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Jonathan Harris

Sicilian Vespers (1846), by Francesco Hayez

In drawing parallels with international events of the 1980s and 1990s, Michael Antonucci’s article from 1993 neglected the ideology that underpinned Byzantine diplomacy.

Christian Byzantium and the Muslim Abbasid caliphate were bitter rivals. Yet the necessities of trade and a mutual admiration of ancient Greece meant that there was far more to their relationship than war, as Jonathan Harris explains.

Jonathan Harris explores the historical continuities of a city that has been the capital of two major world empires for over 1,500 years, by looking at the vicissitudes of a building that has served two faiths.