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Tom in San Vitale with Justinian

My name is Tom Sawford and I live in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.

In Byzantium, I know that I share with many of you a common passion that includes history, art, culture, the development of Christianity, and a focus on Turkey, a country I have visited often. Byzantium not only has a binding effect for us, but also it brings together a range of people from different backgrounds, and perhaps most importantly offers a common bond for the peoples of Turkey and Europe.

Surprisingly it was former French President Jacques Chirac  who first said in November 2004, “We are all children of Byzantium” in connection with Turkey’s application to join the EU. He was addressing a student conference in Marseille, the day after a large demonstration against Turkish membership.

As Professor Judith Herrin said in the 18th Runciman Lecture in London in February 2009 …

“His use of the phrase is interesting on many counts, not least the fact that some Turks are indeed also claiming to be children of Byzantium: They emphasize how firmly the Ottomans maintained imperial traditions into the modern era, preserved Byzantine chancellery habits, tax-keeping methods, and continued the multicultural and polyglot culture of Byzantium. This is claimed in the spirit of inclusivity and cousinhood, not of bickering and competition.

So in addition to the Balkan countries, and states emerging from the Russian and Soviet empires, Georgia and Armenia (distinctly different but orthodox), Syria and Lebanon with their ancient Christian communities, other groups such as the Copts in Egypt, can also claim to be children of Byzantium. In this larger family, Greece is our elder brother and sister. But it is also part of a wider group of siblings that is just beginning to be discovered. By drawing attention to the real, symbolic and imagined children of Byzantium, I think we can expand and enrich our sense of that great civilization.”

I hope that this blog will, in some small way, continue to help our understanding of this wonderful, and often ignored civilisation.

If you would like to help with the blog, contribute an article or anything else, please contact me tsawford[at]btinternet.com.

Tom Sawford
March 2009

73 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura DAL permalink
    July 23, 2009 6:20 pm

    Dear Tom & Kim,

    Congratulations on your great undertaking. I’m a huge Byzantium fan and really appreciate to see its treasures being kept alive in blogs like yours. I’m Uruguayan and live here in Montevideo, and one day I hope to be travelling some Byzantine route too. Thanks!

  2. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    July 26, 2009 8:14 am

    Hey Laura – thanks for your comment on our Byzantine blog. That was so kind of you to say.

    I hope that one day you can get to Europe to see some of these wonderful monuments and art. Still, Montevideo sounds pretty cool anyway! Keep in touch.

    Tom

  3. March 26, 2010 3:29 pm

    Dear Mr. Sawford,

    Thank you for including the blog “The Anastasian Wall Research Community” in your blogroll.
    This blog is devoted to research related to the documentation and the preservation of one of the most most interesting secular monuments of the Byzantine Empire or Eastern Roman Empire.

    A documentary is being prepared on the history, background and archaeological prospecting of the Anastasian Wall. If you are interested in this project and would like to contribute or donate money to this project or to assist in preservation efforts please contact me at michaelamcadams@yahoo.com This is a labor of love by those who are interested in the promotion and preservation of this incredible architectual monument.

    In addition, thank you for reporting and keeping those interested in Byzantine history about on-going activities in this field.

    Dr. Michael A. McAdams
    Department of Political Science
    State University of New York-Fredonia
    Fredonia, NY USA

  4. May 16, 2010 5:23 am

    Hello Tom and kim,

    I’ve been subscribed to your blog for some months now and am very grateful for it. (I am a Canadian writer who is about to publish a literary nonfiction about my “relationship” with a Byzantine saint. It is a literary project that took me straight back into the church of my childhood, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.) I am about to have a website and blog of my own up and running: is there some way to attach your blogs to it or to direct people to it from my website or vice versa? I’m thinking of calling my blog, My Two Brains, meaning my literary projects divided between Old and New World passions.

  5. nikos permalink
    July 27, 2010 2:56 am

    BY Z A N T I U M not belongs to the TURKEY TURKS MONGOLS ECC.

  6. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    July 27, 2010 8:38 am

    … and I don’t think I have said that.

    In the interests of free speech I will not ‘spam’ your comment or ‘unapprove’ it. This blog covers a wide range of subjects and issues, and routine censorship has no place here. However, if this starts the sort of debate I have seen on other sites, often between Turk and Greek, that starts to become abusive then I will unhesitatingly remove all related comments.

  7. Dave permalink
    August 5, 2010 7:34 pm

    Hello: I just discovered your website. What a wonderful resource ! And what great photos. I’ve had a long-time interest in the post-Classical/Byzantine period particularly in the field of art history…… just as an amateur. Your pictures of the mosaics of Aquileia are better than anything I’ve been able to find in a book or on the ‘net. I didn’t see the show at the Royal Academy (I live on the other side of the world) but I bought the catalogue and am still working my way through it.
    I have one question which you may be able to answer (I’ve never seen reference to it in any of my readings): in many 5th and 6th century mosaics – notably at Ravenna – martyrs, saints, angels, even Christ himself, often have a monogram embroidered on their over-cloak (himation) which sometimes looks like a Greek letter (gamma or zeta), sometimes an ivy-leaf, or sometimes like nothing identifiable at all – do these have any significance? The monogram between the knees of Christ in the apse at San Vitale is so prominent and conspicuous that I thought it must have been put there for a reason. (or perhaps it’s one of those things that will always be a mystery?).

    Anyway, I will enjoy working my way through all your links and pages.

    Dave

  8. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    August 9, 2010 11:21 am

    Dave – thanks that really is nice of you to say. I can’t really help with the question, but I have posted on the main page to see if anyone can answer. I will pass on any answers to you. Some nice new pics as well!

    http://mybyzantine.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/can-you-help-the-relevance-of-the-monogram-embroidered-on-byzantine-over-cloaks/

    Keep reading the blog!

    Tom

  9. September 2, 2010 9:48 am

    Hello. I am the president of the Oxford Byzantine Society and we have a blog with information about opportunities, conferences and other upcoming Byzantine Studies related events. Do find us at http://www.oxfordbyzantinesociety.wordpress.com.

    Best wishes,
    Prerona

  10. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    September 3, 2010 1:17 pm

    Prerona – welcome and thank you for getting in touch. I will alert our readers to your existence just in case they have not found you yet. If you could email me any information about events I will happily post them and add to the events page. If you have any articles etc that you would like to submit they also would be very welcome at any time. I will create a link to your site; grateful if you could reciprocate :-)

    Tom

  11. Helen Richardson permalink
    November 10, 2010 11:31 am

    Dear Tom,

    I am currently researching for a second series we are making for ITV1 with Sir Trevor MacDonald. You may have been aware of ‘The Secret Caribbean’ that aired last year. We are now finishing work on ‘The Secret Mediterranean’, which includes a section on Byzantine history in Turkey.

    During our travels, Sir Trevor visited the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosphorus in Istanbul and examined some of the pottery and other artifacts that have been collected since its discovery. We would like to make sure that our facts are correct, without compromising the impressive scale of the archaeology that is taking place. We were told when we were there that 36,000 pieces have been unearthed so far. Is there any possibility of confirming this or directing me towards somewhere that may provide some concrete figures?

    Kind Regards,

    Helen Richardson

  12. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    November 10, 2010 2:41 pm

    Helen,

    That sounds exciting and thank you for finding us!
    Have a look at this article which is recent – 1 Nov http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=yenikapi-excavation-project-postpones-the-opening-of-marmaray-2010-10-29
    You could try to get in touch with the chief archaeologist who is Dr Ufuk Kocabaş . Hurriyet Daily News paper who published the article may be able to get you in touch with him. There are loads of Ufuk Kocabaş on Facebook!
    The article mentioned ‘more than 35,000′ so what you say sounds right.
    A good person to ask about this might be Bettany Hughes. http://www.bettanyhughes.co.uk/
    Good luck and if I can help further please ask.

    Tom

  13. Vidar Alne permalink
    December 14, 2010 2:30 pm

    Dear Tom

    I would like to thank you for creating this wonderful blog. It has become a regular stop for me during my internet surfing sessions. I have been fascinated with Byzantine Empire for some years now, and I am constantly searching for news, articles and books about this medieval Roman Empire. Your website is a wonderful resource.

    I wonder if you have considered interviewing known Byzantine scholars? People like John Haldon, Judith Herrin, Averil Cameron, Paul Magdalino etc. It would be fascinating to hear them talk about their work and why they became interested in Byzantine history.

    Kind regards from Norway
    Vidar

    P.S.
    John Wortley’s translation of Skylitzes is just out. A bit expensive, but highly recommended: http://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Skylitzes-Synopsis-Byzantine-Translation/dp/0521767059/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292336506&sr=8-1

  14. December 19, 2010 7:07 am

    Hi,

    I love this whole blog! You might be interested in linking to or considering my post on what may lie beneath Hagia Sophia:

    http://lpobryan.wordpress.com/

  15. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    December 26, 2010 5:32 pm

    Hi LP – If I may I will repost your article with links to your blog? It might prompt some debate!

    Tom

  16. December 26, 2010 8:08 pm

    Tom,

    Please do repost and link.

    I’d be interested to hear views on why there are no underground aspects to Hagia Sophia, that we are currently aware of.

    All the best,

    LP

  17. December 28, 2010 10:18 pm

    Dear Tom,
    I’ve found your wonderful blog quite by chance, and was it a happy chance! I plan on becoming a faithful reader, and have a lot of catching up to do!
    I wonder if I could ask you about a point of Byzantine-related Ottoman history that is driving me mad. I have trouble locating information on the background of Suleyman Baltoglu. I know, from the works of historians like Runciman, Babinger, and Norwich, that Baltoglu was the son of a Bulgarian boyar, and a convert to Islam. I also know that he served as a diplomat around 1444, fought at Lesbos in 1449, and was governor of Gallipoli/Gelibolu until late 1452. And I know that he was stripped of his rank and all possessions after his naval debacle in April 1453, disappearing without trace afterwards.
    What I can’t ascertain is whether he was a devshirme boy (please, pardon my very likely incorrect transcription) or he converted at an adult age, and whether he ever served in the Janissary Corps – which I wonder because, according to Babinger, it was the Janissaries who pleaded with the Sultan for Baltoglu’s life, and his riches were later distributed amongst them.
    Sadly, both Babinger and Runciman fail to mention their sources for what little information they provide, and I am really at a loss for further detail.
    May I trouble you for some additional information on Baltoglu’s early years and rise, or to point me to some useful resource (considering that I cannot read Turkish)?
    Thank you very much in advance for you kind attention,

    Chiara Prezzavento (from Italy)

  18. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    January 4, 2011 2:09 pm

    Hi Chiara – I am not sure I can help you with this one. A little too specialised for me. Sorry.

    Tom

  19. January 6, 2011 5:50 am

    Chiara might try this Yahoo discussion group:

    Email: bulgarian_studies@yahoogroups.com

    Or the Moderator:

    Email: bulgarian_studies-owner@yahoogroups.com

  20. somniumhannibalis permalink
    January 6, 2011 5:54 pm

    Thank you, Myrna: I will most definitely try the contacts you suggest. And thank you, Tom: just posting here my question brought up a promising new path to pursue. I love places like your blog, where people with a passion for History can find not only information, but also contacts and stimulating chances.

    Chiara

  21. January 11, 2011 8:11 am

    Hi Tom,

    thank you, for your detailed blog about Byzantine. Everytime you can use my photo archive. If you need any new, please contact directly me..

    with my regards
    özgür

    http://istanbulstreets.wordpress.com/

  22. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    January 11, 2011 1:24 pm

    Thank you özgür. It has been some time since I caught up with your pictures but I will do so soon. Keep up the great work in your wonderful city.

    Tom

  23. January 29, 2011 12:42 pm

    Dear Tom,

    We are trying to raise money for the completing of the documentary “The Long Anastasian Wall”. We have now launched a fund raising effort on Kickstarter. The link for the Kickstarter page is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1687680287/the-long-anastasian-wall

    This is a non-profit venture whose major concern is raise awareness of this Byzantine architectural monument so that there can be further archeological explorations (including hopefully a LIDAR project), protection, and promotion.

    I and the oher members of the production team of the “The Long Anastasian Wall” would greatly appreciate any mention of this effort on Kickstarter.

    Regards

    Andy McAdams

  24. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    January 30, 2011 1:59 pm

    Good to hear from you. I will put something up on the blog as soon as I can. I will do my best for you, but will be away until mid-Feb, but it will not be forgotten I promise!

    Tom

  25. February 3, 2011 10:51 am

    Dear Tom,

    I was wondering whether you could put the details of the Oxford Byzantine Society’s upcoming International Graduate Conference on your blog. Anyone can attend, and with 40 speakers from 20 institutions in 12 countries, there will be a lot to listen to. Details can be found here:

    http://oxfordbyzantinesociety.wordpress.com/international-graduate-conference-2011/

    Many thanks,
    Prerona

  26. nervus vagus permalink
    February 26, 2011 6:19 pm

    Hello,

    I’m trying to get some information about the Pagan Ceremonies in Byzantine. I read about them being banned and all but couldn’t really figure out what they were exactly about. For example when the Column for Constantine was being erected there were mixed ceremonies of christian and pagan traditions. What do you think these would involve?

  27. Anothroskon permalink
    April 17, 2011 6:52 pm

    Χαίρε άνδρα ρωμαιόφρονα! I just discovered your site and will add it to my faves list. I am also interested in Byzantium or as I prefer to call it Rhomania, the land of the Romaioi. I have recently finished reading the latest books by Anthony Kaldelis, “Hellenism in Byzantium” and the “The Christian Parthenon” and had read in between “Being Byzantine” by Gill Page. I recomend them all.

  28. May 23, 2011 3:03 pm

    Dear Tom, if I may,

    First let me say, like many others, that I really like your blog and appreaciate greatly its existence! It is a wonderful way to spread info, to connect people interested in and studying Byzantine history and culture, but also it is a nice demonstration of how vivid the community of byzantinists is!

    I am not sure if the following information would be interesting for you and your readers, but nevertheless, I decided to share it. I participate in the organization of the Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies Second Graduate Day which is to take place in Budapest in a couple of weeks. A short introduction can be found here (http://cems.ceu.hu/graduateday2011) and soon the program will be uploaded as well.

    Again, many thanks for your wonderful blog!
    Divna

  29. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    May 27, 2011 3:29 pm

    Divna – sorry I missed this. Just posted some info about this now. A good excuse to visit Budapest. Wish I could go! I hope it is a great success.

    Tom

  30. July 25, 2011 9:27 pm

    Dear Tom,

    I just want to say (as one of the children of Byzantium, since my family migrated from Yugoslavia (Serbian roots, also partial Greek blood. Just like Tsar Ivan III. and Sophia Palailogos’ family if I am not mistaken! to Turkey in the 20th century)) that your blog went right in the top of my bookmarks! There are so few web sites/blogs like yours, which also include current news about the old mighty empire. I thank you for that and wish you endless energy and luck in your life!

    Sorry for the first message, I made a typo in the century!

  31. cynthia Curran permalink
    August 21, 2011 10:32 pm

    Well, this may be why the Ottoman’s were behind the times by the early 20th century, keeping byzantine culture alive in the modern world doesn’t always adopt as well. Personality what I find interesting is that Constantinople has a lot of modern problems, child Prostiution, street gangs among the circus factions. This is one facet of Byzantine society which fascinates me how different from the modern world but how similar. For Child Prostiution see Novel 14 of the Justinian Code.

  32. Vassil Tenekedjiev permalink
    September 21, 2011 12:34 pm

    Dear Tom & Kim,
    I am very impressed by your blog – it is really great! Congratulations! I am an archaeologist in Varna Regional Museum of History (Bulgaria) and I am just crazy about Byzantium and the Orthodox culture. If I can help you somehow it would be a pleasure for me.
    All the best!
    Vassil

  33. Valerie Nunn permalink
    September 22, 2011 1:52 pm

    Delighted to stumble across your Byzantine blog,explore its eclectic mix of information and see the “ecumenical” response it is getting from readers. If it is not too late to respond to Dave, who asked last year about the gamma-shaped symbols on draperies, they do indeed represent the Greek letter gamma (and are sometimes called “gammadia”). As the third letter of the alphabet gamma also represents the number three and thus in a Christian context it came to symbolize the trinity.
    Some readers who live within reach of London might be interested in a course I am teaching for Birkbeck this academic year called Reading Images: Christian Art in Europe before 1400, which will include a lot of Byzantine material.

  34. Vassil Tenekedjiev permalink
    September 22, 2011 8:50 pm

    Dear Valerie, your last reply really provoked my interest. May I ask you for help with another iconographic problem. It is about the “imperial iconography” of the archangels in the Byzantine art. I have found a lot of information about it but surprisingly something very important is skipped in all the studies: why the archangels who are not rulers but servants and guards in the heavenly court are dressed as emperors. It would make more sense the imperial iconography with all the vestments and insignia to be applied to the image of Jesus Christ, but as you know this is not exactly the case. I suppose that behind this art riddle there is some sophisticated theological idea about the relations between the Celestial Hierarchy and that of the Empire but I still can’t find a good and clear explanation.
    Thank you very much in advance for you kind attention
    With best regards,
    Vassil
    (Varna, Bulgaria)

  35. Raul Garcia permalink
    October 1, 2011 2:44 am

    Dearest Tom and Kim:

    My name is Raul Garcia and I live in Mexico. It is the first time I visit your blog and found it very interesting and rich in contents; that’s why I wanted to share you the following, hoping to get some help and orientation regarding a very antique and rare silver piece I purchased about 8 years ago in a flea market in downtown Mexico City. The piece has very unique characteristics and particularly, some engravings that I suspect might be Greek in their origin (but since I can’t read them I can’t be sure). The piece depicts (in my humble opinion) some important passages of the Byzantine Empire and I would like to send you some pictures to your consideration, in order to be able to know whether the piece holds some historical value or significance. It would be great to share these pictures with everyone here, hoping to get invaluable opinions and more accurate information regarding this piece. Please let me know how can I send you the pictures.

    I thank you so very much for your time and patience and remain very truly yours.

    Raul Garcia

  36. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    October 1, 2011 8:17 am

    Raul – that is quite intersting and we will happily put something on the site and ask for help. There is a Greek diaspora in South America. Perhaps this is how it got there? You can send by emial tsawford [at] btinternet.com

  37. February 3, 2012 8:49 am

    Wow….I just came across your blog, and I am so excited to start delving into the posts here! Thank you for creating and maintaining this site!

  38. waddah permalink
    February 19, 2012 10:17 am

    Dear Tom
    Greetings
    Congratulations your site
    I Waddah from Jordan would love to communicate with you to exchange information about the ancient monuments in the ancient civilizations because I am very interested in the ancient art I hope you reply
    I wish you and your family full health

  39. March 5, 2012 4:43 pm

    Hello!
    You may find interesting to read the following article about the palindromes that were used by the Byzantium scholars: http://peopleandideas.gr/2012/03/05/palindrome/
    Thank you very much,
    Phaedra

  40. Alex Barry permalink
    March 7, 2012 2:46 am

    Hi Tom,
    Great site. I’ve been studying Byzantine history for some years now and the site adds interesting facets to my learning. A question for you and the other scholars here: We are planning a vacation this summer, beginning in Prague and then down to Austria and up northwesterly through Germany. Are there sites along that general route that would be must-see destinations for a pilgrim searching out Byzantine history?
    Thanks so much!

  41. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    March 10, 2012 1:20 pm

    Waddah – please do get in touch – my email is on the contact page. Looking forward.

  42. March 10, 2012 1:43 pm

    Dear Tom:-

    We are art book publishers located in New York. We acquired the remaining copies of the Royal Academy catalog BYZANTIUM 330-1453. Our price is only $57.50, much less than offered by Amazon through your store. Perhaps you would like to link to our web-site instead of Amazon’s. Or perhaps you would like to publicize this to the 174 followers of your blog. Here is our link: http://www.riversidebook.com/byzantium.html
    best wishes,
    Brian Eskenazi

  43. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    March 10, 2012 2:37 pm

    Brian – happy to ‘advertise’ your offering. It will be up on Thursday next. Tom

  44. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    March 10, 2012 2:42 pm

    Alex – I am adding a post tomorrow so keep coming back to see if we get some good suggestions!

  45. March 14, 2012 4:17 pm

    Hi guys!

    Thanks so much for featuring my post on your blog! I hope you and your readers enjoyed it!

    Best,
    Marissa

  46. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    March 14, 2012 4:46 pm

    Very much so – I went there in 2005. Wonderful place and your piece put it so well. Tom

  47. Alex Barry permalink
    March 17, 2012 8:56 pm

    Here’s a link to the NY Times’ review of the current Byzantium exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/arts/design/byzantium-and-islam-age-of-transition-at-the-met.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=byzantium&st=cse

  48. April 14, 2012 2:55 pm

    Tom,

    Very interesting blog with a good collection of material on Byzantium which I am beginning to make my way through. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I have just done a post over on my blog on a little Byzantine church on the Mani that I visited a couple of years ago: http://wordscene.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/a-little-byzantine-jewel/
    which may be of interest. I’ve also put a link on my blog roll to your site.

    I’m currently planning some further posts on Mystras and on Haghia Sophia and the Chora in Istanbul.

    Look forward to keeping in touch.

    Peter

  49. April 26, 2012 7:27 pm

    Tom,

    Just published the first of three planned blog entries on Mystras with my photographs which may be of interest:

    http://wordscene.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/mystras-last-outpost-of-byzantium-looking-out-over-the-ramparts/

    Regards,

    Peter

  50. May 1, 2012 5:48 pm

    Tom,

    Just remembered that you are away at the moment. I’ve just published the second of my posts on Mystras, which may be of interest: http://wordscene.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/mystras-last-outpost-of-byzantium-the-palaces-of-the-despot/

    Regards,

    Peter

  51. Rosemary Morris permalink
    June 26, 2012 5:07 pm

    Hello Tom!

    Your blog has just been brought to my attention by Liz James, Prof. of Art History at the University of Sussex and writer on Byzantine Art. I’ve really enjoyed wandering around your posts and links and would like to encourage all fans of your blog to join the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (of which I am the Chair). We’re not just for ‘nerdy’ academics!! You’ve very kindly put a link to SPBS on your page (look up to the right, folks!) so nothing could be simpler! We warmly welcome all those interested in Byzantium to our lectures and annual symposium

    All best wishes,

    Rosemary Morris

  52. July 8, 2012 1:08 pm

    Tom,

    If you’re at all interested, I’ve been keeping a travel blog this summer, in which I’ve been documenting my attempts to find Byzantium in Italy in art and architecture. I’m currently a student at OSU, getting a PhD in Byzantine History (I just finished my first year). I’d love to hear your thoughts! The address is byzinitaly.blogspot.com

    -Frank

  53. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    July 9, 2012 9:23 am

    Frank – thanks for getting in touch. I thik you are being somewhat disingenuous though: all

  54. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    August 19, 2012 9:50 am

    Thanks Peter – very intersting. I have put a link to your site on the links area. Tom

  55. August 19, 2012 5:47 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks very much for the link to my site.

    Regards,

    Peter

  56. John permalink
    September 6, 2012 2:08 am

    Hello Webmaster,

    This is a message from Taiwan.

    We are students of the Taiwan University,

    and we want to organize a study group of the book “Way of the Ascetics”.

    Could we use the icon of “the ladder” on your website to make some DM?

    Thank you.

  57. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    September 10, 2012 8:18 am

    Please go ahead and good luck.

  58. February 24, 2013 12:22 pm

    Hello Tom

    Wonderful blog – thanks for sharing and getting everyone involved.

    I hope you won’t mind if I share my website and cause – to bring 9th Century Byzantium to life through fiction and film, in particular to create a TV series in the spirit of Rome, perhaps called Byzantium (but without werewolves and vampires!).

    And for those of you who don’t know – there is talk of a major feature about Constantine the Great: http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=36555

    Achilleas

  59. March 2, 2013 2:55 am

    Hello Tom.

    Enjoying your postings, and so happy I stumbled upon your blog.

    My girlfriend and I are planning a summer holiday to Slovenia, and I’m keen to know of any ruins or anything else related to Byzantium that might be in the vicinity. It appears by the historical maps I’ve reviewed that the Empire came at least very near the present political borders of Slovenia, occupying the spur of Croatia in the early days.

    We also expect to take a quick side trip over to Venice, and I’m sure there will be plenty there to feed my interests.

    Many thanks!

  60. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    March 5, 2013 6:52 pm

    Alex – Slovenia is really out of the empire – on the Catholic side of the division of empire. Have a loko at this category http://mybyzantine.wordpress.com/category/byzantine-travel/ and for Venice see my posts in that categoy from Oct-Dec 2009. When in Venice try to find the time to visit the island of Torcello. http://mybyzantine.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/mosaic-hunting-pictures-from-aquileia-venice-and-torcello/

  61. proverbs6to10 permalink*
    March 5, 2013 6:53 pm

    Of course Achilleas. If you want to send me some thing you have my email. Tom

  62. Achilleas Mavrellis (EFU) permalink
    March 6, 2013 8:21 am

    That’s great, thanks, Tom!Just wanted to share my website: www.empireforever.co.uk and garner support for my cause as mentioned earlier. The site points to my YouTube channel, my novel and my tweet feed of Eudokia Ingerina: @ByzEmpress.My aim is to bring a specific period of Byzantine history to life – the exciting events of the latter half of the 9th century and the intriguing situations that led to the establishment of the Macedonian dynasty – through a study of the psychology of its characters and the limitations society placed on them. The novel is one realization of my best guesses on these – the site attempts to build evidence to support this realization.Anything you could post, i.e. the link and perhaps some description as per above/below would be gratefully acknowledged.Achilleas

  63. yehonatan gregory ALIBERT permalink
    June 13, 2013 3:13 pm

    Hi Tom and Kim
    I just found out your blog, and i enjoyed very much the few posts i read, thank you.
    Keep the good job.

  64. Merf permalink
    June 23, 2013 11:14 pm

    Hello all,
    I have spoons and forks which I think they belong to Byzantine era. I need help to find out if my thought is right. Who is interested please contact me

    Thanks

  65. July 23, 2013 7:14 pm

    Dear Tom and Kim,

    I stumbled upon your blog just when I had lost all hope for any kind of an interest in Byzantium from anyone in the blogosphere. I am originally from Istanbul and I have fallen in love with it’s Byzantine past only recently while taking classes at Koc University. I write about my experiences, discoveries with the history and remains of the Byzantine empire in my blog http://www.sedefscorner.com – I hope you can check it out.

    If I may be so bold, can I suggest you to open a twitter account? I think you would find a very eager crowd of antiquarians, medievalists and even Byzantinists.

    Thank you for this wonderful blog and the service you are providing by sharing your knowledge on a civilization that have been ignored for too long.

    Sedef

  66. Basheer Ahmed permalink
    August 9, 2013 1:57 am

    I think I just found my new favorite website. Wonderful work, Tom! I’ve been fascinated by the Byzantium since I was a teenager and to find a site like this is just, well, now I’ve got to go read every word you’ve written or posted.

  67. August 14, 2013 1:54 am

    I’d like to advise your friends of my website: apuleiusbooks.com. I have links there to an email interview that I did with the Byzantinist Bill Caraher and a youtube interview about my two novels: Antonina, a Byzantine Slut, and Count No Man Happy, the latter being a fantasy about the emperor Constantine VI who was blinded by his mom, the empress Irene (details and excerpts on the site.)

  68. November 20, 2013 6:02 am

    Followers of your blog may be interested to know that my 2010 book, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, which was short-listed for the Steven Runciman Award in 2011, is available as an e-book. In UK and Europe: sales@gazellebooks.co.uk. http://www.myrnakostash.com/book-store/prodigal-daughter/

  69. February 5, 2014 1:56 pm

    I love you blog. I also have a lasting interest in the Eastern Empire, please visit us at /r/byzantium we would love your insight and opinions!

  70. February 15, 2014 9:43 pm

    Tom: Thanks for the note. I’ve at least twice before tried to contact you. I hope you like my writing; it is so hard to stir up popular interest in Byzantium. It has been my hope that some quality fiction might do the trick. My books are certainly not light summer reading but I hope that they will appeal to readers of serious historical fiction and help to get the ball rolling. Regrettably, Byzantine sites seem to reject outright anything that is not scholarly non fiction. That doesn’t much interest the wider audience or get me reviews.

  71. February 15, 2014 10:15 pm

    Further the last note. If you want to check it out, my web site is apuleiusbooks.com. There you will find an interview with the Byzantinist Bill Caraher, a Youtube video interview about my books, excerpts, links, another youtube Video Introduction to Byzantium, etc.
    Thanks,
    Vincent O’Reilly (aka: Paul Kastenellos)

  72. Wendy Beth Oliver permalink
    April 3, 2014 7:59 pm

    So happy to find your site! I just found your Patrick Leigh Fermor site and connected to this one. You may be interested in two shows now at the J Paul Getty Museum in California:

    “Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections” (through August 25, 2014) and “Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illuminations at the Cultural Crossroads” (through June 22, 2014).

    https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/art_of_byzantium/

    I visited the first exhibit when it was at the National Gallery in Washington DC earlier this year. It featured sacred music performed by Cappella Romana (www.cappellaromana.org), which specializes in Slavic and Byzantine sacred music. If you haven’t heard a recording or been to a concert, please check them out. It is another way to experience the Byzantine world.

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