Byzantine Stories Episode 3 – Porphyrius the Charioteer. Part 2 – Joining the Sun

The Imperial District in Constantinople

The Imperial District in Constantinople

The Hippodrome by Antoine Helbert (antoine-helbert.com)

The Hippodrome by Antoine Helbert (antoine-helbert.com)

Relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

Relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

2nd relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

2nd relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

In part 2 we go down to the Hippodrome floor to see the glorious arena Constantine built and discover how a race was won. Then we cover the life story of Porphyrius from child prodigy to retiring champion. Finally we see the historical detective work which made this story possible.

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 2 Comments

Byzantine Stories Episode 3 – Porphyrius the Charioteer. Part 1 – The Spectacles

Chariot race in the Circus Maximus (turkeyfile.com)

Chariot race in the Circus Maximus (turkeyfile.com)

Chariot racing depicted on the Lampadii Diptych (art.com)

Chariot racing depicted on the Lampadii Diptych (art.com)

The life of Porphyrius the Charioteer is not one we can dive in to. Very little is known about him but thanks to two unusual sources we can sketch the existence of this fascinating character. In part one we explore the history of Roman spectacles so that we can fully understand the context of Porphyrius’ world.

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 2 Comments

Episode 110 – The Four Wives of Leo VI

Leo (kneeling) venerating Christ from a mosaic in the Hagia Sophia

Leo (kneeling) venerating Christ from a mosaic in the Hagia Sophia

Leo enters the second half of his reign desperate to leave the Empire to a healthy son. Meanwhile his military are successful on land but suffer at sea.

Period: 900-912

Download: The Four Wives of Leo VI

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Subscription Update

Hello everyone, this is an update on the subscriptions and the Byzantine stories series.

It was the 26th July 2015 when I released the special feed which you can subscribe to that gives you access to all the paid-for episodes I’ve produced.

We are now 2 weeks away from that 12 month period coming to an end. For those of you who bought the subscription back then, you will soon get an email offering you the chance to resubscribe.

The price has gone up to $42 as the History of Byzantium will soon be my only job. It’s very exciting as I can spend more time researching the show, producing episodes more quickly and discovering more fascinating lives that the narrative glossed over in our Byzantine Stories series.

You can resubscribe as soon as you receive the reminder email. Your new 12 month sub will begin when your old one ends so you can renew early and be all set up ahead of schedule.

In that 12 month period you will get another six bonus episodes. In addition to the six you got in this 12 month period. And don’t worry, number six for this year is just about to come out. It covers the life of the greatest charioteer of the 6th century but also delves into the history of Roman chariot racing and the Hippodrome in particular. It’s going to be a two part episode. So part 1 will be your sixth bonus episode and part 2 will be the first of the new 12 month period.

For those of you who subscribed later on in 2015 or in 2016, you don’t need to do anything. You will get an email reminder 2 weeks before your sub comes due.

Let me know if you have any questions thehistoryofbyzantium@gmail.com. And thank you for listening.

Robin

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Episode 109 – Leo the Wise?

Leo VI (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Leo VI (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

Basil’s son Leo was known as “the Wise” during his lifetime. We get to know the new Emperor and explore if this reputation was justified.

Period: 886-900

Download: Leo the Wise?

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Leo VI (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Leo VI (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

The Romans flee from the Bulgars at Boulgarofygon (from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes)

The Romans flee from the Bulgars at Boulgarofygon (from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes)

Categories: Podcast | 5 Comments

Episode 108 – Known Unknowns

Basil I (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Basil I (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

We follow Basil’s time in office as tries to wash away the sin of murder and secure legitimacy for his new dynasty. He also tests the limits of Byzantium’s growing power in East and West.

Period: 867-886

Download: Known Unknowns

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Basil on ship (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Basil on ship (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

Scanned poorly from Treadgold's Byzantine State and Society

Scanned poorly from Treadgold’s Byzantine State and Society

Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Episode 107 – Keeping up with the Macedonians

Michael III the Drunkard and Basil the Macedonian (scanned from Treadgold, originally from the Modena copy of John Zonaras' history)

Michael III “the Drunkard” and Basil “the Macedonian” (scanned from Treadgold, originally from the Modena copy of John Zonaras’ history)

Basil I on right, enthroned Jesus on left (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Basil I on right, enthroned Jesus on left (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

We chart the rise of Basil the Macedonian and his murder of both Bardas and Michael. We also look at how Basil’s descendants would re-brand Michael as “the Drunkard” before saying goodbye to the Amorion Dynasty.

Period: 866-867

Download: Keeping up with the Macedonians

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Categories: Podcast | 6 Comments

Byzantine Stories Episode 2 – Symeon the Stylite

Symeon the Stylite (oca.org)

Symeon the Stylite (oca.org)

Church of Saint Simeon Stylites (wikipedia)

Church of Saint Simeon Stylites (wikipedia)

Pillar base at the church (wikipedia)

Pillar base at the church (wikipedia)

What the church would have looked like

What the church would have looked like

An image from the film Simon of the Desert (cca.org)

An image from the film Simon of the Desert (cca.org)

Plaque of Symeon (in the Louvre)

Plaque of Symeon (in the Louvre)

Symeon's enclosure in Syria

Symeon’s enclosure in Syria

We explore the life of Symeon the Stylite (c388-459 AD). A Syrian country boy, Symeon joined a monastery as a teenager and would go on to found his own establishment. There he built a pillar and spent decades standing on it praying to God. He also became a miracle worker and wise-man for local towns and villages. We learn about the stories told about Symeon but also ask what do they mean? How did he survive up there? Did he really perform miracles? (63 minutes)

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 6 Comments

Byzantine Stories Episode 2 Announcement

Listen here for an announcement about the second episode in the Byzantine Stories series and an increase in the subscription price.

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Episode 106 – Mother and Uncle

Michael III (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Michael III (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Photius the Patriarch of Constantinople (iconograms.org)

Photius the Patriarch of Constantinople (iconograms.org)

Theodora and Theoctistus rule for young Michael until he comes of age. Then Uncle Bardas takes over the government. Meanwhile the Romans begin to gain the upper hand in Anatolia while a schism with the Papacy looms.

Period: 842-867

Download: Mother and Uncle

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