Can we keep things on topic please. The New Atheists will tell you that Hagia Sophia was a form of reparation that the pagan made to the Christians, due to the persecutions they brought into themselfs, David Daintree has written a review of Nixey’s book as well over at Intellectual Takeout: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/did-christians-destroy-classical-world, “almost all the written material we possess from the ancient world has come to us through the agency of Christians copyists.”. I abandoned it myself some time ago. You’re right about him rejecting Catholicism in his teens (he apparently never visited Mass after leaving home). But deities and forms of worship that were too far from Roman conceptions or offended Roman propriety were suppressed, often with great savagery. These, they forced to sacrifice at the burning altars and tortured and killed any who refused. scale of destruction, if any), let alone a viable statistic on this, when not even the fundaments of most temples are extant any longer. We also see it in the increasing tendency for philosophical ideas about an over-arching divine entity becoming more common in religious expression; as seen in the almost-monotheistic focus of the Platonism of Plotinus and Porphyry and the rise of theurgy as a way to commune with “the One” through ritual. Perhaps I will then . As the always sensible Edward J. Watts details comprehensively in his article on the subject (“Justinian, Malalas and the End of Athenian Philosophical Teaching in A.D. 529”, The Journal of Roman Studies, 94, 2004, pp. Of the alternatives you mention in the review (Marebon, Watts, O’Donnell), which author offers a good look specifically at the history of the transmission of religious and philosophical ideas from the period of late antiquity to the early middle ages? It’s also interesting that Whitmarsh has no problem with Nixey’s “one-sided polemic”, but objected to my perfectly accurate description of the pagans in the temple as a “pagan terrorist gang”. Also, according to newspaper website, Nixey isn’t an art critic but an arts’ editor at The Times newspaper. Journalist Thomas W. Hodgkinson, writing in The Spectator enthuses about Nixey’s lurid anecdotes of temple destruction and the murder of philosophers saying “this certainly isn’t the history we were taught in Sunday school.” Libertarian pundit Matt Ridley manages to lasso Nixey’s book into an article in The Times about politically correct censoriousness, in which he refers to “an eloquent new book …. Cassius Dio sums this up in a speech he gives to Augustus’ friend and counsellor, Gaius Maecenas addressing the emperor: “You should not only worship the divine everywhere and in every way in accordance with our ancestral traditions, but also force all others to honour it. In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey tells Nixey’s book is a bit out of my area of interest. As far as I can tell, he’s an ideologically motivated hack, and I don’t trust a damn thing he says on the subject. The Roman Empire had been generous in embracing and absorbing new creeds. As Edward Grant observes: “The handmaiden concept of Greek learning was widely adopted and became the standard Christian attitude toward secular learning. I will, of course, point anyone who attempts to use Nixey’s work in an argument to your latest magnum opus. Buy a discounted Paperback of The Darkening Age … And academics dont like being told they are wrong! Still, I can keep it in case the Great Postbrexit toilet-roll shortage occurs. SKU: 1196 Categories: Books, Philosophy/Politics. It was the hard-earned lessons I learned from you back in the days of RDF forum that made me properly sceptical of meretricious commentaries. The references to how Artemis “resigned Ephesus to Christ” simply refer to the triumph of Christianity over paganism and the “John” mentioned by Paulinus of Nola is, as even this article has to admit, most likely the disciple of that name, not Chrysostom. But to do that would undermine some of what Nixey strives to achieve: presenting the Christians in a manner that makes them seem as irrational, alien, dogmatic and bizarre as possible and depicting their non-Christian opponents as wise, rational and more or less like “us”. The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World The Darkening Age has 75 ratings and 14 reviews. As I note in my critique, none of the reviewers who praise Nixey have any kind of specialisation in Late Antiquity. That was already perfectly clear. I’ve only read one of Tom Holland’s books, but it was on a period I know well (the Middle Ages) and a subject I’m pretty familiar with (Church/State relations) and I found it a good synthesis of the relevant scholarship. Likewise, Origen goes on to say that the whole of the wisdom of the Greeks is like the golden calf of idolatry and that those parts contrary to the bible will lead people into heresy. You need to read more carefully. 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