About the Book

In this extensive sequel to Science Education in the Early Roman Empire, Dr. Richard Carrier explores the social history of scientists in the Roman era. Was science in decline or experiencing a revival under the Romans? What was an ancient scientist thought to be and do? Who were they, and who funded their research? And how did pagans differ from their Christian peers in their views toward science and scientists? Some have claimed Christianity valued them more than their pagan forebears. In fact the reverse is the case. And this difference in values had a catastrophic effect on the future of humanity. The Romans may have been just a century or two away from experiencing a scientific revolution. But once in power, Christianity kept that progress on hold for a thousand years—while forgetting most of what the pagans had achieved and discovered, from an empirical anatomy, physiology, and brain science to an experimental physics of water, gravity, and air. Thoroughly referenced and painstakingly researched, this volume is a must for anyone who wants to learn how far we once got, and why we took so long to get to where we are today.

About the Author


ISBN: 978-1634311069 (paperback)

SRP: $29.95

Page count: 640 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: September 2017

Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Yes

Richard Carrier, PhD, is a philosopher and historian of antiquity, specializing in contemporary philosophy of naturalism and Greco-Roman philosophy, science, and religion, including the origins of Christianity. He blogs regularly and lectures for community groups worldwide. He is the author of numerous books, including Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism and On the Historicity of Jesus. For more about Dr. Carrier and his work see

“Rigorous depth of research is Carrier's trademark, employed here to great effect. He presents a wealth of evidence and a spectacular look into the surprising variety and richness of science and technology in Roman times. Achievements as varied as astronomical computers like the Antikythera Device, the beginnings of surgical anesthetics and antiseptics, robotic theater performances and cuckoo clocks, hand crossbows and automatic weapons, and so much more. Carrier illuminates a world on the edge of scientific revolution, but ultimately denied by fate. He shows the triumph of Christianity brought with it open hostility to the scientific values necessary for progress to continue, leading us into a dark millennium, ending only when

Western civilization could weaken Church power enough to defy it, and return to the values of the pagans of yore.”

David Fitzgerald, author of The Mormons and Jesus: Mything in Action