The emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity brought change to the Roman Empire as its population gradually abandoned the old religions in favor of Christianity. The reign of Julian the Apostate, a nephew of Constantine, saw the last serious attempt to restore civic polytheism as the official religion. The Christian church of the fourth century was divided, however, by two serious heresies: Arianism and Donatism. Religious dissent led to the intervention of the emperors at church councils and elsewhere. Professor Freedman then introduces St. Augustine’s Confessions, including an overview of Platonism.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Fall 2011.