12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of The Byzantine Empire
By Lars Brownworth
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
This history of the Byzantine Empire is a lecture series written and presented by Mr. Lars Brownworth, author of the book "Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization". (in bookstores and on Amazon.com) He has traveled extensively from the furthest reaches of the Byzantine Empire all the way to its heart at Constantinople. Join him for an engaging look at the history of the Byzantine Empire through the eyes of 12 of its greatest rulers. For more information, including video of Mr. Brownworth's Smithsonian Lecture on Byzantium, please visit http://www.12byzantinerulers.com/
||CleanEpisode 1 - Introduction||What is the Byzantine Empire? Why would a Byzantine citizen call himself Roman and not know what the Byzantine Empire was? In this introduction to Byzantine history, Lars Brownworth describes where Byzantium came from and why defining Byzantium is a murky||6/27/2005||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2 - Diocletian||The Emperor Diocletian was to erase civil war within Byzantium for the next thousand years but walked away from it all to become a cabbage farmer. Who was this military man and how could he just give it all up? Join Lars Brownworth as the story of Byzanti||8/9/2005||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3 - Constantine - Part 1||From the chaotic background of the tetrarchy, a vulnerable staff officer would navigate the treacherous waters of the empire and eventually emerge as Emperor. How could such an unlikely man unify the empire under one ruler? In this lecture, Lars Brownwort||11/29/2005||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4 - Constantine - Part 2||Constantine has achieved supreme power and made one of the most momentous decisions in history, that of founding a new capital and rescuing a faith seemingly on the brink of schism. However, his megalomania undid most of his work unifying the church and t||12/29/2005||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5 - Julian||A shy, awkward, Pagan philosopher with no ambitions and no experience is appointed Caesar. How could such an unlikely 23 year old become the head of a Christian empire? Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at Julian, the last of Constantine's dynasty.||1/25/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6 - Zeno||By the middle of the 5th Century the Roman Empire was on the verge of collapse. Its emperors were mere puppets, its armies were in chaos, and enemies were closing in on all sides. Unable to sustain itself, the West collapsed, plunging Europe into the Dark||2/19/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7 - Justinian - Part 1||As the 6th Century dawned on the tottering Byzantine State, the future seemed to hold only decline and decay, and yet unexpectedly, it was to see a renaissance unmatched in the long history of the empire. On every front, it seemed, were gathered the tower||3/11/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8 - Justinian - Part 2||With the return of relative calm after the reign's turbulent beginnings, Justinian could turn to his most ambitious project, the reconquest of the Western Empire. For this, his most cherished goal, he looked to one man, the young, promising general, Belis||5/29/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 9 - Justinian - Part 3||With the reconquest of Italy seemingly complete and the Persian threat momentarily neutralized by the plague, Justinian could at last afford to rest. But the empire's enemies were everywhere- the plague abated and a charismatic new Gothic king arose in It||7/17/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10 - Heraclius||In the years following Justinian's death, the empire was rocked from within and without. Barbarians pushed in on every border and the empire's ancient enemy Persia ravaged the East unchecked. The empire met this challenge with a series of weak and foolish||10/12/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11 - Irene||When the weak, ineffectual emperor Leo IV died in 780, he left the empire divided and in the hands of an orphan from Athens; the beautiful and grasping Empress Irene. 17 years later she was crowned as sole ruler after murdering her own son to take his pla||11/8/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12 - Basil I||Basil I was hardly a promising candidate to usher in a new golden age to the Byzantine Empire. A poor, illiterate Armenian peasant, he was kidnapped by raiding Bulgarians as a boy, and only managed to escape in his mid twenties. Renowned for his great s||12/2/2006||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13 - Basil II||By the time Basil II was crowned at age two, the Macedonian Dynasty had led the Byzantine Empire to seemingly endless military victories and unprecedented heights of glory. However it was not the emperors who had accomplished so much, but their powerful||1/1/2007||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14 - Alexius||When the 24 year old Alexius Comnenus came to the throne, the glories of the Empire seemed long gone. Its "invincible" army had been smashed at the battle of Manzikert, the frontiers were collapsing, and enemies on every side threatened to overwhelm what||3/19/2007||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15 - Isaac||Isaac Angelus was never meant for the throne. He should have lived out his life in comfortable obscurity, but instead found imperial power thrust upon him as Alexius I's brilliant dynasty came to a bloody and decadent conclusion. Unfortunately he and his||8/13/2007||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16 - Constantine XI||The 14th century was not a kind one for Byzantium. The Fourth Crusade had left it a hollow shell of itself, fatally crippled in the face of Turkish aggression. A series of forgettable rulers did what they could, but by the middle of the next century all||9/24/2007||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17 - Conclusion||With the death of Constantine XI, the Byzantine Empire drew to a close. But that was not the end of the story. From the Orthodox Church, to the Russian Empire, their spirit survived, and offers enduring lessons for the modern world. Join Lars Brownwort||1/29/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanReading Suggestions||Lars Brownworth gives some reading suggestions on the Byzantine Empire.||2/12/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNorman Centuries Podcast Teaser||Lars Brownworth's new podcast called Norman Centuries is also available.||9/24/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
I'm disappointed because I don't think I'll ever find another podcast that I enjoy as much as this one!! It's akin to when you discover some book you love and then you try to find others like it but you soon realize the one you started with everyone considers the best, so you've got no place to go but down. Such is the case with this one. It's the best. Mr. Brownworth is a true, even-handed history who is not only accurate, but presents the information in such a fascinating way that you can't wait to get started on the next episode as soon as you finish the last. The truly blessed are Mr. Brownworth's students.
Brownsworth has created a podcasting Masterpiece!
I first discovered Brownworths work late one night at the office. I was instantly hooked. I enjoy this series more than any recorded book. On a recent road trip to the coast, my friends were captivated by the incredible narrative style. They could not believe this was a historical lecture series. We had to finish segment 3 before we could get out of our parked car to eat lunch! Download and enjoy!
One of the best podcasts.
He teaches like he is talking to a friend. I find myself listening to episodes more than once - definitely a must have. After listening to this podcast, I hope he will do others.