Book Review – The Darkening Age: The Christian Deconstruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey

Book Review

The Darkening Age
The Christian Deconstruction of the Classical World
by Catherine Nixey

352 Pages


I can’t remember where I once read that we humans are creatures who are amnesiacs. But we are, lucky for us; someone will come along and write a book that helps us remember what we should have never forgotten. The Darkening Age is such a book written by Catherine Nixey.

When I was growing up, I was told the myth that Christians in the early part of their Spirituality were prosecuted for their beliefs. That the religion slowly won over the world with love and peace. I was raised being fed a Christian myth that was a bald-faced lie.

Ms. Nixey has written a book that opens the vault of time and looks back to a time that has been written over (literally) and buried beneath the dirt of both time and graves. The Darkening Age is not an attack on any belief system, but it will make you wonder what else has been covered up or deleted from the past of the world.

I have always known that the winners wrote history. I can honestly say that I had never really thought about the world before Christianity. (I have my beliefs that I hold to be true, but I never thought about the destruction of the Pagan world.) And yes, upon reading this book, I have had my eyes opened to the atrocities that the so-called early Christians visited upon those, that in the words of Emperor Justinian and his Code called, labored under the insanity of paganism.

When I read Chapter 9 The Reckless Ones, I was reminded of the movie “Agora” starring Rachel Weisz. In the film Agora, Ms. Weisz plays Hypatia. The Reckless Ones tells the story of the group of people and their leader that killed Hypatia. (Agora tells the story of Hypatia’s from her teaching days to her death. With both, there is a complete tale.)

Most people believe that Christian persecution began with Nero. But there was no government-led persecution for the first 250 of Christianity. The greatest heroes in the early church were those that died most horribly. And if you could get yourself killed, all your previous sins would be washed away.

The early Christian belief was that they were saving Pagans from an afterlife in Hell. And that if they had to be killed to do that, it was fine. In the fifth century there lived an Egyptian monk who is now St. Shenoute, who declared, “There is no crime for those who have Christ.” And he killed those who he saw as idol worshipers and pagans under that belief.

Many manuscripts written by world-renowned philosophers were scrubbed using pumice stones, and the parchments then had the Bible written on them. So, we lost all the wisdom of the ancient world in the coming to power of the Christian belief.

Ms. Nixey closes the book with Damascius chosing the Academy in Athens. The Academy was at the time a world renowned school of philosophy. When Damascius and his teacher Isidore first arrived in Athens the Academy was “on the brink of extreme old age” as observed by Isidore. At the age of seventy, Damascius was now fleeing again, as an exiled philosopher and at the age of seventy.

One of the saddest sentences in this book is “The idea that philosophers might have fought fiercely, with all they had, against Christianity was-is-passed over.”

I recommend this book for anyone who studies history, religious history and wants to know more about the Pagan World that is part of our collective history.




About the Author:

Dawn Borries is a prolific reader, having 3 books going at any given time. Dawn uses Tarot cards, Intuitive insights, and Numerology in her sessions with clients. She is also an Ordained Minister, Reiki and La Ho Chi Practitioner and Master. She is a certified EFT and TFT Counselor. Dawn calls herself a Spiritual Counselor, and Unicorn Lover. She can be found @eagleandunicorn on Facebook or @eagle_unicorn on Twitter.