Book Review by Michael Mates
The course of Empire often runs like a normal distribution curve, with success and failure measured on the vertical axis, and time, usually a few centuries or so, on the horizontal. The Byzantine Empire, by contrast, looks like a sine wave, a succession of up-and-down roller coaster curves, lasting 1,123 years, from the foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD to its fall in 1453. (The Byzantines themselves, with some justification as self-described Romans, would claim 1,480 years, from the establishment of the Roman Empire in 27 BC.)
Romane’s book examines one of the political-military high points, the period from 959 to 1025, showing how the Empire benefitted from relative stability of rule; protection of core territories; strategic use of tribute; and skilled use of heavy cavalry, combined-arms tactics, siege warfare, stable rule (with only one emperor assassinated during the period), and clever and profitable alliances to ensure survival...
...continue to the review of Byzantium Triumphant: The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025 by Julian Romane