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The Making Of Orthodox Byzantium, 600-1025 (New Studies in Medieval History)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  51 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The book is a clear, up-to-date, reassessment of the Byzantine empire during a crucial phase in the history of the Near East. Against a geopolitical background (well-illustrated with 14 maps), it covers the last decade of the Roman empire as a superpower of the ancient world, the catastrophic crisis of the seventh century and the means whereby its embattled Byzantine succe ...more
Paperback, 504 pages
Published July 12th 1996 by Palgrave (first published July 6th 1996)
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Steve


David's confrontation with Eliab, one of six silver plates depicting early scenes of the life of David.
Constantinople, c. 629-30; in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art



Mark Whittow begins his The Making of Byzantium, 600 - 1025, (1996) (*) by making clear the challenge faced when trying to understand early Medieval Byzantium. Of the certainly tens of thousands, and very probably millions of documents produced to carry out the business of state, religion and commerce during the time
...more
Alex
Sep 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book hoping to fill a gap in my knowledge. I'm well versed in Medieval West Europe and very well in the Crusades and the whole of the Middle East, but was supremely lacking Byzantine history. So I picked up what was sold to me as the penultimate in Medieval Byzantine literature. If that's the case I would hate to have to read all those others that are apparently worse than this piece.

Whitlow is unbelievably dry, making the effort in finishing the damn thing extremely difficult.
...more
Anatolikon
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wide-sweeping narrative and thematic survey of middle Byzantine history. Whittow does an excellent job both briefly sketching out the story of what happened and supporting it with a great deal of solid analysis. While the narrative is sufficient, one should not look to this book if imperial politics and war is merely what one wants to read about. Although badly dated and lacking serious analysis, John Julius Norwich's trilogy still fills that gap rather well. The strength of this book ...more
Sarah
I had to read this for my Historical Methods class... that was the only reason I even picked it up in the first place. Byzantium history is not interesting to me at all. That might be why this book was so very hard to get into... it was dry and very, very boring.

One of the few history books that I couldn't get into or even enjoy, for that matter.
Lauren Albert
Pretty tedious. One chapter, the one focusing on the "neighbors" of the Byzantine's, is more than double the length of any other chapter. In it, I felt that Whittow lost touch with the main subject of the book many times as he focused on other groups. But pretty dry overall. I don't know how it would read to someone with more of a background in Byzantine history.
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The University Lecturer in Byzantine Studies and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Dr Whittow is a medieval historian and archaeologist, specialising in the Mediterranean and Byzantine worlds, AD 500-1300, with particular emphasis on landscape and settlement patterns, and the social and political forces that shaped them. Recent publications range in topic from Romans and Arabs before the rise of ...more
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