By Judith Herrin
Byzantium. The identify conjures up grandeur and exoticism--gold, crafty, and complexity. during this particular ebook, Judith Herrin unveils the riches of a rather various civilization. keeping off a customary chronological account of the Byzantine Empire's millennium--long background, she identifies the elemental questions on Byzantium--what it was once, and what unique value it holds for us today.
Bringing the most recent scholarship to a normal viewers in obtainable prose, Herrin focuses every one brief bankruptcy round a consultant subject, occasion, monument, or old determine, and examines it in the complete sweep of Byzantine history--from the basis of Constantinople, the fantastic capital urban equipped via Constantine the nice, to its catch via the Ottoman Turks.
She argues that Byzantium's the most important position because the jap defender of Christendom opposed to Muslim growth throughout the early heart a while made Europe--and the trendy Western world--possible. Herrin captivates us together with her discussions of all features of Byzantine tradition and society. She walks us throughout the complicated ceremonies of the imperial courtroom. She describes the transcendent attractiveness and tool of the church of Hagia Sophia, in addition to chariot races, monastic spirituality, international relations, and literature. She finds the interesting worlds of army usurpers and ascetics, eunuchs and courtesans, and artisans who shaped the silks, icons, ivories, and mosaics so with ease linked to Byzantine art.
An leading edge heritage written through one in all our best students, "Byzantium" unearths this nice civilization's upward thrust to army and cultural supremacy, its staggering destruction through the Fourth campaign, and its revival and ultimate conquest in 1453.
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Additional resources for Byzantium: The Surprising Life Of A Medieval Empire
Here, too, England took the lead, followed by France. Transportation by water was the only economical way to ship goods, but rivers were rarely navigable and canals were few, so land routes costing half as much again were generally employed. Highways in England, France, and the Netherlands were being improved, but elsewhere there were only more or less rocky trails which were unusable during the winter months. Mountain european economy ranges such as the Alps did not yet have roads that could bear vehicles.
Merchants played a varying part in domestic production: some only picked up the ﬁnished goods; more frequently they rationalized productive methods by supplying raw materials and equipment, establishing standards, and themselves supervising the preparing and dyeing of cloth. They enlarged the peasant labour force through the oﬀer of extra wages, taught new methods, and lengthened the work day. Women and children were herded into work brigades long before the advent of the factory. Often, what was called the manufactory of a town meant only the aggregate of resident workers employed in the urban centre or surrounding areas.
True, its balance was unfavourable—542 million livres in exports and 611 million in imports—but over 200 million of the imports were brought in from the colonies. The merchant marine, in contrast, was relatively small, even with two thousand ocean-going ships. Communications within the country were still in a backward state. The only serviceable canals were those of Flanders and the southern region; three others, in Picardy and Burgundy, still had to be completed. Rivers were little used—two hundred ships a year sailed through Château-Thierry, four hundred through Mantes.
Byzantium: The Surprising Life Of A Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin