History of the Byzantine Empire - Vol. 1

History of the Byzantine Empire - Vol. 1

History of the Byzantine Empire - Vol. 1

History of the Byzantine Empire - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The first volume of my book on the history of Byzantium, which appeared in Russian in the year 1917, was in press during the last months of imperial Russia and the early days of the first revolution. This volume appeared, then, in the summer of 1917 under the title, Lectures in the History of Byzantium. Vol. I. To the Crusades (until the year 1081).

Since then ten years have passed. These years have, in the field of Byzantine studies, proved remarkably rich in brilliant work. When in the year 1926, through the liberality of the University of Wisconsin, this translation became possible, I was faced with a difficulty. It seemed very unwise to translate the book in the form in which it had been published in 1917, for it would now be entirely out of date. Besides, the Russian edition was entirely lacking in footnotes. I have, therefore, supplied this English edition with footnotes, brought it, so far as possible, up to date, and, moreover, added sections on literature, learning, and art. In my references to the literature of the subject and in the bibliographies I have, I believe, indicated the most important standard works as well as the most recent publications. The attempt at a more or less complete bibliography on Byzantine history did not, of course, enter into my problem.

Hence this English edition is not merely a translation of my Russian volume, but a complete revision of it; in places it is almost an entirely new book.

In my account I followed the chronological order, dividing the book into six chapters. Like any other scheme, the chronological scheme of this work is, of course, only tentative; and I am fully aware of the fact that it sometimes leads to serious inconveniences. External history suffers from such a scheme only to a slight degree; but in an account of internal history it asigns to different chapters parts of a continuous process, causing ambiguities, fragmentariness, repetition. This, it will be seen, is what happened in such processes . . .

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