The Lost World of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris

By Jonathan Harris

For greater than a millennium, the Byzantine Empire presided over the juncture among East and West, in addition to the transition from the classical to the fashionable international. Jonathan Harris, a number one student of Byzantium, eschews the standard run-through of emperors and battles and as an alternative recounts the empire’s awesome historical past through focusing each one chronological bankruptcy on an archetypal determine, kin, position, or event.

Harris’s action-packed creation provides a civilization wealthy in contrasts, combining orthodox Christianity with paganism, and classical Greek studying with Roman energy. often assailed by means of a variety of armies—including these of Islam—Byzantium still survived or even flourished via dint of its a little bit unorthodox overseas coverage and its luxurious paintings and structure, which helped to embed a deep experience of Byzantine identification in its people.

vastly attractive and using a wealth of resources to hide all significant features of the empire’s social, political, army, non secular, cultural, and creative background, Harris’s research illuminates the very center of Byzantine civilization and explores its impressive and lasting impression on its friends and at the sleek global.

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A few months later, he put his edict into practice by deposing all bishops who were deemed Arians and replacing them with supporters of Nicaea. The following year, a second ecumenical council was summoned to Constantinople to reinforce the theological decisions made at Nicaea. The ‘poison of Arian sacrilege’ was outlawed and the faith as defined at Nicaea and Constantinople, and reinforced by the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon of 451, remained the official doctrine of the Byzantine empire throughout its existence.

Edward Gibbon, 1776 The crumbling monuments of Constantinople were not the only traces that remained in the 1540s, a century after the downfall of Byzantium. Throughout western Europe, the libraries of kings, dukes and cardinals were filled with manuscripts of religious and classical texts in Greek that had once been carefully copied by Byzantine scribes. With the empire gone, the Turks had little use for its surviving books and happily sold them to envoys like Pierre Gilles who carried them back to their homelands.

A crowd of their fellows gathered to demand their release from the emperor, the elderly Anastasius (491–518), but they received a blank refusal and a troop of soldiers was sent to disperse them. That was the signal for a general riot in the Hippodrome when the place was full to capacity for the races. The crowd started to throw stones at the imperial box, where the emperor had just taken his seat to preside over the event. One large rock, hurled by a black man in the crowd, narrowly missed Anastasius and the emperor’s bodyguards made a rush on the perpetrator and cut him to pieces with their swords.

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