The Mind of the Middle Ages, A.D. 200-1500: An Historical Survey

By Frederick B. Artz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
Byzantine Civilization
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.


1. THE NATURE OF BYZANTINE CIVILIZATION

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,

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The Mind of the Middle Ages, A.D. 200-1500: An Historical Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to First Edition vii
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiv
  • Acknowledgments xiv
  • Part One - The Dominance of the East 1
  • Chapter I - The Classical Backgrounds of Mediaeval Christianity 3
  • Chapter II - The Jewish and Early Christian Sources of Mediaeval Faith 39
  • Chapter III - The Patristic Age, 2nd-5th Centuries 64
  • Chapter IV - Byzantine Civilization 95
  • Chapter V - Islamic Civilization 132
  • Chapter VI - The Latin West, 5th-10th Centuries 179
  • Part Two - The Revival of the West, 1000-1500 223
  • Chapter VII - Learning (I) 225
  • Chapter VIII - Learning (II) 270
  • Chapter IX - Literature (I) 320
  • Chapter X - Literature (II) 355
  • Chapter XI - Art and Music 384
  • Chapter XII - Underlying Attitudes 419
  • Epilogue 443
  • Notes 456
  • Bibliographical Notes 503
  • Index 559
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