Book recommendation: Constantine – Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor by Paul Stephenson

His Hermeneuticalness, Fr Tim Finigan, recommended this book to me.  I got it and I am glad I did.  I now recommend it to you.

As a bonus to you Kindle owners, you can get the Kindle version for only $6.19!   (UK here but for a bit more.)

The hardback is also available.  (UK here)

A blurb from the Introduction:

This study demonstrates that Constantine’s rise to power and his early actions as emperor were defined by his relationship with his troops, and consequently by his relationship with the greatest god, who would guarantee his, and hence their, victories. Constantine’s only means of retaining power in his early years was to lead his men in numerous successful campaigns and to reward them handsomely for their efforts and loyalty. This he did, distributing wealth, including thousands of coins, to his officers and troops with inscriptions declaring their loyalty to him. The emphasis on loyalty, frequently pronounced and inscribed, suggests that in his first decade of power Constantine was never entirely secure. He came close to death by mutiny within four years of his accession, when his father-in-law and rival emperor Maximian persuaded many of his troops to turn against him. Ever more and greater victories were needed, and thus he was set on the path to civil war and sole sovereignty. For this reason he led a seemingly foolhardy invasion of Italy in 312, his sights set on the capture of Rome itself.

Don’t have a Kindle yet?  What are you waiting for?

I have written about it here and UK here. Please use my link to get yours or to give them as gifts for Christmas. There is new generation of Kindle, Kindle Touch, and a new Kindle Fire with color.   The Kindle Fire is more like a tablet, like an iPad, and it has a new browser that runs on cloud technology which is apparently very fast.  I saw the new version at Best Buy.  Very nice.

A few other books I have read on my Kindle:

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles (UK here)
Demonic by Ann Coulter (UK hardback)
After America by Mark Steyn (UK hardback)
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (UK here)
A More Perfect Heaven by Dava Sobel (UK here)

You can even lend books from your Kindle to another person’s Kindle.  Very cool.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mibethda says:

    I ordered a Kindle Touch in early October, but I do not believe they ship until the middle of November – at least, I haven’t received it yet.

  2. Peggy R says:

    My huz bought me a Kindle for my B-Day in 2010. (Quite a step up from the PC monitor our first year of marriage…He’s a computer geek.) I have a psychological barrier to paying over $9.99 for Kindle versions. I want more than pixels on a machine if I’m paying over $10. I want a book to place on a shelf. I have found several affordable and interesting books through searching. Lots of classic literature is in the public domain for free or under $5. “Brideshead Revisited” is among the goodies available at a great price.

  3. Varda says:

    I noticed yesterday the Magnificat Advent Companion 2011 is available on Kindle for 99 cents. I love my Kindle, it’s one of the best gifts I ever received.

  4. RichardT says:

    Lots of adverts last week in London for the Kobo, puching 2 main features:
    – lots of free books (but what – no use unless I’d want to read them); and
    – once you’ve bought an e-book with it, you can freely move it to other platforms.

    Anyone have any experience of them?

    And are these devices all much the same for readability, or are there big differences?

  5. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    Drat! “CONSTANTINE”is not available for AUSTRALIA!! I love my Kindle and am now averse to buying hardcopy books! Hope to obtain a KINDLE FIRE in due course to suuplement my also love iPad – FIRE will be handier for travel.

  6. Peter G says:

    I am currently reading a hard copy of After America.
    If Mark Steyn is half right and you guys can’t turn things around then you are just about cactus.
    Getting rid of Obama would be a good start.


    I still buy hard copy books from in the U.K.
    They have a massive range at about half the price we would pay in a bookshop and postage to Oz is free.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z,

    Do you recommend reading the Steve Jobs biography?

  8. Supertradmum: An interesting man who shaped our world in some important aspects. I am curious enough about him that I put him on my list.

  9. wmeyer says:

    I received my Kindle for Christmas last year. Got one for my wife a few months ago. I now carry it everywhere, especially to appointments where I may have to wait on some professional with no regard for the time of his clients. I have on it hundreds of books, of all sorts. Among these are the Ignatius Bible, the Ignatius Study Bible (NT), the DR Bible, the Catechism of Trent, and the current Catechism (quickly generated in Word from downloads — the official release is not yet available for Kindle.) I have lately acquired in two volumes, the History of the Council of Trent, by Hubert Jedin.

    I love the Kindle. The best formatted single book I own is the Ignatius Study Bible. The worst feature of the Kindle is that so far, only a small percentage of volumes have been produced with much care. Many older titles have been taken from, and any scanning errors in the Gutenberg text are generally present in the Kindle version. This is especially true of those classics offered on Amazon for anything up to $0.99. Another defect in the titles on Amazon is that the software which was used to convert Gutenberg text to Kindle has a pathological problem with verses inserted in the text — it simply deletes them. Most recently, I purchased two different Kindle versions of Butler’s Lives of Saints and returned both. They were unusable.

    For all its warts, however, the Kindle is a superb tool. The one real fault in the device is the use of collections, what cannot be nested, so I cannot keep a volume in Church, Saints, Augustine, for example. Were I to approach the 3,500 volume level Amazon claims the device can support, this would become a major annoyance.

    If you own a Kindle, do get a copy of Calibre. It’s free, and great for format conversions, which you will eventually want to use.

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