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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

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Caravanseri in Turkey

Although these caravanseri are not quite Byzantine, we visited two that would have been built in the late Byzantine era and I thought my readers might be interested in seeing photos of them from our recent trip to Turkey. Like many of us, I had read and enjoyed Peter Frankopan’s book,

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Review – Psellos and the Patriarchs

Letters and Funeral Orations for Keroullarios, Leichoudes, and Xiphilinos Translated by Anthony Kaldellis and Ioannis PolemisCopyright 2015 by University of Notre Dame Michael Psellos’ history, “Fourteen Byzantine Rulers” has been an invaluable source for those of us interested in Byzantine history, particularly the 11th century until the reign of Michael

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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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