The Eastern Empire, which laid claim to the whole heritage of the Rome of Augustus and Trajan, lasted in Theory from the Foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD until its sack by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. But the true period of Byzantine greatness was from the seventh to eleventh centuries, the earlier period belonging more properly to the later Roman Empire and the final centuries showing a steady decline. The so-called "Middle-Byzantine" Era is the subject of this book. Its dramatic story is told in narrative form, which treats religious, military, and political events chronologically. Much space is devoted to the personal characters and achievements of the great Byzantines who lived in these centuries and who, by faith, devotion, and ability created the splendors of an empire at its height, unparalleled and of enduring influence in the memory and tradition of Eastern Europe.
Romilly Jenkins has produced not only a detailed and original account of this important period of Byzantine history, but one which is eminently readable, and which will provide as much enjoyment for the non-specialist as it will provide new perspectives for the historian.