I noticed that I haven’t mentioned Lars Brownworth excellent lecture series, 12 Byzantine Rulers. It’s available as a podcast series through the iTunes Store, or from his site.
This history lecture podcast covers the little known Byzantine Empire through the study of twelve of its greatest rulers.
Brownworth is an engaging speaker, and the subject matter is fascinating.
I bring this up now because Brownworth has just begun another series, Norman Centuries. The first installment:
They were the great success story of the Middle Ages, a footloose band of individual adventurers who appeared out of nowhere to blaze across the face of Dark Age Europe. In the course of two centuries the Normans launched a series of extraordinary conquests, transforming Anglo-Saxon England into Great Britain, setting up a powerful Crusader state in Antioch, and turning Palermo into the dazzling cultural and economic capital of the western Mediterranean. Their story, however, begins rather humbly in the fierce Viking Age, when a group of Scandinavian raiders came crashing into Charlemagne’s empire. Join Lars Brownworth as he follows the ferocious warrior Rollo, the first Norman, who began life as a simple raider and ended it as a great lord of the West.