Tuesday, July 01, 2008

CRITIQUE & REVIEW: “Constantine the Great: The Man and his Times” by Michael Grant

Constantine the Great: The Man and his Times” by Michael Grant is another entry in my “Year of Rome” theme. I have not been able to find a good biography of Constantine so this one had to do.

The author is truly a subject expert but not a very elegant writer. His work suffers in comparison to Anthony Everitt's who wrote two prior “Year of Rome” books I recently read, one on Cicero and the other on Augustus.

Grant does his best to breakdown the various biased accounts of Constantine’s life and times to portray the truth as he discerns it. He succeeds in only the barest sense. I finished the book without really knowing Constantine’s motivations. Where the coherent narrative of a flesh and blood person? Grant is so focused on revealing an unbiased account of the facts culled from Christian hagiography and pagan polemics, we lose the man.

A great case can be made that Constantine the Great was one of the ten most influential humans ever to walk the planet. Grant’s work is valuable but I still await a deeper study of the man.

1 comment:

berto xxx said...

such a nice blog.

berto xxx