The Formation of Christendom

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


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Oct 19, 2021
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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.