By the time of Constantine, they had spread everywhere within the empire. But one of these religions, Christianity, was chosen by the young emperor. His decision changed the course of history. By putting the bureaucratic weight of the empire behind the Christian church, Constantine brought the new religion into prominence. He gave it the breathing spell it needed to vanquish its rivals and establish its political dominance. But hardly had Constantine's proclamation been made before the new religion began to tear itself apart in a series of recriminations and heresies.
Listen and learn how Constantine guided this new force and placed his personal imprimatur on Christianity for all time.
©1948 Arnold Jones; (P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
Got nothing better to do than to listen to 2 books a week
Probably one of the finest ever downloaded.
The history of this period basically set the stage for the entire rise of Christianity and the western world. The insights I gained gave me a better foundation for understanding the world then and now. The narrator was superb.
No, but I will now - I would download an Audible.com book just for his narration.
No extreme reaction - but the 4th century Christians were damn lucky Constantine was around.
I almost believed that Griffin's narration were the words of the emperor speaking them.
I might have enjoyed this book more if I listened to the last chapter first, which summarizes the entire book. Much of the book is filled with detail of bishops and church officials and arguments and antics during Constantine's lifetime. Very interesting if this extremely narrow time period and topic appeals to the listener. Furthermore, the arguments between these long-forgotten characters are completely alien to the modern Christian, and the author acknowledges that fact occasionally. Most readers will simply be unable to associate with any of the sects battling with each other over early church doctrine. Theological hair-splitting that is very dense to the modern ear. Also, I thought there would be more material about the actual spread of Christianity throughout Europe. Instead the book chronicles the actions taken by Constantine that eventually resulted in the spread of the faith. Nonetheless, the book is reasonably interesting to anyone curious about the period. Most histories of Rome that I've read don't have any where near as much detail as this book does about Constantine's life and personality. I'm a history buff, but not a professional or academic historian and quite frankly it amazes me how much detail and actual dialog and day-to-day rundown of events has been preserved from this period. I have to assume that the actual dialog and text and correspondence quoted in the book is in fact accurate. I'd love to know what the primary sources are and where they are kept.
Regarding the reader, Charlton Griffin has the best reading voice for this kind of material and it's a pleasure to listen to. Direct quotations and speeches are produced with a reverb on his voice to set such quotations aside from the author's own writing. Listeners may or may not like it.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND A History of Rome, read by Charlton Griffin, also available on Audible.
While there is actually very little in this book about the conversion of Europe, it is nevertheless an interesting portrait of Constantine. The book focuses on Constantine's conversion and his subsequent push towards making Christianity the formal religion of the Empire. The book has a few sections that get a little dry when it focuses on the schisms and sects that began to emerge within Christianity is it grew within the Empire. Most of the focus in this book is actually on North Africa and the near east.
Constantine, and the actions that he took had huge impacts that can be felt to this day. His decision to make Constantinople a Capitol for the Eastern Provinces I believe created a divide in Europe that can still be seen. Western Europe and the religion that evolved there is to this day very different from the Orthodox Christianity that exists in Easter Europe. And the fact that the Roman Empire, and later Europe became the bastion of Christianity was certainly impacted by the actions of Constantine. The book points out many flaws and strengths that he seemed to have, certainly he was no Saint but he was markedly different from previous Emperors.
Charlton Griffin is one of the premier narrators for audio books and does an outstanding job in this one. I would recommend this book if you enjoy Roman History, it is however very slow in some parts, particularly those focused on the various infighting among the sects.
This narrator has an pompous English accent, which is a constant annoyance. In addition, for some reason, an echo effect is applied to quotations, which sounds ridiculous.
Apart from that, I'm not sure if the book is poorly written, or if it is all the narrator's fault.
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