LOST CAPITAL OF BYZANTIUM
The History of Mistra and the Peloponnese

STEVEN RUNCIMAN
168pp ILLUS MAPS 2009 LIST PRICE: £9.99 (P) HB65

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Description
Following the Frankish conquest of the Peloponnese in the thirteenth century, William II of Villehardouin built a great castle on a hill near Sparta that later came to be known as Mistra. Ten years later, in a battle in northern Greece, Villehardouin was defeated and captured by the Byzantine Emperor. The terms for his release included giving Mistra to the Byzantine Greeks. Under their rule, the city flourished and developed into a centre of learning and the arts and was a focal point for the cultural development of Europe. Runciman tells the story of this once-great city -- its rise and fall and its place in the history of the Peloponnese and the Byzantine empire.

. . . a masterpiece of compressed learning. OBSERVER