Der Kaiser und ein "Gottzeichen am Himmel"Konstantin d.Gr. in den ersten Jahren als Christ

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

The emperor and a ‘sign of God in the sky’. Constantine the Great in his first years as a Christian” – The article attempts to make plausible that Lactanz in De mortibus persecutorum 44,5 f. understands the caeleste signum dei as a cross that was to be drawn on the shields of the soldiers of his army according to Constantine’s instructions in the dream; that the part of the sentence: transversa X littera summo capite circumflexo, which denotes a so-called staurogramme and not a cross, must be regarded as a marginal gloss that penetrated the text in the course of the manuscript tradition; that the statement: Christum in scutis notat does not point to a staurogram or a Christogram, but in accordance with the dream instruction to the emperor means a cross as a sign symbolising Christ. When comparing the information provided by Eusebius (HE IX,9,2–11) with that of Lactanz, it must be taken into account that Lactanz writes about a shield sign, whereas Eusebius writes about a field sign. This has consequences that have not yet been considered.

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