Brownworth gets a number of key facts wrong, rendering much of his history untrustworthy. He badly botches the account of the fall of the Western Empire. Flavius Aetius died BEFORE Attila, not afterwards as presented in the text. Aetius certainly was no barbarian, as Brownworth casually dismisses him. Indeed, the Catalaunian Plains are hardly mentioned at all.
Getting basic historical sequences correct is the first duty of a dutiful scholar. Brownworth doesn't look this material up and doesn't seem to be intimately familiar with the Late Roman period. He might be a good writer, but he's not a very good scholar.
Probably not. He's just not a very good scholar.
I don't know. I gave up listening at the two-hour mark.
If I could get my credit back from Audible, and could somehow "return" this audiobook, I'd be pretty happy. "Lost to the West" is just a really unfortunate volume.
If you've ever wondered about what became of the remnants of the Empire of Rome after it fell, or what was going on in the rest of the world, Lost to the West answers those questions.
Featuring parade of cynical emporers, brash pretenders, bold usurpers and grasping regents, the line of Roman success in both the East and West combines with notable characters from all walks of life to weave a non-fiction historical account of the empire.
Most notably, it was a Constantine who ushered in the Byzantine Empire and a Constantine who lead the empire into oblivion not with a wimper, but in the proud tradition of Greek heroism.
The story of Byzantium is rarely told in this detail among westerners where the legends of Rome and Greece stop in the middle of the first millennium. However, the Byzantine empire sheltered the west from eastern conquest, and when it fell the remnants proved to be seeds for the Renaissance in the west, the age of discovery and for Czarist rule in the north. Our world is very much shaped by the legacy of Byzantium, and this is the book that connects the dots in the picture of the modern world.
Perfect for starters.
"Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization" is perfect for those who wish to start learning about the Byzantine Empire. Lars Brownworth does a great job at adding a story element to historical events and adds a lot of personality to the complex history of the empire.
I took a class on the Byzantine Empire in graduate school and was fascinated by it. Lars Brownworth does an excellent job taking some of the biggest players in the thousand year Byzantine Empire history and bringing their story to life. After some time, you find yourself rooting for this dogged empire that was fighting foes on all sides, and constantly got in its own way. When you arrive at the end of the book, you find yourself feeling the weight of the Byzantines as they desperately tried to fight off the enemy that would destroy.
With the engaging writing that draws you in and gives you a personal stake in long distant historical events, this book is one of the better historical books I've ever read/listened to. I only wish Lars Brownworth would write and narrate some more books on the Byzantines.
I found Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization to be a very well done book, for me it was a subject I knew less about. I found that the author, who also is the narrator, to be easy to listen to its nice to hear the actual author reading there own book. I learned a lot about the late Roman empire in the east. I have since listened to the authors podcasts as well. Overall its a great listen, enjoy.
Julian "the Apostate", because he had (I believe) a deeper love and understanding of culture than most other emperors, and was also intelligent and capable.
Contrary to certain others, I thought he read the text mechanically. But the text was not boring, so it was OK.
A good complement might be Kenneth Harl's 24 lectures in the Great Courses "The World of Byzantium", whose account is considerably richer and deeper but does not provide as lively or vivid an impression of some of the personages. Harl does not read but extemporizes, and his diction is interspersed with 'has" and 'ers' and corrections, but I find this much more appealing than a text that is read. If I had to choose, Harl wins hands down. But be aware that Harl's lectures exist in video form with helpful maps and captions that are not available in the audiobook version. This said, Brownworth's audiobook also do not offer such aids.
Had my college history books been this good I'd have stayed in school longer.
Expansive creative worlds or histories seem to be my thing these days... Too much time in a car with long drives ahead!
Did you ever read a book that made you realize how truly ignorant you were? Sure you learned bits in pieces along the way in academia but if you were not a history major this is a must listen.
Yes, it is an excellent sequel to lectures on Hebrew, Greek and Roman civilizations of antiquity (from Modern Scholar series) and this book is a great link from that to the end of the middle ages.
The final heroic fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the last emperor Constantine XI are incredibly sad but extraordinary accounts.
Belisarius, the amazing general and incredibly faithful follower of Emperor Justinian, who managed to reconquer almost the entire roman world for the Empire.
The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453
This book helps understand, sadly, the roots of the deep hatred that run among the peoples in the Balkans, and between them and Turkey. It also reminds us of the long history of atrocities committed in the name of faith.
Rich, captivating, aha!
The lost history of Christianity (Philip Jenkins). Opened a new realm of history that had been totally skipped in my schooling.
No, it needed digesting.
I loved it when I found out the author is the narrator.