Episode 15 – Justinian

Mosaic of Justinian from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna

Mosaic of Justinian from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna

We get a thorough introduction to Justinian, Justin’s nephew and presumed heir. We look as Justinian’s education and the kind of worldview he was developing. We follow his rise up the ranks from Palace guard to potential Caesar. Then we swing West to see the deteriorating relations with Theodoric’s Italy. After that its East to see how King Kavad responded to the new Emperor and finally down to the Yemmen to see a holy war unfolding.

Period: 518-525

Download: Episode 15 – Justinian

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

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Categories: Podcast | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Episode 15 – Justinian

  1. Great podcast. I’m an avid follower. I have question. You have said that “someone kept in touch with his friends and family back in somewhere.” How did they keep in touch with each other? The government had a system of passing messages to other parts of the empire and to outside the empire. But what did the normal people do? I don’t think there was a mail service, especially that went outside the empire. Was just giving letters to someone you knew would be going to where you wanted the only way to pass messages? How would you know they got there?

    • Hi Steve, thanks so much for commenting. In this case Justin would have had access to the Imperial post or at least Imperial bureaucrats who would have travelled West and could have passed letters to his family. But you are right that it wasn’t easy to send a letter to a friend unless you could afford to pay for couriers yourself. I can’t tell you a lot more than that right now. In the future if I can I will try and do some Q and A episodes. If you remind me then I will try and get you more details.

  2. mandrake

    You are doing a wonderful job with the series, I just finished the entirety of HoR and it’s amazing how seamless you’ve managed to make the transition to the Eastern empire. I’m currently on episode 10 and just catching up, but I really just wanted to say, thank you!

  3. Oldboot

    I like many others suffered withdrawl symptoms after Mike Duncan regretfully but understandably pulled up stakes and left us hanging at the end of the 5th century. So I was pleasantly suprised to stumble across your podcast which has bravely stepped into these big boots.
    I was a bit hesitant for the first few episodes but you have entered you stride now and I think you are now filling those boots well. Please keep up the great work.

  4. mandrake \ Oldboot – thank you so much for the support. I really appreciate it and I’m glad I’m able to continue the story satisfactorily. I hope I can keep doing Mike’s work justice.

  5. Pete.

    Been running a couple of weeks behind as usual so I’m just dropping in to say hi. Other than us leaving comments do you have anyway of knowing how many listeners you have?

    On another note, we are heading into Winter here (Wisconsin), so with the geese flying south it seems the perfect time to introduce Theodora don’t you think? Grin. I don’t suppose you planned it that way?Thanks again.


  6. I did not plan it that way 🙂 Nor will I be telling that story in the next episode. I get server stats so I have a rough idea of how many people are downloading the podcast and it’s growing all the time which is great. You can see from the Facebook page the likes go up regularly, ditto Itunes reviews which are also handy ways of keeping track.

  7. @Dan – that’s brilliant, how did you find that?

  8. Pingback: LISTEN: Podcasts of the Year | Soft Disturbances

  9. Thanks so much! 🙂

  10. Pingback: Europe 2016: Ravenna – July, 2016 – Operation Alaska 30

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