All Christian flights were not created equal. With the aid of pro-Nicene authors, Athanasius of Alexandria's multiple flights quickly became the standard for an orthodox exile. The charge of cowardice, or worse, heresy, was not so easily dismissed, however. While the famed Athanasius would explain away such charges in his own writings, as did many of his later defenders, not all fleeing bishops could escape a damning verdict. In this article, I explore how the enemies of Nicaea, re-read as the enemies of Athanasius, also found themselves in exile. Their episcopal flights were no testament to their virtue but within pro-Nicene Christian memory of fifth-century ecclesiastical historians, the exiles of anti-Nicene bishops, such as Eusebius of Nicomedia, were remembered as evidence of guilt. To show how this memory-making exercise took place we will turn to the imperial landscape and assess how the space someone was exiled from greatly shaped how exile was deemed either orthodox or heretical.
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Research Article| September 01 2019
Damning Nicomedia: The Spatial Consequences of Exile
Studies in Late Antiquity (2019) 3 (3): 413–435.
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Jennifer Barry; Damning Nicomedia: The Spatial Consequences of Exile. Studies in Late Antiquity 1 September 2019; 3 (3): 413–435. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/sla.2019.3.3.413
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