cover image Byzantium (III): The Decline and Fall

Byzantium (III): The Decline and Fall

John Julius Norwich. Knopf Publishing Group, $49.95 (528pp) ISBN 978-0-679-41650-0

With this volume, Norwich completes his magisterial narrative history of Byzantium. As in the earlier volumes (Byzantium: The Early Centuries, LJ 3/1/89; and Byzantium: The Apogee, LJ 1/92), he seeks to rectify the negative impressions perpetuated by 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon. Norwich records the history of a brilliant civilization that endured for over 11 centuries. From the founding of Constantinople (capital of Byzantium) by the first Christian Roman emperor and Byzantium's first flowering, to its fatal weakening after the treacherous attack on Constantinople by Western knights in the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and the valiant death of the last Byzantine emperor in 1453 at the hands of the conquering Turks, Norwich has told Byzantium's story in elegant and moving prose. This last volume in the three-part history of an unfairly neglected European civilization is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Robert Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.