Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood: The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A.D. to the First Crusade (Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture)

Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood: The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A.D. to the First Crusade (Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture)

By: Anthony Kaldellis (author)Hardback

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In the second half of the tenth century, Byzantium embarked on a series of spectacular conquests: first in the southeast against the Arabs, then in Bulgaria, and finally in the Georgian and Armenian lands. By the early eleventh century, the empire was the most powerful state in the Mediterranean. It was also expanding economically, demographically, and, in time, intellectually as well. Yet this imperial project came to a crashing collapse fifty years later, when political disunity, fiscal mismanagement, and defeat at the hands of the Seljuks in the east and the Normans in the west brought an end to Byzantine hegemony. By 1081, not only was its dominance of southern Italy, the Balkans, Caucasus, and northern Mesopotamia over but Byzantium's very existence was threatened. How did this dramatic transformation happen? Based on a close examination of the relevant sources, this history - the first of its kind in over a century - offers a new reconstruction of the key events and crucial reigns as well as a different model for understanding imperial politics and wars, both civil and foreign. In addition to providing a badly needed narrative of this critical period of Byzantine history, Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood offers new interpretations of key topics relevant to the medieval era. The narrative unfolds in three parts: the first covers the years 955-1025, a period of imperial conquest and consolidation of authority under the great emperor Basil "the Bulgar-Slayer." The second (1025-1059) examines the dispersal of centralized authority in Constantinople as well as the emergence of new foreign enemies (Pechenegs, Seljuks, and Normans). The last section chronicles the spectacular collapse of the empire during the second half of the eleventh century, concluding with a look at the First Crusade and its consequences for Byzantine relations with the powers of Western Europe. This briskly paced and thoroughly investigated narrative vividly brings to life one of the most exciting and transformative eras of medieval history.

About Author

Anthony Kaldellis is Professor of Greek and Latin at The Ohio State University. Author of The Christian Parthenon: Classicism and Pilgrimage in Byzantine Athens (CUP 2009) and Hellenism in Byzantium: The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition (CUP, 2007), among numerous others.


Table of Contents Preface Maps Genealogies Introduction: The Byzantine Empire in the Tenth Century Romania Imperial governance The army and war Landed aristocracy Anatolian magnates Part I: CONQUEST AND CONSOLIDATION "Avengers of Rome": The First Phase of Conquest in the East (955-963) The cast of the conquest: The final years of Konstantinos VII (d. 959) Turning the tide in the southeast Southern Italy A smooth succession: Romanos II The conquest of Crete The conquest of Cilicia (phase I) The rise of Phokas "The White Death of the Saracens": Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969) The new regime Failure in Sicily The conquest of Cilicia (phase II) and Cyprus The annexation of Taron Declining popularity Tension with Bulgaria Tension in Italy with the German empire Military victory, political failure: the final years "A Mind Full of Cares, Brave in Danger": Ioannes I Tzimiskes (969-976) The new regime The defeat of the Rus' and Bulgaria Eastern incursions: toward a new balance of power An otherwise obscure reign "From Spectator to Contestant": Basil II (976-1025), Part I The new regime The first rebellion of Bardas Skleros The foreign policy of Lakapenos and Phokas, 979-985 The fall of Lakapenos and the rebellion of Phokas and Skleros "Guarding the Children of New Rome": Basil II (976-1025), Part II From status quo to peace in the east, 990-1001 The war against Bulgaria, 991-1003 The emperor and the

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780190253226
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 440
  • ID: 9780190253226
  • weight: 724
  • ISBN10: 0190253223

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