Christian Inscription at Pompeii

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"This thrilling monograph provides an exciting glimpse into the world of the earliest Christians. Beginning with a vivid description of the burial of the city of Pompeii under tons of volcanic ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the author takes us through the dramatic tale of the gradual unearthing of the city in modern times. He gradually narrows his focus from the city as a whole to a particular street, then to a particular block, then a particular house, and finally to the enigmatic words inscribed on one of the interior walls of this house. The author effectively describes the wave of excitement which swept over the world when the great archaeologist Alfred Kiessling announced the discovery of the inscription in 1862. This is followed by an able summary of the lengthy scholarly dispute which has ensued regarding the precise reading of the letters and their possible meanings. Upon this foundation, Mr. Berry grounds a new and compelling argument leading to the conclusion that, contrary to the opinion usually held today, the language of worship by Christians in Italy was Latin virtually from the moment of the arrival of the apostles in Italy. . . . This work will be of great interest to readers with an interest either in Roman antiquities or in Christianity itself." - Robert J. Edgeworth

"With a fresh approach, ably documented by the ancient evidence, Berry ably argues in this small tome for a re-analysis of the conventional assumptions about the use of Greek in the earliest liturgies at Rome and Italy." - Traditio

". . . thorough and scholarly. . . . fascinating topic that many readers will find surprisingly interesting. . . . convincingly shows that the Latin language and culture played a significant, providential role in the life of the Apostolic Church. The author has done a superb job in providing a work to edify and enlighten the reader." - The Catholic Faith

"Paul Berry is a member of that increasingly rare species -- the gentleman scholar, very much along the lines of Christopher Dawson. He writes with a simplicity of style that belies his erudition. He is not only accessible to the lay reader, he is a pleasure to read." - Roger McCaffrey, editor of The Latin Mass Magazine

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