Constantine the Great moved the seat of Roman power to Constantinople in AD 330 and for eleven brutal, bloody centuries, the Byzantine Empire became a beacon of grand magnificence and depraved decadence. Here then are the centuries dominated by ferocious arguments over the nature of Christ and his Church. By knowledge, where scholars and scribes preserved the heritage of the ancient world. By emperors like Justinian the Great and Basil the Bulgar-Slayer – men pious, heroic or monstrous. By creativity, as art and architecture soared to new heights. In this abridgement of his celebrated trilogy, John Julius Norwich provides the definitive introduction to the savage, scintillating world of Byzantium.