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Christendom
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About the Author

PETER HEATHER is chair of medieval history at King's College, London. His many books include The Fall of the Roman Empire, Empires and Barbarians, The Restoration of Rome, and, most recently, Rome Resurgent. He lives in London.

Reviews

*Financial Times Best Books of 2022: History*

“A colossal book written by a colossus in the field . . . [The] range of interests makes Heather uniquely qualified to tell a grand story that has often been told before, but seldom with such a sense of freshness and the unexpected . . . To read Christendom from cover to cover (an exercise I would advise, if only to savor its Gibbonian sweep and control of infinitely varied evidence) is to experience the whoosh of a roller coaster as Christianity passes from one form to another against the background of an ever-wider Europe.” —Peter Brown, The New York Review of Books

"Magesterial . . . A bold reinterpretation of faith's nascent days . . . Adequately covering a thousand years of ecclesiastical governance and personal piety demands prodigious scholarship, and Heather answers the call admirably . . . A learned, exhaustive, and spritely account of the religious goings-on wherever Masses were celebrated." —Bob Duffy, Washington Independent Review of Books

"Fresh, prodigiously researched . . . Takes readers on a wide-ranging journey through eight centuries and across the length and breadth of Europe (and beyond) to understand the rise of Christendom . . . Throughout, the author finds ways to turn conventional wisdom on its head [and] introduces a host of little-known characters who played an outsized role in Christianity’s spread." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Students of the ancient world will find refreshing new perspectives on post-Roman Empire European history that challenge the received wisdom." —Mark Knoblauch, Booklist

“[A] sweeping and engaging history . . . Full of reinterpretations and new insights . . . [Heather’s] approach makes for a startlingly fresh look at a familiar story, a non-triumphalist history of the triumph of Christianity, and his book is all the more powerful for it.” —Jane Shaw, Financial Times

“We live in a golden age of broad-ranging historical surveys written by those who know what they’re talking about. Among them, Christendom is a fine specimen.” —Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Times Literary Supplement
 
“A page-turner . . . It is more pressing than ever to understand how exactly Christianity came to dominate in Europe. Heather’s account cuts through the myth of an innately Christian, culturally monolithic Europe [and] sheds light on the mechanics of state coercion and intermittent violence which led to the birth of Christendom.” —Eleanor Myerson, The Spectator

“Heather casts his eye across the whole medieval period as he unfolds a fascinating story about a religion in a surprisingly precarious position.” —Dan Jones, The Sunday Times (London)
 
“A brilliant exercise in disenchantment . . . Superb storytelling . . . While Christendom is fabulously rich in telling detail, Heather is always mindful of the big picture. The book is at once captivating and profound.” —Costica Bradatan, The Literary Review
 
“Expertly and entertainingly told . . . One of the many delights of this weighty book is the abundance of little-heard but illuminating and intriguing stories that [Heather] weaves into the narrative.” —Peter Stanford, The Daily Telegraph

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