Empire to Commonwealth
Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Number of Pages: 232
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 23.5 cm
In this bold approach to late antiquity, Garth Fowden shows how, from the second-century peak of Rome's prosperity to the ninth-century onset of the Islamic Empire's decline, powerful beliefs in One God were used to justify and strengthen "world empires." But tensions between orthodoxy and heresy that were inherent in monotheism broke the unitary empires of Byzantium and Baghdad into the looser, more pluralistic commonwealths of Eastern Christendom and Islam. With rare breadth of vision, Fowden traces this transition from empire to commonwealth, and in the process exposes the sources of major cultural contours that still play a determining role in Europe and southwest Asia.
"An intelligent essay... [It] should open new cooperation between scholars of late antiquity and early Christianity, and scholars of early Islam."--Choice "A tight, powerful volume that, among other things, makes some fairly revolutionary comparisons between the Islamic empire and Rome."--The Voice Literary Supplement "Fowden offers much that is new, interesting, and certainly correct in a manner that is generally appealing. The interaction of different cultures in the Ancient Near East is currently a popular area of research. Fowden has offered a valuable contribution to this field."--John Vanderspoel, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "This is a short book on a big subject: it is nothing less than an essay in large-scale historical interpretation... a courageous and stimulating book."--R. A. Markus, Journal of Roman Studies