Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey

Palmyra, Syria. “The destroyers came from out of the desert . . . and utter destruction followed.” Wearing beards and dressed in black, the religious zealots entered the temple and attacked the statue of the goddess Athena. When they were done, “they melted out once again into the desert. Behind them the temple fell silent.” 

With this nifty, cinematic opening Catherine Nixey draws an equivalence between today’s Islamic extremists and vicious bands of Christian thugs in 385AD. Her aim is to tell the “unknown” story, as she puts it, of the collapse of late Hellenic and Roman antiquity, thereby exposing the truth about the inherent violence and ignorance of early Christianity. As she puts it: “The story of Christianity’s good works in this period has been told again and again . . . The history and sufferings of those whom Christianity defeated have not been.”

read more here @ Financial Times and @ The Guardian

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