Anthony Kaldellis is Professor of Greek and Latin at The Ohio State University. Author of The Christian Parthenon: Classicism and Pilgrimage in Byzantine Athens (CUP 2009) and Hellenism in Byzantium: The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition (CUP, 2007), among numerous others.
In this lucid and well-researched history, Kaldellis, a classics scholar, examines the rapid expansion and subsequent contraction of Byzantium in the 10th and 11th centuries. This work serves impressively as both a general introduction to the political, economic, and military history of the period and a narratively engaging and clear interpretation of the causes and effects of the empire's rise and fall. The book nicely balances explication and commentary; Kaldellis includes details that bring his history to life-such as the facial hair patterns of a Byzantine enemy ... The work is thus both educational and enjoyable, almost a canonical model of how to write history for both lay and professional readers. This is a welcome introduction to Byzantine history, which is little known in the West relative to earlier Greek or Roman periods and deserves wider understanding and discussion. * Publisher's Weekly * Anthony Kaldellis' new history of Byzantium is a major achievement. By setting aside the pre-conceptions of much of the secondary literature, and returning to the sources, he is able to reconstruct the dynamics of imperial power and politics across the crucial years between the imperial expansion of the late tenth century and the First Crusade. This book will be required reading for students and scholars not only of Byzantium, but also of the Medieval West. * Peter Sarris, University of Cambridge * A learned and critical reassessment of the standard narrative, which is at the same time an engaging and lively account of an exciting period in the history of Byzantium. * Paul Magdalino, University of St. Andrews * A stylish and fast-paced narrative that weaves politics, society, and individual characters together into a fascinating depiction of a lively, dynamic, and culturally diverse civilization at its height. Firmly rooted in the contemporary sources and with a well-tuned appreciation of current scholarly debates, Kaldellis' account is set to become the standard 'go-to' political narrative of the medieval eastern Roman or Byzantine empire in its heyday. * John F. Haldon, Princeton University *