Caesar's Temple: The Life and Turbulent Times of Hypatia of Alexandria

Caesar's Temple: The Life and Turbulent Times of Hypatia of Alexandria

by Russell Merris


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Shortly after defeating his last imperial rival in the Battle of Chrysopolis, Constantine set out to consolidate his supremacy by co-opting a tenacious religious movement that Diocletian had tried and failed to stamp out 30 years earlier. Summoning its leaders to the relatively remote setting of Nicaea, he offered them a seat at the imperial table in exchange for subscribing to a common framework of fundamental principles, i.e., a share of temporal power in return for embracing spiritual conformity. Seventeen centuries later, humankind is still living with the consequences of that bargain for every major denomination of organized Christianity adheres to the same two holy books, one inherited from Judaism and the other from the Nicene Council of 325.
Theology flowed from the decrees of the Council with the inevitability of lava from a fissure in the ground. Nine decades on, the flow cooled and hardened into the actual 'rock' upon which modern organized Christianity is built. Those ninety years are the backdrop for Caesar's Temple, a daring historical novel about the life and turbulent times of feminist icon Hypatia and her father Theon.
On one level, Caesar's Temple is an account of how 'the literal word of God' came to be set in stone; of how the Christ's gospel of love was transformed into what it is today; and of how an intolerant state religion crushed secular Hellenism and expedited the fall of western civilization into 800 years of darkness. On another, it is a tale of humankind's persistent quest to push back boundaries, test limits, and understand its place in the cosmos. Above all, it is an epic story of one of history's most remarkable father-daughter pairs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497396654
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Pages: 780
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.55(d)

About the Author

Russ Merris is a retired college professor whose 40-year career included a Fulbright Lectureship in Islamabad, Pakistan (1973, immediately after the last Indo-Pakistani War), a visiting professorship at the Instituto de Fisica e Matemática in Lisbon (1973-74, immediately before the "Carnation Revolution"), a stint as a National Academy of Sciences exchange scientist in Prague (1979, a decade before the fall of the Berlin Wall), and visiting professorships at Williams and Pomona Colleges (2006 and 2007, respectively).

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