The Making of a Christian Aristocracy

The Making of a Christian Aristocracy : Social and Religious Change in the Western Roman Empire

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What did it take to cause the Roman aristocracy to turn to Christianity, changing centuries-old beliefs and religious traditions? This title takes a fresh look at this much-debated question, looking at the historical evidence in order to try and understand why pagan aristocrats decided to convert to Christianity.

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  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 142.2 x 228.6 x 27.9mm | 498.96g
  • 25 Oct 2004
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, Mass
  • English
  • 18 tables
  • 0674016033
  • 9780674016033
  • 1,076,250

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Author Information

Michele Renee Salzman is Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside.

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Review quote

There is much to praise here. Salzman makes a coherent and believable case, and argues it well. She provides statistical derivatives of her database in the form of tables, from which others may form further conclusions...[Salzman] has elucidated one piece of the puzzle, and provided a wealth of data and approaches for others to take outstanding questions forward. -- Malcolm Choat Scholia Reviews 20030101 The Making of a Christian Aristocracy An indispensable study of what the 'average' aristocrat would have experienced in coming to call upon Jesus instead of Jupiter...it accurately and articulately details the Christianization of the empire's leading families. -- David Vincent Meconi Journal of Early Christian Studies This fascinating and important book...discusses the social origins and career paths of the aristocratic men--and the family involvements of the women--who converted to Christianity, and concludes by exploring 'the emperor's influence on aristocratic conversion' and 'the aristocrats' influence on Christianity'...Salzman's work is important not just for the study of the early church but for the study of the whole history of Christianity. The class distinctions which she so ably explores were significant not only for early Christians, but also for the medieval church and the Reformation church. -- Robert M. Grant Christian Century This is a fine book, genuinely paradigm-shifting and splendidly argued...remarkably firm and convincing. It offers a major addition to our knowledge of late antiquity. -- John Moorhead Journal of Religious Studies

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