Monthly Archives: May 2012

Basil II

One reason for this blog is to avoid being enclosed by the wall of the garden called Facebook.

Sometimes I enjoy reading the history of where I live, and lately I have been working slowly through Judith Herrin, Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire. The work is not chronological like that of John Julius Norwich (I have read only his Short History of Byzantium); but it does have a chapter on Emperor Basil II, the so-called Bulgar-Slayer, who apparently led the Byzantine Empire to its apogee. Reading this, I could not remember having read about Basil before, in Michael Psellus; but I had, as I could see when Herrin mentioned the latter. Continue reading

Hello world!

When I learn things that might be worth remembering, and when I have thoughts that might be worth pursuing, it may be useful or convenient to type them up as here. I begin with the opening paragraph of the third of the 77 short chapters of W. Somerset Maugham’s book called The Summing Up (published in 1938 when Maugham was about 64): Continue reading