Michael Psellos – A Life Examined

Michael Psellos and Emperor Michael VII Ducas This is the second of three posts on Michael Psellos and his impact on medieval Byzantium. Michael Psellos – Turncoat Michael Psellos, the quintessential Byzantine bureaucrat, began his career in the imperial justice system, working in Anatolia in the 1030’s. Eventually, he became

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Michael Psellos – A Life Examined

This is the first of three posts on Micheal Psellos and his impact on medieval Byzantium. Michael Psellos – Secular Byzantine? The Byzantines have a well-earned reputation for religious devotion and fondness for theological arguments throughout their history. They had little tolerance for deviation from religious orthodoxy at any time.

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The Serpent Column

I think most of us interested in Byzantine history are familiar with the historian, Dame Averil Cameron from Oxford University. She and I follow each other on Twitter and she mentioned a book a colleague of hers wrote, ‘The Serpent Column – A Cultural Biography’ by Paul Stephenson (no relation).

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Byzantine History in the 11th Century – A Brief Introduction

I received great news the other day – my newest book, Byzantine History in the 11th Century – A Brief Introduction, was awarded the coveted Indie/B.R.A.G. Medallion! That means that all of my books have earned this honor. What is Indie/B.R.A.G.? The Indie/B.R.A.G. organization has writers and readers who have

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Alexios I Comnenus and Upheavals

Wedding of Alexios I Comnenus and Irene Ducaena A few years back Jared Diamond wrote a best-selling book, “Guns, Germs, & Steel” which tried to explain trends in global history. Like many others, I found his observations to be enlightening, if sometimes flawed. He recently came out with a new

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Michael Psellos

Review – Psellos and the Patriarchs

Letters and Funeral Orations for Keroullarios, Leichoudes, and Xiphilinos Translated by Anthony Kaldellis and Ioannis Polemis Copyright 2015 by University of Notre Dame Michael Psellos’ history, “Fourteen Byzantine Rulers” contains invaluable information for those interested in 11th century Byzantine history. This remarkable history  provides more detailed (and gossipy) information about

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Imperial Passions, The Porta Aurea, by Eileen Stephenson

Spreading the word about the Byzantines

Susan Weintrob, reader, foodie, and book blogger, recently contacted me after enjoying “Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea”. She lives in Charleston and has a website, “Expand the Table”, full of both delicious recipes and wonderful book reviews. I can definitely vouch for the recipes! She asked me for an

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