This introduction to the Byzantine civilisation provides a guide for those who know nothing or little about the history of Byzantium. Spanning a vast period from the Emperor Constantine in AD 306 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the book is structured around a chronological political history although social, economic and cultural issues are addressed throughout. More detailed studies of particular people, events or issues are dealt with in 53 'boxes'. The main alterations in the second edition involve giving greater space to social and economic themes, including more localised case studies and more on archaeological evidence. An excellent well-written study which will be useful and interesting to students and those who like to read about medieval history.