I would only recommend this book because there were no alternatives with a broad overview of Byzantium. This book takes a bit of simple approach to some complex issues that are better dealt with by other books that only consider them tangentially. I also found that occasionally I'd be hearing about a person for up to five minutes before the person's name was used - very annoying when you can't flip ahead a few pages.
I just love this book
It talk about begging to end Byzantine empire
If you only want to get one book on the Byzantine and know 95% then I would get this book
I really enjoyed this book. It was a great introduction to a period in history that I had never learned anything about in school. Lars Brownworth does a great job reading with all of the enthusiasm you would expect from an author reading his own work.
This is a truly brilliant audio book. This is the third or fourth time I have listened to it and every time I sit enthralled.
The Romans, buttressing Europe for a millennia from the Islamic hordes streaming throughout Christian lands.
Bought low by Christian armies only to limp forward until extermination by the Turks.
A fine reminder of how easily the west surrenders its history and culture, while at the same time reminding us that we have much to be proud of, much in common with Eastern Europe, and part of a story that repeats time after time.
Easier to get through the audio in the car than sitting and reading.
Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is excellent, and it covers the Eastern Empire to the end in 1453 as well. But there is so much detail that a reader will lose his place in the story. Lost to the West has the right amount of detail to keep the story logically connected and prevent the reader (listener) from losing his place.
Discouraging to realize how often the Byzantines, and their Western Roman brothers were their own worst enemies, more losing the Empire than being beaten by outsiders.
Gibbon's books would be more appreciated if the reader had a good idea of the thread from beginning to end, which is easier to take away from Lost to the West.
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.