Few scholars would quarrel with Ernst Dassman's observation that early Christian "reserve" toward the political cultures of antiquity--a mixture of difference and indifference, which only occasionally gave way to hostility--turned Christians' outcast status into something of a virtue.Still fewer are likely to dispute the assertion that influential fourth-century Christians unreservedly welcomed the changes that came with Constantine and anticipated the "Christianization" of imperial, if not also local, politics. But evaluations of Augustine's enthusiasm later that century and early the next never fail now to elicit disagreement

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Copyright © 2003 BRILL. This article first appeared in Vigiliae Christianae 57:1 (2003), 22-35. Reprinted with permission by BRILL.

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