Episode 200 – A Tribute to Professor Mark Whittow

Professor Mark Whittow

Professor Mark Whittow

For our 200th show I pay tribute to the scholar who has had the most influence on this podcast – Professor Mark Whittow. Sadly Professor Whittow died in 2017 and he is a huge loss to academia and Byzantine Studies in particular. I take you through three articles he wrote about political power in Byzantium to give you a taste of the kind of insights that have shaped the podcast.

For more information on Professor Whittow:

Wikipedia

Publications

Obituary

A Memorial

Remembering Mark Whittow

The three articles discussed in today’s episode were:

“Staying on Top in Byzantium” in Mélanges Jean-Claude Cheynet, Eds Béatrice Caseau, Vivien Prigent and Alessio Sopracasa, ACHCByz

“The Second Fall – the place of the 11th century in Roman History” in  Byzantium in the 11th Century: Being in Between, Eds Marc D. Lauxtermann and Mark Whittow, Routledge

“How the east was lost: the background to the Komnenian reconquista” in Alexios Komnenos, 2nd Belfast Byzantine international colloquium, Eds Margaret Mullett and Dion Smythe

Download: A Tribute to Professor Mark Whittow

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Episode 199 – The Battle of Dyrrachium

The Byzantine Balkans 1081AD

The Byzantine Balkans 1081AD. Significant Roman garrisons are marked in red. 

Robert Guiscard, the Norman leader in Southern Italy, invades the Empire. He surrounds the key port city of Dyrrachium and Alexios gathers an army to stop him.

Period: 1081-2

Download: The Battle of Dyrrachium

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Episode 198 – Heavy Lifting

Komnenos Family Tree

Komnenos Family Tree

Doukas Family Tree

Doukas Family Tree

Alexios Komnenos leads a revolt and quickly captures the throne from Nicephorus Botaneiates. But to truly understand this coup we need to explore the dynastic dual of Doukas and Komnenos.

Period: 1081

Download: Heavy Lifting

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Episode 197 – Anna Komnene with Leonora Neville

Our best primary source for Alexios Komnenos’ reign is The Alexiad written by his daughter Anna Komnene. I talk to Professor Leonora Neville about Anna’s life and writing and how she overcame the obstacles facing a woman trying to write history.

Period: 1080-1118

Download: Anna Komnene with Leonora Neville

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The House of War (special episodes)

Map of the locations in our story

Map of the locations in our story

Gumusler Monastery (planetware.com)

Gumusler Monastery (planetware.com)

Derinkuyu underground caves (planetware.com)

Derinkuyu underground caves (planetware.com)

Zelve cave homes (planetware.com)

Zelve cave homes (planetware.com)

Ihlara Valley (planetware.com)

Ihlara Valley (planetware.com)

A dovecot from Life and Society in Byzantine Cappadocia by Cooper and Decker

A dovecot from Life and Society in Byzantine Cappadocia by Cooper and Decker

As part of the 2018 Istanbul Kickstarter I was commissioned to create new fictional stories based around episode 89 of the podcast. The stories (based on the sources) describe life along the Byzantine-Arab frontier circa 850AD. They continue and expand upon the story told in episode 89 where YOU were a foot soldier who had to track and ambush an enemy army. Now we travel to Cilicia to see the Arabs preparing and to Cappadocia to see soldiers and civilians trying to cope with life during the Summer raid.

If you backed the Kickstarter at the third reward tier or higher then the episodes will automatically be added to your account. If you are a subscriber then all four episodes will appear in your account.

NB – you will see parts 1, 2, 3 and 5 are for sale. Episode 89 acts as part 4 of this story. Remember to listen in order for maximum enjoyment.

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Plot your journey across the Roman Empire using the Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World

Original music by Savfk (www.youtube.com/savfkmusic http://www.facebook.com/savfkmusic)

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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

Download: Cultural Revival

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Byzantine Stories. Episode 8 – Cyprus: 565 – 965 AD

Cyprus topography today

Cyprus topography today

Roman roads and cities

Roman roads and cities

Byzantine Cyprus from Byzantine Cyprus by Metcalf

Byzantine Cyprus from Byzantine Cyprus by Metcalf

Find-spots of coins from Byzantine Cyprus by Metcalf

Find-spots of coins from Byzantine Cyprus by Metcalf

Our first Byzantine Story nominated by a listener is Byzantine Cyprus. We chart the history of the island from the death of Justinian to the re-conquest by Nicephorus Phokas. Between 649 and 965 the island was in a tributary relationship with the Islamic Caliphate which dominates our discussion. By combing through the sources we can piece together a narrative of the period and gain a few glimpses of everyday life.

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The music used is from ashamaluevmusic.com

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Backer Rewards Episode 15 – The Hagia Sophia and Imperial Coronations

The Omphalion on the floor of Hagia Sophia

The Omphalion on the floor of Hagia Sophia

Byzantine polykandela in brass or bronze. (pallasweb.com)

Byzantine polykandela in brass or bronze. (pallasweb.com)

Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, Lidia Dastrù. Some Churches Dedicated to the Holy Wisdom and their Sunrise Orientation. 2018.

Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, Lidia Dastrù. Some Churches Dedicated to the Holy Wisdom and their Sunrise Orientation. 2018.

Our fifteenth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at some aspects of the Hagia Sophia and the coronation ceremony of Emperors.

Download: The Hagia Sophia and Imperial Coronations

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On stage with Mike Duncan!

I am attending the Sound Education Conference next month and sharing the stage with Mike Duncan! It will be a huge honour for me to meet and chat to the man who inspired ‘The History of Byzantium.’ And you can be there too. I’ve recorded a short explanation for the show but all the details can be found here.

Download: On Stage with Mike Duncan

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Robin interviewed on the Roads to Liberty Podcast

Here is the video of my interview with the Roads to Liberty Podcast.

Download: Interviewed with Roads to Liberty

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