constantinakatsari's Posts

Alexius Comnenus, the defender of the Byzantine empire

Alexius Comnenus, the defender of the Byzantine empire

  At this point in my life I am infatuated with Byzantine History. So I thought to deal for a while with one of my favourite emperors Alexius Comnenus. When the byzantine empire was thought to be at its needs, he restored it and defended it successfully again and again and again. That was a combination of political acumen and military intelligence. In the following paragraphs I describe some of the events that raised his profile in my eyes. In a previous post I described how Alexius have su... »

The latest interview of Dr. Constantina Katsari to BBC Radio Leicester

The latest interview of Dr. Constantina Katsari to BBC Radio Leicester

My decision to leave the university of Leicester this year puzzled my friends, family, colleagues and others who followed my work closely. So, I decided to reveal my new and exciting plans on BBC Radio. Ben Jackson has been very kind to invite me on his show several months ago. Since I was going through a massive transformation in my professional as well as personal life, I decided to postpone it until this October. Finally, the interview was on air a few weeks ago and I decided to cut it down i... »

Crusaders against Christians

Crusaders against Christians

Did you know that the Crusades against Islam actually affected also the Eastern Roman Empire? The crusaders in their quest for political power and economic supremacy did not always distinguish between muslims and christians. The results of their actions were evident in their behaviour against the emperor of Byzantium and his subjects. Alexius, the first emperor of the dynasty, was in power when the first Crusade took place. In the autumn of 1096, when the Crusaders started gathering outside the ... »

The licentiousness of the Greek colonists of Sybaris

The licentiousness of the Greek colonists of Sybaris

By the end of the 8th century BC the Greeks had already colonised large parts of Sicily and Southern Italy. The reason behind such an expansion was undoubtedly profit: they were probably looking for new agricultural lands, trading ports and metals. Some of these colonies became very rich as they were exporting large quantities of agricultural produce back to mainland Greece. The outcome was the breeding of a new aristocracy in the colonised cities. The new aristocrats were rich and ambitious as ... »

Herodotus, the Father of History or Blogging?

Herodotus, the Father of History or Blogging?

Herodotus, The Father of History or Blogging? Herodotus was a Greek historian that has been acknowledged as the Father of History ever since antiquity. Of course, the title does not reflect accurately the state of historical studies at the time, since other similar historians preceded him. The fact is the Herodotus was the first write to use prose in order to describe lengthy events; The Greek-Persian Wars. He was born in Halicarnassus, modern Bodrum in Turkey, in the early 5th century BC. The c... »

Sparta: The Comic Book

Sparta: The Comic Book

On October 9th, the first issue of a five-part monthly comics series set in ancient Sparta came to life. ‘Titled Three, it’s a fictional story centred on three fugitive helots set in the 360s BC. The author is the well-known UK comics author, Kieron Gillen, supported by the equally renowned comics artist Ryan Kelly and colourist Jordie Bellaire. The title purposely evokes the mythologised Sparta of Frank Miller’s and Zack Snyder’s 300; but Gillen’s aim was to counter-balance that over-glor... »

Arabs and Christians in peace

Arabs and Christians in peace

I am not certain why but for the last few weeks I have been fascinated with the Arabs and their impact in European cultures. I am predominately interested in the outcome of their contact with the Byzantines in the eastern Mediterranean. Many times I wondered how did the Arabs view the Christians? It is evident in the sources that Islam respected deeply both the Arabs and the Christians. After all, the Muslims believe into the largest part of the Christian Bible, which is characterised in the Qur... »

Peter Capaldi and Time Travelling

Peter Capaldi and Time Travelling

Last Sunday BBC announced that Peter Capaldi will be the 12th Doctor Who! The announcement followed long weeks of speculation and betting; the second being suspended on Friday. I can assure you that the world rejoiced at the news and Capaldi’s name crossed the Atlantic! Shall we reflect for a second on the reasons for such overwhelming joy? I have no doubt that Mr. Capaldi is an excellent actor that will prove himself once more in his new role as Dr. Who. And yet, does his ability alone ju... »

Why did Islam become the undoubted ruler of the Mediterranean?

Why did Islam become the undoubted ruler of the Mediterranean?

Have you ever thought how the Arabs, a nomadic people, managed to rule the Mediterranean and beyond? How did they expand beyond their small (by comparison) region in the Middle East and occupied areas such as North Africa, Spain and the Eastern Mediterranean? Most scholars agree that one of the main factors that allowed the Arabic conquests was the tendencies towards their political unification and centralization of power. Allah, the one and only God to whom they believed, in a way made this uni... »

The Arabic Invasion of Europe

The Arabic Invasion of Europe

Arab influence on European culture was undoubtedly important and long lasting. The Byzantines were the first people that came in direct contact with the Arabic civilisation. On 14 September 628 the byzantine emperor Heraclius returned to Constantinople victorious after his military clashes with the Persian neighbours. He brought with him the True Cross of Christ that, until then, remained in Jerusalem. The Cross had a powerful meaning for the people of Constantinople. It signified the fact that ... »

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