Helen and Richard Leacroft. The Buildings of Byzantium. — London, 1977

The Buildings of Byzantium / Helen and Richard Leacroft  The Buildings of Byzantium / Helen and Richard Leacroft

The Buildings of Byzantium / Helen and Richard Leacroft. — London : Hodder & Stoughton Children's Books ; Reading, Massachusetts : Young Scott Books, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1977. — 41 p., ill. — ISBN 0-201-09266-2

BYZANTIUM, the city founded by the Greek, Byzaz, in the seventh century B.C., stood on a peninsula of land at the entrance to the Bosphorus (page 39), and was at the crossroads of eastern and western civilizations. By the third century A.D., it had developed into a typical Roman city. It was therefore the ideal place for Constantine the Great to develop as his new capital, when he became the ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire. The power of Rome had declined in the third century A.D. One reason for this was that barbarians were constantly attacking the frontiers; another was that there were no rules laid down regarding who should succeed an emperor when he died, so any powerful commander could march on Rome and set himself up as a ruler. It was Emperor Diocletian, A.D. 284–305, who, in an effort to strengthen the rule of law, decided that the Empire was too large for one man to control, so he divided it into two parts, the West and the East. When he died, however, fighting broke out again, audit was Constantine who restored order in the East. Declaring that he ruled by the will of God, and allying himself with the Christian Church, he dedicated his Empire on 11 May, A.D. 330, in the city of Byzantium, later to be called Constantinople, and now known as Istanbul.
Most of the Byzantine buildings which can still be seen today are churches, many richly decorated with mosaics. But the Byzantines also built palaces, basilicas, hospitals and markets which were all essential to a great trading nation, whose culture was to have such an effect on our western world.


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The Buildings of Byzantium / Helen and Richard Leacroft  The Buildings of Byzantium / Helen and Richard Leacroft


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