Leo's firsthand experience of the campaigns and courts of two Byzantine emperors provides vivid descriptions of sieges, pitched battles, and ambushes. His account of the conspiracy against Nikephoros II Phokas, murdered as he slept on the floor in front of his icons, is one of the most dramatic in Byzantine narrative histories. Alice-Mary Talbot and Denis Sullivan, with the assistance of George T. Dennis and Stamatina McGrath, include an extensive introduction and detailed notes to guide the reader through the complex chronology, geography, and text of the History. Also included are five maps, two genealogical tables, and four indexes.
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Alice-Mary Talbot is Director of Byzantine Studies, Emerita, at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
Denis F. Sullivan is a Professor at the University of Maryland College Park.
This is the first English translation of the History of Leo the Deacon (born circa 950), a lively but little-known author intimately familiar with the palace politics of Constantinople.
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