Podcast

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 | 4 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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Categories: Podcast | 8 Comments

Episode 221 – The Triptych

Anna pondering her portrayal of Bohemond by Nikos Boukouvalas from deviantart.com

Anna pondering her portrayal of Bohemond by Nikos Boukouvalas from deviantart.com

Bohemond heads back to Western Europe to recruit a new army. He leads them back to the Balkans to capture Dyrrhachium but Alexios is waiting for him.

Period: 1105-1108

Download: The Triptych

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Episode 220 – The Crusade of 1101

Basil the Bogomil (from 'Rulers of the Byzantine Empire' published by KIBEA)

Basil the Bogomil (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)

More armed pilgrims arrive at Constantinople in the wake of the fall of Jerusalem. Alexios advises them to avoid the Turks of Anatolia but they ignore him. Meanwhile Alexios’ attempts to put pressure on Antioch are thwarted by Bohemond’s nephew Tancred. Finally we return to Constantinople to check in with the Komnenian regime and watch a man get burnt to death.

Period: 1097-1104

Download: The Crusade of 1101

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Anatolia and Armenia 1100 AD. Turkic and Latin capitals in red.

Anatolia and Armenia 1100 AD. Turkic and Latin capitals in red.

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Episode 219 – A Spectacular Interruption (or Jerusalem!)

Jerusalem falls by Emile Signol (1847)

Jerusalem falls by Emile Signol (1847)

The Crusader march to Jerusalem (from Victory in the East by J France)

The Crusader march to Jerusalem (from Victory in the East by J France)

The Siege of Jerusalem (from Victory in the East by J France)

The Siege of Jerusalem (from Victory in the East by J France)

After their victory at Antioch the Crusaders agree to pause for a few months to rest. Bohemond and Raymond argue over who will keep the city. When neither Alexios or Urban will come to help them out they have to make decisions for themselves. These choice hinge on whether Raymond of Toulouse can both lead the Crusade and carve out a piece of the Levant for himself. In the process Raymond will lose all credibility and be forced to rely on Godfrey of Bouillon to help him get to Jerusalem. Once there the Latins end up in a race against time. They must take the city before an army from Cairo arrives or they run out of water.

Period: 1098-9

Buy: A Spectacular Interruption (or Jerusalem!)

If you want to send in feedback to the podcast:

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Episode 218 – The Siege of Antioch

Engraving of Antioch by William Miller from a sketch by Byam Martin in 1866

Engraving of Antioch by William Miller from a sketch by Byam Martin in 1866

Battle outside Antioch from 'Passaiges d'outremer' (Voyages to Palestine) illuminated by Sebastian Marmoret (c1490)

Battle outside Antioch from ‘Passaiges d’outremer’ (Voyages to Palestine) illuminated by Sebastian Marmoret (c1490)

Antioch and Vicinity (from Victory in the East by J France)

Antioch and Vicinity (from Victory in the East by J France)

Siege of Antioch. Nov 1097 - Mar 1098 (from Victory in the East by J France)

Siege of Antioch. Oct 1097 – Mar 1098 (from Victory in the East by J France)

Siege of Antioch. Mar-May 1098 (from Victory in the East by J France)

Siege of Antioch. Mar-May 1098 (from Victory in the East by J France)

The Defeat of Kerbogah (from Victory in the East by J France)

The Defeat of Kerbogah (from Victory in the East by J France)

The Crusaders set up a siege of Antioch. The vast size of the city makes it impossible to fully encircle. What follows is a battle of attrition as the Crusaders wait for the Turkic garrison to make a mistake and the garrison await reinforcements. Meanwhile Alexios makes his way to the centre of the Anatolian plateau to consolidate the return of Byzantine power. He also awaits news from Antioch.

Time Stamps – each section is broken up by our drum sound effect
00.00-03.05 Introduction
03.06-08.47 Why did the Crusaders have to capture Antioch?
08.48-14.22 Baldwin at Edessa
14.23-17.14 The political fragmentation of Syria
17.15-27.35 The geography of Antioch
27.36-33.52 Early stages of the siege
33.53-46.35 Winter stalemate. Suffering and desertions. Bohemond and Robert of Flanders drive off forces from Damascus
46.36-54.42 Victory over the forces of Aleppo
54.43-62.18 More fully surrounding the city
62.19-77.09 Antioch falls
77.10-84.24 The Crusaders besieged. Kerbogah attacks from the Citadel
84.25-87.46 Desperation and talk of surrender
87.47-92.03 Alexios goes home
92.04-100.19 The final battle
100.19-107.00 Conclusion

Period: 1097-8

Download: The Siege of Antioch

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Categories: Podcast | 30 Comments

Episode 217 – Diverging Paths

The route of the First Crusade (bad squiggly lines by Robin)

The route of the First Crusade (bad squiggly lines by Robin)

The Byzantines recover the West Coast of Anatolia while the Crusaders cross the plateau. As they travel the Westerners begin dropping like flies and come to hate the land they’ve come to liberate.

Period: 1097

Download: Diverging Paths

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Categories: Podcast | 11 Comments

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