Episode 204 – Komnenian Reforms

A Nomisma Hyperpyron of Alexios I (Ancient.Eu)

A Nomisma Hyperpyron of Alexios I (Ancient.Eu)

Aspron Trachy of Alexios. Dumbarton Oaks Collection (I assume John II on left with Christ. Alexios and Irene on right)

An Aspron Trachy of Alexios. Dumbarton Oaks Collection (John II on left with Christ [I assume]. Alexios and Irene on right)

A Billon Trachy of Alexios I (baldwin.co.uk)

A Billon Trachy of Alexios I (baldwin.co.uk)

A Tetarteron of Alexios (hourmo.eu)

A Tetarteron of Alexios (hourmo.eu)

We look at events in Constantinople during Alexios’ first fifteen years in power. Including reforms to the court, the coinage and social care. We conclude by talking about Alexios’ personality.

Period: 1081-95

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Categories: Podcast | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Episode 204 – Komnenian Reforms

  1. NL

    Thanks to this podcast, I learned new word today.
    Prosopography! Thank you, always informative and entertaining.

  2. Cool, I’d never run across the term billon before

  3. Kaspar Trumm

    Please, do take your time. It is always well worth the wait.

  4. David Thompson

    I don’t know if there are plans to do any more general overview, non-narrative episodes, but I was wondering what was going on in modern Byzantine archaeology and Byzantine studies. Are we likely to get anymore large breakthroughs or insight on Romania in the future or will it just be filling in the smaller gaps?

    On a similar note, are there any commonly agreed to “really big questions” by Byzantinists that are seen as essential to answer? As you have had to do so much research and talked to many experts, do you have any questions that have come up that you think really need to be answered?

    Thanks for all your hard work and hope you stay healthy.

    • Fantastic question. My instinct is to turn this into a post-1453 question and actually ask some people in the field more questions. To give you a better answer now – archaeology has a long way to go. There are dozens of sites across Turkey that could potentially give us much greater insight into Byzantine history. And therefore associated finds like coins and particularly lead seals (because they have the name and rank of individuals on them) could fill in gaps in our narratives. Obviously the gold dust would be finding texts that have yet to be discovered which I imagine is unlikely. But I know there are lots of texts yet to be properly collated and translated which may offer further insights.

  5. Thomas de Boer

    Hello Robin, loving the podcast.

    I also had a bit of a general question, if that’s alright. I was wondering what the interiors of buildings looked like in the Byzantine empire. I was able to find a lot of photos of churches, which is probably to be expected, but I was also wondering what, for example, the bedroom of an emperor looked like, or what a living room in Constantinople belonging to an average citizen living there looked like.

    If you have any idea in which direction I could look to find some information on this, I would appreciate it. No worries if it takes too much of your time, though.

    Thanks again for making one of my favorite podasts!

    • That’s a great question – and tricky as you can imagine given our lack of sources. But I’m sure there are ways to find out more. I would start with the book ‘Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire’ but I can make other suggestions…

      • Thomas de Boer

        I’ll have to look into getting a copy, then.

        Thanks again!

  6. Actually I’ve had a look and there is mention of it but not in detail. If you email me I can get send you those pages and make other recommendations.

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