'He is brilliant...He writes like the most cultivated modern diplomat attached by a freak of time to the Byzantine court, with intimate knowledge, tactful judgment and a consciousness of the surviving monuments' - "Independent". In this exciting narrative history, John Julius Norwich, one of most accomplished popular historians, reveals the beginning of Byzantium. He tells of the five formative centuries of an empire that would enthrall the western world for more than eleven hundred years.
Born in 1929, John Julius Norwich served in the foreign office for twelve years before resigning in 1964 in order to write. His many publications include his two-book history published by Penguin in one volume entitled The Normans in Sicily; two travel books, Mount Athos (with Reresby Sitwell) and Sahara; The Architecture of Southern England; Glyndebourne; three anthologies of poetry and prose, Christmas Crackers, More Christmas Crackers and Still More Christmas Crackers; A History of Venice; and his three-volume history of the Byzantine empire of which this is the first, Byzantium: The Apogee is the second, and Byzantium: The Decline and Fall is the third. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Geographical Society and the Society of Antiquaries, a Companion of the Royal Victorian Order and a Commendatore of the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.