Byzantium / Edition 2

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The earthly empire of Byzantium dominated the political and religious history of Europe for over a thousand years. The Byzantines regarded their earthly empire as a reflection of God's empire in heaven, and this ideology was manifested in their politics, religion, and art. In this introduction to the history of Byzantium, from the fourth to the fourteenth century, Rowena Loverance draws on the British Museum's rich collections of spectacular Byzantine silver, ivories, jewelry, and icons, as well as pieces from the empire's Persian and Germanic neighbors. This revised edition, featuring a new introduction, is updated to include the most recent finds and interpretations.

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Editorial Reviews

Classical World

A fine history of the Byzantine empire and its art.
— Michael Dimaio, Jr.

Religious Studies Review

This little book presents a history of the Byzantine Empire from 330 CE to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs of churches and sites, but above all objects—icons, ivories, silver, jewelry, tapestries, pottery—primarily from the fine collection housed by the British Museum. It is thus also a visual history of Byzantine culture and as such a striking display of artistic interaction between Persia, Byzantium, and the West during the Byzantine era.

For the reader who desires an introduction to Byzantium, this book is highly recommended. Indeed, this third edition, with its substantial textual revisions, still retains the lovely glossy photographs of previous editions and is particularly attractive for anyone seeking a first glimpse of Byzantine history and civilization. The book has the further advantage of displaying numerous objects of Byzantine art from the British Museum, where Dr. Loverance, an expert on Byzantine civilization, works in the Education and Information Department. The text, which introduces the reader to the history of Byzantium, is divided into seven chapters: The Creation of Byzantium, The Achievements of Justinian, Persians and Other Barbarians, Islam and Iconoclasm, The Recovery of Nerve, The Revenge of the West, and The Last Flowering. There is a brief bibliography for readers who wish to continue their exploration of Byzantium. The photographs that accompany the text are representative of Byzantium's magnificent artistic legacy. This is a book that intends to grab the attention of the curious reader who wants to know more about this world civilization that straddled East and West in the Middle Ages. (3rd edition). KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Harvard Univ. Press, 96p. illus. bibliog. index., Ages 12 to adult.
—Prof. John Rosser
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674013896
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2004
  • Series: British Museum Paperbacks Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 7.45 (w) x 9.65 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Rowena Loverance is the head of e-learning at the British Museum, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, and the coeditor of the Bulletin of British Byzantine Studies.

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Table of Contents

1 The creation of Byzantium 6
2 The achievements of Justinian 20
3 Persians and other barbarians 34
4 Islam and iconoclasm 44
5 The recovery of nerve 50
6 The revenge of the West 60
7 The last flowering 76
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