I have big news. A History of Byzantium baby is on the way. The purple room in the Palace is being prepared for the Autumn and I can assure you that the names Justinian and Theodora will not be under consideration.
Of course I’m very excited. But it means I think we need to change the way the podcast is scheduled. I plan on being as involved as possible during the first few months of my baby’s life. And so it won’t be possible to keep a normal podcast routine.
So what we’re going to do is switch to a sort of TV schedule. Where there is silence for a few months and then I will release a complete series of episodes. So that when the podcast is on air, so to speak, you know that it will be out every week without fail and that whatever period of narrative we’re in will reach a natural conclusion. This will include bonus episodes for those who subscribe over at Patreon.
I feel more comfortable switching to this new schedule thanks to Patreon. It means that those of you who kindly support the show can manage your subscriptions however you see fit. And if you’re still in any doubt about how Patreon works – you can pick up a subscription or cancel one any time you like. There is no contract or commitment. And when you resubscribe you get your benefits back instantly.
We’re going to switch to this new schedule immediately. So there will now be a period of silence before a run of episodes that will take us from the death of Manuel through to the sack of Constantinople in 1204.
I won’t be announcing any dates for this new schedule. The periods of silence will take as long as they take and then there will be loads of episodes in a row to enjoy. It will be an adjustment for all of us but I think it’s for the best.
I have pushed myself hard in the past to try and produce the podcast weekly and to leave as few gaps as possible and it can cause a lot of stress. History podcasting just does take a long time. Some topics take weeks to research. And the more I read the better the show gets.
I’m hoping this new schedule will make life easier for you and for me. Thank you for your patience and for your support.
While I’m away on the third ‘History of Byzantium’ tour I thought it was time to talk to the man behind them – Şerif Yenen. Şerif has been a tour guide in Istanbul for decades and has published many excellent books on the subject. He has also gone online to share his love for travel through podcasts and Youtube videos. I talk to Serif about his career and ask him listener questions about what to do and see in Turkey.
Contact me if you’d like to be on the mailing list for future ‘History of Byzantium’ tours.
Manuel deals with the aftermath of the Battle of Myriokephalon. He is left out of an Italian peace conference and must negotiate a peace of his own in Anatolia. He continues his efforts to position Byzantium as a friend of the Latins. And we look at his church and financial policies.
I have teamed up with Nitin Sil of the Flash Point History Youtube Channel. We are turning the podcast into a Youtube series with brilliant maps, images and animations accompanying my words. Check out our first video now charting the rise of Justinian.
The Normans raid the cities of Greece during the passage of the Second Crusade. Manuel sees this as such a worrying development that he makes the decision to prioritise the recovery of Apulia over Antioch. This sets off a series of conflicts in the Balkans and a series of missed opportunities in Syria.
In a bonus episode for Patreon supporters (at the $6 level) we follow the Emperor Conrad and King Louis as they arrive in the Holy Land and attempt to besiege Damascus. We then retrace our steps to the start of the Crusade and go through what the Latins were saying about the Byzantines during their march.
John II Komnenos’ youngest son Manuel takes charge of the Empire. After securing the capital and punishing Raymond of Antioch the new Emperor goes on campaign against the Turks. After chasing the Sultan of Iconium to his capital Manuel realises that fighting on the plateau is no easy business. Meanwhile the Crusader city of Edessa falls and the Byzantines don’t appreciate the significance of this event.
Pic: Manuel Komnenos (from ‘Rulers of the Byzantine Empire’ published by KIBEA)