“The History of Byzantium” is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the collapse of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Byzantine history is fascinating, world changing and largely forgotten. Listen and discover who they were.
The show was created to continue the narrative established by Mike Duncan’s wonderful podcast “The History of Rome.” I have tried to remain faithful to Mike’s structure of half hour instalments told from a state-centric perspective. My innovation is to pause the narrative at the end of each century to take time to cover wider issues to do with Byzantium. I’ve also taken time to produce feature length episodes on the most dramatic incidents.
After a year of research and recording I asked the audience to support me by purchasing episode 28 (May 2013). Making the podcast had begun taking up almost half of each week. Thankfully the listeners responded and donated and I was able to keep going for another two years. By then though the podcast had occupied more like 70% of my time. So I offered listeners a yearly subscription (July 2015) to support me in exchange for six special episodes each year. By 2017 the podcast was my full time occupation.
I launched a Kickstarter in 2018 to fund a trip to Istanbul to document the surviving Byzantine buildings and to prepare the ground for listener tours. In March 2019 the first ‘History of Byzantium Tour’ spent five days exploring Istanbul’s Roman past and it was so much fun.
I continue to search for the most interesting and entertaining way to communicate the Byzantine story. With listener support I’m confident that we will reach 1453 with a complete audio narrative of the whole sweep of Roman history. It’s a huge privilege to be able podcast for a living and I love exploring the world of Byzantium.
Robin Pierson is from London in the UK. Contact Robin at thehistoryofbyzantium at gmail.com (all one word with @ instead of at) or on Twitter.
Have you read The Byzantine – a novel, written by the author and historian Miguel M. Abrahão? It’s just fantastic…!