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The Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe 500-1453

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Throughout much of the Middle Ages, Eastern Europe-the Balkans, Russia, Rumania and the land on either side of the Danubewas affected by Byzantine political and cultural influence. From the barbarian invasions to the Middle Ages, this is an illuminating read that demystifies the Balkans. 6 1/4 X 9 1/4. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, Eastern Europe-the Balkans, Russia, Rumania and the land on either side of the Danube—was affected by Byzantine political and cultural influence. From the barbarian invasions to the Middle Ages, this is an illuminating read that demystifies the Balkans. 6 1/4 X 9 1/4.


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Throughout much of the Middle Ages, Eastern Europe-the Balkans, Russia, Rumania and the land on either side of the Danubewas affected by Byzantine political and cultural influence. From the barbarian invasions to the Middle Ages, this is an illuminating read that demystifies the Balkans. 6 1/4 X 9 1/4. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, Eastern Europe-the Balkans, Russia, Rumania and the land on either side of the Danube—was affected by Byzantine political and cultural influence. From the barbarian invasions to the Middle Ages, this is an illuminating read that demystifies the Balkans. 6 1/4 X 9 1/4.

30 review for The Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe 500-1453

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    A big, bold, detailed book about the development of the relationships between Byzantium and the states which developed to its western and northern frontiers. We see the missionary work, the growth of sophisticated states that take on or attempt to take on the mantle of the Byzantine empire ending in the Third Rome claims of the Muscovy of Ivan III (I don't think the claims of Bulgarian Trnovo to be the Third Rome are quite so thoroughly explored). Before the book gets as far north as Moscow it A big, bold, detailed book about the development of the relationships between Byzantium and the states which developed to its western and northern frontiers. We see the missionary work, the growth of sophisticated states that take on or attempt to take on the mantle of the Byzantine empire ending in the Third Rome claims of the Muscovy of Ivan III (I don't think the claims of Bulgarian Trnovo to be the Third Rome are quite so thoroughly explored). Before the book gets as far north as Moscow it deals with the first and second Bulgarian Kingdoms, the Serbian monarchy, the conversion campaigns of Cyril and Methodius in the region of Great Moravia. The commonwealth idea is probably a pretty unhelpful one unless one breaks it apart and redefines it, while one can talk of a cultural community - Prince Obolensky does not have to work hard to establish that, politically the emergent powers in that commonwealth were more keen on supplanting the 'mother-country' rather than honouring it, his focus falls largely on the Balkans and northern Russia, I don't recall Georgia or southern Italy entering in much to his vision, which might have taken his argument in curious new directions. I bought it second hand and read it one summer in the back garden under the Jasmine, long fallen flowers now dried among the book's discoloured pages. I'm fairly sure that I only picked this book up on account of Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This was on the reading list for Byzantine studies years ago, and it is one of the books that stands out for me. It is an excellent history of Byzantium, and explains how Byzantine influence spread thoughtout Eastern Europe and Russia during the medieval period, shaping these regions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Context: I'm purely an amateur/enthusiast when it comes to Byzantine history, though I try to read widely and eclectically. This book has two primary virtues. First, from time to time, it manages to offer incredible snapshots of historical moments; it is impossible to forget its expansion of a medieval description of the route between modern-day Russia and Constantinople, nor will I forget the Bogomills, one of the more fascinating groups of schismatic Christians whose influence Obolensky traces Context: I'm purely an amateur/enthusiast when it comes to Byzantine history, though I try to read widely and eclectically. This book has two primary virtues. First, from time to time, it manages to offer incredible snapshots of historical moments; it is impossible to forget its expansion of a medieval description of the route between modern-day Russia and Constantinople, nor will I forget the Bogomills, one of the more fascinating groups of schismatic Christians whose influence Obolensky traces throughout Eastern Europe. Second, there is the key argument in itself. The book brings together Byzantine geopolitical tactics (the source of their infamous reputation as erudite, lying Greeks) and cultural influence. Its central argument is that these two came together in a "Byzantine commonwealth," a group of nations who shared a general network of cultural affinities, and often shared at least a theoretical belief in the supremacy of the Emperor of the East Roman Empire (even as they often warred against him or resisted his incursions on local interests). Obolensky paints a pretty convincing portrait of this as a far less rigid sort of structure than Western suzerainty, and yet one with a great deal of internal cohesion. If you're as fascinated either by the Byzantine Empire or by practices of "soft power" and accomodation, then this is certainly worth picking up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dusan

    This is in my opinion the most important and relevant book on the Eastern Europe written in English. Starting from the turbulent times of Byzantine Empire many of the conclusions and parallels can be drawn with political and cultural history of Eastern Europe inside the EU. Anyone who would seriously like to understand Balkans and Slavic East in the EU, should read this book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patricio Borvarán

    El mejor libro que existe al respecto.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrei

    Ваквиве книги се задолжително да се препрочитаат неколку пати во животот. Особено ако поле на интерес ви е средновековната историја на Источна Европа.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Denholm

  8. 4 out of 5

    Альберто Лорэдо

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zeke Viegas

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marin

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vlad Chiorean

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Coster

  14. 4 out of 5

    WILLEMSENS

  15. 5 out of 5

    Philip Coulter

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Bell

  17. 5 out of 5

    Obiziuc Stelian

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter Geyer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Goethicus

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Panegyres

  21. 4 out of 5

    Addiv

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence Gottlieb

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Michael

  24. 5 out of 5

    Philip

  25. 4 out of 5

    Boris

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christian

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Lee (J.Kirby)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Artur Olczyk

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim Crowley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Genis

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