Byzantium: The Apogee: v. 2 by John Julius Norwich (Paperback, 1993)

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In "Byzantium: The Early Centuries", the author told the epic tale of the Roman Empire's second capital up to Christmas Day AD 800, when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as a rival emperor. This second volume of the trilogy covers the following three centuries. The Byzantine Empire, although surrounded by hostile Muslims, Bulgars, Russians and Romans, wasted much of its time on obscure theological disputes. Yet despite being controlled by an extraordinary sequence of adventures, drunkards, lustful empresses, sinister eunuchs and unworldly scholars, it somehow managed to survive. Here, Lord Norwich continues his chronicle up to the coronation of the heroic Alexius Comnenus in 1081.
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