A Short History of Byzantium

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140259605
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2003

    WOW!!

    I have read many history books specially about the early and late roman empire. Most of them have been written by well known scholars but i have learned a writer is born not made. This man is a natural writer i just CANT stop reading the book but at the same time the faster i go the sooner I will consume its wonderfully written pages...what a shame..it should have more pages.... this book is worth every penny and more...is like watching a movie but better...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Brief Yet Comprehensive

    The deep and comprehensive knowledge Norwich has of Byzantium -- borne out in the three volume history he has written on the topic -- is only confirmed with this abridgement. If one is looking for a comprehensive yet brief history of the world's longest standing Christian empire this book is ideal.

    With that said, I experienced a considerable level of frustration while reading this. In order to condense three volumes into one Norwich had to sacrifice much of his own personal analysis of the history being covered for the history itself. The upshot is an often dry and unyielding catalogue of names, dates and geographic locations buttressed by a sentence or -- at most -- a paragraph of Norwich's provocative commentary. For this reason I can hardly wait to delve into the complete three volume version. Norwich's deep understanding of Byzantium adds a considerable level of gravity to his opinions and to his ultimate assessment of the Byzantines.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2005

    Surprisingly Readable on the Subject

    I had not read anything on this subject and kind of backed my way into it after reading the Fourth Crusade and Rubicon, finally deciding that I needed some background in the Byzantine Empire. Norwich's abridgement of his full works is sufficiently entertaining that I feel motivated to read all three volumes of the original. The personalities of the era appear in full color and the process through each chapter is rapid. The charts on dynastic relationships and the maps are also very helpful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2005

    Great book about Byzantium

    One of the more interesting history books I have read. It was entertaining and informative. Though on the down side it was a bit drawn-out, I don't think Lord Norwich had to go through quite every single emperor to tell the story of Byzantium. But it was nonetheless fascinating. I now am familiar with a civilization of which I knew little or nothing before picking up this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    The best text-book read of my college career...

    From sexual intrigues, conspiracies to murder, and the constant tensions between the roles of the emperor and the patriarchs, this book, based upon Norwiches three volume work, is a must have for anyone interested in the medieval world. Rome didn't decline, it simply relocated, and till 1453, it walked a dichotomous line between decadence and spirituality. Norwich sums it all up, giving plenty of juicy details of a sordid yet entertaining nature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    Byzantium Explained

    One of the best books I have read on the Byzantium Empire. Concise and easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    A View from the Top

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book¿having read it twice. The plots, intrigues, murders, battles and ultimately conquest are fascinating. It is so amazing that the machinations of emperors, kings, popes and patriarchs took place across the continent of Europe and Asia Minor. However, one does not come away with much understanding as to the legacy of this empire and the reasons, or at least theories, as to it rise and fall. The explanation for events in given only by the character and decisions of the emperors and their advisors in the fields of war and diplomacy. There is little description or examination of the governance in terms of political and economic structure. The book does explain, or at least trace, how various people ended up where they did. But it doesn't describe in what ways the empire left a legacy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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