Episode 264 – Questions XI

I answer more questions about the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople. What was the reaction of other nations? Did people see it as sign of the end times? What did the Byzantines think of the Templars and Hospitallers? What were the religious differences between the Orthodox and the Catholics?

Pic: A member of the Knights Templar in the popular imagination

Stream: Questions XI

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Categories: Podcast | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Episode 264 – Questions XI

  1. Noah

    I haven’t listed to Questions XI yet, so I apologize if this already came up.

    I’m curious about why there doesn’t seem to have been any attempt to bring Greek Fire to bear in defense of the city in 1204. It seems like it would have made short work of the assault on the sea walls. Was the threat not recognized in time? Were the secrets of Greek Fire forgotten by 1204?

    • I said this during the episode on the sack. Let me know if I can tell you more. “But what about the navy and the Golden Horn? That changed things surely? I can already hear some of you asking – what about Greek fire? Why not fill the Horn with every ship you can find and burn them all?

      As I mentioned earlier the government had let the navy run down. Which was incompetent but understandable given the collapse of the tax base. I imagine the expertise needed to operate Greek fire did exist. But it may well have been viewed as a waste of time in the face of a 10 to 1 disparity between the fleets.

      I also wonder if there may have been a reluctance to act on the part of the Byzantine fleet. Why fight for an Emperor who is on his last legs? Why go out to set fire to fellow Christians and almost certainly die doing so when this is just a civil war?

      There’s also an issue that no one addresses in our sources. And that’s the role of the merchant fleets along the Golden Horn. There were of course hundreds of vessels in those waters. Many of them Italian. Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice all had quarters along the Golden Horn. Was there fear that these sailors would turn on the Romans during the fighting? or were their attempts to recruit them? Most likely these people were just confused and anxious. Some were enemies of the Venetians, some were friends. All were Christians who knew that men who’d taken the cross were under papal protection.”

  2. Ignacio Perez

    You could hit up the youtube channel Religion for breakfast for the collab on religious history and everyday religious practice in Byzantium. His channel is also targeted to a regular audience even though his background is academic

  3. Cody

    I wanted to say that I am really, really loving this podcast. I’m also really, really late 😅 I just discovered THoR about two months ago and finished it and I’ve started on this. It’s really inspiring. I’m so excited to get further into it!

  4. Maks

    Oh no, Robin… Et tu, Brute? You didn’t say a word when an old and rare piece of Byzantine legacy, which still remains in Ukraine, was attacked by Moscow last year. You remained silent when those barbarians bombarded the Transfiguration Cathedral in Chernihiv, the oldest Byzantine-styled church of Rus, built during the time of Emperor Romanos Argyros. And now, you think it’s a good time to promote Russian narratives? With those “3rd Rome” ideas and other Moscowian fabrications? Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe it…

    • I don’t comment on the modern day. The podcast is an escape from the modern world. I’m not sure which ‘Russian narratives’ you’re referring to.

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