In the mid-fifteenth century, writes Anthony Bryer, George Kastriota, surnamed Skanderbeg, was acclaimed as a powerful champion of Christianity on the eastern shores of the Adriatic.
Anthony Bryer takes a visit to Nicaea; The seat of early Church Councils and, for a while, of the Byzantine Emperors, it has a history stretching from the reign of Alexander the Great to the present day.
Tzykanion, or polo, formed part of the ritual of life at the court of the Emperors in Constantinople. Expertise on horseback, writes Anthony Bryer, was one of the requirements of Imperial dignity.
Anthony Bryer describes how, during the second half of the thirteenth century, the ruler of the Mongols discussed with Edward I of England a joint attempt to recover Jerusalem from the Turks.
Anthony Bryer explains how Byzantines, Bulgars and Serbs all left their imprint on medieval Macedonia; for six turbulent centuries the Churches of Ochrida exerted a powerful influence on Balkan politics and Eastern Christianity.
When the rapacious warriors of the Fourth Crusade seized Constantinople at the beginning of the thirteenth century, two Byzantine princes set up an empire-in-exile stretching from Georgia along the Black Sea coast. This new empire outlived the parent city. Until 1461, writes Anthony Bryer, it remained an unconquered outpost of Greek-Christian civilization.