I can still feel, as if it were yesterday, the excitement of my first Channel crossing (as a child of nearly 7) in September 1936; the regiment of porters, smelling asphyxiatingly of garlic in their blue-green blousons; the raucous sound all around me of spoken French; the immense fields of Normandy strangely devoid of hedges; then the Gare du Nord at twilight, the policemen with their képis and their little snow-white batons; and my first sight of the Eiffel Tower...This book is written in the ..
A Short History of Byzantium is renowned historian, and author of A History of Venice, John Julius Norwich's classic history of Byzantium. Constantine the Great moved the seat of Roman power to Constantinople in AD 330 and for eleven brutal, bloody centuries, the Byzantine Empire became a beacon of grand magnificence and depraved decadence . . .Here there are the centuries dominated by ferocious arguments over the nature of Christ and his Church. By knowledge, where scholars and scribes preserve..
John Julius Norwich expertly examines the history of the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter to the present
Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable immorality. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was e..