Category Archives: Modern Books

Mark Whittow obituary

The historian Mark Whittow, who has died aged 60 in a road accident, did much to encourage the teaching of his subject in universities from an increasingly global perspective. His book The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025 examined the early history … Continue reading

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Nine things you didn’t know about love and marriage in Byzantium

Byzantine civilization has long been regarded by many as one big curiosity. Often associated with treachery and superstition, their traditions and contributions to the ancient world are often overlooked. Referencing A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities, we’ve pulled together nine lesser … Continue reading

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Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes

The goddess is back with a remarkable history of our favourite city! Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu’ran to Shakespeare, … Continue reading

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Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman

By the time he died, in 2000 at the age of 97, Sir Steven Runciman knew that he was a “‘relict of a past age’”, the “embodiment of a…nearly mythical era.” Minoo Dinshaw’s brilliantly entertaining biography of the great historian … Continue reading

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New Book: Greek Fire and its contribution to Byzantine might

We have all heard of Greek Fire. We know of the contribution that it made to certain naval victories for the Byzantines, wreaking terrible destruction on those on the receiving end. Little however is known about the weapon. How was … Continue reading

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When Brothers Dwell in Unity: Byzantine Christianity and Homosexuality

This book was brought to my attention recently and I thought that it deserved to be shared with a wider audience. Same sex relationships are not an area that I feel at all confident commenting on, but what we all … Continue reading

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War and peace on the Byzantine-Islamic border

Given the current events on what was the much disputed border between Rome/Byzantium and the Sassanid/Persian empires this book may make interesting reading, but the sad fact is that visiting many of the areas under discussion is now impossible unless … Continue reading

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