The Archaeology of Religious Hatred  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Archaeology of Religious Hatred (2003) is a book by Eberhard Sauer.


"Christianity was an appealing religion for late Romans and no matter how many times the powers that be made martyrs of its followers, it came back each time stronger than ever. However, as this excellent book demonstrates, Christianity's success was not entirely due to peaceful means. Sauer argues that without violence it could not have become the sole religion of the west. Sad evidence for this force can be found on monuments and artworks across the Late Antique and early medieval world, particularly in the form of mutilated statues, defaced architectural reliefs, vandalised inscriptions, ruined buildings and desecrated temples. Sauer traces the footsteps of the first missionaries across Europe, the Mediterranean and Egypt, to look at what the archaeological evidence reveals about the identity and motives of those who wielded the chisels. The study also considers the effects of this movement on the everyday life and worship of pagan populations."

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