Simon J V Malloch

Sub Specie Aeternitatis

And Man Created God: Kings, Cults, and Conquests at the Time of Jesus

By

Atlantic Books 393pp £20 order from our bookshop

In AD 390 the Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I was held responsible for the massacre of seven thousand people in Thessalonica in retaliation for the murder of one of his generals during a riot. When Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, learnt of the slaughter, he threatened Theodosius with excommunication, and after seven months of penance the emperor was readmitted to the pale of the church. In 1619–20 Anthony van Dyck vividly captured the bishop’s power in a painting that showed Ambrose barring Theodosius from entering the cathedral at Milan.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter