A Short History of Byzantium

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Penguin Adult, Oct 29, 1998 - History - 480 pages
12 Reviews
A Short History of Byzantium is renowned historian, and author of A History of Venice, John Julius Norwich's classic history of Byzantium Constantine the Great moved the seat of Roman power to Constantinople in AD 330 and for eleven brutal, bloody centuries, the Byzantine Empire became a beacon of grand magnificence and depraved decadence . . . Here then are the centuries dominated by ferocious arguments over the nature of Christ and his Church. By knowledge, where scholars and scribes preserved the heritage of the ancient world. By emperors like Justinian the Great and Basil the Bulgar-Slayer - men pious, heroic or monstrous. By creativity, as art and architecture soared to new heights. In this abridgement of his celebrated trilogy, John Julius Norwich provides the definitive introduction to the savage, scintillating world of Byzantium. 'Norwich has the gift of historical perspective, as well as clarity and wit. Few can tell a good story better than he' Spectator 'A real-life epic of love and war, accessible to anyone' Independent on Sunday 'Norwich tells a remarkable story with boundless zest. He offers character sketches of the appalling personages who infest his narrative . . . with the assurance of a Macauley or a Gibbon' Daily Telegraph John Julius Norwich was born in 1929. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and, after a spell of National Service in the Navy, at New College, Oxford, where he took a degree in French and Russian. In 1952 he joined the Foreign Service, where he remained for twelve years, serving at the embassies in Belgrade and Beirut. In 1964 he resigned from the service to write. He is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice and the Byzantine Empire. He has written and presented some thirty historical documentaries on television, and is a regular lecturer on Venice and numerous other subjects.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jessiqa - LibraryThing

This book is shortened from Norwich's three-volume history. Though I majored in history in college, most of my classes, if they mentioned Byzantium at all, just barely touched on the empire. As an ... Read full review

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User Review  - BrianFannin - LibraryThing

This one was a bit of a slog. Don't get me wrong, Norwich's writing style is very light and not remotely academic, but there's a sameness to both subject and treatment that lulls one into an ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

David Dyergrew up in a coastal town in NSW, Australia, and graduated as dux of his high school in 1984. After commencing a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney, he soon decided it was not for him.

David went on to train as a ship's officer at the Australian Maritime College, travelling Australia and the world in a wide range of merchant ships. He graduated from the college with distinction and was awarded a number of prizes, including the Company of Master Mariners Award for highest overall achievement in the course. He then returned to the University of Sydney to complete a combined degree in Arts and Law. David was awarded the Frank Albert Prize for first place in Music I, High Distinctions in all English courses and First Class Honours in Law. From the mid-1990s until early 2000s David worked as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, and then in London at a legal practice whose parent firm represented the Titanic's owners back in 1912. In 2002 David returned to Australia and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of New England, and commenced teaching English at Kambala, a school for girls in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

David has had a life-long obsession with the Titanic and has become an expert on the subject. In 2009 he was awarded a Commonwealth Government scholarship to write The Midni

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