Library of European Civilization




Byzantium and Europe


Speros Vryonis, Jr.


Thames and Hudson, London 1967



Scans in .pdf format (53.9 Mb)

The monastery of St Catherine’s, built by Justinian, contains the only extensive collection of pre-iconoclast Byzantine images, including this sixth-century Virgin enthroned



List of illustrations (1—129)

Colour plates  (1—21)

Maps  (1—3)


    The emperors of Byzantium

I. Transition from antiquity and the emergence of Byzantium

Chaos of the third century — Reforms of Diocletian and Constantine — The barbarian threat — Crisis of the fourth and fifth centuries — Justinian the Great


II. Establishment of a homogeneous Byzantine society

- Heraclians and Isaurians (Retrenchment — The threat of Islam — The new Western empire — Disorder in the Balkans — Administrative change — Iconoclasm — Cultural changes)

- Macedonians (The Byzantine reconquista — Economic life — The rôle of the Church — The Macedonian contribution to Byzantine culture)


III. Decline

Internal problems — Victory of the military — Social and economic changes — The external threat — The crisis of 1071 — Revival under Alexius I Comnenus — Alexius’ successors — Flowering of the arts — The fall of Constantinople


IV. Prostration and collapse

The splintering of Hellenism — The Latin administration — Interplay of the Greek and Latin cultures — Reconquest of Constantinople — A temporary victory — The rise of the Turks — The literature of decline — The end of Byzantium




Bibliography  —  Index


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