Chapter

Regional churches and imperial policy

Mark Humphries

in Communities of the Blessed

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780198269830
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683824 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269830.003.0005

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Regional churches and imperial policy

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This chapter examines the impact of imperial intervention on north Italian Christianity between Constantine's involvement in the Donatist schism after his victory in 312 and the death of Theodosius I at Milan in January 395. This period saw a radical change in the relationship of north Italian ecclesiastics with their emperors. In 355 they were required to accept the interventionist approach of Constantius II, and in 374 they were able to achieve episcopal autonomy with the accession of Ambrose to the bishopric of Milan and Gratian's succession to the western imperial throne the following year. And as the political outlook of the north Italian episcopate changed, so did their theological and cultural horizons, which transformed they way they interacted with the outside world.

Keywords: imperial intervention; church and empire; Christianity; Constantine; Theodosius I; episcopal autonomy; northern Italy

Chapter.  11697 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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