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The Church in the Dark Ages Paperback – 20 Sep 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New edition edition (20 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184212465X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842124659
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 4.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,872,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A magnificent history which presents six centuries of the Catholic world in their entirety.

About the Author

Henri Daniel-Rops was a member of the Academie Francaise, and was the winner of its Grand Prix. His books have been translated into many languages.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I admit I bought the book almost on impulse, and by the time it arrived in the mail I was wondering if I would ever read it. Nonetheless, I started it, and can say I finished it.
The title is misleading. This is as much a history of Dark Age European politics and society as it is the Church. Emperors, kings, political intrigues and wars receive as much attention as Popes, saints and heresies.
It is delightful reading, which owes as much to Daniel-Rops' expressive French as Butler's translation. It is so refreshing to escape from the absurdly self-conscious ramblings of modern acadamia without feeling that things have been 'dumbed down'! There is real intellectual engagement, and the reader is impressed with IDEAS, not the incoherent language that disguises a lack of ideas.
It is unique, too, in presenting a modern interpretation of the Dark Ages sympathetic to the Roman Catholic Church - something that is perhaps less likely to be found in native English. (?) The premise throughout is that the Truth of Christianity, through the Church, prolonged the Empire, tempered Barbarian excesses, and was always the positive catalyst for the Renaissance. The Empire is portrayed as deserving destruction, and the Barbarians are treated much more fairly than they were in my high school social studies text book.
These are only some examples of the myths of history that Daniel-Rops endeavours to dispel.
Highly recommended!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes a French historian to provide clear English! 17 Feb. 2002
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I admit I bought the book almost on impulse, and by the time it arrived in the mail I was wondering if I would ever read it. Nonetheless, I started it, and can say I finished it.
The title can be misleading. This is as much a history of Dark Age European politics and society as it is the Church. Emperors, kings, political intrigues and wars receive as much attention as Popes, saints and heresies.
It is delightful reading, which owes as much to Daniel-Rops' expressive French as Butler's translation. It is so refreshing to escape from the absurdly self-conscious ramblings of modern acadamia without feeling that things have been 'dumbed down'! There is real intellectual engagement, and the reader is impressed with IDEAS, not the incoherent language that disguises a lack of ideas.
It is unique, too, in presenting a modern interpretation of the Dark Ages sympathetic to the Roman Catholic Church - something that is perhaps less likely to be found in native English. The premise throughout is that the Truth of Christianity, through the Church, prolonged the Empire, tempered Barbarian excesses, and was always the positive catalyst for the Renaissance. The Empire is portrayed as deserving destruction, and the Barbarians are treated much more fairly than they were in my social studies text book.
These are only some examples of the myths of history that Daniel-Rops endeavours to dispel.
Highly recommended!!
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest history books I have ever read 1 Dec. 2002
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are virtually no good books I know of that examine this period of history from 400-1000 AD. That is why I purchased this book on impulse.
Fortunately, it didn't let me down. It is an extremely interesting book, one of the best history books I have ever read. The author is an incredible storehouse of information on lots of people that I had vaguely heard of, but otherwise knew little about. He has mountains of biographical information on such people as Justinian, St. Augustine, St. Leo, Charlemagne, St. Gregory, Attila, St. Patrick, and many, many others. His section on the beginning of Islam and the life of Mohammed is fascinating, and perhaps the highlight of the book.
It isn't always easy reading, as it is packed with so much detail that at times it gets tedious. However, for anyone interested in this neglected period of history, it's a must read.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent series, now sadly neglected 10 Nov. 2004
By mike duffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read Daniel-Rops entire 10 volume series of Church history during my college years and have subsequently found them book by book in used bookstores. While some volumes are a little better than others - if I remember correctly, the first three volumes (this is #2) were the best - they are all extremely readable and informative. His writing style is simply something to behold, even in translation. It is much more lucid, expressive, and emotional than English writers - a real lesson in writing beautifully, even when writing something "dry" like history, especially ecclesiastical history, which can be as dry as dust. Daniel-Rops is a very Catholic (not as partisan as Warren Carroll, though) without a trace of modern historical "objectivity" so if you hold a grudge against the Roman Catholic church you will either be offended or enlightened by reading him. Not much of a bibliography, at least in the English version, no illustrations, a few maps.

This particular volume covers approximately the time from St. Augustine to the turn of the millenium, about 600 years total. It ranges over an enormous amount of material, from the crumbling Roman Empire to barbarian invasions to missionary activities to the problems with the Byzantine Empire. Bad popes are not neglected, but, unlike many more recent histories, the good ones are not either. Individual saints, like St Augustine and St Gregory, to name the biggies, play a large part in the narrative, which is written smoothly and reads almost like a novel. Any way you look at it, this is a great book from a really great series, which really deserves to be in print.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God is Dead? 1 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nowadays intellectuals in Europe seem to have forgotten the role christianity played in thier history. Perhaps they didnt learn in school how St. Leo the Great marched forth in full ecclesiastical procession to halt Attila the Hun and convince him to abandon his plans to sack Rome and raid western Europe. Perhaps they didnt learn the courage of those men who braved the savage wilderness of Europe to convert barbarian tribes to Christ and introduce them to civilization. Perhaps they didnt learn that as the Roman Empire died the Church arose carrying the morals and organization needed to continue civilization. The Church in the Dark Ages clearly illustrates the role Christianity has played in European history. Daniel-Rops presents the reader with all aspects of the Churches role, positive and negative. As modern Europe opts for unity they should do well to remember it was first the Churches dream to bring Europe together.
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