The Darkening Age

Catherine Nixey

14 June 2018
352 pages


Dive into the gripping narrative of The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey that unfolds the rarely told, shocking story of a militant faith consuming the enlightened teachings of the Classical world in its race to establish supreme authority.

The Roman Empire had been generous in embracing and absorbing new creeds. This is the enthralling history of an era when Christianity, despite its peaceful premises, morphed into a ruthless force, with the pagan pantheon of the Roman Empire in its grip. In its wrath, not only did it demolish temples and upturn altars, but even books – the legacies of philosophy and science – weren't spared from the relentless flames.

Acclaimed as the Book of the Year by the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator, the Observer, and BBC History Magazine, and an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review, The Darkening Age blends religion, history, and philosophy in a riveting tale that will lure in those fascinated by the tumultuous relationship between early Christianity and the Classical World.

This book uncovers what was lost when Christianity won…. a delightful book about destruction and despair. Nixey combines the authority of a serious academic with the expressive style of a good journalist. She’s not afraid to throw in the odd joke amid sombre tales of desecration. With considerable courage, she challenges the wisdom of history and manages to prevail. Comfortable assumptions about Christian progress come tumbling down.
Catherine Nixey has written a bold, dazzling and provocative book that challenges ideas about early Christianity and both how – and why – it spread so far and fast in its early days. Nixey is a witty and iconoclastic guide to a world that will be unfamiliar, surprising and troubling to many.
A searingly passionate book . . . Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt . . . Nixey delivers this ballista-bolt of a book with her eyes wide open and in an attempt to bring light as well as heat to the sad story of intellectual monoculture and religious intolerance