Ghost Empire: A Journey to the Legendary Constantinople
It is difficult to condense twelve hundred years of the history of a large portion of the civilized world into one volume. In Ghost Empire, author Richard Fidler does just that. He chronicles the rise and fall of Constantinople, Queen of Cities, capital of the Roman Empire, defender of the Eastern boundary of Europe, exotic, intriguing, opulent, decadent, and altogether magnificent. Here are the stories of Constantine, who refounded the city in his own name; of Theodosius, who converted it to Christianity; and of an Empress who wanted to marry Attila. The book describes Justinian and Theodora and how to survive a revolt, attacks from Barbarians, weak emperors and strong ones, a miraculous deliverance from an immense armada, and so many other wondrous and tragic tales. The author details the city’s fall and plunder at the hands of false friends – and, at the final end, at the hands of the Arabs. The author juxtaposes the ancient places and events with brief interludes as he and his son retrace the ancient sites, continually in a state of awe at what the builders achieved. The book is very readable. It has just the right balance of detail and overview, encompassing both natural and man-made disasters as well as conquest and defense. It has a fine Bibliography for further reading. The author succeeds in making a long history enjoyable and entertaining.
|Page Count||520 pages|
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