Anyone who is familiar with Byzantine history has likely heard of the . Her book, “Alexiad” is an outstanding history of the reign of her father, the Emperor Alexios I Comnenus. While definitely hagiographic, it contains tidbits of life in the Great Palace, stories about the First Crusade, as well
This is from an article I wrote for Byzantine Times magazine last year. The Eastern Roman Empire lasted for over a thousand years before finally expiring in 1453. The turning point in its history – the point at which it began its long decline – is often considered to be
The Byzantines had possession of Sicily off and on for hundreds of years, until they finally lost it forever during the reign of Empress Zoe and her three husbands in the 11th century. Following the Byzantines came the Moslems from North Africa, who held it for a few decades before
Medieval women had few rights anywhere, but in the 11th century and into the early 12th century, Byzantine women held positions of more consequence than elsewhere, and they had opportunities that women in the rest of Europe did not have until centuries later. The 11th century did not start out
The eastern Roman empire, commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, has had the reputation of being sneaky, conniving, and downright nefarious among western Europeans for centuries. However, few western Europeans aside from Italian traders had any personal knowledge of the Byzantines prior to the Crusades, so it seems likely that
Once upon a time, in the distant city of Constantinople that was the golden capital of the Roman Empire in the 11th century, lived Princess Zoe. Unfortunately, here the story diverges from the usual fairy tales with their happy endings. Our Zoe was not a young princess when the story
The day of May 29th coincides this year (2017) with several anniversaries of note. Most recently, it is the 100th anniversary of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s birth. Also, in the U.S. the Memorial Day holiday when we remember our war dead falls this year on May 29th. Although he
Some years ago, early in my Byzantine obsession, I found a novel “Justinian” which I naively thought was about the great Justinian, the one who built the Hagia Sophia. The novel’s author was “H.N. Turteltaub”, the pen name of Harry Turtledove who also happened to be the translator of the
Anna Comnena was the first child of the Eastern Roman emperor, Alexios I Comnenus, born Dec. 1st, 1083 and named after Alexios’s mother, the determined Anna Dalassena. She was soon betrothed to Constantine Ducas, the son of a prior emperor, Michael VII Ducas. Young Constantine’s mother had been instrumental in
1. You will not receive more than one email from me each month.
2. It may be contentious, but I may discuss Byzantine politics from time to time. Amateurish modern politics will never be discussed.