There is no better writer on Christianity and Late Antiquity than Peter Brown. Everything he writes is good. The shame is that this outstanding book had such a poor reader.
In this volume, the characterizations of Jerome and Augustine were especially enlightening. Brown's "thick description" of the social history of benefaction in pagan and later in Christian society makes the light come on with regard to why people said and did what they are recorded as saying and doing from 350-550 CE. The final summary is masterful.
Fleet Cooper's performance was barely competent. First, he displayed absolutely no knowledge of the subject. When you are reading fiction, that's not so important, but a scholarly non-fiction study requires someone who is not just calling words, but actually performing the text. I finally lost track of his numerous mispronunciations. One that stands out is bi-shop'-rick for bishopric. I'll give him "bass relief" for bas relief, since some dictionaries include it but it is jarring. Most of his Latin pronunciation was equally jarring, but again, Latin pronunciation is disputed.
The phrasing and pauses were all wrong. Every time he came to a word of more than two syllables he stopped to take a breath as though he had to think before pronouncing the word. What ever happened to rehearsal?
If the content had not been so captivating I would have quit listening by the second chapter.
That's a question for a fiction book, not a history of ideas.
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