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The Byzantine Empire (Revised Edition)

Robert Browning

Publication Year: 2012

This classic study presents the history of the Byzantine Empire from the sixth to the fifteenth century in terms of political events, art, literature, and thought. It is addressed to the general reader of history as well as to students and scholars.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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p. v-v

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Preface to the Revised Edition

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p. vi-vi

The first edition of this book, which appeared in 1981, very soon became out of print, and the publisher was reluctant to reprint it. As time went by, several teachers in North American universities and colleges told me that they found it a useful introduction to the Byzantine world ...

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p. vii-vii

It is no longer true that the Byzantine world is unknown to the English reader. Scholars like Norman Baynes, Steven Runciman, Joan Hussey, Dimitri Obolensky, and Cyril Mango have made the story of the Byzantine Empire accessible in broad outline and added insights of their own into Byzantine ...


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p. ix-ix

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pp. xi-xxii

For Edward Gibbon, writing in I776, the thousand years of Byzantine history could be dismissed as "the triumph of barbarism and Christianity." Voltaire declared it to be "a worthless collection of orations and miracles," and Montesquieu, in his survey of the grandeur and decadence ...

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1. The Birth of a New Empire 500-641

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pp. 1-39

The first period to be looked at extends from 500 to the death of the Emperor Heraclius in 64I. The political history of the age is marked by two great movements, one near the beginning, the other at the end. At the dawn of the sixth century A.D., the Emperor Anastasius reigned in ...

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2. The Struggle to Survive 641-867

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pp. 41-91

The loss of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and soon the whole of North Africa in the middle of the seventh century was a shattering blow to the Byzantine Empire. These regions were the most densely populated in the empire and in every respect the most advanced economically and ...

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3. The Golden Age of Byzantium 867-1081

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pp. 93-154

The accession of Basil I, however questionable the manner in which it was carried out, marked the beginning of a new epoch in the history of the Byzantine Empire in more ways than one. Basil founded a dynasty which occupied the throne for nearly two centuries and which numbered ...

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4. From False Dawn to Cataclysm 1081-1204

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pp. 155-219

When Alexios Comnenus, with the support of a coalition of provincial aristocratic families, established himselfin power in Constantinople, the problems he had to face were at first sight not unlike those which confronted the successors ofHeraclius four and a half centuries earlier. Asia Minor, the richest ...

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5. Defeat and Disintegration 1204-1453

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pp. 221-292

The western conquerors of Constantinople proceeded to divide the former territories of the empire between themselves with mathematical precision. One quarter was allocated to the emperor; three-eighths went to Venice as a reward for providing transport, supplies, and naval support; three-eighths was ...


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p. 293-293

Chronological Table

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pp. 295-296

List of Emperors

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pp. 297-298


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pp. 299-302


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pp. 303-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780813220321
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813207544

Page Count: 335
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Rev. ed.