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: Byzantium. the early centuries
: John Julius Norwich
: Guild
: 1988
: pdf
: 436
: 29.2
:

John Julius Norwich tells, in the first of three volumes, the story of that astonishing phenomenon, from its earliest beginnings to the emergence with the coronation of Charlemagne on Christmas Day, 800 of its only European rival, the Holy Roman Empire. Those first five centuries saw the adoption of Christianity by the Graeco-Roman world; the fall of Rome, and with it the Roman Empire of the West; the reigns of Constantine, Theodosius the Great and Justinian; and the intrigues of such Empresses as Eudoxia and Theodora, whose very names have become synonymous with luxury and sensuality. They were centuries of bloodshed, in which the Empire struggled for its life against the armies of Goth, Hun and Vandal on the one hand and Persia on the other,-centuries of controversy, in which men argued passionately about the true nature of Christ and of his Church; centuries of scholarship, in which the culture of the ancient world was kept alive and preserved for posterity by the scribes and copyists of Constantinople; and. most remarkable of all, centuries of creativity, in which the Byzantine genius brought about a flowering of art and
architecture inspired by and infused with a depth of spirituality unparalleled in any other age. After more than fourteen centuries, the ever-dazzling brilliance of the mosaics of Ravenna and the ethereal splendour of the Great Church of St Sophia in Constantinople still have the power to catch the breath,










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