This volume is a welcome contribution to the study of the last centuries of the existence of the Byzantine state, the ‘empire’ that until its demise in 1453 had dominated the Bosphorus and the link between Europe and Asia Minor, even though its political authority was minimal from the early years of the 14th century. Yet authority and legitimacy aside (for the Byzantines always saw themselves as the legitimate heirs to the Roman empire) it exercised both a fascination for those around it as well as an having an importance and, until quite late on, an influence far in excess of its actual military or economic power. Necipoğlu’s book focuses on the politics of the empire, more particularly on the ways in which different groups within the empire adopted, fought for, or abandoned particular views of their situation within Byzantine society and in the wider world, and more particularly in the context of the influence, cultural, military and economic, of the regional powers around it. The empire’s Latin neighbors in the southern Balkans on the one hand, along with the central Balkan powers of Serbia and Bulgaria (albeit minimally for the period in question), and the rising Ottoman power in Asia Minor and then Thrace on the other hand, frame this portrait, and the chronology is set by the last almost-century of the empire’s existence, from the 1360s and 1370s to the 1450s. But the author’s real interest is not foreign relations or military events, but rather the ideological, one might even say psychological, make-up of the various groups and factions within Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, Thessaloniki and in the southern Peloponnese, which can be detected in the sources of the period.