The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025

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University of California Press, 1996 - History - 477 pages
2 Reviews
Mark Whittow presents a clear, up-to-date reassessment of the Byzantine empire during a crucial phase in the history of the Near East. Against a geopolitical background (superbly illustrated with fourteen maps), his book covers the last decade of the Roman empire as a superpower, the catastrophic crisis of the seventh century, and the means whereby the embattled Byzantine empire hung on in Constantinople and Asia Minor until the Abbasid Caliphate's decline opened up new perspectives for Christian power in the Near East.
A special feature is Whittow's coverage of Byzantium's neighbors, allies, and enemies in Europe and Asia. He stresses the geographical context of events, often overlooked in other accounts of this period. The origins of Russia, relations with the nomad powers of the steppe world, the competition between Bulgars, Romans, and Slavs in the Balkans, and the frequently ignored region of the Transcaucasus are all given extended treatment. No such wide-ranging work has appeared in English for nearly 30 years, and Whittow's book will be invaluable for all scholars, students, and enthusiasts of medieval history. Mark Whittow presents a clear, up-to-date reassessment of the Byzantine empire during a crucial phase in the history of the Near East. Against a geopolitical background (superbly illustrated with fourteen maps), his book covers the last decade of the Roman empire as a superpower, the catastrophic crisis of the seventh century, and the means whereby the embattled Byzantine empire hung on in Constantinople and Asia Minor until the Abbasid Caliphate's decline opened up new perspectives for Christian power in the Near East.
A special feature is Whittow's coverage of Byzantium's neighbors, allies, and enemies in Europe and Asia. He stresses the geographical context of events, often overlooked in other accounts of this period. The origins of Russia, relations with the nomad powers of the steppe world, the competition between Bulgars, Romans, and Slavs in the Balkans, and the frequently ignored region of the Transcaucasus are all given extended treatment. No such wide-ranging work has appeared in English for nearly 30 years, and Whittow's book will be invaluable for all scholars, students, and enthusiasts of medieval history.
  

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Review: The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025 (New Studies in Medieval History)

User Review  - Lucas - Goodreads

This is a wide-sweeping narrative and thematic survey of middle Byzantine history. Whittow does an excellent job both briefly sketching out the story of what happened and supporting it with a great ... Read full review

Review: The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025 (New Studies in Medieval History)

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

I had to read this for my Historical Methods class... that was the only reason I even picked it up in the first place. Byzantium history is not interesting to me at all. That might be why this book ... Read full review

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Contents

THE STRATEGIC GEOGRAPHY OF THE NEAR EAST
15
THE ROMAN WORLD IN 600
38
THE FALL OF THE OLD ORDER
69
HOW THE ROMAN EMPIRE SURVIVED
96
THE SHOCK OF DEFEAT
134
DEFENSIVE
165
THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE AND ITS NONMUSLIM
194
THE AGE OF RECONQUEST 863976
310
THE REIGN OF BASIL II 9761025
358
Notes
391
Bibliography
424
Index
446
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Mark Whittow is a medieval historian and archaeologist at Oriel College, Oxford. He has published articles on Byzantine cities and castles and is currently directing a project surveying medieval castles in western Turkey.

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