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The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200-1000, 10th Anniversary Revised Edition

The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200-1000, 10th Anniversary Revised Edition

Peter Brown

ISBN: 978-1-118-30126-5

Feb 2013, Wiley-Blackwell

712 pages

In Stock



This tenth anniversary revised edition of the authoritative text on Christianity’s first thousand years of history features a new preface, additional color images, and an updated bibliography. The essential general survey of medieval European Christendom, Brown’s vivid prose charts the compelling and tumultuous rise of an institution that came to wield enormous religious and secular power.

• Clear and vivid history of Christianity’s rise and its pivotal role in the making of Europe
• Written by the celebrated Princeton scholar who originated of the field of study known as ‘late antiquity’
• Includes a fully updated bibliography and index

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List of Illustrations ix

Preface to the Revised Anniversary Edition xi

Preface to the Second Edition xlviii

Introduction 1

Part I Empire and Aftermath: A.D . 200–500 35

1 “The Laws of Countries”: Prologue and Overview 37

2 Christianity and Empire 54

3 Tempora Christiana : Christian Times 72

4 Virtutes sanctorum . . . strages gentium : “Deeds of Saints . . . Slaughter of Nations” 93

5 On the Frontiers: Noricum, Ireland, and Francia 123

Part II Divergent Legacies: A.D . 500–600 143

6 Reverentia, rusticitas : Caesarius of Arles to Gregory of Tours 145

7 Bishops, City, and Desert: East Rome 166

8 Regimen animarum : Gregory the Great 190

Part III The End of Ancient Christianity: A.D . 600–750 217

9 Powerhouses of Prayer: Monasticism in Western Europe 219

10 The Making of a Sapiens : Religion and Culture in Continental Europe and in Ireland 232

11 Medicamenta paenitentiae : Columbanus 248

12 Christianity in Asia and the Rise of Islam 267

13 “The Changing of the Kingdoms”: Christians under Islam 295

14 Christianities of the North: Ireland 321

15 Christianities of the North: The Saxons of Britain 340

16 Micro-Christendoms 355

Part IV New Christendoms: A.D . 750–1000 381

17 The Crisis of the Image: The Byzantine Iconoclast Controversy 383

18 The Closing of the Frontier: Frisia and Germany 408

19 “To Rule the Christian People”: Charlemagne 434

20 In gçar dagum , “In Days of Yore”: Northern Christendom and its Past 464

Notes 490

Coordinated Chronological Tables 573

Bibliography 578

Primary Sources 578

Secondary Sources 589


“Summing Up.  Highly recommended.  Especially libraries that lack the second edition; lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.”  (Choice, 1 September 2013)