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The World of Late Antiquity, AD 150-750 by…

The World of Late Antiquity, AD 150-750 (1971)

by Peter Brown

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8421017,680 (3.99)22
This remarkable study in social and cultural change explains how and why the Late Antique world, between c.150 and c.750 A.D., came to differ from 'Classical civilisation'. These centuries, as the author demonstrates, were the era in which the most deep-rooted of ancient institutions disappeared for all time. By 476 the Roman empire had vanished from western Europe; by 655 the Persian empire had vanished from the Near East. The result is a lucid answer to a crucial question in world history; how the exceptionally homogeneous Mediterranean world of c. 200 A.D. became divided into the three mutually estranged societies of the Middle Ages: Catholic Western Europe, Byzantium, and Islam. We still live with the results of these contrasts.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A fascinating exploration of how the differences in population between the West and East of the Roman Empire even during the second century AD led to very different outcomes up to the Arab conquests and beyond. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Nov 26, 2019 |
A dense book for all its brevity, outlining a description of the transition from the Roman Empire of classical thought (Greek and Latin philosophy), which bulks large as the first Mediterranean Empire, through its decline and fragmentation, to create:
1 The West, which descended into local principalities (this is not explored in depth, as the author considers that it has already been written about extensively); and
2 The Eastern Byzantine Empire, which managed to maintain its connection to classical thought, although attacked by the Persian Empire and the first wave of Islamic expansion.

The author explains in his bibliography that this book was originally written as an essay trying to provide greater coverage of the creation of the Byzantine Empire from the Eastern Roman.
Although I do not have sufficient grounding in the history of these times to follow either the detail or test the arguments made, this book provided me with an exciting and dramatic sweeping story. I immediately started reading a book about the creation of Christianity to see how this fitted into the Late Antique story and that is what I ask of a history book, that it interests me and wants me to learn more.
The book was written in 1971 and I understand from other commentary has been subsequently overtaken in some areas by subsequent research, but it provides a great overview of a changing society and provides reasons for those changes. ( )
  CarltonC | Jul 1, 2018 |
an old quick overview of the subject...
read it as an introduction to the same author : "Trough the eye of a needle" (much much better..) ( )
  abelrsantos | Nov 25, 2014 |
I could review this book with the exact same words as Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity (by the same author). It is a learned book which presupposes quite a bit of knowledge of the late Roman empire, but the author's style doesn't appeal to me. There are few actual arguments in this book. Instead the author tells fragmented stories about religion, culture and art. The two or three general conclusions he can muster seem to be pulled out of thin air. Perhaps this book is more rewarding for people who are very well read in late Roman history and can automatically place it in the context of other scholarly literature. But for less educated readers such as myself this is not a particularly informative book.
  thcson | Jun 14, 2013 |
I had looked forward after having read this work and Brown's related volumes to audit a class from him at UCLA. He actually made no impression whatsoever and seemed to have little interest in UCLA, students, or the topic. The audit turned out to be one of the dullest graduate seminars I ever took and it provided little insight into the topic. Brown did not strike me as anything related to the major name he is apparently take for.

Cf. Peter Brown, https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Peter_Brown_%28historian%29

Related texts:
1. The Later Roman Empire by Averil Cameron
2. The Body and Society by Peter Brown
3. The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: AD 393-565 (Routledge History of the Ancient World) by Averil Cameron
4. The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (The Haskell Lectures on History of Religions) by Peter Brown
5. The Making of Late Antiquity (Carl Newell Jackson Lectures) by Peter Brown
6. The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity 200-1000 AD (Making of Europe) by Peter Brown
7. Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity: Towards a Christian Empire by Peter Robert Lamont Brown
8. Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World (Harvard University Press Reference Library) by G. W. Bowersock
9. The Secret History by Procopius
10. History of the Byzantine State by George Ostrogorsky
11. Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World by Patrick J. Geary
12. History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian (Volume 1) by J. B. Bury
13. The Fall of Constantinople 1453 by Steven Runciman
14. Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by William Rosen
15. Byzantium: The Early Centuries by John Julius Norwich
16. A Short History of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich
17. The Making of the Middle Ages by R. W. Southern
18. A History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours
19. Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (Hist of the Church) by R. W. Southern
20. History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian (Volume 2) by J. B. Bury
  gmicksmith | Jun 21, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kelly, ChristopherPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[frontispiece] a family group of the fourth century. Gold glass inset in cross.
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