cover art for Episode 259 - The Fourth Crusade (Part 1)

The History of Byzantium

Episode 259 - The Fourth Crusade (Part 1)

Pope Innocent calls for a new Crusade to retake Jerusalem. A group of French Knights decide to form an expedition to Egypt and make a deal with Venice to transport them. But when they can't pay the bill the mission goes awry and ends up at Constantinople. 

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  • Episode 278 - The New Roman Empire with Anthony Kaldellis. Part 2 - Christianity and the Law

    Professor Kaldellis' new history of Byzantium is out now in the USA and on Kindle everywhere.In our second conversation we discuss the adoption of Christianity as the Roman religion. How much did Roman society change as a result? Why was early Christianity so riven with disputes?We also talk about the function of the law in Roman society. How did it help define individual rights and responsibilities beyond criminal behaviour? 
  • Episode 277 - The New Roman Empire with Anthony Kaldellis. Part 1 - Government

    Professor Kaldellis' new history of Byzantium is out now in the USA and on Kindle everywhere. He has kindly agreed to talk to us about it across 4 episodes!In this first conversation we discuss the new Roman government that Constantine established in 330AD. What was the 'personality' of government? How did it achieve legitimacy in the eyes of the people? Was it really a Republican Monarchy? 
  • Episode 276 - Pax: War and Peace in Rome's Golden Age with Tom Holland

    Tom Holland is the author of half a dozen brilliant books on the ancient world. He has now written three on the Roman Empire. The latest 'Pax' takes the story from the death of Nero to that of Hadrian. It's the golden age of Roman power and yet insecurity and anxiety lie under the surface. I talk to Tom about how he gains insight into people so utterly different to us. 
  • October 2023 Update

    October 2023 Update
  • Episode 275 - Climate Change in the 6th Century with Robert Bruton

    American 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 Kaldellis

    Professor 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 offer

    The 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 Goldsworthy

    I 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 Pangonis

    I 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.