Episode 4 – Give us a Roman Emperor

Anastasius' new bronze coins

Anastasius’ new bronze coins

The Emperor Zeno dies in 491 after trying to appease the monophysites with his ‘Henoticon.’ Zeno’s widow Ariadne then gets to pick his succesor and marries Flavius Anastasius. We have a look at the early years of his reign and the Isaurian War. We see how his financial policies made him popular despite his distaste for the public entertainments.

Period: 482-498

Download: Episode 4 – Give us a Roman Emperor

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

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Categories: Podcast | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Episode 4 – Give us a Roman Emperor

  1. Greg Webb

    Robin, thank you for the new podcast about Zeno, Ariadne, and Anastasius. You are doing a wonderful job, and I look forward to it.

    One of your other listeners mentioned that it might be good it you did a background of Byzantium since it was around since the 7th century BC. I think that may be a good idea too, though it will take you away from continuing the HIstory of Rome since Byzantium was not a part of the Roman Empire until the 2nd century BC. But, more background may be helpful even in Mike Duncan covered the early years of what later came to by called the Byzantine Empire by historians.

    Congratulations on a successful start with The History of Byzantium!

  2. Thank you Robin for picking up the torch in timely fashion and with equal competence.

    You had mentioned that you were planning to go to the death of Justinian and if you are counting votes, I feel that if you are up for it, you should take us to May 29, 1453 which will cover topics such as the rise of Islam, the Church schism, iconoclasm and the first female “Roman” emperor, the spread of Cyrillic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the Crusades, and of course the Fall of Constantinople. Mike was generous to put out an episode every week and if you need 2-3 weeks per episode, I don’t think anyone would object.

    Thank you again for your service.

  3. Dammy


    I am really enjoying this podcast so far, well as far as you have gone. Keep up the good and enjoyable work.

  4. Troy

    Hey Robin, the podcast is really shaping up to be pretty fantastic, and looks to be a great substitute for The history of Rome. I am eagerly awaiting the next episode. Keep up the great work ! 🙂

  5. I just found this podcast after missing the History of Rome and doing a quick internet search. So far so good. Thanks for taking up the mantle. I look forward to catching up on this podcast.

  6. I found that brief description of the Blues and Greens extremely useful! That basic economic, class and religious context gives me a lot more clarity. It is amazing how often the riots are explained in terms of “the citizens of Constantinople took their games very seriously”… even in university courses.

  7. Dylan Rodrigues

    Hi, what are the armies based in Constantinople called? Where can I find more information about them? I searched it up online and couldn’t find anything.

    • Assuming you mean during the 5-7th centuries, they were called the Praesental Armies. The Armies in the Emperor’s presence. They were a central field army from which the Emperor could draw troops to take on campaign or send to the frontiers. That should help you with googling and obviously there will be more to come on the podcast.

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