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Byzantium by Philip Sherrard

By Philip Sherrard

What was once the Byzantine Empire? What was once ita position in background, and what was once it that made it a historic unit? it's with this empire, nice either as a political organism and as a synthesizer and preserver of tradition, that this publication explores. although the remedy of the topic through the writer is just a little common, the stimulating type during which he writes, mixed with the attention-grabbing illustrations should still set off extra examine by means of the reader

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From fountains at street corners and and was available in the public squares, to everyone without charge. Sewage and waste water were car- away from ried down the houses and into the sea through an intricate system of underground drains. The women care had many public baths, open city who men and and medical and hospital at different times, was provided by the government and to those to the Church could not afford to pay. Despite these But apart from the cosmopolitan background of and residents, the city, as a prosperous seaport its drew the capital of the world's largest empire, manner of visitors from afar.

This meant in practical terms that for Justinian and religious unity same state unity were one and the Although Christianity had been de- thing. clared the state religion, remnants of paganism had lingered on. Seeking to eradicate them, Justinian closed last down the university at Athens, paganism's stronghold. the support of its time, his desire to re- empire in the West led him habilitate the This in At the same its to seek one stable element, the papacy. turn meant aggravation of an already administration he abolished the sale of offices and serious centralized the bureaucracy.

His who had arrived in the cap- bag of bread on his back, had fought to the throne his through the ranks of the army. Justin educated Justinian, and then earned the throne in his man the younger own right by brilliant As emperor he regimen. He ate little service as his uncle's chief aide. thrived on a strict and taxing and fasted often; he arose early and worked Byzantium had been able on Greco-Roman civilization and culture. At same time it was during this period that the as- family of a barbarian migrations which had inundated the West, to preserve intact its heri- this few his imperial role Balkan peasants hands of the Ostrogoths, Gaul had been seized by man was But arrogance and enormous vigor.

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