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Osprey Essential Histories 33 : Byzantium at War 600-1453 AD

In the middle of the sixth century the East Roman or Byzantine Emperor ruled a mighty state stretching from the Euphrates in the East to the straits of Gibraltar in the West, and from the Danube and Alps in the North to the desert fringe north of the Atlas mountains. Within 100 years, this powerful empire had been drastically reduced, yet two centuries later, the Byzantine Empire was once again a power to be reckoned with. By the middle of the eleventh century Byzantium was once more the paramount East Mediterranean and Balkan power. Its fabulous wealth attracted Viking mercenaries and central Asian nomad warriors to its armies, whose very appearance on the field of battle was sometimes enough to bring enemies to terms. These dramatic fluctuations in Byzantine fortunes and its romantic end in 1453, when the last emperor, Constantine XII, died on the ramparts fighting the crack Ottoman janissary corps, have always made the Byzantine world something of an enigma. John Haldon guides us through this fascinating history, bringing army and empire to life.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Background to War : The Political World of Byzantium
  • Warring Sides : Neighbours and Enemies
  • Outbreak : Why and How did Byzantium Fight Wars?
  • The Fighting : Organising for War
  • Portrait of a Soldier : Recruitment, Discipline, and Life on Campaign
  • The World around War : War and Peace
  • Portrait of a Civilian : Matrios : A Farmer
  • How the wars ended : Death of an Empire
  • Conclusion and Consequences : War, Peace, and Survival
  • Further Reading
  • Byzantine Rulers 527-1453 AD
  • Index

 

Osprey Essential Histories


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