show episodes
 
Ever wondered what the Crusades were and why they really happened? This podcast not only tells the full history of the Crusades, it also links them with the forgotten story of the fall of Byzantium. Listen to one of the most amazing tales ever told! Nick Holmes is a British historian, author and podcaster - check out his website at www.nickholmesauthor.com.
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show series
 
In this episode we'll explore the rise of the Seljuk Turks and the crises within the Byzantine Empire leading up to the pivotal Battle of Manzikert in 1071. We delve into the transformation of the Seljuk Turks from a steppe horde into a powerful empire under the leadership of Alp Arslan. His strategic brilliance and conquests have cemented his stat…
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In the aftermath of the catastrophic Crusader invasion of Anatolia, while the Turks are in crisis, Emperor Alexios Komnenos launches a reconquest. An army led by John Doukas retakes the Aegean coast and Western Anatolia, an army led by Theodore Gabras retakes the Black Sea coast, and the Emperor himself marches out of Pelakanon and into the center …
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“The most decisive disaster in Byzantine history” - Steven Runciman In the epic conclusion to our series, we delve into the monumental Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Through the perspectives of Alp Arslan and Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes, we explore the motivations and strategies of these two pivotal leaders leading up to this climactic confrontation.…
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Following the fall of İznik, Kılıç Arslan regroups his forces, belatedly calling for aid from across Turkish Anatolia. The Crusaders depart from İznik and begin their march to the Holy Land. Kılıç Arslan springs an ambush near Eskişehir on the Plains of Dorylaeum, leading to disaster yet again. In the aftermath of the great defeat, the Sword Lion i…
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“Our Empire is withering!” - Empress Eudokia Today, we'll explore the events leading up to the 1071 Battle of Manzikert through the reign of Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX. During Constantine IX's reign, the Byzantine Empire faces threats from all sides. We meet the Seljuk Turks, whose ambitions and determination set the stage for future conquest…
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The crusading army marches into a completely undefended Anatolia and right up to the walls of İznik, the capital of the Sultanate of Rum. Finally waking up to the danger, Kılıç Arslan makes a deal with the Danishmends and begins racing back West. Kılıç Arslan fights the Crusaders in front of the walls of İznik and the Turks resist. Meanwhile, as on…
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Join us for a lively journey into the ancient world as co-host Alexander Gates and I delve into the most scandalous and petty letters of antiquity. From expletive-laden tirades to guilt-tripping manipulations, we uncover the outrageous communications of everyday people. Listen in as we explore the fiery exchanges between an Ottoman Sultan and his i…
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Just a quick update to let you know if you like this podcast you can get the book on which it’s based for free on my website nickholmesauthor.com. It’s called The Byzantine World War, and it's about the origins of the First Crusade and suggests that it really began as the result of the defeat of the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Th…
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"The Gods had turned their backs on this land" - Tutankhamun's Restoration Edict In part two of our series, we delve into the downfall of Akhenaten, The Heretic King. As Akhenaten's religious reforms shake the very foundations of his kingdom, the Pharaoh lashes out at his citizens, closing temples and destroying statues of traditional Gods. Isolate…
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The People's Crusade invades Anatolia, and the chaotic army of undisciplined peasants is easily destroyed by the forces of the Sultanate of Rum under Ilhan Bey as Kılıç Arslan besieges Malatya. But the chaos and ineptitude of the People's Crusade proves to be a boon to both the Byzantine Emperor and even the now-assembling First Crusade. In Constan…
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As Turkish power is entrenched across Anatolia and Kılıç Arslan consolidates the power of the Sultanate of Rum, in Constantinople Emperor Alexios Komnenos calls for aid from the West. The Emperor envisions a relatively large, but still manageable, army of experienced Latin knights of the type that have fought for Byzantium in the past in order to r…
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"The Pharaoh's sinister smile seemed to whisper love me… but fear me.." Embark on a journey into ancient Egypt's shadows with our latest episode, as we delve deep into the enigmatic life of Akhenaten, the heretic pharaoh whose legacy was damned by his own people. We uncover the intriguing tale of Akhenaten's formative years, shaped under the toweri…
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As Kılıç Arslan sits in prison in Esfahan, Emperor Alexios Komnenos attempts to restore imperial authority on the coasts of Anatolia, even if the plateau itself remains lost to him. Constantinople tangles with the Black Sea beylik of Karategin and the Marmara beylik of İlhan. In İzmir, the rebel Turkish Roman General Çaka Bey creates the first Turk…
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After the death of Sulayman, his sons Kılıç Arslan and Daud are imprisoned in Esfahan by Melik Shah. In their absence, the Sultanate of Rum is ruled under a quasi-regency by the man Sulayman left in charge of İznik - Ebu'l Kasım. Ebu'l Kasım fights and negotiates with the Roman Emperor and the Great Seljuk Sultan, maintaining the independence of th…
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In this episode, Professor Almut Hintze sheds light on the ancient and mysterious religion of Zoroastrianism. For over two millennia, it was one of the world's most practiced religions until the arrival of Islam in the seventh century led to its rapid decline. Today, just 120,000 adherents remain worldwide. Come with us as we dive into Zoroastriani…
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In 1081, Sulayman reigns in İznik as the Sultan of Rum. But his sultanate is aspirational - really, he is a mere border lord. A bey among beys. And so Sulayman begins to lay the foundations for the Sultanate of Rum, expanding his power across Western Anatolia. Burning with ambition and desire to reclaim the birthright of the line of Kutalmish, Sula…
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Bonus episode from the podcast 'Welsh History Podcast' sharing the story of influential Welsh figure: Llywelyn the Great He is young, angry and looking for revenge. Welsh History Podcast is a proud member of the Evergreen Podcast Network. You can support the podcast at patreon.com/WelshHistory Celtic Impulse Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed…
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I wanted to let you know my latest book, Rome and Attila, is now available on Amazon in ebook and paperback, links in the episode notes. It’s about one of the most infamous figures in history—Attila the Hun. He’s a household name, but remarkably little is known about him and his popular legend as a brutal tyrant is not necessarily correct. I delve …
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Following Manzikert, the civil war in Byzantium and the failure of the Roman Empire to retake Anatolia, the first Turkish beyliks emerge in Anatolia. In the anarchy caused by the collapse of the Roman military apparatus, bands of Turks begin making alliances with the settled elites of Anatolia, offering them protection for a price. Soon the Turks a…
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We resume the narrative, and begin by introducing the land that will come to be the homeland of the Turks. In the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert, the Roman state falls into chaos. As a result of civil war, invasion and rebellion, Imperial authority collapses over much of Anatolia. And the Turks begin to enter Anatolia, and the seeds of the co…
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"Capitulation is impossible! The 6th Army will do its historic duty." - Adolf Hitler. In the conclusion of our series, we unravel the final months of the Battle of Stalingrad, exploring the consequences of Adolf Hitler's decision to forbid the the Sixth Army to retreat. We witness the long-awaited breakthrough for The Red Army, as Joseph Stalin and…
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This is the fifth and last episode in a short series of non-narrative episodes. In this episode we cover the court culture of the Great Seljuk Empire and the greatest cultural achievements of the Empire. How the Sultan and his court lived, and the life and times of two of the most important cultural figures of the Great Seljuk Empire: Al-Ghazali an…
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"In the blazing city, we do not suffer cowards..." - Vasily Chuikov. This episode marks the penultimate episode of our series tracing Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's 1941 invasion of the USSR. Join us as we follow Marshal Friedrich Paulus and the Wehrmacht 6th Army to their fateful end at Stalingrad. Through poignant handwritten letters, we'll delve…
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"It is time to finish retreating. Not one step back!" - Joseph Stalin. In part three of our series on Operation Barbarossa: The Wehrmacht, desperately needing fuel after Operation Barbarossa, surprises everyone by heading south to the Caucasus, targeting rich oil fields in modern Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Stalin's Red Army, still recovering…
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This a standalone episode on the history of the Ismaili Nizaris and their Order of Assassins. The minority sect of Ismailism first arises as the Abbasid Caliphs keep the Shi'a Imams in confinement in Samarra - a hidden religion, secretive and rigidly hierarchical, and professing a unique system of beliefs drawing heavily from Greek philosophy and G…
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"If the Germans want a war of extermination, they will get it!" - Joseph Stalin. In this gripping continuation of our Operation Barbarossa series, The Red Army rallies as the Wehrmacht's relentless march towards Moscow accelerates. With the Wehrmacht closing in on the Soviet capital, the USSR faces its last chance for survival. In the midst of the …
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This is the fourth episode in a short series of non-narrative episodes. In this episode we cover religion in the Seljuk Empire. How reality differed from the picture of strident Sunnism presented by pro-Seljuk propaganda, and the relationship between the Seljuk and Abbasid dynasties, the treatment of the Shia, the conflict among the Sunni Madhhabs,…
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"The world will hold its breath!" - Adolf Hitler. In this episode we delve into Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's audacious invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The morning of June 22nd, 1941, witnessed four million men surging across the borders between the USSR and the German Reich, beginning the largest land invasion in world history. We explore t…
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This is the first in a short series of non-narrative episodes on the nature of the Great Seljuk Empire. In this episode, we cover the structures of state in the empire - the various power centers, the role of the Seljuk Dynasty, the bureaucrats, the tribes, the Emirs and the ways in which all of these power centers interacted to govern the truly ma…
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Under the rule of Nizam ul-Mulk and Melik Shah, the Great Seljuk Empire reaches the zenith of its power. But as Al-Dawla Al-Nizamiyya unfolds, tensions roil under the surface. Tensions between the Seljuk and Abbasid dynasties, between the court and the tribes, between the court and the Emirs and between the state and its vassals. And when the partn…
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"A life of sin, cleansed by his final act" Join us for the conclusion of our two-part series on the 1566 Siege of Szigetvár, featuring Nikola Zrinski's renowned last stand. In this episode, we delve into the captivating backstory of Nikola Zrinski, also known as Nikola Šubić Zrinski or Zrínyi Miklós—a celebrated national hero in Croatia and Hungary…
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After Melik Shah's ascension to the throne, Nizam ul-Mulk seizes control of the state, inaugurating a period of history termed "Al-Dawla Al-Nizamiyya" or "the State of the Nizam." The vizierate is now above the sultanate. Melik Shah finishes his father's work in conquering Transoxiana from the Karakhanids, and then retires to the palaces of Esfahan…
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