Episode 69 – Lost to the West

Greek Fire as depicted in the Madrid Skylitzes

Greek Fire as depicted in the Madrid Skylitzes

Tervel leads the Bulgars on an attack on the Arab forces besieging Constantinople by Vasil Goranov

Tervel leads the Bulgars on an attack on the Arabs by Vasil Goranov

Maslama puts Constantinople under siege. The Romans look to the heavens for a sign that God still favours them.

Period: 717-718

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Categories: Podcast | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Episode 69 – Lost to the West

  1. Joshua

    I was waiting for this for awhile but as usual the History of Byzantium does not disappoint. I like the way you set the eposide up. Often with history it is easy to see things through the lens of our society and project the’s biases into the history we are reading. Movies do this a lot. It is interesting to observe the similarity in the way we think versus our ancestors. I don’t think we are all that much different either. Say someone is in a bad accident and they are the only one to survive, we often say it is a miracle they are still alive. I suppose it is the way we as humans are hard wired to perceive the world around us.

  2. Brilliant episode!

    Although I am curious as for the name of the documentary where Greek Fire was tested and used.

  3. Jay Abbott

    Just an absolutely fantastic episode. You really outdid yourself. Thank You!!

  4. On the podcast I mentioned a documentary about Greek Fire. The one I referred to was from the UK and called “Machines Time Forgot – Fireship.” I can’t find it online but there are pictures here: http://docuwiki.net/index.php?title=Machines_Time_Forgot. Several listeners also recommend this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VNP50Cdkqs from the History Channel.

  5. a Bulgarian fan

    The proper pronunciation is not Tur-vuhl, but rather Tehr-vehl.

    Любов и вафли,
    Анонимен почитател

  6. ddddd

    wow, great episode! took a little longer, but was certainly worth the wait! your podcasting skills really improved since episode 46

  7. Klas

    Great episode, thank you very much!

  8. Benjamin

    Fantastic episode, Robin! Perhaps my favorite yet. I know we are a long ways off yet, but I cannot wait to hear your telling of the Komnenian dynasty. So many great stories there.

  9. Joe Carroll

    Really enjoying the series and this episode. Watching what’s happening in the Middle East, north Africa and the fringes of Europe one can’t help but feel a certain sense of deja vu and empathy with the Byzantines and Christians of the east. Frightening programme on BBC this week called ‘Kill the Christians’ the conflict featured in this podcast continues today to what looks like a final impending endgame.

    • Copper

      A truly excellent episode. A very exciting bit of the narrative (honestly, how has no-one decided to mine these bits of Roman history for tv series or anything?!), and I really love how you begin by capturing the mindset of the time, and then end by pointing out that history is lots of things happening, however tempting it is in retrospect to point to One Big Event. As always, thanks so much for all your work on this amazing podcast!

  10. Keke

    Oh my! I could not sleep due to this very exciting episode! One of the best! Absolutely fantastic 🙂 thank you so much for all your work

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