Episode 104 – God-Fearing

Arab-Byzantine border in Anatolia (author: CPlakidas at Wikipedia)

Arab-Byzantine border in Anatolia (author: CPlakidas at Wikipedia)

We focus on Theophilus’ record on the eastern front. The last gasp of true Caliphal power sees the Emperor harshly punished for his support of the Khurramite rebellion.

Period: 829-838

Download: God-Fearing

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Categories: Podcast | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Episode 104 – God-Fearing

  1. ArcticXerxes

    Having read Gibbon, I was expecting Theophilus to be portrayed as somewhat of a tyrant. It’s interesting that you have depicted him quite positively. I suppose this contrast is because the sources Gibbon drew from were biased against Theophilus because of his iconoclasm?

  2. Andaç

    Finally caught up with the new releases after starting a month ago. Thanks for doing these. Keep up the good work.

    Greetings from Alexandretta (Iskenderun).

  3. Greg

    This is pretty random, but could you go into detail about the chariot races of Constantinople? What do we know about how the races actually proceeded? How long did they go for? I just became very curious about them.

  4. Priyankar Kandapra

    One question I had. Did Theophilus’s victories like that at Sozopetra lead to some strengthening of iconoclasm prior to the disaster at Amorium?

    • Unfortunately there’s no way to know. The chronicles go straight from one campaign to the next. Plus as they are written by Iconophiles they never mention pro-Iconoclast sentiment from the public.

  5. Priyankar Kandapra

    I also hear claims that Caliph Mut’asim was from Sozopetra.

    • Yes that is reported in some places. But there’s a sense of that being too convenient. The Caliph responding by aiming to sack Thophilus’ birthplace (Amorium – which again may not be where he was born either).

  6. Caleb

    I’m surprised that Gibbon would side with the iconophiles on Theophilus due to his biased against Christianity, considering he claimed that it was Christianity that destroyed the Roman Empire

  7. Dimitri

    Like one of the other commenters, I also finally caught up with the podcast after taking a long break (since Leo III). I tend to do this after I catch up so I can binge listen to your podcast. The series gets better and better every time I do this. I feel like this period is now my favorite, but maybe I just think that because I’ve been listening so attentively to your narrative. Anyway I definitely now think someone should produce a movie about Nicepherous, who for some reason I’m totally fascinated with. He had interesting clashes with some of the period’s most famous people – Irene, Charlamagne, and Al-Rashid, and ultimately died in an ambush that would look great on a big screen and had his head turned into a drinking cup. Get on the phone with Hollywood, Robin, and get this movie made!

    I love this podcast. You do a terrific job. I love the History of Rome Podcast too, and without taking anything away from that incredible series, I honestly feel you do a much better job with this one.

    Sadly for me, now that I’m caught up, this is the point in which I have to take another break. I hope you continue doing the great job you’re doing, because I look forward to coming back to trove of great episodes in due time.

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