The End of Byzantium

The End of Byzantium

by Jonathan Harris

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By 1400, the once-mighty Byzantine Empire stood on the verge of destruction. Most of its territories had been lost to the Ottoman Turks, and Constantinople was under close blockade. Against all odds, Byzantium lingered on for another fifty years until 1453, when the Ottomans dramatically toppled the capital’s walls. During this bleak and uncertain time, ordinary Byzantines faced difficult decisions to protect their livelihoods and families against the death throes of their homeland. In this evocative and moving book, Jonathan Harris explores individual stories of diplomatic maneuverings, covert defiance, and sheer luck against a backdrop of major historical currents and offers a new perspective on the real reasons behind the fall of this extraordinarily fascinating empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300187915
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,062,074
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 5.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Harris is professor of the history of Byzantium at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps vii

Acknowledgements ix

Chronological Table xi

Genealogical Table of the Palaiologos Family (1354-1502) xvi

Prologue xvii

1 Autumn in Constantinople 1

2 The Shadow Empire 22

3 Playing Politics 46

4 To the Brink 72

5 Twisting the Lion's Tail 103

6 A Council and a Crusade 127

7 From Murad to Mehmed 155

8 Nemesis 178

9 On the Quayside 207

10 East or West? 228

Epilogue 256

Notes 259

Select Bibliography 279

Index 288

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