Byzantium suffers under many layers of misunderstanding built up between the ninth and twentieth centuries. Peeling away these layers, we find a civilization worth studying, one that explains much about classical and medieval history.
Rather than representing a society "peripheral" to more important historical developments, or a mere "intermediary stage" of grander civilizational progress, Byzantium merits study in its own right as the most stable and enduring form of Greco-Roman society, forming a sturdy bridge between antiquity and the early modern period, as well as between East and West.
This book repositions Byzantium in our "grammar of civilizations" and presents a fresh argument for what Byzantine Studies has to offer, especially to classicists and medievalists.
Such a book has never been written about Byzantium. Scholars, students, and instructors who are currently at a loss how Byzantium might usefully be integrated into a world history curriculum will find this book essential.