Clinging to a rugged hillside in the lush valley of Sparta lies Mistra, one of the most dramatically beautiful Byzantine cities in Greece, a place steeped in history, myth and romance. Following the Frankish conquest of the Peloponnese in the 13th century, William II of Villehardouin built a great castle on a hill near Sparta that later came to be known as Mistra. Ten years later, in a battle in northern Greece, Villehardouin was defeated and captured by the Byzantine Emperor. The terms for his release included giving Mistra to the Byzantine Greeks. Under their rule, the city flourished and developed into a centre of learning and the arts and was a focal point for the cultural development of Europe.Sir Steven Runciman, one of the most distinguished historians of the Byzantine period, travelled to Mistra on numerous occasions and became enhanted with the place. Now published in paperback for the first time, Lost City of Byzantium tells the story of this once-great city - its rise and fall and its place in the history of the Peloponnese and the Byzantine empire.This is the first paperback edition. It features Steven Runciman - a star author, one of the greatest experts on Byzantine history. It is a classic, that will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Greece and the Byzantine empire.
Sir Steven Runciman (1903-2000) was one of the most acclaimed and influential historians of the Byzantine era. From 1942-45 he was Professor of Byzantine Art and History at Istanbul University, where he began research on what would lead to his most famous work, the 3-volume 'History of the Crusades'. He wrote several other highly-praised works, including Byzantine Civilisation, The Sicilian Vespers, The Fall of Constantinople and A Traveller's Alphabet.