BASIL I, FOUNDER OF THE MACEDONIAN DYNASTY: A Study of the Political and Military History of the Byzantine Empire in the Ninth Century

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Provides a re-examination of the life and accomplishments of Emperor Basil the First (811 - 886) who reigned as sole ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire from 867-886 and established a dynasty that endured for nearly two centuries. Since the publication of Albert Vogt’s, the distinguished French Byzantinist, Basile I'er empereur de Byzance et la civilization à la fin du IXe siècle in 1908, the work has served as the standard reference to the founder of the Macedonian dynasty. However, since that time the scholarly depiction of the ninth century has been altered and illuminated by advances in research and more recent discoveries. The work provides a much needed and long overdue re-examination of this Byzantine emperor.


“Dr. Tobias’s use of the original sources is careful and his knowledge of modern literature on the subject and related topics most impressive. ... this is a volume on an important topic, treated with much care and attention to detail. It is conscientious and comprehensive scholarship, which employs stylistic and literary qualities that commend it as a readable, useful, and welcome addition to Byzantine studies.” - Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos

“Drawing upon an unmatched mastery of the primary sources and his comprehensive knowledge of more than four hundred years of secondary literature, Professor Tobias breathes life into a pivotal era for the history of Medieval Eastern Europe and the Near or ‘Middle’ East. ... Its exhaustive scholarship will make this book the definitive study for generations to come by providing scholars and students with a synthesis and up-to-date scholarly bibliography of Basil.” - Dr. Martin Arbagi, Professor Emeritus, Wright State University

“Dr. Norman Tobias’s work is an up-to-date and thoroughly researched study of the great Byzantine emperor whose innovative management style and military strategy did more to restore the power and status of the Eastern Roman Empire than any of his predecessors back to Justinian. ... This is a timely work which brings up to date all of the pertinent historical research brought to light since the early 20th century seminal work on Basil by the eminent French Byzantinest Albert Vogt. It belongs in every serious collection of Byzantine monographs and reference works.” - Dr. Anthony R. Santoro, Distinguished Professor of History, Christopher Newport University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Demetrios J. Constantelos
1 The Ethnic Origin and Lineage of Basil I
2 The Early Life of Basil
3 Basil’s Rise to Power
4 The Eastern Theater: Basil’s War with the Paulicians
5 Basil’s Wars with the Eastern Arabs 873-886: Land and Naval Operations
6 The Western Theater: The Dalmation and Italian Campaigns
7 Basil and the Sicilian Wars
8 Basil’s Relations with other Peripheral States
9 Basil’s Internal Policy
10 The Conclusion: Basil’s Final Years and his Place in History
List of Abbreviations

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