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A Century of Miracles: Christians, Pagans, Jews and the Supernatural , 312-410

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The fourth century of our common era began and ended with a miracle. Traditionally, in the year 312, the Roman emperor Constantine experienced a "vision of the Cross" that led him to convert to Christianity and to defeat his last rival to the imperial throne; and, in 394, a divine wind carried the emperor Theodosius to victory at the battle of the Frigidus River. In A Century of Miracles, historian H. A. Drake explores the role miracle stories such as these played in helping Christians, pagans, and Jews think about themselves and each other. These stories, he concludes, bolstered Christian belief that their god wanted the empire to be Christian. Most importantly, they help explain how, after a century of trumpeting the power of their god, Christians were able to deal with their failure to protect the city of Rome from a barbarian sack by the Gothic army of Alaric in 410. Thoroughly researched within a wide range of faiths and belief systems, A Century of Miracles provides an absorbing illumination of this complex, polytheistic, and decidedly mystical phenomenon.

Author: Drake H.A.
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780197541388
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2021

Chapter One: Historians and the Miraculous
Chapter Two: Theodosius's Miracle
Chapter Three: Constantine's Miracle
Chapter Four: Miracle Doctors
Chapter Five: The Miracle of the Cross
Chapter Six: Jews in Miracles
Chapter Seven: Miracle in the Desert
Chapter Eight: Miracles on Trial
Chapter Nine: Failed Miracles
Chapter Ten: Alaric, Augustine, and the End of a Century of Miracles
Epilogue: The Story of Titus
Primary Sources

H. A. Drake is Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Constantine and the Bishops.

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