Quis ut Deus?

France & Vincent

‘Am I more like God than you because I am stronger?’

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… It was, it seems, the Romans, that most militaristic of empire-building peoples

who first insisted that St Michael should be seen, that is, depicted,

in a military light, the Commander-in-Chief of an ‘Army of Angels’, as it were.

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After Constantine’s defeat of Licineus at the Battle of Adrianople AD 324

which the Emperor attributed to the Archangel Michael he had a painting

of the Saint slaying, a Dragon commissioned for the Michaelion,

a Christian Sanctuary nearby, which was previously dedicated to healing waters.

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This lead to the now-standard iconography of Archangel Michael

as a ‘Warrior Saint’, who slays a single-headed Dragon.

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All empires rely, for their dominance to a certain extent,

on military prowess but the militaristic mindset of the Romans

infiltrated every aspect of their culture,

and their newly acquired religion, alas, was…

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