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  • Byzantine Empire - Wikipedia
  • Byzantine Empire - Ancient History - HISTORY.com



I received my master's degree in "Byzantine" history and during my studies I never questioned the legitimacy of "Byzantine" in describing or distorting the history of the Greeks after their forced conversion to Christianity in the fourth century of our era. Greece had been a Roman province since 146 BCE.

Emperor Constantine, for reasons unfathomable to this day, dumped the many gods Greco-Roman civilization for the one Jewish-Christian god. He triggered that civilization earthquake in his new capital, Constantinople, now Istanbul.

But neither Constantine, later emperors, nor Christian Greeks and Christian Romans would imagine their empire was Byzantium or that they were Byzantines. They considered themselves Roman.

I received my master's degree in "Byzantine" history and during my studies I never questioned the legitimacy of "Byzantine" in describing or distorting the history of the Greeks after their forced conversion to Christianity in the fourth century of our era. Greece had been a Roman province since 146 BCE.

Emperor Constantine, for reasons unfathomable to this day, dumped the many gods Greco-Roman civilization for the one Jewish-Christian god. He triggered that civilization earthquake in his new capital, Constantinople, now Istanbul.

But neither Constantine, later emperors, nor Christian Greeks and Christian Romans would imagine their empire was Byzantium or that they were Byzantines. They considered themselves Roman.

“The History of Byzantium” is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the collapse of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Byzantine history is fascinating, world changing and largely forgotten. Listen and discover who they were.

The show was created to continue the narrative established by Mike Duncan’s wonderful podcast “ The History of Rome .” I have tried to remain faithful to Mike’s structure of half hour instalments told from a state-centric perspective. My innovation is to pause the narrative at the end of each century to take time to cover wider issues to do with Byzantium. I’ve also taken time to produce feature length episodes on the most dramatic incidents.

After a year of research and recording I asked the audience to support me by purchasing episode 28 (May 2013). Making the podcast had begun taking up almost half of each week. Thankfully the listeners responded and donated and I was able to keep going for another two years. By then though the podcast had occupied more like 70% of my time. So I offered listeners a yearly subscription (July 2015) to support me in exchange for six special episodes each year. So far I’m able to make a living podcasting which is a huge privilege.

I received my master's degree in "Byzantine" history and during my studies I never questioned the legitimacy of "Byzantine" in describing or distorting the history of the Greeks after their forced conversion to Christianity in the fourth century of our era. Greece had been a Roman province since 146 BCE.

Emperor Constantine, for reasons unfathomable to this day, dumped the many gods Greco-Roman civilization for the one Jewish-Christian god. He triggered that civilization earthquake in his new capital, Constantinople, now Istanbul.

But neither Constantine, later emperors, nor Christian Greeks and Christian Romans would imagine their empire was Byzantium or that they were Byzantines. They considered themselves Roman.

“The History of Byzantium” is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the collapse of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Byzantine history is fascinating, world changing and largely forgotten. Listen and discover who they were.

The show was created to continue the narrative established by Mike Duncan’s wonderful podcast “ The History of Rome .” I have tried to remain faithful to Mike’s structure of half hour instalments told from a state-centric perspective. My innovation is to pause the narrative at the end of each century to take time to cover wider issues to do with Byzantium. I’ve also taken time to produce feature length episodes on the most dramatic incidents.

After a year of research and recording I asked the audience to support me by purchasing episode 28 (May 2013). Making the podcast had begun taking up almost half of each week. Thankfully the listeners responded and donated and I was able to keep going for another two years. By then though the podcast had occupied more like 70% of my time. So I offered listeners a yearly subscription (July 2015) to support me in exchange for six special episodes each year. So far I’m able to make a living podcasting which is a huge privilege.

Constantinople ( Κωνσταντινούπολις ) or Byzantium ( Βυζάντιον ): Greek city on the Bosphorus, capital of the Byzantine Empire , modern İstanbul.

Seen from Rome, Byzantium was the city at the end of the Via Egnatia , the large road that the Romans had built from the Adriatic Sea through Macedonia to Bosphorus. Byzantium had been consistently pro-Rome, note [Cf. Tacitus , Annals 12.62 .] and was recognized as an important ally, a civitas libera et foederata . It was about the size of Pompeii , with some 15,000 people living within the walls and about as many people living in the countryside.

The emperors liked the city. Roman baths, thermae , were built near the shrine of Achilles in the northern part of the city; there was a lighthouse (only known from coins; and  Hadrian (117-138) gave an aqueduct, which is now called after the emperor who repaired the monument: the Aqueduct of Valens . According to the author Dionysius of Byzantium, the walls were thirty-five stades long, or about six kilometer, and the sector that was facing the land was about five stades wide, less than a kilometer. From twenty-seven towers, catapults could be fired. This means that the city was almost impossible to capture. However, war was to come, and it was to be terrible.

During the Macedonian dynasty (10th–11th centuries), the Empire again expanded and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance , which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia .

Although the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history [16] and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, [17] it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its increasingly predominant Greek element . [18] The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" (Latin: Imperium Graecorum ) in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum (Emperor of the Greeks) [19] were also used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. [20]

The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. Needing Charlemagne's support in his struggle against his enemies in Rome, Leo used the lack of a male occupant of the throne of the Roman Empire at the time to claim that it was vacant and that he could therefore crown a new Emperor himself. [21]

I received my master's degree in "Byzantine" history and during my studies I never questioned the legitimacy of "Byzantine" in describing or distorting the history of the Greeks after their forced conversion to Christianity in the fourth century of our era. Greece had been a Roman province since 146 BCE.

Emperor Constantine, for reasons unfathomable to this day, dumped the many gods Greco-Roman civilization for the one Jewish-Christian god. He triggered that civilization earthquake in his new capital, Constantinople, now Istanbul.

But neither Constantine, later emperors, nor Christian Greeks and Christian Romans would imagine their empire was Byzantium or that they were Byzantines. They considered themselves Roman.

“The History of Byzantium” is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the collapse of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Byzantine history is fascinating, world changing and largely forgotten. Listen and discover who they were.

The show was created to continue the narrative established by Mike Duncan’s wonderful podcast “ The History of Rome .” I have tried to remain faithful to Mike’s structure of half hour instalments told from a state-centric perspective. My innovation is to pause the narrative at the end of each century to take time to cover wider issues to do with Byzantium. I’ve also taken time to produce feature length episodes on the most dramatic incidents.

After a year of research and recording I asked the audience to support me by purchasing episode 28 (May 2013). Making the podcast had begun taking up almost half of each week. Thankfully the listeners responded and donated and I was able to keep going for another two years. By then though the podcast had occupied more like 70% of my time. So I offered listeners a yearly subscription (July 2015) to support me in exchange for six special episodes each year. So far I’m able to make a living podcasting which is a huge privilege.

Constantinople ( Κωνσταντινούπολις ) or Byzantium ( Βυζάντιον ): Greek city on the Bosphorus, capital of the Byzantine Empire , modern İstanbul.

Seen from Rome, Byzantium was the city at the end of the Via Egnatia , the large road that the Romans had built from the Adriatic Sea through Macedonia to Bosphorus. Byzantium had been consistently pro-Rome, note [Cf. Tacitus , Annals 12.62 .] and was recognized as an important ally, a civitas libera et foederata . It was about the size of Pompeii , with some 15,000 people living within the walls and about as many people living in the countryside.

The emperors liked the city. Roman baths, thermae , were built near the shrine of Achilles in the northern part of the city; there was a lighthouse (only known from coins; and  Hadrian (117-138) gave an aqueduct, which is now called after the emperor who repaired the monument: the Aqueduct of Valens . According to the author Dionysius of Byzantium, the walls were thirty-five stades long, or about six kilometer, and the sector that was facing the land was about five stades wide, less than a kilometer. From twenty-seven towers, catapults could be fired. This means that the city was almost impossible to capture. However, war was to come, and it was to be terrible.



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