'A brilliant new take' Janina Ramirez, author of Femina. 'A masterpiece of the historian's art' Peter Brown, author of Augustine of Hippo.
The powerful and surprising story of the four remarkable women who changed Augustine's life - and history - forever. While many know of St Augustine and the Confessions, few know of the women whose hopes and dreams shaped his early life: his mother, Monnica of Thagaste; his lover; his fiancee; and Justina, the troubled empress of ancient Rome. Drawing upon their depictions in the Confessions, historian Kate Cooper skilfully reconstructs their lives against the backdrop of the late Roman Empire to paint a vivid portrait of the turbulent society they and Augustine moved through.
She shows how despite their often precarious position, these women tried in their different ways to influence the world around them and argues that Augustine did not end his engagement because he was called by God, but because he considered the potential marriage to be an unforgiveable betrayal of his lover. Vividly written and drawing on extensive new research, Queens of a Fallen World is essential reading for those looking for a new understanding not only of Augustine, but also of the women who shaped his life with consequences that were to change Christianity for centuries to come.