Justinian's Flea

Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe

Justinian's Flea

In the middle of the sixth century, the world's smallest organism collided with the world's mightiest empire. With the death of twenty-five million people, the Roman Empire, under her last great emperor, Justinian, was decimated. Before Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that carries bubonic plague, was finished, both the Roman and Persian empires were easy pickings for the armies of Muhammad on their conquering march out of Arabia. In its wake, the plague - history's first pandemic - marked the transition from the age of Mediterranean empires to the age of European nation-states - from antiquity to the medieval world. A narrative history that melds contemporary sources with modern disciplines, Justinian's Flea is a unique account of one of history's great turning points - the summer of 542 - revealed through the experiences of the remarkable individuals whose lives are a window onto a remarkable age: Justinian, his general Belisarius, the greatest soldier between Caesar and Saladin; his architect, Anthemius who built Constantinople's Hagia Sophia (and whose brother, Alexander, was the great physician of the plague years); Tribonian, the jurist who created the Justinianic Code; and, finally, his empress Theodora, the one-time prostitute who became co-ruler of the empire, the most politically powerful woman in European history until Elizabeth I.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

'The most important invention in the whole of the Industrial Revolution was invention itself.' Those words are at the heart of this remarkable book - a history of the Industrial Revolution and the steam engine, as well as an account of how inventors first came to own and profit from their ideas and how invention itself springs forth from logic and imagination. Rocket. It was the fortuitously named train that inaugurated steam locomotion in 1829, jump-starting two centuries of mass transportation. As William Rosen reveals, it was the product of centuries of scientific and industrial discovery. From inventor Heron of Alexandria in AD 60 to James Watt, the physicist whose 'separate condenser' was central to the development of steam power - all those who made possible the long ride towards the Industrial Revolution are brought to life. But crucial to their contributions are other characters whose concepts allowed their invention to flourish - John Locke and intellectual property; Edward Coke and patents. Along the way, Rosen takes us deep into the human mind, explaining how 'eureka' moments occur - when the brain is most relaxed.

The Secret History

A Novel of Empress Theodora

The Secret History

Where Theodora went, trouble followed…. In sixth-century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds and rose from common theater tart to empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. The woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told…. After her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation and a life on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she can—first on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a backdoor entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protector—only to face heartbreak and betrayal. Ever resilient, Theodora rises above such trials and, by a twist of fate, meets her most passionate admirer yet: the emperor’s nephew. She thrives as his confidant and courtesan, but many challenges lie ahead. For one day this man will hand her a crown. And all the empire will wonder—is she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it? READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Ecological Futures

What History Can Teach Us

Ecological Futures

In this modern era of global environmental crisis, Sing Chew provides a convincing analysis of the recurring human and environmental crises identified as Dark Ages. In this, his second of a three-volume series concerning world ecological degradation, Chew reviews the past five-thousand-year history of structural conditions and processes that define the relationship between nature and culture. Chew's message about the coming Dark Ages, as human communities continue to reorganize to meet the contingencies of ecological scarcity and climate changes, is a must-read for those concerned with human interactions and environmental changes, including environmental anthropologists and historians, world historians, geographers, archaeologists, and environmental scientists. Book jacket.

The Political Economy of Democracy and Tyranny

The Political Economy of Democracy and Tyranny

One theme that has emerged from the recent literature on political economy concerns the transition to democracy: why would dominant elites give up oligarchic power? This book addresses the fundamental question of democratic stability and the collapse of tyranny by considering a formal model of democracy and tyranny. The formal model is used to study elections in developed polities such as the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, and Israel, as well as complex developing polities such as Turkey. The key idea is that activist groups may offer resources to political candidates if they in turn adjust their polities in favor of the interest group. In polities that use a "first past the post" electoral system, such as the US, the bargaining between interest groups and candidates creates a tendency for activist groups to coalesce; in polities such as Israel and the Netherlands, where the electoral system is very proportional, there may be little tendency for activist coalescence. A further feature of the model is that candidates, or political leaders, like Barack Obama, with high intrinsic charisma, or valence, will be attracted to the electoral center, while less charismatic leaders will move to the electoral periphery. This aspect of the model is used to compare the position taking and exercise of power of authoritarian leaders in Portugal, Argentina and the Soviet Union. The final chapter of the book suggests that the chaos that may be induced by climate change and rapid population growth can only be addressed by concerted action directed by a charismatic leader of the Atlantic democracies.

Justinian I

Byzantine Emperor

Justinian I

In this captivating biography, readers will learn how Emperor Justinian I ruled the Byzantine Empire for 38 years. Featuring eye-catching images, maps, photos, stunning facts, and easy-to-read text, readers will be introduced to Justinian's Code, the Nika Rebellion, and iconoclasm. Readers will be fascinated as they discover that Justinian put down a rebellion, conquered new territory, and even survived the bubonic plague! To provide readers with tools they'll need to better understand the content, this book features an accessible glossary and index.

Biological Diversity

Exploiters and Exploited

Biological Diversity

Biological Diversity takes a fresh, innovative approach to the teaching of biodiversity. Rather than detailing and cataloguing the major taxa and their evolutionary relationships, the authors have selected 18 groups of organisms and used these as a framework in which to discuss the species and their interactions with man and each other. There is a strong narrative theme throughout – the exploited and the exploiters - and, in many cases, there is emphasis on the historical context. A wide range of organisms are covered, from the unicellular to birds and mammals and with an equal consideration of plants and animals. Species have been chosen for their ability to best illustrate particular biological principles, and for their strong interaction with other species. After an introduction the book is divided into two parts: ‘Exploited’ and ‘Exploiters’. Each of the chapters, although linked to each other, forms a stand-alone essay. They are scientifically rigorous, up-to-date and do not shy away from addressing some controversial issues. Chapters have’ text boxes’ highlighting important issues and concepts, lists of further reading and references. In addition to tables and figures the book has a selection of original illustrations drawn by leading artist Steven Appleby. This fresh approach will appeal to all those interested in the biological sciences, and aims to be accessible to people with a diversity of backgrounds. It will prove particularly useful to biology students, enabling them to get to grips with important biological principles and concepts that underpin the diversity of life, and the interrelationship of humans with other groups of organisms.

Western Civilization

Western Civilization

This FOURTEENTH EDITION of ANNUAL EDITIONS: WESTERN CIVILIZATION, VOLUME 1 provides convenient, inexpensive access to current articles selected from the best of the public press. Organizational features include: an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; a general introduction; brief overviews for each section; a topical index; and an instructor's resource guide with testing materials. USING ANNUAL EDITIONS IN THE CLASSROOM is offered as a practical guide for instructors. ANNUAL EDITIONS titles are supported by our student website, www.mhcls.com/online.