Episode 55 – Why did the Romans lose?

Why did the Romans lose control of their Eastern provinces so easily?

The terrain of Europe and the Middle East from Colin McEvedy's Atlas of Medieval Europe

The terrain of Europe and the Middle East from Colin McEvedy’s Atlas of Medieval Europe

Period: 602-695

Download: Episode 55 – Why did the Romans lose?

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Categories: Podcast | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Episode 55 – Why did the Romans lose?

  1. Glad to see a new episode out! I’m very much looking forward to getting onto the 8th century. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Episode 55 – Why did the Romans lose? - Byzantium

  3. The tempo of this episode is way too fast. It’s almost mechanical. Dial it back to no more than 10% of natural tempo, if anything.

  4. I take that back. The tempo is fine. My podcaster app spontaneously changed it’s playback speed!

  5. Darien

    Does the donate button convert to your currency ( sadly, very sadly I’m new to donating to a podcast, was hoping to give my first to either Dan Carlin or you, Mr. Pierson. Very sorry for the ignorance)? Would you get the full fifty bucks? Also, would that unlocked episode 28 ( Theodora takes over during Justinian’s coma episode)? Again, new. Many pardons but I don’t know rest till I know I’ve helped this podcast.

  6. Darien

    On the same subject before it drops to the ether, any other way of helping the podcast/you?

    • Thanks so much for your kind support. Yes when you click on donate the Paypal system will work with whatever currency you give in. If you don’t have a Paypal account it should let you use a card. If you’d like episode 28 then yes I can send you an email link as part of the donation. Right now that is all the support I need 🙂

  7. Emperor Justin II

    I just wanted to make a recommendation. There is an excellent website about the history of the Persian Sassanian Empire and the other Persian Empires, exploring Persian history king by king. This is persianempire.info, and I think it should be good for new listeners who are exploring Persian history and may want a context of what is going on.

  8. Robin,

    Still catching up with the new batch. I think this one hits it on the head: The Arab invasions hit the (Eastern) Romans at a spectacularly bad time. Heraclius now had enough resources for just one push, just one effort, and when that failed…

    Had it been just a generation before or perhaps a generation after…

  9. I don’t think it’s really been discussed, but I occurred to me that a substantial bonus for the Arab invaders was the religious zeal they carried. I’m sure psychologists and perhaps anthropologists have done studies on this, but the fervour of “religious righteousness” and coming off the back of victories “in the name of your God” in the Arabian peninsula surely made a huge difference to the mindset and passion of the Arab invaders. On the flip side, the Romans were mainly newly-trained soldiers, with little no no experience in serious combat or larger campaigns (if they did have experience, it was probably only psychologically deflating, since they would have mainly been losses!).

  10. Nick

    I am not sure I agree with your premise that the “Romans lost” The Byzantines were later on able to resume the offensive against the Arabs and didn’t fall to the turks for a couple hundred years after the Arab Caliphates had fallen to them. They lost some territory but the Empire, for instance, as it was to be found under Basil II was more than a match for any islamic powers. Well, at least from what I’ve read

  11. Copper

    I’m really looking forward to the rest of the end of the century episodes – it’s certainly been a hell of a century! And it’s fascinating thinking about how different politics and wars were so long ago.

  12. catrionaleven

    Super interesting! I’m looking forward to these end of the century episodes – it sure has been a hell of a century!

  13. PawelS

    If I hear that the Arab governor of Syria conducted the offensive war with the Romans, and I understand using nearly only resources of Syria, I can’t agree that Romans didn’t have resources, like Egypt. Certainly in 7th century boys still become adult men every year. Of course in smaller number because of the plague and of course recruits after months training are not as danger as professional soldiers after 2 years of training, but it would be some force. During punic wars Romans were able to mobilize new dozens of thousands of recruits year after year from Italy alone, sometimes including slaves. Yes, Duncan talked about socio-economic changes that made it difficult, but not impossible and perspective of a raid makes easier to tax reacher part of society. I’m very interested when Romans stop attempting to draft.

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