Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Rise and Fall of the Isaurian Dynasty

A dynasty that plunged the Byzantine Empire into a sectarian division between those who venerated icons in their worship and those who saw it as idolatry. The Isaurian Dynasty (717 - 802) confronted the continuous threat of Muslim as well as Bulgar expansion and the emergence of the Frankish Empire. It met an ending under a woman Basileus.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Founders: Who is Emperor Leo III the Isaurian?

Emperor Leo III (r. 717 - 740) of the Byzantine Empire established the Isaurian Dynasty that ruled the Eastern Roman Empire until 802. He put an end to almost 20 years of political instability that witnessed several Emperors, coups, rebellions, monastic vows, and mutilation. He ended a turmoil, only to create a new controversy that characterized the house he had established.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Byzantine Covert Operations - Leo III in the Caucasus

Covert operations and proxy wars filed the history of the Cold War – a battle between 2 superpowers of the 20th century. Covert operations and proxy wars, however, already existed way before and used by many of the great empires in history to weaken or humiliate rival powers. Such as the case of the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate in the late 7th and early 8th century, when Emperor Justinian II sent his spartharios, the future Emperor Leo III, to the Alans and help them defeat the Abasgians who switched their fealty in favor of the Muslim Empire.

Map of the kingdom of Lazica, by Cplakidas, CC BY-SA 3.0

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Empress Irene: the Woman that Built the Holy Roman Empire

In 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Imperator Romanus – Emperor of Rome. Leo’s decision to crown a new Roman Emperor despite one already existing in Constantinople stemmed from the fact that the holder of this title in the east was a woman – Irene of Athens. But who was this female Emperor who ruled one of the most powerful and prestigious Empires in the Middle Ages?

Woodcut Illustration of Empress Irene (in the left) and Charlemagne (in the right), from Penn Provenance Project, CC by 2.0

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Who was Pope Leo III?

In 800, his decision to crown Charlemagne created the most confusing political entity in Europe that lasted for about a millennia. The Holy Roman Empire owed its existence to Charlemagne and the man who crowned him Roman Emperor – Pope Leo III, but who was Pope Leo III?

Sunday, April 4, 2021

How Great was Charlemagne?

Charlemagne or Charles the Great in French became a legendary icon for Europe. Even being dubbed as "Father of Europe," many countries credit him for setting their roots. But what made Charlemagne the Great?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

St. Vaclav (Wenceslas) and Boleslav the Cruel

A story to the likes of Cain and Abel, the brothers St. Vaclav and Boleslav the Cruel created a legend combining fratricide, foreign invasion, and polarizing opinion on religion that established the power of the Premyslid Dynasty over Bohemia.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Who was King Premsyl Ottokar II?

“Rolls to the ocean: Ottokar his name:
Who in his swaddling clothes was of more worth
Than Wenceslaus his son, a bearded man,
Pampered with rank luxuriousness and ease.”
- Canto VII in Dante's Purgatorio

In 1278, a King laid dying on the battlefield with him passed away the hopes of a Bohemian Empire covering much of central Europe and all the way down to the Adriatic Sea. King Premysl Ottokar II built an empire by seizing opportunities from deaths and marriages. Nevertheless, his luck finally ran out in face of a growing ambitious house that came to dominate the region – the Habsburgs.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Who was Vaclav II (Wenceslas II) of Bohemia?

In 1278, the dreams of a Bohemian Empire crumbled, what followed came a son who sought to revive this dream amidst the rise of another prominent House – the Habsburgs. King Vaclav II (Wenceslas II) ruled Bohemia from 1278 until his passing in 1305.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Who was King Wladyslaw I of Poland?

Between chaos and greatness in Polish history, the reign of Wladyslaw I Ĺokietek (Ladislaus I) the Short of the Elbow-High as he came to be known laid in the middle. As a father of Casimir III the Great, he reunified the country ending about 200 years of the divide. His reign set the stage for a new chapter in Polish history.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Premyslid Dynasty of Bohemia

A story of a dynasty overshadowed by another. They shaped Bohemia and built the foundation of the modern Czech people. The Premyslid dynasty ruled Bohemia from around 9th century to the 1306 and contented for greatness, but fell short against the rising prominent house – the Habsburgs – ultimately ending with their extinction.