Better to offer tours like history of Rome podcast
Our whole family listens to your podcast, and you inspired us to take a trip to Turkey earlier this year. We think it is a fantastic idea, and would have loved to have it available to us during our trip, although I must admit we had a great time in Turkey anyway, despite the negative travel advise. My main comment is, unless you are hyperefficient, I think you need more than a week to do it.
Congratulations for your great Podcast. As one of the last Byzantine Greeks who was born and raised in Constantinople (I belong to the dwindling tiny Greek community of Istanbul and I am now living in Athens) I could join and maybe contribute to your project with ideas.
Hope that the time of the visit will be suitable for me.
The audio tours is a great idea. I wish something like it existed when I spent a week there 2 years ago. Completely missed all the wall history, plus some other things you have mentioned in the podcasts. I also think you will generate lots of new ideas while you explore the city.
Only negative is your estimate of the time/effort involved. I’ve been around lots of travel TV productions and the amount of work per minute of result is enormous! Less so for audio tours but still considerable. More time = better quality
Great idea. Very helpful for people that are not able to travel themselves. Consider 3D video and/or 3D pictures. They are part of the future of New Media. At the very least, consider taking some 3D pictures with the Google Cardboard app for IOS and Android.
Robin, your podcast is just terrific! I jog to it every morning around Sydney harbour at the moment and think it would be fun to jog past the sights in that other great harbour city! Out the gate, through the walls, around the Hippodrome, past the palace mosaics, down to Sergius and Bacchus, back up past the milion and Constantine's sad column, a quick visit to the yukkie carp in Justinian's cistern, and back to the final bliss of Hagia Sophia. Bring it on!
I do think that informed audio commentary would bring a lot not only to Istanbul but to other places like Goreme in Cappadocia where so many wonderful cave churches and monasteries fade and crumble minus interpretation as the tour buses come and go.
Depending on your timing, I may be able to join you. I do hope so. Best wishes for this project and thank you for a great contribution to awareness of Byzantium!
Great extension of the podcast experience. Was there in the nineties and it was for me the first city where you can really immerse into the historical experience. Even more so than Rome (tough one to beat). Just walking through a neighbourhood and bump into a part of an aqueduct or defensive wall which is still part of a living city is magical.
Hey Robin - a quick minor suggestion might be to have a fifth option in the survey (though it is probably too late). I would love to go on the tour with you, but thought if I put that I was saying I wasn't interested in the audio / video content - whereas I'm interested in both. Love the podcast - thanks for keeping Duncan's narrative going and look forward to getting into the crusader period!
I'm very interested in it. You should charge extra for that content to offset your costs.
Hi Robin, I'm living in Istanbul right now. Every week I go and explore among other things Byzantine leftovers throughout the city. You will find the city quite welcoming. I got an extra room here in Beşiktaş with a view of the hagia Sofia if you stick your head out the window, lol! I'd sure like to meet up when you get here! Hope to meet you when you get here!! Keep up the good work!
I voted as "Not Interested", but primarily because I think it would constitute another delay along the path of completing this podcast. I also think that you are seriously underestimating the amount of time you would need. I am having a very difficult time imaging how you would go about creating a well-crafted narrative while having a group of enthusiasts tagging along --no matter how well intentioned they may be.
Realistically, I think you would need a MINIMUM of three weeks on-site, ALL ALONE and undisturbed for the Istanbul project to have a chance. I fear you are launching yourself on to a hastily organized military campaign with inadequate supplies and limited information about the terrain. There are plenty of Byzantine campaigns like that!
This project would be great AFTER you complete The History of Byzantium podcast, not whilst you are still completing it.
Istanbul is fantastic. It really is the blending of the East and West in an amazing way. Personally, my favorite off the beaten path day was poking around the Blachernae Palace area. The palace is built into the land walls, so you can easily run up some scary stairs to the top of the wall while also close to the Chora Museum (an old Byzantine church that has remarkable mosaics uncovered). Also, you can walk back towards the touristy area along the Golden Horn which takes you near the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch (a remarkably small and accessable church). This is a cool area that is not full of tourists, but I never felt unsafe either.
Robin, I think this is great idea. Your podcast has inspired my interest in visiting myself.
If you do this trip, you should see if there is s way to collect satellite location information as you photograph the site. It might allow you to create an app that connects the location with the information. This would be much better than "Pokémon Go". There is a group in England http://satsymph.co.uk/ that might be able to help
I am less interested in audio simultaneous with you seeing, but me not seeing what you are talking about. However, the audio self guides seem like a good idea. After listening to this podcast, I have a high interest in visiting Istanbul at some point, and would appreciate a map/guide to good historical sites that can still be seen, toured, touched, and how they fit in. Audio self tours of the sites would be great too. A list of stuff that is good to see historical, perhaps near each other so one can see as much as possible efficiently. If it seems practical, maybe the short list for a few day trip, the medium list for a week, and the long list for 10 days to 2 weeks. Just some ideas. I assume when I go that it will be from a few days to a week as I try to see something of Greece, maybe Ephesus, and Lebanon. I will be coming from California when I go.
I love it Robin. You're narration already does such a phenomenal job of bringing history to life, I think adding another layer will be awesome for current listeners and hopefully will spark the interest of a lot of new people as well!
Love it, best of luck, wish I could go with you!
Please do the audio/video tour. I would find it very interesting. I went to Istanbul years ago and saw the Hagia Sofia and the Cistern but nothing else from the Byzantine era. I was only vaguely aware of the city's Roman past at the time so I had no idea what I was missing. I didn't even see the Theodosian walls. I was a university student too so half the trip was spent drinking in bars. Youth is wasted on the young as they say. I won't be able to go in person as I live so far away now but reading about and seeing video of 50 sites would be fascinating.
I think it's a fantastic idea.
I lived in Istanbul for 2 years up to 2015, and made a point to visit as many Byzantine sites as I could find, and acted as tour guide to friends and family on many occasions, so have an idea of what you are aiming at!
It's a big job, and 1 week will get you around the big sites so you can enjoy them, but means that hitting all 50 of the sites you currently have listed is a much larger job. I think that you'll come across even more, especially if you are looking at Roman sites that were still important in the Byzantine era, such as the Aquaduct of Valens, and the Hippodrome.
Personally I think that doing a full tour of the walls is a fascinating day (at least) with The relevant Van Millingen to hand. Hagia Sofia and Chora Church are worth 3-4 hours each (especially if you want to run tours in the future) to really soak it in.
Happy to help with any local advice.
Be sure to get some decent shots of muhammed, I walked around the city for days and never even saw a statue of the man.
I think that is a fantastic idea and would definitely say to go for it! Istanbul/Constantinople is a place I have always wanted to visit but have yet to go, I have even started learning ancient/koine greek as part of the plan to visit the place. I love the idea of the audio guides, I imagine they would take significantly more than a week's research to compile though but would definitely be interested in touring the sites in person.
I think this is a fantastic idea. On top of your other suggestions you could do some Facebook Live events and have some q&a time while you are there. You could also link some of the video material to upcoming episodes.
I think going to Istanbul is a great idea for the podcast. I travelled to Istanbul March 2016 on the day German Embassy closed and other expats were leaving. Had the greatest time in Istanbul and booked overnight local buses to Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Kudsdasi . Never had an issue or concern, Would like to participate in your endeavor in 2018, Bring it.
you've got to go, its such a great city. you can touch and feel and breath in the history. In the Turkish military museum you can touch the chain the Byzantines had stretched across the Golden Horn and see captured Byzantine military equipment.
Also there is a push by conservatives to turn Hagia Sophia back into a working mosque and that will probably mean covering up the mosaics.
I am very excited for this. As someone from Turkey(but not from Istanbul), I have visited Istanbul a couple of times now and I always thought the cities'(and honestly the whole country's) Byzantine past is quite neglected. It will be great to have something that focuses on this subject. I would love to join you there if I can arrange it and if I can't I would love to have the guides for the next time I visit there. I felt like there were a lot of things I forgot about when I visited Rome this year and an audio guide would have helped a lot in reminding them.
My first thought was Instagram stories or Periscope but not sure how data works. I'd love to go but I've got a few trips already planned for next year. Istanbul is one of the top locations I'd like to see due to it's history and beauty. But I'll settle for Prague next year (;
Going to Istanbul is a great idea! Keeping it informal is a great option. I was part of Mike Duncan's first History of Rome tour that included Istanbul. The City takes extra effort to absorb its Roman past, regardless of the major sites. Sure, the Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, the walls, the cisterns, etc. are readily known and accessible, but there are other locations literally by the side of the road like the Arch of Theodosius that no-one would take you to. I hope to join you if the dates permit. BTW, I enjoy your podcast thoroughly!
Totally. I would almost definitely join in a 2018 trip. Sounds amazing.
When I entered the church at Ravena, and looked at the mosaics in the sky, I was shaken by a feeling of intense warmth and I had tears in my eyes thinking about Justinian and the past. It was a feeling like non other. Thanks to the podcast.
All of that in just a week? Really? I would love to join you but fear that I wouldn't have the stamina to keep up. I'll have to be content with your descriptions and explanations. Good traveling to you.
A capital idea, Robin. I am particularly interested in the video/audio/maps concept. Anything that you can create close to a virtual reality video, would be quite valuable for me, since physical travel, at my age, is not feasible anymore.
You have my vote.
Great idea! It was about time. I visited Istanbul 8 years ago, but that was before this podcast turned me into an amateur byzantinist. Now I even think of the Mediterranean world in terms on Roman provinces and themes. I remember the Hagia Sofia, the cistern and the square where the hippodrome used to stand. I definitely would have loved to have a guide of the Byzantine sites. I also want to see your impressions of the city. If there is a meeting at the hippodrome to shout "Nikka", consider me interested.
BTW, the history of philosophy without any gaps is going to start a series on Byzantine philosophers. You were already interviewed on that podcast some time ago but I would be interested in hearing more material if two of my favorite podcasts combined.
I voted "not interested" but not because I think it's a bad idea but because it reflects my ability to participate or make use of the guides. I will never be able to make use of this myself although I wish that I could and do hope it happens.
Me and my dad visited Italy for two weeks in July, and have kicked around the idea of visiting Istanbul and/or Greece. We would be very interested in anything you produced or visiting at the same time.
I would certainly be interested. Recently I've had plans to visit Istanbul -largely for 'Byzantine' reasons, but I cancelled at that time because of negative travel advice due to the terrorist threat and a serious diplomatic row between my country(NL) and Turkey. But I'm not overly concerned right now and I'm planning to visit Istanbul in the nearby future anyway, depending on whether and when my day job permits it. So a visitors guide I would greatly appreciate, and if there is going to be a guided tour of some sort, catering to the needs of Byzantium geeks, consider me interested!