Podcast

Episode 251 – A Lion Pouncing on a Large Prey

When Manuel Komnenos died he left an 11 year old son as his heir. The Regency Council set up to protect him fails. Manuel’s cousin Andronikos seizes the throne instead and begins a reign of terror.

Period: 1180-83

Pic: Andronikos I Komnenos. Miniature portrait from a 15th-century codex containing a copy of the Extracts of the History by Joannes Zonaras

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Episode 245 – Means and Ends

I answer listener questions about Manuel’s reign.

Period: 1143-80

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Episode 243 – The Battle of Myriokephalon

The Turks attack the Romans in the pass of Tzibritze by Gustave Doré 

Manuel launches a Crusade against the Turks of Iconium.

Period: 1174-76

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Episode 242 – Manuel’s Follies

While his armies were fighting in the Balkans Manuel’s diplomats and fleets were busy elsewhere. Komnenos poured money into Italy to try and gain influence there. He considered alliances with the Germans, the Pope and the Normans but ultimately lost them all. He made war on Venice and tried to capture an Egyptian port.

Pic: A golden bust of Frederick I, given to his godfather Count Otto of Cappenberg in 1171. It was used as a reliquary in Cappenberg Abbey and is said in the deed of the gift to have been made “in the likeness of the emperor”.

Period: 1161-73

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Episode 241 – Hungary for Security

Manuel leads Stefan Nemanja during his triumph in 1172

Manuel spends the 1160s at war with Hungary. During these campaigns the Emperor adopts the Hungarian King’s brother making him his heir. This enables the Romans to seize Sirmium and parts of Dalmatia. The Hungarian elites won’t stand for it and try to throw the Romans out.

Period: 1161-72

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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

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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

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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

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