The Byzantine World

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ISBN-13: 978-0313231483
ISBN-10: 0313231486
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ssey /f Joan /i Mervyn

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (January 19, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313231486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313231483
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,353,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Philoponus on February 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"It needs many years of wide reading and a perceptive mind to piece together the fugitive indications furnished by sources of every sort into a composite picture of a civilization. Professor Hussey, not for the first time, has proved her deep and extensive knowledge of the Byzantine world." Orientalia Christiana Periodica

Holy Eastern Roman Empire:
Byzantium was the eastern, Greek-speaking territories of the Roman empire, which survived its decline and fall in the fifth century AD, and continued to flourish for another millennia. The Byzantine empire, originally covered the entire eastern half of the Mediterranean, from Egypt to the Balkans, controlled from its capital city of Constantinople. In order to maintain all the provinces that its Roman predecessor once controlled, Byzantium had to allocate all its forces for one goal: to defend its territories. While Roman army's only goal was to conquer, Byzantine army was in a decisive position. Byzantine forces took several forms during its long history, from Roman legions to feudal armies in the late Middle Ages. Barbarians from all around saw a great opportunity in Byzantium, because of its wealth and prosperity. Due to its position, the Empire had to maintain a strong large fleet to control its seas, most important of which was the Mediterranean sea, the central communication and trade line between the distant Byzantine provinces. The rise of Islam, in the seventh century, initiated the nomadic invasions that robbed it of its greatest provinces, Egypt and Syria, confining it to what is now Turkey, Greece and the Southern Balkans.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
J.M. Hussey's THE BYZANTINE WORLD first appeared in the Hutchinson University Library in 1957, with new material added to editions in 1961, 1967, and 1970. It is a brief survey of the whole of Byzantium history from Constantine the Great to its end with the invasion of the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

The history itself is woefully meagre. Important figures like Justinian and Heraclius get just one or two pages, and many interesting events are missing. The layman wanting to know Byzantium political history in any real depth would do better to get John Julian Norwich's three-volume history of Byzantium beginning with Byzantium: The Early Centuries.

However, one of the most frequent complaints against Norwich's books are that they focus almost entirely on the changing aristocracy and on foreign policy, and neglect the state of the commoners and Byzantium's cultural output. Here Hussey's book helps to fill the void. There are chapters on everyday life, learning and literature, Byzantine art, and the religious practices of the laity.

I was rather unhappy that this book was not written to the teaching of the Orthodox Church. It is precisely Orthodox who would like to know more about Byzantium. The author, however, writes as if the findings of the Ecumenical Councils were arbitrary developments instead of the defence of right and traditional Christian doctrines, and she questions the actions of some whom the Church has glorified as saints. She even seems to accept some of the accusations made in Procopius' SECRET HISTORY, which few historians would do.

In spite of its biases and its meagre size, however, Hussey's history is worth reading for anyone eager to learn more about Byzantium, and copies are still available economically.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
J.M. Hussey's THE BYZANTINE WORLD first appeared in the Hutchinson University Library in 1957, with new material added to editions in 1961, 1967, and 1970. It is a brief survey of the whole of Byzantium history from Constantine the Great to its end with the invasion of the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

The history itself is woefully meagre. Important figures like Justinian and Heraclius get just one or two pages, and many interesting events are missing. The layman wanting to know Byzantium political history in any real depth would do better to get John Julian Norwich's three-volume history of Byzantium beginning with Byzantium: The Early Centuries.

However, one of the most frequent complaints against Norwich's books are that they focus almost entirely on the changing aristocracy and on foreign policy, and neglect the state of the commoners and Byzantium's cultural output. Here Hussey's book helps to fill the void. There are chapters on everyday life, learning and literature, Byzantine art, and the religious practices of the laity.

I was rather unhappy that this book was not written to the teaching of the Orthodox Church. It is precisely Orthodox who would like to know more about Byzantium. The author, however, writes as if the findings of the Ecumenical Councils were arbitrary developments instead of the defence of right and traditional Christian doctrines, and she questions the actions of some whom the Church has glorified as saints. She even seems to accept some of the accusations made in Procopius' SECRET HISTORY, which few historians would do.

In spite of its biases and its meagre size, however, Hussey's history is worth reading for anyone eager to learn more about Byzantium, and copies are still available economically.
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