Category: A short history of Byzantium

In 476 the Roman Empire fell or rather its western half did. Its eastern half, which we will come to know as the Byzantine Empire would survive and often flourish for over a thousand years.
It is my attempt here to present its story from Roman beginnings to the fall of Constantinople. (I will present it in chronological order beginning with Constantine the Great.) In the words of John Julius Norwich “The luckless historian can only weigh the probabilities and tell his story as best he can.” This is my aim too, to tell you the reader a thousand year story as best as I can.

The Rise of Julian: Caesar in Gaul.

When Julian first took command of his Gallic armies at the end of 355, he was almost twenty-four years of […]

Julian the Apostate

By the end of Constantine’s reign, there were an estimated twenty-four million Christians living in the Roman Empire. These numbers […]

Constantius II, the Byzantine autocrat (Part 2)

The real danger to the Roman empire often came, not from its citizens, nor the Christians, as some would like […]

Constantius II, the Byzantine autocrat (Part 1).

Constantius is arguably the most interesting of the three sons of Constantine I. He lived long enough, unlikely his brothers […]

In the beginning there were 12 Byzantine Rulers: Lars Brownworth speaks candidly about podcasting, Justinian and history.

From humble beginnings, Lars Brownworth’s love for history would in my opinion revolutionize how we learn and in fact even […]

Fishing Byzantine style !!!

Constantinople was a hub of activity with markets and stalls and among these markets was fish produce caught by fishermen. […]

A very short history of Merchants and Trade in Constantinople.

Constantinople was renowned for its merchants and markets from the 5th to the 10th centuries. The city attracted in large […]

Constans: champion of the Trinity or enemy of Gaul ?

Last time we left Constans, he had emerged triumphant against his older brother Constantine II in 340 AD. It may […]

“Instant Karma”!

The solidus of Constans, as pictured above, was probably struck on the occasion of the celebrations of the Quinquennalia of […]

Like Father, Like Son.

  “And close kinsmen as we were, how this most humane Emperor (Constantius) treated us ! Six of my cousins […]