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The Byzantine Empire Paperback – June 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0813207544 ISBN-10: 0813207541 Edition: Rev Sub

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press; Rev Sub edition (June 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813207541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813207544
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
The reader interested in a basic history of the Byzantine Empire and its literary and artistic legacy will find this book appealing. Unlike other authors, Professor Browning does not hold the conventional view that the Byzantine Empire as we know it began with the establishment of the capital city of Constantinople in A.D. 330. Rather, he takes into account the evolution of Roman civilization in the East from its initially pagan Latinized form to its final definition as a Hellenic Christian state around A.D. 500. Throughout the book, the author describes in excellent manner the development of Byzantine art and letters vis-a-vis the political, economic, and social changes affecting the state during its nearly 1000 years of existence. Maps illustrating the geographical growth and decline of the Empire are included, along with a chronological table and a list of emperors. A good bibliography refers the reader to more detailed works on topics such as the structure of the Byzantine government and military, the Greek Church, and the social customs of the day. The maps may be a little hard to follow at first as different time periods are overlapped in each of them. Also, the full-color plates which graced the book's first edition by Scribner's are missing from this revised CUA Press edition. Maps and plates aside, "The Byzantine Empire" provides an effective, readable primer on the Byzantine world
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Tilden on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Interesting book. One word of caution, it starts in 500 AD, 200 years after Constantine. If you are interested in the origins of the Byzantine Empire this is not the book for you.
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By Al Singh on May 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good introduction to the subject; political and military history is balanced by cultural history. Hard to find books of this caliber on the Byzantine Empire; this one is good if not superlative.
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By Pakelekia on August 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Interesting
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Perz on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
The main problem with this book is the poor way in which the material is presented. Browning clearly knows his stuff; that's not in question. All the information in the world is worthless, however, if you can't express it to others.

The book lacks anything resembling a clear and structured narrative; there's a lot of pure information-dumping. Maybe that's fine for someone who is already an expert in the field (but, then again, if you're already an expert on the topic then you don't need to be reading this book anyway). It has none of the artful grace of a master historian (Norman Davies comes to mind...)

Additionally, if thought that way too much emphasis was placed on art and literature (at the expense of other topics). It seemed disproportionate and over-done.

Overall, TBE is a poorly done work that is not particularly useful or illuminating. I read the whole book and sure, I have some facts, but I'm not much better off as to understanding why things happened as they did (which, ultimately, is what studying history is all about...)

Not recommended.
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