Episode 84 – The Leftovers

We explore the lives of the former Romans of Syria, Palestine and Egypt. We discuss the survival of language and Christianity and answer other listener questions. We also look at what the Romans and Arabs really thought of one another.

Period: 695-802

Download: The Leftovers

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Categories: Podcast | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Episode 84 – The Leftovers

  1. Great podcast, wanted to share what happened with me today:

    Random survey woman, seeing me with earphones: What kind of music are you listening to, right now?
    Me: Well, it’s The History of Byzantium, by Robert Pierson;Currently he’s talking about theological discussions between Eastern Roman christian authorities and the educated elite of the Abbasid caliphate in the 8th century.
    Survey woman: So, progressive rock then? Or is it hipsterish indie stuff?
    Me: Sure…very indie stuff.

  2. ArcticXerxes

    There are some repeated segments in the audio file which you might want to edit out:

    “Certainly, in 800 there are almost no references to the Arabs or mosques in the texts that survive from the south. Over time that would change, but the native Christian community survived in large numbers well into the 13th and 14th century” (ca. 11:00)


    “Tacitus famously” (ca. 26:00)

    Otherwise, great episode!

  3. Guy

    Hi, really enjoying the podcast. Despite taking massive interest in Byzantine history there is still so much I have learned from this, particularily about daily life.

    However there is one thing I have been curious about as it hasn’t really been brought up in the podcast too much and good sources have been difficult to find.

    Said thing being; what did the architecture of the empire look like at this point? There is alot of interest and research into the architecture of Ancient Rome and it’s cities but for Byzantium it seems quite scarce.

    Did cities like Rome and Athens for example still have a very classical feel or had it changed drastically during the 6th-9th centuries?

    If the question is a bit too big it might be good if you would be able to squeeze it into some future End of the Century episode.

    Just curious, otherwise keep up the great work!

  4. A very interesting episode! I have just recently found out about your podcast, but already addicted haha

    Great work, keep it up!

  5. Hello. Loving the episodes. I don’t know if this would find a place in an episode, but a lot of the discussion has involved Chalcedonian/monophysite conflict. There was a major announcement today involving substantial improvement in this area:


    This is a big step in repairing a rift in Christianity that (as we have seen) has been around for a LONG time. (Part of the agreement is that we’re not supposed to call them “monophysites” anymore. We can call them “miaphysites.” Apparently “monophysite” is not an accurate reflection of their position.)

  6. Nicholas Haddad

    As a huge fan of The History of Rome podcast I am delighted to have found this exceptional continuation of the history of the Roman Empire.

  7. Dolmande

    Hello Robin, I’m just getting there in the podcast and so far I love it. I listened to this exact episode a few days ago and seem to recall that you wondered how could the arabs depict women from the Roman Empire as being sometimes blonde when it is not the typical features of Anatolia. Just a quick thought but one beggining of a response lies in the previous episodes where you mentionned that various emperors would relocate thousands of slavs to repopulate that region. From there on it would not be too rare to have a portion on roman anatolian population with paler skin and blonde hair.

    • That’s a great point. I don’t know enough about the Arabic literature to know how seriously to take the statement about Roman women. Byzantine literature is full of stereotypes, rhetoric and propaganda. So it’s possible that this account was a generic Middle East one about women from Western Europe. And wasn’t intended to be a realistic statement about the kind of women scooped up in Eastern Anatolia during a raid.

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