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The History of Byzantium

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http://thehistoryofbyzantium.com

Podcasts , History

The History of Byzantium is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the fall of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Robin Pierson is from London in the UK. He writes about American TV shows at thetvcritic.org and works for his father (an actor).

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Stephen C.

Stephen C.

8

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One of the best history podcasts around at the moment.
Ostensibly a continuation of the epic History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan the History of Byzantium is both its equal and a very worthy and distinctive podcast in its own right.
A period little known to many this is the very best introduction to the Roman East there is and long may it continue until the bitter end of that fascinating civilisation, that 1000 year old pearl balanced between east and west.
Unmissable.
tanberg

tanberg

8

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I love this podcast. The audio is great and the topic is something that isn't covered by much of western histories. The Robin presents everything Ina narrative style that makes me care about the people. If it wasn't for this podcast I wouldn't really even care about Rome. I cant recommend this enough.
Marc T.

Marc T.

218

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I came to this podcast, like so many others, in the awful dry period between the end of Mike Duncan's "The History of Rome" and the announcement of his "Revolutions". I was starved for a history-podcast fix, and even more I felt I'd been left hanging at a critical point in the story. Well, thank the podcasting gods for Robin Pierson!

His historical research is thorough, his writing is excellent, and his podcasting delivery is a pleasure to listen to. He alternates stretches of narrative episodes with episodes detailing the cultural/religious/societal landscape at various points; as a result, I feel I have a better feeling for what Byzantine life was like that I ever did when I was studying the subject.

Highly recommended.
handson

handson

11

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At the beginning, Robin wanted to keep Mike Duncan's "rough structure and neutral tone", and admired Mike's simplification of the history for our benefit. Robin has succeeded on the first part, but not the second part. But guess what? For our 20th and 21st Century minds, that's impossible! I'm glad Robin didn't get too simple.

The history of the Roman Empire is so well known and infused in our Western culture, that its ideas and organization are still within our own languages and cultures that many feel, perhaps rightly so, that we are continuing their civilization.

The Byzantine, on the other hand, was utterly lost in comparison, so the Western tradition and its prejudices obliterated the "decadent" Eastern ways as much as it could. This I know now thanks to people like Robin Pierson and his Byzantium podcast. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

All the extra survey episodes about the various territories, organization, religion and politics are welcome and edifying, as it is water to the drought of knowledge we have about those times. It's so unknown and foreign to us modern Westerners that it's almost like a fantasy novel story. Now I can actually see where some fantasy novelists, like L.E. Modesitt and his "Recluce" series got some of his ancient but failing empire inspiration. Epic.

So thank you again for taking what must be a very complex era and taking the time to give us the details we need to understand the reasons people then did what they did, the limitations the empire was under, and how heroic their efforts were. I feel that my education in this life (age 50 now) is only now becoming more complete!
Tjørhom

Tjørhom

22

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The website has a layout and style familiar from other blogs. Each entry links to an episode of the podcast, and the sidebar has all the standard content such as links to other blogs, podcasts, the website's sponsor etc. The blog entries could perhaps be enhanced with various tags to make it easier to find similar entries, but all in all the functionality is more than satisfactory.

The aesthetics of the site are nice enough, and go along well with the theme of the podcast without entering into the realm of caricature. The blog entries enhance the podcast episodes in meaningful ways with interesting photographs and maps. Both of which tend to be well chosen and easy to understand, and the latter is also true for the website in general.

The podcast itself is easy to recommend; Mr. Pierson presents an interesting, well told and suitably multi-faceted narrative of the Eastern Roman Empire. He avoids falling into the 'politics only' trap and keeps his listeners informed about the world outside the palace walls; from matters of religion, every day life, the ideas and views of the time, to the international context. Perhaps the only thing missing from this broad view is a closer look at the world of trade and economic activity in general.
JRidings

JRidings

8

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Great stuff. Love listening to it. I won't be to lengthy, because I'm at work and if I'm gonna piss my day away with non-work related stuff, I'd rather do it listening to The History of Byzantium than writing this review.

In any case, interesting. I never thought I'd find the conflicts within the Orthodox christian church to be as interesting as I now do.

Monophysitism stronk!
mrose17

mrose17

6

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An amazing podcast: well-researched, informative, and well-paced. A "must" both for history fans and those wishing to understand the great civilizations of late antiquity.
Jamie S.

Jamie S.

6

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He has a really good voice for podcasts. It's fun to listen to, and you'll feel smarter after!
Gennaro C.

Gennaro C.

4

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What a great podcast! I can't wait for each new episode to be released!!!
Ray Colenutt

Ray Colenutt

64

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A brilliant follow up to The History of Rome - recommended
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The History of Byzantium

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Good follow up to the History of Rome. Clear Narrative, I like that he generally sticks to mid-length episodes, but alters the length when needed.



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