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© 2010–2016 Reckless Books, England

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It is often forgotten that the period of Byzantine power is one of the major epochs in world history. The Empire was for eleven centuries the center of Christendom, mistress of the Mediterranean, and the symbol for all the rest of the world of splendor, wealth, and cultural ascendancy. Its period spans from the ancient classical world of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance, and throughout the medieval era it remained a source of constancy—and this despite a history of continual upheaval.


This book vividly brings to life the glittering emperors—from the brilliant to the completely mad—the hotbed of religious controversy, the politics, art, military action, and the lives of ordinary citizens. Inevitably, this fascinating story reminds us how much the subsequent events of European and Middle-Eastern history owe to the Byzantine Empire.


Includes illustrations by Oliver Frey.

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The heart of Constantinople at the time of Justinian I, mid-6th century. The circle, top center, conytains the Milon, or the Center of the Universe. Top right is Hagia Sophia. The small collection of buildings immediately above this text is the palace of Julian.