The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A.D. to the First Crusade

Author: Anthony Kaldellis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019025324X

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 1355

In the second half of the tenth century, Byzantium embarked on a series of spectacular conquests: first in the southeast against the Arabs, then in Bulgaria, and finally in the Georgian and Armenian lands. By the early eleventh century, the empire was the most powerful state in the Mediterranean. It was also expanding economically, demographically, and, in time, intellectually as well. Yet this imperial project came to a crashing collapse fifty years later, when political disunity, fiscal mismanagement, and defeat at the hands of the Seljuks in the east and the Normans in the west brought an end to Byzantine hegemony. By 1081, not only was its dominance of southern Italy, the Balkans, Caucasus, and northern Mesopotamia over but Byzantium's very existence was threatened. How did this dramatic transformation happen? Based on a close examination of the relevant sources, this history-the first of its kind in over a century-offers a new reconstruction of the key events and crucial reigns as well as a different model for understanding imperial politics and wars, both civil and foreign. In addition to providing a badly needed narrative of this critical period of Byzantine history, Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood offers new interpretations of key topics relevant to the medieval era. The narrative unfolds in three parts: the first covers the years 955-1025, a period of imperial conquest and consolidation of authority under the great emperor Basil "the Bulgar-Slayer." The second (1025-1059) examines the dispersal of centralized authority in Constantinople as well as the emergence of new foreign enemies (Pechenegs, Seljuks, and Normans). The last section chronicles the spectacular collapse of the empire during the second half of the eleventh century, concluding with a look at the First Crusade and its consequences for Byzantine relations with the powers of Western Europe. This briskly paced and thoroughly investigated narrative vividly brings to life one of the most exciting and transformative eras of medieval history.
Read More

The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A.D. to the First Crusade

Author: Anthony Kaldellis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190253231

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 819

In the second half of the tenth century, Byzantium embarked on a series of spectacular conquests: first in the southeast against the Arabs, then in Bulgaria, and finally in the Georgian and Armenian lands. By the early eleventh century, the empire was the most powerful state in the Mediterranean. It was also expanding economically, demographically, and, in time, intellectually as well. Yet this imperial project came to a crashing collapse fifty years later, when political disunity, fiscal mismanagement, and defeat at the hands of the Seljuks in the east and the Normans in the west brought an end to Byzantine hegemony. By 1081, not only was its dominance of southern Italy, the Balkans, Caucasus, and northern Mesopotamia over but Byzantium's very existence was threatened. How did this dramatic transformation happen? Based on a close examination of the relevant sources, this history-the first of its kind in over a century-offers a new reconstruction of the key events and crucial reigns as well as a different model for understanding imperial politics and wars, both civil and foreign. In addition to providing a badly needed narrative of this critical period of Byzantine history, Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood offers new interpretations of key topics relevant to the medieval era. The narrative unfolds in three parts: the first covers the years 955-1025, a period of imperial conquest and consolidation of authority under the great emperor Basil "the Bulgar-Slayer." The second (1025-1059) examines the dispersal of centralized authority in Constantinople as well as the emergence of new foreign enemies (Pechenegs, Seljuks, and Normans). The last section chronicles the spectacular collapse of the empire during the second half of the eleventh century, concluding with a look at the First Crusade and its consequences for Byzantine relations with the powers of Western Europe. This briskly paced and thoroughly investigated narrative vividly brings to life one of the most exciting and transformative eras of medieval history.
Read More

The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A. D. to the First Crusade

Author: Anthony Kaldellis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190253223

Category: History

Page: 440

View: 3105

In the second half of the tenth century, Byzantium embarked on a series of spectacular conquests: first in the southeast against the Arabs, then in Bulgaria, and finally in the Georgian and Armenian lands. By the early eleventh century, the empire was the most powerful state in the Mediterranean. It was also expanding economically, demographically, and, in time, intellectually as well. Yet this imperial project came to a crashing collapse fifty years later, when political disunity, fiscal mismanagement, and defeat at the hands of the Seljuks in the east and the Normans in the west brought an end to Byzantine hegemony. By 1081, not only was its dominance of southern Italy, the Balkans, Caucasus, and northern Mesopotamia over but Byzantium's very existence was threatened. How did this dramatic transformation happen? Based on a close examination of the relevant sources, this history-the first of its kind in over a century-offers a new reconstruction of the key events and crucial reigns as well as a different model for understanding imperial politics and wars, both civil and foreign. In addition to providing a badly needed narrative of this critical period of Byzantine history, Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood offers new interpretations of key topics relevant to the medieval era. The narrative unfolds in three parts: the first covers the years 955-1025, a period of imperial conquest and consolidation of authority under the great emperor Basil "the Bulgar-Slayer." The second (1025-1059) examines the dispersal of centralized authority in Constantinople as well as the emergence of new foreign enemies (Pechenegs, Seljuks, and Normans). The last section chronicles the spectacular collapse of the empire during the second half of the eleventh century, concluding with a look at the First Crusade and its consequences for Byzantine relations with the powers of Western Europe. This briskly paced and thoroughly investigated narrative vividly brings to life one of the most exciting and transformative eras of medieval history.
Read More

Europe's Conquest of Indigenous Peoples

Author: Mark Cocker

Publisher: Grove Press

ISBN: 9780802138019

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 3216

The tragic history of conflict between the Europeans and indigenous peoples spans the globe from Mexico to Australia to Africa to show the effects of the European colonial sweep.
Read More

People and Power in New Rome

Author: Anthony Kaldellis

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674967402

Category: History

Page: 308

View: 8010

Scholars have long claimed that the Eastern Roman Empire, a Christian theocracy, bore little resemblance to ancient Rome. Here, Anthony Kaldellis reconnects Byzantium to its Roman roots, arguing that it was essentially a republic, with power exercised on behalf of, and sometimes by, Greek-speaking citizens who considered themselves fully Roman.
Read More

Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from History's Most Orthodox Empire

Author: Anthony Kaldellis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190625945

Category: Byzantine Empire

Page: 256

View: 2875

Weird, decadent, degenerate, racially mixed, superstitious, theocratic, effeminate, and even hyper-literate, Byzantium has long been regarded by many as one big curiosity. According to Voltaire, it represented "a worthless collection of miracles, a disgrace for the human mind"; for Hegel, it was "a disgusting picture of imbecility." A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities will churn up these old prejudices, while also stimulating a deeper interest among readers in one of history's most interesting civilizations. Many of the zanier tales and trivia that are collected here revolve around the political and religious life of Byzantium. Thus, stories of saints, relics, and their miracles-from the hilarious to the revolting-abound. Byzantine bureaucracy (whence the adjective "Byzantine"), court scandals, and elaborate penal code are world famous. And what would Byzantium be without its eunuchs, whose ambiguous gender produced odd and risible outcomes in different contexts? The book also contains sections on daily life that are equally eye-opening, including food (from aphrodisiacs to fermented fish sauce), games such as polo and acrobatics, and obnoxious views of foreigners and others (e.g., Germans, Catholics, Arabs, dwarves). But lest we overlook Byzantium's more honorable contributions to civilization, also included are some of the marvels of Byzantine science and technology, from the military (flamethrowers and hand grenades) to the theatrical ("elevator" thrones, roaring mechanical lions) and medical (catheters and cures, some bizarre). This vast assortment of historical anomaly and absurdity sheds vital light on one of history's most obscure and orthodox empires.
Read More

Author: Averil Cameron

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1405178248

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 3878

Winner of the 2006 John D. Criticos Prize This book introduces the reader to the complex history, ethnicity, and identity of the Byzantines. This volume brings Byzantium – often misconstrued as a vanished successor to the classical world – to the forefront of European history Deconstructs stereotypes surrounding Byzantium Beautifully illustrated with photographs and maps
Read More

Author: Aleksandr Petrovich Kazhdan,Annabel Jane Wharton

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520051294

Category: BYSANTINSK KULTUR

Page: 287

View: 6417

Byzantium, that dark sphere on the periphery of medieval Europe, is commonly regarded as the immutable residue of Rome's decline. In this highly original and provocative work, Alexander Kazhdan and Ann Wharton Epstein revise this traditional image by documenting the dynamic social changes that occurred during the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Read More

Author: Sean Munger

Publisher: Samhain Pub Limited

ISBN: 9781619212299

Category: Fiction

Page: 238

View: 9864

The new emperor puts a young monk in charge of creating an army of zombies to defeat the Saracen army in its attack on Constantinople.
Read More

Author: Warren Treadgold

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804779376

Category: History

Page: 1044

View: 1802

This is the first comprehensive and up-to-date history of Byzantium to appear in almost sixty years, and the first ever to cover both the Byzantine state and Byzantine society. It begins in A.D. 285, when the emperor Diocletian separated what became Byzantium from the western Roman Empire, and ends in 1461, when the last Byzantine outposts fell to the Ottoman Turks. Spanning twelve centuries and three continents, the Byzantine Empire linked the ancient and modern worlds, shaping and transmitting Greek, Roman, and Christian traditions—including the Greek classics, Roman law, and Christian theology—that remain vigorous today, not only in Eastern Europe and the Middle East but throughout Western civilization. Though in its politics Byzantium often resembled a third-world dictatorship, it has never yet been matched in maintaining a single state for so long, over a wide area inhabited by heterogeneous peoples. Drawing on a wealth of original sources and modern works, the author treats political and social developments as a single vivid story, told partly in detailed narrative and partly in essays that clarify long-term changes. He avoids stereotypes and rejects such old and new historical orthodoxies as the persistent weakness of the Byzantine economy and the pervasive importance of holy men in Late Antiquity. Without neglecting underlying social, cultural, and economic trends, the author shows the often crucial impact of nearly a hundred Byzantine emperors and empresses. What the emperor or empress did, or did not do, could rapidly confront ordinary Byzantines with economic ruin, new religious doctrines, or conquest by a foreign power. Much attention is paid to the complex life of the court and bureaucracy that has given us the adjective "byzantine." The major personalities include such famous names as Constantine, Justinian, Theodora, and Heraclius, along with lesser-known figures like Constans II, Irene, Basil II the Bulgar-Slayer, and Michael VIII Palaeologus. Byzantine civilization emerges as durable, creative, and realistic, overcoming repeated setbacks to remain prosperous almost to the end. With 221 illustrations and 18 maps that complement the text, A History of the Byzantine State and Society should long remain the standard history of Byzantium not just for students and scholars but for all readers.
Read More

Author: Alexander Daniel Beihammer

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351983857

Category: History

Page: 458

View: 4641

The arrival of the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia forms an indispensable part of modern Turkish discourse on national identity, but Western scholars, by contrast, have rarely included the Anatolian Turks in their discussions about the formation of European nations or the transformation of the Near East. The Turkish penetration of Byzantine Asia Minor is primarily conceived of as a conflict between empires, sedentary and nomadic groups, or religious and ethnic entities. This book proposes a new narrative, which begins with the waning influence of Constantinople and Cairo over large parts of Anatolia and the Byzantine-Muslim borderlands, as well as the failure of the nascent Seljuk sultanate to supplant them as a leading supra-regional force. In both Byzantine Anatolia and regions of the Muslim heartlands, local elites and regional powers came to the fore as holders of political authority and rivals in incessant power struggles. Turkish warrior groups quickly assumed a leading role in this process, not because of their raids and conquests, but because of their intrusion into pre-existing social networks. They exploited administrative tools and local resources and thus gained the acceptance of local rulers and their subjects. Nuclei of lordships came into being, which could evolve into larger territorial units. There was no Byzantine decline nor Turkish triumph but, rather, the driving force of change was the successful interaction between these two spheres.
Read More

Author: Anthony Kaldellis,Niketas Siniossoglou

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110821021X

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 9217

This volume brings into being the field of Byzantine intellectual history. Shifting focus from the cultural, social, and economic study of Byzantium to the life and evolution of ideas in their context, it provides an authoritative history of intellectual endeavors from Late Antiquity to the fifteenth century. At its heart lie the transmission, transformation, and shifts of Hellenic, Christian, and Byzantine ideas and concepts as exemplified in diverse aspects of intellectual life, from philosophy, theology, and rhetoric to astrology, astronomy, and politics. Case studies introduce the major players in Byzantine intellectual life, and particular emphasis is placed on the reception of ancient thought and its significance for secular as well as religious modes of thinking and acting. New insights are offered regarding controversial, understudied, or promising topics of research, such as philosophy and medical thought in Byzantium, and intellectual exchanges with the Arab world.
Read More

The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025

Author: Julian Romane

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781473845701

Category:

Page: 208

View: 6392

Byzantium Triumphant describes in detail the wars of the Byzantine emperors Nicephorus II Phocas, his nephew and assassin John I Tzimiskes, and Basil II. The operations, battles and drama of their various bitter struggles unfold, depicting the new energy and improved methods of warfare developed in the late tenth century. These emperors were at war on all fronts, fighting for survival and dominance against enemies including the Arab caliphates, Bulgars (Basil II was dubbed by later authors 'the Bulgar Slayer') and the Holy Roman Empire, not to mention dealing with civil wars and rebellions. Julian Romane's careful research, drawing particularly on the evidence of Byzantine military manuals, allows him to produce a gripping narrative underpinned by a detailed understanding of the Byzantine tactics, organization, training and doctrine. While essentially a military history, there is, inevitably with the Byzantine emperors, a healthy dose of court intrigue, assassination and political skulduggery too.
Read More

The Life and Work of a Medieval Historian

Author: Leonora Neville

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190628235

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 9453

Byzantine princess Anna Komnene is known for two things: plotting to murder her brother to usurp the throne, and writing the Alexiad, an epic history of her father Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118) that is a key historical source for the era of the First Crusade. Anna Komnene: the Life and Work of a Medieval Historian investigates the relationship between Anna's self-presentation in the Alexiad and the story of her bloodthirsty ambition. It begins by asking why women did not write history in Anna's society, what cultural rules Anna broke by doing so, and how Anna tried to respond to those challenges in her writing. Many of the idiosyncrasies and surprises of Anna's Alexiad are driven by her efforts to be perceived as both a good historian and a good woman. These new interpretations of Anna's authorial persona then spark a thorough re-thinking of the standard story which defines Anna's life by the failure of her supposed political ambitions. The second half of this work reviews the medieval sources with fresh eyes and re-establishes Anna's primary identity as an author and intellectual rather than as a failed conspirator.
Read More

Author: G. K. Chesterton,Aeterna Press

Publisher: Aeterna Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Religion

Page: 138

View: 8033

The Ballad of the White Horse is a poem by G. K. Chesterton about the idealized exploits of the Saxon King Alfred the Great. Written in ballad form, the work is usually considered one of the last great traditional epic poems ever written in the English language. The poem narrates how Alfred was able to defeat the invading Danes at the Battle of Ethandun under the auspices of God working through the agency of the Virgin Mary. In addition to being a narration of Alfred's military and political accomplishments, it is also considered a Catholic allegory. Chesterton incorporates a significant amount of philosophy into the basic structure of the story. Aeterna Press
Read More

Author: Jonathan Harris

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300169663

Category: HISTORY

Page: 336

View: 9768

By 1400, the once-mighty Byzantine Empire stood on the verge of destruction. Most of its territories had been lost to the Ottoman Turks, and Constantinople was under close blockade. Against all odds, Byzantium lingered on for another fifty years until 1453, when the Ottomans dramatically toppled the capital's walls. During this bleak and uncertain time, ordinary Byzantines faced difficult decisions to protect their livelihoods and families against the death throes of their homeland. In this evocative and moving book, Jonathan Harris explores individual stories of diplomatic maneuverings, covert defiance, and sheer luck against a backdrop of major historical currents and offers a new perspective on the real reasons behind the fall of this extraordinarily fascinating empire.
Read More

Author: Jonathan Harris

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300178573

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 8565

A fresh, concise, and accessible history of one of the medieval world s greatest empires"
Read More

How It Has Changed, and How It Will Change Asia

Author: Richard Cockett

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300204515

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 3458

The best single-volume analysis of Burma, its checkered history, and its attempts to reform
Read More