HAROLD ALBERT LAMB (1892–1962)
Marching Sands (1920)
The House Of The Falcon (1921)
Constantinople: Birth Of An Empire (1957)
"This is the story of a city built by survivors. As often happens in a great disaster, these survivors were not one people ethnically, but a fusion of many peoples. They gathered together to defend not so much their lives and property as their way of life. In so doing they displayed a certain perversity; they refused to surrender their city. They kept on refusing for nearly a thousand years. History has named them the Byzantines.
They were alone in their survival. In the West a long twilight fell on the Roman Empire during the centuries between a.d. 200 and 450. It ended in the darkness of the first Middle Age. In the East, however, the inhabitants of this city learned the hard lessons of disaster, and they managed to hold back the night.
Their city bore many names, including Constantinople and the Guarded City, before it became known to everyone as Byzantium. Like its people, it had a certain peculiarity. It lay on a small promontory between the tideless inland seas, where the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa came closest together. Ancient caravan routes tended toward it, and great rivers led away from it. So the waters that gave access to the hinterlands of the continents also served to protect the point of land on which Constantinople stood. Probably nowhere else could the ancient civilization of the Mediterranean have been preserved.
Its preservation was the work of many men through long lifetime spans. Our story is concerned with one century, the sixth century of Our Lord. The greater part of this time is known for good reason as the Age of Justinian. It was by no means a so-called golden age; it was shaped by intense effort to hold to values in human life. Out of that effort came something unforeseen, and too little understood until now.
The men of Constantinople managed to change the twilight on their horizon into the dawn of a new age, the dawn before the light of modern times. We are the heirs, not of a glory of Greece and a grandeur of Rome, but of their effort in that city between the seas fourteen centuries ago." (Foreword)
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
1 post • Page 1 of 1