Late Roman Period—Study Aids

Saints and Heroes Unit #3 — Late Roman Period
covers the decline of the Western Empire and the rise of Barbarian kingdoms. Topics include Greek and Latin Fathers, the Arian Heresy, Church Councils, Justinian, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, and Franks.
[350 to 600 A.D.]

Information Pages

These pages summarize much of the material needed to study for the Late Roman Period review questions. Most are derived from Leading Events in Church History, saint dictionaries, and other public domain sources.

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Late Roman Period — Overview (400-600 A.D.)
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Heresies and Councils
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Justinian and the Eastern Church
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Gothic Kingdoms in Spain and Italy
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Rise of the Frankish Empire
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Greek and Latin Fathers
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Printable Homework Questions

Worksheet
Recommended Reading

The following histories from Seton and TAN books are popular with Catholic students but other Church histories cover most essentials topics. Reading assignments that correspond to the Late Roman Period are given below.

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Church History by Fr. John Laux (TAN books)
This church history is written for a college prep high school audience and assumes a basic knowledge of European history. Starting at the dawn of the Roman Empire and proceeding in to the 20th century, Fr. Laux presents the story of the Church is a masterful and readable manner appealing to older students as well as adults. The period of interest for the Fall of Rome unit covers 324-600 A.D. and corresponds to Section I, Period II, covering the Edict of Milan in 313 to the Pontificate of Gregory the Great, beginning in 590 A.D.

Reading Assignment: Section I, Period II, pp 92-189
(1) Roman Empire Becomes Christian, pp 92-103, (2) Church in Conflict with Heresy, pp 104-159, (3) Social, Religious and Moral Life of Church, pp 160-172, (4) Church and Barbarian Invasion, pp 173-189.

Witness to the Faith by Seton Press
This introductory church history is written at an eighth grade level so it is accessible and covers most of the main topics of Christian history. Chapters relating to the period 324-600 A.D., including the fourth century, the fall of the Western Empire, and the Rise of Barbarian kingdoms are as follows:

Reading Assignment: Chapters 4-6, pp 50-104
(4) Triumph over Heresy and Paganism, (5) Church Begins to Build a Christian Society, (6) Church Begins to Convert Barbarian Tribes.


The saint biographies and Catholic histories listed below are in the public domain.

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Saints and Heroes: Vol I   by George Hodges
An excellent introduction to the history of the church through portraits of twenty of the most important saints and heroes of the faith from the third century A.D. to the time of the Reformation. Chapters of special interest for the Fall of Rome Time period include Athanasius, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Jerome, and Augustine.

Online Videos of Interest

Ryan Reeve's Historical Theology for Everyone Youtube page includes dozens of short (5 to 30 minute) videos covering many aspects of Christian history. They are targeted for high school or mature audiences, but are all introductory, and don't require a great deal of background. Videos relating to saints of the fourth and fifth centuries are listed below.