Cover image for Historical dictionary of Byzantium
Historical dictionary of Byzantium
Rosser, John H. (John Hutchins), 1942-
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xli, 479 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DF552 .R67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Author Notes

John H. Rosser is a faculty member of the Department of History at Boston College. He has been active in Byzantine archaeology and field research and has written numerous articles and an edited volume on Byzantium.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Number four in Historical Dictionaries of Ancient Civilizations and Eras covers Byzantium from its foundation in A.D. 324 to the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. The extensive bibliography is arranged by subject.

Library Journal Review

Rosser's (retired, history, Boston Coll.) revised and updated work, intended as a starting point for the study of the Byzantine empire for both general and specialized readers, reflects in both its text and bibliographic entries the dozens of studies and new source materials made available since the release of the 2001 first edition. An introduction, a chronology of events from 324 to 1461, and maps and illustrations all contribute to a concise overview of the culture. The dictionary proper covers the people, arts, history, and many other aspects of Byzantine life. In both this and the previous edition, Rosser relies on the more comprehensive, three-volume Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (1991). Another major work mentioned is The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire (2008). VERDICT Each section informs in a direct, inviting manner, and the numerous books, articles, and other sources Rosser lists by subject in the bibliography will prove useful to students and scholars alike. A wise choice for larger public libraries and university and research collections.-David Alperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The second edition of this dictionary, which is 100 pages longer than the first (CH, Nov'01, 39-1271), thoroughly covers the period from 324 to 1453 CE. Rosser (formerly, Boston College) updates his earlier edition with dozens of new entries and revisions of many previous entries. The entries lack bibliographical references, but the 75-page bibliography is exhaustive and organized thematically, archaeologically, by historical period, by religion, and more. Most of the bibliographical references are in English, though a few are in French and even fewer in German. Some important entries (e.g., the ecumenical First Council of Ephesus in 431 CE) receive more space, and readers will find extensive cross-referencing throughout. First-edition entries noted by other reviewers to be based on shaky Greek remain uncorrected; e.g., "anchorite" does not mean "withdrawal" but "the one who withdraws." Included are maps, photographs, architectural plans of major edifices such as Hagia Sophia, a chronology, and a decent 20-page introduction. Overall, this dictionary is good for beginners and those who need a quick reference to Byzantium. Moreover, its bibliography is very up-to-date. However, the three-volume The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, edited by A. Kazhdan et al. (CH, Oct'91, 29-0685), remains the choice of specialists and served as inspiration for Rosser's dictionary, as he indicates in a note. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students. L. Turcescu Concordia University