The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Kenneth W. Harl
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Explore the dramatic interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and paganism in Rome from the 1st to the 6th centuries. Why did pagan Rome clash with the early Christians? What was it like to be a Jew or a Christian under Roman law? And how did Christianity ultimately achieve dominance in the Roman Empire?
Over the course of 24 lectures, Professor Harl enables you to grasp the full historical sweep of this critically important era and its key figures. You'll examine why Christianity was able to emerge and endure and, in turn, spark a critical transition for religion, culture, and politics that underpins much of how today's Western world - both Christian and non-Christian alike - thinks about ethics, sin, redemption, forgiveness, progress, and so much more.
While the Judeo-Christian values that have shaped society's ideas are ones we might today take for granted, their emergence from an ancient era dominated by loyalties to a vast array of gods would once have seemed the most unlikely of narratives. Even after the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in A.D. 312, it would not be until the 6th-century reign of Justinian that medieval Christianity would emerge and this new historical pathway confirmed.
In this magnificent course, Professor Harl brings to life some of the most important and fascinating episodes of the era, taking you on a vibrant trek through the past - one that will lead you to a deeper understanding of the bedrock beliefs of Western culture.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I Had to Abandon This

What disappointed you about The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity?

The lecturer was VERY knowledgeable. But so much so that he went all over the map, time-wise, and assumed a lot of previous knowledge. I found myself often confused. "Wait, WHEN is this?" At first, I thought it was me. I thought I had too little knowledge of the classics. But I sallied forth, and finally, just over halfway through, got discouraged enough to abandon it, entirely. Frankly, I just got bored.

I hesitated to write a negative review, because I always assume that the problem is me. BUT... I recently took up TWO other Great Courses, one in history and one in science, and I love them both. So, in this case, sadly, I must blame the lecturer.

Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

Absolutely. I consider this negative review to be an anomaly. I have been very satisfied with The Great Courses from Audible, and the ones previously purchased from the Great Courses catalog.

Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Kenneth W. Harl’s performances?

No. Not really.

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- K. Keller "I like to read non-fiction, mostly."

So disappointed

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Kenneth W. Harl?

I have seven degrees. If I took this course as an undergraduate, I would not have graduated.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I expected so much more from the lecture. It was hard not to go to sleep.

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- Beverly

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses