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A Short History of the Byzantine Empire (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) Paperback – 30 Apr 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris; First Edition edition (30 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780761945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780761947
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'Dionysios Stathakopoulos provides an easy-to-read narrative history of the whole of the Byzantine Empire from AD 330 until it fell to the Ottomans in 1453. Arranged chronologically, each chapter also discusses the most important thematic issues and the problems experienced by the Empire as they arose over this enormously long period. The final chapter helpfully discusses the aftermath of Byzantium and the contested history of Byzantine studies. The author's experience in lecturing on the subject to undergraduates at King's College London makes him an authoritative and reliable guide. This is a confident book by an established historian and teacher of Byzantine history, and it makes an excellent addition to I.B.Tauris' series of Short Histories.' Averil Cameron, DBE, FBA, Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine History, University of Oxford, formerly Warden of Keble College, Oxford 'In the early 21st century a building raised by a 6th-century Roman emperor in his capital, Constantinople, became controversial: should the church dedicated by Justinian to the Holy Wisdom (St Sophia) remain a museum, as it had been since the time of Ataturk, founder of the secular Turkish state? Or should it revert to the status of a mosque, as the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II had decreed as soon as he captured the city in 1453? Anyone wanting to understand the origins of this dilemma, and why the building's status still matters, can now turn to this compact and pithy survey of the empire that Mehmet terminated. Byzantium's thousand-year history, combining fixed points of faith with cultural metamorphoses and territorial fluctuations, is paradoxical and kaleidoscopic. To present its main features, internal dynamics and artistic feats coherently and concisely is no easy task. Dionysios Stathakopoulos has carried it off with panache, distilling extensive source-materials and the latest scholarship into a lively analytical narrative. His insights will be of interest to specialists, while he provides basic information to newcomers. This presentation of a variable-geometry empire that lasted, in one form or another, from Antiquity to the Italian Renaissance illuminates 21st-century geopolitics as well as the past.' Jonathan Shepard, editor of The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire, formerly Lecturer in Russian History in the University of Cambridge 'A world without Byzantium is a pale place; a life without its appreciation an etiolated existence. Clearly delighting in the civilisation that was named "Byzantine" in only the 16th century, Dionysios Stathakopoulos offers us a Gibbon-antidote derived from years of original research. Reminding us that this was a culture that coloured and shaped three continents, and that controlled 1.4 million square kilometres at its height, the author keeps his firm hand on the tiller and steers us through the sensuous, scholarly, surprising world of Byzantium. Accessing the latest archaeology and freshest scholarship to illuminate both the material and the spiritual, this is an ideal and intelligent guide to over a thousand years of crucial history.' Bettany Hughes, author and broadcaster

About the Author

Dionysios Stathakopoulos is Lecturer in Byzantine Studies at King's College London. He is the author of Famine and Pestilence in the Late Roman and Byzantine Empire (2004).

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Format: Paperback
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on 7 June 2014
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent rendition, written by a native Hellene instead of ...
on 2 December 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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3 people found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsA Useful, straightforward short overview of the Byzantine Empire
on 20 March 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback

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