A History of the Eastern Roman Empire from the Fall of Irene to the Accession of Basil I. (A.D. 802-867)


John Bagnell Bury (1861–1927) was a classical scholar and historian. He was born in Ireland and, with the help of his father, the Reverend Edward John Bury, distinguished himself at an early age in Greek and Latin. He went on to become a regius professor of modern history at Cambridge. Bury was a scholar of wide interests, but he is best known for his research on the late Roman and Byzantine empires. The latter he considers a phase of Hellenic history, arguing in his works that a “Byzantine Empire” as such never came into existence. Presented here is a narrative history of the Eastern Roman Empire in the ninth century, which continues on a larger scale Bury’s A History of the Later Roman Empire from Arcadius to Irene. In the volume presented here, Bury focuses largely on political history, with the cultural and social aspects of this period relegated a lesser role. The volume is comprised of 14 chapters covering the Nicephorian (802–13) and Amorian (820–67) dynasties, in addition to the non-dynastic period of 813–20. Separate chapters are devoted to different parts of the empire. The first few chapters are concerned with the major rulers, before the book moves on to the administrative aspects and the wars of this period, especially with the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad and in the Mediterranean with the Aghlabids of Ifriqiya (once the northeast African province of the Roman Empire). The discussion then moves to Bulgaria and the conversion of the Slavs and Bulgarians. The related empire of the Khazars is discussed in a separate chapter. The book also considers the art, education, and learning of the empire. The appendices cover particular topics not addressed in detail in the main narrative, for example the migrations of the Magyars, as well as discuss key source materials. There is an extensive bibliography.

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Publication Information

Macmillan and Company, Limited, London


Title in Original Language

A history of the Eastern Roman empire from the fall of Irene to the accession of Basil I. (A.D. 802-867)

Type of Item

Physical Description

530 pages ; 23 centimeters


  1. Michael Whitby, “Bury, John Bagnell (1861‒1927),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: November 6, 2017