The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

December 3, 2018 - Comment

A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 “Searingly passionate…Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt…[A] ballista-bolt of a book.” —New York Times Book Review   In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia

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A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

“Searingly passionate…Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt…[A] ballista-bolt of a book.” —New York Times Book Review
 
In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city’s greatest temple and razed it—smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria’s Great Library.
 
Today, we refer to Christianity’s conquest of the West as a “triumph.” But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus’s followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. Just one percent of Latin literature would survive the purge; countless antiquities, artworks, and ancient traditions were lost forever.  
 
As Catherine Nixey reveals, evidence of early Christians’ campaign of terror has been hiding in plain sight: in the palimpsests and shattered statues proudly displayed in churches and museums the world over. In The Darkening Age, Nixey resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Never was I not fully engaged A most enjoyable history. Not a scholarly work, but a commendable work of reporting. The subject is the triumph of Christianity, with an understanding that triumph entails a great deal of violence and destruction. The writing is exceptionally engaging for what I understand is the author’s first published book.

Anonymous says:

The “Triumph” of Christianity Catherie Nixey’s book, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, studies what St. Augustine called “merciful savagery,” the destruction of classical philosophy by the Christians who inherited the Roman Empire. The book is a compelling narrative, full of facts, and an antidote to two thousand years of Christian propaganda about how one culture replaced the other.It’s not the particular beliefs the Christians espoused, or the nature of monotheism as opposed…

Anonymous says:

awesome when I ordered this book, I admit I wasn’t familiar with Catherine Nixey. I was hoping the book wouldn’t read like a text book and be filled with opinions. I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how great this book is. Another author who knows how to tell a great story that is rarely talked about. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from her.

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