Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The Byzantine-East Roman Empire was the superpower of its day, with multiple international commitments, a near-monopoly on advanced military technology (Greek fire being the WMD of the day), and a small but very professional military. The Byzantines were the first to really develop what we would recognize as an intelligence service--and some of the areas of the world they were most involved in are the same that bedevil us today (Persia, the Eurasian plain, etc.)
Obolensky and others have always lamented the lack of excellent, in-depth studies of the Byzantine diplomatic experience. I would go further and express regret that Byzantine lessons aren't studied for insight today.
What Would the Byzantines Do? will be the guiding theme this week for The Washington Realist.