Concise History of Byzantium

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  • Book: Consise History of Byzantium. By William Treadgold. Plagrave, 2001



Michel Bauwens, 2003:

The book starts ith a general refutation of permanent decline, saying that Byzantium is a history with many different cycles in different areas and that it lasted over 1,000 years with a high degree of sophistication. To explain the weakening of the Roman Empire, he explains that barbarian invasions were greatly facilitated by at least 2 plagues, that the East had more reserves, and more enemies, like the Persians, that sought to conquer, not to plunder. Hence, after Diocletian, the East recovered. But then again, after many ups and downs, there was a general decline in culture and civilisational level, particularly in the 7th cy. In the intervening years, the author describes us an almost permanent situation of conflict and war. The major works of philosophy could no longer be read and very little literarature was produced, with icononoclasm on top of it a destruction of christian art. So wile Byzantine was richer than the Frankish and Lombarian West, it had also its 'dark ages'.