Byzantium in the 15th
century is too easily dismissed as the anachronistic
tail end of an ancient ecumenical empire, whose only
achievements, apart from the heroic last stand of
Constantinople in 1453, were the contribution of
literary Hellenism to Renaissance humanism, and the
preservation of Orthodoxy from the encroachment of
This book argues that in struggling to survive as a
small fortified enclave at the heart of Ottoman
territory, Byzantium adopted the social structure and
political ideology of a secular, territorial city-state
on the Italian model.
It thus presents the empire of the last Palaiologoi in
an entirely new light.
La Pomme d'or