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Books - History - Historical Study - Byzantine Empire: History, Society, Literature

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    The Armenians (Peoples of Europe)
    by Anne Elizabeth Redgate
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 April, 2000)
    list price: $31.95 -- our price: $20.13
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    Reviews (7)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Redgate Only Partially Open
    While the book has been written by a professional, I have a feeling that it has been written somewhat hastily, and the topics covered have been arbitrarily chosen. It is frequently hard to trace the underlying logic of the arguments or to come up with specific conclusions intended. One almost gets an impression of the author claiming something like, "If we make this and this assumption, we would arrive to this and this conclusion, if we make the other assumption, we would arrive to the other conclusion. We can arrive to any conclusion, thus the subject should not be seriously studied." This characterization is especially transparent in the case of the topic of the "Origin of Armenians." It looks as if "I have been asked to write about it and I have done it. I can spend my time on better things, however."

    For example, it is noteworthy that the author pays minimal attention to the era and the contribution of the Paulicians, who have had tremendous impact on the evolution of European theological thought starting in the 9th century, laying down the foundations of Protestant thought.

    On the other hand, this book obviously is not meant for bedtime reading, and has to be read with a sharp pencil in one's hands. However, in this case, I suspect there is a high likelihood of emerging with a much more negative reaction towards it.

    Overall, I think this is a book to at least glance through and to know about, and is a positive contribution when looked at from the perspective of bringing Armenian History to the International spotlight.It is a welcome addition to the library of anyone who has serious interest in Armenian History, but would not necessarily be appropriate for novices or those with only a passing interest.

    2-0 out of 5 stars not recommended as an introduction
    this book left me with quite a muddled picture of the armenians.

    the book can be broadly divided into three parts, chronologically speaking: 1. beginnings-1071, 2. 1071-1915, and 3. 1915-present. the latter two parts are rendered in quite a summary fashion in my opinion, and a topic as central as the genocide has been accorded barely half a page.

    throughout the book one finds it hard to understand when armenians were independent and when not, what elements of their culture they got from whom and what contributions they made to other cultures. one major contribution of armenians is their distinctive architecture, and that could have been explored with far more pictures than are included in the book.

    the exceptionally summary treatment of the centuries under turkish rule and especially of the genocide leaves one startled, as these are the centuries and events that must have had a most profound effect on the armenian identity. an establishment turkish historian writing about armenian history could not have paid less attention to the genocide issue (for other purposes, of course, but that's another matter). the recently independent armenian republic is also equally summarily treated. the lack of a single armenian name in the acknowledgements page is also very curious.

    i had bought it to get an unbiased introduction to the subject, instead i got a muddled one. in sum, i would not recommend this book as an introduction to the subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Early Armenians
    Despite the weaknesses--some fair, some very unfair--pointed at by the other reviewers, this book is the best work published in English on Armenia and the Armenians from their early origins to the Turkish invasion in the eleventh century. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0631220372
    Sales Rank: 789462
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - General    2. Europe - Former Soviet Republics    3. Europe - General    4. History    5. History - General History    6. History: World    7. Middle East - General   


    Byzantine Court Culture from 829 to 1204
    by Dumbarton Oaks, Henry Maguire
    Hardcover (01 April, 1998)
    list price: $63.00 -- our price: $63.00
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    Isbn: 0884022420
    Sales Rank: 1707650
    Subjects:  1. Byzantine Empire    2. Byzantine Empire - History    3. Civilization    4. Civilization, Medieval    5. Congresses    6. Court and courtiers    7. Europe - Greece    8. History    9. History - General History    10. History: World    11. Medieval    12. Middle East - Turkey    13. Renaissance   


    Byzantine Empresses : Women and Power in Byzantium, AD 527-1204
    by Lynda Garland
    Library Binding (01 March, 1999)
    list price: $135.00 -- our price: $135.00
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    Isbn: 0415146887
    Sales Rank: 1172804
    Subjects:  1. 527-1081    2. Biography    3. Biography & Autobiography    4. Biography/Autobiography    5. Byzantine Empire    6. Byzantine Empire - History    7. Empresses    8. Europe - Greece    9. Historical - General    10. History    11. History - General History    12. Leadership in women    13. Medieval    14. Women    15. Women - Medieval History    16. Women's Studies - History    17. Asian / Middle Eastern history: c 500 to c 1500    18. Biography: historical    19. c 1000 CE to c 1500    20. c 500 CE to c 1000 CE   


    Byzantium From Antiquity to the Renaissance (Perspectives) (Trade Version)
    by Thomas F. Mathews
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 April, 2003)
    list price: $24.95
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lovely introduction to Byzantine Art
    This inexpensive yet lavishly illustrated volume is an ideal introduction to the history of Byzantine art.As the previous reviewer has noted, it is arranged thematically.However, the themes themselves are those that arise more or less chronologically, so one does get a sense of moving from the period of the Late Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453.The volume as a whole is everything one could hope for in an introductory text; it is concise, extremely accessible, covers all the major issues and ideas of the periods being considered, provides all the essential background, and explains the ongoing significance and influence of the period as a whole.As Mathews explains early in the book, Byzantine Art is the backbone of Medieval Art, and he does a marvelous job of explaining and detailing that claim.

    One sense that any reader will come away with from reading this book is associating a specific color with Byzantine Art:gold.In photograph after photograph, one will be struck at the amount of gold used in jewelry, sculpture, architecture, iconography, and painting.One will also gain a solid overview of Byzantine Art, and will definitely have an interest in further study kindled.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A solid introduction to Byzantine art.
    Mathews's book is quite solid, providing concise, to-the-point information on the art of the Byzantine Empire.Rather than organize his text chronologically, Mathews chooses to focus each chapter on a specific theme,such as icons, churches, and secular art.In this way, he tries to unifythe various branches of Byzantine art.It should be noted that the book isan introduction to the subject, and may not provide the depth ofinformation necessary for more advanced study.This is not to say thatwhat Mathews has provided is simplistic, or less than scholarly.On thecontrary, his text is most distinguished for its artful way of connectingthe art of Byzantium to both its classical roots and its Renaissancesuccessors.Mathews takes upon himself the role of advocate, remindingreaders that the Byzantine Empire kept western culture alive after the fallof Rome, and asserting the vital influence that Byzantine art had on theRenaissance.At times, his prose grows quite lofty as he reflects on thecontinuous tradition of western art.This thematic discussion complementshis detailed descriptions of specific works or art.Overall, this is anaccessible and useful text. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0131833340
    Sales Rank: 960865
    Subjects:  1. Art    2. Art & Art Instruction    3. European    4. General    5. History - General   

    Byzantium in the Ninth Century: Dead or Alive? : Papers from the Thirtieth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Birmingham, March 1996 (Publications ... y for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies), 5)
    by engla Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies (30th : 1996 : Birmingham, Leslie Brubaker
    Hardcover (01 April, 1998)
    list price: $99.95 -- our price: $99.95
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    Isbn: 0860786862
    Sales Rank: 1778902
    Subjects:  1. 527-1081    2. Byzantine Empire    3. Byzantine Empire - History    4. Civilization    5. Congresses    6. Europe - Greece    7. Foreign relations    8. History    9. History - General History    10. History: World   


    Byzantium in the Seventh Century : The Transformation of a Culture
    by John F. Haldon
    Hardcover (13 December, 1990)
    list price: $95.00
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    Isbn: 0521264928
    Sales Rank: 2937877
    Subjects:  1. 527-1081    2. Byzantine Empire    3. Byzantine Empire - History    4. Civilization    5. History: World    6. Europe    7. European history: c 500 to c 1500    8. History / Middle East    9. c 500 CE to c 1000 CE   

    The Fall of Constantinople 1453 (Canto)
    by Steven Runciman
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (13 September, 1990)
    list price: $17.99 -- our price: $17.99
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    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The tragic end of a proud civilization beautifully told
    Even after his death, Steven Runciman's works on the medieval Greeks and the Orthodox Church remain the standard for student seeking general information and for non-scholars seeking knowledge.

    As with all his works, The Fall of Constantinople is both well researched, but more importantly, well written.He provides enough background on the decline of the Eastern Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Turks to place the fall in proper perspective.The Eastern Empire in 1453 was a mere shadow of its once glorious self.The conspiracies and plots between Emperors, Patriarchs, Popes and Kings, ultimately, between Eastern and Western Christendom doomed the heir to the Caesars.

    Runciman's wonderful writing makes this come alive.He does not, like many historians, feel that a dry recitation of the facts alone is enough.Rather, his history reads almost like a novel.The characters have depth and emotion.The last Emperor is shown as a shrewd many trying desperately to save his people, even to the point of entering into an unpopular union with the Roman Church.The Sultan is no mere cartoon villain as often portrayed in medieval Europe or a politically correct Third World leader (as might be portrayed today) but rather a ruthless, though driven young man, determined to fulfill the goal of 8 centuries of Moslem leaders - the capture of "The City."

    And as the story winds toward its inevitable conclusion, you root for the heroes and mourn their deaths.

    Constantinople fell not because the Ottomans were the strongest empire in the world.Rather, it fell because the petty jealousies of the Western leaders made the defense of Constantinople impossible.Today, as the West finds itself again under attack, we should keep heed of our history, and avoid allowing our jealousies to cause another Fall of Constantinople.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fifteen stars
    One of THE all time great stories.A movie script would be appropriate.Can't wait to read this book again.Don't let this one go.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grim, inexorable, heroic, glorious.
    Sir Steven Runciman was one of the English language's (if not the world's) leading scholars of the Crusades and the Eastern Roman Empire, and this brief but powerful book shows why. Norwich and his popular-history volumes of Byzantine history may be a more contemporary, personality-driven look at the story, but nobody can match, in my opinion, Runciman for both breadth of scholarship and elegant, intelligent, and highly readable prose.

    Runciman shows that the fall of Constantinople to the Turks on May 29, 1453 (550 years ago today!) was both inevitable and of mostly marginal historical significance(except, of course, to the people of the city itself). It had always seemed to me an event of epochal importance -- the final slamming shut of history's pages on the Roman Empire. But literally in the book's first sentence, Sir Steven disabuses us of this notion, or that the fall marked the close of the Middle Ages. Indeed, "only the Papacy and a few scholars and romanticists had been genuinely shocked at the thought of the great historic Christian city passing into the hands of the infidel" (p. 179). For the most part, it was part of the rising tide of Turkish conquest, alarming in a general way, but not immediately catastrophic to the dying empire's fickle co-religionists in the West.

    Runciman's narrative is engrossing, full of political tension, military conflict, and the religious disputes that always colored Byzantine history. His characterizations are insightful, his descriptions colorful, his writing elegiac -- at times even poetic -- well-sourced (both Christian and Muslim authorities are consulted), and frequently entertaining, even when discussing a sad and even horrific topic. His larger works may not be to everyone's taste (for topic more than style), but a short work like this one, on an interesting and oft-neglected theme, is a worthwhile read for any student of history. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0521398320
    Sales Rank: 19974
    Subjects:  1. Byzantine Empire - History    2. Europe - Greece    3. History    4. History - General History    5. History: World    6. Istanbul (Turkey)    7. Middle East - Turkey    8. Reference    9. Siege, 1453    10. Byzantine Empire    11. Europe    12. European history: c 500 to c 1500    13. History / Middle East    14. c 1500 to c 1600   


    Les Forces Navales Du Bas Danube Et De LA Mer Noire Aux 1Er-6Eme Siecles (Colloquia Pontica, 2)
    by Octavian Bounegru
    Paperback (01 December, 1996)
    list price: $33.00 -- our price: $33.00
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    Isbn: 1900188171
    Sales Rank: 3666227
    Subjects:  1. Ancient - Rome    2. Anthropology - Cultural    3. History - General History    4. Social Science    5. Sociology   


    A History of the Byzantine State and Society
    by Warren Treadgold, Treadgold
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 November, 1997)
    list price: $39.95 -- our price: $26.37
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    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and Entertaining
    Treadgold's survey bridges a gap between the enjoyable yet sometimes sloppy work by Norwich and the considerably drier history of Ostrogorsky. He avoids Norwich's foible of sensationalizing Byzantine history, yet manages to tell an intriguing story nonetheless. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As Good as Going to Get
    Eight hundred odd pages to cover a thousand plus years of history is a major undertaking.The author weaves a remarkablly interesting and almost always coherent narative moving along at an generally brisk pace. Treadgold makes the most of what is available in the sources.It is very easy to wish for a more finely rendered and detailed social or intellectual history.However, within the limits available both as to print space and primary sources, Treadgold does a remarkable job of laying out the history of this vast, varied and long lived empire.The military, political, and theological matters of importance which were the prime motive forces in the history of Byzantium are well explicated.Economics, demographics, and epidemiology all make interrelated appearances to the extent that the underlying source material is available.Treadgold handles his material with a deft touch and extracts keen insights and interesteing factoids throughout the book.This book is an excellent introduction to the history of the Byzantine Empire for one who is reasonablly well read in the general history of the period. Are other interpretations of equal validity available in specific instances regarding Byzantine history?Yes, they are.But that is to quibble over the details.This is the definitive general work on the topic for the moment and the forseeable future.We should enjoy it for what it is, and we owe the author a debt of gratitude for a lot of hard work well done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Really only for the diehard Byzantium Enthusiast
    Detailed, precise, complete, and thick. That is how I describe "A History of the Byzantine State and Society." It is really a book only for the diehard Byzantine enthusiast. If you just want an introduction, there are other, smaller books by Treadgold which give a similiar overview but introduce you slowly.

    This work begins (really) with the ascention of Diocletion to the throne and ends with the destruction of the Empire of Trebizond in 1461. Everything is at least mentioned in some detail, though not always in great detail. It is, by far, more so a political history and without noticing it, gives religion far less a part in it than he really should have considering that Byzantium is probably in at least the top 5 most religious societies in history.

    It is definitely more organized then William Manchesters trilogy on Byzantium but not as easy to read. The writing style is 'Fact-After-Fact' and he does an increadibly poor job of explaining the "Monophysite" controversy in the immediate aftermath of Chalcedon in 451 yet doesn't cover the controversy with Nestorius and Ephesus in 431 nearly enough. Whatever you do when you read this, do't try to memorize ever fact that comes up since you will be overwhelmed completely. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0804726302
    Sales Rank: 149643
    Subjects:  1. Ancient - General    2. Byzantine Empire    3. Europe - Greece    4. History    5. History - General History    6. History: World    7. Renaissance   


    Imperial Women in Byzantium 1025-1204: Power, Patronage, and Ideology (Women and Men in History)
    by Barbara Hill
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 September, 1999)
    list price: $89.95
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The sources of Power for a Bizantine Empress
    Longman has published a very well documentated book on Imperial Women in Comnenos, Dukas and Angelos times in Byzantium. The autor, a recently Doctor in Byzantine Studies from Belfast, shows a very accquainted study and presents a long list of Bibliography not only readed but meditated as well. The book offers a new light on the sources of Political Power of very important Imperial Women in the Byzatine Empire, such as Zoe, Theodora, Anna Dalassene, and Mar?a of Antioch. Also It explores the reason because of which some empresses became more powerfuls than others using a diferent kind of power sources. Vere recommendable! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0582303532
    Sales Rank: 2927202
    Subjects:  1. Byzantine Empire    2. Empresses    3. Greece (Modern)    4. History    5. History - General History    6. Leadership in women    7. Social Science    8. Sociology    9. Women's Studies - General   

    Kinship and Justice in Byzantium, 11Th-15th Centuries (Variorum Collected Studies Series)
    by R. J. Macrides
    Hardcover (01 February, 2000)
    list price: $124.95 -- our price: $124.95
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    Isbn: 0860787990
    Sales Rank: 3408133
    Subjects:  1. Byzantine Empire    2. Europe - General    3. History    4. History: World    5. Justice, Administration of    6. Law    7. Social conditions   


    La Palestine Byzantine: Peuplement Et Populations (Bar International Series)
    by Claudine Dauphin
    Hardcover (January, 1998)

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    Isbn: 0860549054
    Subjects:  1. History - General History    2. Middle East - Israel    3. Asian / Middle Eastern history: BCE to c 500 CE    4. Byzantine Empire   

    Originality in Byzantine Literature, Art & Music (Oxbow Monographs in Archaeology No 50)
    by A. R. Littlewood
    Hardcover (01 December, 1995)
    list price: $45.00 -- our price: $45.00
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    Isbn: 0946897875
    Sales Rank: 1649952
    Subjects:  1. Europe - Greece    2. History - General History   


    Studies on the Internal Diaspora of the Byzantine Empire
    by Helene Ahrweiler, Angeliki E. Laiou
    Hardcover (01 October, 1998)
    list price: $31.50 -- our price: $31.50
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    Isbn: 0884022471
    Sales Rank: 1446935
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - Cultural    2. Byzantine Empire    3. Byzantine Empire - History    4. Ethnic Studies - General    5. Ethnic relations    6. History    7. History - General History    8. History: World    9. Middle East - Turkey    10. Pluralism (Social sciences)    11. Race And Ethnic Relations    12. Renaissance    13. Social integration   


    Warfare, State And Society In The Byzantine World 565-1204 (Warfare and History)
    by John F. Haldon
    Paperback (01 July, 1999)
    list price: $36.95 -- our price: $36.95
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    Isbn: 185728495X
    Sales Rank: 564576
    Subjects:  1. Ancient - General    2. History - General History    3. History: World    4. Military - General    5. Europe    6. European history: c 500 to c 1500    7. Social history    8. Turkey    9. Warfare & Defence    10. c 1000 CE to c 1500    11. c 500 CE to c 1000 CE   


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