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A History of Byzantium by Timothy Gregory
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An ideal undergraduate textbook, as well as an excellent reference book for the more advanced student. Enough detail for the for the beginner without becoming overwhelming, and good for quick references or to reorient yourself with a particular period if you are an aspiring Byzantinist. I wrote a senior thesis paper using this book (in conjunction with Norwich's 3 volume History of Byzantium) as my central, general text, and was more than satisfied with the information I was able to glean from it. It is a starting point to be sure, but a very, very good one.

Full Disclosure: I'm going to be Dr. Gregory's graduate student in the fall (but I haven't studied with him at the time of writing this review!);I suppose you should keep this in mind when reading this review :)

P.S.: Be sure to get the updated second edition of this book rather than the first. Several elements have been upgraded, and it is well worth the extra money. ( )
  flmcgough | Jul 5, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0631235132, Paperback)

This book is a concise narrative of Byzantine history from the time of Constantine the Great (AD 306) to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Argues that Byzantium was important in its own right but also served as a bridge between East and West and ancient and modern society.
Uses the chronological political history of the empire as a narrative frame.
Considers social and economic life and the rich culture of the Byzantine Empire.
Integrates visual documents, such as photographs of art, architecture, and implements from daily life.
Makes the latest scholarship accessible to a wide audience.
Includes a chronological list of emperors, a glossary and maps.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This book is a concise narrative of Byzantine history from the time of Constantine the Great in AD 306 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The author presents Byzantium as a vital society, important in its own right, but also one that served as a bridge between East and West, and ancient and modern society."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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