Captivating In "Lost to the West "Lars Brownworth shows a novelist s eye for character, bringing to life some of the most fascinating and yet little known -- figures of the Byzantine era. But it is as a researcher into the obscurities of palace intrigue, treachery, and battlefield carnage that Lars really shines. With dry humor and a palette of vivid images, he recounts the dizzying game of musical chairs that placed one usurper after another on the Byzantine throne, only to be pitched off in a gaudily macabre way. In the end, one is left agog by the irony that the upshot of this centuries-long scrum was the preservation of nearly all that the Greeks have bequeathed to us.
Steven Pressfield, author of "Gates of Fire"
Rome never fell -- itsimply moved five hundred miles East -- to Byzantium. For over a thousand years the Byzantinescommanded one of the most visceral and vivid empires the world has ever known. And yet their achievements are consistently underplayed; written out of history.Lars Brownworth is a rare talent. His contagious passion brings murderous empresses, conniving eunuchs, lost Greek texts and Byzantinetreasures of fairy-tale proportions blinking back into the light. Confidently striding through time and across the mountains and plainsof the Eastern Mediterranean, Brownworth putsthis theocratic superstateslap-bang in the center ofmankind's global story;back whereit should be.The Byzantines made our world what it is today.Lars Brownworthmatches their verve and brio in hisseductive and gripping account.
Bettany Hughes, PBS host and author of "Helen of Troy"
This is history as it used to be, history as story-telling. In this fascinating account of the Byzantine empire, Lars Brownworth covers a thousand years of blood-letting, outrageous luxury, bitter religious disputes and vaulting ambition without giving the slightest impression of being rushed or crowded. The page turns unaided.
Anthony Everitt, bestselling author of "Augustus, Cicero" and "The First Emperor
""A hugely entertaining and often moving portrait of a civilization to which the modern West owes an immense but neglected debt. Read it, and you will never use the word 'Byzantine' as a term of abuse again."
Thomas Holland, author of "Millennium, Persian Fire" and "Rubicon"
" Lost to the West" is the sort of history I wish I d been offered in school a fast-paced adventure story that covers over a thousand years of political intrigue, brilliant leaders, incompetent squabblers, mayhem, butchery and religious divides, and vividly pictures a bygone era that is still a vital part of our heritage.
Mark Pendergrast, author of "Uncommon Grounds"
"The Byzantines are back! Correcting centuries of neglect, Lars Brownworth guides us through a forgotten world and, with clarity and wit, brings it to vibrant life. Filled with a dazzling cast of ruthless Emperors, conniving generals and half-crazed scholars, "Lost to the West" is both entertaining and enlightening -- a great piece of popular history."
Tony Perrottet, author of "Pagan Holiday" and "The Naked Olympics"
"From the Hardcover edition.""show more