Episode 208 – The Call from the East with Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan, The First Crusade - The Call from the East

Peter Frankopan, The First Crusade – The Call from the East

An interview with Professor Peter Frankopan about his book ‘The First Crusade: The Call from the East.’

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University and Stavros Niarchos Foundation Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. He specialises in the history of the Byzantine Empire, Russia, the Middle East, Central Asia and China. He translated the Alexiad for Penguin Classics in 2009 and wrote ‘The First Crusade: The Call from the East’ in 2012 which I highly recommend. Since then he’s written two award winning books about the Silk Roads. Tracing their impact on world history as well as contemporary events. Find out more about his work at peterfrankopan.com.

Period: 1050-95

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Categories: Podcast | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Episode 208 – The Call from the East with Peter Frankopan

  1. George

    Professor Frankopan seems like quite an interesting personality! I definitely hope for more interviews with him.

  2. Daniel from Ireland

    At the close of “SPQR”, with a 1,000 years of civilisation under her belt, Mary Beard wrote:

    “…Rome’s second millennium, which is a story for another time, another book – and another writer”

    Surely, this is the man to do it?

    Given his significant academic position within Byzantine studies, and the international acclaim he’s received from “The Silk Roads”, I can hardly think of a more suitable candidate. I won’t say it would land a knockout blow to the naysayers, whom he alludes even exists within the universities, but it could gather the attention of a lot of important thought leaders, and penetrate that much further in transforming the narrative.

    Delighted your could have him on the podcast. I love how emphatic he is on the Byzantine’s enormous contribution to European history, and how keen he is to repudiate their many and varied misrepresentations (looking at you, Gibbon). I look forward to hearing you pick his brains again – and hopefully for much longer 😀

  3. Cristian

    I am under the impression that as soon as the Armenians enters the stage, the already shaky and distrustful relations between romans and crusaders starts to go down hill rather quickly.

  4. Martin A

    “Why crusade now and why no crusade before?”

    Well, no crusade before because the Byzantine empire was so strong, it had things under control. And now the empire was failing. So, in a sense, a crusade exactly when it happened is logical and rational.

    • Martin A

      Oh, I guess Prof Frankopan said that too, later on in the podcast.

  5. Spencer

    Something Prof. Frankopan said reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend, Dave, 46 years ago, while waiting for Old Faithful to erupt in Yellowstone National Park. This was 1976 and Dave and I were between our sophomore and junior years in college. Although I was a big history fan, I was majoring in geology. Dave, however, was a history major at UCLA. Dave told me that he thought the coolest thing in the world was Byzantine history. I had no clue what the Byzantine Empire was aside from that it was Medieval and located in Turkey.

    So, Robin, when you asked Dr. Frankopan why the Byzantines had been written out of the crusader history, he responded that the bigger question was why the Byzantines had been written out of so many histories in general. My point is that as a college student, despite the fact that I had a modest interest in history and had read quite a bit on my own by that age, I had no clue what the Byzantine Empire was, that it was a continuation of the Roman Empire, and even that it was a Christian Empire. It simply was not on my history radar.

    Thank you for this very nice interview.

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