Welcome to NeoByzantium.com – The Guide to the Byzantine Empire for General Readers.
My name is Irving aka “The Vizier,” your host and guide to the unique world that is the Byzantine Empire.
Discovering the Byzantine Empire
I discovered the Byzantine Empire around 2000 when I played Age of Empires II. From there I progressed through Medieval Total War I & II. Regardless of the games I played, I relished every opportunity I had to use this amazing civilization. More importantly, these games allowed me to alter the fate of Byzantium according to my wishes.
Over the years I read everything I could find on this unique civilization. My reward is the pleasure I received in learning about the Byzantines. Many things about Byzantium fascinate me. From their famous Walls of Constantinople, their never-ending struggle against powerful adversaries on all sides, to their political intrigue and love of splendour. Every time I read about them, I feel a sense of wonder and attraction.
Why Neo Byzantium?
The purpose of this site is to provide coverage on the Byzantine Empire for the general reader. The aim is to do so in a manner that is informative, entertaining and easy to read.
Some of the topics that I intend to cover include:
-The history and evolution of the Byzantine Empire
-The various personalities of the Byzantine Empire: Emperors, Generals, Patriarchs, Monks, etc
-Byzantine Empire related book reviews
-Byzantine Empire related website reviews
-Byzantine Empire related game reviews
Why the Byzantine Empire?
With over a thousand years of history, the Byzantine Empire is truly amazing. What I love most about the empire is the way it struggled to survive against overwhelming odds. In many of its conflicts, the Byzantines were the underdogs. Thus they relied on diplomacy and bribes to play off their enemies against each other. But when this failed, they fought with valour, prudence and cunning. The many Sieges of Constantinople where they returned repeatedly from the brink of destruction is truly inspiring.
When they were not fighting external enemies, the Byzantines fought amongst themselves. There were many instances of political intrigues and civil wars. Many usurpers became emperors through devious schemes and shocking murders. Some even managed to legitimize their reign and went on to establish their own dynasties. These sensational stories are delightful to read, but they also serve as a reminder of the dangers that surround wealth and power.
Byzantium was famous for its wealth and power. Amongst the European kingdoms, it had no equal. For hundreds of years, the lavish rituals and ceremonies of the Byzantine court awed its visitors. Many medieval kingdoms derived their own rituals and ceremonies from Byzantium. Even today as I read about the splendour and opulence of the Byzantine court, I cannot help but be amazed at its glory.
Although the empire ended in 1453, its influence still lives on today. Byzantine art and architecture are the most obvious reminders of the empire. Meanwhile, the Greek Orthodox Church carries on its religious traditions and ceremonies. Less obvious are the ways that the Byzantines influenced Christianity and Western thinking today. By creating awareness of how Byzantium lives on today, I hope to create a greater appreciation for this lost civilization.
I wish to state upfront that I am not a professional historian and my website makes no claim to academic scholarship. This site is intended for the general reader of Byzantine history. Please feel free alert me to any mistakes that I make so that I may correct them for the benefit of the readers. Comments on ways to improve this site are also welcomed.
Please contact me here.