In this brilliant analysis, historian Glanville Downey dissects the social and economic conditions of the late Roman Empire and shows how the military tumult of the dreadful third century led to the reforms of Diocletian, one of the greatest of Roman Emperors. It was Diocletian's stabilizing reforms which were to give Constantine the Great his opportunity. For, with Constantine's conversion, a new era in European history begins.
This erudite chronicle will tell you how Christianity triumphed over the existing social order, and describe the leaders of the church who made it possible. Follow the convoluted path of acrimonious theological disputes that led to the division of the church into sharply differing Greek and Latin components. Hear how both dealt with innumerable heresies that threatened serious social unrest. Discover the reason why the Latin West developed a distinctive civilization very different from that of Byzantium in the Greek-speaking East. This is a fascinating tale of events whose echoes can still be heard clearly today.
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This is a good audio book. The reader is clear and goes at a good pace. I found myself many times saying "aahhhh very interesting". I think the author does a fantastic job of explaining this fascinating period of change. There is a lot of discussion of the Pagan vs. Christian battle that explains how the Church gained certain power and influence. I found the entire production and content to be execeptional!
"Very good book"
I loved this book. I love Roman history in general, but this book was unbelievable. The narrator has somewhat of an amusing way of narrating. My only complaint was that it wasn't longer than only a few hours. I learned a lot from this book.
"Great Expectations (not met)"
I was looking for a more in-depth description of the rulers of the late roman empire and did not find it in this book. The book dealt more in generalities than detail of the chaos of the late empire in the west.
"Dry and unimaginative"
Perhaps this makes a good read on the page, but as an audio book it is almost unlistenable. The author simply recounts a bunch of dry facts, stringing them together without painting a picture. It’s clear that the writing was never intended to be heard out loud, as this listener found herself lost on many occasions when the narration went on too long without reference to the subject. The narrator sounds like an annoyingly odd mix of good ‘ol southern boy crossed with a fake British accent and his loping inflections make the text even more inaccessible.
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