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This chronicle of the Byzantine Empire, beginning in 1025, shows a profound understanding of the power politics that characterized the empire and led to its decline.
The Eastern Roman or 'Byzantine' Empire had to fight for survival throughout its long history so military ability was a prime requisite for a successful Emperor. John Carr concentrates on the personal and military histories of the more capable war fighters to occupy the imperial throne at Constantinople. They include men like it's founder Constantine I , Julian, Theodosius, Justinian, Heraclius, Leo I, Leo III, Basil I, Basil II (the Bulgar-slayer), Romanus IV Diogenes, Isaac Angelus, and Constantine XI. ??Byzantium's emperors, and the military establishment they created and maintained, can be credited with preserving Rome's cultural legacy and, from the seventh century, forming a bulwark of Christendom against aggressive Islamic expansion. For this the empire's military organization had to be of a high order, a continuation of Roman discipline and skill adapted to new methods of warfare. Thus was the Empire, under the leadership of its fighting emperors, able to endure for almost a thousand years after the fall of Rome.
This volume, which continues the same author's Early Byzantine Historians , is the first book to analyze the lives and works of all forty-three significant Byzantine historians from the seventh to the thirteenth century, including the authors of three of the world's greatest histories: Michael Psellus, Princess Anna Comnena, and Nicetas Choniates.
This is the first full-scale study of the literary art of Anna Komnene's Alexiad. Her history of her father's reign is well-known and much used by Byzantinists and historians of the First Crusade, but the art with which it shapes its central character has not been fully examined or understood. This book argues that the work is both history and tragedy; the characterization of Alexios I Komnenos is cumulative; it develops; the models for his idealization change; much of the action takes place in his mind and the narrative relays and amplifies his thought while building a dense picture of the world in which he acts. Engaging critically and responsively with other texts, Komnene uses the full range of current literary genres to portray the ideal culture of his rule. She matches her art of literary control to his of government over the adverse forces of his time.

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