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The Age of Faith (The Story of Civilization, Volume 4) Hardcover – December 25, 1980
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Top Customer Reviews
At nearly 1100 pages in length, the reader will see: The early Christian ascetics and martyrs such as Simeon Stylites, who sat atop a sixty-foot high pillar for thirty years, exposed to rain, sun, and snow, and rejoiced as worms ate his rotting flesh. Saint Augustine. The Great Kings such as Charlemagne, William, and Richard "the Lion-Hearted." The Popes. The Prophet Mohammed. The knights and pirates of the Crusades. The Age of Romance, Chivalry, and courtly love in literature. The Italian poet Dante, and the transition to the Renaissance. Plus more including plates and maps.
Although written to stand alone or in the series, this volume will most likely be read by more serious students of history, however, the Durants have created a prose which is very easy to read and understand. In short, this book is for everyone interested in history, both professional and layperson alike! I rate this book as five stars as the Durant's authoritative historical Magnum Opus!
For instance, his discussion of the rise of Islam was both interesting and difficult to read. Intriguing because we see that the conflict between Islam and the Christian west has antecedents that go back over a thousand years. I discovered that it was nip and tuck whether or not the West was going to be able to defend Europe from Moslem conquest. The current tension between radical Islam and the West is only the latest chapter in a long and bloody struggle; but our inability to grasp Arabic names, geography and history, makes this reading difficult. Another area of difficulty was his discussion on medieval architecture. Just how does one communicate form in words that does the form justice? Durant gets and A for effort, but, once again, I had to plow my way through sections like these.
Is it worth the read? You bet. What we see here is the drama of human achievement. From the death and destruction that followed the fall of the Imperial Rome to the civilizing of a continent, Durant shows us the triumph of the human spirit. Durant also shows us the legacy of Roman law, language and civilization on the West.Read more ›
He wrote in the "To the Reader" section of this 1950 book, "This book aims to give as full and fair an account of medieval civilization from A.D. 325 to 1300, as space and prejudice will permit. Its method is integral history---the presentation of all phases of a culture or an age in one total picture and narrative."
He advises, "Nothing is lost in history; sooner or later every creative idea finds opportunity and development, and adds its color to the flame of life." (Pg. 150) He suggests, "While the poor solaced life with heaven, the rich sought heaven on earth." (Pg. 233) He observes, "Every conquest creates a new frontier, which, being exposed to danger, suggests further conquest." (Pg. 283) He proposes, "Literary prose comes later than poetry in all literatures, as intellect matures long after fancy blooms; men talk prose for centuries 'without knowing it,' before they have leisure or vanity to mold it into art." (Pg. 491)
He notes, "At the beginning of the Middle Ages the greater part of Europe's soil was untilled and unpeopled forest and waste; at their end the Continent had been won for civilization. Perhaps, in proper perspective, this was the greatest campaign, the noblest victory, the most vital achievement, of the Age of Faith." (Pg. 559-560) Later, he adds, "The Middle Ages disciplined men for ten centuries in order that modern men might for four centuries be free." (Pg.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the academically minded this volume is superb, and typically well written. It fills in a lot of holes in our pedestrian knowledge.Published 5 months ago by Jon W. Schonblom
Definitely a tour de force and a Standard against which many books are judged. An incredible amount of information in its 1100+ pages. Read morePublished 7 months ago by R.L.D.
Anything by Will Durant is pure candy to read, but this book is one of his better efforts. It's a pity most professional historians don't write as well as him.Published 8 months ago by Al Singh
As usual, the legendary 19th century born American historian writes with authority, flare, and an innate understanding of all aspects of civilizations and nuances that encompass a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Honest Citizen
This is the fourth and by far the longest volume in the Durant's History of Civilization epic. It is an epic slog but it's worth it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Camperdude
Cannot buy the book, as Amazon has the listing wrong. Trying to buy the The Age of Faith, but Amazon listed all book sales for this title as "The Bee Season."Published 12 months ago by Gary Odom
Nine years ago I set myself the task of reading all the volumes of "The Story of Civilization" by Will and Ariel Durant. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Doug Erlandson