Publisher Penguin Books on Ravenna by Judith Herrin:
Judith Herrin explains how scholars, lawyers, doctors, craftsmen, cosmologists and religious luminaries were drawn to Ravenna, where they created a cultural and political capital that dominated northern Italy and the Adriatic. As she traces the lives of Ravenna’s rulers, chroniclers and inhabitants, Herrin shows how the city became the meeting place of Greek, Latin, Christian and barbarian cultures and the pivot between East and West. The book offers a fresh account of the waning of Rome, the Gothic and Lombard invasions, the rise of Islam and the devastating divisions within Christianity. It argues that the fifth to eighth centuries should not be perceived as a time of decline from antiquity but rather, thanks to Byzantium, as one of great creativity – the period of “Early Christendom”. These were the formative centuries of Europe.
More information about the book here.