Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2012 - Business & Economics - 759 pages
2 Reviews

"Through the Eye of a Needle is a masterpiece of detailed historiography, brilliantly written. Peter Brown's long-awaited book surpasses even the high expectations set by his previous writings, and will engage general readers and specialists alike."--Elaine Pagels, author of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

"Here Peter Brown listens to the heartbeat of the late Roman world. His report is a masterpiece that introduces us to the wealth and poverty of an empire as it implodes, and the inspiring Christian concept of treasure in heaven. Excavating the roots of medieval charity, he illuminates the problems of rich and poor today, and delivers a triumph of history at its finest."--Judith Herrin, author of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire

"The gap between rich and poor is one of the major issues of today, and who better than Peter Brown to probe the acute problems of conscience it presented to late antique Christians? In this important book, he brings to this vital subject his characteristic wit, wisdom, and humanity, as well as the mature reflection of a great historian. It is a magnificent achievement."--Averil Cameron, author of The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: AD 395-700

"Like a master mosaicist, Brown brings together a huge assemblage of sources to produce a vibrant panorama bursting with vitality. His story of the transfer of great wealth from rich individuals and families to the coffers of the church is the story of the creation of the postimperial West and the European Middle Ages. This is a big, and big-hearted, beautiful book. Tolle, lege."--Paula Fredriksen, author of Sin: The Early History of an Idea

"This is a book that only Peter Brown could write. It has his trademark stamped all over it, in the richness of its source material, its breadth of coverage and turn of phrase, its fondness for the middling folk and outsiders who usually fall by the wayside of academic scholarship, and its insistence on seeing pagans and Christians as part of a larger, shared world."--H. A. Drake, author of Constantine and the Bishops

"Peter Brown has written a book for the ages, one that every specialist throughout the world in late antique history and the history of Christianity will read. Through the Eye of a Needle is a remarkable work of scholarship--interesting, informative, original, and stimulating. I recommend it warmly and confidently."--Thomas F. X. Noble, author of Images, Iconoclasm, and the Carolingians

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - le.vert.galant - LibraryThing

Working with what seems like a fairly prosaic theme, Peter Brown has written a tremendous history that suggests that the relationship of the Church in late antiquity to wealth and the wealthy is a key ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - deusvitae - LibraryThing

An excellent, magisterial investigation into the history of Latin Western Christianity from 350-550 through a focus on material wealth, its handling, and its influence. The author demonstrates well ... Read full review

Contents

An Age of Affluence
91
An Age of Crisis
289
Aftermaths
409
Toward Another World
479
Conclusion
527
Abbreviations
531
Notes
533
Works Cited
641
Index
719
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Peter Brown is the Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. His many books include The World of Late Antiquity, The Rise of Western Christendom, and Augustine of Hippo.

Bibliographic information