans, invaded Italy and was killed at Aquileia in spring 340.

Article

The last of three usurpers proclaimed in Britain (406–7 ce) by the army, with part of which he crossed to Gaul hoping to rescue it from barbarian invasions. He won over Spain, and was recognized as emperor (409) by *Honorius. He invaded Italy unsuccessfully, and fell out with his *magister militum, the Briton Gerontius, who besieged him at Arles (Arelate) but fled when Honorius’ generals approached; Constantine had himself ordained priest and surrendered to these, but was executed (411).

Article

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron

Constantinople was founded by *Constantine I on the site of *Byzantium in 324 ce, shortly after his victory over *Licinius near by. There are hardly any sources before the 6th cent., and these are already full of myths: e.g. that Constantine started to build at Troy and brought the *Palladium from Rome. When he claimed to ‘bestow an eternal name’ he probably meant his own! The city was styled ‘New Rome’ from the start, but it is not likely that Constantine had any thought of superseding Rome. He was simply building his own tetrarchic capital: the New Rome motif took on new significance after the sack of Rome (410) and the disappearance of the western empire.Though not such an obvious site as has often been claimed (being vulnerable from its hinterland and deficient in drinking-water), the new foundation grew rapidly in size and importance, though it did not become a regular imperial residence till the end of the century. By the reign of *Valens (373) an elaborate system of *aqueducts and conduits was installed to provide sufficient water for the growing population.

Article

Flavius Valerius Constantius I, (perhaps Flavius Iulius before 293; nicknamed, not before the 6th cent., Chlorus), born no later than 250 ce, of Illyrian stock; stories of his relationship with *Claudius II are fictions of *Constantine's propagandists. Constantius served as an army officer, as governor of Dalmatia, and possibly as praetorian prefect of Maximianus Augustus (*Maximian), whose daughter or stepdaughter Theodora he married, having put away Helena, the mother of Constantine I. On the establishment of the *tetrarchy*Diocletian appointed him Caesar, Maximian invested him at Milan (*Mediolanum, 1 March 293), and he took charge of Gaul, basing himself mainly at Trier (*Augusta Treverorum). His first task was to recover NE Gaul, held, with Britain, by the usurper *Carausius. In summer 293 he stormed Boulogne; but *Allectus, who murdered Carausius, retained Britain. Many of Carausius’ defeated barbarian allies, Chamavi and Frisii, were settled within the empire. In 296, with Maximian guarding the Rhine, Constantius and his praetorian prefect, Asclepiodotus, took ship for *Britain.