The Formation of Christendom

The Formation of Christendom

Judith Herrin


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A groundbreaking history of how the Christian “West” emerged from the ancient Mediterranean world

In this acclaimed history of Early Christendom, Judith Herrin shows how—from the sack of Rome in 410 to the coronation of Charlemagne in 800—the Christian “West” grew out of an ancient Mediterranean world divided between the Roman west, the Byzantine east, and the Muslim south. Demonstrating that religion was the period’s defining force, she reveals how the clash over graven images, banned by Islam, both provoked iconoclasm in Constantinople and generated a distinct western commitment to Christian pictorial narrative. In a new preface, Herrin discusses the book’s origins, reception, and influence.


Judith Herrin:
Judith Herrin is professor emeritus in the Department of Classics at King’s College London. Her books include Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe; Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire; Margins and Metropolis: Authority across the Byzantine Empire; and Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium (all Princeton).