A compelling and vivid narrative history of one of the founding civilizations of the modern world, the Byzantine empire, evocatively told through the lives of its 92 emperors.
The Byzantine empire was one of the most successful states of the Middle Ages, ruling over a huge terrain straddling Europe and western Asia for an unrivalled eleven hundred years. Yet its history remains largely unfamiliar. This chronicle brings this majestic yet turbulent period to life through the lives of its emperors: supreme military commander, Head of State and God's representative on earth, no less.
These were the men and women that presided over many of the foundations of the modern world, from the establishment of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith, to the magnificent artistic heritage of Hagia Sophia and Mount Athos, and the creation of a visual template for Christian art.
Each illustrated biographical entry contributes to the story of how Byzantium shaped our art, culture, religious beliefs and justice systems, and the role this extraordinary empire played in halting repeated invasions, allowing the idea of 'Europe' to flourish. Through stories of nobility and petty revenge, of religious devotion and brutal genocide, and of sexual intrigue and artistic brilliance; from soaring intellectuals to illiterate peasants, eunuchs and despots, this is a humanizing portrayal of individuals, whose role impacted the lives of millions.
Thames & Hudson
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Publication Date: 01 May 2022
FOREWORD by Robert Peston INTRODUCTION by Bettany Hughes Constantinian Dynasty (306-363) Non-Dynastic Ruler (363-364) Valentinian Dynasty (364-379) Theodosian Dynasty (379-457) Leonid Dynasty (457-518) Justinian Dynasty (518-602) Non-Dynastic Usurper (602-610) Heraklian Dynasty (610-695) Twenty Years of Anarchy (695-717) Isaurian Dynasty (717-802) Nikephorian Dynasty (802-813) Non-Dynastic Ruler (813-820) Amorian Dynasty (820-867) Macedonian Dynasty (867-1056) Non-Dynastic Ruler (1056-1057) Komnenian Dynasty (I: 1057-1059) Doukid Dynasty (1059-1081) Komnenian Dynasty (II: 1081-1185) Angelid Dynasty (1185-1204) Latin Constantinople and the Empire in Exile (1204-1461) The Empire of Nicaea (1208-1261) Palaiologan Dynasty (1261-1453)
Kevin Lygo is an expert in Islamic and Byzantine art who has travelled across Europe and the Middle East extensively. He has previously edited the publications Portraits of the Masters: Bronze Sculptures of the Tibetan Buddhist Lineages (2003) and Pages of the Qur'an. A study of Islamic Calligraphy (2011). He is Director of Television at ITV and was formerly Director of Television at Channel 4. Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. Robert Peston is a journalist, writer and the Political Editor of ITV News.
Reviews for The Emperors of Byzantium
Kevin Lygo is a connoisseur, collector and specialist in the Byzantine era, which when, combined with his flair for storytelling, make this a publication to savor.--Will Gompertz, BBC arts editor