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Empires of Faith


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Table of Contents

1: The World that had been Rome 2: The Formation of Post-Roman Society 3: The Romano-Germanic Kingdoms 4: The View from the East 5: Byzantium, the Balkans, and the West 6: Religion and Society 7: Heraclius, Persia, and Holy War 8: The Age of Division 9: The Princes of the Western Nations Epilogue Select Bibliography and Further Reading

About the Author

Peter Sarris was born in St Albans and educated at St. Albans School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he specialized in Medieval and Byzantine history. After Balliol, he was elected to a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Late Roman, Early Medieval, and Byzantine History at the University of Cambridge, where he is a Fellow of Trinity College. He has lectured and published widely on early medieval and Byzantine history both in the UK and abroad, and has appeared on historical programmes on television and radio and written on archaeological matters for The Times.


This book is a gem [...] Sarris avoids pomposity and instead employs the easy, relaxed style of the accomplished undergraduate lecturer. This is not to say that the material is dumbed down. In discussing such diverse and complicated subjects as law and the content of grave goods, the author provides older students with a wealth of subject matter that might ordinarily lie outside classroom readings. * J. W. Nesbitt, CHOICE *
evoke[s], with a rare vividness, the world of the later Roman aristocracy * Conrad Leyser, Times Literary Supplement *
Peter Sarris' splendid new book is a defiant act of intellectual imperialism. Under the triumphant banner of 'The Oxford History of Medieval Europe' it annexes four academic kingdoms: Rome, the early Middle Ages, Byzantium and early Islam [...] It is easy for forget that this is hard-fought territory, disputed by fractious experts and partitioned between different university departments [...] Peter Sarris' signal acheivement is to impose an academic unity on the period. * Christopher Kelly, The Literary Review *
An epic, sweeping and ferociously clever history of the age of Justinian and Mohammed. * Dominic Sandbrook, Evening Standard *
a brilliant book about the fall of Rome and the rise of Islam, filled with insights and revolutionary ideas by one of the finest historians in Britain. * Peter Frankopan, History Today Books of the Year 2013 *
This is the first volume to appear in the 'Oxford History of Medieval Europe'. Its general editors express the hope in their preface that they have liberated their authors 'from the need to produce a standard authoritative account'. Thankfully Peter Sarris has refused to be liberated and has done exactly that. I dont think it is too fanciful to see points of similarity between Empires of Faith and Stentons Anglo-Saxon England. Both display a mastery of the relevant sources and scholarship; both provide very clear guides to complicated situations; both are very sensitive to the shaping of history by economic, social and religious forces. this is a very good book indeed. * Michael Angold, History *
This is an impressive book. Sarris has succeeded in covering both western and eastern developments and tying them convincingly together ... Empires of Faith is a lucid and confident expression of Sarriss developed view of materialist history, and at the same time a coherent and highly readable book. * Averil Cameron, English Historical Review *
In this magisterial book, Peter Sarris brings to life a pivotal epoch in world history, the centuries between the end of Roman rule in western Europe and the rise of Islam. His considerable achievement is to knit together in a most compelling fashion the major political and economic developments from the Atlantic to the Eurasian steppe that cumulatively produced a new medieval world order by the beginning of the eighth century ... loaded with detail that rarely gets in the way of a lively story ... Peter Sarris has emerged as an important medieval historian with a powerful and authoritative voice. Empires of Faith deserves a wide readership. * Michael Maas, Speculum *
The book's many positive features are easy to peg up ... a synthesis that goes beyond tedious textbooks in offering students a no-nonsense analytical narrative, together with useful apparatus, such as the chapter-by-chapter readings in sources and scholarship. University teachers, and a generation of students, will bless the author's name. * Mark Humphries, Early Medieval Europe *

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