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‘Greek fire’ revisited: current and recent research

The first point to make is that it seems now widely agreed that liquid fire was, in fact, a petroleum-based weapon, and had no connection whatsoever with explosive materials or mixtures,

New Medieval Books: Byzantium and the Islamic World

Five recent books that looks at the first centuries of contact and conflict between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.

Sport During the Byzantine Era

It is without question that chariot racing was the most celebrated sport event of the Byzantine era.

Christ as Priest in Byzantine church decoration of the 11th and 12th centuries

The 11th century was a watershed in the Byzantine church decoration.

How to Murder a Byzantine Emperor

Three tales of murder from the Byzantine court.

Justinian and the Senate of Rome under Ostrogothic Rule

Although this law deals with a dry, technical matter, interesting only to the students of Roman civil law, especially testamentary law, it is also quite interesting for the study of the law making procedure in the time of Justinian.

Infantry versus Cavalry: The Byzantine Response

The Byzantines encountered many different nations on the battlefield during their long history.

Past and Present in Mid-Byzantine Chronicles: Change in Narrative Technique and the Transmission of Knowledge

Particular emphasis will be placed on the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor and the Chronicle of Symeon the Logothete.

The Historiography of Crisis: Jordanes, Cassiodorus and Justinian in mid sixth-century Constantinople

This article presents a new interpretation of the historiographical production of Jordanes by situating it in the political and social environment of Constantinople of the years 550-552.

The Soldier’s Life: Early Byzantine Masculinity and the Manliness of War

The Soldier’s Life: Early Byzantine Masculinity and the Manliness of War By Michael Stewart Byzantina Σymmeikta, Vol. 26 (2016) Introduction: The ancient Romans admired the characteristics that they believed allowed them to establish hegemony over their rivals. It comes as little surprise then that the hyper-masculine qualities of the Roman soldier became the standard by which […]

13th century skeleton discovered with oldest known form of maternal infection

By Michelle Donovan The 800-year-old skeleton of a young woman buried in a graveyard on the outskirts of the fabled city of Troy is yielding new insights into the evolution of bacterial infections and maternal health. Researchers at the University of McMaster’s Ancient DNA Centre and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have sequenced the complete genomes […]

An Uneasy Relation: Byzantium and the Nomads

Byzantine sources provide abundant information about how the imperial government in Constantinople dealt with the peoples inhabiting the steppe lands north of the Black and Caspian Seas.

A Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean? New results and theories on the interplay between climate and societies in Byzantium and the Near East, ca. 1000–1200 AD

The reflection about the impact of climate on human society goes back to antiquity. It has gained renewed intensity with the discussion about climate change and its possible anthropogenic causes in the last decades.

Mob Politics: The Political Influence of the Circus Factions in the Eastern Empire from the Reign of Leo I to Heraclius (457-641)

This thesis explores the political motivations behind the factions’ violent behaviour, the evidence for their involvement in the military, and their role in accession ceremonies.

The Western presence in the Byzantine Empire during the reigns of Alexios I and John II Komnenos (1081-1143)

Contacts between Byzantium and the West increased during this period, which witnessed significant events like the First Crusade and the expansion of the Italian trading communities.

Negotiating the Sacred: Byzantium, Venice and the True Cross in Late Medieval Venice

Dr. Klein’s lecture about art, faith and politics in late medieval Venice.

The Varangian Legend: Testimony from the Old Norse sources

In the eleventh century there existed, within the great army of the Byzantine empire, a regiment composed mainly of soldiers from Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. This regiment was known as the Varangian Guard

Medieval Warfare Magazine – Volume 6 Issue 3

This summer you can read about the so-called ‘Last War of Antiquity’. The theme of the latest issue of Medieval Warfare is the Byzantine-Sassanid War of the seventh-century.

Diorasis denied: Opposition to clairvoyance in Byzantium from late Antiquity to the eleventh century

This article treats the phenomenon of clairvoyance, the ability to know the thoughts of others that set holy men apart from ordinary human beings who had to make inferences from a person’s outward appearance.

The Historicity of Imperial Bride-Shows

Seven independent Byzantine sources record that five times in the eighth and ninth centuries the winner in a competition of beautiful women became the bride of an emperor or future emperor.

Challenge to the Throne: the Byzantine Princess Anna Komnene and Conspiracies, 1118-1119

Today, I will focus on the latter aspect, and look at two conspiracies plans in terms of her character as a princess hungry for power.

Uterine cancer in the writings of Byzantine physicians

Byzantine physicians recognized uterine cancer as a distinct disease and tried to suggest a therapeutic approach. The work of Oribasius, Aetius of Amida, Paul of Aegina, Cleopatra Metrodora and Theophanes Nonnus reflects the Hippocratic-Galenic scientific ideas as well as their own concept on this malignancy. According to their writings uterine cancer was considered an incurable disease and its treatment was based mainly on palliative herbal drugs.

A Tale of too Many Romes: Competing Byzantine and Medieval Claims to Roman Legacy

Likewise in the Middle Ages, Rome’s legacy was contested among many powers and interested parties. The eastern (Byzantine) and western (German) emperors insisted that each was the sole legitimate owner of the title ‘Emperor of the Romans.’

Lazarus Rising: Nikephoros Phokas and the Tenth Century Byzantine Military Renaissance

This paper examines how the Byzantine Empire accomplished this drastic change in fortunes, shifting from a defensive position to one of conquest.

The First Book Reviewer

A book reviewer from the 9th century – unsurprisingly, he hated a lot of what her read.

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