A New York Times Notable Book | A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Named a Book of the Year by the Telegraph, the Spectator, the Observer, and BBC History Magazine
In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city’s greatest temple, smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria’s Great Library.
Today we refer to Christianity’s conquest of the West as a “triumph.” But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus’s followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey brilliantly resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.
“A feast of tales of murder, vandalism [and] willful destruction . . . Nixey has a great story to tell, and she tells it exceptionally well.” — Guardian
“[A] bold, dazzling and provocative book.” — Peter Frankopan, best-selling author of The Silk Roads