The myth of the ‘invincibility’ of the Norman cavalry charge
Did the Normans exhibit any innovation in the battlefields of Normandy, England, Italy, Sicily, or the Balkans?
Was Constantinople besieged in 674-78?
The story of the so-called First Arab Siege of Constantinople.
The story of a Byzantine military manual: Syrianos magistros and his compendium ‘Anonymus Byzantinus’
Who was Syrianos, and how did he come to be identified as the author of a collection of works of military nature that so deeply influenced the Byzantine literary genre of the military manuals in the 10th century?
The double-headed eagle as a symbol in the Byzantine Empire: myths and realities
After the Holy Cross, perhaps no other symbol has been associated more closely with the history and fate of the Byzantine Empire than the double-headed eagle motif
Negotiation and tolerance or brutal show of force? The Normans in Southern Italy
What was the strategy of the Norman expansion in Apulia, Calabria and Sicily and what were the factors that shaped it?
Byzantine Spies and Espionage
Here, I will deal with the methods and dangers of information and intelligence flow that authorities in Byzantium could gather in local markets and fairs, important ports, and taverns and inns, and how they reacted to spies and espionage activity in these particular places.
The Art of War from Ancient to Medieval: The Role of Byzantine Military Manuals
One question historians have been asking is how much of these Byzantine manuals are imitations of their ancient predecessors, and how much do they reflect the strategic thinking of their own period?
Diplomacy, bribery, trickery and ‘other means’: Defending the Byzantine Empire
I will try to figure out the delicate equilibrium between the appetite of the Byzantines for war, and their willingness to negotiate by ‘other means’, i.e diplomacy, or the employment of stratagems, craft, and bribery.
Why battles could be so decisive in the Middle Ages
I just wrote a book about the Middle Ages viewed through the lens of the most potent and dramatic aspect of war – battle.
Byzantine strategy in the East and the key role of Armenia
What were the deeper reasons that drew the super-power of the time, Byzantium, into a protracted and ‘all-out’ conflict with the Arabs of Aleppo in the middle of the 10th century?
From peasant to Byzantine emperor: the remarkable career of Basil the ‘Macedonian’
The unexpected rise of Basil and the obscurity of his origins resulted in one of the most striking features of the history of the early Macedonian dynasty: the growth of a myth around his birth, his early life and achievements
Love, marriage and abduction in Byzantium: the epic romance of Digenes Akritas
What can an epic poem from the the 12th century tells us about love and marriage in the Byzantine world?
What was the fate of the ‘True Cross’ in the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars?
Despite the fact that there is a relative abundance of contemporary or near contemporary sources on Heraclius’ campaigns, it is hard – if not impossible – to retrace the chronology of the events leading up to the restoration of the Cross.
The aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert (1071): What really brought the Byzantine Empire to its knees
The real challenge for the Empire in the aftermath of Manzikert lay in the mad scramble for power in Constantinople.
The Mongols in Europe: The Byzantines, the Bulgarians and the Golden Horde
How did the Mongol presence in the Balkans effect its two main political powers – the Byzantines and the Bulgarians?
Byzantium and Venice: The Rise and Fall of a Medieval Alliance
The story of the Venetian-Byzantine military alliance is a complex one, with many questions that need to be answered.