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Constantine Porphyrogenitus and His World by…
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Constantine Porphyrogenitus and His World

by Arnold Joseph Toynbee

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Constantine VII was a byzantine Emperor from the age of two, until his death, aged 54, on Nov. 9, 959CE. He spent the bulk of his life in relative obscurity with active ruling being fought for by a succession of Bureaucrats and Soldiers. The Empire was relatively prosperous during this time, and Constantine had the resources for his career as a researcher and writer. We'd call him a political scientist, and his works are a treasure house for current Byzantinists.
His surviving works include a book on his provinces, or themes, a work on ceremonials, a serious study in the Tenth century, and a study of his Grandfather Basil I.
Constantine at last gained nominal power in 944 at the age of 39, and co-ordinated an administration that made advances against the Arab power in the Middle East. He was succeeded by his son.
This biography was written by another massive researcher, Arnold Toynbee, who also had access to the government archives of his period, and felt sympathy, from one scholar to another. It is a fine book, and deserves wider recognition than it has. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 9, 2014 |
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