Peter Frankopan
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Director of the Center for Byzantine Research at Oxford University; Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. Specialist in medieval Greek literature, the Crusades, the history of Russia, the Near East and the Byzantine Empire.

Entries by Peter Frankopan

ISIS, Russia, and the Rejection of the West

(0) Comments | Posted 21 September 2015 | (11:03)

So, mercifully, the latest glossy video released by ISIS does not show innocent people being executed, or cultural treasures of the world being destroyed by thugs. For once, the high production values gives some hope that those at the top of ISIS are moving out of the teenage phase of...

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The Historians Are Revolting

(0) Comments | Posted 18 May 2015 | (11:53)

It's been a week where books have been put back on the shelves and the gloves have come off: historians have gone into overdrive following an article in History Today in which the Cambridge academic, David Abulafia, argues that Britain's history is unique and distinct from the rest of Europe.

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History, Fools and Russell Brand

(0) Comments | Posted 7 November 2014 | (14:33)

Lots of people think historians spend their time in libraries blowing dust off books no one else has (wanted to) read, looking for false doors in grand houses that hide undiscovered manuscripts, or tracking down nice pensioners who used to crack codes during the war at Bletchley Park. Sometimes the...

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ISIS and the Crusades: Lessons That Could (Should) Have Been Learned

(1) Comments | Posted 10 October 2014 | (13:17)

When President George W. Bush stood on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln on 1 May 2003, the mood was euphoric. 'Major combat operations in Iraq have ended', he announced; 'in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.'

Despite the infamous banner draped across the...

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How the Byzantine Empire Would Have Dealt With Scottish Independence

(0) Comments | Posted 15 September 2014 | (09:49)

These are dangerous times, declare politicians and press alike, as the fate of Great Britain hangs in the balance. We are warned that there could be trouble ahead should the 'Yes' vote prevail.

Such is the crisis that last week David Cameron and Ed Miliband not only agreed to...

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England's Cricketing collapse: What Alastair Cook Can Learn From Two 11th Century Byzantine Speeches

(0) Comments | Posted 7 January 2014 | (09:37)

The Feast of the Epiphany, as any Byzantine historian could tell you, was a day for home truths. Each year, a leading cleric would stand in front of the Emperor and deliver a speech that set out achievements, hope and fears. Such occasions were all about reading between the lines...

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Putin - A Byzantine Emperor in All but Name

(1) Comments | Posted 12 June 2013 | (10:24)

Vladimir Putin gets a bad press in the western world - there are sniggers that he is too autocratic; too controlling and too repressive. The judo and the motorbike-riding, the bare-chested fishing; shirtless horse riding; surfacing from scuba-diving with two intact Greek amphorae - I mean, come on, I hear...

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Mongols, Global Conquest and the Champions League

(0) Comments | Posted 11 May 2013 | (00:50)

I have been working on the history of the steppes of Central Asia recently and looking at the interaction between the nomadic and sedentary world.

To the naked eye, the former looks completely chaotic: nomad tribes were famous for their vicious and savage lifestyles, as different as night and day...

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David Bowie, the V&A and Medieval Pilgrimage

(1) Comments | Posted 22 March 2013 | (23:00)

Earlier this week, I saw the brilliant David Bowie exhibition at the V&A. The show is quite fantastic and has had critics not just swooning, but bursting into rhapsodies and, in at least one case,, tears.

It is in many ways the perfect exhibition. Simply called David Bowie...

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Derek Zoolander, Fashion and the Byzantine Empire

(0) Comments | Posted 6 March 2013 | (16:46)

The Byzantine Empire, as Derek Zoolander might say; it's so hot right now.

This has been a good week to be a specialist on the Byzantine Empire. Usually, the name alone is enough to inspire a blank look, prompting a scratch of the head and a raid of the memory...

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On History, Homer and Ben Affleck

(0) Comments | Posted 1 March 2013 | (15:17)

So, Argo won Best Picture at the Oscars. The story of the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 made for a gripping tale, packed with tension and adrenaline. It was not easy, tweeted Ben Affleck, in response to gushing praise, 'to play a role in a true story - you have...

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