Episode 68 – Leo III

Leo III (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Leo III (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

A solidus of Leo III (from the Dumbarton Oaks collection)

A solidus of Leo III (from the Dumbarton Oaks collection)

We trace the origins of Leo III from his family’s relocation to Thrace, his service in the Caucasus through to his interaction with the invading Arabs.

Period: 705-716

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Categories: Podcast | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Episode 68 – Leo III

  1. ArcticXerxes

    *Caucasus (fix spelling)

  2. Curonian

    Yay, more Byzantium. Also, important question: Have you maybe thought about doing a nice group chat with Mike Duncan and Dan Carlin? Because, you totally should. I’d pay for that.

    Also, I might be the odd guy here, but I’d be way happier with longer, about an hour long podcasts. Even if they are for sale.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the podcasts. I think the next one will be at least an hour long 🙂 As for Mike and Dan, one day that would be lovely, right now I don’t think they know who I am…

      • Curonian

        I kinda made sure they do know. I’m a geek store/club owner from Latvia, and was emailing them about a skype conversation for the interest of my fellow geeks. So yeah. And btw, If you want any free cataphract miniatures, let me know.

      • Mike has never said anything to you about you continuing his podcast? For some reason I thought he had mentioned it before.

      • I wrote to him when I began but I’m not sure he saw it. He said in his Reddit AMA that he knew the podcast existed.

    • @Curonian Thanks so much for the offer. And thanks for suggesting it to Mike 🙂

  3. CofCProf

    Maybe a suggestion for you on this website. I know you have given several book suggestions on audible at the beginning of many of the podcasts. I would like to eventually go check them out but never think about them when I’m listening. But after the podcasts, I can’t remember what the book suggestion was nor remember even which podcast it was exactly. So I was wondering if you might consider making a list of the audible books you have suggested. I am sure that some of them are in your bibliography but I don’t know which you have actually suggested on the various podcasts.

    P.S. I absolutely love this podcast! I was a huge fan of History of Rome and somewhat depressed when Mike Duncan finished it with the fall of the west. It was exciting to see this step in. I will admit that I thought the early show were maybe not the greatest but you have truly found your stride now and I always eagerly await new episodes. Having gotten hooked on Lars Brownsworth’s podcasts and then his book Lost to the West, this has been an awesome podcast in filling in lots of info where Brownsworth took shortcuts between the lesser known emperors. I am already dreading the day this podcast ends…

  4. I am enjoying the series. Though I have only just started. Thank you for all the effort.

    One small point: surely the better designation for years of this era is CE rather than AD? That is what I see more often in academic and educational discourse.

    And we’re hardly a Christian country these days :-).

    • Hey, I’m sure you’re correct. I grew up with AD so I stuck with it. I do prefer the consonantal contrast with BC. But if others complain I’m happy to consider changing but so far you are the first.

    • Mark from Illinois

      I’m not sure why everyone can’t agree that the CE/BCE dating system is offensive and terrible. It manages to fail at its supposed goals of secularizing (because it still uses [one calculation of] the birth of Jesus as its central point) and de-Western-Europeanizing (because it still says that a [to everyone else arbitrary] system invented in western Europe ought to be the common system of all humankind) the calendar, while also seemingly deliberately rubbing Christians’ noses in the fact that they don’t dominate the discourse anymore, and scoffing at 2,000 years of Christian heritage. It ought to offend pretty much everyone: non-Westerners, non-Christians, secularists, Christians, and the merely grumpily old-fashioned like myself. I’m not sure why it’s spread so much as it has.

      • Okay… but can we all agree that B.C. and A.D. were just the dumbest, too?

        First of all, one is Latin and one is English, leading every school kid to assume that if B.C. means “before Christ,” A.D. must mean “after death” until they finally figure out what Latin is.

        And perhaps because only one of them is in Latin, we write A.D. as “A.D.” or even “AD” when by all rights it should be “a.d.” just like “i.e.” and “e.g.” and “a.m.” and “p.m.” and every other Latin-based usage is supposed to be. (And yes, a.m. and p.m. are supposed to be lowercase, and if you don’t like it, suck eggs.)

        Then there’s the whole controversy over whether to use periods or not, with various sources of grammar orthodoxy split on the decision, with some allowing both. And don’t get me STARTED on the fact that B.C. is supposed to come AFTER the year but A.D. comes before it.

        And the whole thing is a joke, because Christ couldn’t even have been born in 1 AD! Or is it Zero AD? Or rather AD 0? Whatever it was, the Herod of his birth was dead by then, so Jesus must have been born earlier. Maybe.

        If we’re going to redo the years anyway, and I think we should, I prefer the Holocene Era, or HE. It means that we don’t have to do math backwards in our heads to figure out how many years old Cicero was during a given campaign of Julius Caesar, for example, because it makes all of history count FORWARDS instead of backwards. 100 B.C. is 9900 HE, 92 B.C. is 9908 HE, etc. You don’t have to convert in your head. And I find that it makes antiquity seem more relevant, as most of it is not tucked away beyond the horizon of that A.D. 1 boundary.

        My only complaint about HE is that it needs to adjust its start date. Right now it is 12019 HE, but I think it should be 11719 HE, based on what scientists have decided about the Holocene. That gets us away from being based at all on the supposed birth of Christ, too. We should change it, then we should stick with it no matter what science actually reveals about the Holocene later.

        If anyone would like to read the rest of my manifesto, I have it all rolled up in a large scroll that I made by taping computer paper together end-to-end and sticking it in this old pneumatic tube I found in a dumpster…

    • Klas

      I much prefer AD. CE just seems untraditional and like bending to those people that want to make everything into politics. You have to remember that in the end of the day most normal academics have their salaries paid by taxmoney, ie political money.

  5. Ahmed

    It is Very interesting..i can’t wait for The Next episode…
    When is the next one Due.?
    It would be great if you make a episode on christianity under byzantine and how they flourished till now ( before Monster appeared) & Byzantiums influence on Early Arab christian kingdom

    Thumbs up for your work
    Love from The Messed up East

  6. Priyankar Kandarpa

    Hi there Robin 🙂
    I KNOW I shouldn’t ask you about why you didn’t cover this because the Arabs are about to besiege Constantinople but…
    the Venetian Republic? I believe it was founded in 697 so what would the Imperial response have been?

    • As far as I know that date comes from a much later Venetian source. I haven’t read much on this but my understanding is that though practically independent in many ways Venice would remain part of the Empire until well into the mid-9th century.

  7. DanDownUnder

    I must declare a preference for AD, besides being brought up with AD & a bit of a traditionalist (is this BCE/CE thing a fad, soon to be replaced with some other label?) I find it quite appropriate on a history of Byzantium to use AD, after all Constantine was intimately connected to both Byzantium & Christianity, cheers & keep the good pods coming!

  8. I prefer the use of AD. Given how important Christianity was to the history of Byzantium it is almost disrespectful not to use the term in a series about them. Besides, I am used to it!

  9. Another great episode!

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