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The Oxford History of Byzantium.

The Oxford History of Byzantium. Cyril Mango, editor. Oxford University Press. [pounds sterling]30.00. 334 pages. ISBN 0-198 14098-3. As Prof. Mango writes in his Preface, the Byzantine Empire, which was once regarded by Gibbon 'as superstition' has now 'emerged as spirituality'. In part the neglect was due to the eastern Roman Empire's being absorbed by the Mohammedan rule of the Ottomans and in part, because in Europe and North America our attention has been skewed by the concentration on Rome. This collection of twelve essays by leading Anglo-American scholars of the Later Empire is introduced by Prof. Mango and gives readers new insights based on the latest research. Four essays discuss the history of the Empire from 306 to 1453 while the others deal with specific matters such as urban and rural life, religion, culture, the rise of the Mohammedan threat, the iconoclast controversy, the history and nature of learning, Byzantine missionaries and the arts in Byzantium. This is, the publishers write, 'the onl y history to provide in concise form detailed coverage of Byzantium from its Roman beginnings to the fall of Constantinople'. The wealth of illustrations helps to bring this lost civilisation vividly back to life.
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 2003
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