Category Archives: Byzantium

Turmoil in the Balkans

Released on Patreon.com now 2 of the 4 episodes on the Fall of Constantinople 1453. Build-up to the siege, the Ottoman Turks recover from a civil war and become stronger under the rule of Sultan Murad II, inflicting a string of defeats against Christians in the Balkans, most notably at Varna, Bulgaria in 1444 (pictured) and Kosovo 1448

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3521613

The Sicilian Vespers Parts 1 to 3

I have released on Patreon.com a three part set of episodes on The Sicilian Vespers.
On the fateful night of 30th March 1282 at sunset on Easter Monday a local revolt in Palermo erupted and spread over the whole island of Sicily. Was it pre-planned, or spontaneous, or a mixture of the two? Either way, it was a pivotal event for all major European powers on the Mediterranean; the Papacy, the Byzantine Empire, France and Spain/Aragon, as well as Italy itself (Pictured: Paintings of the event by Francesco Hayez).
The first part is available to all, the second and third to my patrons who have pledged $3 or more a month. If any questions – please get in touch (carl@historyeurope.net)
My Patreon page is at: www.patreon.com/user?u=35216

Cherson 988 Part 5, Conversion of Russians to Christianity

Vladimir the Great is credited with transforming Kievan Rus into a true medieval state with Christianity at the heart of its sense of identity. The story is linked to the siege of the Crimean city of Cherson in 988 and the Byzantine Emperor Basil II the Bulgar Slayer

Cherson 988, Part 4, Early Kievan Rus. Rurik to Svyatoslav

The dynasty of Rurik builds the foundations of a new power in eastern Europe – Kievan Rus. Princess Olga takes vengeance on a rebel town by burning it down, but after converting to Christianity was later sainted. Her son, Syvatoslav defeats the Khazars and then tries to resettle his people in Bulgaria before his early death

Constantinople 1204 (Fourth Crusade), Part 2


When crusaders arrived at Constantinople in 1203 they gazed in wonder, having never imagined that there could be so fine a place in the world. The ‘Queen of Cities’, founded by Constantine The Great in the early fourth century, had become imbued over the centuries with legends and Christian myths that gave the place a spiritual aura to match its physical grandeur. Yet in 1204 the city would be violently sacked and theĀ once mighty Empire brought to its knees.

The Capture of Constantinople 1204, Tintoretto

Painting by Tintoretto (16th century)