Military manuals, masculinity and the making of Christian soldiers in late antiquity

Wood, Jamie (2021) Military manuals, masculinity and the making of Christian soldiers in late antiquity. Journal of Early Christian History, 11 (1). ISSN 2222-582X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2021.1926303

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Military manuals, masculinity and the making of Christian soldiers in late antiquity
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Abstract

As Christianity was adopted as the religion of the empire over the course of the fourth and subsequent centuries, texts about military training began gradually to articulate more forcefully the idea that Christianity was the religion of the state and that it should be protected by force of arms. Yet the army also played a significant role as an institution within which Christian men were made in the late Roman and early Byzantine empires. This article explores the intersection of military training and Christianity in the late Roman and early Byzantine military. It examines the largely untapped evidence that late antique military manuals provide for the role of Christian praxis in the making of two kinds of military men: first, the generals to whom such manuals were directed; second, the soldiers that they were meant to lead and on whose training the manuals focus much of their attention. The military manuals articulate a clear and evolving vision, heavily influenced by precedent, of how men were to be formed into ideal Christian soldier-subjects who were proficient soldiers and able to keep God on their side in order to prosecute Christian warfare. The manuals provide a model for the formation of hyper-masculine Christian subjects who were able simultaneously to make their subordinates submit to their authority and to act submissively to their superiors, especially the emperor and his generals.

Keywords:masculinity, Christianity, Ancient History, Medieval history, Byzantium
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V110 Ancient History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V391 Military History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V330 History of Religions
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:44783
Deposited On:15 Jun 2021 09:33

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