Trouble on the horizon. From the mid 370’s a frightening new nomadic force arrive out of Asia and into eastern Europe. These warrior people were the Huns, who descended upon the Gothic tribes of northeastern Europe, causing utter destruction and… Read More ›
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.
Valentinian is sometimes described as a brooding and violent man. Ammianus Marcellinus, in particular, does not mince his words describing Valentinian’s famous anger, ‘His very voice and expression, his gait and his complexion changed when he was in a rage.’… Read More ›
This is the reverse of a solidus minted by Valens, which depicts Valens and his older brother Valentinian, seated on the throne and holding a globe between them, a symbol of power. Behind them stands Victory with her outspread wings. The gold… Read More ›
Despite some small variation, this map of the Roman–Sassanid frontier represents the peace treaty that was arranged between Jovian and Sharpur II in 363. The Roman Empire is on the left and the Sassanid Empire on the right. Importantly, Sharpur… Read More ›
The astounding success of Julian’s rise in five short years, from a bookworm to Caesar, was genuinely celebrated by his army and citizens. He had excelled, against all expectations placed upon him, but at a great cost of irritating his… Read More ›
About three years ago, when Mike Duncan stopped producing his ‘History of Rome’ podcast, thousands of podcast listeners mourned in silence. A lot of like-minded listeners toyed with the idea of continuing the history of the later Roman Empire (Byzantium)… Read More ›