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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

June 19, 2024 48 mins

With Constantinople back in Roman hands we explore the one vantage point we've ignored: the last Latin Emperor Baldwin II. Dr John Giebfried returns to give us Baldwin's biography.


Period: 1215-61

John completed his PhD in Medieval History at St Louis University in 2015 and has subsequently worked at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Georgia Southern University, East Georgia State College, and since 2022 has been a faculty m...

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Theodore Laskaris II beds down his father's conquests in Europe. But his early death sees his family sidelined by Michael Palaiologos. The new Emperor needs some victories to legitimise his seizure of power and the fates reward him beyond all expectations.

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With the Bulgarians and Turks hobbled by the Mongols the field is clear for Nicaea. John Vatatzes annexes a huge swathe of European territory and is widely recognised as the true Roman Emperor.

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We talk to Dr Nicholas Morton about the arrival of the Mongols into the Byzantine world. Their confrontation with the Seljuks of Anatolia will have serious consequences.


Dr Morton is Associate Professor in Middle Eastern and Global history at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. His new book The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East is available now.


In it he offers a panoramic accoun...

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May 22, 2024 27 mins

While Epirus was rising and falling, Nicaea was consolidating. John Vatatzes, the new Emperor, was competent at home and abroad. After years of consolidation he decided to besiege Constantinople. But he didn't act alone he invited an unlikely ally to join him.


Period: 1215-37



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Theodoros Doukas the leader of the Roman state of Epirus leads his people to ever greater heights in the 1220s. He captures Thessalonica and drives towards Constantinople itself. Doukas declares himself Emperor but does he have the resources necessary to reach the Hagia Sophia?


Period: 1215-30



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Today we look at Constantinople itself. What was the physical state of the city and what was the Latin administration like? Guiding us today is Dr John Giebfried.


John completed his PhD in Medieval History at St Louis University in 2015 and has subsequently worked at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Georgia Southern University, East Georgia State College, and since 2022 has been a faculty member at the University of Vienna, w...

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Today we look at the parts of the Roman Empire we haven't covered so far in the post-siege narrative. This includes Attalia, Trebizond and the multiple acquisitions of Venice. Helping me is Dr John Giebfried from the University of Vienna.

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April 24, 2024 20 mins

Michael Komnenos Doukas would have had a forgettable career if it wasn't for the chaos which followed Manuel Komnenos' death.


But the twists of fate allowed him to found a new state in Epirus (Western Greece) which would eventually seize huge parts of the Roman world.


Period: 1204-15



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We follow Theodore Laskaris as he escapes from Constantinople and establishes a new state at Nicaea. Crowned as the new Roman Emperor he must face down rivals on every side including the Turks.


Period: 1204-12



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April 10, 2024 25 mins

With Baldwin and Boniface dead the Bulgarians run riot across Thrace. Their Tsar Kaloyan attempts to capture Thessalonica and ponders whether he could become the new Roman Emperor.


Period: 1204-07



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After throwing a huge strop Boniface, the Marquis of Montferrat, is made King of Thessalonica.


He sent his men to conquer most of Greece but the Bulgarians were on his tail.


Period: 1204-07



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The Latins agree to stay for another year and to conquer the whole of the Roman Empire. They elect Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainaut to be their Emperor and all seems well. It only takes a year for everything to fall apart.

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March 20, 2024 16 mins

The narrative returns as we head back to 1204 and the sack of Constantinople. The arrival of the Latins had actually splintered the Roman world into at least 13 different states.


With a little help from the 2008 film 'Vantage Point' we will be following the different perspectives of these actors as they deal with the fallout from the sack.


We begin with the story of Alexios V Doukas who fled the city just before it fell.


P...

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March 11, 2024 43 mins

I speak to Rob and Jamie from the podcast Totalus Rankium. Their show is a light hearted ranking of every Roman Emperor from Augustus to Constantine XI. It's a really fun listen and they include all the amusing stories which I edited out of Byzantine history.


They have a sister show where they rank American Presidents. Find both shows here.



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Alexander Christie-Miller was the Turkish correspondent for the Times Newspaper between 2010 and 2017. He has written a book called ‘To the City’ about the people who live along the Theodosian Walls in Istanbul today. He tells the story and charts the sweeping changes they've experienced in Turkey over the past 50 years. It's a brilliant read, ideal for those of you who have visited Istanbul or plan to.


Alexander Christie-Miller...

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Professor Kaldellis' new history of Byzantium is out now in the USA and on Kindle everywhere.


In the final episode in this series he answers more of your questions. Amongst the topics we cover are citizenship, class, counter-factuals, academia and AI.



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Professor Kaldellis' new history of Byzantium is out now in the USA and on Kindle everywhere.


In this episode he answers your questions. Including succession mechanisms, taxation, the Senate, usurpers, Belisarius, Maurice and many more topics.



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February 12, 2024 4 mins
On today’s update I’m going to tell you about when the narrative is coming back, about podcast tours to Turkey in 2024 and about how Anthony Kaldellis is answering more questions than I told him to.

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A new book has come out about that most famous of Byzantines. It's called Justinian: Emperor, Soldier, Saint by Peter Sarris and it is excellent. It is not a dramatization of his career but a brilliantly researched account of his life and time in office.

Track his evolving thinking through the amazing range of sources we have for his reign and gain a deeper understanding of the interesting times he lived in.

The book is on sale every...

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