The History of Byzantium


Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: History

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 1956
Reviews: 15

 Sep 18, 2020
I was always hoping Mike Duncan would continue The History of Rome. Apparently we didn't need Mike Duncan to do it. This gentleman nailed the tone and style of my favorite podcast. Add a gorgeous british accent and you have history gold.

 Aug 19, 2020
one of my favs

 Mar 17, 2020

Bryan H.
 Feb 27, 2020
A well, researched podcast that is both enjoyable and informative. An interesting listen for anybody that is interested in history, or just good story-telling.

 Feb 8, 2020
Great podcast!


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

Episode Date
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 24, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 15, 2020
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


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 04, 2020
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


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 16, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 02, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 28, 2020
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 to get tickets


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 25, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 19, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 18, 2020
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!


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 15, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 12, 2020
Episode 213 - The People's Crusade

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


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 05, 2020
The History of Byzantium is now on Patreon

The History of Byzantium is now on Patreon. Visit to find out more


See for privacy and opt-out information.

May 29, 2020
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


See for privacy and opt-out information.

May 29, 2020
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?


See for privacy and opt-out information.

May 17, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

May 13, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

May 08, 2020
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?


See for privacy and opt-out information.

May 03, 2020
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.'


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 27, 2020
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.


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 24, 2020
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?

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Apr 22, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Apr 20, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Mar 26, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Mar 13, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Mar 08, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Feb 28, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Feb 24, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Feb 14, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Feb 09, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jan 24, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jan 23, 2020
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jan 17, 2020
January 2020 Update

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

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jan 14, 2020
Introducing MYTHOLOGY

Myths endure for a reason. This episodic audio drama brings ancient myths to life for the modern audience. Each episode presents exciting stories and analysis of each myth's history and origins, giving insight into how our ancestors saw the universe. Mythology releases a new episode every Tuesday. Mythology is a production of Cutler Media and part of the Parcast Network.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Nov 13, 2019
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Oct 21, 2019
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

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Sep 17, 2019
Robin interviewed on the Roads to Liberty Podcast

Robin interviewed on the Roads to Liberty Podcast

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Aug 12, 2019
Live Facebook recording today

Live Facebook recording today

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jul 28, 2019
2020 Tours

2020 Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus Tour information

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jul 25, 2019
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jul 23, 2019
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jul 04, 2019
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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Jun 28, 2019
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.

May 31, 2019
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.

May 24, 2019
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.

May 12, 2019
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.]]>
May 03, 2019
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.

May 03, 2019
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.

Apr 26, 2019
Backer Rewards Episode 13 – The Byzantine Legacy

Our thirteenth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at the legacy of Byzantium and why it seems so forgotten today.

Apr 07, 2019
Episode 189 - End of Act Two

As Constantine IX leaves the stage we see him desperately searching for ways to raise tax revenue.

Mar 25, 2019
Episode 188 - The Great Schism

The rapacious behaviour of the Normans in Italy brings together an alliance against them. The Byzantines and the Papacy try to get on the same page but discover that they may never be able to.

Mar 15, 2019
Episode 187 - Hey Big Spender

After the Pecheneg Wars the Roman treasury was empty. We look at Constantine Monomachos' response to this and other Imperial expenses which may have exacerbated the situation.

Mar 07, 2019
Episode 186 - The Pecheneg Wars

The first large Seljuk raids on the Empire lead to a series of events which unravel Byzantium's Western defences.

Mar 01, 2019
The History of History Podcasting

A quick interview with me about the History of History Podcasting

Feb 22, 2019
Episode 185 - Winning the Election

Constantine Monomachos faces yet more challenges in the early years of his reign. We cover the annexation of Ani, the Pechenegs crossing the Danube and the revolt of Leo Tornikios.

Feb 15, 2019
Episode 184 - Act Two Begins

Zoe chooses Constantine Monomachos to be her new husband and Emperor. We discuss his character and relationship with our historian Michael Psellos. Then move on to two major challenges which greeted his arrival on the throne.

Feb 07, 2019
Backer Rewards Episode 12 - Harald Hardrada with Noah Tetzner

Our twelfth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at the life of Harald Hardrada in conversation with Noah Tetzner from the History of Vikings Podcast.

Feb 02, 2019
Episode 183 is live

If you'd like to hear about the dramatic fall of Michael V then episode 183 is now available to buy

Jan 25, 2019
Episode 182 - The Double Agent

We cover the Bulgarian uprising of 1040 and the events elsewhere in the Balkans which led up to it.

Jan 18, 2019
Episode 181 - A Bunch of Nobodies

Michael IV marries Zoe and becomes Emperor. Despite ill health he rules well with his brother John the Orphanotrophos. Their invasion of Sicily goes well initially but soon falls apart.

Jan 11, 2019
Episode 180 - Stumbling Forward

Romanos III is faced with the same problems which troubled his predecessor. He decides that a campaign against Aleppo will solve some of his problems. Meanwhile Zoe is left alone and frustrated in the Palace.

Dec 28, 2018
Episode 179 - Where Were We

We return to the narrative with a short introduction and the short reign of Basil's brother Constantine VIII.

Dec 22, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 11 - The Jewish Communities of Byzantium

Our eleventh Kickstarter backers reward episode explores Byzantium's Jewish communities.

Dec 14, 2018
Episode 178 - Questions VII

Listener questions on Varangians, provincial administration, diplomacy, family mottos and the ever popular top 5 best and worst Emperors.

Dec 07, 2018
Episode 177 - Questions VI

Listener questions on houses, slavery, citizenship, vacations and common sayings amongst others.

Dec 01, 2018
Episode 176 - Michael Psellos with Peter Adamson

An interview with Peter Adamson from the History of Philosophy Without any Gaps podcast. We talk primarily about Michael Psellos and his role in the intellectual history of Byzantium. But we also talk about Byzantine philosophy in general.

Nov 25, 2018
Episode 175 - The Turks

The Turks are coming to the borders of Armenia and we examine why.

Nov 20, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 10 - Economy and Population Questions

Our tenth Kickstarter backers reward episode answers a series of questions about the growing population and economy.

Nov 07, 2018
Episode 174 - The Economic Recovery

We explore the economic recovery of the Empire.

Nov 01, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 9 - The Sweep of History

Our ninth Kickstarter backers reward episode discusses the sweep of history during our period and what lies under the maps.

Oct 19, 2018
Episode 173 - Dead Ideas Podcast interview: The Varangian Guard

I was a guest on the Dead Ideas podcast to discuss the Varangian Guard. We talk about their role in the palace and the field armies and contrast their role to Eunuchs in Byzantium. Do check out Dead Ideas for episodes covering Titoism, Serfdom, Cuneiform, Vikings and many other fun topics.

Oct 12, 2018
Episode 172 - The Roman Army in 1025 AD

We discuss the past century of success for the Roman military and answer some listener questions

Oct 05, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 8 - Greek Fire on Land

Our eighth Kickstarter backers reward episode features questions about the use of Greek Fire on land.

Sep 27, 2018
Episode 171 - The Eastern Frontier

We head to the Eastern frontier to see what Byzantium's expansion into Armenia meant for the Empire.

Sep 21, 2018
Tour Announcement

The 2019 History of Byzantium tour is here. Book your place now!

Sep 19, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 7 - Georgia and the Black Sea

Our seventh Kickstarter backers reward episode features questions about Georgia, the Orthodox nations around the Black Sea and Ravenna.

Sep 14, 2018
Episode 170 - The "Conquest" of Armenia

We head to the Eastern frontier to see what Byzantium's expansion into Armenia meant for the Empire.

Sep 07, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 6 - Respect, Institutions, Justice

Our sixth Kickstarter backers reward episode features questions about the institutions which influenced Byzantine life and the legal punishments for everyday crimes.

Aug 24, 2018
Episode 169 - Constantinople in 1025

Having covered the famous monuments thoroughly we take a look around the rest of Constantinople. We survey changes in the population, harbours, architecture and palace amongst other things.

Aug 19, 2018
Byzantine Stories Episode 7 Announcement

Byzantine Stories Episode 7: Women in the Roman World is now available

Aug 07, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 5 - Imperial Qualities and More Feelings

Our fifth Kickstarter backers reward episode features questions about what makes a good Emperor and more about feeling attached to the Romans.

Jul 08, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 4 - Lucky Romans and Being a Celebrity

Our fourth Kickstarter backers reward episode features questions about Constantinople and some personal ones for me.

Jun 28, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 3 - What was Istanbul like?

Our third Kickstarter backers reward episode features a lot of chat about my trip to Istanbul. I talk about the experience of visiting for the first time and answer listener questions.

Jun 23, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 2 - A Day in the Life of a Podcaster

Our second Kickstarter backers reward episode featuring some book recommendations and me describing a day in the life of a podcaster.

Jun 12, 2018
Episode 168 - A Guided Tour

What would a foreign visitor to Constantinople expect to see and hear?

Jun 06, 2018
Hello from Istanbul

Hello from Istanbul

Jun 04, 2018
Episode 167 - Five Centuries On

We survey the main structures and services of Constantinople to see what has changed since 518 AD (episode 10 of the show)

May 28, 2018
Post Script to episode 166

An explanation and some credits from Episode 166 - To The City.

May 23, 2018
Episode 166 - To The City

You visit Constantinople, guided by a stranger.

May 21, 2018
Backer Rewards Episode 1 - Byzantine Games

Our first Kickstarter backers reward episode showcasing the Byzantine board and role playing games available.

May 12, 2018
Send me your thoughts

For those who pledged £65 on the Kickstarter I need to hear from you. Get in touch with me about having your voice on the podcast.

Apr 12, 2018
Final Kickstarter Reminder

Final Kickstarter Reminder

Mar 27, 2018
Episode 165 - The Eagle and the Frogs

We explore the reasons why the Bulgarians never became Romans.

Mar 20, 2018
Episode 164 - Don't Believe Your Map
The maps commonly used in books and the internet give a misleading impression of the Byzantine occupation of Bulgaria. We tour the Balkans and discuss the reality on the ground.]]>
Mar 19, 2018
Episode 164 - Don't Believe Your Map

The maps commonly used in books and the internet give a misleading impression of the Byzantine occupation of Bulgaria. We tour the Balkans and discuss the reality on the ground.

Mar 19, 2018
Ask Me Anything

I am doing an AMA. That's an Ask Me Anything for a website called WhatPods. I will be answering questions on the 21st March at 4.30pm US eastern standard time. Post your questions now.

Mar 15, 2018
A replay of the House of War

A replay of episode 89 "The House of War"

Mar 10, 2018
Episode 163 - The Magyars, Pechenegs and Rus

We trace the interconnected developments of the Magyars, Pechenegs and Rus.

Mar 06, 2018
Istanbul Kickstarter Campaign

My Istanbul Kickstarter Campaign launches today. Please consider supporting it.

Mar 01, 2018
Episode 162 - Venetians and Normans

We move on to Venice and Normandy to discuss the development of two peoples who will play a key role in the future of Byzantium.

Feb 27, 2018
Episode 161 - Not Yet Holy Roman Emperors

We talk about developments in the Frankish realm as they relate to Byzantium across the past century.

Feb 19, 2018
Episode 160 - Why Italy Matters

We talk about the big picture status of Italy during the 10th century and why it mattered to Byzantium.

Feb 06, 2018
Byzantine Stories episode six announcement

Byzantine Stories episode six announcement

Jan 24, 2018
Episode 159 - Rest in Peace

We discuss Byzantine funeral practices and the burial places of Emperors.

Dec 22, 2017
Episode 158 - The Legend Slayer

I answer some listener questions about Basil II and Byzantine first names.

Dec 15, 2017
Update on schedule and Istanbul

Update on schedule and Istanbul

Dec 08, 2017
Episode 157 - The Culmination

We cover Basil's last few years as he deals with the Fatimids, the Georgians and his own rebellious soldiers. We then wrap up his reign and bring our century to a close.

Nov 08, 2017
Episode 156 - The Half Blind Leading the Blind

We discuss campaigning in the Balkans, the end of the Bulgarian war and the legend of the Bulgar Slayer.

Oct 27, 2017
Episode 155 - The Year 1000

Basil continues his campaigns against the Fatimids and the Bulgarians. We also discuss the turning of the year 1000.

Oct 23, 2017
Episode 154 - A Cat Among Mice

We discuss the origins of the revived Bulgarian Empire and follow Basil as he campaigns against them and the Fatimids in the East.


Oct 13, 2017
Episode 153 - Basil II
Finally Basil II stands alone as master of the Roman world. Let's get to know him.
Oct 06, 2017
Episode 152 - Bardas Phokas
Civil war resumes as both Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phokas rebel against Basil. An epic showdown follows which drags the Bulgarians, the Rus, Varangians, Arabs, Armenians and Georgians into the contest.
Sep 29, 2017
Episode 151 - Bardas Sclerus
The civil war continues with Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phokas locking horns. Although the Imperial side emerge victorious, the price is years of tension with their new Domestic.
Sep 20, 2017
Podcasting in Istanbul?
Your feedback needed on the idea of me travelling to Istanbul to record material for the podcast.
Sep 14, 2017
Episode 150 - Basil Lekapenos
The narrative resumes with Basil Lekapenos elevating his great-nephew Basil II to the throne. However Bardas Sclerus immediately rebels and declares himself Emperor.
Sep 08, 2017
Episode 149 - Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood

The full interview with Professor Kaldellis about his book "Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood." The book is a narrative history from the time when Nicephorus Phokas took charge of the military through till the First Crusade. In our conversation we talk about sources, Basil IIs reign, the Magnates and the struggles of the 11th century.

Sep 07, 2017
Episode 148 - Sources and Magnates
We return to our interview with Professor Kaldellis to discuss Basil II's reign. We talk about our sources, about his decision never to marry and his relationship with the landed magnates.
Sep 01, 2017
Episode 147 - Bulgarian Solidarity
We look at a series of questions about what's been happening in Bulgaria since the peace was signed in 927. Why were the Rus able to defeat the Bulgarians so quickly? What did the Roman occupation look like? And more.
Aug 24, 2017
Episode 146 - What's the Plan?
Aug 18, 2017
Episode 146 - What's the Plan?
Did the Romans dream of reconquering their eastern provinces? Or were their border acquisitions enough?
Aug 18, 2017
Episode 145 - The Eastern Conquests
We discuss the eastern conquests and how valuable they really were. As well as the deployment and organisation of the military in the borderlands.
Aug 13, 2017
Episode 144 - Setting the Table
We begin our mini end-of-the-century series by talking about our sources. Huge thanks to Professor Anthony Kaldellis for talking to me about his new book "Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood." It's a narrative history covering the period from when Nicephorus Phokas took over the military until the First Crusade. This is only part of our interview focusing on the task of sifting sources to create a more realistic narrative.
Aug 03, 2017
Byzantine Stories Episode 5 - Roman Healthcare. Part 1 - Choosing Your Provider
Part 1 is an overview of the history of Greek medicine. How it developed and what kind of treatments were on offer.
Jul 17, 2017
Episode 143 - Strange Trajectories
John returns home triumphant but must deal with the Fatimid attacks in the east.
Jun 23, 2017
Listener Survey
Please help the show by filling out our listener survey
Jun 19, 2017
Episode 142 - Brave in Danger
John Tzimiskes faces down the Phokas rebellion and then marches for Bulgaria to take on the Rus.
Jun 18, 2017
Episode 141 - How To Get Away With Murder
John Tzimiskes pacifies his domestic and foreign enemies as he consolidates his rule. However the Rus leader Sviatoslav makes the decision to move his capital to the Danube forcing the Romans to respond.
Jun 08, 2017
Episode 140 - Magnificent and Insufferable
Nicephorus Phokas is murdered by his nephew John Tzimiskes. We discuss the plot, the aftermath and the personalities of both men.
May 26, 2017
Episode 139 - All In A Day's Work
May 21, 2017
Episode 139 - All In A Day's Work
We cover Nicephorus' foreign policy issues during his final two years in office. Armenian, Bulgarian and Italian concerns then go on hold for one last march through Syria.
May 21, 2017
Moving to Acast
Moving to Acast
May 18, 2017
Episode 138 - Abhorring the Palace

Nicephorus stays at home to administer his realm and manages to alienate every strata of society.


May 12, 2017
Episode 137 - Cilicia

Nicephorus leads the armies in person against Tarsus and Mopsuestia, bringing Cilicia and Cyprus back into the Empire.


Apr 28, 2017
Episode 136 - The White Death of the Saracens

We discuss Nicephorus' life and career and what his rise meant for Romania.


Apr 23, 2017
Episode 135 – Triumphal Procession

We catch up on what Romanus II and Sayf were up to during the Cretan expedition. Then we move forward with Nicephorus Phokas as he sacks Aleppo.


Apr 13, 2017
Episode 134 - Third Time's the Charm
Apr 09, 2017
Episode 134 - Third Time's the Charm

With Nicephorus Phokas in charge of the military the Romans win a string of victories against Sayf al-Dawlah. Constantine VII decides to attack Crete again but dies before the expedition sets off.


Apr 09, 2017
Episode 133 - Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth with Eric McGeer

An interview with Eric McGeer about his book "Sowing the Dragon's Teeth" which charts the changes in the Roman army as it moved to an offensive deployment in the 10th century.


Mar 24, 2017
Episode 132 - Escalating Violence

948-954. We return to the frontier where the Phokas family inflict a series of sharp defeats on Sayf al-Dawla. Sayf starts again by restoring his border fortresses and driving off Roman attacks. When Constantine Phokas is captured alive the war begins to escalate.


Mar 18, 2017
Episode 131 - False Economy

Constantine VII seeks peace in the east but Sayf al-Dawla is not interested. The Emperor presses on with the attempted pacification of Crete.


Mar 10, 2017
Episode 130 - The Empire That Would Not Die with John Haldon

An interview with Professor John Haldon about his book "The Empire That Would Not Die: The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740." In particular we discuss environmental research which helps us understand important changes in Anatolia. I think you'll be fascinated by what it can show us.


Mar 03, 2017
Episode 129 is available

Episode 129 is available

Feb 24, 2017
Episode 128 - The Prudent Course

A Rus raid delays John Kourkouas from leading a raid into Syria. When he does though he captures the sacred Mandylion and brings it back to the capital. Soon afterwards though he and Romanus are ousted from power.

Feb 17, 2017
Episode 127 - Melitene

John Kourkouas captures Melitene, providing the Empire with its first eastern conquest in centuries. The Islamic world is alarmed at this news and the Hamdanid family begin to provide resistance. However their preoccupation with Baghdad means they may have already conceded the mountains to the Romans.


Feb 10, 2017
Episode 126 - Attract and Repel

927-8 was a terrible winter. The suffering of the common people led many to sell their farms to their wealthy neighbours. Romanus legislated quickly to put a stop to it. Meanwhile John Kourkouas led the army into Armenia with Melitene in his sights.


Feb 03, 2017
Episode 125 - A Tsar is Born

Back in the tent with Symeon and Nicholas we learn that a title was granted that day. Symeon wanted to be hailed as Emperor. Wrangling over this title would lead to another decade of war before the two sides could come together.


Jan 27, 2017
Episode 124 - A Roman Story

The new Emperor Alexander dies after only a year on the throne. The next six years see an interregnum as the Patriarch, Empress and leading Generals vie to become the guardian to young Constantine VII.


Jan 20, 2017
Episode 123 - Dramatis Personae

We review the players in the impending struggle over the throne. And answer some more listener questions on the way.


Jan 10, 2017
Byzantine Stories Episode Four Announcement

Byzantine Stories Episode Four Announcement

Jan 05, 2017
Episode 122 - Questions V

I answer more of your questions including sports, Iconoclasm, prices, symbols, literature and more.


Dec 18, 2016
Episode 121 - The Roman Army in 900AD

Aside from the rise of the landed magnates there have been some other important changes in the Roman military in the past century. We cover the Themes, recruitment, payment, skirmishing and all the rest.


Dec 11, 2016
Episode 120 - The Magnates

The fruits of the recovery were unevenly distributed. The wealthy landowners of the plateau were building huge estates and developing family histories to go with them.


Nov 30, 2016
Episode 119 - Follow the Money

We explore arguments for and against the idea that commerce was a huge source of revenue for Byzantium.


Nov 17, 2016
Episode 118 - Revival

The Romans are finally recovering from three centuries of struggle. One of the lesser-discussed reasons for this was the payments made to the elites for their loyalty.


Nov 09, 2016
Episode 117 - Questions IV

Its time for some of your questions. We cover queries about the Bulgars, Slavs, Greece, Coins and modern Romania.


Oct 28, 2016
Episode 116 - North of the Danube

We place the Khazars, Magyars, Pechenegs and Rus on the map and explore their relationships with Constantinople.


Oct 19, 2016
Episode 115 - The Rise of Bulgaria

The 9th century was a period of amazing social and political change in the Balkans. We follow the Khans as they plot a path toward recognition of their right to exist.


Oct 12, 2016
Episode 114 - International Relations

We explore the diplomatic and trade exchanges between Byzantium, the Caliphate and the Franks.

Oct 05, 2016
Episode 113 - Carolingian Decline

Charlemagne's empire could not last. Frankish customs saw the realm divided and it would never be put back together.


Sep 28, 2016
Episode 112 - The Frontier

With the Caliphate in decline the Romans take a greater interest in the Armenian lands on their eastern border. We explore the fragmented landscape and politics of Armenia and take a quick glance at Cilicia and the forts beyond.


Sep 21, 2016
Episode 111 - Abbasid Decline

We begin our end of the century episodes in the East. Since 838 the great Caliphal armies have not been seen in Anatolia. We explore why as the Caliphate slowly pulls itself apart across the 9th century.


Sep 14, 2016
Byzantine Stories Episode 3 announcement 2

Byzantine Stories episode three announcement 2

Aug 05, 2016
Byzantine Stories Episode 3 announcement

Byzantine Stories Episode 3 announcement

Jul 26, 2016
Episode 110 - The Four Wives of Leo VI

Leo enters the second half of his reign desperate to leave the Empire to a healthy son. Meanwhile his military are successful on land but suffer at sea.


Jul 12, 2016
Subscriptions Update

Subscriptions Update

Jul 11, 2016
Episode 109 - Leo the Wise?

Basil's son Leo was known as "the Wise" during his lifetime. We get to know the new Emperor and explore if this reputation was justified.


Jul 05, 2016
Episode 108 - Known Unknowns

We follow Basil's time in office as tries to wash away the sin of murder and secure legitimacy for his new dynasty. He also tests the limits of Byzantium's growing power in East and West.


Jun 18, 2016
Episode 107 - Keeping up with the Macedonians

We chart the rise of Basil the Macedonian and his murder of both Bardas and Michael. We also look at how Basil's descendants would re-brand Michael as "the Drunkard" before saying goodbye to the Amorion Dynasty.


Jun 10, 2016
Byzantine Stories Episode 2 Announcement

Listen here for an announcement about the second episode in the Byzantine Stories series and an increase in the subscription price.

Jun 02, 2016
Episode 106 - Mother and Uncle

Theodora and Theoctistus rule for young Michael until he comes of age. Then Uncle Bardas takes over the government. Meanwhile the Romans begin to gain the upper hand in Anatolia while a schism with the Papacy looms.


May 30, 2016
Episode 105 - The Triumph of Orthodoxy

Theophilus reorganises the army and leaves the throne to his wife and two year-old son. Theodora decides to restore the Icons and we discuss the end to the Iconoclast era of Byzantine history.


May 20, 2016
Episode 104 - God-Fearing

We focus on Theophilus' record on the eastern front. The last gasp of true Caliphal power sees the Emperor harshly punished for his support of the Khurramite rebellion.


Apr 27, 2016
Episode 103 - God-Loving

Young Theophilus becomes Emperor at a rare moment of internal peace. We look at his domestic policies across his 13 year reign and touch on his non-Anatolian foreign policy.


Apr 14, 2016
Episode 102 - The Islands

Michael II tries to secure his regime now that the civil war is over. However attacks on Sicily and Crete prevent him from returning to "normality."


Mar 26, 2016
Episode 101 - Thomas the Slav

Leo's murder is greeted with disgust in Anatolia where men rally behind Thomas the Slav. But back at the capital men get behind Michael of Amorium as a suitable replacement. This split leads to a three year civil war and a stalemate which suggests that God favours neither man.


Mar 13, 2016
Episode 100 - An Interview with Mike Duncan

Thanks to all of you for helping us get to episode 100. And of course our eternal gratitude to Mike Duncan and The History of Rome podcast.


Feb 19, 2016
Episode 99 - Michael of Amorium

Leo restores Iconoclasm and defeats the Bulgars in battle. After signing the peace treaty he raid the Caliphate and returns to domestic matters. However a palace conspiracy overthrows him in favour of his old ally Michael of Amorium.


Feb 14, 2016
Episode 98 - Leo the Armenian

Leo the Armenian becomes Leo V and waits out Krum's slaughter in Thrace. He also makes plans to restore Iconoclasm.


Feb 06, 2016
Episode 97 - Michael Rhangabe, Emperor of the Romans

Nicephorus' successors are his wounded son and his unsuitable son-in-law. Between them they ensure that the dynasty comes to a sad end while Krum improves his position considerably.


Jan 31, 2016
Episode 96 - Shoulda

Why were the Bulgars so successful compared to their larger neighbour? We look at this question and the limitations of the Byzantine army on campaign as Nicephorus leads his men to their doom.


Jan 24, 2016
Episode 95 - Coulda

Nicephorus turns his attention to the Balkans and begins settling colonists in the Peloponnese. His plans for Macedonia though are thwarted by the Bulgars. The Emperor organises a mass migration from Anatolia to Europe and reorganises the Themes and the finances of the state to make the new venture a success.


Jan 17, 2016
Episode 94 - Woulda

The General Logothete Nicephorus becomes Emperor and embarks on a wide ranging programme of reform. In this episode we focus on relations with the Caliphate, Charlemagne and the clergy.


Jan 10, 2016
Episode 93 - Recap and Precap

A reminder of where we've come from in the 8th century and where we are going in the 9th.


Jan 03, 2016
Episode 92 - Questions III

I answer your questions about the Themes, the Khazars, China, daily life and blinding. I also update our Constantine acrostic. 


Dec 23, 2015
Episode 91 - An Interview with Author Vincent O'Reilly
Dec 21, 2015
Episode 91 - An Interview with Author Vincent O'Reilly

An Interview with Paul Kastenellos (the pseudonym of author Vincent O'Reilly) about his two historical novels "Antonina - A Byzantine Slut" and "Count No Man Happy."


Dec 21, 2015
Episode 90 - The Roman Army in 800AD

I flesh out some details and answer your questions about the Roman army in 800AD.


Dec 16, 2015
Episode 89 - The House of War

I present a fantasy narrative of a soldier's life during a raid in Cappadocia. The details are all taken from Byzantine sources.


Dec 04, 2015
Episode 88 - More Thoughts on the Byzantine Republic by Anthony Kaldellis

More Thoughts on "The Byzantine Republic" and my interview with Anthony Kaldellis.


Nov 22, 2015
Episode 87 - The Byzantine Republic with Anthony Kaldellis

An interview with Professor Anthony Kaldellis about his book "The Byzantine Republic." It's a fascinating discussion about Byzantine political culture. He explores what the Romans really thought about their government and what all those rebellions really say about them. You will want to hear this!

Nov 12, 2015
Episode 86 - The People

We explore the lives of the people of Byzantium. From the Emperor through the court down to the farmers, merchants and minorities who made up the population.


Oct 31, 2015
Episode 85 - Imperial Territory

We explore the remaining provinces of the Roman Empire from Sicily to Cilicia. Ok Cilicia is no longer a part of the Empire but its on the border and I liked the alliteration.


Oct 17, 2015
Episode 84 - The Leftovers

We explore the lives of the former Romans of Syria, Palestine and Egypt. We discuss the survival of language and Christianity and answer other listener questions. We also look at what the Romans and Arabs really thought of one another.


Oct 03, 2015
Episode 83 - The Decline and Fall of the Arab Empire

We return to 700AD to chart events in the Caliphate throughout the century. We follow the disintegration of Umayyad rule and the establishment of Abbasid Baghdad.


Sep 25, 2015
Episode 82 - Charlemagne and Leo (part 2)

How did Charlemagne and Leo each spin the coronation of 800AD? And how did the Byzantines react to the growth of Frankish power? After examining these questions we look at your questions about the 8th century West.

Sep 11, 2015
Episode 81 - Charlemagne and Leo (part 1)

We look at developments in the West during the 8th century. We follow the rise of the Carolingians and the amazing career of Charlemagne. We also see the various dilemma faced by the Papacy and how the collapse of Byzantine influence created a new power dynamic.

Sep 04, 2015
Episode 80 - The Isaurian Dynasty

Irene rules alone but the search for her successor undermines her. Then I recap the century and look at what Iconoclasm really represents.

Aug 22, 2015
Episode 79 - A Mother's Love
An army revolt leads to Constantine becoming sole ruler. But soon Irene is back in the palace while her son searches in vain for military glory. Eventually though her desire to rule again overwhelms her love for her son.]]>
Aug 14, 2015
Episode 79 - A Mother's Love

An army revolt leads to Constantine becoming sole ruler. But soon Irene is back in the palace while her son searches in vain for military glory. Eventually though her desire to rule again overwhelms her love for her son.

Aug 14, 2015
Episode 78 - A New Helena

The Empress Irene becomes Regent for her son Constantine VI and sets about securing their rule. She manages to gain the support of the bureaucracy, army and church. Then she organises another Ecumenical Council to restore the Icons.

Aug 05, 2015
Thoughts on the John Chrysostom series

Thoughts on the John Chrysostom series

Aug 03, 2015
Byzantine Stories Episode 1 - John Chrysostom. Part 1 - Welcome to Antioch

An introduction to life in Antioch in 350AD. Amidst the great buildings live the beleaguered poor of the Roman world. The Christians were destined to care for and convert these people but in 350AD the threat of losing souls to Judaism or Paganism was real.

Jul 26, 2015
An update on the Fundraising Sale and the new RSS Feed

Listen to the latest podcast to find out about the new fundraising sale and your chance to get new episodes of "The History of Byzantium."

Jul 24, 2015
Episode 76 - The Dung Named

Constantine V faces a conspiracy against his throne and his response is violent. He continues to rebuild his capital and campaign against the Bulgars. Yet despite all his success he was remembered as the Dung named.

Jul 09, 2015
Episode 75 - The Headless Council

Constantine V gathers an Ecumenical Council to gain acceptance for his views on the place of icons. He also goes to war with the Bulgar Khanate. We close by discussing his personal life and the capture of Ravenna by the Lombards.

Jun 24, 2015
Episode 74 - The Quest for Legitimacy

Constantine V becomes Emperor but is immediately forced into a two year civil war. Once back in power we follow his reorganisation of the army and military planning in the face of the Caliphate's own internal struggles.

Jun 02, 2015
Episode 73 - Leo's Reign in the 730s
We look at Leo's second decade in power. First tracing the military and political developments and then going back to look at the development of Iconoclasm.]]>
May 15, 2015
Episode 73 - Leo's Reign in the 730s

We look at Leo's second decade in power. First tracing the military and political developments and then going back to look at the development of Iconoclasm.

May 15, 2015
Episode 72 - Leo's Reign in the 720s
We look at Leo's first decade in power. First tracing the military and political developments and then going back to look at domestic policies.]]>
May 01, 2015
Episode 72 - Leo's Reign in the 720s

We look at Leo's first decade in power. First tracing the military and political developments and then going back to look at domestic policies.

May 01, 2015
Episode 71 - Iconoclasm

We take a look at the whole period of Iconoclasm as an introduction to this era.

Apr 19, 2015
Episode 70 - Zombies of Byzantium

An interview with author Sean Munger about his book "Zombies of Byzantium." The novel is set during the Siege of 717-18 and sees an outbreak of the undead just as Maslama and Leo battle in Constantinople.

Apr 12, 2015
Episode 69 - Lost to the West

Maslama puts Constantinople under siege. The Romans look to the heavens for a sign that God still favours them.

Mar 31, 2015
Episode 68 - Leo III

We trace the origins of Leo III from his family's relocation to Thrace, his service in the Caucasus through to his interaction with the invading Arabs.

Mar 13, 2015
Episode 67 - The Tightening Noose

Justinian II tries to return to vigorous action but things quickly fall apart. The Arabs advance in the east and a rebellion in Cherson blows up. We meet our fourth, fifth and sixth Emperors.

Mar 03, 2015
Episode 66 - The Emperor Strikes Back

Justinian II heads off into exile but dreams of returning to Constantinople. He makes friends in Cherson and talks openly of rebellion. The city's authorities report this to Apsimar and Justinian flees Cherson looking for an ally who can return him to the throne.

Feb 24, 2015
Episode 65 - Seven Emperors

The Arabs capture Carthage and the new Emperor Leontius is forced to send a fleet to recapture it. When that mission fails the men of the fleet wonder if one of their own might make a better Emperor.

Feb 13, 2015
Episode 64 - Questions II

We finish our 7th century tour by answering more of your questions. We cover nose slitting, coins, education, fashion, when did Late Antiquity end and did the Romans miss the Persians?

Feb 10, 2015
Episode 63 - Byzantine Theodicy with David Gyllenhaal

An interview with David Gyllenhaal, a PHD Student at Oxford University discussing his thesis on how the 7th century changed Byzantine self conception.

Feb 03, 2015
Episode 62 - God's Punishment
What did the Romans think was responsible for their defeats? We look at the Christian thought-world of the 7th century and the reactions from Byzantium and those left behind in the Caliphate.]]>
Jan 27, 2015
Episode 62 - God's Punishment

What did the Romans think was responsible for their defeats? We look at the Christian thought-world of the 7th century and the reactions from Byzantium and those left behind in the Caliphate.

Jan 27, 2015
Episode 61 - Why did the Romans Survive?

We look at the changes the Roman army and government went through in the 7th century and consider why the Romans survived.

Jan 20, 2015
Episode 60 - Looking West

We look West at Spain, Gaul and Italy to see what has changed since 600AD. Then we head into the Balkans to peer into the darkness and try to understand who lived there.

Jan 09, 2015
Episode 59 - Why did the Arabs win? Part 4: The Conquest Society

Now that the Arabs have conquered Syria and Mesopotamia how did they organise themselves? And how did this contribute to their continuing military victories?

Dec 12, 2014
An explantion of The Origins of Islam episode

Find out how you can buy the sale episode on the Origins of Islam by listening to this episode.

Dec 04, 2014
Episode 58 - Why did the Arabs win? Part 3: They Wanted it More

We explore more issues surrounding why the Arabs won. We look into their society. We explore the great battles themselves and the armies who fought in them.

Nov 16, 2014
Episode 57 - Why did the Arabs win? Part 2: In the Shadow of the Sword

An interview with Tom Holland, author of the book "In the Shadow of the Sword." The book traces the origins of Islam by looking at the Jewish, Roman and Persian worlds of late antiquity. In the interview he gives his views on how this process worked and then I ask him why did the Arabs win?

Nov 06, 2014
Episode 56 - Why did the Arabs win? Part 1: The Sources

Why can't we entirely trust the traditional Islamic account of the conquests?

Nov 04, 2014
Episode 55 - Why did the Romans lose?

Why did the Romans lose control of their Eastern provinces so easily?

Oct 24, 2014
Episode 54 - Justinian II

Justinian II comes to power aged 16 and begins imitating his namesake in ambition and productivity. He orders campaigns in east and west, begins building and taxing and calls for an Ecumenical Council. All the while though his popularity  plummets.

Oct 06, 2014
Episode 53 - The Bulgars are Coming

Constantine IV calls an Ecumenical Council to discuss the issue of Monotheletism. He also has to deal with an invasion of the Balkans by the Bulgars.

Sep 25, 2014
Episode 52 - The Non-Siege of Constantinople

Constantine IV inherits his father's throne together with his ceaseless war with Muʿāwiyah. As the Caliph builds a fleet to threaten Constantinople the Emperor responds with the weapons at his disposal.

Sep 18, 2014
Episode 51 - The Themes

Constans II uses the Muslim civil war to reorganise the Roman military in the East. Then he travels to the West making a new home for himself in Syracuse in Sicily.

Sep 04, 2014
Episode 50 - The Teenage Emperor

Heraclius' family fall out with each other over the succession. The crown eventually comes to rest on the head of the fourteen year old Constans II. He is left with an Empire under attack in Egypt, Armenia and the Mediterranean.

Aug 26, 2014
Episode 49 - The Man Who Lived Too Long

The Arabs march on into Mesopotamia and Egypt. Meanwhile the bad news keeps piling up for Heraclius as he nears his final days.

Aug 08, 2014
Episode 48 - The Battle of Hieromyax

The Muslim Arabs invade Syria and begin to sweep away Roman resistance. Heraclius gathers the Army of the East for what he hopes will be a decisive battle.

Aug 01, 2014
Episode 47 - A Brief Respite

Heraclius surveys his shattered realm and plans how to remake things. We deal with three issues specifically - the Imperial title, the Empire's Jews and the Monophysites.

Jul 11, 2014
Episode 46 - The Final War

Heraclius takes the winter off to plan what to do next. He needs to buy off the Avars as he removes all the remaining troops from the Balkans. After training the last Roman army left in the Empire, Heraclius prepares to march East and either restore the old borders or never return.

Jul 08, 2014
Byzantine Project Update

Byzantine Project Update

Mar 06, 2014
Episode 45 - The Empty Fleet
The Persians conquer Egypt as Nicetas fails to defend Alexandria. Heraclius tries to find a way to avoid blame for this disaster and acquire the resources to fight back.
Feb 14, 2014
Episode 44 - Unceasing Lamentations

Heraclius fails to push the Persians back and has to watch in horror as they capture Jerusalem.

Jan 31, 2014
Episode 43 - Heraclius to the rescue

Phocas is overthrown by Heraclius but the Empire's problems are only deepening.

Jan 17, 2014
Episode 42 - In Fairness to Phocas

The narrative resumes with the new Emperor Phocas having to deal with yet another Persian invasion.

Jan 09, 2014
Episode 41 - Who is a Byzantine?

We explore who the Byzantines thought they were and whether they were right.

Dec 21, 2013
Episode 40 - Questions

I answer your 6th century questions from education to eunuchs and food to fleets.

Dec 14, 2013
Episode 39 - Neighbours and Provinces

We travel through Spain, Gaul, Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia, the East and Persia to uncover the geo-political situation in 600AD.

Dec 05, 2013
Episode 38 - Christianising

We look at how Christianity spread more deeply into Roman culture across the 6th century and see how this affected the Empire's cities and Jews.

Nov 29, 2013
Episode 37 - The Army of the Strategikon
We look at how the Roman army has changed up to the end of the 6th century. To guide us we are using the Byzantine army manual the Strategikon. We learn how the army fought, who fought, what they looked like and how they were organised.
Oct 04, 2013
Episode 36 - The End of Legitimacy

Maurice has a tough decision to make about his role in the Persian civil war. Once that is over he turns his attention to the Balkans. Success in the field is ruined by the cost of paying the army.

Sep 13, 2013
Episode 35 - The Lucky Break

The new Emperor Maurice continues fighting on the Eastern front trying to convince the Persians to sign a peace treaty. But they won't.

Aug 30, 2013
Episode 34 - Overbalancing

The new Emperor Tiberius II decided to throw the Empire's strength into the war with Persia. He spends liberally and recruits new men to bolster the Eastern Empire.

Aug 16, 2013
Episode 33 - The Madness of Justin II

The new Emperor Justin II comes to power with the conviction that the Roman Empire should not be paying tribute to anyone. But after cancelling subsidies to the Avars, the Ghassanids and the Persians he finds himself with war and disaster on all sides.

Aug 02, 2013
Episode 32 - The True Believer

Was Justinian a good Emperor?

Jul 22, 2013
Episode 31 - Getting the Band Back Together

A series of natural disasters and domestic disturbances mar the final years of Justinian's reign. We also meet the Avars, bring silk to Byzantium and give Belisarius one last chance to shine.

Jul 11, 2013
Episode 30 - Age Before Beauty
The men Justinian puts in charge of his military operations keep getting older or more unlikely as the 550s unfold. However they bring success in Italy, the Balkans, Lazica and then most surprisingly in Spain.
Jun 28, 2013
Episode 29 - The Nightmare Decade

With the sack of Antioch, the Italian conquest falling apart and the Plague, the years 540-45 were like a nightmare for Justinian. The next five years would continue to bring bad news as war continues on every front and members of the Imperial family begin to die.

Jun 14, 2013
An explanation of the fund raising podcast

An explanation of the fund raising podcast

May 31, 2013
Episode 27 - The Walking Dead

The Plague arrives at Pelusium and spreads to Alexandria where it rages for four months. By Spring 542 the Egyptians have to begin sending out the grain fleets. They export the Plague with them and Constantinople endures a nightmare summer of death.

May 27, 2013
A clarification on the sale
A clarification on the fundraising sale of Episode 28.
May 13, 2013
Episode 26 - The Sack of Antioch

Khosrou leads the Persian Army across the border into Syria and begins extorting money from every city he passes. The Byzantine army is nowhere to be found as the army approaches the Empire's third largest city: Antioch.

May 10, 2013
Episode 25 - The Roaring Thirties

We take a look at what else was going on in the Empire during the 530s including: monophysites, tax and administration, buildings, Africa and possibly a meteor strike.

Apr 26, 2013
Episode 24 - The Western Emperor

Belisarius is content to leave John to die in Ariminum but the Chamberlain Narses arrives and begs to differ. Conflicts over how to complete the conquest of Italy lead to disaster at Milan and a long delay in finally reaching Ravenna.

Apr 12, 2013
Episode 23 - The Siege of Rome

When Athalaric, Prince of the Goths dies in 534 his mother has to choose whether to flee East or try to cling to power. Amalasuntha makes the wrong choice and calls in her cousin Theodahad. When he has her killed he hands Justinian the chance to invade.

Mar 29, 2013
Episode 22 - Justinian's Legacy
We examine the Corpus Juris Civilis and the Hagia Sophia. The two achievements of Justinian's reign which outlasted both him and the Byzantine Empire.]]>
Mar 16, 2013
Episode 22 - Justinian's Legacy

We examine the Corpus Juris Civilis and the Hagia Sophia. The two achievements of Justinian's reign which outlasted both him and the Byzantine Empire.

Mar 16, 2013
Episode 21 - The Vandal War

With the Nika Revolt quelled, Justinian orders Belisarius to retake the province of Africa. In the Summer of 533 an armada sets sail and lands east of Carthage. Belisarius leads his army cautiously up the coast as King Gelimer rallies his army.

Mar 01, 2013
Episode 20 - The Nika Revolt
In January 532 a seemingly typical riot at the races escalates into a full blown rebellion against Justinian. Trapped up in the Palace while Constantinople burns, the Emperor must decide whether to flee or to fight.
Feb 15, 2013
Episode 19 - 527-532, Part 3: The Kindling

In part three we return to Constantinople and see Justinian begin to reform his Empire. We take a look at his building projects, his new legal code and the laws he enacted. Particularly those aimed at pagans and heretics.

Feb 04, 2013
Episode 18 - 527-532, Part 2: The Eternal Peace, the Danube Frontier and Diplomacy
The first five years of Justinian's reign (527-532) are so incident-filled that it will take us a few episodes to get through them.
Jan 19, 2013
Episode 17 - 527-532, Part 1: The Battle of Dara

The first five years of Justinian's reign (527-532) are so incident-filled that it will take us a few episodes to get through them. In part one we stay on the Eastern front for the Battle of Dara.

Jan 05, 2013
Episode 16 - Theodora

We continue the narrative on the Eastern frontier as Lazica and Iberia try to form an alliance with Byzantium and leave the Persian orbit. King Kavad responds by trying to get Justin to adopt his favourite son.

Dec 15, 2012
Episode 15 - Justinian

We get a thorough introduction to Justinian, Justin's nephew and presumed heir. We look as Justinian's education and the kind of worldview he was developing. We follow his rise up the ranks from Palace guard to potential Caesar.

Dec 03, 2012
Episode 14 - The Emperor Justin

We restart the narrative with the death of the Emperor Anastasius and the accession of Justin, Count of the Excubitors. The new Emperor is decidedly orthodox and begins a persecution of the monophysites and heals the schism with Rome. We also introduce our sources for the period with particular attention paid to Procopius of Caesarea.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 13 - The State (Part 2)

Part 2 is the church and the army. We look at the administration of the church and its affects on society. Then we look at the size and disposition of the army and wrap up the tour.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 12 - The State (Part 1)

We finally end our tour of the Empire by examining the Byzantine state. By focussing on the government, the church and the army we see how the Empire is shaping up since the fall of the West and how it is set up to deal with the world we explored in the previous five episodes. Part 1 is the government as we look at the Emperor, his ministers and the wider civil service.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 11 - The Eastern Provinces

In this episode we move across the Bosporus into the Eastern Provinces and explore Anatolia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. We then take a look at the neighbours of the Empire and see what the Persians are up to before moving on to the Arabs, Armenians and other peoples from the Caucus mountains.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 10 - Constantinople

We explore the capital of the Byzantine Empire: Constantinople. We look at the origins of the city and trace its development from Greek city to Imperial centre. Then we see why it had such a strategically valuable location. After that we visit the city itself in the 6th century from the Great Palace to the streets.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 9 - The Balkan Provinces

We take a look at the remaining Byzantine Balkan Provinces along with the northern neighbours of the Empire. We also take a glance at the Black Sea Coast and the Byzantine military interest in the Crimea.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 8 - Italy and Africa

We take a look at the former Roman Provinces of  Italy and Africa and see what Theodoric’s Ostrogoths and the Vandals, respectively, have been up to in the last century.

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 7 - Gaul and Spain

We take a look at the former Roman Provinces of Gaul and Spain and see what the Franks and Goths have been up to in the last century.

Sep 26, 2012
Episode 6 - The Prosperous Exuberance

The Emperor Anastasius now faces a real rebellion from the Count of the Federates in Thrace, Vitalian. The Emperor sends out an army under his nephew Hypatius but they are defeated and Vitalian marches on Constantinople.

Sep 26, 2012
Episode 5 - The Gamble

The Emperor Anastasius deals with more riots along with an invasion in the West by the Bulgars and the East by the Persians. He then begins to give in to his monophysite sympathies and is almost toppled after allowing his Patriarch to interfere with the O

Sep 26, 2012
Episode 4 - Give us a Roman Emperor

The Emperor Zeno dies in 491 after trying to appease the monophysites with his 'Henoticon.' Zeno's widow Ariadne then gets to pick his succesor and marries Flavius Anastasius. We have a look at the early years of his reign and the Isaurian War.

Sep 26, 2012
Episode 3 - The Isaurian Emperor

The Emperor Zeno is now back in charge and has to deal with the members of the conspiracy that ousted him. In the first half of the episode we see how he handled his enemies close to him and in the second we look at his relationship with the Goths.

Jun 15, 2012
Episode 2 - Two Steps Back

We journey back to 457 to introduce the Emperor Leo. I don’t cover his reign in full but there are important details about life in the East which “The History of Rome” didn’t cover.

Jun 01, 2012
Episode 1a – An Introduction to Byzantine History

An introduction for listeners who haven't listened to "The History of Rome" podcast.

May 02, 2012
Episode 1 - An Introduction

I explain the idea behind the podcast and how I intend to proceed. I also talk about how often I will be able to create episodes.

May 01, 2012