Third volume in the series. With 32 pages of illustrations and 10 maps and tables.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyWith this volume, Norwich completes his magisterial narrative history of Byzantium. As in the earlier volumes (Byzantium: The Early Centuries, LJ 3/1/89; and Byzantium: The Apogee, LJ 1/92), he seeks to rectify the negative impressions perpetuated by 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon. Norwich records the history of a brilliant civilization that endured for over 11 centuries. From the founding of Constantinople (capital of Byzantium) by the first Christian Roman emperor and Byzantium's first flowering, to its fatal weakening after the treacherous attack on Constantinople by Western knights in the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and the valiant death of the last Byzantine emperor in 1453 at the hands of the conquering Turks, Norwich has told Byzantium's story in elegant and moving prose. This last volume in the three-part history of an unfairly neglected European civilization is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Robert Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.
Library JournalSeveral works dealing with Byzantine history have recently appeared (see Nicolas Cheetham's Medieval Greece, LJ 3/15/81 and Antony Bridge's Theodora, LJ 6/15/84), but this is probably the most comprehensive survey for the general reader and tourist. The first of a projected three-volume study, this elegantly written tribute to the Western debt to Byzantium traces the history of the city from the birth of Constantine c.274 to the coronation of Charlemagne on Christmas Day 800. While slight attention is given to ordinary people, and the approach is very Eurocentric, all the great figures of early Byzantine history are here; the architectural monuments, theological controversies, the notorious sexual tastes of many emperors, and the proverbially ``Byzantine'' court intrigues are lucidly described. For general collections.-- Bennett D. Hill, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
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