The Darkening Age

The Darkening Age


  • Release: 2018-04-17
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 384 page
  • ISBN: 9780544800939
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A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 “Searingly passionate…Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt…[A] ballista-bolt of a book.” —New York Times Book Review In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city’s greatest temple and razed it—smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria’s Great Library. Today, we refer to Christianity’s conquest of the West as a “triumph.” But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus’s followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. Just one percent of Latin literature would survive the purge; countless antiquities, artworks, and ancient traditions were lost forever. As Catherine Nixey reveals, evidence of early Christians’ campaign of terror has been hiding in plain sight: in the palimpsests and shattered statues proudly displayed in churches and museums the world over. In The Darkening Age, Nixey resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.

The Darkening Age

The Darkening Age


  • Release: 2017-09-26
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 496 page
  • ISBN: 9781760556143
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The Darkening Age is the largely unknown story of how a militant religion comprehensively and deliberately extinguished the teachings of the Classical world, ushering in centuries of unquestioning adherence to 'one true faith'. Despite the long-held notion that the early Christians were meek and mild, going to their martyr's deaths singing hymns of love and praise, the truth, as Catherine Nixey reveals, is very different. Far from being meek and mild, they were violent, ruthless and fundamentally intolerant. Unlike the polytheistic world, in which the addition of one new religion made no fundamental difference to the old ones, this new ideology stated not only that it was the way, the truth and the light but that, by extension, every single other way was wrong and had to be destroyed. From the 1st century to the 6th, those who didn't fall into step with its beliefs were pursued in every possible way: social, legal, financial and physical. Their altars were upturned and their temples demolished, their statues hacked to pieces and their priests killed. It was an annihilation. Authoritative, vividly written and utterly compelling, this is a remarkable debut from a brilliant young historian.

The Darkening Age

The Darkening Age


  • Release: 2017-09-21
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 305 page
  • ISBN: 9781509816088
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'A searingly passionate book' - Bettany Hughes In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey tells the little-known – and deeply shocking – story of how a militant religion deliberately tried to extinguish the teachings of the Classical world, ushering in unquestioning adherence to the 'one true faith'. The Roman Empire had been generous in embracing and absorbing new creeds. But with the coming of Christianity, everything changed. This new faith, despite preaching peace, was violent, ruthless and intolerant. And once it became the religion of empire, its zealous adherents set about the destruction of the old gods. Their altars were upturned, their temples demolished and their statues hacked to pieces. Books, including great works of philosophy and science, were consigned to the pyre. It was an annihilation. A Book of the Year in the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator, the Observer, and BBC History Magazine A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Nonfiction

The Club

The Club


  • Release: 2019-03-26
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 512 page
  • ISBN: 9780300244960
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Prize-winning biographer Leo Damrosch tells the story of “the Club,” a group of extraordinary writers, artists, and thinkers who gathered weekly at a London tavern In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk’s Head Tavern in London to dine, drink, and talk until midnight. Eventually the group came to include among its members Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, and James Boswell. It was known simply as “the Club.” In this captivating book, Leo Damrosch brings alive a brilliant, competitive, and eccentric cast of characters. With the friendship of the “odd couple” Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at the heart of his narrative, Damrosch conjures up the precarious, exciting, and often brutal world of late eighteenth-century Britain. This is the story of an extraordinary group of people whose ideas helped to shape their age, and our own.

The End Is Always Near

The End Is Always Near


  • Release: 2019-10-29
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 288 page
  • ISBN: 9780062868060
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Now a New York Times Bestseller. The creator of the wildly popular award-winning podcast Hardcore History looks at some of the apocalyptic moments from the past as a way to frame the challenges of the future. Do tough times create tougher people? Can humanity handle the power of its weapons without destroying itself? Will human technology or capabilities ever peak or regress? No one knows the answers to such questions, but no one asks them in a more interesting way than Dan Carlin. In The End is Always Near, Dan Carlin looks at questions and historical events that force us to consider what sounds like fantasy; that we might suffer the same fate that all previous eras did. Will our world ever become a ruin for future archaeologists to dig up and explore? The questions themselves are both philosophical and like something out of The Twilight Zone. Combining his trademark mix of storytelling, history and weirdness Dan Carlin connects the past and future in fascinating and colorful ways. At the same time the questions he asks us to consider involve the most important issue imaginable: human survival. From the collapse of the Bronze Age to the challenges of the nuclear era the issue has hung over humanity like a persistent Sword of Damocles. Inspired by his podcast, The End is Always Near challenges the way we look at the past and ourselves. In this absorbing compendium, Carlin embarks on a whole new set of stories and major cliffhangers that will keep readers enthralled. Idiosyncratic and erudite, offbeat yet profound, The End is Always Near examines issues that are rarely presented, and makes the past immediately relevant to our very turbulent present.

Coming Out Christian in the Roman World

Coming Out Christian in the Roman World


  • Release: 2015-03-03
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 224 page
  • ISBN: 9781620403181
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The supposed collapse of Roman civilization is still lamented more than 1,500 years later-and intertwined with this idea is the notion that a fledgling religion, Christianity, went from a persecuted fringe movement to an irresistible force that toppled the empire. The “intolerant zeal” of Christians, wrote Edward Gibbon, swept Rome's old gods away, and with them the structures that sustained Roman society. Not so, argues Douglas Boin. Such tales are simply untrue to history, and ignore the most important fact of all: life in Rome never came to a dramatic stop. Instead, as Boin shows, a small minority movement rose to transform society-politically, religiously, and culturally-but it was a gradual process, one that happened in fits and starts over centuries. Drawing upon a decade of recent studies in history and archaeology, and on his own research, Boin opens up a wholly new window onto a period we thought we knew. His work is the first to describe how Christians navigated the complex world of social identity in terms of “passing” and “coming out.” Many Christians lived in a dynamic middle ground. Their quiet success, as much as the clamor of martyrdom, was a powerful agent for change. With this insightful approach to the story of Christians in the Roman world, Douglas Boin rewrites, and rediscovers, the fascinating early history of a world faith.

AD 381

AD 381


  • Release: 2011-02-15
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 272 page
  • ISBN: 9781446419243
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In AD 381, Theodosius, emperor of the eastern Roman empire, issued a decree in which all his subjects were required to subscribe to a belief in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This edict defined Christian orthodoxy and brought to an end a lively and wide-ranging debate about the nature of the Godhead; all other interpretations were now declared heretical. Moreover, for the first time in a thousand years of Greco-Roman civilization free thought was unambiguously suppressed. Yet surprisingly this political revolution, intended to bring inner cohesion to an empire under threat from the outside, has been airbrushed from the historical record. Instead, it has been claimed that the Christian Church had reached a consensus on the Trinity which was promulgated at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381. In this groundbreaking new book, Freeman argues that Theodosius's edict and the subsequent suppression of paganism not only brought an end to the diversity of religious and philosophical beliefs throughout the empire but created numerous theological problems for the Church, which have remained unsolved. The year AD 381, Freeman concludes, marked 'a turning point which time forgot'.

Through the Eye of a Needle

Through the Eye of a Needle


  • Release: 2013-09-02
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 792 page
  • ISBN: 9781400844531
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A sweeping intellectual history of the role of wealth in the church in the last days of the Roman Empire Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity. Peter Brown examines the rise of the church through the lens of money and the challenges it posed to an institution that espoused the virtue of poverty and called avarice the root of all evil. Drawing on the writings of major Christian thinkers such as Augustine, Ambrose, and Jerome, Brown examines the controversies and changing attitudes toward money caused by the influx of new wealth into church coffers, and describes the spectacular acts of divestment by rich donors and their growing influence in an empire beset with crisis. He shows how the use of wealth for the care of the poor competed with older forms of philanthropy deeply rooted in the Roman world, and sheds light on the ordinary people who gave away their money in hopes of treasure in heaven. Through the Eye of a Needle challenges the widely held notion that Christianity's growing wealth sapped Rome of its ability to resist the barbarian invasions, and offers a fresh perspective on the social history of the church in late antiquity.

Ancient Worlds

Ancient Worlds


  • Release: 2016-11-01
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 448 page
  • ISBN: 9780465094738
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"As panoramic as it is learned, this is ancient history for our globalized world." Tom Holland, author of Dynasty and Rubicon Twenty-five-hundred years ago, civilizations around the world entered a revolutionary new era that overturned old order and laid the foundation for our world today. In the face of massive social changes across three continents, radical new forms of government emerged; mighty wars were fought over trade, religion, and ideology; and new faiths were ruthlessly employed to unify vast empires. The histories of Rome and China, Greece and India-the stories of Constantine and Confucius, Qin Shi Huangdi and Hannibal-are here revealed to be interconnected incidents in the midst of a greater drama. In Ancient Worlds, historian Michael Scott presents a gripping narrative of this unique age in human civilization, showing how diverse societies responded to similar pressures and how they influenced one another: through conquest and conversion, through trade in people, goods, and ideas. An ambitious reinvention of our grandest histories, Ancient Worlds reveals new truths about our common human heritage. "A bold and imaginative page-turner that challenges ideas about the world of antiquity." Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

The Final Pagan Generation

The Final Pagan Generation


  • Release: 2020-08-25
  • Publisher: Transformation of the Classical Heritage
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 352 page
  • ISBN: 9780520379220
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A compelling history of radical transformation in the fourth-century--when Christianity decimated the practices of traditional pagan religion in the Roman Empire. The Final Pagan Generation recounts the fascinating story of the lives and fortunes of the last Romans born before the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Edward J. Watts traces their experiences of living through the fourth century's dramatic religious and political changes, when heated confrontations saw the Christian establishment legislate against pagan practices as mobs attacked pagan holy sites and temples. The emperors who issued these laws, the imperial officials charged with implementing them, and the Christian perpetrators of religious violence were almost exclusively young men whose attitudes and actions contrasted markedly with those of the earlier generation, who shared neither their juniors' interest in creating sharply defined religious identities nor their propensity for violent conflict. Watts examines why the "final pagan generation"--born to the old ways and the old world in which it seemed to everyone that religious practices would continue as they had for the past two thousand years--proved both unable to anticipate the changes that imperially sponsored Christianity produced and unwilling to resist them. A compelling and provocative read, suitable for the general reader as well as students and scholars of the ancient world.