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Lucifer of Cagliari and Constantius II

Gustafson, Mark Timothy (1994) Lucifer of Cagliari and Constantius II. : A study in religious and political power in the fourth century. PhD.

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By the start of the fourth century, bishops were prominent figures in their own communities. The rule of Constantine had an enormous impact on them and their relationship with imperial authority. Two bishops, Ossius of Cordoba and Eusebius of Nicomedia, were able to wield their recently augmented political influence quite freely. These years also saw the beginning of the Arian controversy, in the context of which episcopal-imperial relations were to be reworked over the next several decades. When Constantine's son, Constantius II, was sole ruler (353-361), most of the eastern bishops supported him. But a handful of bishops in the West grew to resent his meddling in ecclesiastical affairs. Hilary of Poitiers, Lucifer of Cagliari, Eusebius of Vercelli, Liberius of Rome,and Ossius of Cordoba all resisted Constantius, and they all suffered for it. From exile, Lucifer wrote five pamphlets addressed to Constantius, which are remarkable for their vicious and overt attack against a living emperor. After an attempt to establish the facts of Lucifer's life, attention turns to Lucifer's writings: what they say, how they say it, whence they originate, and how they are new. It becomes apparent that the framework which Lucifer employs is a direct consequence of his personal encounters with the emperor. And while Lucifer's conflict with Constantius was played out entirely in terms of the Arian controversy, his concerns raised practical political questions, above all with regard to the proper roles of emperor and bishop. What was the effect of Lucifer's labors? The members of the Luciferian "schism" were extremely cautious in the face of any threat to the orthodox faith, and were able to influence Theodosius I. Ambrose of Milan threw his not insignificant weight around in several famous encounters with the imperial authority. "The emperor is within the church, not above the church": so Ambrose signalled that the religious and political climate had changed, that a new relationship between emperor and bishop was in place. Lucifer of Cagliari played a significant role in that change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thesis
Language: English
Publisher: Ann Arbor : UMI
Place of Publication: Minnesota, USA
Date of graduation: 1 March 1994
Status: Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thesis
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2020 10:44
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2020 10:44

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