In-depth historical essay about the late Roman-Byzantine Armies that protected the Byzantine Empire for over eleven centuries. Contains the administration, ranks, logistics, weapons, campaigns and fortifications of the Byzantine Armies from 325 AD until the fall of the empire in 1461 AD. Reveals the checkered historical course of the empire and its military organization, which was compelled to defend its territories and culture against a horde of belligerent enemies from without and from the state's own bureaucracy within. During its long life span, the empire faced the Persians, Goths, Huns, Lombards, Slavs, Avars, Arabs, Bulgarians, Russians, Hungarians, Normans, Crusader armies and finally, the Turks. Illustrated with 75 photos, maps and additional graphics plus 13 full color plates. Also includes a glossary of Greek and Latin terms. Military Essays; 136 pages. English text.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dimitris Belezos' offers a comprehensive overview of the armies of Byzantium from the days of Constantine the Great to the empire's demise at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Belezos' breaks his essay down into three periods: 1.) Romano-Byzantine Armies of Constantine, Justinian, and Heraclius 2.) Middle era Byzantine Armies of the Macedonian Dynasty 3.) and the forces used by the Late Empire to recover it's territory and enter it's final epic but doomed struggle against the Ottomans. The equipment, tactics, and organization of each periods armies are well analyzed and contrasted with each preceding "epoch" of the East Roman Army. Supporting Belezos' information are a series of wonderful color plates drawn by Christos Giannopoulos depicting various Byzantine soldiers and officers from each era. The drawings are some of the best I've seen on Byzantine troops and closely use primary sources and depictions from surviving artwork and manuscripts to piece together beautiful but...
This book has GREAT illustrations, which really help give you the "feel" of what it would be like to see a Byzantine army in action. It also presents a great overview of the military workings of the empire, full of great information. The writing itself feels like a first draft though. I felt glad that I already had a good foundational knowledge of the subject matter, because it would be easy to get some wrong ideas from a number of confusing passages. If you know enough not to be misled, or if you don't mind a little confusion, the information and organization is first rate.
Nice and concise.
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