Fox, a lecturer in Ancient History at Oxford, presents a detailed and scholarly account of Christianity and paganism prior to Constantine. He decribes pagan oracles, festivals, and cultic practices as they related to civic and community life in third-century Roman Empire; then, comparing these with Christian practices, he discusses the possible reasons for Christianity's ultimate triumph. Along the way, certain misconceptions are dispelled: Roman paganism was not dying out, as is sometimes supposed, nor was early Christianity primarily a religion of slaves. In fact, the Church had elements that made it unexpectedly attractive to all classes. The chapter on Constantine gives new insight into the reasons for his conversion. An excellent and readable account of a fascinating subject. Highly recommended. C. Robert Nixon, MLS, West Lafayette, Ind.