Salah ad-Din 4: The Beginning of the End

This is the end of my Salah ad-Din series, part one. As I mention in the episode, I was aiming to wrap things up here, even aiming to do so with an extra-long episode, but there's just too much left to do that. So, this is the end, part one. In this episode, we follow the Salah ad-Din story after the Battle of Hattin and up to the arrival of King Richard the Lionheart at Acre.

Salah ad-Din 2: A Syrian Election

The story of Salah ad-Din's expansion from Egypt back into Syria, his brushes with Rashid ad-Din Sinan's Assassins, his constant lobbying of the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, his struggles with the Zengid remnants and with a cast of enemies among the crusader states including Baldwin the Leper, Reynold de Chatillon, Raymond of Tripoli, and King Amalric of Jerusalem.

The Sons of Maimon 2: What is Done is Gone

Moses and David ben Maimon make their home in Fatimid - soon to be Ayyubid - Egypt, where the Nile and caravan routes linked the Mediterranean ports to the Red Sea and the crossing to the coast of India, a crossing David would attempt to make.

The Sons of Maimon 1: Exile

This is my first episode on Maimonides/Moses and his little brother David, on their exile from their homeland in Al-Andalus, and on their winding way to Egypt, which would be their long-term home.

Rabban Bar Sauma 4: Ilkhanid End Times

The conclusion of the Rabban Bar Sauma series. It's Bar Sauma's return to the Ilkhanate and the results of his journey. It's the end of the line for him and his friend the catholicus, and it's the changes that were going on in the Ilkhanate and how they affected the Church of the East and our main characters.

Rabban Bar Sauma 3: Barbazoma, Tartarus, Orientalis

This is Rabban Bar Sauma part 3 of 4, the story of the Mongol envoy's diplomatic efforts in Paris, Bordeaux, and Rome, his experience as a pilgrim to the sites and saints of Italy and France, and his attempts to improve the Ilkhanid cause against the Mamluks.

Rabban Bar Sauma 2: Ilkhanid Infighting, Ilkhanid Envoy

In this episode, our monkish friends attempt to navigate the violent waters of Ilkhanid Mongol politics, and Bar Sauma himself embarks on another long journey, this time heading for Rome.

Rabban Bar Sauma 1: The Monks of Kublai Khan

First in a series on Rabban Bar Sauma, covering his life from miracle-baby through cave-bound monk and on to pilgrim, with ambassador to the cities of western Europe not far behind. This episode takes us from Yuan China to Jerusalem, or perhaps not quite that far.

Halloween Special: Medieval Ghost Stories

A Halloween special full of medieval ghost (or revenant) stories from the 11th and 12th centuries, featuring Orderic Vitalis, Thietmar of Merseburg, William of Newburgh, and, briefly representing the 6th-century, Gregory of Tours.

Geoffrey's Crusade 5: Boniface, Baldwin, and the Bulgarians

All good things must end, and even those not so good. With this episode, we bring the Fourth Crusade to something of an end. It's Baldwin and Boniface's rivalry. It's the king of the Bulgarians. It's the long spiral.

Geoffrey's Crusade 4: Simon & the Seven Thieves

This story takes place in the aftermath of the fall of Constantinople to the fighters of the Fourth Crusade. It’s what happened in the city once the bulk of the fighting was over. It’s something of a caper film, starring an intrepid party of Venetians.

Geoffrey's Crusade 3: One Alexius After Another

When last we spoke, Emperor Alexius was scuttling out the gates under cover of darkness, as July 17th of 1203 became July 18th. Inside Constantinople, the people of the palace awoke to their lack of emperor and were thrown into confusion. There were some who would have been bound to the now departed Alexius and would have feared what was to come.  Others would have seen opportunity in this power vacuum, an invitation to advance themselves, maybe even to the highest of steps. The rest would simply have worried, for their city and themselves, for what would happen now, with the Latins at their gates…

Geoffrey's Crusade 2: Imperial Virtues

The Fourth Crusade continues, with the assault on Zara, a long winter in the city, and one reasonable occasion to go to Constantinople.

Geoffrey's Crusade 1: Venetian Appointments

Today, I’ll be talking about the Fourth Crusade, a massive military misadventure by most measurements and an unpleasant confirmation of all the people of Constantinople had grown to suspect of their Latin Christian visitors. It would never reach its stated goal of Ayyubid Egypt, but it would have serious consequences, not the least of which was the hastened demise of the Byzantine Empire.