Justin bennett dervish


(They release him. He jerks on. A pigmy woman swings on a rope slung between two railings, counting. A form sprawled against a dustbin and muffled by its arm and hat snores, groans, grinding growling teeth, and snores again. On a step a gnome totting among a rubbishtip crouches to shoulder a sack of rags and bones. A crone standing by with a smoky oillamp rams her last bottle in the maw of his sack. He heaves his booty, tugs askew his peaked cap and hobbles off mutely. The crone makes back for her lair, swaying her lamp. A bandy child, asquat on the doorstep with a paper shuttlecock, crawls sidling after her in spurts, clutches her skirt, scrambles up. A drunken navvy grips with both hands the railings of an area, lurching heavily. At a corner two night watch in shouldercapes, their hands upon their staffholsters, loom tall. A plate crashes: a woman screams: a child wails. Oaths of a man roar, mutter, cease. Figures wander, lurk, peer from warrens. In a room lit by a candle stuck in a bottleneck a slut combs out the tatts from the hair of a scrofulous child. Cissy Caffrey’s voice, still young, sings shrill from a lane.)

The borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I (r. 527–565), the Empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the historically Roman western Mediterranean coast , including North Africa, Italy, and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries. During the reign of Maurice (r. 582–602), the Empire's eastern frontier was expanded and the north stabilised. However, his assassination caused the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 , which exhausted the Empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the seventh century. In a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. [5]




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