Home / Humanities / History / Byzantium - Medieval History / New Rome: The Roman Empire in the East, AD 395 - 700

New Rome: The Roman Empire in the East, AD 395 - 700

€41.90 -10%
Upon request
Dispatched within 15 - 25 days. Ρrovided that there's sufficient stock at the supplier.

Add to wishlist

A comprehensive new history of the Eastern Roman Empire based on the science of the human past.

As modern empires rise and fall, ancient Rome becomes ever more significant. We yearn for Rome’s power but fear Rome’s ruin—will we turn out like the Romans, we wonder, or can we escape their fate? That question has obsessed centuries of historians and leaders, who have explored diverse political, religious, and economic forces to explain Roman decline. Yet the decisive factor remains elusive.

In New RomePaul Stephenson looks beyond traditional texts and well-known artifacts to offer a novel, scientifically-minded interpretation of antiquity’s end. It turns out that the descent of Rome is inscribed not only in parchments but also in ice cores and DNA. From these and other sources, we learn that pollution and pandemics influenced the fate of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire. During its final five centuries, the empire in the east survived devastation by natural disasters, the degradation of the human environment, and pathogens previously unknown to the empire’s densely populated, unsanitary cities. Despite the Plague of Justinian, regular “barbarian” invasions, a war with Persia, and the rise of Islam, the empire endured as a political entity. However, Greco-Roman civilization, a world of interconnected cities that had shared a common material culture for a millennium, did not.

Politics, war, and religious strife drove the transformation of Eastern Rome, but they do not tell the whole story. Braiding the political history of the empire together with its urban, material, environmental, and epidemiological history, New Rome offers the most comprehensive explanation to date of the Eastern Empire’s transformation into Byzantium.

Author: Stephenson Paul
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781781250075
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2022
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Illustrations*
  • List of Maps**
  • Introduction
  • I. Life in the Later Roman World
    • 1. Life at the End of the ‘Lead Age’
    • 2. Family and Faith
    • 3. An Empire of Cities
    • 4. Culture, Communications, Commerce
    • 5. Constantinople, the New Rome
  • II. Power and Politics
    • 6. The Theodosian Age, AD 395–451
    • 7. Soldiers and Civilians, AD 451–527
    • 8. The Age of Justinian, AD 527–602
    • 9. The Heraclians, AD 602–c. 700
  • III. The End of Antiquity
    • 10. The End of Ancient Civilisation
    • 11. Apocalypse and the End of Antiquity
    • 12. Emperors of New Rome
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
  • Index
  • * Illustrations
    • Black and white illustrations
      • Figure 1. The lead coffin of a Roman infant, buried in Syria, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
      • Figure 2. Pilgrim flasks (ampullae) from Abu Mena, Egypt, and Resafa, Syria, sixth to seventh centuries, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
      • Figure 3. Papyrus from Apollonopolis Magna, Egypt, dated to the last year of Heraclius’s reign (AD 641), a marriage contract. (Photo: British Library, Creative Commons License)
      • Figure 4. Public latrines near the lower agora at Ephesus.
      • Figure 5. Tyche of Antioch, sitting above Orontes, a young man with flowing hair. Bronze copy of a statue by Eutychides, Louvre Museum. (Photo: Wikimedia commons, public domain)
      • Figure 6. Mosaic at the baptistery at Stobi, Northern Macedonia.
      • Figure 7. Two statue bases of the charioteer Porphyrius, from the hippodrome at Constantinople, now in Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
      • Figure 8. Column of Constantine, Istanbul.
      • Figure 9. Theodosian land walls of Constantinople at Blachernae.
      • Figure 10. A wooden jetty at the Theodosian harbour (Yenikapı).
      • Figure 11. Hunting dogs chasing hares, Great Palace mosaic, Istanbul.
      • Figure 12. Theodosian Obelisk and masonry obelisk in the hippodrome at Constantinople.
      • Figure 13. Theodosian Obelisk, imperial scene on upper base. Obelisk above is supported on bronze cubes.
      • Figure 14. Knotted columns, alluding to the club of Hercules, raised at the Forum of Theodosius on the Mese, now Divan Yolu, Istanbul.
      • Figure 15. Column of Marcian, Istanbul.
      • Figure 16. Hagia Irene and Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
      • Figure 17. Column base inscribed ‘Hecuba’ (ΕΚΑΒΗ), once at the Baths of Zeuxippus, Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
      • Figure 18. Cistern of Aetius, a large open-air water reservoir that is today a football stadium, Istanbul.
      • Figure 19. Trier ivory depicting the arrival of holy relics at the Great Palace of Constantinople. (Photo: Wikimedia commons, public domain)
      • Figure 20. Militant Christ, Archbishop’s Chapel, Ravenna. (Photo: German Archaeological Institute (DAI) Rome (58.599), with permission)
      • Figure 21. Silver consular dish (missorium) of Aspar, National Archaeological Museum, Florence.
      • Figure 22. Dedicatory inscription at Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus.
      • Figure 23. Golden coin (solidus) of Justinian II, showing Christ as ‘King of Kings’. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)
      • Figure 24. Great oval piazza at Gerasa (Jerash), Jordan.
      • Figure 25. Hippodrome at Gerasa, Jordan.
      • Figure 26. Great Mosque at Damascus, Syria. (Photo: Judith McKenzie/Manar al-Athar)
      • Figure 27. Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem. (Photo: Ross Burns/Manar al-Athar)
      • Figure 28. Portrait bust of a young man, possibly Arcadius or Theodosius II, Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
      • Figure 29. Gold coin (solidus) of Heraclius and two sons. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)
      • Figure 30. David Plate, showing David speaking to a soldier, his confrontation with Eliab. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)
    • Colour plates
      • Plate 1. Mosaic of a solar chariot, Chapel of Sant’Aquilino, Milan.
      • Plate 2. Silver chalice, inscribed for Symeonius. (Walters Art Museum, Creative Commons License)
      • Plate 3. The stoa or embolos at Ephesus, once a grand colonnaded street, looking towards the theatre.
      • Plate 4. Fourth-century mosaic showing Dionysus and Hermes, from a bath at Antioch. (Photo: Worcester Art Museum, excavation of Antioch and vicinity funded by the bequests of the Reverend Dr Austin S. Garver and Sarah C. Garver, with permission)
      • Plate 5. Fortunes (tychai) of Constantinople, Antioch, Rome and Alexandria. (From the Esquiline Treasure, British Museum, with permission)
      • Plate 6. Mosaic of Magerius, from Smirat, now in Sousse Archaeological Museum, Tunisia. (Photo: Wikimedia commons, public domain)
      • Plate 7. Mosaic of Dominus Julius, Carthage. (Photo: Wikimedia commons, public domain)
      • Plate 8. Mosaic at the episcopal basilica, Heraclea Lyncestis, Northern Macedonia.
      • Plate 9. Peutinger map, location and Fortune (tyche) of Constantinople. (Photo: Wikimedia commons, public domain)
      • Plate 10. Sea walls of Constantinople, looking towards the Theodosian harbour.
      • Plate 11. Basilica Cistern, today Yerebatan Sarnici, Istanbul.
      • Plate 12. Sarcophagi of porphyry (purple marble), Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
      • Plate 13. Sketch of the eastern face of the Column of Arcadius. (Freshfield Album, Trinity College, Cambridge, with permission)
      • Plate 14. Barberini ivory, Louvre Museum, Paris.
      • Plate 15. Ivory consular diptych of Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)
      • Plate 16. Dome of Hagia Sophia.
      • Plate 17. Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, also known as Little Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
      • Plate 18. The largest of nine David Plates, showing David slaying Goliath. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)
      • Plate 19. Monogrammed glass coin weight, sixth to seventh century. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)
      • Plate 20. Mosaic showing St Demetrius before walls of Thessalonica.
      • Plate 21. Apse mosaic of Virgin and Christ child flanked by angels, Kiti, Cyprus.
      • Plate 22. Fragment of mosaic from the ‘House of the Bird Rinceau’, Antioch, Baltimore Museum of Art.
      • Plate 23. Madaba mosaic map, showing Jerusalem and the cities of the Jordan river valley, Madaba, Jordan. (Photo: Sean Leatherbury/Manar al-Athar)
      • Plate 24. Three Fortunes (tychai), Rome (Constantinople), Gregoria and Madaba, in a floor mosaic at the Hippolytus Hall, Madaba. (Photo: Steve Walsh/Manar al-Athar)
      • Plate 25. Floor mosaic at Church of St Stephen, Umm ar-Rasas, Jordan. (Photo: Sean Leatherbury/Manar al-Athar)
      • Plate 26. Floor mosaic at Church of St Stephen, Umm ar-Rasas, detail of Philadelphia (Amman) and Madaba. (Photo: Miranda Williams/Manar al-Athar)
      • Plate 27. Detail of the mosaic inscription recording the construction of the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem. (Photo: Elias Khamis/Manar al-Athar)
      • Plate 28. Portrait bust of a young woman wearing a bonnet, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
      • Plate 29. Mosaic of Justinian processing during the liturgy’s Great Entrance, San Vitale, Ravenna.
      • Plate 30. Transfiguration mosaic, Monastery of St Catherine, Mt Sinai. (Wikimedia commons, public domain)
  • ** Maps
    • Map 1. Britain, Gaul and Spain
    • Map 2. The Roman Empire, c. AD 400
    • Map 3. The Northern Balkans
    • Map 4. Asia Minor
    • Map 5. Syria (with plan of Antioch)
    • Map 6. The Persian Empire
    • Map 7. Egypt (with plan of Alexandria)
    • Map 8. North Africa
    • Map 9. Italy
    • Map 10. The city of Constantinople (with detail of the Great Palace complex)
    • Map 11. Constantinople and its hinterland
    • Map 12. Greece and the Aegean
    • Map 13. The Roman Empire, c. AD 550
    • Map 14. ‘Byzantium’, c. AD 700

Paul Stephenson has held teaching and research posts at universities, museums and institutes around the world, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Princeton University. He has held chairs at the Universities of Wisconsin, Nijmegen and Durham. He is author or editor of ten books, including Constantine: Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor.

You may also like


Subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to receive our new releases and offers
Your account Your wishlist