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The Empire That Would Not Die
Author: Professor John Haldon

ISBN: 9780674088771
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 370
Published: 19 February 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6 x 3.6
Description:
The eastern Roman Empire was the largest state in western Eurasia in the sixth century. Only a century later, it was a fraction of its former size. Surrounded by enemies, ravaged by warfare and disease, the empire seemed destined to collapse. Yet it did not die. In this holistic analysis, John Haldon elucidates the factors that allowed the eastern Roman Empire to survive against all odds into the eighth century.

By 700 CE the empire had lost three-quarters of its territory to the Islamic Caliphate. But the rugged geography of its remaining territories in Anatolia and the Aegean was strategically advantageous, preventing enemies from permanently occupying imperial towns and cities while leaving them vulnerable to Roman counterattacks. The more the empire shrank, the more it became centered around the capital of Constantinople, whose ability to withstand siege after siege proved decisive. Changes in climate also played a role, permitting shifts in agricultural production that benefitted the imperial economy.

At the same time, the crisis confronting the empire forced the imperial court, the provincial rulin...

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