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The Byzantines lived in a theocratic society. They were less ready than their western contemporaries to draw the line between things spiritual and things temporal, between Church and state. This book explores some of the characteristics of that society in the age of its decline and fall between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries. Though irremediably shattered by the effects of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Byzantine Empire found the will to reassert itself and to endure for another 250 years. Material recovery was hardly possible, but there was a remarkable reawakening of scholarship and of the spiritual life. The world's debt to some of the late Byzantine scholars is known to classicists and to students of the Italian Renaissance. The contribution of the latter-day saints of Byzantium, the hesychasts and scholars of the spirit, has been less publicized.