Episode 58 – Why did the Arabs win? Part 3: They Wanted it More

We explore more issues surrounding why the Arabs won. We look into their society. We explore the great battles themselves and the armies who fought in them.

Arabia and the Fertile Crescent in 600 AD

Arabia and the Fertile Crescent in 600 AD from Wikipedia

Period: 602-695

Download: Why did the Arabs win? Part 3: They Wanted it More

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Islam Origins Sale Episode

Please DON’T buy the Islam Origins sale episode even though it is listed as for sale. We have not sorted out some technical issues yet.

I will release a podcast announcing its availability when it’s ready. I will also explain what you need to do then if you have or don’t have an existing account.

To the few of you who have paid already I will get you the episode as soon as it’s ready.

Thanks for your patience,
Robin

 

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Episode 57 – Why did the Arabs win? Part 2: In the Shadow of the Sword

Tom Holland author of the book "In the Shadow of the Sword"

Tom Holland author of the book “In the Shadow of the Sword”

An interview with Tom Holland, author of the book “In the Shadow of the Sword.” The book traces the origins of Islam by looking at the Jewish, Roman and Persian worlds of late antiquity. In the interview he gives his views on how this process worked and then I ask him why did the Arabs win?

Period: 602-695

Download: Why did the Arabs win? Part 2: In the Shadow of the Sword

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Episode 56 – Why did the Arabs win? Part 1: The Sources

Why can’t we entirely trust the traditional Islamic account of the conquests?

Period: 602-695

Download: Why did the Arabs win? Part 1: The Sources

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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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