Episode 140 – Magnificent and Insufferable

John Tzimiskes (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

John Tzimiskes (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

Nicephorus Phokas is murdered by his nephew John Tzimiskes. We discuss the plot, the aftermath and the personalities of both men.

Period: 969

Download: Magnificent and Insufferable

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Moving to Acast

So, you see there’s a new podcast from me. You click on it. And what do you hear? An advert.

And you’re thinking “oh, no.”

Yes, the History of Byzantium has moved to Acast. For those who don’t know Acast is a podcast hosting company who connect shows with advertisers. They host your show for free and share revenue with the podcast producer

As podcasting has become my career, I had to look into the possibility of advertising in order to help provide for the future. I hope you understand.

So, adverts will now play before and after each episode. But they will not interfere with the show itself. The ads will be localised to your market so they should be relevant for you. And they will play on all of the free episodes, including the back catalogue.

This should not affect the members feeds or your subscription to the free feed. However any move like this is bound to affect someone. So if you have any trouble, my apologies. Please delete your existing feed and resubscribe and everything should be fine. Any other issues contact me at thehistoryofbyzantium @ gmail.com.

I hope this is another step in getting us to 1453 and beyond. And I’m hugely grateful for your support.

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Episode 139 – All In A Day’s Work

Bagratuni Armenia circa 1000

Bagratuni Armenia circa 1000

We cover Nicephorus’ foreign policy issues during his final two years in office. Armenian, Bulgarian and Italian concerns then go on hold for one last march through Syria.

Period: 968-9

Download: All In A Day’s Work

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Episode 138 – Abhorring the Palace

The new walls of Nikephoros Phokas from The Making of Byzantium by Mark Whittow

The new walls of Nikephoros Phokas from The Making of Byzantium by Mark Whittow

Monastery of Megisti Lavra (Great Lavra) in Athos - the oldest monastery on Mount Athos

Monastery of Megisti Lavra (Great Lavra) in Athos – the oldest monastery on Mount Athos

Nicephorus stays at home to administer his realm and manages to alienate every strata of society.

Period: 967-8

Download: Abhorring the Palace

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Episode 137 – Cilicia

Cavusin Church, Cappadocia. Inside the left apse you can see the Imperial family (global-geography.org)

Cavusin Church, Cappadocia. Inside the left apse you can see the Imperial family (global-geography.org)

Here is a close up (cappadociaexclusivetravel.com)

Here is a close up (cappadociaexclusivetravel.com)

Top - the Crucifixion. Below - Roman soldiers in procession in support of the Phokades. John Tzimiskes on horse (Alamy Stock photos)

Top – the Crucifixion. Below – Roman soldiers in procession in support of the Phokades. John Tzimiskes on horse (Alamy Stock photos)

Byzantine cavalry charge outside the walls of Tarsus (from the Byzantine military history facebook group)

Byzantine cavalry charge outside the walls of Tarsus (from the Byzantine military history facebook group)

Roman bridge at Mopsuestia, originally built by Justinian (now Misis in Turkey)

Roman bridge at Mopsuestia, originally built by Justinian (now Misis in Turkey)

Nicephorus leads the armies in person against Tarsus and Mopsuestia, bringing Cilicia and Cyprus back into the Empire.

Period: 964-6

Download: Cilicia

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Episode 136 – The White Death of the Saracens

Nicephorus Phocas (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Nicephorus Phocas (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

The image of Nicephorus which the modern illustration is based on

The image of Nicephorus which the modern illustration is based on

Nicephorus II, Virgin Mary on left (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Nicephorus II, Virgin Mary on left (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

We discuss Nicephorus’ life and career and what his rise meant for Romania.

Period: 963-4

Download: The White Death of the Saracens

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Episode 135 – Triumphal Procession

960 - Battle of Andrassus, Leo ambushes Sayf (weaponsandwarfare.com)

960 – Battle of Andrassus, Leo ambushes Sayf (weaponsandwarfare.com)

The Citadel of Aleppo (thewallwillfall.wordpress.com)

The Citadel of Aleppo (thewallwillfall.wordpress.com)

The Citadel of Aleppo (wikipedia)

The Citadel of Aleppo (wikipedia)

We catch up on what Romanus II and Sayf were up to during the Cretan expedition. Then we move forward with Nicephorus Phokas as he sacks Aleppo.

Period: 959-963

Download: Triumphal Procession

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Episode 134 – Third Time’s the Charm

Romanus II (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Romanus II (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Listener NA appeal for help: Click here

With Nicephorus Phokas in charge of the military the Romans win a string of victories against Sayf al-Dawlah. Constantine VII decides to attack Crete again but dies before the expedition sets off.

Period: 954-960

Download: Third Time’s the Charm

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Episode 133 – Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth with Eric McGeer

Byzantine Cataphracts (from Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Osprey)

Byzantine Cataphracts (from Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Osprey)

Square infantry formation (from Sowing the Dragon's Teeth by Eric McGeer)

Square infantry formation (from Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth by Eric McGeer)

Reinforced infantry anticipating an attack and closing the gaps (from Sowing the Dragon's Teeth by Eric McGeer)

Reinforced infantry anticipating an attack and closing the gaps (from Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth by Eric McGeer)

Cavalry formation (from Sowing the Dragon's Teeth by Eric McGeer)

Cavalry formation (from Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth by Eric McGeer)

An interview with Eric McGeer about his book “Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth” which charts the changes in the Roman army as it moved to an offensive deployment in the 10th century.

Period: 10th century

Download: Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth with Eric McGeer

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Episode 132 – Escalating Violence

Another view of the frontier fortresses from CPlakidas

Another view of the frontier fortresses from CPlakidas

We return to the frontier where the Phokas family inflict a series of sharp defeats on Sayf al-Dawla. Sayf starts again by restoring his border fortresses and driving off Roman attacks.

Period: 948-954

Download: Escalating Violence

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