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The Formation of Christendom (Princeton…
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The Formation of Christendom (Princeton Paperbacks) (1987 original; edició 1989)

de Judith Herrin

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222491,798 (3.5)2
In a lucid history of what used to be termed "the Dark Ages," Judith Herrin outlines the origins of Europe from the end of late antiquity to the coronation of Charlemagne. She shows that the clash between nascent Islam and stubburn Byzantium was the central contest that allowed "Europe" to develop, and she thereby places the rise of the West in its true Mediterranean context. Her inquiry centers on the notion of "Christendom." Instead of taking medieval beliefs for granted or separating theology from politics, she treats the faith as a material force. In a path-breaking account of the arguments over Christian doctrine, she shows how the northern sphere of the Roman world divided into two distinct and self-conscious imperial units, as the Arabs swept through the southern regions. One of the most interesting strands of the author's argument concerns religious art and iconoclasm. Her book shows how the impact of Islam's Judaic ban on graven images precipitated both the iconoclast crisis in Constantinople and the West's unique commitment to pictorial narrative, as justified by Pope Gregory the Great.… (més)
Membre:SoDakSaxonographer
Títol:The Formation of Christendom (Princeton Paperbacks)
Autors:Judith Herrin
Informació:Princeton University Press (1989), Paperback, 544 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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The Formation of Christendom de Judith Herrin (1987)

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A beautifully structured account of the transition from Late Antiquity to the early Medieval era. Rather than give separate histories of the rise of the papacy, the evolution of Byzantium, and the establishment of the Carolingian Empire, Herrin synthesizes these movements and shows how their interrelationships formed post-Roman Europe. For example, she discusses how rivalry between iconoclasts and iconophiles in the east helped drive the Pope and Charlemagne into an alliance that broke the hold that the emperor in Constantinople had over the western church, culminating in Charlemagne being crowned Emperor in 800 by Pope Leo III. The final chapter is a lovely meditation on the monastic libraries of the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance. It doesn't provide a grand summation so much as a lovely coda to an ongoing story. ( )
1 vota le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
Ms Herrin wades into an area with little surviving evidence, and has the courage to produce a very readable synthesis from a number of disparate sources. I applaud her work! ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 2, 2014 |
This is a scholarly work about a fairly obscure subject. It isn't about the spread of religion. Instead, the book deals with the transition of the various political entities of Europe from secular states into Christian ones. It describes the increase of the power of the Church as it fills the vacuum left by the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Activities such as looking after the poor, maintaining public buildings and organizing and regulating commence became the domain of religious leaders. By undertaking these actions they gained the popular support of the people. They soon established the right of the Church to advise and even make demands upon secular leaders

This is not a casual beach book, but for those interested in European history it provides an interesting look at the transition from Roman authority to feudal suzerainty. ( )
  jztemple | Jul 30, 2008 |
Highly recommended. A synthesis of European and Christian history emphasizing the eventual parting of the ways of the West (Rome) and the East (Byzantium). The author's erudition is impressive reaching back to the latin and greek sources. The writing is a little dull at times, but the information is well-presented and compelling. ( )
  haeesh | Mar 14, 2007 |
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In a lucid history of what used to be termed "the Dark Ages," Judith Herrin outlines the origins of Europe from the end of late antiquity to the coronation of Charlemagne. She shows that the clash between nascent Islam and stubburn Byzantium was the central contest that allowed "Europe" to develop, and she thereby places the rise of the West in its true Mediterranean context. Her inquiry centers on the notion of "Christendom." Instead of taking medieval beliefs for granted or separating theology from politics, she treats the faith as a material force. In a path-breaking account of the arguments over Christian doctrine, she shows how the northern sphere of the Roman world divided into two distinct and self-conscious imperial units, as the Arabs swept through the southern regions. One of the most interesting strands of the author's argument concerns religious art and iconoclasm. Her book shows how the impact of Islam's Judaic ban on graven images precipitated both the iconoclast crisis in Constantinople and the West's unique commitment to pictorial narrative, as justified by Pope Gregory the Great.

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