The History of Byzantium


Episode 266 - Questions XII

More questions to tackle this week. Comparing the sack of 1204 to the sack of Rome in 410. Questioning the Byzantine system of succession and the roots of their decline. And pondering whether other Emperors rose to power like Alexios Angelos - on the back of a foreign army.  

More Episodes

  • June 2023 Schedule Update

    June 2023 Schedule Update
  • Episode 269 - Questions XIII

    Our 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 System

    We 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.
  • Episode 267 - Provincial Separatism with Nathan Websdale

    Nathan Websdale is a PHD candidate at Oxford University and President of the Oxford University Byzantine Society. His work is focussed on ethnic identification, social inclusion and self-determination in the Byzantine World, c.1200-c.1230.Nathan graduated with a BA (First Class) in History from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2016 and an MA (Merit) in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies from the Intercollegiate University of London in 2017.I talk to Nathan about the thorny issue of provincial separatism before and after the Fourth Crusade. 
  • Episode 265 - The 10 Greatest Emperors with Anthony Kaldellis

    Professor Anthony Kaldellis has just completed a new history of Byzantium which will be published in October 2023. So I cheekily asked him if he would list his 10 greatest Emperors. Graciously he agreed to apply his immense knowledge to this frivolous topic.He is a Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Chicago. This is his third interview on the History of Byzantium. I talked to him about two of his books 'The Byzantine Republic' and 'Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood: The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A.D. to the First Crusade.' But he is the author of over a dozen books on Byzantium along with translations of texts and many articles. Find out more here.
  • Episode 264 - Questions XI

    I answer more questions about the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople. What was the reaction of other nations? Did people see it as sign of the end times? What did the Byzantines think of the Templars and Hospitallers? What were the religious differences between the Orthodox and the Catholics?
  • Episode 263 - Questions X

    I answer more questions about the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople. We talk about why the Roman response was so feeble and if anything else could have been done? Along with questions about the tombs of the Emperors, statues, coins and ships. 
  • Episode 262 - Questions IX

    I answer listener questions about the Fourth Crusade. This episode focuses on the big picture. Who is to blame? Was it inevitable?