Author Archives: thehistoryofbyzantium

 
 

All Bonus Episodes are moving to Patreon

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Episode 233 – The Second Crusade, Part 3 (Patreon bonus episode)

The Crusaders approach Damascus through the Orchards. A miniature by Jean Colombe from Sebastien Mamreau’s book “Passages d’outremer” (1474)

In a bonus episode for Patreon supporters (at the $6 level) we follow the Emperor Conrad and King Louis as they arrive in the Holy Land and attempt to besiege Damascus. We then retrace our steps to the start of the Crusade and go through what the Latins were saying about the Byzantines during their march.

Period: 1148

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Episode 232 – The Second Crusade, Part 2

The routes taken by the Second Crusade (from ‘The Second Crusade – Extending The Frontiers Of Christendom’ by Jonathan Phillips)

We follow the Emperor Conrad and King Louis as they both attempt to cross Anatolia.

Period: 1147-1148

Stream: The Second Crusade, Part 2

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Episode 231 – The Second Crusade, Part 1

A ‘Second’ Crusade is called in response to the fall of Edessa in 1144. The French and German monarchs sign up leaving the Byzantines with multiple headaches to deal with.

Pic: The Crusaders arrive at Constantinople by Jean Fouquet

Period: 1144-1147

Stream: The Second Crusade, Part 1

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Episode 230 – The Sack of Edessa

John II Komnenos’ youngest son Manuel takes charge of the Empire. After securing the capital and punishing Raymond of Antioch the new Emperor goes on campaign against the Turks. After chasing the Sultan of Iconium to his capital Manuel realises that fighting on the plateau is no easy business. Meanwhile the Crusader city of Edessa falls and the Byzantines don’t appreciate the significance of this event.

Pic: Manuel Komnenos (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

Period: 1143-1146

Stream: The Sack of Edessa

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The History of Byzantium

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Discussion with Marco Capelli about Byzantium and Italy

Robin discusses ‘Byzantium and Italy’ with Marco Capelli. Marco is the brilliant host of Storia d’Italia – a podcast telling the story of the History of Italy – in Italian. This interview is in English. Please do tell any Italian speakers you know about Storia d’Italia (italiastoria.com).

Stream: Discussion with Marco Capelli about Byzantium and Italy

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Family Update

My father passed away last night. I am now with my family and will be spending time with them. The podcast will be back soon. Thanks for your understanding and support.

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Episode 229 – John Komnenos with Dr Maximilian Lau

Today we talk to the man whose research has guided our last few podcasts Dr Maximilian Lau.

Dr Lau is Adjunct Professor of Economic History at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, and also a Research Associate in History at St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford. He has been studying 12th century Byzantine history for many years now and the fruits of that labour can be found in his forthcoming book “Rebuilding New Rome. The Foreign Policy of John II Komnenos.”

The book is written and will be out next year and Dr Lau very generously shared it with me in advance. It’s been incredibly helpful in part because of its quality but also because it follows a format similar to our narrative episodes. It is a chronological account of John’s military and political activity with a discussion of the sources as each incident unfolds. As Dr Lau explains in the interview – John’s reign often gets short shrift in popular Byzantine books because our Roman sources cover him fairly briefly. But there are plenty of other sources to work with and Dr Lau has synthesised them to create a new history of John’s reign.

Period: 1118-1143

Stream: John Komnenos with Dr Maximilian Lau

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Episode 228 – Forgiveness not Permission

John hunting boar in Cilicia, French manuscript of the 14th Century

Last time we watched as John Komnenos attempted to untangle the Gordian knot which Anatolia had become. After campaigning against the Danishmends – John moved on to Cilicia and Antioch. The Emperor attempted to enforce his rights without angering the Latins. A trick which he failed to pull off. Today John will be forced to go through the whole process all over again. But when he reaches the gates of Antioch this time he won’t take no for an answer.

Period: 1138-1143

Stream: Forgiveness not Permission

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Episode 227 – Just Take the Damn City

Political makeup of Anatolia c1130 AD

John II Komnenos is finally free to campaign in Anatolia. If he can keep the Turks quiet then he can make it to Antioch where his real goal lies. But once there will he risk outraging Latin opinion by assaulting the city or will he negotiate a deal to bring the city back into the Empire?

Period: 1127-1138

Pic: John does battle with the defenders of Shaizar while Raymond and Joscelin sit, inactive, in their camp. French manuscript, 1338

Stream: Just Take the Damn City

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