A Short History of Byzantium

A Short History of Byzantium

Book - 1997
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Baker & Taylor
A tie-in to a 1997 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this narrative history of a powerful lost civilization and its artistic heritage traces the story of Byzantium from its origins in 330 A.D., through its long reign as a Christian empire, to its ultimate fall to the Turks in 1453. 20,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
At a moment when the splendors of Byzantine art are being rediscovered and celebrated in America, John Julius Norwich has brought together in this remarkable edition the most important and fascinating events of his dazzling trilogy of the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire.
With wit, intelligence and an unerring eye for riveting detail, Lord Norwich tells the dramatic history of Byzantium from its beginnings in AD 330 when Constantine the Great moved the imperial capital from Rome to the site of an old Greek port in Asia Minor called Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople, to its rise as the first and most long-lasting Christian empire, to its final heroic days and eventual defeat by the Turks in 1453.
It was a history marked by tremendous change and drama: the adoption of Christianity by the Greco-Roman world; the fall of Rome and its empire; the defeat by the Seljuk Turks at Manzikert in 1071; the reigns of Constantine, Theodosius the Great, Justinian and Basil II. There were centuries of bloodshed in which the empire struggled for its life; centuries of controversy in which men argued about the nature of Christ and the Church; centuries of scholarship in which ancient culture was kept alive and preserved by scribes; and, most of all, centuries of creativity in which the Byzantine genius brought forth art and architecture inspired by a depth of spirituality unparalleled in any other age. After more than fourteen centuries, the ever-dazzling brilliance of the mosaics of Ravenna and the ethereal splendor of the great church of St. Sophia in Istanbul still have the power to take one's breath away.

& Taylor

A history of the most powerful nation in Europe for over 1000 years during the Dark and Middle Ages recaps its intrigue, madmen, conquests, religious schism, and eventual decline, and profiles the major personalities

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1997.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780679450887
Branch Call Number: 949.502 NOR
Characteristics: xl, 430 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Norwich, John Julius 1929-


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porsena Dec 05, 2011

This is the abridged version of Norwich's trilogy on Byzantium. As the author notes in his foreword, the book suffers from trying to fit too much into too small a space. I'd recently read Vol. 1 of the trilogy and started in on this book where Vol. 1 left off. The style in the 'short' history is less satisfying than in the full version because many of the little side stories that make history come alive have fallen on the cutting room floor.

Read the three-volume series if you have the time.

Feb 28, 2011

Very fast-paced book because it covers almost 1400 yrs. of history. It could use better maps, however.I think a great prerequisite to reading this book is a little knowledge of Roman history. For this I would read "Ad Infinitum: a Biography of Latin". Not only does it give a great Roman history lesson, but it gives info. on where many languages came from.

Jul 08, 2010

Four hundred pages of small-print politics is "short"?


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