This book presents the first analytical account in English of major developments within Byzantine culture, society and the state in the crucial formative period from c.610-717. The seventh century saw the final collapse of ancient urban civilization and municipal culture, the rise of Islam, the evolution of patterns of thought and social structure that made imperial iconoclasm possible, and the development of state apparatuses--military, civil and fiscal--typical of the middle Byzantine state. Also, during this period, orthodox Christianity finally became the unquestioned dominant culture and a religious framework of belief (to the exclusion of alternative systems, which were henceforth marginalized or proscribed).
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