Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire

Judith Herrin

Byzantium. The identify inspires grandeur and exoticism--gold, crafty, and complexity. during this designated ebook, Judith Herrin unveils the riches of a really assorted civilization. warding off a regular chronological account of the Byzantine Empire's millennium--long historical past, she identifies the basic questions on Byzantium--what it was once, and what specified importance it holds for us today.

Bringing the most recent scholarship to a normal viewers in obtainable prose, Herrin focuses each one brief bankruptcy round a consultant topic, occasion, monument, or ancient determine, and examines it in the complete sweep of Byzantine history--from the basis of Constantinople, the very good capital urban outfitted by means of Constantine the good, to its catch through the Ottoman Turks.

She argues that Byzantium's the most important position because the jap defender of Christendom opposed to Muslim enlargement throughout the early heart a while made Europe--and the trendy Western world--possible. Herrin captivates us along with her discussions of all elements of Byzantine tradition and society. She walks us throughout the advanced ceremonies of the imperial courtroom. She describes the transcendent good looks and gear of the church of Hagia Sophia, in addition to chariot races, monastic spirituality, international relations, and literature. She finds the attention-grabbing worlds of army usurpers and ascetics, eunuchs and courtesans, and artisans who shaped the silks, icons, ivories, and mosaics so without problems linked to Byzantine art.

An leading edge historical past written by means of one among our most suitable students, Byzantium finds this nice civilization's upward thrust to army and cultural supremacy, its dazzling destruction via the Fourth campaign, and its revival and ultimate conquest in 1453.

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