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Empires of Faith: The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam, 500-700 - Oxford History of Medieval Europe (Paperback)
  • Empires of Faith: The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam, 500-700 - Oxford History of Medieval Europe (Paperback)
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Empires of Faith: The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam, 500-700 - Oxford History of Medieval Europe (Paperback)

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Paperback 448 Pages / Published: 02/05/2013
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Drawing upon the latest historical and archaeological research, Dr Peter Sarris provides a panoramic account of the history of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East from the fall of Rome to the rise of Islam. The formation of a new social and economic order in western Europe in the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries, and the ascendancy across the West of a new culture of military lordship, are placed firmly in the context of on-going connections and influence radiating outwards from the surviving Eastern Roman Empire, ruled from the great imperial capital of Constantinople. The East Roman (or 'Byzantine') Emperor Justinian's attempts to revive imperial fortunes, restore the empire's power in the West, and face down Constantinople's great superpower rival, the Sasanian Empire of Persia, are charted, as too are the ways in which the escalating warfare between Rome and Persia paved the way for the development of new concepts of 'holy war', the emergence of Islam, and the Arab conquests of the Near East. Processes of religious and cultural change are explained through examination of social, economic, and military upheavals, and the formation of early medieval European society is placed in a broader context of changes that swept across the world of Eurasia from Manchuria to the Rhine. Warfare and plague, holy men and kings, emperors, shahs, caliphs, and peasants all play their part in a compelling narrative suited to specialist, student, and general readership alike.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199675357
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 678 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Peter Sarris' splendid new book is a defiant act of intellectual imperialism. Under the triumphant banner of The Oxford History of Medieval Europe it annexes four academic kingdoms: Rome, the early Middle Ages, Byzantium and early Islam ... It is easy to forget that this is hard-fought territory, disputed by fractious experts and partitioned between different university departments ... Peter Sarris' signal acheivement is to impose an academic unity on the period. * Christopher Kelly, The Literary Review *
evoke[s], with a rare vividness, the world of the later Roman aristocracy * Conrad Leyser, Times Literary Supplement *
An epic, sweeping and ferociously clever history of the age of Justinian and Mohammed. * Dominic Sandbrook, Evening Standard *
a brilliant book about the fall of Rome and the rise of Islam, filled with insights and revolutionary ideas by one of the finest historians in Britain. * Peter Frankopan, History Today Books of the Year 2013 *
This is the first volume to appear in the Oxford History of Medieval Europe. Its general editors express the hope in their preface that they have liberated their authors 'from the need to produce a standard authoritative account'. Thankfully Peter Sarris has refused to be liberated and has done exactly that. I dont think it is too fanciful to see points of similarity between Empires of Faith and Stenton's Anglo-Saxon England. Both display a mastery of the relevant sources and scholarship; both provide very clear guides to complicated situations; both are very sensitive to the shaping of history by economic, social and religious forces. This is a very good book indeed. * Michael Angold, History *
This is an impressive book. Sarris has succeeded in covering both western and eastern developments and tying them convincingly together ... Empires of Faith is a lucid and confident expression of Sarris' developed view of materialist history, and at the same time a coherent and highly readable book. * Averil Cameron, English Historical Review *
In this magisterial book, Peter Sarris brings to life a pivotal epoch in world history, the centuries between the end of Roman rule in western Europe and the rise of Islam. His considerable achievement is to knit together in a most compelling fashion the major political and economic developments from the Atlantic to the Eurasian steppe that cumulatively produced a new medieval world order by the beginning of the eighth century ... loaded with detail that rarely gets in the way of a lively story ... Peter Sarris has emerged as an important medieval historian with a powerful and authoritative voice. Empires of Faith deserves a wide readership. * Michael Maas, Speculum *
The book's many positive features are easy to peg up ... a synthesis that goes beyond tedious textbooks in offering students a no-nonsense analytical narrative, together with useful apparatus, such as the chapter-by-chapter readings in sources and scholarship. University teachers, and a generation of students, will bless the author's name. * Mark Humphries, Early Medieval Europe *

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