Download PDF by Anthony Kaldellis: A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities: Strange Tales and

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 appeared through many as one huge interest. based on Voltaire, it represented "a valueless choice of miracles, a shame for the human mind"; for Hegel, it was once "a disgusting photo of imbecility."

A cupboard of Byzantine Curiosities will churn up those outdated prejudices, whereas additionally stimulating a deeper curiosity between readers in a single of history's finest civilizations. the various zanier stories and trivialities which are accrued the following revolve round the political and non secular lifetime of Byzantium. therefore, tales of saints, relics, and their miracles-from the hilarious to the revolting-abound. Byzantine forms (whence the adjective "Byzantine"), courtroom scandals, and complicated penal code are global well-known. And what could Byzantium be with no its eunuchs, whose ambiguous gender produced extraordinary and risible results in numerous contexts? The booklet additionally includes sections on lifestyle which are both eye-opening, together with meals (from aphrodisiacs to fermented fish sauce), video games resembling polo and acrobatics, and obnoxious perspectives of foreigners and others (e.g., Germans, Catholics, Arabs, dwarves). yet lest we disregard Byzantium's extra honorable contributions to civilization, additionally integrated are the various marvels of Byzantine technological know-how and know-how, from the army (flamethrowers and hand grenades) to the theatrical ("elevator" thrones, roaring mechanical lions) and scientific (catheters and remedies, a few bizarre). This great collection of ancient anomaly and absurdity sheds important mild on one in every of history's so much imprecise 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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