Byzantine's Bad Rap

I love Slate's Explainer column.  Today's edition is on how Byzantine came to mean "deviously convoluted"

Here's the crux:
Was the Byzantine system of government especially complex?Only compared to those of medieval Europe. 
Read more here.  

And related, I LOVED LOVED LOVED these free podcasts - 12 Byzantine Rulers by Lars Brownsworth.  The podcasts are also available on iTunes.  Very lively, very political and very interesting history.  Also a good bit of church history.   Many of these great stories not commonly known or taught in US schools.   His book Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization alludes to that (and is very readable too).


Poetry, Death and a Wind

The Ardnamurchan Viking - An Amazing Find