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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2018

The awful lines of Eusebius of Caesarea

Harry O. Maier

Abstract

The paper takes up the social anthropological study of lines by Tim Ingold as well as the social geography of Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre to consider the fourth-century CE Church History of Eusebius of Caesarea as a series of spatiotemporal lines. It discusses specifically the spatiotemporality created by Eusebius’s long preface found at the start of the work as a single sentence that creates a linear experience of space and time. Mistranslations of the sentence detract from the linearity Eusebius inscribes. It then explores the history as an imperial linear narrative built on a series of biblical narratives and chains of succession of bishops, teachers and heretics and then considers Eusebius’s self-representation as creating a path others can follow. It engages Eusebius’s earlier writing, the Chronikon, on which he relied for his Church History, as an alternative set of lines arranged in a series of columns that create a kind of linear time the History goes on to perform in a narrative form. The essay ends with a consideration of the role of reading and appropriation in a colonial inscription of time and space the writer’s historical lines create.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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