|1.||THE NATURE OF BYZANTINE CIVILIZATION|
|2.||THE CHURCH AND LEARNING|
|3.||LITERATURE, ART, AND MUSIC|
|4.||THE INFLUENCE OF BYZANTIUM|
GIBBON dismissed Byzantine civilization with mordant epigrams; he could find in its history nothing but "a tedious and uniform tale of weakness and misery. The subjects of the Byzantine Empire, who assumed and dishonored the names both of Greeks and Romans, present a uniformity of abject vices, which are neither softened by the weakness of humanity, nor animated by the vigor of memorable crimes."1 The twentieth century has at last revised this judgment.
FOR over a thousand years, from the later fourth century to the middle of the fifteenth, the old city of Byzantium, the largest and greatest Christian city, was the center of a brilliant culture. The empire about it was the home of art, literature, learning, manufacture, and commerce when Latin Christendom in the West was sunk in a backward economic localism with a low level of intellectual culture. The Eastern Empire had a strong army and navy, a great merchant marine,