Paperback. Pub Date: October 1996 Pages: 432 in Publisher: Penguin of He is On illiant ... the of He writes like the most cultivated modern diplomat attached by a freak of time to the the Byzantine court. with intimate knowledge is tactful judgment and a consciousness of the surviving monuments' - Independent. In this exciting narrative history. John Julius Norwich. one of most accomplished popular historians. reveals the beginning of Byzantium. He tells of the five formative centuries of an empire that would enthrall the western world for more than eleven hundred years.