Byzantium in Five Books: Introduction
I hope this series of articles will prove of some interest.
In Byzantium in Five Books I will be featuring a series of works that I hold in special regard, and which cover a range of writing styles, topics, and approaches to Byzantine state history, culture, and society. The intention is not to compile some sort of best-of list, but instead to provide a short reading selection which provides accessible and reliable access to major themes and categories in Byzantine history.
My subjective criteria have been: range of subject matter; quality of writing - both in an academic and artistic sense; availability, and sheer 'reader appeal'. They are all works which I have found particularly useful; comprehensive on large scales, or perceptive and detailed on more small-scale subjects. They also have the shared quality of engaging the imagination.
I am very much aware this series will be a reflection of my own humble (and non-specialist) opinions. It also a forlorn task to boil down the great range of published material on Byzantium, even for non-specialist audiences. With this in mind I will also be featuring alternatives and "honourable mentions" for works which bear close comparison with those I have selected for special attention.
The works I will be featuring are:
|Late Rome/Early Byzantium|
|Justinian the Great|
|The fight to survive|
|The Byzantine high tide|
|The last imperial age|
|Decline and fall|
|More from Hagia Sophia|
|Istanbul: near the Great Palace|
|Istanbul: other sites|
|Mistra - last Byzantine Capital|
|Other sites in Greece|