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The History of Byzantium

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http://thehistoryofbyzantium.com

Podcasts , History

The History of Byzantium is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the fall of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Robin Pierson is from London in the UK. He writes about American TV shows at thetvcritic.org and works for his father (an actor).

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Carol W.

Carol W.

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Good follow up to the History of Rome. Clear Narrative, I like that he generally sticks to mid-length episodes, but alters the length when needed.
Tony Diaz

Tony Diaz

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Like many others, I came to The History of Byzantium having just sailed through the entirety of Mike Duncan's riveting The History of Rome podcast. On the heels of Mike's description of the Rome's collapse in the West, I found myself hungry for the next chapter. What about the Greek-speaking half of the empire that survived for another 1,000 years, almost to the Renaissance? I have long felt like this is one of those gaping holes in Western history as it is customarily taught: a huge chapter of European history that we for some reason ignore.

Well, Robin Pierson has never disappointed as a successor to Mike Duncan. In his hands, Eastern Roman imperial history has unfolded with real fluency. After briefly reviewing how the late Roman Empire's power and wealth shifted toward the Greek-speaking east and toward Christianity under Constantine, Robin dove in to the bitter controversies and mysteries of Byzantine politics after the West fell. Since then, Robin has told a consistently engaging tale, balancing palace and church intrigue, military strategy, and broad social commentary.

Throughout, Robin always points up controversial issues and the difficulties of understanding ancient texts and archaeological questions. The website provides plenty of maps, illustrations, and a rich bibliography for further reading. I especially appreciate his inclusion of guest subject matter experts in the podcast, drawing listeners into controversies over (for example) the origins of Islam. I eagerly anticipate every broadcast. Always fascinating.
Simon Wheeler

Simon Wheeler

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I've listened to most history podcasts out there and lots of paid-for audiobooks too. HoB podcast is up there with the very best of the lot.

- Content is fascinating and very much outside the well-trodden range of historical topics
- Well-researched and thoughtfully structured
- Beautifully narrated, good pace and clear
- Always careful to present as well-rounded a view as possible

If you love learning about history, then this is definitely one to put to the top of your list.
The Wheelman

The Wheelman

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Simply a great podcast. It's great that someone has taken on themselves to continue the great work begun by Mike Duncan in "The History of Rome", and so far it's been an worthy continuation.

My particular favorite parts so far are a ~45 minute episode on the self-identification of people in the so-called "Byzantine Empire" (hint: they never called themselves that), and an epic 2-hour episode on the last war between the Romans and the Persians in the 6th century, in which Heraclius takes the last army in the Empire to an almost impossible victory.

In short, whether or not you've listened to "The History of Rome", this is a podcast I would recommend to anyone with any interest in history, particularly Roman/ancient history.
Alexander Winn

Alexander Winn

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This is a really great podcast! The site is a little sparse, but that's ok: we're really just in it for the info. The narrative is clear and interesting, and the content is fascinating. Highly recommended!
Richard Booth

Richard Booth

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This is the podcast that I really look forward to more than any other. The information given is fascinating, and the production is second to none.

It is a continuation of The History of Rome by Mike Duncan but I believe it has surpassed that as great as it was.

Well worth a listen. You won't be disappointed.
kendrick

kendrick

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I have just finished to the back issues of the podcast and really look forward to further programmes. It gives a detailed yet understandable history of the Byzantium state which as the modern use of the word "Byzantium" is often complex but the podcast does well to explain what has occurred.
Stephen C.

Stephen C.

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One of the best history podcasts around at the moment.
Ostensibly a continuation of the epic History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan the History of Byzantium is both its equal and a very worthy and distinctive podcast in its own right.
A period little known to many this is the very best introduction to the Roman East there is and long may it continue until the bitter end of that fascinating civilisation, that 1000 year old pearl balanced between east and west.
Unmissable.
tanberg

tanberg

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I love this podcast. The audio is great and the topic is something that isn't covered by much of western histories. The Robin presents everything Ina narrative style that makes me care about the people. If it wasn't for this podcast I wouldn't really even care about Rome. I cant recommend this enough.
Marc T.

Marc T.

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I came to this podcast, like so many others, in the awful dry period between the end of Mike Duncan's "The History of Rome" and the announcement of his "Revolutions". I was starved for a history-podcast fix, and even more I felt I'd been left hanging at a critical point in the story. Well, thank the podcasting gods for Robin Pierson!

His historical research is thorough, his writing is excellent, and his podcasting delivery is a pleasure to listen to. He alternates stretches of narrative episodes with episodes detailing the cultural/religious/societal landscape at various points; as a result, I feel I have a better feeling for what Byzantine life was like that I ever did when I was studying the subject.

Highly recommended.
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The History of Byzantium

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It's so amazing that we have the opportunity to listen to so many years of history is such a fine detail. It's a marvel of the modern world. Thanks for doing this, Robin!


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