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Poverty & Leadership in the Later Roman Empire (Menahem Stern Jerusalem Lecture)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  18 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In three magisterial essays, Peter Brown, one of the world's foremost scholars of the society and culture of late antiquity, explores the emergence in late Roman society of "the poor" as a distinct social class, one for which the Christian church claimed a special responsibility. It is the story of how a society came to see itself as responsible for the care of a particula ...more
paper, 176 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Brandeis University Press
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Clint
Apr 20, 2014 Clint rated it really liked it
It was interesting to learn about the model of public "charity" that existed in the Roman Empire prior to the introduction of Christianity. The "euergetes" were "lovers of the city" but they still had no concept of the poor in their midst. It was interesting to follow Brown as he shows where Christianity began to reveal and distinguish the class of the poor. Brown is a world-class scholar, and because of that it is expected that he show due "skepticism" of the motives behind some of the great bi ...more
Jon Sedlak
Mar 04, 2014 Jon Sedlak rated it really liked it
This book was eye-opening. It's a straight-forward book that's relatively brief and easy to read (given such a dense topic). The main set-back for not giving the book five stars is its conclusion, if it can be said to have one at all. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in specialized essays and need straightforward to-the-point answers to specific questions regarding treatment of "the poor" in the first 6 centuries A.D.
Brittany Petruzzi
Buried in way to many words (and way to many words in way to many other languages) is the interesting history of the concept of "the poor." I can't help thinking Brown padded this in order to publish it as a book rather than an article in a professional journal. It's kind of making me second guess my desire to read his 'The Rise of Western Christendom."
Michael Joseph Brown
Nov 22, 2012 Michael Joseph Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This book is a great little introduction to his much bigger, more recent, work, THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE. I would suggest it to anyone interested in the church and its adjudication of the issue of wealth. I use it in my own course on Wealth and Poverty in the early Church.
Kim Shively
Jun 02, 2015 Kim Shively rated it it was amazing
I don't think there is anyone more than Peter Brown who knows the history of late antiquity. He knows his sources.
Jeni Enjaian
Nov 10, 2012 Jeni Enjaian rated it really liked it
(copied from my annotated bibliography)
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Peter Robert Lamont Brown FBA is Rollins Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. His principal contributions to the discipline have been in the field of Late Antiquity. His work has concerned, in particular, the religious culture of the later Roman Empire and early medieval Europe, and the relation between religion and society.
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