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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Coins from the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens, Greece

Overspending, Politics & Currency Devaluation

Above: coins from the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens, Greece. Few would argue against calling economics 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,

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Carving of two of the "Four Tetrarchs"

Byzantium in Venice and Ravenna

Venice I took the photo above at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. The men of the Fourth Crusade absconded with it from Constantinople in about 1204. They are two of the “Four Tetrarchs”, in the highly prized purple porphyry marble. It is now housed above the narthex, or porch

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