This book documents the course of daily life in the Roman Empire over three centuries (from the fourth to the seventh century CE). With the fall of Rome at the hands of the Barbarians in 476 CE, eyes turned towards Constantinople, then capital of the eastern empire. Here, emperors imposed Christianity upon their slaves, and through them in turn imposed the religion's teachings and customs on the people. Monasteries were built everywhere and monastic orders spread with phenomenal speed. Their spread was matched only by that of the Ghilman or slave soldiers in the imperial court. Extreme poverty drove the parents to behave disgracefully, and one of their methods of escaping this was to neglect the children. Despite Justinian's famous codification of the laws, prefects and governors in far-flung parts of the land nearly had a free hand. They ruled as they pleased and pursued their own interests, which were mostly in conflict with those of the State. The book is a delightful and exciting journey into the world of rulers and the ruled.