History Jonathan Harris The End of Byzantium

ISBN 13: 9780300117868

The End of Byzantium

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9780300117868: The End of Byzantium

By 1400, the once-mighty Byzantine Empire stood on the verge of destruction. Most of its territories had been lost to the Ottoman Turks, and Constantinople was under close blockade. Against all odds, Byzantium lingered on for another fifty years until 1453, when the Ottomans dramatically toppled the capital’s walls. During this bleak and uncertain time, ordinary Byzantines faced difficult decisions to protect their livelihoods and families against the death throes of their homeland. In this evocative and moving book, Jonathan Harris explores individual stories of diplomatic maneuverings, covert defiance, and sheer luck against a backdrop of major historical currents and offers a new perspective on the real reasons behind the fall of this extraordinarily fascinating empire.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Harris is professor of the history of Byzantium at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Review:

"Lucid; extremely well written with an excellent array of quotes and spread of information."—Michael Angold, Reviews In History (Michael Angold Reviews in History 2011-07-02)

"Harris is fully in command of this Islamic conquest and records a saga seething with treachery and avarice with rich political overtones and giant cannonades. Christendom is at flashpoint in this scholarly journey into a barbaric age."—Colin Gardner, Oxford Times (Colin Gardner Oxford Times 2011-03-03)

"Jonathan Harris's new account of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 is a welcome and highly readable treatment of one of the most important events in world history. The author knows his sources inside out and his book is a fine work of scholarship. But he also handles his subject with narrative momentum and descriptive flair, and he never loses sight of the humanity involved in these twilight years of a once-great empire."—Norman Housley, author of Fighting for the Cross (Norman Housley)

Harris's book tells and oft-told tale in a fresh way.— Brian G. H. Ditcham, Gillingham, Kent, England (Brian G. H. Ditcham Sixteenth Century Journal 2012-04-01)

“Shows expert knowledge of the Greeks in the west and of cultural trends in humanistic thought. . . . Harris provides a sympathetic reading of the civil wars and conflicts engendered by the empire’s fundamental problem in this era: how to balance Byzantine traditions with the need for military aid from the West in order to confront the Ottoman Turks.”—Judith Herrin, Wall Street Journal (Judith Herrin Wall Street Journal)

“Western education has given us so little background on the Byzantines that Harris’s thorough study will whet readers’ appetite for more about this intriguing kingdom.”—Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)

The End of Byzantium is a worthy successor to [earlier] books and indeed supersedes them as an introduction to the empire in its final hour. . . . [Harris] explains the unfamiliar without dumbing-down and lets the players speak for themselves.”—Paul Magdalino, American Historical Review (Paul Magdalino American Historical Review)

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