A good historical account that (astonishingly) has not really been improved upon in the last hundred years. The book does not whitewash either the Byzantines or the Islamic invaders - showing that neither were really favoured by the native Copts of Egypt. Indeed that, although persecuted by the Orthodox Byzantines, most Copts were horrified by the Islamic invasion of Egypt.
If the book has a flaw it is at the start (in the background) where I detect some unfairness towards the Emperor Maurice. Butler assumes that because the rule of the Emperor Maurice ended in failure there must have been some fault with the man - from the standpoint of security, the end of the Victorian era, it… Read more