The Arabs march on into Mesopotamia and Egypt. Meanwhile the bad news keeps piling up for Heraclius as he nears his final days.
Download: Episode 49 – The Man Who Lived Too Long
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Loving the weekly releases 😉
Great episode, and I was pleasantly surprised by how soon it was ready. 🙂
Here’s a question for the end-of-century discussion: What, in your opinion, marks the turning point between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages? Ever since I started studying this period in detail, the turning point in my mind at least has been the 630s, since they seem to have marked a dramatic end of the traditional geopolitical balance of Christian Rome and Zoroastrian Persia, and the beginning of the long ideological struggle between Christianity and Islam that to a certain degree helps to define the Middle Ages. However, I have also heard many other opinions regarding the beginning point of the Middle Ages. What are your thoughts?
I tend to mark the beginning of the Middle Ages starting after Phocas overthrew Maurice…After this event, the borders of the Empire begin to collapse, as the Persians and Avars/Slavs and Lombards take territory after territory. During the early 600’s, the Empire begins to morph into the “Byzantine Empire”, as it’s territories are reduced to parts of Greece and Anatolia, and the Latin element in the Empire fades. Maurice’s reign is the last time the traditional borders of the Empire hold; in addition, the Greek language and Orthodox religion becomes the definitive culture features of the Empire.
Poor fellow this Heraclius. Clearly a great Emperor, though the times and circumstances constantly conspired against him!
Incidentally, loving that you’re back on a regular schedule now. Appreciate hugely that you fit this in around your day job. 🙂
I’m from Croatia, I love listening to your podcast. You have a good radiophonic voice, sharp and clear yet relaxed.
I can’t wait for the part where South Slavs enter this Byzantium picture. The very notion “the 7th century” rings with a sense of identity in some nations in the Balkans, even today. If or when you deal with this south-slavic topic, bare in mind that you are entering something that is still a modern political topic, rather than something lying deep in the past.
Those 7th century national myths (created much later) still matter in political conciseness around the Balkans. For example Croats proud themselves with it, it’s a foundational myth, a proof that we are in control over this land for 1300 years etc etc… Naturally when the opertunity presents itself we gladly point out that some other nation doesn’t have such a pedigre and that their land is also ours 🙂 Out of those confusions about what is a nation in political sense and what is an ethinc group, a war was born some 23 years ago.
To end this post before it gets really long, I can’t wait to learn more about “the south slavic 7th century”, especially in a wider context (arab invasion).