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Game of Thrones – East and West, Constantinople and Rome, Emperor and Bishop

The following is a tale of the struggle between the Emperors of Constantinople and the the Bishops of Rome

Yersinia pestis and the Plague of Justinian 541–543 AD: a genomic analysis

Between 541 and 543 AD, the Plague of Justinian, traditionally regarded as the first of three human plague pandemics, spread from either central Asia or Africa across the Mediterranean basin into Europe, killing an estimated 100 million people according to the contemporary scholar Procopius

Medieval Pest Control

Have a pest troubling you? In the Middle Ages, you could try these remedies to get rid of them – poisons, traps, or even writing a letter to them!

Holy and Unholy Miracle Workers

Examining the miracles of Byzantine saints

Two hegemonies, one island: Cyprus as a ‘Middle Ground’ between the Byzantines and the Arabs (650-850 A.D.)

This paper aims to assess the political and cultural status of the island of Cyprus as the only place within the Mediterranean where Christian heirs of Romans and Muslims shared the local tax revenue to create a buffer zone between two empires.

Some Remarks on the Economic Development of the Komnenian Byzantium

The purpose of this article is to identify some of the factors which contributed to this economic revival and rectify the image of Byzantium in the 12th century

Paying the Army in the Theodosian Period

Calculating how much the army was paid during the Theodosian period is more difficult than calculating the army’s pay about a century earlier or later.

Byzantium and the First Crusade: Three Avenues of Approach

A recurring theme in the historiography of the First Crusade is that of the Byzantine emperor asking Pope Urban to send a small contingent against the Turks and receiving instead vast armies over which he had no control

Byzantine influences on Western aristocratic illuminated manuscripts

The main subject of this study is an outstanding twelfth-century psalter produced in Normandy which has clear Eastern influences, both in terms of technical conception and iconography.

The Life of St. Sabas the Younger as a Source for The History of the Catalan Grand Company

A piece of Byzantine hagiography from the fourteenth century which, in spite of its religious character, is a valuable source for the history of the Catalan Grand Company, Roger de Flor’s famous band of Spanish mercenaries hired by the Byzantine emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos (1282-1328) to fight the Turks in Anatolia.

The Rise and Fall of the Byzantine Empire

A five-minute video shows the fortunes of the Byzantine Empire, from the year 396 to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453

The Libraries of the Byzantine World

The evidence for institutional libraries—those of the palace, the secular and patriarchal schools in Constantinople, and the monasteries—gives an approximate idea of the nature and extent of their holdings.

The First Arab Siege of Constantinople

The details of the siege remain, however, shrouded in mystery: its exact dates (670–7 or 674–8?) and length (4 or 7 years?) are a matter of controversy; it is disputed whether the Arabs subjected Constantinople to a regular siege or only to a naval blockade; and the overall logic of events is far from clear.

1500-year-old Byzantine grape seeds discovered in Israel

The charred grape seeds, over 1,500 years old, found in southern Israel excavation were used to produce the ‘Wine of the Negev’ – one of the finest and most renowned wines in the whole of the Byzantine Empire.

Roman identity in Byzantium: a critical approach

The main lines of thinking in the research on medieval Eastern Roman identity could be roughly summarized as follows: The first, extensively influenced by the retrospective Modern Greek national discourse, approaches this identity as the medieval form of the perennial Greek national identity.

Mothers of the Empire: Empresses Zoe and Theodora on a Byzantine Medallion Cycle

This study examines Byzantine enamel medallions of the 11th century that represent empresses in encounters with holy figures.

‘De civitatis utriusque, terrenae scilicet et caelestis’: Foundation Narratives and the Epic Portrayal of the First Crusade

My summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical research on the accounts of Antioch and Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

Medieval Warfare Magazine – Volume IV Issue 6

The Lombard-Byzantine conflict was a defining moment in Byzantine history, and especially important for the future of Italy. The wars would not only lead to the end of Byzantine hegomony in Italy, but they also helped in widening the gap between the pope and Catholic Italy on the one hand, and the Emperor and Greek Constantinople on the other, thus paving the way for the emergence of new Romano-German Christian realms in the West.

The last wonderful thing: the icon of the Heavenly Ladder on Mount Sinai

Description and dating of the icon of the Heavenly Ladder Jacob ‘dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached toheaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

A Byzantine lament for a lost wife

‘For a bond of incomparable love made us happier than all people, but the thieving and cruel hand of Hades cut the bond mercilessly. ‘

The Patriarch Alexios Stoudites and the Reinterpretation of Justinianic Legislation against Heretics

Using normative legal sources such as law codes and imperial novels to illuminate Byzantine heresy is a very difficult proposition. One of the great problems in the analysis of Byzantine law in general is that the normative legal sources rarely were adapted to subsequent economic, political, or social conditions.

Unexpected Evidence concerning Gold Mining in Early Byzantium

One of the consequences of the decline of Roman imperial might was the shortage of slaves at state-run mines. Consequently, criminals were often sentenced to damnatio ad metallum. The need for gold especially soared when the gold solidus was introduced at the beginning of the fourth century.

Classical trends in Byzantine and Western Art in the 13th and 14th centuries

During the last two centuries before the Renaissance of the arts in Italy in the 15th century, different waves of classical trends marked the artistic creation of both Byzantine and western worlds.

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