The Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe 500-1453
Throughout much of the Middle Ages, the lands of Eastern Europe (the Balkans, Russia, Romania and the lands on either side of the middle Danube) lay ... Show synopsis Throughout much of the Middle Ages, the lands of Eastern Europe (the Balkans, Russia, Romania and the lands on either side of the middle Danube) lay within the orbit of Byzantine political and cultural influence, and in turn formed a major preoccupation of the Empire. This is a comprehensive historical account of the relations - political, diplomatic, ecclesiastical, economic and cultural - between the Byzantine Empire and the peoples of Eastern Europe. The book demonstrates how there emerged, in the Middle Ages, a community of nations which, in the course of time, came to share a common cultural tradition. The history of this international community, which the author terms the Byzantine Commonwealth, is traced from the barbarian invasion of the 6th and 7th centuries, through the Byzantine recovery and succesful counter-offensive in the 9th and 10th centuries, to the later Middle Ages, when the Empire, although politically a dying body, was able to reassert its cultural dominance over the greater part of Eastern Europe.