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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) Silly Bus 3
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 09:16:44 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

I'm thinking that A SHORT HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM might be too difficult a
read, and I propose to substitute EVERYDAY LIFE IN BYZANTIUM (meanwhile
those of you with a few minutes on your hands might be amused by going over
to Amazon and typing in "Everyday Life" in the keywords space--quite

Here is a review of the book:

star110w@cdc.gov from New Orleans, Louisiana , 10/20/97, rating=8:
A fine social history of ancient Rome's Byzantine heirs.
When we think about the social life and customs of the "ancient Romans", we
will likely visualize the Latin-speaking, toga-clad pagans who lived in or
near Rome at the height of the empire. Yet, those keen in history recognize
that Roman government and society survived in a Hellenic Christian character
following the collapse of the Western empire. Thanks to author Tamara Talbot
Rice, the characteristics of both government and society during the Roman
Empire's Byzantine period are well described in "Everyday Life in
Byzantium". The author makes her admiration for Byzantine civilization very
clear, and for good reasons. Once scorned by historians as politically and
culturally irrelevant, Byzantium (whose citizens proudly called themselves
"Romans" until the very end) actually possessed a rich cosmopolitan culture
which was modeled along Greek lines but was influenced significantly by
other peoples in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Still based on Roman
law, its strong central government was headed by a powerful emperor who,
paradoxically, held court like an Eastern potentate rather than an heir to
the Caesars. Guiding the Byzantines in their spiritual life was an equally
powerful Orthodox Church whose close relationship with the state had never
been seen before in earlier Roman history. Against this backdrop, Rice gives
a fine portrayal of a people who managed to leave an impressive legacy in
law, literature, art, and spiritual thought despite 1000 years of constant
political and military struggles. It is regrettable that this book is out of
print, but I hope it will be republished in the near future.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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