Episode 196 – Cultural Revival

Symeon the New Theologian (johnsanidopoulos.com)

Symeon the New Theologian (johnsanidopoulos.com)

We explore the revival of intellectual and literary culture over the past century. We focus particularly on the work of Michael Psellos and Symeon the New Theologian.

Period: 950-1080

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Categories: Podcast | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Episode 196 – Cultural Revival

  1. Martin A

    Wow! New Episode! Great!

    OT: Which emperor asked the patriarch for a more martial christian message but got turned down, back in the day when the main threat was the Caliphate? Anyone remembers? Which episode was this mentioned in? (need this tidbit in a conversation about Christianity)

  2. Evan Mangone

    Hi Robin,

    I loved this episode. In fact, I think it’d be a great topic for one of your Byzantine Stories. Just the idea of Michael Psellos, Michael Attallieates, and Christopher of Mytilene all interacting in the court of various emperors is fascinating. I know Mytilene was a lot older than the other two so I wonder if they looked up to him or thought he was old fashioned and out of touch. I also wonder if these three men could truly comprehend the danger their empire was in: theirs no doubt they recognized danger… but did they really see the Turks as an existential threat?

    Just a thought. I know this is a busy time for you, but I have a hunch you want to spend more time with Byzantium’s cultural revival as well 🙂

    • Thanks. And no I don’t think the Turks were seen as an existential crisis until it was too late. Even till the end of Alexios’ reign I think they were viewed like the Pechenegs and other steppe tribes who’d migrated into the Balkans. i.e. a nuisance. A militarily threatening nuisance. But ultimately a nuisance. A people incapable of organising themselves into a permanent threat and one that could be divided and conquered at some point.

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