Emperor constantine

The rocky path to Christian dominance in Europe

Mutilated, strangled, suffocated or beaten to death: these are just some of the methods used to get rid of popes in the early medieval period. An incredible 33 per cent of all anointed popes between 872 and 1012 died in suspicious circumstances. It’s safe to say that the path to Christian dominance in Europe was rocky at times. Peter Heather’s revisionist history of the rise of medieval Christendom directs attention to these moments. Though the subtitle is ‘The Triumph of a Religion’, his account is anything but triumphalist. In fact his argument gains momentum through the challenge it poses to simplistic accounts of Christian ascendency. Pope Gregory the Great forced