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Review: The Last Romans

Teodor Jeske-Choiński

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

The Last Romans

This year marks 1,700 years since Emperor Constantine the Great issued the so-called Edict of Milan (312 CE), which, by introducing freedom of religion, radically changed the status of the Christian religion in the Roman state. From a religion contemptuously tolerated or sometimes even persecuted, Christianity became a fully-fledged religion recognized by the Roman state. From this very important moment in the history of Christianity, favored from then on, except for a short period (rule of Julian the Apostate), by the imperial power, it begins to lose its original character very quickly. Earthly temptations, which inseparably accompany power, mean that only a few “Galileans” are able to resist them. The entire fourth century of the Christian era is a great historical breakthrough, which has been objectively and beautifully presented, with particular emphasis on its dramatic ending, by the Polish writer Teodor Jeske-Choiński in his novel entitled “The Last Romans”. The main character from the Christian side, i.e. Winfridus Fabricius, already has very medieval features. He is a man of ardent faith who is combative, violent, and very easily succumbed to his great passions. These character traits, so far from the composure valued by the ancients, will become the source of many troubles that the main character will have to face.

In the case of the two main characters of the book the last Roman pagans from the end of the fourth century of the Christian era, the hopelessness and thus the impossibility of creating a healthy relationship between people from different cultures was brilliantly shown.

Summing up my argument, I say that sometimes it is worth going back to forgotten antiquities to rediscover noteworthy works.

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