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Byzantium was the last bastion of the Roman Empire following the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It fought for survival for eight centuries until, in the mid-15th century, the emperor Constantine XI ruled just a handful of whittled down territories, an empire in name and tradition only.
This lavishly illustrated book chronicles the history of Byzantium, the evolution of the defenses of Constantinople and the epic siege of the city, which saw a force of 80,000 men repelled by a small group of determined defenders until the Turks smashed the city's protective walls with artillery. Regarded by some as the tragic end of the Roman Empire, and by others as the belated suppression of an aging relic by an ambitious young state, the impact of the capitulation of the city resonated through the centuries and heralded the rapid rise of the Islamic Ottoman Empire.
About the Author
Born in 1944, David Nicolle worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare.
John Haldon is Professor of Byzantine History at Princeton University. His research focuses on the history of the early and middle Byzantine period, and on medieval state structures across the European and Islamic worlds.
Stephen Turnbull is recognized as one of the world's foremost military historians of the medieval period. He first rose to prominence as a result of his 1977 book, The Samurai: A Military History. Since then he has achieved an equal fame in writing about European military subjects.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Chronology; Part 1: The history of Byzantium; Part 2: The defences of Constantinople; Part 3: The siege of Constantinople 1453; Appendix: Constantinople today; Glossary; Bibliography; Index