Roman Yeoman

How the Church Grew Into a Worldly Power 1

Brian Wilson

Peter Brown, Princeton University

Enlarge Image
close How the Church Grew Into a Worldly Power 1

Brian Wilson

Peter Brown, Princeton University

Historians and classicists considered the last centuries of the Roman Empire an era of obscurity and decline until Peter Brown led a generation of scholars in illuminating them.

From Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in 1776, until Brown's first books, in the 1960s, the period from the third century AD to about the eighth, when Christianity thrived in the barbarian kingdoms that swept Rome away, was commonly conceived as an auxiliary