Episode 81a – Charlemagne and Leo

The Realm of the Franks 481 to 814 (wikipedia)

The Realm of the Franks 481 to 814 (wikipedia)

We look at developments in the West during the 8th century. We follow the rise of the Carolingians and the amazing career of Charlemagne. We also see the various dilemma faced by the Papacy and how the collapse of Byzantine influence created a new power dynamic.

Period: 695-802

Download: Charlemagne and Leo (a)

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Episode 80 – The Isaurian Dynasty

Europe and the Middle East 800AD (worldhistorymaps.info)

Europe and the Middle East 800AD (worldhistorymaps.info)

Irene rules alone but the search for her successor undermines her. Then I recap the century and look at what Iconoclasm really represents.

Period: 797-802

Download: The Isaurian Dynasty

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Episode 79 – A Mother’s Love

Solidus of Constantine VI and Irene (from Dumbarton Oaks collection)

Solidus of Constantine VI and Irene (from Dumbarton Oaks collection)

An army revolt leads to Constantine becoming sole ruler. But soon Irene is back in the palace while her son searches in vain for military glory. Eventually though her desire to rule again overwhelms her love for her son.

Period: 787-797

Download: A Mother’s Love

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Episode 78 – A New Helena

Solidus of Constantine VI and Irene (Wikipedia)

Solidus of Constantine VI and Irene (Wikipedia)

The Patriarchal Throne in the Hagia Sophia, Nicaea

The Patriarchal Throne in the Hagia Sophia, Nicaea (Flickr)

Hagia Sophia, Nicaea

Hagia Sophia, Nicaea (Wikipedia)

The Empress Irene becomes Regent for her son Constantine VI and sets about securing their rule. She manages to gain the support of the bureaucracy, army and church. Then she organises another Ecumenical Council to restore the Icons.

Period: 780-787

Download: A New Helena

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Byzantine Stories Episode 1 – John Chrysostom. Parts 2, 3 and 4.

 Jean-Paul Laurens 19th century painting of John confronting the Empress Eudoxia. Very dramatic but nothing like this actually happened.

Jean-Paul Laurens 19th century painting of John confronting the Empress Eudoxia. Very dramatic but nothing like this actually happened.

John Chrysostom (integratedcatholiclife.org)

John Chrysostom (integratedcatholiclife.org)

John Chrysostom (from oca.org)

John Chrysostom (from oca.org)

St John Chrysostom in a mosaic from the Hagia Sophia

St John Chrysostom in a mosaic from the Hagia Sophia

John from an 11th-century soapstone (now in the Louvre)

John from an 11th-century soapstone (now in the Louvre)

A sculpture of John in Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York City

A sculpture of John in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City

Part 2 – Building Orthodoxy (349-397)

We follow John’s early life and education and his decision to disappear into the wilderness during his 20s. He then returns to Antioch to become a Priest and develop into the Golden Mouth.

Part 3 – The Snake Pit (397-400)

John is called to become Bishop of Constantinople and finds out that the politics in the capital is ruthless and unforgiving.

Part 4 – A Byzantine Story (400-407)

After a series of top officials lose their lives to the whims of Arcadius’ court John becomes the latest target. Only his congregation stand between him and exile or worse.

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 6 Comments

Episode 77 – Leo and Irene (Fundraising Episode)

Solidus of Leo IV. That's Leo on the left with his son Constantine next to him (no beard). On the reverse are Leo III and Constantine V (from Dumbarton Oaks collection)

Solidus of Leo IV. That’s Leo on the left with his son Constantine next to him (no beard). On the reverse are Leo III and Constantine V (from Dumbarton Oaks collection)

Leo IV begins his reign promisingly before dying at the age of 30. He would be replaced in power by his wife Irene. We look at the rituals an Empress would be forced to go through to be accepted into the Palace to try and gain an insight into Irene’s position as regent.

Period: 775-780

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Byzantine Stories Episode 1 – John Chrysostom. Part 1 – Welcome to Antioch

Ancient Antioch (pre 350AD) by kayhankaplan (deviantart.com)

Ancient Antioch (pre 350AD) by kayhankaplan (deviantart.com)

Ancient Antioch from above (pre 350AD) by kayhankaplan (deviantart.com).jpg

Ancient Antioch from above (pre 350AD) by kayhankaplan (deviantart.com).jpg

Engraving of Antioch by William Miller from a sketch by Byam Martin in 1866

Engraving of Antioch by William Miller from a sketch by Byam Martin in 1866

Map of Antioch (mappery.com)

Map of Antioch (mappery.com)

An introduction to life in Antioch in 350AD. Amidst the great buildings live the beleaguered poor of the Roman world. The Christians were destined to care for and convert these people but in 350AD the threat of losing souls to Judaism or Paganism was real.

Period: 349-350 AD

Download: Welcome to Antioch

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 5 Comments

An update on the Fundraising Sale and the new RSS Feed

Listen to the latest podcast to find out about the new fundraising sale and your chance to get new episodes of “The History of Byzantium.”

Download: An update on the Fundraising Sale and the new RSS Feed

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Episode 76 – The Dung Named

The interior of the Hagia Eirene restored by Constantine V (Wikipedia)

The interior of the Hagia Eirene restored by Constantine V (Wikipedia)

Constantine V faces a conspiracy against his throne and his response is violent. He continues to rebuild his capital and campaign against the Bulgars. Yet despite all his success he was remembered as the Dung named.

Period: 765-775

Download: The Dung Named

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Episode 75 – The Headless Council

The Balkan Mountains today (from maudestandard.wordpress.com)

The Balkan Mountains today (from maudestandard.wordpress.com)

Constantine V gathers an Ecumenical Council to gain acceptance for his views on the place of icons. He also goes to war with the Bulgar Khanate. We close by discussing his personal life and the capture of Ravenna by the Lombards.

Period: 755-765

Download: The Headless Council

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Categories: Podcast | 8 Comments

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