I love podcasts, though I suppose one could say I am picky about them. But I will offer a list of some of my favorite ones which pertain to history (Byzantine or not), and if I listen to a new one I love I will add it to the list! I actually am dabbling in the idea of trying my hand at making a podcast, though it is complicated.
The History of Byzantium
This podcast is a truly amazing work, I have listened to it multiple times and it is not even close to over despite having been going so long. Robin Pierson deserves credit for going through the long history of the Byzantine Empire starting in the 5th century and has worked himself to the time of the Crusades. It is truly impressive, I highly suggest if you have not listened to this podcast that you seek it out. He has an amazing voice, a brilliant mind, and an amazing narrative. He sets the benchmark for podcasting in general. He says he started off trying to continue the style and quality of the History of Rome, but in my opinion he has surpassed that (though History of Rome is a quality work itself).
This podcast is so good that it makes the idea of me wanting to produce my own podcast intimidating. And I would not want anyone to think I was competing with Robin, I doubt I could match him. But of course I am sure my insights and narratives would differ from his at times, and there are different things one must pick and choose. Even if I do make my own podcast, I will always recommend The History of Byzantium, it is 10/10 work.
Byzantium And Friends
Anthony Kaldellis is one of the greatest Byzantinists out there. A professor at Ohio State University and a fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, his authority on Byzantium is as high as anyones. He does not tell the same tired narratives, and is always diving into the sources for new perspectives. On this podcast, he brings in other academics and has more focused topic-specific episodes with each of them. Essentially he has discussions with fellow scholars about what they are working on, and the end result is fascinating. It is not a narrative podcast, it is meant more for those who have familiarity with the narrative of Byzantine history. If you are finishing the History of Byzantium, or have been reading books on Byzantium and want more, this is an excellent place to go looking for it. It is the perfect podcast for the Byzantine connoisseurs out there.
The Fall of Rome/Tides of History
Tides of history is more popular, but essentially it started as a podcast called the Fall of Rome. I like Tides of History, but the Fall of Rome podcast really was more intriguing, probably just because of its exclusive focus on Rome. Tides to me seems to lack something after it become more high in production value. However, Tides will give you more than just Rome so variety is nice.
The History of Rome:
This podcast was kind of a pioneer in telling the whole narrative of western Roman history. I think the biggest weakness of this podcast regarding us Byzantophiles was it’s clear lack of focus on the Eastern Roman Empire. Even if he did not want to pursue that story, and in some ways it is good he did not so that Robin Pierson could, he could have focused more on it. However, he does a good job of telling that classic narrative that ends in 476, and he does it in a way that is smooth to listen to even for people not obsessed with Roman history. I particularly loved his episodes on Julius Caesar. Plus, he motivated Robin to make The History of Byzantium. His Revolutions podcast sounds interesting too, but I have yet to listen to it.
The Fall of Civilizations:
The podcast does not release episodes often, but when they do they are amazing. They are several hours long, high production value with a voice cast, and are very engaging. I particularly loved learning about civilizations I knew less about, but the episodes on the collapse of Byzantium and Roman Britain were good too. Seriously, check this out if you have not heard it!
The Hellenistic Age Podcast:
The Hellenistic Age podcast is cool because I really love that era. In a way the Hellenistic Age created the Greek speaking east which evolved into the Byzantine world. The Romans conquered it, but it still retained it’s Greek character. I love Byzantium, but who doesn’t love ancient history? I like the way he narrates, and he is a cool guy if you message him on social media. Check it out!