The Empire is still on the rise despite the meddling of two men called Bardas!
Have a great holiday, with the correct audio file this time!
Romanus II succeeds his father but is partied out before too long. Romanus's loss is the Empire's gain.
An important announcement about Christmas scheduling and my new recording technology.
Nov 27th, 2016 by mythandhistory
Having taken the place of his own son-in-law as senior emperor Romanus Lecapenus begins ro rule. He does a surprisingly good job. Shame about his sons!
Nov 13th, 2016 by mythandhistory
Leo the Wise finally solves his marriage problem and has the legitimate heir he's always wanted. Then he dies too early!
Oct 23rd, 2016 by mythandhistory
Trying to produce a son can be a challenging activity. Just ask Leo!
Michael III is known to history as Michael the Drunkard. While this may have some truth, it is mostly slander - perpetrated by a certain Basil the Macedonian.
Christmas Day dawns and Leo V is a troubled man. By the end of it he would be a dead one. The Empire, though, is soon rolling in cash.
Sep 11th, 2016 by mythandhistory
The Khagan of the Bulgars proves to be more than a match for Nicephorus. Meanwhile the hermit's prophecy begins to come true!
Aug 28th, 2016 by mythandhistory
Leo IV could have been a good emperor but didn't get the chance. Unfortunately his wife did!
Aug 14th, 2016 by mythandhistory
What's been happening in the west in the 300 years since Rome fell? Time to find out!
Jul 10th, 2016 by mythandhistory
After decades of turmoil a strong emperor finally assumes the purple. His reign may have been good news for the people but it was bad news for icons! And as for his son....
Jun 26th, 2016 by mythandhistory
The Empire realises, far too late, that exile is not enough for a deposed hated emperor..... he just might come back!
Is there finally some light? Maybe. Bring on a vigorous young emperor and a brand new weapon!
May 29th, 2016 by mythandhistory
Heraclius completes his mission against the Persians. Has he done enough?
A huge welcome to Elias Belhaddad who will take us through the rise of a new force. The world will never be the same again!
Phocas's reign comes to an end in a brutal manner. His successor proves to be just what the Empire needs.
The Empire successfully keeps its enemies at bay for more than 20 years. And then...?
Feb 22nd, 2016 by mythandhistory
Justinian was certainly a great man; a man of drive, vision and courage. His achievements were many... but at what cost?
Justinian sends his best general, the great Belisarius, to North Africa to evict the Vandals. If successful he will plough on and have a go at the big one: the reconquest of Rome.
Jan 17th, 2016 by mythandhistory
Justin is the Emperor but he's not really in charge. His nephew, Peter Sabbatius, gains a new name and a lot of power. Not only that, Peter has the ambition and drive to exercise his power.
The Eastern Empire is healthy and flourishing but the Western Empire is gone. It's time to reflect on the reasons why.
Dec 13th, 2015 by mythandhistory
The fact that the Roman Empire used to contain a city called Rome quickly becomes a distant memory. Constantinople has its own problems. Stability is provided by an old man who proves that age is no barrier to imperial success.
Rome may have fallen but it's not taking this podcast with it. The Eastern Empire is still going strong but will undergo major changes, making our histories of Greece and Rome merge into one.
And so Rome falls. The inevitability is clear but the shock is still remarkable. On the other hand life continues as normal.
Nov 1st, 2015 by mythandhistory
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Barbarian generals and emperors battle for control of the Empire while other barbarians annex large parts of it. The countdown towards the fall of Rome gathers pace.
And so we reach the beginning of the end. The signs have been there since the death of Theodosius the Great but now everyone can see them, including a certain very famous barbarian king!
It is the turn of Carthage to get a good sacking and this time the perpetrators are so efficient that they had the whole concept named after them! Worse than that, the ancient city is lost to the Empire as it is occupied by the barbarians.
Sep 17th, 2015 by mythandhistory
...but it's not just a rumour. The unthinkable has happened.
The fall-out from Adrianople is severe and long lasting; too much for a teenager. Fortunately Gratian has a plan.
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Abbritus was bad. This was so so much worse.
Julian the Apostate. Julian the Hero or Julian the over-rated chancer? Brave or stupid? I know what I think!
The three surviving sons of Constantine the Great take over stewardship of the Roman Empire. Only one of them shows any semblance of being a chip off the old block!
Constantine the Great is one of the few people in history who genuinely changed the world. His achievements are many and varied but he also had a dark side!
Christianity and the Roman Empire are inextricably linked. Before Constantine, though, the relationship had been a bit rocky.In this chapter we look at the early interactions between the Empire and the Christians.
The Tetrarchy was a lovely idea. It worked so very well when Diocletian was in charge. When he was gone, though, self interest trumped duty. Civil wars ensued: lots of them.
The Tetrarchy: one man's attempt to create an entirely new, entirely workable system. It worked...until he was gone.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. All feedback very gratefully received.
May 1st, 2015 by mythandhistory
Diocletian shows the Empire how it's done. At last, the crisis is over.
Stupidity reigns in a resurgent Empire. Senior officers in the army, seemingly not content with the dramatic improvement, proceed to shoot Rome in the foot... twice!
One man, five years, unlimited success!
Gallienus tries and tries until the army have had enough of him. The man who follows him then has some instant success!
Mar 5th, 2015 by mythandhistory
If you thought Decius's fate was bad then wait until you hear what happens to Valerian. Gallienus battles on against overwhelming odds after his father is removed from the equation.
The Goths arrive in Roman territory and cause havoc. Decius takes them on in battle. The result is complete disaster.
Incursions by barbarian tribes had been a constant but manageable irritation to the Romans before the current crisis. Some new ones, though, are about to get a whole lot more troublesome.
The Sassanids recognise that the Empire is in chaos and take the opportunity to attack. Gordian III travels east to see the finale but then bad things happen.