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)

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 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)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Heliopolis (640)

The Arab conquest of Egypt was probably the first big surprise of the early Islamic period after the Arabs’ initial military successes against the Romans and Persians, for a couple of reasons. First, while Egypt may hold more Arabs than any other country in the world today, in the seventh century it held very few,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Heliopolis (640)

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

The Ottomans were not the first Islamic power to threaten the Byzantine Empire, and in fact the empire was by this point in 1453 a hollowed out husk of its former glory. Successive waves of Turkish and Mongol invasions had taken almost all of Anatolia out of Byzantine control, and the Ottomans had by this point… Continue reading Today in European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

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/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…