5.0 out of 5 stars
An excellent read thoroughly compelling, 6 Feb 2013
This is Freeman at his best. Like his beloved Greeks he has an impressive synoptic view of knowledge. He is able to call upon the resources of sociology, politics and economics in his analysis of a subject matter that is usually dealt with in a narrow and dogmatic manner. He paints a fascinating picture of how relics developed their extraordinary power and played an important part in the economic development of whole cities and in the politics of the Church.
Freeman handles this history with an ease born of complete mastery of its subject matter. This book like others such as the Closing of the Western mind, AD381 and A New History of Early Christianity Freeman carefully dissects the historical record and reveals a picture of the time that is complex and nuanced. His account is, to quote Nietzsche 'human, all too human" and demythologizes an area that is prone to be addressed from a particular narrow perspective. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a fresh and very well informed account of this fascinating time.