The World of Late Antiquity

Peter Brown
Introduced by Christopher Kelly

This fascinating history debunks the notion of a fallow 'Dark Ages' following the decline of Rome's political influence, revealing an eastern Mediterranean blossoming with theological and cultural innovation.

Rome did not fall, it simply evolved. Gibbon's age of 'decline and fall' was in fact a period of growth and continuity, and the Goths and Vandals borrowed more from Roman culture than they destroyed. Startling in their day, these ideas were made widespread by the historian Peter Brown, who also coined the term 'Late Antiquity' to describe the period from the 4th to the 8th century AD. His classic account, first published in 1971, transforms our understanding of what was once known as the Dark Ages.

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