Cover: New Rome: The Empire in the East, from Harvard University PressCover: New Rome in PAPERBACK

New Rome

The Empire in the East

Product Details


$24.95 • £21.95 • €22.95

ISBN 9780674294042

Publication Date: 11/14/2023

Academic Trade

464 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

46 photos, 3 maps

Belknap Press

History of the Ancient World

North America only

Also Available As

Jacket: New Rome

HARDCOVER | $36.00

ISBN 9780674659629


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[A] major contribution to our knowledge of the sheer richness and importance of the world of East Rome in its initial headlong centuries… Brings the world of New Rome alive with exceptional learning and a magnificent openness to modern scientific methods that breathe life into conventional narratives of political and social history… Stephenson’s approach takes us directly into the heart of East Roman society.—Peter Brown, New York Review of Books

Stephenson…has a wonderfully sharp eye for data and detail… Anyone who has shrugged at the suggestion that the weather had anything to do with the demise of such a mighty empire will, I think, come away from this book persuaded that climate change and natural disasters provide an important part of the answer. Far from being moralistic and attempting to apply the examples of the past as a warning, Stephenson lays down the evidence unemotionally, and lets it speak for itself… A sobering but fascinating history. Not for a long time has a book surprised me as much as this one did… I have been quoting passages and surprising facts to everyone around me ever since putting it down.—Daisy Dunn, The Critic

Centers on the Byzantine world in the period 395–700 A.D., combining modern scientific methods with traditional history to explain which parts of Rome migrated east and what became of them.New Criterion

This early history of Byzantium is sure to be enjoyed by a wide audience.Choice

A sweeping survey of the disintegration of the western Roman empire and the emergence of Byzantium… Stephenson draws on the ‘new science of Roman history’ to reveal how climate change, pandemics, invading tribes, and near-constant warfare led to the decline of ancient cities… This impressive chronicle offers an eye-opening perspective on a period of dramatic change.Publishers Weekly

The eastern Mediterranean witnessed major turbulence and transformation between the fifth and seventh centuries: climate change, wars, plague, religious strife, the end of classical antiquity, and the rise of Islam. In this striking new history, Stephenson gives us a portrait of Byzantium that is informed by environmental science and the material records left behind by the men and women of New Rome. Conventional histories of the last days of the Roman Empire will no longer suffice after you read this book.—Averil Cameron, author of Byzantine Matters

How did the Eastern Roman Empire of late antiquity become the civilization known as Byzantium? Stephenson’s New Rome is the most compelling fusion yet of narrative history with the recent findings of environmental research and scientific data. It will change the way we understand key events and transformations in the Eastern Empire.—Anthony Kaldellis, author of Romanland

A genuinely new way of looking at later Late Antiquity, firmly anchoring the old stories of emperors and barbarians in their physical and environmental context. Stephenson’s gift for narrative is matched by an eye for arresting images and quirky anecdotes that will surprise and delight even jaded readers.—Michael Kulikowski, author of The Tragedy of Empire

Casts brilliant shafts of light on the material conditions and spiritual quests of the ruling and the ruled in the Mediterranean world of Late Antiquity. Long-studied monuments and texts are fused with Egyptian papyri and fresh scientific data on habitats and climate change to present a masterly synthesis.—Jonathan Shepard, editor of The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire

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