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A Short History of Byzantium

John Julius Norwich
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Vintage Books

In this magisterial adaptation of his epic three-volume history of Byzantium, John Julius Norwich chronicles the world's longest-lived Christian empire.  Beginning with Constantine the Great, who in A.D. 330 made Christianity the religion of his realm . . .  Norwich follows the course of eleven centuries of Byzantine statecraft and warfare, politics and theology, manners and art . . . Stylishly written and overflowing with drama, pathos, and wit, here is a matchless account of a lost civilization and its magnificent cultural legacy.