Byzantine Stories

Byzantine Stories. Episode 10 – Kekaumenos: A Provincial Magnate

In our 10th Byzantine Story we look at the life of a provincial magnate. Our way into this world is a text called ‘Advice and Anecdotes’ written by a man named Kekaumenos. He lived in the period after Basil II’s death (1020s-1070s) and was a General and governor.

He wrote this text at the end of his life to give advice to those who had to navigate the Imperial system. It gives us invaluable insights into provincial life and the pressures a man in his position faced.

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The Incidental Music used is “Future Idyll” from Purple-Planet.com

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Byzantine Stories. Episode 9 – Women in the Byzantine World. Part 3 – The Empress

Solidus of the Empress Pulcheria
The Trier Ivory (we believe depicting Pulcheria receiving the relics of St Stephen)

In part three we look at the role of Empress. The one position in society where a woman could attain true power over men. We also look at the life story of the 5th century Empress Aelia Pulcheria – the woman who helped define the role.

To listen to the episode please sign up for the Ad-Free Bonus Feed at Patreon.

The Incidental Music used is “Introspection” from Purple-Planet.com

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 2 Comments

Byzantine Stories. Episode 9 – Women in the Byzantine World. Part 2 – The Convent

In part 2 we visit the Byzantine convent. A place where women could escape the traditional roles society expected of them.

We also hear the life stories of two more female Saints. These tales may be the closest we get to the lives of real middle-Byzantine women.

Pic: Saint Theodora of Thessalonica

To listen to the episode please sign up for the Ad-Free Bonus Feed at Patreon.

The Incidental Music used is “Introspection” from Purple-Planet.com

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Byzantine Stories. Episode 9 – Women in the Byzantine World. Part 1 – Immense and Immeasurable

As you may know I have already produced three episodes about Women in the Roman World which are available for you on the Ad-Free Bonus Feed at Patreon.

I now present three more episodes about Women in the Byzantine World. And these episodes are very much a continuation of that series. In part one we talk about how the arrival of Christianity affected Roman women. We also hear a couple of Saints’ Lives. These tales give us a rare glimpse of how women appeared in popular culture.

This first episode is free but parts 2 and 3 are only available on the Ad-Free Bonus Feed at Patreon.

Pic: Saint Mary of Egypt, French, 15th century (British Library)

Thanks to the kind listeners who have pointed out that the ‘Immaculate Conception’ is a Catholic concept and not necessarily accepted by the Orthodox. This was entirely my fault, I was looking for a synonym for virgin birth and have blundered.

Download: Byzantine Stories. Episode 9 – Women in the Byzantine World. Part 1 – Immense and Immeasurable

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

The Incidental Music used is “Introspection” from Purple-Planet.com

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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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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 6 Comments

Byzantine Stories. Episode 7 – Women in the Roman World. Part 3 – Exceptions to the Rule

 

Fulvia Flacca Bambula

Fulvia Flacca Bambula

Hypatia of Alexandria by Jules Maurice Gaspar 1908

Hypatia of Alexandria by Jules Maurice Gaspar 1908

In Part 3 we get to know some of the women who managed to interest the writers of history. In particular Fulvia, wife of Clodius and Mark Antony. And Hypatia of Alexandria.

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The Incidental Music used is “Introspection” from Purple-Planet.com

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 4 Comments

Byzantine Stories. Episode 7 – Women in the Roman World. Part 2 – Daily Realities

Statue of Plancia Magna (readntravel.com)

Statue of Plancia Magna (readntravel.com)

The Arch of the Sergii, Pula (pulacroatia.net)

The Arch of the Sergii, Pula (pulacroatia.net)

In Part 2 we explore women’s daily life in Rome. Though their public roles were limited they still managed to live full lives. Class, death and luck all played their role in determining a woman’s independence.

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The Incidental Music used is “Introspection” from Purple-Planet.com

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Byzantine Stories. Episode 7 – Women in the Roman World. Part 1 – The Lesser Sex

Tarquin and Lucretia by Titian (1571)

Tarquin and Lucretia by Titian (1571)

In Part 1 we examine the ideological world of Roman gender. Women were dismissed as second class by religion, philosophy and medicine. We also explore the practical and legal limits on their freedom.

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The Incidental Music used is “Introspection” from Purple-Planet.com

If you want to send in feedback to the podcast:

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 2 Comments

Episode 168a – Travellers to Constantinople

Equestrian statue of Justinian with Theodosius marking (Antoine-Helbert.com)

Equestrian statue of Justinian with Theodosius marking (Antoine-Helbert.com)

The Cross-reliquary of Limburg

The Cross-reliquary of Limburg

We go through the sources used to construct episode 168. We survey foreign visitors to Constantinople and the thoughts of local Byzantines on their monuments. Through this survey we begin to discover the Byzantine sense of their past.

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Byzantine Stories. Episode 6 – Demetrios of Thessalonica. Part 2 – The Saint We Needed

The Saint thanks the men who rebuilt his home from the Church of St Demetrios

The Saint thanks the men who rebuilt his home (from the Church of St Demetrios)

In Part 2 we continue on into the 7th century as Thessalonica survives intact where so few other Roman cities did. We then see Demetrios’ fame spread and explore why.

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The Incidental Music used is “Last Stand” from Purple-Planet.com

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The Church of St Demetrios today

The Church of St Demetrios today

The Saint guards children from the Church of St Demetrios

The Saint guards children (from the Church of St Demetrios)

 

 

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