Author Archives: thehistoryofbyzantium

Episode 239 – The New Aristocracy

When Alexios Komnenos came to power his family decided to marry their way out of the civil wars which threatened the state. By Manuel’s day this meant that a new aristocracy had grown up who dominated the organs of the Byzantine state.

We discuss this development and how Manuel managed his family. As well as those who resented this innovation.

Period: 1143-61

Pic: Manuel Komnenos (Manuscript miniature, Vatican Library)

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Episode 238 – Queens of Jerusalem with Katherine Pangonis

Today we talk to historian Katherine Pangonis about her book ‘Queens of Jerusalem.’ Not only do we talk about the fascinating lives of the women of Outremer but we also pick up Andronikos’ story as he manages to scandalise all of Christendom.

Find out more about Katherine at her website

To listen to the book for free why not use Audible’s 30-day trial

Stream: Queens of Jerusalem with Katherine Pangonis

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Byzantine Merchandise

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Episode 237 – Manuel and Andronikos

We pause the narrative briefly to learn more about Manuel’s world. Today we talk about the Emperor’s personality and relatives. Including his cousin, friend and rival Andronikos.

Period: 1143-61

Pic: Maria of Antioch, Manuel’s second wife (Manuscript miniature, Vatican Library)

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Episode 236 – Why Make Peace?

With Italy and the Balkans at peace Manuel turns his attention to Anatolia. He marches to Antioch to punish those who’d wronged him. He then campaigns against the Turks with surprisingly positive results.

Pic: The Tomb of Kilij Arslan II in the courtyard of Alâeddin Mosque, Konya

Period: 1158-1161

Stream: Why Make Peace?

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Episode 235 – Sundered by Gold

Manuel’s Italian campaign begins brightly but ends in failure. Meanwhile his cousin Andronikos tries to kill him and more bad news arrives from Antioch.

Period: 1152-1158

Stream: Sundered by Gold

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Episode 234 – Changing Priorities

Roger II of Sicily from the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio in Palermo

The Normans raid the cities of Greece during the passage of the Second Crusade. Manuel sees this as such a worrying development that he makes the decision to prioritise the recovery of Apulia over Antioch. This sets off a series of conflicts in the Balkans and a series of missed opportunities in Syria.

Period: 1147-1152

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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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