Episode 103 – God-Loving

The Golden Automata of the throne room (from camerainthesun.com)

The Golden Automata of the throne room (from camerainthesun.com)

Theophilus' inscription on the Sea Walls (historum.com)

Theophilus’ inscription on the Sea Walls (historum.com)

Byzantine Beacon System

Byzantine Beacon System

Young Theophilus becomes Emperor at a rare moment of internal peace. We look at his domestic policies across his 13 year reign and touch on his non-Anatolian foreign policy.

Period: 829-842

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Categories: Podcast | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Episode 103 – God-Loving

  1. Bob

    Source/Link for *The Golden Automata of the throne room*… http://camerainthesun.com/?p=27295

    • cniedan

      Many thanks for the link, Bob. I wrote that post in response to Eugen Weber’s long-ago brief overview of the Byzantines, and have enjoyed listening to a dozen in-depth episodes (so far) about them here.

  2. Jay

    With Theophilus, the story really begins to get good (not that it wasn’t before). Next comes the Sack of Amorium (spoiler, I know), then the coming of the Macedonian Dynasty. Can’t wait, Robin!

  3. Great episode as usual really intriguing emperor. Starts diving into the period that defined Byzantine golden age.

  4. Robin, loved the show as usual. I was sorry that it skipped over the story of Saint Kassia at Theophilus’s bridal show. It would have been a good opportunity to introduce a fascinating Byzantine woman writer.


    Maybe Kassia would be a good subject of her own episode.

  5. Rick

    Robin, I listened with interest about the beacon system, which sounds much like Indian smoke signals from old west lore. I’m not sure how accurate the supplied map on your website is as it shows eight beacon sites. It’s about 900 km (550 mi) from Adana to Istanbul (er…Constantinople) as the crow flies. Even placed on higher peaks, could the fire/smoke be reliably seen from one post to the next at give or take 100 km (62 mi)?

    • There is a great deal to wonder about with this system. I suspect it never worked quite how we might imagine. And certainly its possible that there were far more potential beacon stations than are reported. My suspicion would be that the system never really worked in a solid relay the way LoftheR depicted. Rarely would the Emperors have needed to know so quickly about a raid. They almost never sprinted out to try and meet them. The signals would have been far more useful for local defence. To alert local Theme troops to start herding animals into forts.

  6. Pingback: ExecutedToday.com » 831: St. Euthymius of Sardis, iconophile

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