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

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 (d. 641) is actually an important figure in Islamic history … Continue reading Today in Roman history: Heraclius is crowned emperor (610)

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Asia/Africa update: August 31 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A mine killed three police officers in Afghanistan's western Farah province on Wednesday, while another mine in the country's eastern Paktya province killed a man trying to disarm it on Thursday. Fortunately, help (?) is on the way, I guess. US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday signed orders sending more American soldiers to … Continue reading Asia/Africa update: August 31 2017

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

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 (d. 641) is actually an important figure in Islamic history as well as Roman (without Heraclius, the world in which Muhammad began preaching might have looked considerably different than it actually looked), so his coronation is worth a brief post given our usual focus around this place.

In 610 the Byzantine Empire* was reeling, and things were only getting worse. Back in 602, then-Emperor Maurice had decided that the rent was empire’s military expenses were too damn high, and his solution to that problem was to tell his large army campaigning against the Avars in the Balkans that it was basically on its own for…

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Today in European history: the Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople (1204)

The Fourth Crusade is for me, in many ways, the Crusadiest of all the Crusades. Sure, the First Crusade actually achieved its goal, which you can’t really say about any of the others in any serious sense, and other Crusades produced quintessential Crusading heroes like Richard the Lionheart and Saint Louis. But overall the Crusades … Continue reading Today in European history: the Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople (1204)