Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese ePUB Ô

Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese ePUB Ô


  • Paperback
  • 144 pages
  • Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese
  • Steven Runciman
  • English
  • 09 August 2014
  • 9780674034051

6 thoughts on “Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese

  1. Steve Steve says:

    The Remains of Mistra From the Foot of the MountainSteven Runciman's 1903 2000 Mistra Byzantine Capital of the Peleponnese first appeared in 1980 and was resurrected in 2009 by Harvard University Press as The Lost Capital of Byzantium with a completely superfluous foreword by John Freely making available again one of the few histories of a very interesting side chapter of Europe's past one which I knew nothing about until recently Runciman was one of the great second generation modern historians of Byzantium the point around which all of his work circled He famously wrote that the Crusades were an invasion of Byzantium than an invasion of the Islamic Middle East In any case the infamous fourth Crusade in which avaricious western Christian knights sacked the capital of eastern Christianity Constantinople at the instigation of Constantinople's competitor Venice perfectly conforms to Runciman's viewOne of the conseuences of this crusade was the occupation of much of Greece by Frankish lords In particular through a series of accidents two sires of Champagne Geoffroi de Villehardouin and Guillaume de Champlitte saw an opportunity in 1205 and conuered much of the Peleponnesos with no than 600 men The residents were unused to war and were fed up with their former Byzantine lords In the sole large engagement where the Franks were outnumbered 10 to 1 the Greeks were crushed by the first charge of the Frankish heavy cavalry wherein knights in full body armor weighing as much as a man were mounted upon hugely powerful steeds bred for precisely such a task Guillaume soon died of illness and Geoffroi became the Prince of Achaea consolidating Frankish control of all of the Peleponnesos and building strongpoints where he thought advisable The Peleponnesos was divided into a strict feudal hierarchy with the Church and the Venetians getting their big pieces Runciman describes the complicated politics of this new Principality recognized by the Pope The religious situation was complicated also with the Latin churchmen taking the high positions and the administration into their control but leaving the parish churches in the hands of the native Orthodox priests who continued celebrating the Eastern ritesOld French was spoken at the Frankish court into which the rest of the Frankish culture was transplanted including its architecture But the Franks were few and the Greeks were many Soon there were little gasmoules the local name for the half caste offspring running around and growing up The children of the knights and noblemen maintained their language and culture for a time but those of the foot soldiers spoke Greek and were culturally absorbed into the population right away even though they had blond hair and blue eyes It was not long before even the offspring of the de Villehardouins were speaking Greek but a uniue Frankish Greek cultural synthesis had already begun to emerge In the near future I'll write on one of the aspects of this synthesis we can still enjoy the literaryGeoffroi died in 1218 replaced by his eldest son Geoffroi II an enlightened and capable prince At his death in 1246 his brother Guillaume became Prince Guillaume was ambitious and significantly extended his principality in the midst of great international turmoil There were three different remnants of Greek Byzantium the ever shrinking Latin Byzantium the Bulgarians and the Turks all fighting each other over the big prize Constantinople In the confusion Guillaume made some mostly successful movesBut in the summer of 1259 he was outmanoeuvred politically and militarily in a battle against the Nicaean branch of the Greek Byzantines headed by Emperor Michael Palaeologus Guillaume was captured and held by the Byzantines for a few years In the meantime Palaeologus took Constantinople in 1261 and the uotation marks could be dropped As part of the negotiations for Guillaume's release the two headed eagle of the Palaeologus family flew over the ramparts of MistraWithin a year the Byzantines and Franks were fighting again And matters were complicated further by the rise of Charles d'Anjou and Emperor Michael's troubles with the Turks and Bulgarians Runciman explains all of this thoroughly but I'll just say that the Franks' influence in the Peleponnesos waned as that of the Byzantines waxed Ultimately the Emperor declared the Peleponnesos to be under the aegis of the Despotate of the Morea and it remained so until the Ottoman invasion of the Morea in 1460 Mistra served as the capital of the Despotate and because the Despots were usually members of the Palaeologus family indeed for a time the Despot was the most likely man to become the new Emperor when the necessity arose Mistra enjoyed than a century of brilliance and grandeur before the Turks arrived Under their dominion Mistra declined into insignificance as Runciman describes with regret in the last two chaptersUnfortunately for my personal tastes Runciman's history is almost exclusively political whereas I prefer social economic and cultural histories My eyes begin to cross when I must read about the struggles for power between a gaggle of close relatives There is much of that in this book But there is a lovely chapter describing the city itself with illustrations and a chapter on the brief period when Mistra was the philosophical center of the Eastern Christian worldIt was news to me that Giorgios Gemistos Plethon the neo Platonist who famously was the seed of the Italian Renaissance and was called the second Plato throughout the Christian world was active primarily in Mistra instead of Constantinople Nor did I realize the degree to which the man was heretical Towards the end of his life he advocated a return to the ancient Greek gods So you know who is going onto my TBR listRunciman an historian famed for a particularly graceful prose style does not disappoint in that respect in this little book an homage to a place with which Runciman had a strong personal connection But I wish the emphasis were not so heavy on the political history Even reprehensible than the fourth Crusade was the Albigensian Crusade But about that some other time He also constructed a fortress on a mountaintop around which on the mountain's steep sides a city accumulated a city called Mistra or Mystras see above Rating


  2. Ned Ned says:

    uick summer read on a specific spot Mistra GreeceOnce confused not that long ago as the remains of Sparta herself it was instead the capital of some Byzantine despots in the waning years of their reign in that world when Crusades raged in the Mediterranean and most of the protagonists did 'holy battle' for greed and called it something else Spiritual purity and cultural continuity were what was fought over here until it was sacked in 1770 and again in 1824 as an outpost one of a string of overcome 'hinterlands' But in the home of George Plethon in the 1st half of the Fifteenth century Mistra was a hotbed of Renaissance ideas sparking the knowledge and awareness of Hellenic studies and culture to a western Europe hungry for such 'new' ideas Mistra turns out to be a focus of ancient collected wisdom a generation or two before the west caught on that that was where it was at


  3. Hall& Hall& says:

    A short lucid account of the Mediaeval history of a region which fell to wayside of history during Late Antiuity and even now is yet to recover its lost prominence Being Runciman of course the uality of the narrative and the scholarship are as expected Of particular note is a focus towards the end on the philosopher Plethon which may well have contributed to the current interest in this facinating character from the likes of Anthony Kaldellis and Niketas SiniossogluJM 220916


  4. Tony Gualtieri Tony Gualtieri says:

    Mistra is an obscure ruin located on a hill near the fragmentary remains of Sparta It obviously charmed Steven Runciman the historian of Byzantium and the Crusades who writes that in Mistra one reaches a worldpeopled by fragments of the imagination But for those to whom history is not just a matter of dry and dusty records the imagination offers a splendid choice whether it be of warriors or artists of gracious ladies or learned philosophers of the Villehardouin lords revelling in the loveliness of the countryside or the dark bearded Despots in their ceremonial robes discussing with their architects and artists how to add to the city's glories or to the great philosopher Plethon himself talking to his pupils while the Lady Cheope leaned in from her litter as she passedThe record of Mistra is as piecemeal as its ruins but Runciman does a fine job outlining the vicissitudes of Mistra's dynastic scions the second sons of greater rulers reigning in Constantinople Venice and Napoli At times the labyrinthine succession of names can be overwhelming but Runciman is a master of narrative and his love for Mistra and the Peloponnese shines through the occasionally confusing passagesMistra was never than a provincial capital but this love letter to its storied past shines grandeur on its weathered stones


  5. Ben Ben says:

    This monograph is mostly a narrative account of what would probably be understandably expressed by a time line and a family tree The narrative is difficult to follow because of the many actors at work at any given point none lasts for than a few pages making the lasting impression of this book for me little than an unintelligible jumble names and places


  6. Chiefdonkey Bradey Chiefdonkey Bradey says:

    A chronicle of princelings exarchs and pashas the passing of empires the ruins of palaces


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Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese[Epub] ➟ Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese Author Steven Runciman – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Clinging to a rugged hillside in the lush valley of Sparta lies Mistra one of the most dramatically beautiful Byzantine cities in Greece a place steeped in history myth and romance Following the Frank Clinging to a rugged hillside capital of PDF/EPUB ½ in the lush valley of Sparta lies Mistra one of the most dramatically Mistra: Byzantine Kindle - beautiful Byzantine cities in Greece a place steeped in history myth and romance Following the Frankish conuest of the Byzantine capital of PDF ´ 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 center of learning and the arts and was a focal point for the cultural development of Europe Sir Steven Runciman one of the most distinguished historians of the Byzantine period traveled to Mistra on numerous occasions and became enchanted with the place Now published in paperback for the first time Lost Capital of Byzantium 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.


About the Author: Steven Runciman

A King's Scholar at Eton capital of PDF/EPUB ½ College he was an exact contemporary and close friend of George Orwell While Mistra: Byzantine Kindle - there they both studied French under Aldous Huxley In he entered Trinity College Cambridge as a history scholar Byzantine capital of PDF ´ and studied under JB Bury becoming as Runciman later commented his first and only student At first the reclusive Bury tried to brush him off; then when Runciman ment.


6 thoughts on “Mistra: Byzantine capital of the Peloponnese

  1. Steve Steve says:

    The Remains of Mistra From the Foot of the MountainSteven Runciman's 1903 2000 Mistra Byzantine Capital of the Peleponnese first appeared in 1980 and was resurrected in 2009 by Harvard University Press as The Lost Capital of Byzantium with a completely superfluous foreword by John Freely making available again one of the few histories of a very interesting side chapter of Europe's past one which I knew nothing about until recently Runciman was one of the great second generation modern historians of Byzantium the point around which all of his work circled He famously wrote that the Crusades were an invasion of Byzantium than an invasion of the Islamic Middle East In any case the infamous fourth Crusade in which avaricious western Christian knights sacked the capital of eastern Christianity Constantinople at the instigation of Constantinople's competitor Venice perfectly conforms to Runciman's viewOne of the conseuences of this crusade was the occupation of much of Greece by Frankish lords In particular through a series of accidents two sires of Champagne Geoffroi de Villehardouin and Guillaume de Champlitte saw an opportunity in 1205 and conuered much of the Peleponnesos with no than 600 men The residents were unused to war and were fed up with their former Byzantine lords In the sole large engagement where the Franks were outnumbered 10 to 1 the Greeks were crushed by the first charge of the Frankish heavy cavalry wherein knights in full body armor weighing as much as a man were mounted upon hugely powerful steeds bred for precisely such a task Guillaume soon died of illness and Geoffroi became the Prince of Achaea consolidating Frankish control of all of the Peleponnesos and building strongpoints where he thought advisable The Peleponnesos was divided into a strict feudal hierarchy with the Church and the Venetians getting their big pieces Runciman describes the complicated politics of this new Principality recognized by the Pope The religious situation was complicated also with the Latin churchmen taking the high positions and the administration into their control but leaving the parish churches in the hands of the native Orthodox priests who continued celebrating the Eastern ritesOld French was spoken at the Frankish court into which the rest of the Frankish culture was transplanted including its architecture But the Franks were few and the Greeks were many Soon there were little gasmoules the local name for the half caste offspring running around and growing up The children of the knights and noblemen maintained their language and culture for a time but those of the foot soldiers spoke Greek and were culturally absorbed into the population right away even though they had blond hair and blue eyes It was not long before even the offspring of the de Villehardouins were speaking Greek but a uniue Frankish Greek cultural synthesis had already begun to emerge In the near future I'll write on one of the aspects of this synthesis we can still enjoy the literaryGeoffroi died in 1218 replaced by his eldest son Geoffroi II an enlightened and capable prince At his death in 1246 his brother Guillaume became Prince Guillaume was ambitious and significantly extended his principality in the midst of great international turmoil There were three different remnants of Greek Byzantium the ever shrinking Latin Byzantium the Bulgarians and the Turks all fighting each other over the big prize Constantinople In the confusion Guillaume made some mostly successful movesBut in the summer of 1259 he was outmanoeuvred politically and militarily in a battle against the Nicaean branch of the Greek Byzantines headed by Emperor Michael Palaeologus Guillaume was captured and held by the Byzantines for a few years In the meantime Palaeologus took Constantinople in 1261 and the uotation marks could be dropped As part of the negotiations for Guillaume's release the two headed eagle of the Palaeologus family flew over the ramparts of MistraWithin a year the Byzantines and Franks were fighting again And matters were complicated further by the rise of Charles d'Anjou and Emperor Michael's troubles with the Turks and Bulgarians Runciman explains all of this thoroughly but I'll just say that the Franks' influence in the Peleponnesos waned as that of the Byzantines waxed Ultimately the Emperor declared the Peleponnesos to be under the aegis of the Despotate of the Morea and it remained so until the Ottoman invasion of the Morea in 1460 Mistra served as the capital of the Despotate and because the Despots were usually members of the Palaeologus family indeed for a time the Despot was the most likely man to become the new Emperor when the necessity arose Mistra enjoyed than a century of brilliance and grandeur before the Turks arrived Under their dominion Mistra declined into insignificance as Runciman describes with regret in the last two chaptersUnfortunately for my personal tastes Runciman's history is almost exclusively political whereas I prefer social economic and cultural histories My eyes begin to cross when I must read about the struggles for power between a gaggle of close relatives There is much of that in this book But there is a lovely chapter describing the city itself with illustrations and a chapter on the brief period when Mistra was the philosophical center of the Eastern Christian worldIt was news to me that Giorgios Gemistos Plethon the neo Platonist who famously was the seed of the Italian Renaissance and was called the second Plato throughout the Christian world was active primarily in Mistra instead of Constantinople Nor did I realize the degree to which the man was heretical Towards the end of his life he advocated a return to the ancient Greek gods So you know who is going onto my TBR listRunciman an historian famed for a particularly graceful prose style does not disappoint in that respect in this little book an homage to a place with which Runciman had a strong personal connection But I wish the emphasis were not so heavy on the political history Even reprehensible than the fourth Crusade was the Albigensian Crusade But about that some other time He also constructed a fortress on a mountaintop around which on the mountain's steep sides a city accumulated a city called Mistra or Mystras see above Rating

  2. Ned Ned says:

    uick summer read on a specific spot Mistra GreeceOnce confused not that long ago as the remains of Sparta herself it was instead the capital of some Byzantine despots in the waning years of their reign in that world when Crusades raged in the Mediterranean and most of the protagonists did 'holy battle' for greed and called it something else Spiritual purity and cultural continuity were what was fought over here until it was sacked in 1770 and again in 1824 as an outpost one of a string of overcome 'hinterlands' But in the home of George Plethon in the 1st half of the Fifteenth century Mistra was a hotbed of Renaissance ideas sparking the knowledge and awareness of Hellenic studies and culture to a western Europe hungry for such 'new' ideas Mistra turns out to be a focus of ancient collected wisdom a generation or two before the west caught on that that was where it was at

  3. Hall& Hall& says:

    A short lucid account of the Mediaeval history of a region which fell to wayside of history during Late Antiuity and even now is yet to recover its lost prominence Being Runciman of course the uality of the narrative and the scholarship are as expected Of particular note is a focus towards the end on the philosopher Plethon which may well have contributed to the current interest in this facinating character from the likes of Anthony Kaldellis and Niketas SiniossogluJM 220916

  4. Tony Gualtieri Tony Gualtieri says:

    Mistra is an obscure ruin located on a hill near the fragmentary remains of Sparta It obviously charmed Steven Runciman the historian of Byzantium and the Crusades who writes that in Mistra one reaches a worldpeopled by fragments of the imagination But for those to whom history is not just a matter of dry and dusty records the imagination offers a splendid choice whether it be of warriors or artists of gracious ladies or learned philosophers of the Villehardouin lords revelling in the loveliness of the countryside or the dark bearded Despots in their ceremonial robes discussing with their architects and artists how to add to the city's glories or to the great philosopher Plethon himself talking to his pupils while the Lady Cheope leaned in from her litter as she passedThe record of Mistra is as piecemeal as its ruins but Runciman does a fine job outlining the vicissitudes of Mistra's dynastic scions the second sons of greater rulers reigning in Constantinople Venice and Napoli At times the labyrinthine succession of names can be overwhelming but Runciman is a master of narrative and his love for Mistra and the Peloponnese shines through the occasionally confusing passagesMistra was never than a provincial capital but this love letter to its storied past shines grandeur on its weathered stones

  5. Ben Ben says:

    This monograph is mostly a narrative account of what would probably be understandably expressed by a time line and a family tree The narrative is difficult to follow because of the many actors at work at any given point none lasts for than a few pages making the lasting impression of this book for me little than an unintelligible jumble names and places

  6. Chiefdonkey Bradey Chiefdonkey Bradey says:

    A chronicle of princelings exarchs and pashas the passing of empires the ruins of palaces

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