The Byzantine Empire

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.3 stars; 43 reviews)

Fifty years ago the word “Byzantine” was used as a synonym for all that was corrupt and decadent, and the tale of the East-Roman Empire was dismissed by modern historians as depressing and monotonous. The great Gibbon had branded the successors of Justinian and Heraclius as a series of vicious weaklings, and for several generations no one dared to contradict him. Two books have served to undeceive the English reader, the monumental work of Finlay, published in 1856, and the more modern volumes of Mr. Bury, which appeared in 1889. Since they have written, the Byzantines no longer need an apologist, and the great work of the East-Roman Empire in holding back the Saracen, and in keeping alive throughout the Dark Ages the lamp of learning, is beginning to be realized. (Wikipedia)

Oman starts with the arrival of Greek traders to establish a colony and ends
"So the cry that God was great and Mohammed his prophet rang through the dome where thirty generations of patriarchs had celebrated the Holy Mysteries, and all Europe and Asia knew the end was come of the longest tale of Empire that Christendom has yet seen. Finis". (9 hr 18 min)


00 - Preface 2:36 Read by Ric F
01 - Byzantium 22:05 Read by Ric F
02 - The Foundation of Constantinople (A.D. 328-330) 26:23 Read by Ric F
03 - The Fight with the Goths 22:30 Read by Ric F
04 - The Departure of the German 16:42 Read by Ric F
05 - The Reorganization of the Eastern Empire (A.D 408-518) 19:23 Read by Ric F
06 - Justinian 23:30 Read by Robert Hoffman
07 - Justinian's Foreign Conquests 25:21 Read by Edmund Bloxam
08 - The End of Justinians Reign 22:20 Read by Edmund Bloxam
09 - The Coming of the Slavs 21:00 Read by Edmund Bloxam
10 - The Darkest Hour 20:32 Read by Edmund Bloxam
11 - Social and Religious Life (A.D. 320-620) 28:20 Read by Ric F
12 - The Coming of the Saracens 26:11 Read by xinamarieuhl
13 - The First Anarchy 16:16 Read by xinamarieuhl
14 - The Saracens Turn Back 8:54 Read by April Gonzales
15 - The Iconoclasts (A.D. 720-802) 16:50 Read by xinamarieuhl
16 - The End of the Iconoclasts (A.D. 802-806) 23:13 Read by Ric F
17 - The Literary Emperors and Their Time (A.D. 886-963) 17:23 Read by Richard Carpenter
18 - Military Glory 21:03 Read by Richard Carpenter
19 - The End of the Macedonian Dynasty 14:19 Read by Edmund Bloxam
20 - Manizikert (1057-1081) 13:18 Read by Andrew Nelson
21 - The Comneni and the Crusades 22:46 Read by Edmund Bloxam
22 - The Latin Conquest of Constantinople 34:22 Read by Ric F
23 - The Latin Empire and the Empire of Nicaea (1204-1261) 20:37 Read by Ric F
24 - Decline and Decay (1261-1328) 22:32 Read by Ric F
25 - The Turks in Europe 19:06 Read by Ric F
26 - The End of a Long Tale (1370-1453) 31:02 Read by Ric F


First Class Tween History.

(5 stars)

Tween histories (my term) lie in between massive scholarly tomes like Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" and popular works written for adults such as Wells' "The Outline of History." A good tween history should be factual and detailed, yet not weighed down by mountains of minutia only of interest to dedicated historians. "The Byzantine Empire" is clearly written, interesting and informative on a fascinating epoch in Eastern European and Middle Eastern history. The reader is competent and precise. I hope similar works will be forthcoming from Librivox.

Ric F again

(2.5 stars)

I’m enjoying the book but as others have said, Ric F’s voice is a strange mixture of monotone to the point of sounding like a robot, strange voice rises and drops, especially at the end of sentences, and all around sounds more like a robot reading inserted text than a human conversationally telling us the history of the Byzantines. That aside, thanks for y’all’s work!


(4.5 stars)

Another reader said it well, "good tween history.". (Please excuse the extra period. These built-in spelling and grammar checkers do not understand proper punctuation.)

Group recording

(0 stars)

Just for clarity, this is a group recording with a number of different readers. Perhaps the previous reviewer had not listened to the whole thing.

(1 stars)

reader, ric f, is not easy to listen to as his reading style is choppy and listeners get distracted by his sing song voice.

(5 stars)

an excellent journey through Byzantium: without Constantine and his successor empire of 1100 years, Christianity would probably be a minor religion.

(5 stars)

Accessible overview of one of the most underrated civilizations in world history.

(1.5 stars)

One of the readers...oh my. A few historical mistakes I think.