Christianity in the Later Roman Empire: A Sourcebook Synopsis
This sourcebook gathers into a single collection the writings that illuminate one of the most fundamental periods in the history of Christian Europe. Beginning from the Great Persecution of Diocletian and the conversion of Constantine the first Christian Roman emperor, the volume explores Christianity's rise as the dominant religion of the Later Roman empire and how the Church survived the decline and fall of Roman power in the west and converted the Germanic tribes who swept into the western empire. These years of crisis and transformation inspired generations of great writers, among them Eusebius of Caesarea, Ammianus Marcellinus, Julian `the Apostate', Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom, Jerome and Augustine of Hippo. They were also years which saw Christianity face huge challenges on many crucial questions, from the evolution of Christian doctrine and the rise of asceticism to the place of women in the early Church and the emerging relationship between Church and state. All these themes will be made accessible to specialists and general readers alike, and the sourcebook will be invaluable for students and teachers of courses in history and church history, the world of late antiquity, and religious studies.
Christianity in the Later Roman Empire: A Sourcebook Press Reviews
[This volume] will doubtless serve as an excellent introduction to the history of Christianity in the Later Roman Empire for many years to come. It is well written, easy to read, and so suitable either for undergraduate students or the general reader. * Classics Ireland * [Christianity in the Later Roman Empire] might best be described as a comprehensive introductory overview of this complex and confusing subject. As such, it is an excellent way in; the serious student will want to go deeper ... Anyone studying this period for the first time will find this a most useful book. -- Colin McDonald * Classics for All Reviews * An unusual, readable, and highly effective sourcebook. David M. Gwynn sets the key testimonies within a continuous narrative that provides both essential context and clear guidance as to how to read the evidence. It is a book that can be read with pleasure from cover to cover or serve as a sourcebook on any specific aspect of the early Church. -- Bryan Ward-Perkins, Fellow and Tutor in History, University of Oxford, UK and author of The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (2005) Offering a critically framed selection of Late Roman Christian texts, this volume offers a current as well as comprehensive overview of the issues, authors, and problems of Christianization from the third to seventh centuries. David M. Gwynn has helpfully distilled much recent scholarship into a lively narrative of this transitional era, presenting traditional texts and authors in an accessible framework as well as presenting a broad bibliography for further reading. -- Rebecca Lyman, Samuel Garrett Professor of Church History emerita, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, California, USA Gwynn (Royal Holloway, Univ. of London, UK) employs a topical, chronological approach to the history of Christianity circa the fourth through seventh centuries. ... Gwynn begins his exploration with a general look at Christianity and Rome in the first three centuries and proceeds to examine specific topics, including persecutions, the rise of Constantine and his imperial church, controversies, and schisms. ... [He] is commended for the extensive use of historical documents, which range in scope from royal decrees to literary works. ... This research tool will assist beginning scholars and others interested in exploring the subject. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates and above; general readers. -- E. M. Bosman, New Mexico State University Library, USA