Claudian and Constantinople

Gavin Kelly

in Two Romes

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739400
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933006 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity

Claudian and Constantinople

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The poet Claudian’s relationship with Rome has been widely studied. Despite its intrinsic interest, his relationship with the New Rome has not been discussed with the same saturation. Claudian wrote when the western court’s relationship with Constantinople was in crisis (395-404), and he describes many events which took place there. Some of his work, especially In Eutropium 2, has been seen as evidence for growing western anti-Byzantinism, or even for the fissure between the western and eastern empires; others argue that this is a one-off piece of propaganda reflecting a particular narrow set of political circumstances. This chapter argues that the treatment of Constantinople should indeed be seen in opposition to that of Rome, and that the attitude of In Eutropium 2 is extreme but not a one-off, either in Claudian’s oeuvre or in fourth- and fifth-century western ideology more generally. Attention is also given to allusions to Claudian’s treatment of Constantinople by subsequent writers (including Sidonius).

Keywords: Claudian; Rome; Constantinople; In Eutropium; Sidonius

Chapter.  11379 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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