Podcast

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

Download: The Second Crusade, Part 1

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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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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

Download: 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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Episode 225 – Belisarius in Metal (an interview with John Yelland from Judicator)

When I announced I would be taking a break back in the Autumn I received an email from listener Brian Sherry offering to produce an episode of the show for me. He told me about the metal band Judicator recording an entire album about Belisarius. And he very kindly offered to interview them on my behalf.

I said yes and Brian got lead singer and writer John Yelland on the phone and they talked about turning the life story of Justinian’s most trusted General into a full metal album.

Today’s episode is an edited version of that interview. They talk through the concept and the choice of moments in Belisarius’ life to capture in song. And they play a few snippets of music to give you an idea of what the album sounds like.

Judicator

Judicator

If you’d like more then the full 2 hour interview is available on Judicator’s Youtube channel. And of course if you’d like to buy the album – Let There Be Nothing – go to judicatormetal.bandcamp.com or check it out on Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify or wherever you get your music.

I am still working on the bonus content I owe many of you. I will be back at some point in Spring with the narrative. For now enjoy the interview.

Download: Belisarius in Metal

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Episode 224 – The Coup of Anna Komnene with Leonora Neville

Our final episode on Alexios’ reign returns us to our first. Back in episode 197 we interviewed Professor Leonora Neville about Anna Komnene. That interview set us up to cover Alexios’ reign and the First Crusade with Anna as our primary source. But the last question I asked that day was about the succession from Alexios to John and Anna’s supposed coup attempt. Here we finally hear Professor Neville’s argument that Anna did no such thing. We also briefly look at our main historian for our next period of narrative – Niketas Choniates. 

Period: 1081-1118

Download: The Coup of Anna Komnene with Leonora Neville

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Episode 223 – Questions VIII

Did Latin Knights put Byzantine soldiers to shame?

Did Latin Knights put Byzantine soldiers to shame?

We look at your questions about Alexios and the Crusades. Listeners wanted an update on the state of Byzantium’s army, economy and administration. How much credit or blame should Alexios get for the events of his reign? What about his relationship with his family? Were the Latins tougher fighters than the Byzantines? And several more. 

Period: 1081-1118

Download: Questions VIII

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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 | 7 Comments

Episode 222 – The Good Helmsman

Alexios Komnenos by Diogo DaCunha

Alexios Komnenos by Diogo DaCunha (@diogos_tales)

Alexios tries to forge a coalition against Antioch but has to abandon his plans when Anatolia comes calling again. The Emperor leaves this world frustrated by his failure to outmanoeuvre the Normans but his record in office is impressive nonetheless.

Period: 1108-1118

Download: The Good Helmsman

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This beautiful drawing of Alexios is by Diogo DaCunha. Check out more of his work on Instagram, at his website or on Vimeo.

If you want to send in feedback to the podcast:

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