What the Byzantines Can Teach Us about Our National Security

The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire by Edward N. Luttwak Belknap Harvard, 498 pp. Civilization in the city of Rome was extinguished by the year 476, but scholars today recognize that the Roman Empire continued to thrive in its eastern capital of Constantinople, in what we call the Byzantine Empire. As Edward Luttwak notes, the Byzantines did not use the word "Byzantine." They called themselves Romans, and their enemies called them Romans as well. The Byzantine Empire carried on Roman traditions of civilization, commerce, law, and education for nearly a thousand years until they met a heroic end in the Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In his fascinating book, the product of 25 years of research, Edward Luttwak describes the Grand Strategy that allowed the Byzantine civilization to survive so long against many of history's fiercest enemies. A partial list of Byzantine enemies includes successive waves of Huns, Avars, and Mongols from the steppe; Slavs and...(Read Full Article)

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