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Byzantium survived for 800 years, yet its dominions and power fluctuated dramatically during that time. John Haldon tells the story from the days when the Empire was barely clinging on to survival, to the age when its fabulous wealth attracted Viking mercenaries and Asian nomad warriors to its armies, their very appearance on the field enough to bring enemies to terms. In 1453 the last emperor of Byzantium, Constantine XII, died fighting on the ramparts, bringing to a romantic end the glorious history of this legendary empire.
As the Dark Ages enveloped Europe, a civilization was born on the banks of the Dnieper River. Rus--whose capital at Kiev surpassed in grandeur most cities of Europe--was home to the Ukrainian people, whose princes made war on Constantinople and established the city states of what would become Russia. The cities of Rus were destroyed by the Mongols, their remains falling to the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom. With the steppe restored to wilderness, the "kraina" borderlands of the hardy frontiersmen known as Cossacks--who in the 17th century destroyed powerful Polish, Lithuanian and Muscovite armies--gained Ukrainian independence and established a unique social order. Drawing on English, Ukrainian and French sources, this book chronicles the military and social origins of Ukraine and describes the differences between Ukraine and its neighbors. The author refutes the claim that Ukraine and Russia were once united in a common political system.
I am Soldier brings together the profiles of sixty soldiers who have fought over the past 2,500. These vivid accounts graphically depict the role of the soldier in battle often using the soldiers' own words to reveal what they felt during the chaos of war and its aftermath. From the Spartans at Thermopylae to the war in the Persian Gulf, this book shows the lives of the individual men and woman who made up the great armies that changed the world.
Complex and unstable, in 922 BC the kingdom of Ancient Israel was divided into Judah, in the South, and Israel, in the North. For the next 200 years, there was almost constant warring between these kingdoms and their neighbors. These bitter feuds eventually led to the collapse of Israel, leaving Judah as a surviving nation until the emergence of the Babylonian Empire, the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, and the exile of the Jewish people. Using ancient Jewish, Biblical, and other contemporary sources, this title examines the politics, fighting, and consequences of Israel's battles during this period. Focusing on the turbulent relationship between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, this book explains Israel's complex, often bloody, foreign policy, and provides a definitive history of these ancient conflicts.
"Count no man happy recounts the life of the young Byzantine emperor Constantine VI who lived in the last years of the eighth century CE; and of his ambitious and domineering mother, the empress Irene. It is the true story of the conflict between mother and son for the throne; and of Constantine's forlorn affection for the daughter of Charlemagne"--P. [4] of cover.
The walls of Constantinople are the greatest surviving example of European medieval military architecture in the world. They withstood numerous sieges until being finally overcome by the artillery of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453, and exist today as a time capsule of Byzantine and Medieval history. This book examines the main defensive system protecting the landward side of the city, which consisted of three parallel walls about 5 miles long. The walls defended the city against intruders, including Attila the Hun, before finally being breached by European knights during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and, ultimately, destroyed by Turkish artillery in 1453.
By the middle of the sixth century the Byzantine emperor ruled a mighty empire that straddled Europe, Asia and North Africa. Within 100 years, this powerful empire had been cut in half. Two centuries later the Byzantine empire was once again a power to be reckoned with, and soon recovered its position as the paramount East Mediterranean and Balkan power, whose fabulous wealth attracted Viking mercenaries and central Asian nomad warriors to its armies, whose very appearance on the field of battle was sometimes enough to bring enemies to terms. No book has ever attempted a survey of Byzantine wars, and few accounts of Byzantine battles have ever been translated into a modern language. This book will provide essential support for those interested in Byzantine history in general as well as a useful corrective to the more usual highly romanticised views of Byzantine civilisation.

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