A Short History of Byzantium (Paperback)
"Norwich is always on the lookout for the small but revealing details. . . . All of this he recounts in a style that consistently entertains."
--The New York Times Book Review
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 and then transferred its capital to the city that would bear his name, Norwich follows the course of eleven centuries of Byzantine statecraft and warfare, politics and theology, manners and art.
In the pages of A Short History of Byzantium we encounter mystics and philosophers, eunuchs and barbarians, and rulers of fantastic erudition, piety, and degeneracy. We enter the life of an empire that could create some of the world's most transcendent religious art and then destroy it in the convulsions of fanaticism. Stylishly written and overflowing with drama, pathos, and wit, here is a matchless account of a lost civilization and its magnificent cultural legacy.
"Strange and fascinating . . . filled with drollery and horror."
About the Author
Lady Diana Cooper was born on August 29th, 1892, daughter ostensibly of the son of the 8th Duke of Rutland, in fact of the Hon. Harry Cust. Defying all her mother's efforts to stop her, she became a nurse at Guy's Hospital during the First World War and married Alfred Duff Cooper, DSO, son of a surgeon from Norwich, who became one of the Second World War's key politicians. Her startling beauty resulted in her playing the lead in two silent films and then Max Reinhardt's The Miracle.
For the war effort, Diana converted their seaside cottage in Sussex into a small farm. In 1944, following the Liberation of Paris, the couple moved into the British Embassy, Paris. They then retired to a house at Chantilly just outside the city. After Duff's death in 1954, Diana remained there until 1960, when she
moved back to London. She died in 1986.
John Julius Norwich, the only son of Diana and Duff Cooper, is the author of histories of the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire, the Mediterranean, and, most recently, "Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy". He has also written on architecture, music, and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.