Episode 117 – Questions IV

Leo VI (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Leo VI (Dumbarton Oaks coin collection)

Its time for some of your questions. We cover queries about the Bulgars, Slavs, Greece, Coins and modern Romania.

Period: 802-912

Download: Questions IV

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Episode 116 – North of the Danube

The Major Varangian trade routes. The Volga route is in red. The Dneiper (and one other) in purple. Existing trade routes in orange

The Major Varangian trade routes. The Volga route is in red. The Dneiper (and one other) in purple. Existing trade routes in orange

We place the Khazars, Magyars, Pechenegs and Rus on the map and explore their relationships with Constantinople.

Period: 802-912

Download: North of the Danube

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Episode 115 – The Rise of Bulgaria

Bulgarian Empire c900 AD (from Runciman - First Bulgarian Empire)

Bulgarian Empire c900 AD (from Runciman – First Bulgarian Empire)

The 9th century was a period of amazing social and political change in the Balkans. We follow the Khans as they plot a path toward recognition of their right to exist.

Period: 802-912

Download: The Rise of Bulgaria

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Episode 114 – International Relations

St Mark's Body Brought to Venice by Jacopo Tintoretto

St Mark’s Body Brought to Venice by Jacopo Tintoretto

We explore the diplomatic and trade exchanges between Byzantium, the Caliphate and the Franks.

Period: 802-912

Download: International Relations

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Episode 113 – Carolingian Decline

The Division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 AD

The Division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 AD

Charlemagne’s empire could not last. Frankish customs saw the realm divided and it would never be put back together.

Period: 802-912

Download: Carolingian Decline

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Episode 112 – The Frontier

The Empire 900 AD

The Empire 900 AD

With the Caliphate in decline the Romans take a greater interest in the Armenian lands on their eastern border. We explore the fragmented landscape and politics of Armenia and take a quick glance at Cilicia and the forts beyond.

Period: 802-912

Download: The Frontier

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Episode 111 – Abbasid Decline

Europe and the Near East 900AD (worldhistorymaps.info)

Europe and the Near East 900AD (worldhistorymaps.info)

Political division of Europe and Middle East from Colin McEvedy's Atlas of Medieval Europe

Political division of Europe and Middle East from Colin McEvedy’s Atlas of Medieval Europe

Samarra today (from bestourism.com)

Samarra today (from bestourism.com)

We begin our end of the century episodes in the East. Since 838 the great Caliphal armies have not been seen in Anatolia. We explore why as the Caliphate slowly pulls itself apart across the 9th century.

Period: 802-912

Download: Abbasid Decline

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September 2016 Update

Hey everyone,

As most of you know I am deep into research for the end of the century episodes. Unlike the narrative I have to learn about a whole topic before going back and turning it into an episode. So things take longer than usual but once the research is done I can usually turn out 3 episodes in quick succession.

There would have been an episode out last week but my microphone of 8 years (!) finally quit on me. So I am installing a new recording system which as you can imagine is adding to the amount of time it takes me to get to the next episode.

Please bear with me and thanks in advance for your patience,

Robin

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Byzantine Stories Episode 3 – Porphyrius the Charioteer. Part 2 – Joining the Sun

The Imperial District in Constantinople

The Imperial District in Constantinople

The Hippodrome by Antoine Helbert (antoine-helbert.com)

The Hippodrome by Antoine Helbert (antoine-helbert.com)

Relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

Relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

2nd relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

2nd relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer (now in the Istanbul Archeological Museum)

In part 2 we go down to the Hippodrome floor to see the glorious arena Constantine built and discover how a race was won. Then we cover the life story of Porphyrius from child prodigy to retiring champion. Finally we see the historical detective work which made this story possible.

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Byzantine Stories Episode 3 – Porphyrius the Charioteer. Part 1 – The Spectacles

Chariot race in the Circus Maximus (turkeyfile.com)

Chariot race in the Circus Maximus (turkeyfile.com)

Chariot racing depicted on the Lampadii Diptych (art.com)

Chariot racing depicted on the Lampadii Diptych (art.com)

The life of Porphyrius the Charioteer is not one we can dive in to. Very little is known about him but thanks to two unusual sources we can sketch the existence of this fascinating character. In part one we explore the history of Roman spectacles so that we can fully understand the context of Porphyrius’ world.

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Categories: Byzantine Stories | 2 Comments

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