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The Great Church in Captivity: A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence
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Top Customer Reviews
Generally, the book was easy to read and very informative. One chapter deals heavily with theology, and finding the subject brain numbing, I must admit, I skipped over most it. No matter, the balance of the book, which deals with Church history, was very enlightening. I do have one issue with Runcimen's account, however. Greek history teaches that during the captivity, Greek children were taught Greek by the clergy, under covert conditions, usually at night in underground caves, so as to not alert the Turks. By doing this, the Greek people were able to maintain their identity through language and religion, and resist turkification. This is a fact of paramount significance to the Greek people, a legend of heroism passed down from generation to generation, yet there is no mention of it by Runciman. Even though this account was omitted, there is so much content in this book, that I highly recommend it to those interested in the history of the Orthodox Church.
To Greeks: A bit of warning to the wide-eyed and uninitiated: You were not taught this history at home or in Sunday school, so you may be shocked by some of this. I was.
We also get a deeper insight on Runciman's own ideas about religion and theology that we only catch a glimpse of, in his most ...ermm, "secular" works.
This book also piqued my interest on a more personal level as well, being (nominally) Orthodox.For anyone who has read his books, it's not a secret where Runciman' s sympathies lay - and he certainly tries to explain and excuse many "unfortunate" acts and decisions on behalf of the Orthodox Church.But be warned - this isn't a rose-tinted hagiography - the story of the "Great Church" in "captivity" becomes literally nauseating at times, and it doesn't lack in cynicism and petty squabling.It certainly didn't make me want to get rid of that pesky "nominally" in front of my religion....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sir Steven Runciman’s The Great Church in Captivity was fascinating to read. Covering the period between the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 and the disintegration of the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by tpkatsa
A book dealing with a subject rarely investigated, but nevertheless informative and very sharp in its analysis and in the portrayal of the various personages it depicts. Read morePublished on June 30, 2013 by K. Tsekouras
This is a great book about a great topic. The Great Church of Constantnople Byzantium in Captivity. I have also read Sir Stephen Runciman's books about The Crusades and The fall of... Read morePublished on August 11, 2012 by Archangel Michael
The product was received in excellent condition in a Manila envelope. The product was listed as new condition as it was except for writing on the cover.. Read morePublished on February 14, 2010 by A. Martus
Runciman is probably the ranking master of Eastern Orthodox history, and his insights shed light on all religious traditions of the world. Read morePublished on February 23, 2008 by Brian Griffith
It is rare to find a work of excellent scholarship that is also very readable. Runciman has once again achieved this result.Published on March 2, 2006 by P. Barakate
This excellent monograph from the most objective world leader on the subject, is without parallel. A must read for all those interested in the bad but not-that-bad fate of the... Read morePublished on February 1, 2006 by Chris Gain
This gifted British historian captures you with his prose and holds on to you with his glorious tale and historiography which is second to none. Read morePublished on December 26, 2004 by L. Tampacopoulos
The Great Church in Captivity is indispensable for anyone interested in the tragedy of Byzantium's demise. Read morePublished on December 15, 2003