Michael E. Stewart

The Soldier's Life

Martial Virtues and Manly Romanitas In the Early Byzantine Empire

Kismet Press 2016

New Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network March 22, 2017 Taylor Fox-Smith

The prowess of the Roman empire was imbued with courage and militarism. Symbolised by the combative male soldier, Michael Edward Stewart‘s tool of historical...

The prowess of the Roman empire was imbued with courage and militarism. Symbolised by the combative male soldier, Michael Edward Stewart‘s tool of historical enquiry is masculinity. In his book, The Soldier’s Life: Martial Virtues and Manly Romanitas in the Early Byzantine Empire (Kismet Press, 2016), Stewart explores whether theological constructions of manhood as ascetic and pacifist changed the contours of manly Romanitas. From the martial metaphors of Synesius of Cyrene, to the third gender of Eunuchs, to the paganism of Emperor Julian to the piety of Theodosius I – The Soldier’s Life reminds us that gender has been constructed for centuries. The fluidity of boundaries and power in this ancient construct of masculinity makes a poignant case against restrictive binaries and static hegemony. Published by Kismet press, this book is available online as part of a larger project for making knowledge, history and scholarship accessible.

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