Writing in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon (1737 - 1794) described Byzantium as a “tedious and uniform tale of weakness and misery. On the throne, in the camp, in the schools, we search, perhaps with fruitless diligence, the names and characters that deserve to be rescued from oblivion.” To Gibbon’s clarifying mind looking back from the Age of Enlightenment, the millennial history (330 AD-1453 AD) of the Eastern Roman Empire and its capital, Constantinople – clouded by incense, rife with recondite theological disputes, wrapped in orientalist costuming and architecture, and ruled by complex ritual – was simply too much to fathom and not worth the trouble. Scholarship has caught up with Byzantium since Gibbon’s day. Our 1991, First Edition, three-volume Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium is one example of the extensive research into the fascinating culture now recognized as a remarkable cultural bridge: between East and West, the Classical world and the Modern world, Christianity, and Islam. Condition: Very fine, tight copies, slight staining to front page edges on Volume 2. Dimensions: 10.25" x 7.75" x 2".