Episode 42 – In Fairness to Phocas

Copper-alloy steelyard weight. Thought to be a portrait bust of the Emperor Phocas (from the British Museum)

Copper-alloy steelyard weight. Thought to be a portrait bust of the Emperor Phocas (from the British Museum)

The narrative resumes with the new Emperor Phocas having to deal with yet another Persian invasion.

Period: 602-608

Download: Episode 42 – In Fairness to Phocas

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Categories: Podcast | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Episode 42 – In Fairness to Phocas

  1. One question I wish I’d asked for the Questions episode is about the Byzantine Senate. The institution has been mentioned a few times in THOB as well as in the last few episodes of THOR.

    But what was it? Did every major city of the Roman Empire have a Senate, or was there something special about Constantinople? What was its claim to legitimacy? Did other titles of the old Republic survive in the Byzantine era?

    I got a lot out of the Wikipedia article:


    Since the Heracliuses (older and younger) are about to be selected as consuls (!) by the Byzantine Senate, maybe it’s a good time to briefly discuss the institution?

  2. I think I did talk a bit about Senators back in the 5th century walking tour. I don’t think there’s a lot to add. Only Constantinople had a Senate. And to be a Senator was a designation of wealth more than anything else. Their practical power was extremely limited. Titles like Consul and Praetor had either been adapted into something else or dropped.

  3. Pingback: ExecutedToday.com » 610: Phocas, “will you rule better?”

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