Popular Byzantine History

The Hagia Sophia, no longer a church, but still standing

I love reading about the Byzantine Empire. Once I learned about it, I gave up on Fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, whatever. Real history is far more incredible and entertaining than fiction. Plus, I think a lot of our Western fairy tales and Epics of chivalry really came from Byzantium.

Tales of incredible heroism, luck, idealism, fanaticism, evil, and good. Emperors fighting in single combat against infidel champions, beautiful princesses, it's all here. The Dark Ages never came to Constantinople, and the spirit of Ancient Rome lived on in Asia Minor until 1453.

Some of it's also still there to see. In 1994 I made it to Ravenna, the last capital of the Roman Empire, and an outpost of Byzantium.In 1997 I made it to Constantinople itself (otherwise known as Istanbul). Walking under the dome of the Hagia Sophia was definitely one of the high points of my life.

In 1998 I traveled to Venice after motorcyling through the Alps. I saw the spoils of Byzantine churches decorating the facade of San Marco. I saw the Quadrigia hidden away inside behind the false ones. The treasure room gave me a quick glimpse of what the riches of Byzantium might have been like. My bibliography and links to other sites. I should get rid of the first three entries, but they include some photos, so they're still here.

Ruins of the Blachernae Palace

Walls near the Blachernae Palace

Last Update: 3 February 2002
Web Author: Doug Ikemi