Empire Forever - Rediscover the incredible people of 9th Century New Rome
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Recent Posts

Basil I - pauper to prince of power - fiction vs. history
Launch of Queen of Lies hypertext edition
Riots, economic stagnation and political malaise - what's new?
Is Byzantium a dirty word?
Better the Sultan's turban than the Pope's tiara - Part 2


Byzantium - personal impact
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Imagine Byzantium!

Byzantium - personal impact

Better the Sultan's turban than the Pope's tiara - Part 2

I am really talking about a Caliph rather than a Sultan, and I don't think the Pope had much in the way of a tiara yet.
A page from Al-Khwārizmī's The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and BalancingBut the rather late Byzantine viewpoint of the title of this blog (probably due mostly to the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by the Venetians) could easily be applied much earlier, when it was clear that the real source of learning and intellectual life in Late Antiquity, at least in the sciences, lay in the Near East, not in the moribund West.

YouTube Launch of Queen of Lies - this Sunday at 8 pm GMT.

#ImagineByzantium launched Sunday 8 pm GMT February 3rd on YouTube:

50 Shades of Purple?

The dimness of the past is hardly something to think about as we start a fresh, new year.
Yet it is exactly this freshness which we can find in the past. I think you all know my favorite period.
On this feast day of Saint Vassilis, we can also celebrate a man whose tenacity and good looks saw him rise from the forests of Macedonia to the imperial throne of New Rome.
WasVassilis the First(a.k.a. Basil I) the one primarily responsible for the new golden age of Byzantium which flowered in the late ninth century?

Losin' mah religion

On a recent chat forum which I follow the discussion leader asked the simple but profoundly complex question:why did Byzantium collapse? 

At this time I happened to be watching The Fall of the Roman Empire, the last of the grand old Hollywood epics, and the answer was there, pure and simple: Empires crumble from within.

Should we try to map the beginning of the end? No, I would say – it is a futile task. You will point to some event (for example - the great sacking of Constantinople in 1204 at the hands of the Fourth Crusade and the Venetians) and I will find something earlier (the constant and debilitating onslaught of the Normans after the Arab threat had receded – I'm talking about the beginning of the 10 century)

The confidence of friends - part 2

Following up from last weeksblog, which started as an exploration of the following question, I advance an hypothesis of how 'the Establishment' seriously sidetracked Christianity far from its original message, and conclude that the most important source of power for the individual in any context is the community which defines them. 

The original question was: 
Do love/adoration for God and love/nurture for our fellow humans at the same time not exclude one other, almost by definition?

The Confidence of Friends – Part 1

The last few months of no blogging have seen me deep in the shed, exploring some personal issues, one of which I will post today and next week in this blog.
One of them is about being paralyzed by the fear of being too plugged in to the world, that it becomes impossible to find oneself anymore. Anyone on social media will know what I mean.
In exploring this I'll advance an hypothesis of when and how Christianity got seriously sidetracked from its original message (when: 313 AD, how: by the state).