A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from Historys Most Orthodox Empire by Anthony KaldellisWeird, decadent, degenerate, racially mixed, superstitious, theocratic, effeminate, and even hyper-literate, Byzantium has long been regarded by many as one big curiosity. According to Voltaire, it represented a worthless collection of miracles, a disgrace for the human mind for Hegel it was a disgusting picture of imbecility.
A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities will reinforce these old prejudices, while also stimulating a deeper interest among readers in one of historys most interesting civilizations. Many of the zanier tales and trivia that are collected here revolve around the political and religious life of Byzantium. Thus, stories of saints, relics, and their miracles--from the hilarious to the revolting--abound. Byzantine bureaucracy (whence the adjective Byzantine), court scandals, and elaborate penal code are world famous. And what would Byzantium be without its eunuchs, whose ambiguous gender produced odd and risible outcomes in different contexts? The book also contains sections on daily life that are equally eye-opening, including food (from aphrodisiacs to fermented fish sauce), games such as polo and acrobatics, and obnoxious views of foreigners and others (e.g., Germans, Catholics, Arabs, dwarves). But lest we overlook Byzantiums more honorable contributions to civilization, also included are some of the marvels of Byzantine science and technology, from the military (flamethrowers and hand grenades) to the theatrical (elevator thrones, roaring mechanical lions) and medical (catheters and cures, some bizarre). This vast assortment of historical anomaly and absurdity sheds vital light on one of historys most obscure and orthodox empires.
10 Interesting Facts About Byzantine Empire
The Byzantines influenced the world in many ways, but perhaps most especially they linked universal monotheistic religion to Empire. By creating a close association of church and empire while fighting against Islamic polities, they were able to forge a religious community that the world had never seen before. There were approximately 72 languages spoken throughout their empire, and this was used as a way for Christians to spread their message, as they would create missions in each language. The name would later change to Constantinople, in his name, and then again to Istanbul when the Ottomans toppled the Byzantine Empire In The name Byzantium originally derived from Byzas, a Greek citizen. Contemporary Byzantines referred to themselves as Romans, as they saw their empire as an extension of the Roman empire. Byzantine is as a term that originated in the 19th century.
Explore 10 fascinating facts about the medieval empire that bridged the gap between the classical world and the Renaissance.
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For them, Byzantium was a continuation of the Roman Empire, which had merely moved its seat of power from Rome to a new eastern capital in Constantinople. While Byzantium later developed a distinctive, Greek-influenced identity as the centuries wore on, it continued to cherish its Roman roots until its fall., Theodoros II , Updated March 10, Beginning its adult life as the capital for the Eastern part of the Roman Empire, the city of Constantinople—later Byzantium, and Istanbul today—became the center of an extremely vibrant society that preserved Greek and Roman traditions while much of Western Europe slipped into the Dark Ages.
Byzantine Empire- now where have I heard this name before? If my memory serves me right, I first read about this great empire in a few verses of a poem. Thank God I did! Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the ancient Roman Empire which survived the fall and disintegration of the western half of the Roman Empire in the 5th century A. This magnificent empire continued to exist for a thousand more years before it fell prey to the Ottoman Turks in This empire is at times known as the Eastern Roman Empire. It went through several cycles of decline and recovery and slowly and gradually emerged with evolved borders.