Disgruntled graduate student of the first millennium A.D. eastern Mediterranean. Interested mainly in historiography, power, and representation. A historical materialist who tries to appreciate that many people really believed in the things they fought for. Complains profusely about the problems of academia while still being complicit in too many of them. Does not feel that pronouns are necessary.

The banner image is the medieval Armenian monastery of Ahktamar on an island in Lake Van, Turkey. The image was found on Google.


18 Responses to About

  1. R. Mowat says:

    Found your blog from your Amazon reviews. Interesting so far. I’m interested in reading more material based on your academic studies.

    PS – No need to dis Saskatoon!

  2. Harry Turtledove says:

    Hello. Good luck in your studies. I’ve read with interest your review of Mango’s translation of Theophanes–and, in passing, of mine. He and I were doing different things, of course. I was aiming for something to help the grad student, and something a grad student could afford to own. He took a shot at completeness (in passing, and in aid of your rant, I note that Theophanes starts in 284, where George the Synkellos left off; you can’t blame Mango for abridging him. As for playing with the Greek while turning it into English, well, obviously that depends on your attitude toward translation and what it is and should be. People’s mileage will, and does, vary. I’m still fairly strict, all things considered, I think. Take care.

  3. alimcbklyn says:

    Hi. I am also working on a PhD in Byzantine studies (specifically, in art history), so I was happy to stumble upon your blog today. I did some traveling in Turkey this summer, too, so I’ve been enjoying your posts very much.

  4. mucbkksfo says:

    Congratulations. Byzantine Studies is an interesting and most disputed subject with religious and political fault lines. Scholarship seems heavily divided, if the Byzantine Empire was a rotten network of intrigues and decadent feudal system or hung on quite successfully and politically screwed almost 1000 years to power as “new Rome” protecting Hellenism and Christianity on an ever shrinking power base.

  5. I found about your blog, because one of my readers, came to my blog, The Anastasian Wall Research Community, http://anastasianwall.blogspot.com/, via your link to mine. It is a very interesting site which should be of interest to anyone who finds Byzantine/Late Roman history fascinating. . I have subsequently placed a link to your blog from mine because I think people who visit mine would also find yours interesting too. I look forward to your future blog entries.

    Dr. Michael A. McAdams
    Independent Research

    • Lucas says:

      Hi Dr. McAdams,

      Thanks for the link. As someone who is very interested in late Roman and Byzantine fortifications, I have found your work on the Anastasian Walls to be fascinating and unjustly ignored. My thesis proposal which I sent to Oxford was originally on Byzantine fortifications in the east. I was hoping to see segments of the Anastasian walls when I was in Istanbul a year ago, but the scheduling and transportation issues kept me from getting out there. In what manner does the aqueduct of Valens cross the walls? From a diagram I have of Jim Crow’s it looks like it crosses somewhere in the northern quarter.


  6. mcadams1954 says:

    Dear Lucas,
    Please let me know when you will be coming to Istanbul to inspect the Anastasian Wall and I can put you in contact with a colleague who is producing a documentary on the Wall. He will be glad to show you the Wall and the location of the aqueduct and its crossing. Also, he can provide you with the names of experts in Istanbul, Bulgaria and Greece who are familiar with these fortifications, and the walls in Istanbul. The completion of the documentary is expected this summer. There are several promotional videos that can be found on YouTube by using the search words of :’Anastasian Wall.’ Many of these videos are also liked on the Anastasian Wall Research Community blog.

    The area of the Wall is a distance from Istanbul.about 50 KM. While the maps provided by James Crow and myself provide a general location of the Wall, there are no detailed maps available . Before I left Turkey, I was attempting to arrange funding for the use of LIDAR to show the exact locations of the wall and other related structures perhaps hidden by vegetation. While one could provide GPS locations for some of the Wall, it is almost impossible for other parts due to vegetation and lack of easy access. if you viist the wall independently, you have to have a car. The most accessible and best preserved parts are near the Black Sea and near the small village of Gümüşpınar. The summer is the best to visti as far as temperature, but due to the dense vegetation, the best time ot view the wall is the winter.

    I think that there is a great need for research on the fortifications in the Eastern portion of the Byzantine Empire or Eastern Roman Empire. The most prominent example of fortifications in the Late Roman era would be those surrounding Istanbul (Constantinople),and tre.
    The Anastasian Wall, although the former is better known. There is another lineal wall in eastern Bulgaria which may be attributed to this period, but I have not seen it or aware much about its history.

    I wish you success is your thesis. I will be glad to assist you further in your research.

    Dr. Michael A. McAdams
    e-mail: michaelamcadams@yahoo.com

    • Lucas says:

      Thanks for the reply. I will probably be in Istanbul early next summer so long as my thesis supervisor lets me go for a month. I’d be happy to help promote the project with a post on my blog, but my specific knowledge of the walls is nil. Any thoughts on topics I might be able to link it into? I was thinking of putting together a “neglected emperor” post on Constans II, so doing one on Anastasius isn’t out of the question, I’m just at home for the rest of the summer and I don’t have access to an academic library.

      • If the Bulgarian wall is the Erkesiya Dyke, it’s covered by Florin Curta in a relatively recent comparative article, “Linear Frontiers in the Ninth Century: Bulgaria and Wessex’, Quæstiones Medii Ævi Novae (2011), 15-32, just in case that helps.

  7. Alex Barry says:

    Hello Lucas,
    Like some others here, I came across your blog via your reviews on Amazon (and Goodreads). I have an abiding interest in Byzantium in all its aspects, but alas, it was born in me late in life, and is not underpinned with formal academic scholarship. So I am just sort of plodding along on my own, reading all I can but with no one to discuss my readings with. I’ll value your blog as a source of what appears to be very learned and serious research and study. Good luck to you in your progress, and thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

    • Lucas says:

      Thanks. I really don’t get to posting much these days with school keeping me so busy. Is there anything particular you’d like to read about on here?

  8. Justin says:

    Is that an image of Ani in your header?

  9. Ani is a very interesting place which I have been to twice. It has been neglected and needs funds to aid in its restoration.

  10. There is also a new site that is being explored near Küçükçekmece Lake that has been given the coined name of “Bathonea..” Here is link in the NY Times discussing it:

  11. persnicketythecat says:

    That’s really neat! Studying late Romans and Byzantines is a cool thing to do! I think the later Roman Empire is interesting as most people only think of classical Rome! I posted some things about Byzantium and Rome on my own blog http://historyisfascinating.wordpress.com/ !

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