We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Lost to the West Audiobook

Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

Regular Price:$31.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In AD 476 the Roman Empire fell - or rather, its western half did. Its eastern half, which would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire, would endure and often flourish for another 11 centuries. Though its capital would move to Constantinople, its citizens referred to themselves as Roman for the entire duration of the empire's existence. Indeed, so did its neighbors, allies, and enemies: When the Turkish Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453, he took the title Caesar of Rome, placing himself in a direct line that led back to Augustus.

For far too many otherwise historically savvy people today, the story of the Byzantine civilization is something of a void. Yet for more than a millennium, Byzantium reigned as the glittering seat of Christian civilization. When Europe fell into the Dark Ages, Byzantium held fast against Muslim expansion, keeping Christianity alive. When literacy all but vanished in the West, Byzantium made primary education available to both sexes. Students debated the merits of Plato and Aristotle and commonly committed the entirety of Homer's Iliad to memory. Streams of wealth flowed into Constantinople, making possible unprecedented wonders of art and architecture, from fabulous jeweled mosaics and other iconography to the great church known as the Hagia Sophia that was a vision of heaven on earth. The dome of the Great Palace stood nearly two hundred feet high and stretched over four acres, and the city's population was more than twenty times that of London's.

From Constantine, who founded his eponymous city in the year 330, to Constantine XI, who valiantly fought the empire's final battle more than a thousand years later, the emperors who ruled Byzantium enacted a saga of political intrigue and conquest as astonishing as anything in recorded history. Lost to the West is replete with stories of assassination, mass mutilation and execution, sexual scheming, ruthless grasping for power, and clashing armies that soaked ...

©2009 Lars Brownworth; (P)2009 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (764 )
5 star
 (407)
4 star
 (263)
3 star
 (68)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.4 (544 )
5 star
 (316)
4 star
 (166)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.4 (542 )
5 star
 (282)
4 star
 (191)
3 star
 (53)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David United States 09-12-16
    David United States 09-12-16 Member Since 2012

    Hellicopter Man

    HELPFUL VOTES
    175
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    130
    93
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellant overview."

    Years ago I tried to read a five hundred page history and gave up. This is an important story worth five hundred pages and this provides an easy way to find that out. And it moves along rather smartky as well. I will now replay "The Sultans" to complete the nex five hundred years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corvin Rok Nashville, TN USA 09-06-16
    Corvin Rok Nashville, TN USA 09-06-16 Member Since 2013

    eatinghwin

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent narrative approach. riveting history"

    I've read dozens of history books in the last few years. almost all on ancient Greco-Roman civilizations. this unique book on Byzantine history helped me immensely. it shows a far different perspective than western European sources such as Gibbon's "Fall & Decline of the Roman Empire" and modern day reincarnations.

    the narrative approach was at first less interesting to me, but as the book moves along it becomes almost essential to the vast number of turns in the chronological explanation of the Byzantine story. in the end using this approach proved excellent and rewarding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Long Island, NY 09-06-16
    Thomas Long Island, NY 09-06-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Overview of Byzantium"

    I've read about medieval Europe and classical Rome, but there was a huge gap in my knowledge of how we arrived at the modern age and the animosity between religious and cultural factions that still exists today. If you're already well versed in Byzantine history, this brisk and breezy tour through the history of the Roman empire after the capitol was moved to Constantinople might seem a bit unsatisfying, but for everyone else this is a brilliant presentation of a largely forgotten chapter of world history that provides a much-needed link between the fall of the (Western) Roman Empire and the Renaissance. Highly recommended, especially to veterans of the History of Rome podcast!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zacchaeus 08-19-16
    Zacchaeus 08-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Will I ever find another book this good again?"

    This is definitely the best and most entertaining history book I've ever listened too (and read). It makes so much sense as to why we know so little about the Eastern Roman Empire and its significance. Western Europe has been very effective at disappearing cultures that preceded and out did them. My understanding of late antiquity and the Middle Ages will never be the same thanks to Lars Brownworth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua 07-21-16
    Joshua 07-21-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent basic history"

    I found it a good basic overview of the Eastern Empire. Brownworth illustrates some of the most important parts of the major emperors and their policies. Brownworth does an exceptional job of narrating. He keeps a good amount of emotion in his voice all throughout the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 06-19-16
    Jeff 06-19-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Full of politically relevant lessons for today"

    This book is for you if you are interested in learning from history so we don't repeat it, or at least, recognizing when we are repeating history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sean 06-07-16
    sean 06-07-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent historical narrative!!"

    All the trappings of a great epic! A perfect balance of historical facts and story telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-03-16 Member Since 2013

    phepps

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very...digestible"

    One of these days, I'll pick up one of his books and flip for footnotes. Until then, Brownsworth tells a good story that is easy to absorb by audio. I enjoyed listening to his lectures on (exceedingly) Early Christianity many years ago and was glad to find more of his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S.Traut Washington State 05-15-16
    S.Traut Washington State 05-15-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good history of Byzantine empire "

    Good history of the Byzantine Empire. You cannot objectively read this book and without being concerned about what's going on in Europe right now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bohannon 05-08-16

    eboh

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Intro"

    This was a good introduction to my exploration of modern-day Turkey. Mr. Brownworth's effort gave me an understanding of the importance of the Byzantine empire. It also opened my eyes to the characters who built it up and the decisions that led to its destruction. Unfortunately, I had to rewind many times to absorb the content. I am not sure why, but did find the author's use of so many adjectives to occasionally detract from the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.