chapter  VII
20 Pages

Notes on the Date and Venue of the Oration to the Saints (CPG 3497)

ByMark Edwards

D. Woods has proposed that saints are the product of an erroneous translation, the original Latin being ad sanctum coetum, and a common designation for the senate. This chapter examines a number of questions which have either been left open or too precipitately resolved in studies of the Oration to the Saints. Constantine's Oration to the Saints is the apology of a convert and the first of an inexhaustible line of apologies to the converted. It set a fertile precedent with its false but seductive reading of his Fourth Eclogue; at the same time it hinted, by reviving a pagan argument against collegiate governance in the physical world, that only a Christian monarch. The chapter also argues that the case for delivery on Good Friday is strengthened rather than compromised by the want of evidence for liturgical celebration of this holiday in the age of Constantine by endorsing the common view that it is a homily for Eastertide.