In 330 AD, the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, moved his capital from Rome to Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople. For 11 bloody centuries, until the city was finally conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Byzantine Empire struggled for life. Those were centuries of controversy, in which men argued ferociously about the nature of Christ and his Church. Of learning, in which scribes and scholars preserved and handed on to future generations the heritage of the ancient world. Of emperors like Justinian the Great, Theodosius and Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, men pious, heroic or monstrous, but never, never dull. And, above all, of creativity, when art and architecture achieved an almost unparalleled spiritual depth. In this abridgement of his celebrated trilogy, John Julius Norwich has created a definitive overview of 'the strange, savage, yet endlessly fascinating world of Byzantium'.