The usurpation of Arbogastes and Eugenius that resulted in the Battle of Frigidus in 394 remains embedded in pagan-Christian conflict narratives in modern scholarship on the late fourth century. Even scholars who see conflict as the flip side of religious assimilation persist in reading the narratives of the usurpation and Theodosius's victory as evidence for pagan-Christian conflict. An examination of the evidence for these events, including two newly relevant texts—John Chrysoston's Homily 6, adversus Catharos (PG 63: 491-92) and the Consultationes Zacchei et Apollonii, re-dated to the 390s—reinforces the view that religion was not the key ideological element in the events at the time, nor was it so in all narratives from the late fourth and fifth centuries. It was, however, due in large measure to Ambrose's writings and influence that some Christian authors in the western and eastern empire recounted the usurpation as a pagan-Christian conflict. But even Ambrose's view of these events was more complex than a simple pagan-Christian conflict narrative suggests.


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pp. 191-223
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