Byzantine Emporia Books

Saladin the Strategist

Saladin the Strategist: How the Crusaders Lost the Holy Land

Saladin is most famous for his spectacular victory at Hattin. But that victory was only possible because of the military system he spent many years before that developing.

Midway Through the Plunge

Midway Through the Plunge: John Cantacuzenus & the Fall of Byzantium

Was the fall of Byzantium inevitable? Or can it be blamed on certain historical figures? The impossible dilemmas faced by Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus in the mid-14th century.

The Art of War in Italy, 1494-1529: The Birth of Early Modern Warfare

Critical edition of F.L. Taylor’s classic study of the Italian Wars and the new style of warfare which emerged from them.

Book Reviews

Middle Rages Cover

Middle Rages by Milo Yiannopoulos

On the mobbing of University of Chicago professor Rachel Fulton Brown and the rot at the heart of academia.

Conquerors by Roger Crowley

The gripping story of the Portuguese voyages of exploration and the conquest of the East.

An absorbing adventure novel opening in Constantinople just before its fall.

Death in the Venetian quarter

A Death in the Venetian Quarter by Alan Gordon

A whimsical medieval murder mystery set in Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade.

The Path of the Martyrs by Ed West

A history of the Battle of Tours and its consequences for Dark Ages Europe.a

Further Reading

Further reading for Byzantine Emporia articles (affiliate links).

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

The history of trade, looking at the networks and modes of transport that made it possible. Has a particularly good discussion of the Indian Ocean trade system.

A Short History of Byzantium

A single-volume abridgment of John Julius Norwich’s classic survey of the Byzantine Empire.

The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean

A sweeping look at the role of the Mediterranean in history.

The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia

A survey of the various empires that formed on the Great Eurasian Steppe.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

A flawed but entertaining history of the Mongol Empire and the influence it had on world history.

The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire

How Byzantium outlasted the Western Roman Empire by a thousand years. Describes the dynamic of displacement and movement of peoples across the steppe.

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

A discussion of the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean, going back in time up into the future.

Gullah Culture in America

A folk history of the Gullah people living in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry.

Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas

A hypothesis about how West African slaves in the Carolina Lowcountry may have introduced rice cultivation to America.

A History of the East African Coast

A history of the Swahili Coast from accounts by Greek and Roman geographers through the Swahili Golden Age, Portuguese conquest, and Kingdom of Zanzibar.

The Alhambra (Wonders of the World)

A history of this amazing building and the influence it has had.

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu

The story of how Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts were narrowly saved from invading Al-Qaeda forces.

The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization

Baghdad at the peak of its intellectual brilliance, when the caliphs collected and preserved texts from the ancient world.

The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors

Popular history of the famed monastic warriors.

The Secret History (Penguin Classics)

Procopius’ salacious history of anecdotes, gossip, and his own unvarnished opinion of the prominent figures during Justinian’s reign.

The Arabian Nights (New Deluxe Edition)

The classic compendium of fairy tales of Persian, Indian, Chinese, and Arabian origin. Translated from the earliest complete, extant text, the 14th-c. Mahdi edition.

Tales from the Thousand and One Nights (Penguin Classics)

A collection of the most popular stories from the Nights, including later additions such as Sinbad and Aladdin.

The Assassins

Bernard Lewis’ history of the Assassins.

Alamut (Scala Translation)

Novel about the founder of the Assassins Order, Hassan-i-Sabah.

The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

A history of the cultivation and culture of tea throughout the world. Includes a guide on brewing tea and the rituals around drinking it.

Maya Architecture: Temples in the Sky

Illustrated guide to Mayan architecture.

Royal Cities of the Ancient Maya

Overview of Mayan art, architecture, and history.