Corona Virus update

Hello everyone,

Two things have happened in the last 48 hours. I have been told to self isolate for 14 days and the British Library has closed its doors.

I am fine right now it’s just a precaution. I am not taking any time off. I am working on the podcast as usual. I am very lucky that about 80% of the material I need is now available online. So I can continue to research and prepare episodes throughout this difficult time.

Unfortunately some articles and books are only available at the British Library and if I judge that I need to see them before completing an episode then the podcast schedule will suffer.

So the good news is that the work is being done and episodes are being pummelled into shape. But the bad news is I may not be able to release them all until the world outside regains some normality. I know this is not what you wanted to hear when many of us are starved of new content.

I recently asked listeners on social media about their ‘History of Byzantium’ likes and dislikes. The depth of research was mentioned many times as a plus and the schedule of release as a negative. It’s a constant dilemma when putting the show together. The more I read the better the show gets but the longer it takes to produce. Now with Coronavirus this conflict may become even more acute.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding,



Categories: News | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Corona Virus update

  1. Hi Robin One of the things I love about your podcast is as you say, it is so well researched. It’s also very well produced. I’d much rather wait and have a high-quality podcast then have a rather rushed one. One of the reasons Fawlty Towers is so much loved is that it didn’t dilute its quality. Keep up the good work and thank you. Roger

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Jonathan

    No worries Robin! We’re all in the same box right now. As for feedback, catching a glimpse of the more mundane aspects of a past culture is always a plus for me, but i feel like it’s a rare treat. Things like the phrases chanted by the people during riots, and the ways besieging armies would torment the byzantines may seem like small details, but they show how little human nature has changed between the middle ages and now. Cheers!

  3. David Haselkorn

    Stay safe, be well. Love HoB.

  4. Fritz

    100% agree with your decision! First priority is your and everyone’s well-being, second is the quality of the podcast. The timing is not important to me. Let us know if there’s some way for us to support you!

  5. Slaven K

    Take as long as it needs. We don’t want the quality of your work to suffer. Take care.

  6. Spencer

    Robin, thank you for the update. I agree with your decision to wait to release episodes until you believe they are ready to go. The quality of the content and production of History of Byzantium episodes have always been marvelous.

    Fortunately, while waiting for Robin to discuss the first crusade, there are many good history podcasts. (I think I posted this some months ago–I apologize if I have.) A few history podcasts, in addition to the History of Byzantium, that I recommend are:

    Revolutions by Mike Duncan
    History of English by Kevin Stroud
    Literature and History by Doug Metzger
    History of England by David Crowther
    History in the Bible by Garry Stevens
    The Ancient World by Scott Chesworth
    History of Persia by Trevor Culley
    History of Philosophy by Peter Adamson
    History of Egypt by Dominic Perry
    History of Ancient Greece by Ryan Stitt
    Russian Rulers by Mark Schauss
    The Layman’s Historian (History of Carthage) by William Hubbard
    History of Poland by Trevor Gilbert

    Fortunately, I can still get out and walk, which is when I do much of my podcast listening.

    • Malgorzata Lasota

      Robin thank you . Amazing podcast I’m learning a lot . Thank you to a friend here I think I’m replying for recommendations. I’m adding History of Poland to my library ( motherland) and also recommend Alexander the Great, History of Vikings and of China. Malgosia L.

  7. Simao Teixeira

    Thank you for your work and dedication to this project. I also support the idea that you should only release new episodes when you feel the quality is up to the standards you have gotten us used to. Thanks to your thorough research, I have a new appreciation for historical research and the less “mediatic” details of History than I used to. So, if you can accept a suggestion for the meantime, what about releasing some Byzantine Stories episodes, or some kind of content that doesn’t need you to physically go to the library to pull off? Think about it. And good luck going through this phase. We’re all in this together!

  8. Brad Hubley

    Thanks Robin,
    I will find comfort in listening to all the old episodes over again. I hope you find comfort in that.

    It’s not the first time I’ve gone back to the beginning and I remember it really gets good when you start talking about justinians plague… not sure how I’ll feel about it this time, perhaps it will provide a sobering perspective?

  9. Brad S.

    Robin – I think I, and by the looks of the comments, many of your listeners, take a longer view of these things. This is wholly unsurprising given the audience is considering topics that are 1000 years old! A couple of weeks – or months – is of no consequence in comparison.

    I don’t mind the wait at all, as I know the product will be high quality in the long run. Given these episodes will be out there forever and always, go ahead and make the best of it the lull. If it means we have to wait a few months and get a “dump” of well researched episodes, so be it. We’ll all manage, and we’ll have the better listening experience for it.

    Take care of you and yours, first and foremost. The rest will work itself out.

  10. While I am definitely one of those starved for new content for whom this news is a huge bummer, I want to encourage you not to sacrifice the quality of the podcast. While having to do without the History of Byzantium is disappointing, I personally prefer if you keep the quality high, even at the price of a somewhat delayed release (and yes, I am aware that “somewhat delayed” might mean by months in this case).

    Continue what you’re doing and take care!

  11. You are worth waiting for – stay safe and thanks for protecting us oldies!

  12. extrantorian

    Robin –

    I’m just going to echo what others have written here – you take care of yourself and your family first and foremost. We’ll still be here when you get back!

  13. Boris Aleksandrovsky

    Dear Robin — Stay safe and well. It is always nice to wait for good things, plus you have 203 more episodes to consider re-listening to.

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