This history of the Byzantine Empire is a lecture series written and presented by Mr. Lars Brownworth, author of the book "Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization". (in bookstores and on Amazon.com) He has traveled extensively from the furthest reaches of the Byzantine Empire all the way to its heart at Constantinople. Join him for an engaging look at the history of the Byzantine Empire through the eyes of 12 of its greatest rulers. For more information, including video of Mr. Brownworth's Smithsonian Lecture on Byzantium, please visit http://www.12byzantinerulers.com/
Episode 1 - Introduction
What is the Byzantine Empire? Why would a Byzantine citizen call himself Roman and not know what the Byzantine Empire was? In this introduction to Byzantine history, Lars Brownworth describes where Byzantium came from and why defining Byzantium is a murky and difficult task.
Episode 2 - Diocletian
The Emperor Diocletian was to erase civil war within Byzantium for the next thousand years but walked away from it all to become a cabbage farmer. Who was this military man and how could he just give it all up? Join Lars Brownworth as the story of Byzantium's first great emperor unfolds.
Episode 3 - Constantine - Part 1
From the chaotic background of the tetrarchy, a vulnerable staff officer would navigate the treacherous waters of the empire and eventually emerge as Emperor. How could such an unlikely man unify the empire under one ruler? In this lecture, Lars Brownworth explores the rise to power of one of Western History's most pivotal figures: Constantine.
Episode 4 - Constantine - Part 2
Constantine has achieved supreme power and made one of the most momentous decisions in history, that of founding a new capital and rescuing a faith seemingly on the brink of schism. However, his megalomania undid most of his work unifying the church and threatened the very stability of the state. Does such a man truly deserve to be called great? Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the apogee of Constantine's career and his impact on history.
Episode 5 - Julian
A shy, awkward, Pagan philosopher with no ambitions and no experience is appointed Caesar. How could such an unlikely 23 year old become the head of a Christian empire? Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at Julian, the last of Constantine's dynasty.
Episode 6 - Zeno
By the middle of the 5th Century the Roman Empire was on the verge of collapse. Its emperors were mere puppets, its armies were in chaos, and enemies were closing in on all sides. Unable to sustain itself, the West collapsed, plunging Europe into the Dark Ages. By all accounts, the East should have followed suit, and yet, unexpectedly, the Eastern emperor slipped free of his barbarian master and saved the tottering state. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at Zeno, the unlikely savior of the Byzantine Empire.