Goosing Theodora.

  1. Heid the Ba'
    Heid the Ba'
    One of my favourite historical women, despite Procopius's best efforts.

    My interest in Byzantium started with wargaming against a Justinian Army about 40 years ago, then by way of an honours degree in Byzantine History from Edinburgh Uni back to wargaming but in 28mm rather than 15s. I don't read as much about the Empire as I used to, obviously, but I do write the odd article on the Byzantine Army for a wargaming magazine. One trip to Constantinople so far, but hoping to get back next year now there are direct flights from Edinburgh.
  2. LookingSkyward
    Oddly enough, my interest in Byzantium started with the Belisarius sci-fi book series by David Drake & Eric Flint. One of the things I like most about Drake's books is that they got me interested in reading actual history, and now I'm a bit of a history nerd
  3. Heid the Ba'
    Heid the Ba'
    Doesn't matter how you get here, as long as you get here.
  4. grant hutchison
    grant hutchison
    Robert Silverberg's 1969 time-travel novel Up The Line introduced me to Byzantine history - the narrator is a tour guide in historical Constantinople during the empire period, particularly during Justinian's reign. I must have been 13 or 14 when I read it, and had never even heard of the Byzantine Empire. It blew me away. (Well, there was also rather a lot of sex with the Procopius's Secret History version of Theodora, so that helped maintain my interest!)
    There's an episode in the novel in which the time tourists spy on Justinian's first entry to the Hagia Sophia, waiting to hear him cry, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" Instead he shouts something along the lines of, "Who the **** left that scaffolding over there?"

  5. grant hutchison
    grant hutchison
    A bit later, in 1976, I got into the BBC's I, Claudius serialization of Robert Graves's books, and discovered Graves had also written a fictional biography of Belisarius, Count Belisarius, which hooked me back into the period.

    My wife and I visited Istanbul in the mid-eighties, and I was by that time very keen to visit the Hagia Sophia. We'd booked a couple of other tours, though, so we set aside our last day for the Hagia Sophia visit - and it was closed.

    Then John Julius Norwich's positively magisterial history came along, which I can't recommend highly enough if you're interested in the period.

    Two years ago, we got back to Instanbul at the end of a trip through Eastern Europe. We went straight to the Hagia Sophia this time, and I was inside at last! I stood with my hand against a porphyry column, looked up into the dome, and had a little cry. (And I'm not usually much given to weeping over historic buildings.)

  6. Heid the Ba'
    Heid the Ba'
    JJ Norwich's books are a good read, as is I Claudius. I haven't read Count Belisarius, but I probably should.
  7. Heid the Ba'
    Heid the Ba'
    I have just noticed there is a poster called Procopius on the board, I have invited him/her along to share their thoughts.
  8. Procopius
    Hello all, I am pleased to join "The Byzantinists" at a rather Byzantine board.
  9. grant hutchison
    grant hutchison
    So who favours BYZ-an-tine and who byz-AN-tine?
  10. Heid the Ba'
    Heid the Ba'
    Closer to the second with By-ZAN-tine.
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