Episode 31 – Getting the Band Back Together

The remains of the Long Walls in Thrace (panoramio.com/photo/20959714)

The remains of the Long Walls in Thrace (panoramio.com/photo/20959714)

A series of natural disasters and domestic disturbances mar the final years of Justinian’s reign. We also meet the Avars, bring silk to Byzantium and give Belisarius one last chance to shine.

Period: 550-565

Download: Episode 31 – Getting the Band Back Together

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

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Categories: Podcast | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Episode 31 – Getting the Band Back Together

  1. Jay

    Dude, 16 episodes on Justinian (correct me if I’ve counted wrong)? That’s more than the number of episodes preceding him… at this point, a better name for this podcast would be “The History of Justinian”. You have a thing for this guy?

    • Hopefully next episode will better sum up the reasoning for the time spent on Justinian. But realistically it’s just that Mike would never have spent a whole episode on the Battle of Dara, The Plague or the Nika Riots. It just wasn’t his style.

  2. A proposal: could you perhaps try asking for contributions rather than picking an episode to sell for $5? My argument is as follows. Anybody who doesn’t want to kick in the 5 bucks will just miss out the 5-buck episode. Most others would likely be happy to contribute $5 to make sure we get all the way to 1453. And calculating utilities, the hassle value of buying an episode, which on my hardware ends up getting stored separately from other episodes, is a cost. This cost can lead to obscene drunken diatribes from listeners, which are a BIG embarrassment to hungover listeners the next morning–when morning is bad enough ;-> So, heck, why not as an experiment just ask for contributions?

    Just my $.02. Love your stuff! Now that Justinian has popped his clogs, I’m looking forward to my personal favorite, Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos.

    I am, yours faithfully, Thecla Porphyrogenita of Byzantium Novum http://www.byzantiumnovum.org/, Countess of California.

  3. rich

    Just bought the fundraising episode today, with a little extra thrown in because the podcast is amazing (every bit as good as the History of Rome, and in some ways better).

    I’d like to point out something to consider with regard to the fundraising method, which was — If you buy this episode and if enough other people also buy the episode, the podcast will continue.

    The problem with that approach is that someone cheap, like me, might consider not buying the podcast or not contributing more than $5 because my contribution would be worthless if not enough other people also contribute and, as a result, the podcast was halted.

    Don’t get me wrong, the podcast has been so good that it warrants a donation just for the past episodes. But the methodology of the fundraising method did raise the perception that one might contribute and get nothing in return going forward other than the one episode.

    However, in addition to being cheap, I’m also not that bright, so I can’t offer a solution to the alleged problem.

    Thanks for your wonderful storytelling and your excellent podcast!

  4. Hey guys,

    Thanks for giving the situation some thought.

    E.H. – I just emailed you with an attempted solution to get the episode to slot into the right place on Itunes.

    The reason I went for a sale is that I had to guarantee that money would come in by a certain time. If I had left it to donations I’m sure lots of people would have been happy to contribute but would have had no urgency to do so.

    It may surprise you to learn (it surprised me!) but a huge amount of people don’t download the episode within a week of its release. They roll in weeks and months later for whatever reason. So I knew I had to compel a contribution if I was going to make the podcast part of my work life.

    I was confident though that there were enough people to guarantee that their donation would not be in vain and I would be able to continue the story for at least a little longer. And so it has shown.

    The big problem with the sale functionality is that my web designer created the password system to interact with a browser and Iphones and Ipads refuse to cooperate. So that’s created a whole unforseen headache. Hopefully I’ve been able to work around it and next time will have to have the ep for sale in the Itunes store so people can receive it the way they are used to.

    I’d love to be able to leave it to people to donate but it’s not practical to ensure I pay bills on time. I hope that by the time I need to hold another sale people will get the idea that I’m not a fly-by-night guy. I’ve been podcasting for 6 years now and with only a small contribution every year we can get to 1453 easily.

    I hope that’s a fair deal and trust will be earned.
    Robin

    • Jeff sloan

      Im fine with an episode sale every now
      And then. It is a small pain for people using itunes, but so what.

      Great job. Its good to hear that the podcast will continue.

  5. Joshua

    I liked the episodes on Justinian because there is so much to cover. I can imagine by the time we get to the early 7th century and the rise of Islam there will many eposides covering those important years. Another interesting thing to note from this episode is how the Arabs are playing a more important role in the story though still in the background at this time. I’ve read how justinian disbanded the frontier troops along the borders of the Levant and instead allowed the Ghassanid Arabs to protect it instead. At the time this policy could make sense as move along with our story this and other legacies of Justinian will come to haunt the empire.

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