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my 5 stars is on the condition how useful this book is for me. If you are getting into Byzantine Warfare, like myself for the reasons of running a Table Top RPG set in the era then this is a useful resource. As a TRPGer I find the details useful because they come up and help in the immersion for myself and the players. I found this book helpful and should have been the first book I should have been exposed to as I collect the many sources this book pulls together to create a more comprehensive scene.
This books pulls together a lot of material so that you have a BIG picture of what it all means in the complexity of context and era. It boils thing down for you, if understanding matters in a way you have to present the information and practice some of it for an audience. Since this book draws from so many sources its important to also collect these sources if trying for more detail, which the book is already has much of.
If you're writing a novel, exploring SCA or simulation, or want to understand byzantine Doctrine and the Psychology behind the doctrine this helps. It allows me to simulate generals for the 11C game I'm running.