By John Julius Norwich
During this magisterial variation of his epic three-volume background of Byzantium, John Julius Norwich chronicles the world's longest-lived Christian empire. starting with Constantine the good, who in a.d. 330 made Christianity the faith of his realm after which transferred its capital to the town that will endure his identify, Norwich follows the process 11 centuries of Byzantine statecraft and struggle, politics and theology, manners and art.
In the pages of a brief historical past of Byzantium we come upon mystics and philosophers, eunuchs and barbarians, and rulers of wonderful erudition, piety, and degeneracy. We input the lifetime of an empire which could create the various world's such a lot transcendent non secular artwork after which spoil it within the convulsions of fanaticism. Stylishly written and overflowing with drama, pathos, and wit, here's a matchless account of a misplaced civilization and its marvelous cultural legacy.
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Extra info for A Short History of Byzantium
The relationship arises in several, variant ways; (a) caravan routes led through cities, or cities grew up on caravan routes. Some of those cities lay in the ‘country-states’ through which the caravan route passed, but when it went out into no man’s land, city-states might arise. Along the caravan route from Mesopotamia to Aden, there were a number of cities on the south coast of the Arabian peninsula, amongst them Medina and Mecca, and those cities were probably city-states in the fourth to sixth century ad (no.
7). After the break-up of the Zhou dynasty in 771 bc there followed the Spring-and-Autumn period (771–481 bc) in which central China was for a period split into more than 200 city-states (no. 20). 800 (no. 36). On Louis II’s death in 875 there was a power vacuum in north Italy which made possible the rise of the north Italian city-states (no. 16). And in Switzerland the city-states arose after the Z•ahringer dynasty died out in 1218 (no. 18). G. 750 bc to ad 550 (no. 10) and the Chinese one in the Springand-Autumn period from 771 to 481 bc (no.
In Mesopotamia cities grew up very early, perhaps quite a while before the rise of a real state (no. 1). In Egypt it is not until dynastic times that we ﬁnd cities that bear a resemblance to the Mesopotamian ones. So it was in the Middle Ages. In England after the Anglo-Saxon immigration and in Scandinavia in the Viking Age, the state arose at a period when the village was the only known form of nucleated settlement, and real cities arose only under the auspices of a monarchy. Contrariwise, in the Netherlands and Italy cities arose early and kept well out of the way of powerful ‘country-states’.