The Making of Late Antiquity / Edition 1

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Overview


Peter Brown presents a masterly history of Roman society in the second, third, and fourth centuries. Brown interprets the changes in social patterns and religious thought, breaking away from conventional modern images of the period.
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Editorial Reviews

Classical Review
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.
Church History

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

Religious Studies

A provocative book.
— Robert L. Wilken

Theological 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

Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin

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

Church History - Patricia L. Cox
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.
Religious Studies - Robert L. Wilken
A provocative book.
Theological Studies - Eugene V. Gallagher
[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.
Classical Review - E.D. Hunt
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.
Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin - Jason T. Larson
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.
From Barnes & Noble
This wide-ranging book explores the significant changes that took place in the classical world between the late second and early fourth centuries. A new elitism in religion had its parallel in society as a whole and a wide polarization of the wealthy and the poor developed, as unbridled ambition made the sharp distinction between the rulers and the ruled. Rather than presenting a straight history, the author paints a full picture of this period, drawing connections from the early monks to the modern poets, from the classical Roman aristocracy to the Medicis of the Renaissance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674543218
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: Carl Newell Jackson Lectures Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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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

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