News

When will the next episode of the podcast be?

Hello everyone,

I have now finished my work on the videos of the Byzantine sites in Istanbul. The videos are still being edited and presented to those who backed the Kickstarter project. But all 27 will eventually appear on the History of Byzantium youtube channel. So do go and subscribe to that channel if you’d like to see them.

I now begin my work on the Byzantine Stories which I owe to those of you who have bought subscriptions or support me over at Patreon. I also have to move house which as you can imagine is a quick, easy and stress free process.

So I’m afraid the return of the narrative is at least a couple of months away. I know this is frustrating. But I must produce the episodes which I owe to those who’ve supported me for so long. I remain ever grateful to all of you.

I will announce on the free feed when these bonus episodes are available. So anyone who wants to pause their Patreon subscription until there is new content can do so.

Thanks for listening and your support.

Robin

Categories: News | 10 Comments

Byzantine Merchandise!

High Speed History have Byzantine-themed merchandise available!

The good people over at Highspeedhistory.com have produced a range of delightful items featuring our beloved Byzantium. We’re talking t-shirts, hoodies, bags, clocks, towels and stickers amongst many other items.

I’m very pleased to say that some of your ideas have made their way into the collection. I asked for your input on social media and you came up with great ideas. If you want to celebrate your love of Justinian or Belisarius then an Empire Strikes Back t-shirt could be yours. Or if you’ve been dying to show your support for the Green faction or the Blues but they won’t let you in the Hippodrome anymore then fear not because a Green or Blue iphone case or mouse mat or t-shirt could be yours. Or what about the most adorable item of all – a baby grow with porphyrogennitos on it. Come on, how could you resist?

Please go to www.highspeedhistory.com/byzantium to check out the full range. If you decide to buy something then use the code ‘byzantium’ at checkout to get a pound or dollar off each item you purchase. And you’ll be helping out the podcast as I will get a little something for sending you there. Anyone can buy these items – they ship worldwide. And this discount also applies to any items you purchase from the Greek or Roman sections of the website. Yes High Speed History has merch from a variety of historical eras check them all out at highspeedhistory.com.

I also did a written interview for the site to lure in those of you who find me weirdly interesting. So if you want to know my favourite film or what I’d put on a billboard in a busy city then check out the interview here.

Happy browsing.

Categories: News | 5 Comments
 
 

All Bonus Episodes are moving to Patreon

Hello everyone,

There are currently two ways to get your hands on all the bonus episodes I’ve produced over the years. One is to buy them from thehistoryofbyzantium.com. The other is to become a Patron of the show at Patreon.com.

I am making plans to switch entirely to Patreon from October 2021. The sale system here at thehistoryofbyzantium.com has served me well. But it does occasionally crash and cause other problems. So it seems sensible to slowly put it to rest and move everything over to Patreon.

The sale site will shut for good on the 23rd October 2021 so there is no rush to make the switch over and I will of course send reminders from time to time.

The new Patreon site can be found at patreon.com/historyofbyzantium

This is where things get complicated. I set up a Patreon account last year for listeners who wanted an ad-free feed. But I didn’t want to pause the narrative while I uploaded 200+ episodes. So I set up the Patreon assuming I could add the rest of the back catalogue later. Well – it turns out you can’t. You can’t edit the order of posts on Patreon which is a huge drag.

So I’ve had to set up this new Patreon account with all 200+ episodes in order with all the bonus episodes as well. And you can find that at patreon.com/historyofbyzantium. All the support tiers are exactly the same as are the prices.

What do I have to do?

If you are already a Patron at the old site you don’t need to do anything. I will continue to update that account until there are no Patrons left. But if you want to be able to binge the show from the beginning you might want to switch to the new Patreon site at some point. I’m afraid there’s no easy transfer button. You need to cancel your patronage on that account. Then wait for a new month to begin, so you aren’t charged twice, and then join the new Patreon at patreon.com/historyofbyzantium. I have no control over refunds from Patreon so please wait for a new month to begin before signing up.

If you buy your episodes one at a time from thehistoryofbyzantium.com then nothing will change for you until October 2021. From then on you would need to join Patreon if you’d like to continue listening to Byzantine Stories or Fundraising episodes. Join the new Patreon anytime at patreon.com/historyofbyzantium

If you bought a subscription at thehistoryofbyzantium.com that runs out before October 2021 then nothing will change for you until then. From then on you would need to join Patreon to get more bonus episodes. Join the new Patreon anytime at patreon.com/historyofbyzantium

If you bought a subscription at thehistoryofbyzantium.com that runs out after October 2021 then you will be refunded for the amount left on your subscription when that day comes. You are also welcome to email me at anytime to get a refund and switch over to Patreon if you’d like to. Contact me at thehistoryofbyzantium at gmail.com

To differentiate the two Patreon accounts I have put up a message on the old Patreon redirecting people and I have put ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in brackets at the title of each welcome page. So you should sign up at the Patreon which says ‘The History of Byzantium (Yes) is Creating podcasts.’ Find that page at patreon.com/historyofbyzantium

Why?

One day there will be just the one Patreon account where everyone will go to get their bonus episodes. Just like the Byzatines I need to drive these other heretical sites out of business and establish the one true Patreon.

Thanks so much for your support,
Robin

Categories: News, Podcast | 5 Comments

Justin, Dying – Constantinople, 527 AD

During our break from the narrative I will try and keep in touch whenever something interesting comes up. Today Listener Steve Knepper (an English professor at Virginia Military Institute) has written a dramatic monologue about Justin I. I thought you might enjoy being transported back to the 6th century once more.

Justin, Dying

Constantinople, 527 AD

Justinian’s been crowned, with me too ill

To leave this couch and see my prayers fulfilled.

My thoughts drift to my first time through the gates,

A peasant boy still smelling of the pigs,

Dumbfounded by the spires, mosaics, and domes,

Glass-windowed shops, perfumes, incense, and spice,

The forum buzzing with the tongues of every

Land like Babel healed by Pentecost.

Even the fishmongers dealt in opulence.

Unfathomable that I should rule this place,

That he, my sister’s son, should rule in turn.

I heard the chanting from the Hippodrome

But was so weak I couldn’t even stand,

God teaching me humility again.

The last shall not be first without His Grace.

No skill or cleverness of ours alone

Has made these outland swineherds into Caesars.

Yet think of Christ’s temptation in the sands

When Satan offered him the diadem

Of worldly power, perhaps a crown like ours.

At times this plagues my mind.

Is He working in his cleverness?

When Anastasius lay dead it was

My nephew who first urged me to pursue

The throne. Chief of the royal guard and no

Monophysite, I’d set aright the wrong

My wise old emperor invited by

Imprudence in the Faith,

Repair us with the Patriarch of Rome.

Justinian convinced me to take bribes

Amantius intended for his cause

And use them to finance my own support.

It seemed, I still believe it was, God’s Will.

But what if he did slay Vitalian?

What of his rabble-rousing gangs of Blues?

Some cut their hair like Huns,

Shaved close on top and flowing in the back,

Barbarians in looks and action both.

How many riots, murders did he urge?

No doubt at least he looked the other way.

And what of Theodora,

Crowned empress in the Hippodrome where she

Once swayed her hips, unveiled her breasts,

A famous Leda on the stage,

Allowing geese to peck grain from her loins?

Some call her Theodora-of-the-brothel

Still, my spies within the senate say.

My wife had been a slave.

That does not give me pause.

I worry more she is monophysite,

An adept of the Bishop Timothy.

What will this pair now prove?

Is he the David that this city needs?

Or will he be the upstart thug they claim?

Is she a new Bathsheba…Athalia?

I need to banish evil thoughts like these.

I love Justinian.  His faith is true.

He tends the needy, widows, sick, and orphans,

Cares for the Christians scattered in far lands.

There’s mercy in his heart

And as his indiscretions fade with age

He may become a saintly emperor.

And she may be the woman at the well.

Her brilliance matches all her other charms.

Intelligence and wit may grow to wisdom.

The unity of faith may start with them,

Monophysite now wed to Orthodox,

Co-regents ruling all Byzantium,

Their eros may grow into agape.

This is why Christ’s two natures must be taught,

To show our weakness turned to strength, our strength

Perfected into love,

To show our flesh become a phoenix.

Nor is it bad that that they are strong and shrewd,

Well-versed in what the raucous demes may do,

With enemies within

And enemies without,

The Persians mighty in the east, the Huns

Still raiding in the Balkan dioceses,

With allies often more like enemies,

Goth Arians now seizing lands and life

Of senators in Italy for speaking

Too directly of old Rome made new.

He’ll need the prayers of that great peasant king

Who once was still a boy with flocks to guard,

Who heard the snarls and saw the glinting eyes,

Who stepped out from the fire’s ring

Remembering that he too was a sheep

In need of the Great Shepherd of us all.

A swineherd’s not so different from a shepherd.

It’s well that he wore rags before the purple.

I need such hope tonight

As I prepare for one procession more,

This time into the vale.

Categories: News | 13 Comments

An update on the schedule of the podcast

Hello everyone,

I recorded a short update about the podcast and the likely schedule for the next few months. You can listen to it here.

The main takeaways are:

– The narrative will resume around Spring 2021

– In the meantime I will be producing bonus episodes and videos from Istanbul. As well as doing work for my Dad and taking a little time out for my mental health.

– At least two more free episodes about Alexios will be coming soon. Including a Q&A about his reign and the Crusades so do send your questions in. You can comment on the thread below.

Thanks for your support and understanding,
Robin

Categories: News | 32 Comments

Intelligent Speech Conference – images and links

Search the Dumbarton Oaks Catalogue of Byzantine Lead seals here

Search through the Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire (641-867 AD) here

Search through the Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire (1025-1180 AD) here

Anthony Kaldellis’ podcast is called ‘Byzantium and Friends.’ Episode 14 deals with homosexuality in Byzantium.

The article about Basil II’s sexuality is called ‘Revisiting the Bachelorhood of Basil II’ by Mark Masterson. It was printed in ‘The Emperor in the Byzantine World’ Papers from the Forty-Seventh Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies-Routledge (2019) edited by Shaun Tougher

Categories: News | 2 Comments

The History of Byzantium is now on Patreon

Patreon

Hello everyone,

The History of Byzantium is now on Patreon. As you know I already sell bonus episodes of the show here at thehistoryofbyzantium.com

But many listeners have requested that I join Patreon for various reasons. The main request being to offer an advert-free feed.

So over at Patreon.com/thehistoryofbyzantium you can now get an ad-free version of the show. And if you join the highest tier you can get an ad-free feed with bonus episodes as well.

BUT the Patreon feeds only begin at episode 200. I have enquired about migrating the entire back catalogue over but haven’t received a response yet.

So for the time being you would be getting only new episodes of the show. If you’re happy with how you currently listen to the History of Byzantium then there’s nothing to worry about. The system over at thehistoryofbyzantium.com will continue as it is. But if you want to get an ad-free feed or just prefer Patreon then please do visit Patreon.com/thehistoryofbyzantium.

Email me thehistoryofbyzantium at gmail.com to discuss any ideas or issues you have.

Thanks,
Robin

Categories: News | Leave a comment

Corona Virus update

Hello everyone,

Two things have happened in the last 48 hours. I have been told to self isolate for 14 days and the British Library has closed its doors.

I am fine right now it’s just a precaution. I am not taking any time off. I am working on the podcast as usual. I am very lucky that about 80% of the material I need is now available online. So I can continue to research and prepare episodes throughout this difficult time.

Unfortunately some articles and books are only available at the British Library and if I judge that I need to see them before completing an episode then the podcast schedule will suffer.

So the good news is that the work is being done and episodes are being pummelled into shape. But the bad news is I may not be able to release them all until the world outside regains some normality. I know this is not what you wanted to hear when many of us are starved of new content.

I recently asked listeners on social media about their ‘History of Byzantium’ likes and dislikes. The depth of research was mentioned many times as a plus and the schedule of release as a negative. It’s a constant dilemma when putting the show together. The more I read the better the show gets but the longer it takes to produce. Now with Coronavirus this conflict may become even more acute.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding,

Robin

 

Categories: News | 15 Comments

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

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

If you want to send in feedback to the podcast:

– Either comment on this post.

– Or on the facebook page.

– Leave a review on Itunes.

– Follow me on Twitter

Categories: News | 8 Comments

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

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

If you want to send in feedback to the podcast:

– Either comment on this post.

– Or on the facebook page.

– Leave a review on Itunes.

– Follow me on Twitter

Categories: News | 4 Comments

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