The 2003 Charles Homer Haskins Lecture
Peter Brown was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1935. In 1956, he received his B.A. from Oxford, and was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, 1956-1975. He was Professor of History at Royal Holloway College, University of London from 1975-1978 and then Professor of Classics and History at the University of California, Berkeley from 1978-1986. Since 1986, Professor Brown has been at Princeton University.
Brown’s principal concern is the rise of Christianity and the transition from the ancient to the early medieval world. He is the author of Augustine of Hippo (Faber, 1967; University of California Press, 1968; 2nd ed. 2000), The World of Late Antiquity (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972), Religion and Society in the Age of Saint Augustine (Harper & Row, 1972), The Making of Late Antiquity (Harvard University Press, 1978), The Cult of the Saints (University of Chicago Press, 1981), Society and the Holy in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 1982), The Body and Society (Columbia University Press, 1988), Power and Persuasion (University of Wisconsin Press, 1992), Authority and the Sacred (Cambridge University Press, 1995), The Rise of Western Christendom: 200-1000 AD (Blackwell Publishers, 1996; 2nd ed. 2003), Poverty and Leadership in the Later Roman Empire (University Press of New England, 2002). He is currently working on the problems of wealth, poverty, and care of the poor in late antiquity.
Distinguished throughout the world, Professor Brown has received Honorary Degrees at Fribourg, Switzerland (1974), the University of Chicago (1978), Trinity College, Dublin (1990), Wesleyan University (1993), Tulane University (1994), Royal Holloway College, University of London (1996), the University of Pisa (2001), Columbia University (2001) and Harvard University (2002). Brown is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Historical Society, the American Society of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Medieval Academy of America, the Royal Netherlands Academy, and the Academia de Bones Artes, Barcelona. He has received the Arts Council of Great Britain Award (1967), a MacArthur Fellowship (1982), the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award (1989), the Vursell Award (1990), the Heineken Prize, Amsterdam (1994), the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Lettres et des Arts (1996), and an Andrew Mellon Fellowship (2002). Professor Brown also held an ACLS Fellowship in 1980-1981.