The Persians conquer Egypt as Nicetas fails to defend Alexandria. Heraclius tries to find a way to avoid blame for this disaster and acquire the resources to fight back.
Map: The blue parts of the map show the land held by the Byzantine Empire in 620 AD.
(The Map comes from this handy site showing the Roman Empire’s 18 centuries in 19 maps. http://4umi.com/image/map/rome/19maps.php)
Download: Episode 45 – The Empty Fleet
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Brilliant. Brilliant storytelling. Thank you.
Fantastic episode. Can’t wait for the next one!
Great job. Keep up the good work.
Egypt had been a province of the Roman Empire since Augustus annexed it in 30BC. I can’t believe the Persians finally managed to take the province, its the first time since 331BC that a Persian dynasty has occupied the country/province. SPOILER ALLERT: DONT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT! But i have read about Heraclius and i know that this won’t be the status quo for ever, hint Heraclius marches further east than Trajan!
Also i love your podcast
Thank you all so much for the encouragement 🙂
Great episode, and I can’t wait for the next.
Why was the capture of Egypt enough to force Heraclius to cancel the bread dole? Back during the days before the western empire fell, Africa supplied Rome and Italy with much of their grain and Egypt supplied Constantinople and the east. After Italy’s population plunged due to the plague and Gothic wars, there should have been extra grain available to supply the capital, especially after its population was reduced by the plague.
I suspect the answer has to do with the map on the top of this post, which shows the Romans owning a lot of coastal fortresses with very little hinterland to supply them locally, but would love to hear your answer.