Absolute Monarchs : A History Of The Papacy by John Julius Norwich

Absolute Monarchs : A History Of The Papacy by John Julius Norwich

Author: John Julius Norwich
View book: Absolute Monarchs : A History Of The Papacy

Critical acclaim for Absolute Monarchs has praised the book for its expansive scope and fast-paced narrative. The book covers over two thousand years of history, spanning Europe and the Levant, and features a vast array of characters, including 265 popes, invading Vandals, Huns, and Visigoths, ambitious emperors, Byzantine schemers, influential families like the Borgias and Medicis, zealous heretics, conniving clergy, and cruel inquisitors.

Despite the immense cast, John Julius Norwich skillfully organizes the narrative, keeping the story moving along at a pace reminiscent of a beach-read thriller.

The book has been described as an entertaining and deeply researched work by renowned historian John Julius Norwich. It offers a comprehensive look at the papacy throughout history, showcasing the strengths and flaws of the various popes and exploring the impact of the papacy on world events. From Peter to Benedict XVI, Norwich guides readers on a fascinating journey through the lives of the popes, providing a captivating introduction to the history of the institution.

Notably, Norwich’s skill as a historian shines through in this book, as he presents surprising information and profiles of the most historically significant popes. Focusing on the political evolution of the papacy, Norwich delivers an outstanding historical survey.

As a historian, travel writer, and television documentarian, Norwich presents an excellent and highly informative account of the papacy, a two-thousand-year-old institution. The book offers a thorough exploration of the papacy’s political history and provides entertaining profiles of the most noteworthy popes. It has been described as a concise and spirited chronicle that doesn’t shy away from controversies, both ancient and modern.

In Absolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich offers readers a sweeping chronicle of the papacy, one of the most significant and controversial institutions in history. With recent challenges facing the papacy, Norwich’s perspective is invaluable. Drawing from his personal experiences, including private audiences with two popes, Norwich provides a comprehensive account of the institution’s history, from its origins to the present day.

The book highlights the heroic acts of popes like Innocent I and Leo I, who successfully negotiated with invader Alaric the Goth and Attila the Hun respectively. It also delves into scandalous figures such as Pope Joan and the infamous “pornocracy,” a period of debauchery in the papacy. Additionally, Norwich presents the reformers within the papacy, such as Pope Paul III and John XXIII, and explores the challenges faced by modern popes like Benedict XVI amidst the global priest sex scandal.

Overall, Absolute Monarchs is an epic and compelling read that delves into the lives of influential figures who have shaped the Vatican and the world throughout history. These popes, both revered and reviled, continue to cast their shadows and influence to this day.

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