Tag Archives: Empress

Historical novels from Marie Heese and Ross Laidlaw

I have just returned from walking Hadrian’s Wall – which I highly recommend – during which I decided to read some Roman historical fiction, and I thought I would share these books with you. by Tom Sawford I came across … Continue reading

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Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy

Tom Holland enjoys a rip-roaring ride with an empress. A new book out in hardback. Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy, 352pp, published by Virago, £12.99 First published in The Guardian, Saturday 17 July 2010 The grander the show of … Continue reading

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Icon of the Triumph of Orthodoxy from BBC’s History of the World Series

At last this series brings us something from Byzantium! As the series now approaches a point in time which is just prior to the Renaissance, why has Byzantium had just one ‘outing’? The series lays claim to be a history … Continue reading

Posted in Byzantium 330-1453 Exhibition, Podcasts, Radio & TV Programmes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades by Jonathan Phillips

It seems our fascination with the Crusades, and the temptation to draw parallels with current tensions between Christian and Muslim, and East and West, is as popular as ever with many new books on the subject. Of course we all … Continue reading

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The Popularity of Byzantium – Over 4,000 Blog Visits

I am so pleased that so many of you keep on visiting the blog and that the variety of topics is drawing in ever larger audiences. It took five months for our first 1,000 MyByzantine Blog visits; three months for the … Continue reading

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Bettany Hughes Uncovers Istanbul

Thirty years after her first visit, the historian returns to find hidden treasures in the European Capital of Culture for 2010 Firecrackers and cars do not typically mix. But when one of Istanbul’s football teams wins, the traffic in the … Continue reading

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The Byzantine Treasury of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena

Stephania Gerevini  is taking a PhD covering the transportability of Byzantine art to 14C Italian city states at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I was able to hear her present on her work so far at King’s College, London on … Continue reading

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The Secret History by Procopius

I have recently finished reading “The Secret History” by Procopius. He was the personal secretary to Emperor Justinian’s excellent General Belisarius. It was Belisarius who fought and held off the Persians in the East, and then defeated the Vandals in … Continue reading

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Easter and Byzantine Liturgical Music

Something that is perhaps little known is the wealth of Byzantine liturgical music that has survived. The style of music is perhaps personified by the chant, but later pieces have a closer affinity to Western musical styles that we might associate with the Renaissance. This is no coincidence as contact between East and West increased after the retaking of the City from the Latins. Continue reading

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Anna Comnena’s “The Alexiad”

Byzantium produced some well known women Empresses such as Theodora and Zoe. Perhaps the best Augusta they did not have was Anna Comnena, the Daughter of The Emperor Alexius I Comnenus who reigned from 1081 until 1118. Well, in her opinion she is the best Augusta they never had according to her excellent biography of her father known as The Alexiad. Continue reading

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Byzantium and Leadership in a Crisis

“There is nothing more conducive to the destruction of a nation, whether it be republic or monarchy, than the lack of men of wisdom and intellect. When a republic has many citizens, or a monarchy many ministers, of high quality it quickly recovers from those losses that are brought about by misfortune. When such men are lacking, it falls into the very depths of disgrace. That is why I deplore the present state of the Empire which, having produced so many excellent men in the past, has now been reduced to such a level of sterility that today’s governors possess nothing to elevate them above those whom they govern.” Continue reading

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Welcome to My Byzantine Blog

How do you start a blog? What pearls of wisdom can one offer to amuse, educate, and inform the thousands of readers that you expect will flock to read your musings about your chosen subject? (Pause for effect) … I … Continue reading

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