Top 5 Best Recent Guides to the Byzantine World

A Companion to Byzantium, ed. Liz James
Using new methodological and theoretical approaches, A Companion to Byzantium presents an overview of the Byzantine world from its inception in 330 A.D. to its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Provides an accessible overview of eleven centuries of Byzantine society Introduces the most recent scholarship that is transforming the field of Byzantine studies Emphasizes Byzantium's social and cultural history, as well as its material culture Explores traditional topics and themes through fresh perspectives

Click here to read a review from BMCR







Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, ed. Elizabeth Jeffreys
on all significant aspects of this diverse and fast-growing field. The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies deals with the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire, the eastern half of the Late Roman Empire, from the fourth to the fourteenth century. Its centre was the city formerly known as Byzantium, refounded as Constantinople in 324 CE, the present-day Istanbul. Under its emperors, patriarchs, and all-pervasive bureaucracy Byzantium developed a distinctive society: Greek in language, Roman in legal system, and Christian in religion. Byzantium's impact in the European Middle Ages is hard to over-estimate, as a bulwark against invaders, as a meeting-point for trade from Asia and the Mediterranean, as a guardian of the classical literary and artistic heritage, and as a creator of its own magnificent artistic style.
Features
Comprehensive and authoritative coverage of the entire field of Byzantine Studies
Written by an international team of leading experts
Surveys history, literary genres, theological issues, and material culture
Provides the tools for understanding the discipline
Part of the prestigious Oxford Handbooks series

Click here to read a review from BMCR


The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire

Edited by: Jonathan Shepard, University of Cambridge
Byzantium lasted a thousand years, ruled to the end by self-styled 'emperors of the Romans'. It underwent kaleidoscopic territorial and structural changes, yet recovered repeatedly from disaster: even after the near-impregnable Constantinople fell in 1204, variant forms of the empire reconstituted themselves. The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire tells the story, tracing political and military events, religious controversies and economic change. It offers clear, authoritative chapters on the main events and periods, with more detailed chapters on particular outlying regions, neighbouring powers or aspects of Byzantium. With aids such as a glossary, an alternative place-name table and references to English translations of sources, it will be valuable as an introduction. However, it also offers stimulating new approaches and important new findings, making it essential reading for postgraduates and for specialists.



The Byzantine World
ed. by Paul Stephenson

The Byzantine World presents the latest insights of the leading scholars in the fields of Byzantine studies, history, art and architectural history, literature, and theology. Those who know little of Byzantine history, culture and civilization between AD 700 and 1453 will find overviews and distillations, while those who know much already will be afforded countless new vistas.
Each chapter offers an innovative approach to a well-known topic or a diversion from a well-trodden path. Readers will be introduced to Byzantine women and children, men and eunuchs, emperors, patriarchs, aristocrats and slaves. They will explore churches and fortifications, monasteries and palaces, from Constantinople to Cyprus and Syria in the east, and to Apulia and Venice in the west. Secular and sacred art, profane and spiritual literature will be revealed to the reader, who will be encouraged to read, see, smell and touch. The worlds of Byzantine ceremonial and sanctity, liturgy and letters, Orthodoxy and heresy will be explored, by both leading and innovative international scholars.
Ultimately, readers will find insights into the emergence of modern Byzantine studies and of popular Byzantine history that are informative, novel and unexpected, and that provide a thorough understanding of both.

The Byzantines, by Averil Cameron
This book introduces the reader to the complex history, ethnicity, and identity of the Byzantines. It brings Byzantium – often misconstrued as a vanished successor to the classical world – to the forefront of European history. It deconstructs stereotypes surrounding Byzantium.

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