In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey tells the little-known - and deeply shocking - story of how a militant religion deliberately tried to extinguish the teachings of the Classical world, ushering in unquestioning adherence to the 'one true faith'.
The Roman Empire had been generous in embracing and absorbing new creeds. But with the coming of Christianity, everything changed. This new faith, despite preaching peace, was violent, ruthless and intolerant. And once it became the religion of empire, its zealous adherents set about the destruction of the old gods.
Their altars were upturned, their temples demolished and their statues hacked to pieces. Books, including great works of philosophy and science, were consigned to the pyre. It was an annihilation.
"A devastating book, written in vivid, yet playful prose. Catherine Nixey reveals a level of intolerance and anti-intellectualism which which echoes today's headlines but is centuries old."
"Captivating and compulsive, Catherine Nixey's debut challenges our whole understanding of Christianity's earliest years and the medieval society that followed. A remarkable fusion of captivating narrative and acute scholarly judgment, this book marks the debut of a formidable classicist and historian."
Dan Jones, bestselling author of The Plantagenets
"Nixey's elegant and ferocious text paints a dark but riveting picture of life at the time of the 'triumph' of Christianity, reminding us not just of the realities of our own past, but also of the sad echoes of that past in our present."
Dr Michael Scott
"Engaging and erudite, Catherine Nixey's book offers both a compelling argument and a wonderful eye for vivid detail. It shines a searching spotlight on to some of the murkiest aspects of the early medieval mindset. A triumph."
Edith Hall, author of The Ancient Greeks: Ten Ways They Shaped the Modern World
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 12th June 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 12.9
Weight (kg): 0.28