Episode 55 – Why did the Romans lose?

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

The terrain of Europe and the Middle East from Colin McEvedy's Atlas of Medieval Europe

The terrain of Europe and the Middle East from Colin McEvedy’s Atlas of Medieval Europe

Period: 602-695

Download: Episode 55 – Why did the Romans lose?

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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.

Justinian II by Atanas Atanassov (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Justinian II by Atanas Atanassov (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

One of Justinian II's coins on which the Kibea Illustration is based (from an ebay sale).

One of Justinian II’s coins on which the Kibea Illustration is based (from an ebay sale).

This is the controversial coin. Jesus on the left. A solidus of Justinian II from the Dumbarton Oaks collection.

This is the controversial coin. Jesus on the left. A solidus of Justinian II from the Dumbarton Oaks collection.

Period: 685-695

Download: Episode 54 – Justinian II

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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.

The mosaic of Constantine IV in the Basilica Saint Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna (from Wikipedia)

The mosaic of Constantine IV in the Basilica Saint Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna (from Wikipedia)

Close up from flickr.com. Constantine is the one handing the concessions. To his left are his brothers and Justinian II is on the far left

Close up from flickr.com. Constantine is the one handing the concessions. To his left are his brothers and Justinian II is on the far left

Period: 679-685

Download: Episode 53 – The Bulgars are Coming

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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.

 

A solidus of Constantine IV from dirtyoldcoins.com

A solidus of Constantine IV from dirtyoldcoins.com

A solidus of Constantine IV from Wikimedia commons

A solidus of Constantine IV from Wikimedia commons

A solidus of Constantine IV from the Dumbarton Oaks collection

A solidus of Constantine IV from the Dumbarton Oaks collection

Period: 669-679

Download: Episode 52 – The Non-Siege of Constantinople

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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.

Solidus of Constans II (from Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Solidus of Constans II (from Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

The Themes in 668 AD from A History of the Byzantine State and Society by Warren Treadgold

The Themes in 668 AD from A History of the Byzantine State and Society by Warren Treadgold

Period: 656-668

Download: Episode 51 – The Themes

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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.

A solidus of young Constans II (from Beastcoins.com)

A solidus of young Constans II (from Beastcoins.com)

Period: 641-656

Download: Episode 50 – The Teenage Emperor

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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.

Heraclius by Rossen Toshev (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Heraclius by Rossen Toshev (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

Heraclius, Constantine (r), Heraclonas (l) coin (from beastcoins.com)

Heraclius, Constantine (r), Heraclonas (l) coin (from beastcoins.com)

Period: 638-641

Download: Episode 49 – The Man Who Lived Too Long

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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.

The Canyon of the River Yarmouk today (biblicalgeographic.com)

The Canyon of the River Yarmouk today (biblicalgeographic.com)

 

The Eastern provinces (commons.wikimedia.orgwikiUserCplakidas)

The Eastern provinces (commons.wikimedia.orgwikiUserCplakidas)

Period: 633-638

Download: Episode 48 – The Battle of Hieromyax

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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.

Heraclius coins from this period. The Emperor looking older, his son now a man (from ma-shops.com)

Heraclius coins from this period. The Emperor looking older, his son now a man (from ma-shops.com)

Period: 628-633

Download: Episode 47 – A Brief Respite

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Episode 46 – The Last War

 

The environs of Constantinople

The environs of Constantinople

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.

Period: 620-628

Download: Episode 46 – The Final War

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Heraclius flees the Avars (worldhistoryplus.com)

Heraclius flees the Avars (worldhistoryplus.com)

The campaigns of 624-28 by Mohammad Adil

The campaigns of 624-28 by Mohammad Adil

Byzantine-Persian border

Byzantine-Persian border

Heraculius at the Battle of Ninevah (stormfront.org, forums)

Heraclius at the Battle of Ninevah (concord-publications.com)

David and Goliath coin minted for Heraclius' victory (image from metmuseum.org)

David and Goliath plate created for Heraclius’ victory (image from metmuseum.org)

 

Heraclius entering Jerusalem with the True Cross (the Frescoes in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo)

Heraclius entering Jerusalem with the True Cross (the Frescoes in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo)

Categories: Podcast | 38 Comments

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