Understanding Ravenna

Author(s): Michael Starks 

ISBN: 9781781557112
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Understanding Ravenna recounts the city’s unique experience as the capital both of the late western Roman Empire and of its successor Gothic Kingdom. It shows the central role played by its bishops as the early Christian Church detached itself from the crumbling imperial government.
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Ravenna has eight World Heritages sites—churches, baptisteries, chapels, and monuments dating from the fifth to sixth centuries; these are renowned especially for exquisite mosaics portraying biblical scenes and figures. 

They were designed, constructed, and decorated over decades during the era of the fall of the western Roman Empire, against a tide of invasion, regime change, conflict, and a destructive Italian civil war.

How did Ravenna achieve such architectural and artistic glory in this era?

Understanding Ravenna recounts the city’s unique experience as the capital both of the late western Roman Empire and of its successor Gothic Kingdom. It shows the central role played by its bishops as the early Christian Church detached itself from the crumbling imperial government.

It brings out the important cultural contribution of the Kingdom of Italy headed by Theodoric the Ostrogoth and the strong links between Ravenna and the emerging Byzantine Empire of the eastern Emperor Justinian.


BOOK ISBN 9781781557112
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING paperback
PAGES 128 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 25 October 2018
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 54 colour photographs






Michael Starks is a published writer and a keen traveller. A history graduate from Cambridge and a former television producer, he is the author of A Traveller’s History of the Hundred Years War in France (Cassell, 2002). Starks has taken a special interest in the ancient history of France and the countries around the Mediterranean, travelling to Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, and Iran. After a career at the BBC in London, he moved to Oxford to become an associate of the university and a member of Lady Margaret Hall.


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