文化・文学
Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire

Known for its beautiful buildings, glittering jewellery and fervent religiosity, the Byzantine Empire actually viewed itself as Roman. They believed the city of Constantinople (or Byzantium) was the new capital of the mighty Roman Empire, after its Western portion had fallen to barbarians. Constantinople’s glory is certainly fitting of a wealthy Roman city, but how much do we really know about this fascinating society, which lasted for 1000 years after its predecessor’s demise? All About History’s Book of the Byzantine Empire explores the origins of the empire, and how it grew to become a beacon of stability, even when it was surrounded by kingdoms in chaos. Learn why Constantinople developed into the wealthiest city in the world, and what its citizens did on their days off. Get inside the minds of Byzantium’s greatest thinkers, before exploring why Orthodox Christianity was the form of Christianity adopted throughout the Byzantine Empire. With beautiful mosaics, artefacts and artworks to admire, you’ll get a sense of the opulence of Byzantium by pouring through these pages. Perhaps most importantly, though, you can study the emperors and empresses that made the Byzantine world the longest-lasting Christian empire in history.

:
United Kingdom
言語:
English
出版社:
Future Publishing Ltd
刊行頻度:
One-off
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1
the byzantine empire

Known for its beautiful buildings, glittering jewellery and fervent religiosity, the Byzantine Empire actually viewed itself as Roman. They believed the city of Constantinople (or Byzantium) was the new capital of the mighty Roman Empire, after its Western portion had fallen to barbarians. Constantinople’s glory is certainly fitting of a wealthy Roman city, but how much do we really know about this fascinating society, which lasted for 1000 years after its predecessor’s demise? All About History’s Book of the Byzantine Empire explores the origins of the empire, and how it grew to become a beacon of stability, even when it was surrounded by kingdoms in chaos. Learn why Constantinople developed into the wealthiest city in the world, and what its citizens did on their days off. Get inside the minds of…

5
royal dynasties

THEODOSIAN DYNASTY 379-457 The successful early years of the Byzantine Empire contrasted with the struggles faced by the rulers of Rome. A thriving economy allowed Constantinople to be fortified with huge walls, while extra cash was used to pay off potential invaders and employ mercenaries, including some of the Huns who sacked Rome LEONID DYNASTY 457-518 Leo I, the first of the Leonid dynasty, was put on the throne by Aspar, a powerful Gothic general serving in the Byzantine forces who expected him to be a puppet ruler. Instead a power struggle broke out that ended with Aspar’s assassination in 471. The Leonids ruled for another 47 years. JUSTINIAN DYNASTY 518–602 The Byzantine Empire entered its first golden age under the Justinians. The military campaigns of Justinian I – often known as Justinian the Great – attempted to…

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the empire strikes back justinian’s quest

The emperor Justinian never lacked admirers. Some of them lapsed into sycophancy. “You have a dignity beyond all others,” wrote Pope Agapetus, and “it was in the likeness of the heavenly kingdom that God gave you the earthly rule, that you might teach men the protection of justice and drive away the howling of those who rave against it”. Justinian would often be remembered as one of the towering figures of early Byzantine history: the law-maker, the reformer, the ruler who launched bold initiatives to win back territories in the west. On the other hand, some would portray him as the man who embarked upon pointless, costly military misadventures and left behind a toxic legacy. The emperor’s contemporaries couldn’t quite decide which analysis was correct, and historians continue to squabble…

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belisarius

Flavius Belisarius, born around the year 500, was the stuff of legend. His early adventures in the campaigns against the Persians were a hit-and-miss affair, but his reputation soared in the wake of the North African wars. Traditionally conquering heroes had returned to Rome and been rewarded with a 'triumph' – a lavish celebration of their deeds. Such festivities had not taken place for several centuries, but an exception was made for Belisarius. He strode into Constantinople and the crowds cheered at the procession. Initial successes in Italy enhanced Belisarius' reputation but, as the tide turned against the empire in the 540s, his position became less secure. Justinian seems to have worried about his general's ambitions and, rather churlishly, resented Belisarius' popularity. The general was called home and, after being pardoned…

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laying down the law

Any empire worth its salt benefited from a coherent legal code. Oddly enough, Rome had never scored highly in this regard. Attempts had been made – all the way back to the Twelve Tables of the fifth century BCE – to improve matters, but by the time of Justinian the empire's laws were still in something of a muddle. As Justinian's territories expanded, the need for reform grew increasingly urgent. It was time to codify, to standardise and to allow for a little legal innovation rather than simply assembling highly selective dossiers of ancient laws. Moreover, it was high time that all the empire's citizens were subject to the same standards of justice: getting away with wrongdoing simply because you were higher up the social ladder seemed rather arbitrary. Thus…

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a taxing time

Three factors have a tendency to deplete imperial coffers: fighting costly wars, losing large swathes of tax-paying citizens to epidemic diseases and an addiction to tax-evasion among the citizenry. Justinian confronted all three challenges. Attempts were made to reform the system of tax collection by returning the job to local councils rather than trusting the so-called vindices – or "destructive hirelings" as Justinian referred to them. This plan met with limited success. Efforts were also made to impose new levels of taxation on those in the higher echelons of society. This plan provoked a great deal of animosity. Adding to his woes, Justinian faced opposition from those further down the social pecking order. The Nika riots of 532 were provoked, at least in part, by the emperor's aggressive taxation policies. The…