Blog

Armenia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a new exhibit of art and artifacts from Armenia at the museum until January 13, 2019. I decided to visit it since one of the characters in my novel, Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea, was the last king of

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Metadata, Keywords, and Email Lists

I apologize to my readers who only check out my blogs for the Byzantine history – I am going to instead share information that will be more helpful for authors trying to get traction and sales in the independent publishing market. Don’t worry that this will become a habit –

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Imperial Passions, The Porta Aurea, by Eileen Stephenson

Spreading the word about the Byzantines

I was recently contacted by reader, foodie, and book blogger, Susan Weintrob who really enjoyed reading “Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea”. She lives in Charleston and her “Expand the Table” website is full of both delicious recipes and wonderful book reviews. She asked me for an interview and was

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Coins from the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens, Greece

Overspending, Politics & Currency Devaluation

Above: coins from the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens, Greece. Economics has often been called the dismal science. I’m not sure it is a science so much as wishful thinking, especially when it comes to the predictions economists make. However, my day job is in the finance industry and

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Carving of two of the "Four Tetrarchs"

Byzantium in Venice and Ravenna

The photo above was taken at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. The carving was taken from Constantinople in about 1204, following the Fourth Crusade. They are two of the “Four Tetrarchs”. The carving looks to be of the highly prized purple porphyry marble. This carving is now housed above

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The royal wedding of Alexios I Comnenus and Irene Ducaena

Empress Irene Ducaena

Above: The royal wedding of Alexios I Comnenus and Irene Ducaena. Irene Ducaena was the wife and empress of Alexios I Comnenus, marrying him shortly after he seized the throne on April 1, 1081. Her daughter, the erudite Anna Comnena, wrote glowingly of her mother in her history, The Alexiad

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Romanos IV Diogenes - submitting to Alp Aslan after defeat at the Battle of Manzikert

The Unlucky Diogenes Family

Romanos IV Diogenes – submitting to Alp Aslan after defeat at the Battle of Manzikert The Diogenes family first came to prominence during the reign of Basil II early in the 11th century. Constantine Diogenes rose through the ranks of the taghmata – the central armies under the control of

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Imperial Passions, The Porta Aurea, by Eileen Stephenson

Imperial Passions – An Excerpt

For those of you interested in 11th century Byzantium, here is an excerpt from my novel, Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea. This scene takes place in the church of the great monastery of St. John Stoudion, not far from the Porta Aurea (Golden Gate) of Constantinople. It marks the

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The Empress's Spot in the Hagia Sophia

The Empress’s Spot

The Hagia Sophia is a treasure house of history – a building still standing and magnificent after 15 centuries. I could spend a week just examining its many parts and still find something new. But on my first visit I was especially interested in the green circle of marble in

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Byzantine Art – A historian’s view, Part 2

I continue my interview with Professor Lawrence Butler here. He has some great recommendations of places to visit when you’re in Istanbul! Q – Having spent some time in Istanbul, what other buildings do you recommend visiting to learn more about Byzantine architecture, and what makes those buildings special? A

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