I’ve always had a soft spot for Byzantium, because it has such a wonderful range of powerful interesting women, as I found some 15 years ago when I last studied the subject of its history, although the course I took then resembles some of the texts Herrin describes without approval, as being little more than a long list of emperors and battles. Her Byzantium, while broadly chronological, isn’t arranged like that, but rather list of themes and stories, which overall present a very satisfying overview.