Publishing today, Dionysios Stathakopoulos' A Short History of the Byzantine Empire tells the compelling story of how, until the fall of the city to the Ottomans in the fifteenth century, the Byzantines became a powerhouse of literature, art, theology, medicine, law and learning.
'Reminding us that this was a culture that coloured and shaped three continents, and that controlled four million square kilometres at its height', this new short history is above all a narrative of individuals: of powerful rulers like Justinian I, who recovered Italy from the Vandals and oversaw construction of Hagia Sofia (completed in 537); of his notorious queen Theodora, a courtesan who rose improbably to the highest office of imperial first lady; of the charismatic but cuckolded general Belisarius; and of the religious leaders Arius and Athanasius, whose conflicting ideas about Christ and doctrine shook the Empire to its core.
Read a Q+A with the author here.
Details about all our Short Histories, new and forthcoming, can be found here.
Feel free to browse A Short History of the Byzantine Empire below.