This book was first published in 2003.Paul Speck's work is acknowledged to be of profound importance for the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine world. If at times controversial, it has proved highly influential in terms of the approaches to be taken to historical and literary sources. For many, however, it has remained largely inaccessible in its original German. To help overcome this, the selection of studies presented here have been specially translated into English. Taken together, they make a substantial contribution to a critical understanding of Byzantine writing, and to an interpretation of history free from prejudice and stereotyped conceptions. Their coverage extends from the foundation of Constantinople to current perceptions of Byzantine history, but they focus in particular on the period from the 6th to the 9th centuries - the 'Dark Ages' and the Byzantine renaissance - and the transformation of Byzantium that then took place.