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Peter R. L. Brown

Author of Augustine of Hippo: A Biography

34+ Works 7,676 Members 65 Reviews

About the Author

Also includes: Peter R. L. Brown (1)

Image credit: Peter Brown at the Balzan Prize Ceremony, 2011 By International Balzan Foundation - International Balzan Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36618815

Works by Peter R. L. Brown

Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (1967) 1,968 copies
The Body and Society (1988) 703 copies
The Book of Kells (1980) 346 copies
Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World (1999) — Editor — 263 copies
The Making of Late Antiquity (1978) 251 copies
Late Antiquity (1998) 37 copies

Associated Works

Before Sexuality (1990) — Contributor — 107 copies

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Birthdate
1935-07-26
Gender
male
Nationality
UK
Occupations
historian
university professor
Organizations
Princeton University

Members

Reviews

This was chosen by Michael Ledger-Lomas, author of Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown (Oxford, 2021), as one of History Today’s Books of the Year 2023.

Find out why at HistoryToday.com.
 
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HistoryToday | 1 other review | Nov 24, 2023 |
I enjoyed Brown’s dense prose, and this is both engagingly written as well as packed with interesting information and references. The main focus of this book is on the continuation of paideia among the aristocratic elite, and the transference of the practice of parrhésia from the philosophers to the bishops as the Roman Empire became Christianized – the book deals mainly with the eastern provinces however. While Brown makes repeated references and comparisons with the decorum found in connection with the autocracy of 17th century France, there’s only little mention of, or comparisons made, with the paideia of the early Greek city states, or the Graeco-Roman world in general, in the centuries leading up to the period of late antiquity discussed in this book – except, indirectly, when briefly discussing (the image of) earlier philosophers in the subchapter about parrhésia. Brown also mentions only as an aside that parrhésia was never simply the exclusive domain of philosophers, without getting much further into that. Also, the way Brown presents it, you could easily get the impression that the Christian bishops were the first to ever give any attention to the existence of the noncitizen, and, as well, that this had never been used as a political argument before. However, he does show how increased immigration and urbanization lead to an upsurge of the noncitizen class in the East Roman cities, making it a more pressing social issue, along with that of underemployment, and how the bishops became "Controllers of the Crowds" (p. 103) and developed this argument (on behalf of the masses of noncitizens and abject poor; noncitizens were not necessarily poor) into a stance of moral authority, as representatives of the general populace, because "before the emperor, as before God, all subjects were poor" (p. 154).– Make no mistake about it; perhaps complementing the title of his book, Brown aims to persuade, and he generally manages well with that within the narrow focus of this study – yet, just because of its narrowness, it appears to some degree incomplete. Still, within its own limit, this is a noteworthy and compelling analysis.




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saltr | 1 other review | Feb 15, 2023 |
A thorough and informative biography of one of the great writers and thinkers of ancient Rome. This is the definitive source for his life and thought. I found it was helpful when read along with The Confessions and City of God.
 
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jwhenderson | 13 other reviews | Aug 28, 2022 |

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Works
34
Also by
14
Members
7,676
Popularity
#3,176
Rating
4.0
Reviews
65
ISBNs
159
Languages
11

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