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Justinian: The Sleepless One

3.17  ·  Rating Details ·  6 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Nephew of a semi-literate peasant, Justinian I was one of the most fascinating of the Roman emperors. His reign marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his prolific building works yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia, which remains the third largest church in Christendom. Although he never took part in military campaigns personally he managed to ex ...more
Paperback, 322 pages
Published November 4th 2010 by Birlinn Ltd
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Ireney Berezniak
Justinian: The Sleepless One is a mixed bag: an uneven narrative and spotty character development, blessed with fine research of the period. As a work of fiction, this title was a failure partially redeemed by the richness of historical detail contained within. No romantic depictions of "leaves rustling in the wind" will be found here; rather, this title reads more like a non-fictional treatise on the tribulations of Justinian and the empire in his charge, complete with footnotes and references. ...more
May 10, 2012 Daniel rated it it was ok
On one hand this book offers a solid account of the Justinianic period, taking in all the major people, places and events of the time.

On the other it is also crippled by stilted writing, shallow characters and some pretty glaring anachronisms (Narses starts talking about the merits of Blitzkrieg, while a Chinese sage is described as speaking Mandarin, to name a few).

The story arc starts off promising, takes a gigantic dip, then seems to rise again but ends anticlimactically. The last two chapte
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Ross Laidlaw is a Scottish writer of historical, thriller and spy fiction.

Laidlaw was born in Aberdeen and now lives in East Lothian. He attended the University of Cambridge and has spent time working and traveling in southern Africa. In 1979, while working as a geography and history teacher at Belhaven Hill School near Dunbar, Laidlaw's first book was released, The Lion is Rampant, receiving sign
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“If, simply by nodding, you would acquire great riches, but at the same time bring about the death of an unknown mandarin in distant China – would you nod?” 0 likes
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