The History of Byzantium
Episode 258 - Almost Ungovernable
Alexios Angelos faces down one internal rebellion after another as the Roman Empire continues to contract. The biggest threat to his throne comes from disgruntled aristocrats and the people of Constantinople.
View all episodes
Episode 275 - Climate Change in the 6th Century with Robert Bruton33:03American author Robert Bruton takes us through his Master’s thesis on the role of climate change and plague in the decline of Roman fortunes in the 6th century.He is also writing a trilogy of historical fiction novels about the life of Belisarius. Find out more about Robert and his work here.
Episode 274 - The 10 Worst Emperors with Anthony Kaldellis01:56:06Professor Kaldellis returns to give us his 10 Worst Emperors.He is a Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Chicago and the author of dozens of books and articles on key aspects of Byzantine history.Find out more here.
Byzantine Fiction special offer03:16The Guardians of Byzantium - Book 2 is now available. Listen for a special offer to get hold of both books today.
Episode 273 - Rome and Persia: The 700 Year Rivalry with Adrian Goldsworthy59:35I talk to historian Adrian Goldsworthy about his new book. It covers the 700 year rivalry between the two great powers of the ancient world. Everything from Crassus having gold poured down his throat to Heraclius returning the True Cross to Jerusalem.Dr Goldsworthy is an award winning historian of the classical world. He has written a dozen books on Greco-Roman topics including biographies of Julius Caesar and Augustus. As well as studies of the Roman army and the Empire’s rise and fall. So if you like what you hear today there is a small library of Goldsworthy goodness waiting for you to read.
Episode 271 - Twilight Cities with Katherine Pangonis45:55I talk to Katherine Pangonis about her new book - Twilight Cities: Lost Capitals of the Mediterranean. In it she travels to Tyre, Carthage, Syracuse, Ravenna and Antioch to tell their stories and experience what remains.It's a fantastic book for those who want to learn more about these ancient power centres and be inspired to visit them.We spoke to Katherine about her first book 'Queens of Jerusalem' back in episode 238. She returned to tell us about the devastating earthquakes in Turkey in February 2023. Find out more about her at her website.
Episode 270 - Loss, Suffering and Enslavement37:01We look at the stories of three different Romans who had to deal with their city being sacked. Through their experiences we come to a better understanding of the loss felt by those who lived through the fall of Constantinople in 1204. NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG EARS.
June 2023 Schedule Update02:08June 2023 Schedule Update
Episode 269 - Questions XIII45:22Our final batch of questions for this century includes queries about the Hippodrome, diplomatic marriages, national identity and political legitimacy. We also enjoy an update on the Crimea, the Jewish communities of Byzantium and the Varangian Guard. I also talk about the perception of time and rank some dynasties.
Episode 268 - The Collapse of the Komnenian System30:27We take a look at the pros and cons of the Komnenian system. Then trace why it was causing enough resentment to lead to provincial separatism.We then move on to discuss the army and the bureaucracy and the people of Constantinople. Looking at how each was affecting political stability in the run up to the Fourth Crusade.