Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe

by Judith Herrin

£30.00


History

Hardback

9781846144660

Published by Penguin Books Ltd

Published August 2020

Books > History

In 402 AD, after invading tribes broke through the Alpine frontiers of Italy and threatened the imperial government in Milan, the young Emperor Honorius made the momentous decision to move his capital to a small, easy defendable city in the Po estuary – Ravenna. From then until 751 AD, Ravenna was first the capital of the Western Roman Empire, then that of the immense kingdom of Theoderic the Goth and finally the centre of Byzantine power in Italy.

In this engrossing account Judith Herrin explains how scholars, lawyers, doctors, craftsmen, cosmologists and religious luminaries were drawn to Ravenna where they created a cultural and political capital that dominated northern Italy and the Adriatic. As she traces the lives of Ravenna’s rulers, chroniclers and inhabitants, Herrin shows how the city became the meeting place of Greek, Latin, Christian and barbarian cultures and the pivot between East and West. The book offers a fresh account of the waning of Rome, the Gothic and Lombard invasions, the rise of Islam and the devastating divisions within Christianity. It argues that the fifth to eighth centuries should not be perceived as a time of decline from antiquity but rather, thanks to Byzantium, as one of great creativity – the period of ‘Early Christendom’. These were the formative centuries of Europe.

While Ravenna’s palaces have crumbled, its churches have survived. In them, Catholic Romans and Arian Goths competed to produce an unrivalled concentration of spectacular mosaics, many of which still astonish visitors today. Beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned photographs, and drawing on the latest archaeological and documentary discoveries, Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe brings the early Middle Ages to life through the history of this dazzling city.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge | 9781408870587

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Reni Eddo-Lodge

£8.99

A Year at the Chateau by Dick Strawbridge and Angel Strawbridge | 9781841884615

A Year at the Chateau

Dick Strawbridge and Angel Strawbridge

£20.00

Elizabethans: How Modern Britain Was Forged by Andrew Marr | 9780008298401

Elizabethans: How Modern Britain Was Forged

Andrew Marr

£20.00

Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country by John Kampfner | 9781786499752

Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country

John Kampfner

£16.99

STRATA: William Smith’s Geological Maps by Oxford University Museum of Natural History | 9780500252475

STRATA: William Smith’s Geological Maps

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

£50.00

Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes | 9781509873111

Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

Natalie Haynes

£20.00