Review by Ian Hughes
If a member of the public was to be asked the question of when the Roman Empire fell, the usual answer would be centred on events in the fifth century, and some may even give the specific date of 476 – the year when the last emperor in Rome was overthrown. For many scholars this is an unacceptable situation, as they know that the Roman Empire in the East continued into the next millennium, never mind the next century.
Part of the reason for this state of affairs is a legacy of the historians of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries. For them the Eastern Roman Empire – now known as the Byzantine Empire – was a degenerate, money-loving, corrupt entity dominated by court intrigue and eunuchs: a far cry from the majesty of Rome in the first century AD. In his new book Byzantine historian Jonathan Harris asks the question of why, if the inhabitants were as lazy, corrupt and inefficient as usually depicted, could their empire have lasted for nearly a thousand years longer than its Western counterpart...
...continue to the review of The Lost World of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris
p.s. interview with the author coming soon!