Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium

Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium


By (author) Jonathan Harris

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  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 230mm x 24mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 5 May 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0826430864
  • ISBN 13: 9780826430861
  • Illustrations note: 8 bw illustrations
  • Sales rank: 592,962

Product description

This book examines the intriguing interaction between the spiritual and the political whilst reconstructs the awe-inspiring city in its heyday of 1200. During the early Middle Ages, travellers to the East returned with stories of a place called Miklagarth, a city so vast that its churches, palaces and monasteries covered the land and so rich that its ruler could scatter bagfuls of gold among his astonished guests. This was no legend or tall tale because Miklagarth was a real place. Better known as Constantinople, it was the capital city of the empire of Byzantium and a major political force in the eastern Mediterranean for over a thousand years. The mythical aura that surrounded Constantinople was no accident. It was assiduously cultivated by the Byzantine emperors to bolster their power, wealth and prestige. Jonathan Harris examines the intriguing interaction between the mythical and the actual to reconstruct the city at the peak of its power.

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Author information

Jonathan Harris taught English in Turkey before completing his doctorate in Byzantine History in 1993. He is currently Reader in Byzantine Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Byzantium and the Crusades (Continuum).

Review quote

"'It is a tribute to Harris's skill as a writer that his book produces in the reader a sense of loss... A readable, informative, and vivid book, offering an evocative picture of the city in the context of the culture that produced it. Highly recommended.' Richard Fraser, Coll. of Physicians of Philadelphia"

Table of contents

Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction; 1. The City of Wonders; 2. Founding Fathers; 3. Defence; 4. Palaces and Power; 5. Churches and Monasteries; 6. 'Two Thirds of the Wealth in this World'; 7. Democracy; 8. The Beginning of the End; 9. The Ruin of Byzantine Constantinople; 10. Epilogue: Byzantine Constantinople Today; Bibliography; Index.