This article illustrates how a classicizing verse rendering of the Fourth Gospel, Nonnus’s fifth-century Paraphrasis of St John’s Gospel, evokes a twofold concept of Christian rulership that is simultaneously heavenly and terrestrial. It argues that the description of the Crucifixion and Entombment scenes offer a twofold panorama of the late antique world with an emphasis not only on the religious symbolism of these events but also on their importance for the crafting of the aspirations of the imperial church. Through typological interpretation, Platonic hues, classical intertextuality, and descriptions of objects connecting the heavenly and earthly realms, the poem hints at the universalist aspirations of Roman imperial Christianity, as seen from the focus on material details that the poem uses to map its version of the Christian ecumene.

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