Peter Heather

Charity Begins in Rome

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD



Peter Brown has just retired from an extraordinarily distinguished career that took him from Oxford to Princeton via London and Berkeley. A defining voice in late antique studies, he is one of the chief reasons that the field has been flourishing in recent years. When a writer of this stature produces a major new work, there’s always the possibility that anticipation might outstrip achievement, but Through the Eye of a Needle displays Brown at his very best.

In it, Brown examines the dynamic intersection between one central strand of the Christian Gospels and a long-established norm of Greco-Roman society. Christ famously states at Matthew 19:21–26 that it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter