The lecturer told a compelling story drawing from both historical written sources and the archaeological record. The scope was enormous, but the narrative kept me engaged throughout. There was absolutely no way I was going to keep every thread, name or movement completely straight listening to this while driving to work, but the larger story and the dynamics of each historical period were told in such a compelling manner within a structure that I could grasp the broader whole even if I could not recite many of the fine details.
The build up to the conversion of Constantine and the background for just how improbable it was given the historical record and proceeding events.
I found Prof. Harl to be extraordinarily honest with his presentation of materials. This is my second lecture by him (the first with The Vikings) and I appreciate that he will lay out the views of scholars who may disagree with his analysis and then plainly state, "I do not agree with that view ..." He will also clearly state, "We just can't know, but can infer from the limited evidence we have..." He is also a fine storyteller.
It is 30 minute lectures, so while listening to the book in one setting is unrealistic I found myself frequently sitting in the driveway or parking lot for an extra 10 minutes to finish a lecture, wanting to hear the rest of the story and summary conclusions.
I will be seeking out additional lectures from Prof. Harl.
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