The Making of Late Antiquity

The Making of Late Antiquity

Paperback Jackson Lectures

By (author) Peter Brown

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  • Publisher: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 148 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 210mm x 9mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 18 May 1993
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
  • ISBN 10: 0674543211
  • ISBN 13: 9780674543218
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 540,351

Product description

In this work, Peter Brown presents a history of Roman society in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries. He interprets the changes in social patterns and religious thought in an attempt to break away from conventional modern images of the period.

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Author information

Peter Brown is Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, Princeton University. Among his publications is The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, 200-1000 A.D.

Review quote

No summary of its contents can do justice to this complex and fascinating book, written with all Peter Brown's refreshing panache. We are presented with an age of vitality, where historians used to find a creeping paralysis; the canvas comes alive with the spectacular successes of individuals who belie the conventional wisdom of the stifling oppressiveness of late Roman institutions...In a book devoted to human beings it is the portraits of individuals, perceptively located in their social and religious surroundings, which are naturally to the fore. Classical Review The Making of Late Antiquity is most successful, I think, as a study of shifts in the religious imagination... Brown is sensitive to the multifaceted quality of the Late Antique view of the soul, and some of his most creative work is in discussions of demons and angels as imaginal faces of the self and its changing relation to the holy. From the private dreams of Aristides to the public withdrawal of Anthony, Brown has sketched a remarkable shift in a culture's vision of itself. His argument is as persuasive as it is eloquent. -- Patricia L. Cox Church History A provocative book. -- Robert L. Wilken Religious Studies [Brown's] interpretations are sensitive, vivid, and strongly persuasive. He offers a fascinating sketch of the distinctive configurations and interactions of religious, cultural, and social factors which gradually came to define life in the Mediterranean world of the late fourth and early fifth centuries...he has, by judicious use of analytic concepts and graphic vignettes, captured the "feel" of the religious life of the period. -- Eugene V. Gallagher Theological Studies complex and fascinating book, written with all Peter Brown's refreshing panache. We are presented with an age of vitality, where historians used to find a creeping paralysis; the canvas comes alive with the spectacular successes of individuals who belie the conventional wisdom of the stifling oppressiveness of late Roman institutions; and the cautious uncertainty of the "age of anxiety" disappears in a vigorous emphasis on the recognition and display of power...[Brown] has shifted the emphasis of late roman studies from institutions to individuals, and to the discernment of what made late antique men "tick"--a task which he is without equal. -- E.D. Hunt Classical Review This brief work by one of the most influential social historians of the twentieth century...provides scholars and serious students of the period of the second through fourth centuries with a well-documented and colorful exposition of the nature of the holy and of popular society in the late Roman Empire...Many will find its call to view the period with the ancients' own eyes quite refreshing. -- Jason T. Larson Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin 19970101

Table of contents

1. A Debate on the Holy 2. An Age of Ambition 3. The Rise of the Friends of God 4. From the Heavens to the Desert: Anthony and Pachomius Notes Index