Anthony Kaldellis's A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities: Strange Tales and PDF

By Anthony Kaldellis

ISBN-10: 0190625945

ISBN-13: 9780190625948

bizarre, decadent, degenerate, racially combined, superstitious, theocratic, effeminate, or even hyper-literate, Byzantium has lengthy been seemed via many as one significant interest. in line with Voltaire, it represented "a valueless selection of miracles, a shame for the human mind"; for Hegel, it was once "a disgusting photograph of imbecility."

A cupboard of Byzantine Curiosities will churn up those previous prejudices, whereas additionally stimulating a deeper curiosity between readers in a single of history's best civilizations. a number of the zanier stories and minutiae which are amassed right here revolve round the political and spiritual lifetime of Byzantium. hence, tales of saints, relics, and their miracles-from the hilarious to the revolting-abound. Byzantine forms (whence the adjective "Byzantine"), court docket scandals, and intricate penal code are global recognized. And what may Byzantium be with out its eunuchs, whose ambiguous gender produced bizarre and risible results in numerous contexts? The e-book additionally comprises sections on lifestyle which are both eye-opening, together with nutrition (from aphrodisiacs to fermented fish sauce), video games equivalent to polo and acrobatics, and obnoxious perspectives of foreigners and others (e.g., Germans, Catholics, Arabs, dwarves). yet lest we fail to remember Byzantium's extra honorable contributions to civilization, additionally integrated are the various marvels of Byzantine technology and know-how, from the army (flamethrowers and hand grenades) to the theatrical ("elevator" thrones, roaring mechanical lions) and scientific (catheters and treatments, a few bizarre). This large collection of historic anomaly and absurdity sheds very important mild on one in all history's such a lot vague and orthodox empires.

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A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from History's Most Orthodox Empire by Anthony Kaldellis

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