Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, written in the early fourth
century, continues to serve as our primary gateway to a crucial
three hundred year period: the rise of early Christianity under the
Roman Empire. In this volume, James Corke-Webster undertakes the
first systematic study considering the History in the light of its
fourth-century circumstances as well as its author's personal
history, intellectual commitments, and literary abilities. He
argues that the Ecclesiastical History is not simply an attempt to
record the past history of Christianity, but a sophisticated
mission statement that uses events and individuals from that past
to mould a new vision of Christianity tailored to Eusebius'
fourth-century context. He presents elite Graeco-Roman Christians
with a picture of their faith that smooths off its rough edges and
misrepresents its size, extent, nature, and relationship to Rome.
Ultimately, Eusebius suggests that Christianity was - and always
had been - the Empire's natural heir.