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The History of Byzantium

The History of Byzantium

A podcast telling the story of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire from 476 AD to 1453. www.thehistoryofbyzantium.com

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Episode 224 - The Coup of Anna Komnene with Leonora Neville

Our final episode on Alexios' reign returns us to our first. Back in episode 197 we interviewed Professor Leonora Neville about Anna Komnene. That interview set us up to cover Alexios' reign and the First Crusade with Anna as our primary source. But the last question I asked that day was about the succession from Alexios to John and Anna's supposed coup attempt. Here we finally hear Professor Neville's argument that Anna did no such thing. We also briefly look at our main historian for our next period of narrative - Niketas Choniates. 

 

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2021-02-23
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Episode 223 - Questions VIII

We look at your questions about Alexios and the Crusades. Listeners wanted an update on the state of Byzantium's army, economy and administration. How much credit or blame should Alexios get for the events of his reign? What about his relationship with his family? Were the Latins tougher fighters than the Byzantines? And several more. 

 

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2021-02-16
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Schedule and Patreon Update.

Three new episodes are coming your way in the next three weeks. New narrative episodes will come at some point in the Spring. I am still busy working on the Istanbul videos and Byzantine Stories. Also we have a new Patreon https://www.patreon.com/historyofbyzantium. Bonus episodes will no longer be available at thehistoryofbyzantium.com from October 2021.

 

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2021-02-11
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An update on the schedule of the podcast

Hello everyone,

This is a short update about the podcast and the likely schedule for the next few months.

The main takeaways are:

- The narrative will resume around Spring 2021

- In the meantime I will be producing bonus episodes and videos from Istanbul. As well as doing work for my Dad and taking a little time out for my mental health.

- At least two more free episodes about Alexios will be coming soon. Including a Q&A about his reign and the Crusades so do send your questions in. You can comment on the thread below.

Thanks for your support and understanding,

Robin

 

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2020-10-14
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Episode 222 - The Good Helmsman

Alexios tries to forge a coalition against Antioch but has to abandon his plans when Anatolia comes calling again. The Emperor leaves this world frustrated by his failure to outmanoeuvre the Normans but his record in office is impressive nonetheless. 

 

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2020-10-02
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Episode 221 - The Triptych

Bohemond heads back to Western Europe to recruit a new army. He leads them back to the Balkans to capture Dyrrhachium but Alexios is waiting for him.

 

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2020-09-24
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Episode 220 - The Crusade of 1101

More armed pilgrims arrive at Constantinople in the wake of the fall of Jerusalem. Alexios advises them to avoid the Turks of Anatolia but they ignore him. Meanwhile Alexios' attempts to put pressure on Antioch are thwarted by Bohemond's nephew Tancred. Finally we return to Constantinople to check in with the Komnenian regime and watch a man get burnt to death.

 

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2020-09-15
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Episode 219 - A Spectacular Interruption or Jerusalem is now available

It's the end of the First Crusade and this episode is for sale. Either at the website or at https://www.patreon.com/thehistoryofbyzantium

 

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2020-09-04
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Episode 218 - The Siege of Antioch

The Crusaders set up a siege of Antioch. The vast size of the city makes it impossible to fully encircle. What follows is a battle of attrition as the Crusaders wait for the Turkic garrison to make a mistake and the garrison await reinforcements. Meanwhile Alexios makes his way to the centre of the Anatolian plateau to consolidate the return of Byzantine power. He also awaits news from Antioch.

Time Stamps - each section is broken up by our drum sound effect

00.00-03.05 Introduction

03.06-08.47 Why did the Crusaders have to capture Antioch?

08.48-14.22 Baldwin at Edessa

14.23-17.14 The political fragmentation of Syria

17.15-27.35 The geography of Antioch

27.36-33.52 Early stages of the siege

33.53-46.35 Winter stalemate. Suffering and desertions. Bohemond and Robert of Flanders drive off forces from Damascus

46.36-54.42 Victory over the forces of Aleppo

54.43-62.18 More fully surrounding the city

62.19-77.09 Antioch falls

77.10-84.24 The Crusaders besieged. Kerbogah attacks from the Citadel

84.25-87.46 Desperation and talk of surrender

87.47-92.03 Alexios goes home

92.04-100.19 The final battle

100.19-107.00 Conclusion

 

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2020-08-16
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Episode 217 - Diverging Paths

The Byzantines recover the West Coast of Anatolia while the Crusaders cross the plateau. As they travel the Westerners begin dropping like flies and come to hate the land they've come to liberate.

 

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2020-07-02
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Episode 216 - The Battle of Dorylaeum

The Crusaders march out from Nicaea on their way to Antioch. First stop is at Dorylaeum on the Anatolian plateau. But the forces of Kilij Arslan are lying in wait.

 

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2020-06-28
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Final reminder about the Intelligent Speech Conference

This is your final reminder about the Intelligent Speech Conference taking place this Saturday 27th June. I'll be taking part in two sessions and if you want to be there go to https://www.intelligentspeechconference.com/ to get tickets

 

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2020-06-25
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Episode 215 - The Siege of Nicaea

Alexios directs the Crusaders to Nicaea where they set up a siege. Behind the scenes though the Emperor was busy negotiating with the city's garrison.

 

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2020-06-19
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Basil II may have been gay! Intelligent Speech tickets still available for $10

Basil II may have been gay! Just one of the 'Hidden Stories' I'll be talking about at the Intelligent Speech Conference in a week's time. Tickets are still available for $10 until the 19th June.

 

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2020-06-18
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Buy Intelligent Speech tickets now! Prices going up!

I'm a part of two sessions at the Intelligent Speech Conference on June 27th. Please consider buying your ticket today before prices go up! https://www.intelligentspeechconference.com/

 

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2020-06-15
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Episode 214 - The Prince's Crusade

The senior nobles of the First Crusade make the journey to Constantinople. There Alexios asks them to swear an oath of allegiance to him.

 

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2020-06-12
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Episode 213 - The People's Crusade

Our narrative resumes as the so-called People's Crusade crosses the Danube and heads for Constantinople.

 

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2020-06-05
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Intelligent Speech Conference 2020

I will be taking part in the Intelligent Speech Conference on June 27th. I will be part of a panel talking about how medieval history is depicted in popular culture. And giving a talk about the hidden voices of Byzantium. Find out more at intelligentspeechconference.com

 

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2020-05-29
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Episode 212 - Who went on Crusade and why?

How many people went on Crusade? Who were they and who was in charge of them? Why did they go? What does all this mean for Byzantium?

 

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2020-05-17
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Episode 211 - Why people went on Crusade with Sharyn Eastaugh

Sharyn Eastaugh from the History of the Crusades podcast explores why people responded to Urban's call.

 

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2020-05-13
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Episode 210 - What did Urban say?

We follow Urban as he crosses into France and spends over a year on tour. We talk about the steps he took to prepare for the announcement of the Crusades. Then we break down what we believe he said and why he said it.

 

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2020-05-08
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Episode 209 - What about Jerusalem?

We briefly talk about events in Jerusalem and the wider Levant on the eve of the First Crusade. Had anything happened there that could have sparked the Crusades?

 

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2020-05-03
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Episode 208 - The Call from the East with Peter Frankopan

An interview with Professor Peter Frankopan about his book 'The First Crusade: The Call from the East.'

 

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2020-04-27
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Episode 207 - What did Urban want?

We talk about Pope Urban's shaky political position on the eve of the Crusade. As well as discussing the wider Papal reform movement and how military violence came to be a part of their plans.

 

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2020-04-24
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Episode 206 - What did Alexios want?

We discuss what Alexios really wanted from the West. Was he surprised by the Crusading army that formed or had he been lobbying for something similar?

 

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2020-04-22
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Episode 205 - Introducing the Crusades

A quick introduction to the Crusading topic and a discussion of how religious interpretations of historical events can be particularly distorting.

 

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2020-04-20
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Episode 204 - Komnenian Reforms

We look at events in Constantinople during Alexios' first fifteen years in power. Including reforms to the court, the coinage and social care. We conclude by talking about Alexios' personality.

 

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2020-03-26
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Episode 203 - The Pecheneg Wars, again

Alexios campaigns in Europe for a decade dealing with Pechenegs, Cumans and Serbs. But his supporters begin to question his priorities as Anatolia sinks into the mire.

 

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2020-03-14
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Episode 202 - A Wild West Vibe

With Alexios constantly at war in Europe during the 1080s he could only deal with Anatolia through diplomacy. He searched in vain for allies who could stabilise the situation but by 1095 realised he would have to turn West for the manpower needed to campaign in person. For the Romans who actually lived in Anatolia the situation had a Wild West vibe.

 

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2020-03-08
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Episode 201 - A Narrow Escape

Alexios marches back out to fight the Normans only to be beaten again and again. Finally he comes up with a strategy to throw them out of the Balkans but must embrace the Venetians ever closer as a result.

 

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2020-02-28
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Episode 200 - A Tribute to Professor Mark Whittow

For our 200th show I pay tribute to the scholar who has had the most influence on this podcast - Professor Mark Whittow. Sadly Professor Whittow died in 2017 and he is a huge loss to academia and Byzantine Studies in particular. I take you through three articles he wrote about political power in Byzantium to give you a taste of the kind of insights that have shaped the podcast.

 

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2020-02-24
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Episode 199 - The Battle of Dyrrachium

Robert Guiscard, the Norman leader in Southern Italy, invades the Empire. He surrounds the key port city of Dyrrachium and Alexios gathers an army to stop him.

 

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2020-02-14
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Episode 198 - Heavy Lifting

Alexios Komnenos leads a revolt and quickly captures the throne from Nicephorus Botaneiates. But to truly understand this coup we need to explore the dynastic dual of Doukas and Komnenos.

 

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2020-02-09
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Episode 197 - Anna Komnene with Leonora Neville

Our best primary source for Alexios Komnenos reign is The Alexiad written by his daughter Anna Komnene. I talk to Professor Leonora Neville about Anna's life and writing and how she overcame the obstacles facing a woman trying to write history.

 

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2020-01-24
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The House of War is live

4 new episodes based on the original House of War episode are now available for purchase. Listen to this update for more information.

 

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2020-01-23
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Episode 196 - Cultural Revival

We explore the revival of intellectual and literary culture over the past century. We focus particularly on the work of Michael Psellos and Symeon the New Theologian.

 

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2020-01-17
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January 2020 Update

An update on the podcast, the Kickstarter projects and a couple of recommendations.

 

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2020-01-14
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Backer Rewards Episode 15 - The Hagia Sophia and Imperial Coronations

Our fifteenth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at some aspects of the Hagia Sophia and the coronation ceremony of Emperors.

 

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2019-10-21
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On Stage with Mike Duncan!

I am attending the Sound Education Conference next month and sharing the stage with Mike Duncan! It will be a huge honour for me to meet and chat to the man who inspired 'The History of Byzantium.' And you can be there too. I've recorded a short explanation for the show but all the details can be found at soundeducation.fm

 

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2019-09-17
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Robin interviewed on the Roads to Liberty Podcast

Robin interviewed on the Roads to Liberty Podcast

 

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2019-08-12
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Live Facebook recording today

Live Facebook recording today

 

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2019-07-28
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2020 Tours

2020 Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus Tour information

 

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2019-07-25
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Episode 195 - King of the Ashes

We follow the flailing administration of Michael VII as it slowly collapses under the immense weight of events. Then we watch as the remaining Roman Generals line up one after another as each attempts to burn the Empire down in order to become King of the Ashes.

 

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2019-07-23
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Episode 194 - Normandy-in-Anatolia

Turkic nomads begin to raid Anatolia. The Imperial response is hampered by the defection of their Norman mercenaries. Under their commander Roussel de Bailleul they begin operating independently leading the government to squander precious resources in bringing them down.

 

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2019-07-04
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Episode 193 - Manzikert

Doukas' widow Eudocia marries Romanos Diogenes to empower a General who can stop the Turkic raids. Diogenes does his best but ends up meeting the Sultan, Alp Arslan, in battle on the fields outside the city of Manzikert.

 

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2019-06-28
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Episode 192 - Feeling Blank

Constantine X Doukas spends his reign doing little to help the eastern front. We explore the possible reasons for this inactivity. We also cover Doukas' death and the oath he made his wife swear.

 

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2019-05-31
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Episode 191 - The Sack of Ani

Isaac Komnenos comes to power urgently trying to restore the budget. But when he dies two years later his successor Constantine X Doukas reverses his economising. As he cuts from the military budget instead Turkic raiders sack the Armenian city of Ani.

 

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2019-05-24
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Episode 190 - The End of the Macedonian Dynasty

Theodora resumes control of the Empire but dies a year later. Her eunuchs choose Michael Bringas to replace her but he is not approved of by the Empire's military establishment.

 

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2019-05-12
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An interview with Barry Strauss - Author of '10 Caesars' and the 'Antiquitas' podcast

An interview with Professor Barry Strauss about his new book '10 Caesars' and his podcast 'Antiquitas.' I quiz him about the two Emperors with most relevance to Byzantium: Diocletian and Constantine.

 

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2019-05-03
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Backer Rewards Episode 14 - The City of Rome with Steve Guerra

Our fourteenth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at the city of Rome and its development from the height of Antonine Rome to the post Justinian world of Gregory the Great. You will be in the capable hands of Steve Guerra from the History of the Papacy Podcast.

 

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2019-04-26
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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