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A special feature is Whittow's coverage of Byzantium's neighbors, allies, and enemies in Europe and Asia. He stresses the geographical context of events, often overlooked in other accounts of this period. The origins of Russia, relations with the nomad powers of the steppe world, the competition between Bulgars, Romans, and Slavs in the Balkans, and the frequently ignored region of the Transcaucasus are all given extended treatment. No such wide-ranging work has appeared in English for nearly 30 years, and Whittow's book will be invaluable for all scholars, students, and enthusiasts of medieval history.