Today in Roman history: Heraclius is crowned emperor (610)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
Roman history is an interest that I don’t usually indulge here (with rare exceptions), mostly because “interest” is all it is and I figure you should get something more for your reading time than “Some Guy Writes About Whatever.” But the Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Heraclius…

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Siege of Damascus ends (634)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
Before the Battle of Yarmouk broke Byzantine military power south of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus Mountains pretty much for good, Caliphal forces had already taken the jewel of Roman Syria, Damascus, nearly two years earlier. How they did so may illustrate part of the reason…

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
We’re in kind of a high season for major historical battles in the Middle East, like Yarmouk, Chaldiran, and Marj Dabiq (there’s another one coming next week). You could argue that Manzikert is the biggest of the bunch, because although it took another 400 years…

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Yarmouk (636)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
This is another anniversary that regular readers will already know something about. If you were inclined to rank the most important battles in world history, the Battle of Yarmouk should be pretty high on your list. It crushed, over the course of one 6-day battle,…

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

The Fall of Constantinople is one of the great milestones in world history, signifying the end of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire and the true ascendance of the Ottoman Empire as a great world power. For world historians, who generally put a period change around the year 1500, it’s one of the markers… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

The day a bunch of hooligans almost toppled the Emperor

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
NOTE TO SELF: Never declare yourself out of commission without checking some “this date in history” collections. You never know what might pique your interest. When Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from his presidential grandeur last February, it happened really quickly. The Euromaidan protests had been…

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

We’re in kind of a high season for major historical battles in the Middle East, like Yarmouk, Chaldiran, and Marj Dabiq (there’s another one coming next week). You could argue that Manzikert is the biggest of the bunch, because although it took another 400 years to finally come to fruition, Manzikert set in motion the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)