Better Know a Leader – Basil II (Byzantium) – Civilization 6 REAL History

In this episode of Better Know a Leader, Nystagmus dives deep into the Byzantine empire, and why it was separated from the Roman empire. In previous games, Justinian was the leader of the Byzantines, but in Civ 6, Basil II was chosen. Nystagmus goes into his history and compares his rise to king to the plot line of Game of Thrones.

References

Basil II
General life and rule – Wikipedia article is actually quite informative; as well as some encyclopedia articles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_II
https://www.ancient.eu/Basil_II/
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Basil-II

Notes on how much the treasury was worth:
https://medium.com/@christoss200/basil-ii-and-his-legacy-a-study-in-the-reign-of-the-bulgar-slayer-emperor-753b8c23c49d
• They use the source of Michael Angold: “Michael Angold (in his book The Byzantine Empire, 1025–1204) estimated that Basil’s treasury would be worth 128 billion dollars. His fiscal harshness, however, caused much displeasure, as expected, especially among the aristocracy.”

For a more in depth look at the Byzantine Empire I would recommend a podcast called “the History of Byzantium.”
https://thehistoryofbyzantium.com/

From their about page:
“The History of Byzantium” is a podcast dedicated to the story of the Roman Empire from the collapse of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Byzantine history is fascinating, world changing and largely forgotten. Listen and discover who they were.
The show was created to continue the narrative established by Mike Duncan’s wonderful podcast “The History of Rome.” I have tried to remain faithful to Mike’s structure of half hour instalments told from a state-centric perspective. My innovation is to pause the narrative at the end of each century to take time to cover wider issues to do with Byzantium. I’ve also taken time to produce feature length episodes on the most dramatic incidents.”

Their bibliography is quite extensive and has divisions for beginners, students etc. Most of them are good secondary sources. From my experience in my undergraduate studies primary sources of the world of antiquity can be quite verbose. A good start for the later Roman Empire is Ammianus Marcellinus 354-378.

More on Greek Fire:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire
https://www.britannica.com/technology/Greek-fire
https://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Fire/
More on the Varangian Guard
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian_Guard
https://www.ancient.eu/Varangian_Guard/
https://www.history.co.uk/shows/the-real-vikings/articles/who-were-the-varangian-guard

More on Romanus II:
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Romanus-II
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanos_II
* Romanus II mainly left much of the affairs of the Empire to the civil service. He was fond of the drink and it is thought he fell ill due to illness brought on by his excessive drinking. There is a theory that perhaps his wife Theophano poisoned him – however there is no evidence of this.

More on Nikephoros II
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikephoros_II_Phokas

More on John I
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_I_Tzimiskes

Music credits:
Found in the YouTube audio library
“Epic Battle Speech” by Wayne Jones
“Claim of Thrones” by RKVC
“Fallen Soldier” by Biz Baz Studio

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2 history buffs and 1 tech guy, all with a singular purpose to entertain you with Civilization content. MoySauce, Nystagmus, and Razing Zozo are filled with information and entertainment as the 3 hosts talk about which Civilization Leader they would bring to Prom, why Gilgamesh is so darn handsome, and who put that Spy in my land? As the three talk about strategies used in their Sunday games, they are open to light hearted conversations and deep dive into some history facts!

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