Tag: Byzantium & Friends


Trees have histories too, with Alexander Olson

A conversation with Alexander Olson about the secret lives of olive trees and oak trees in Byzantium. Contrary to what you may think, these were not cultivated consistently in the Mediterranean ecosystem of the Middle Ages; their uses to the human population fluctuated over time, giving the trees a history of their own, albeit one shaped by that of the people around them (and vice versa).


How did emperors make decisions? with Michael Grünbart

A conversation with Michael Grünbart about the problem of imperial decision-making. Byzantine emperors are often presented to us as perfectly virtuous monarchs favored by God, but can we pull the veil away from this image and understand the difficult conditions under which they had to make decisions that could potentially cost them their throne? Whom did they consult? How and why did they delegate? Did they have experts? Data? When could they avoid making decisions? As someone in academic middle-management, these questions cut close to home!