Episode 51 – The Themes

Constans II uses the Muslim civil war to reorganise the Roman military in the East. Then he travels to the West making a new home for himself in Syracuse in Sicily.

Solidus of Constans II (from Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Solidus of Constans II (from Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

The Themes in 668 AD from A History of the Byzantine State and Society by Warren Treadgold

The Themes in 668 AD from A History of the Byzantine State and Society by Warren Treadgold

Period: 656-668

Download: Episode 51 – The Themes

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Categories: Podcast | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Episode 51 – The Themes

  1. ArcticXerxes

    Thanks for posting an updated map! It really helps to see the current frontiers while following along with the podcast.

  2. So, I have a question for your upcoming “answer questions at the end of the century” podcast. You mention the Muslim Arab calvary as camels. On the one hand, I’ve seen Lawrence of Arabia, so, I guess, duh. But on the other hand, really? They had a whole calvary of camels? Could you talk about how that compared to a calvary of horses? (Speed, agility, maneuverability, ability to shoot from, ability to shoot from while riding backwards, advantages, disadvantages…).

    • Christopher

      Camels and horses were both used as cavalry (not calvary) by Arabs. Camels had more sustainability in the desert since they could go longer without water than horses. This means camels were used for longer range campaigns and missions. Horses were used when more speed and maneuverability were required.

      • So what about when they went head to head in battle? Or I guess they’d just use what they came in on? Wouldn’t that give the Muslim Arabs a disadvantage, using larger, slower, less maneuverable camels against faster, more lithe horses in battle?

  3. Tyes

    Could you go into more details about the Arabs, their army and the reason for their success years after the original invasion. They’ve just taken over a massive area where the majority of the population is nothing like them. So far I get the feeling that they are running their territory like the Vandals and Goths. They are the elite members of society and all able bodied men are basically the army. It makes me wonder how they are able to sustain years of fighting without diminishing their population and power over the natives like the Goths and Vandals.

  4. Excellent questions, keep them coming 🙂

  5. Pingback: Episode 51 – The Themes - Byzantium

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