Episode 158 – The Legend Slayer

It never happened but it does look cool. Picture by Vasil Goranov

It probably never happened but it does look cool. Picture by Vasil Goranov

I answer some listener questions about Basil II and Byzantine first names.

Period: 913-1025

Download: The Legend Slayer

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Update on the schedule and Istanbul

An update on the podcast schedule and the Istanbul project: here

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Episode 157 – The Culmination

Basil II in Georgia

Basil II in Georgia

We cover Basil’s last few years as he deals with the Fatimids, the Georgians and his own rebellious soldiers. We then wrap up his reign and bring our century to a close.

Period: 1019-1025

Download: The Culmination

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Episode 156 – The Half Blind Leading the Blind

Reconstruction of Samuil of Bulgaria

Reconstruction of Samuil of Bulgaria

We discuss campaigning in the Balkans, the end of the Bulgarian war and the legend of the Bulgar Slayer.

Period: 1004-1019

Download: The Half Blind Leading the Blind

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Basil II at the walls of Ohrid (pinterest)

Basil II at the walls of Ohrid (pinterest)

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Episode 155 – The Year 1000

Basil II in generic action (worldhistoryplus.com)

Basil II in generic action (worldhistoryplus.com)

Basil continues his campaigns against the Fatimids and the Bulgarians. We also discuss the turning of the year 1000.

Period: 997-1004

Download: The Year 1000

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Episode 154 – A Cat Among Mice

The Balkans 976 AD

The Balkans 976 AD

We discuss the origins of the revived Bulgarian Empire and follow Basil as he campaigns against them and the Fatimids in the East.

Period: 990-997

Download: A Cat Among Mice

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Episode 153 – Basil II

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

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

Finally Basil II stands alone as master of the Roman world. Let’s get to know him.

Period: 976-996

Download: Basil II

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Nomisma histamenon of Basil II (Constantine VIII on right, Dumbarton Oaks)

Nomisma histamenon of Basil II (Constantine VIII on right, Dumbarton Oaks)

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Episode 152 – Bardas Phokas

Civil war resumes as both Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phokas rebel against Basil. An epic showdown follows which drags the Bulgarians, the Rus, Varangians, Arabs, Armenians and Georgians into the contest.

Period: 983-989

Download: Bardas Phokas

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Episode 151 – Bardas Sclerus

The armies of Skleros and Phokas clash (from the Madrid copy of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes)

The armies of Skleros and Phokas clash (from the Madrid copy of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes)

The Iviron Monastery on Mount Athos

The Iviron Monastery on Mount Athos

The civil war continues with Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phokas locking horns. Although the Imperial side emerge victorious, the price is years of tension with their new Domestic.

Period: 977-983

Download: Bardas Sclerus

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Podcasting in Istanbul?

Hello everyone,

Robin here. I need your feedback. I’ve had an idea and I’m excited about it. But I need you to tell me what you think of it.

I would like to go to Istanbul and spend a week there, and visit all the Byzantine sites I can. During my stay I would record material for the podcast, including my first reactions on seeing the sites. I’ve never been there before so I think that would be really fun.

Then I would create audio guides for the major sites. So that when you visit the city one day, you could have your own History of Byzantium guided tour. Not only would I talk you through what you can see, but also what you can’t. Describing the cityscape as it would have been to help immerse you in the experience.

The Theodossian Walls

The Theodossian Walls

For those who don’t want to wait I could take footage and pictures and create videos walking you around the sites. I would also create a proper map of all the Byzantine buildings and ruins that you can visit. Nothing complete seems to exist online and with only a quick trawl I’ve found nearly 50 places that I want to see.

Part of what’s motivating me is that I wish something like this had existed when I went to Rome a few years ago. There are so many pieces of the ancient world still lying around that don’t make it into mainstream guidebooks. And even if you do find them there’s no one around to tell you about their history.

If I was able to go to Istanbul I could also arrange a meet-up with any listeners who were able to travel there at the same time. We could visit the Hagia Sophia together or walk along the walls.

I did explore the idea of arranging a professional tour but there are many obstacles. And the company who ran Mike Duncan’s trips no longer operate them. Anyway, I like the idea of doing this independently and leaving it up to you to choose whether you want to be a part of it.

So please can you give me your feedback? What do you think of the idea? If I were to go to Istanbul what else could I do there? What else could I record? What would you like to hear or see? Or be a part of? Comment on this post to get a conversation going. I’m sure there are great ideas out there if we put our heads together.

If this idea is not for you, I’d still really appreciate hearing from you. To save you time I’ve created the poll above. It’s just one question to gauge your level of enthusiasm. It will only take 10 seconds and it would be hugely helpful.

Thank you for taking time out to help me with this. If things go well then we’re talking about a visit sometime in 2018. So there’s plenty of time to go but any thoughts or reactions to the idea are needed now. I’ll keep you updated.

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