Western Civ (Podcasts)

A quick bonus preview of our "History of Western Thought" series. In Part Four, we cover early Catholic thought between St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. 

Check out the full episode at our website: westerncivpodcast.com

Or, become a Patron today and get access to all our bonus materials plus support the show for as little as $1.00 per month. www.patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: History_of_Thought4_Preview.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

An interview with author and translator Robin Waterfield whose new translation of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius became available on April 9. Check out a copy at basicbooks.com or wherever you purchase your books.

For those interested in stoicism, check out our bonus episode on the History of Western Thought at westerncivpodcast.com. 

Or become a Patron today to get all our bonus episodes at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast 

Direct download: Meditations_Inteview.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Richard III murders his nephews and seizes power. Yet, before he gets too comfortable, Henry Tudor crosses the Channel and the final War of the Roses begins.

Check out our website for more content: westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today to support the show and for tons of bonus content: patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: E151.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

After the Battle of Towton, Edward IV became the first Yorkist King of England. But, the Wars of the Roses know no boundaries and soon Edward found the crown easier to win than hold. 

Check out our website at westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: E150.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

York takes over with Henry VI in tow. But, how long can he keep the masses happy as the power behind the throne?

Check out our website at westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

 

Direct download: E149.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

As the 1440's come to a close, those around Henry VI begin to come to terms with his ineptitude. First, the Duke of Suffolk and then the Duke of Somerset tries to control the government from behind the scenes. Both lose their heads. Ultimately, one man steps into power: Richard, Duke of York. 

Check out our website for more content at westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today for as little as $1.00 per month at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast 

Direct download: E148.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

We begin our Wars of the Roses story arc by looking at the death of Henry V and the minority of his son, Henry VI. The Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester vie for power as England desperately tries to stabilize the situation in France. 

Check out our website for more content: westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today for tons of bonus content plus every episode early at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: E147.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Today we catch up on early modern France after the Hundred Years' War. Then we do a quick run through the medieval Low Countries, Scandinavia, and Ireland to catch everyone up to 1492. 

Check out our website for images and more: westerncivpodcast.com

Become a patron today and support the show for as little as $1 per month at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: Episode_146.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Valentine's Day has not always been all flowers and heart-shaped cards. Our eighth most popular holiday today, St. Valentine's Day is the product of a combination of ancient, medieval, and Victorian traditions, not all of which are pleasant or even relate to love. In this bonus episode, we cover the history of the holiday.

Direct download: ValentinesDay.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Leonardo da Vinci. Everyone knows the name. But how much do you really know about the great man? The Mona Lisa? Sure. The Last Supper? Of course. But, Lady with Ermine? Probably not. Groundbreaking medical discoveries? Nope. In this mega-episode, we cover all this and more. 

Check out Walter Isaacson's amazing book HERE.

Become a Patron today!

Check out our website!

Direct download: Leonardo_mixdown.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this bonus episode, we do cover the basics of Renaissance painting, sculpture, writing, and architecture. I highly recommend looking at the images on our website, westerncivpodcast.com, while listening so you can follow along. 

Become a Patron today and support the show for $1 per month at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: Renaissance_Art.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In our last look at the Italian Renaissance, we turn to Florence and the Medici, the name that is almost synonymous with the Renaissance. 

Check out our website for the images referenced in the show: westerncivpodcast@gmail.com

Want more content? Become a patron today for as little as $1 per month at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

 

Direct download: Episode_143.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we turn to Milan and its contributions to the Renaissance as well as doing a quick overview of the city's history during this early-modern period. Then, we shift south to Rome and catch up with the Papacy as well as reviewing the history of the Sistine Chapel. 

Check out our website at westerncivpodcast.com

Support the podcast now on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/westerncivpodcast?fan_landing=true 

Direct download: Episode_142.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Inspired by my interview with Historian Robin Lane Fox, I put together a brief overview of Classical Greek medical thought and practice. If you want much more information, check out Robin's book here: https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/robin-lane-fox/the-invention-of-medicine/9780465093458/

Become a patron today at: patreon.com/westerncivpodcast 

Check out our website at: westerncivpodcast.com

Direct download: HistoryofMedicine.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In our first Renaissance episode, we cover the traditional "Fathers" of the Renaissance: Petrarch and Boccaccio. We discuss Humanism. Then, finally, we end with an examination of early-modern Venice. 

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram (@westerncivpodcast) and on our website: westerncivpodcast.com for the most up to date information and bonus content. 

Direct download: Episode_141.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

In this very quick supplemental, we take a short tour of Europe around the year 1450 (well, really 1453). There is a map posted on the website, westerncivpodcast.com, for those interested in following along. Then, next time, we start the Italian Renaissance!

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @westerncivpodcast. 

Direct download: Supplemental_Europe_1450.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A bonus episode covering the history of the western world's most popular holiday. From Santa Claus to December 25 and the origins of the Christmas tree, we cover it all. 

Check out our website for more content: 

westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today to support the show and for hours of bonus content: patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

 

Direct download: Christmas.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: Lane_Fox_mixdown.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

The entire "Alexander Redux" series is complete and now available for purchase at the website: westerncivpodcast.com. For only two dollars you get four hours of audio content. Enjoy a free preview here! 

As always, the content is free to my patrons. To become a patron for as little as one dollar per month check out patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: AP.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT

The battle for Constantinople comes to a head. Mehmet and Constantine fight for the future of Europe outside the great Theodosian Walls. Nearly sixty days of siege come down to five short hours. Giustiniani suffers a severe injury that sidelines him at the last moment, just when he was needed the most. When the sun set over Constantinople on May 28, 1453, it would set over the greatest city in Christendom for the last time.  

Direct download: Episode_140.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The lost city of Atlantis. Is there any more romantic archeological find remaining? Is it real? Or, does Atlantis continue to reside merely in Plato's imagination? In a three-part series, I take a look and answer those questions and more. 

Full episode available at: 

westerncivpodcast.com

patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: Atlantis1Preview.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:26pm EDT

The battle for Constantinople continues as Constantine and Mehmet punch and counter-punch before the Theodosian Walls. This time, the battle extends to the Golden Horn for the first time as both sides look to the sea to score a key victory. 

Direct download: Episode_138_mixdown.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Today, on Veterans Day, we take a look at why we celebrate veterans when we do and how the holiday developed. And do not forget to thank any veterans you see today and every day! 

More at westerncivpodcast.com

Direct download: Veterans_Day.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Bonus episode! A sneak peek inside my new deep-dive series: Alexander Redux! In this ten-part series, we look at the lives of two of the most important people in western history: Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great. Each episode is available to patrons at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast and for fifty cents each at westerncivpodcast.com. In part five we follow Alexander as he finally encounters Darius at the Battle of Issus. 

Direct download: Alexander_Redux_Part_Five.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

Today's bonus episode is a very scary (not really) history of the third most popular holiday in America: Halloween. From Jack-o-Lanterns to Trick-or-Treat, our modern holiday of Halloween owes more to our ancient Celtic roots than anything in American history. 

Check out more at westerncivpodcast.com

Become a Patron today at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast for more content!

 

Direct download: Halloween.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Last time, we reviewed the Theodosian Land Walls and covered the opening moves made by Constantine XI and Mehmet II upon the latter's ascension to power in 1451. Now, we get into the gritty world of medieval cannons and how those were going to change the game completely as the siege of Constantinople truly begins. 

Don't forget to check out our website, westerncivpodcast.com, for extra content!

Direct download: Episode_137_New.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A conversation with Adrian Goldsworthy about his latest book: Philip and Alexander available now at hachettebookgroup.com/titles/adrian-goldsworthy/philip-and-alexander/9781541646698/

We talk all things Greek and Macedonian. Tons on Alexander the Great and his father, Philip. Plus, a little fun on a historical what-if between Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. 

Check out our new (Goldsworthy-inspired) episodes on Alexander the Great at westerncivpodcast.com

Available for free for patrons at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

Direct download: Goldsworthy.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:19pm EDT

Constantine XI and Mehmet II make their opening moves for the battle for Constantinople. Constantine begs for aid, which is slow to come from a medieval Europe inching ever closer to modernity. Mehmet is more proactive, constructing a massive new fort only six miles north of Constantinople itself. But, in the end, let's face it, this is all window dressing. The true conflict will be decided at the Theodosian Walls, which we here review. 

Direct download: Episode_136.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we get the other half of the story. This time from the perspective of the Ottomans, occasionally known to history as the Turks. We cover Ottoman history from roughly the time the Ottomans became a state until the rise of Mehmet II in 1451. 

Direct download: Epsiode_135.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In a new Patrons-only (also available for purchase at the website) series, I am covering the history of western civilization but from the perspective of thought and philosophy. This first deep dive episode covers western thought from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to the early Greek thinkers that predate Socrates. 

The full hour and fifteen-minute long episode is available at westerncivpodcast.com 

And, this plus all the episodes, are available to Patrons at patreon.com/westerncivpodcast for only $2 per month! Plus, it supports the show. 

Direct download: Preview1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

This time, we bring ourselves up to speed on Byzantium before we take that final plunge towards its final demise. This episode covers late medieval Byzantine history from roughly the Fourth Crusade until 1450. 

Direct download: Episode_134.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A quick reap of the Hundred Years War including my analysis of why we should all DEFINITELY study this incredible conflict that straddles the line between medieval and early modern European history. If you enjoy this episode, check out all our other, much more detailed, episodes on the intricacies of the war. 

Direct download: HundredYearsWarRecap.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

After the death of Bedford, things begin to unravel quickly for English interests in France. Gunpowder has now replaced the longbow as the preeminent weapon on the field and Charles VII takes full advantage. By the end of 1453, the English have been driven from all but Calais, effectively ending the Hundred Years War. 

Direct download: Episode_133.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Led by Bedford, the English in France attempt to snuff out the remaining resistance under the Dauphin. Suddenly, an unexpected challenge rides to the future French King's rescue: a young peasant girl that history will come to know as Joan of Arc. Together, Joan and Charles VII push back the English as Bedford struggles to hold Lancastrian France together as the Hundred Years War reaches its final stages. 

Direct download: Episode_132.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A quick announcement regarding some ways to engage with and support the show.

Check out our website: westerncivpodcast.com

Follow us on Instagram! @westerncivpodcast

Two Free ebooks available:

If It were Done: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084RMNPF9

Star Crossed: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FH86LJH

Western Civ is now on Patreon! Consider supporting us at: https://www.patreon.com/westerncivpodcast

 

Direct download: Announcement82020.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Henry V returns to England after his victory at Agincourt to a jubilant population. Parliament quickly votes the king the money to continue the war and now Henry joins forces with the Duke of Burgundy to fight the Dauphin. Henry's early death in 1422 denies him the right to rule both kingdoms, but his son, Henry VI becomes King of both England and France that same year. In the years after the death of Henry VI, a fractured France allows John, Duke of Bedford to nearly complete the Lancastrian conquest of the realm. 

Direct download: Episode_131_New.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The Hundred Years War continues in this episode as Charles VI descends into madness, France into a quasi-civil war, and Henry IV deals with issues at home, granting France a brief reprieve. That reprieve then comes to a crashing end then as Henry V takes the helm at the Battle of Agincourt. 

Direct download: Episode_130.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

All good things must come to an end. In this episode, we are back in late Medieval England as the two-hundred-year reign of the Plantagenets finally comes crashing down. Henry Bolingbroke sizes the throne from Richard II and the House of Lancaster rules England. 

Direct download: Episode_129.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this bonus episode, we take a quick look at how the Black Death altered medieval European medical practices, including changes in medical education, practice, hospitals, and the development of the public health system. 

Direct download: Medicine.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Three quick announcements:

  1. A new website coming!
  2. New (Totally Free) Book Available 
  3. Call for Educational Experiences Related to the Hundred Years War
Direct download: Announcement1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:11am EDT

In this episode we examine in more detail the short and long-term consequences of the plague. The Black Death has been credited with bringing about the end of the Middle Ages, which, as we will see, is both true and false. 

Here are the links to my books available for purchase on Amazon:

The Agency: Crisis at Kadesh

The Agency: A Whole New Kind of Marathon

If It Were Done: A Shakespeare Mystery Series Novel

As always, I appreciate the support.

Direct download: Episode_126.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this bonus episode we look at games, sports and tournaments in the Middle Ages. 

Check my newest historical fiction novel on Alexander the Great: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087PJ5S9N 

Direct download: MedievalSport.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:42am EDT

In this episode we finish our historical story arc for the Black Death. Last time, we watched as the first cycle of plague died out on the Russian Steppe. But, this time we cover the Flagellants - one of the most memorable groups to come out of the plague. For all their hilarity though, the Flagellants remain an example of militant anti-semitism and apoplectic overreaction that we would do well to remember today. 

If you have not, please check out my historical fiction novel: The Agency: Crisis at Kadesh here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0859LCJ4M

Direct download: Episode_125.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we continue to follow the Black Death as it ravages medieval Europe. In 1348 the Black Plague hits London and devastates its population.  From their the plague moves to Scotland and Ireland, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, before dying out somewhere in the wilds of the Russian steppe. 

If you have not, don't forget to check out, The Agency: Crisis at Kadesh, a young adult historical fiction novel about Ancient Egypt. Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0859LCJ4M

Direct download: Episode_124.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

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Direct download: Cathedral2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:58am EDT

While we all shelter in place, I thought I would put out a few fun supplemental episodes on cultural topics that I have not been able to fit into the narrative. This first episode in the series looks at the mechanics of cathedral building: finances, plans, workers, and the basic structure. 

If there are other cultural topics you want immediate episodes on, email me at westerncivpodcast@gmail.com

Direct download: Cathedral1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:47pm EDT

We return to the plague narrative proper in this episode. Edward III sits victorious upon the medieval English throne fresh from victories in France. However, the Black Death cares not for kings or victories and marches towards England in the summer in 1348. In England, we get some of our best statistics for the plague due to the English tendency towards record-keeping. 

If you are interested in another free ebook, check out the second installment of The Agency here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085NDFT49

Direct download: Episode_123.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

We back the narrative up a little bit this time to catch up with England and France before continuing with the Black Death. In this episode, Edward III becomes King of England in his own right and the Hundred Years War begins. We explore the Battle of Crećy as well as the King's son, also a rising start: Edward the Black Prince. Finally, we look at how the longbow revolutionized combat in the Late Middle Ages. 

For those interested, I have included the link to my first Young Adult Historical Fiction Novel, The Agency: Crisis at Kadesh, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0859LCJ4M

It will be available free of charge in ebook form from March 13-15. 

Direct download: Episode_122.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

We continue tracking the Black Death as it moves from Italy to France in this episode. First we follow the plague to Marseilles and see our first anti-semitic response to the mounting death toll. Then the plague chases the Pope out of Avignon. Finally, we follow the plague across the medieval French countryside before it descends on Paris. 

Direct download: 121.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we continue our Black Death narrative. Last time we considered the impact of the plague on medieval Genoa and Venice. This time we turn to Florence, Siena, and Rome.  From Florence we get our greatest plague chronicler: Giovanni Boccaccio. 

Direct download: 120.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we follow the Black Death as it moves from Sicily to Italy - striking the Italian cities of Genoa and Venice. 

Direct download: 119.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

We resume our narrative proper and take up the story of the Black Death in this episode. Now, the Black Death finally arrives in Europe in 1347 via, according to some truth and a lot of legend, the Genoese traders of Caffa on the Black Sea. 

Direct download: 118.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this final introductory episode to the Black Death, we consider the ecological factors that made Europe especially susceptible to plague in the Fourteenth Century. 

Direct download: Episode_117.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we begin our Black Death narrative arc with a look at the plague itself. We will cover what causes the plague and what made the Black Death so destructive in Medieval Europe. 

Direct download: Episode_116.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this supplemental episode, we take a whirlwind tour of Europe at roughly the year 1350, when the plague will begin to hit Europe. We cover quickly which kingdoms were where and who was rising or declining. Then, we take stock of the huge period of history we have covered since the fall of the Western Roman Empire before moving on to the Late Middle Ages. 

Direct download: Supplemental_Black_Death_mixdown.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we follow the hapless reign of King Edward II of England. King Edward would find himself dominated by one court favorite after another starting with the infamous Piers Gaveston until finally he is simply removed from power in favor of his son, Edward III. In France, things are no better. The death of of Philip IV would led to three kings in the better part of two decades with no producing male heirs. This will lead to our first encounter with the so-called, Salic Law, which will ultimately plunge England and France into the Hundred Years War.   

Direct download: Episode_115.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we continue our look at the High Medieval period in France and England. When we last left off, the deaths of two Kings, Henry II in England and Louis IX in France, left new kings in power. In this episode we will watch as Philip of France and Edward I of England led their kingdoms increasing toward nationhood.  

Direct download: Episode_114.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

As the title suggests, we are heading back to western Europe for this episode. When we last left England, King John had died in the midst of a civil war. Now, the young Henry III was King of England. In this episode we follow his turbulent reign as England moves from the brink of civil war, to civil war, and back again. Meanwhile, in France, the death of Philip II will, ultimately, bring Louis IX to power. We have already met Louis during our episodes on the crusade but will get deeper into his reign during this episode.  

Direct download: Episode_113.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we head back to 1204 and pick up the narrative of the Byzantine Empire after the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. The sack of Constantinople leads to a crusader/Venetian coalition in charge of what had once been the greatest Christian city in the world. True to their style, the crusaders waste no time in fighting amongst themselves. Meanwhile, in Nicaea and Epiros, two rival successor states to the Byzantines work to restore all that remains. 

Direct download: Episode_112.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we see the Mamluks bring the crusader states to their final end and the end of the crusading epoch in Europe. Then, I do my level best to break down the importance of the crusades to European history and Western Civ. 

Direct download: Episode_111.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we conclude our brief Mongol storyline. We cover how the Mongol Empire transitions from one global empire to several, massive nation-states. We will also see how the Mongols successfully transition from warriors to managers. Finally, we will begin to discuss the Mongol Peace (Pax Mongolica) and how that will usher the Black Death to Europe.

Direct download: Episode_110.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, the newly titled, Genghis Khan, sees the Mongol horde explode out of the steppe against China. Then, a chance event leads the Mongols to seek out new plunder from the Middle East as a caravan raid gone bad changes world history. Then, when Genghis Khan dies, a disputed succession leaves the lovable, but drunk, Ogedei Khan in control and badly in need of new conquests. The only question is, which direction should the horde go? 

Direct download: 109.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

For the first time on this podcast, we really leave Europe and the Near East. Genghis Khan has had a greater impact on the world than perhaps any other person in world history. His impact and the impact of the Mongol conquests are undeniable. So, in this episode we begin to look at the man who would become Genghis Khan and his rise to power.

Multiple people had emailed about resources that I use for the podcast. So I am going to start listing the major sources here for those who want more information. I highly recommend them all. 

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Jack Weatherford.

The Secret History of the Mongols. Translation. Multiple Versions Available. 

The Mongol Empire. Michael Prawdin.

The History of the Mongol Conquests. John Joseph Saunders.

 

Direct download: Episode_108.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

This episode covers the crusade of King Louis IX of France which started out with a lot of promise and ends... well, I guess the title kind of gives this one away. This is our last episode before we take a HUGE divergence from the narrative to introduce the Mongols because of the massive impact they will have on our narrative. 

Direct download: 107.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

This episode covers the second half of Frederick II's reign as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Southern Italy, and King of Sicily. I try to answer the question: why is Frederick II considered to be one of Europe's greatest Medieval Monarchs? 

Direct download: 106.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

This episode covers roughly the first half of Frederick II's reign from his regency through his crusade to recover Jerusalem. We will also discuss Cardinal Pelagius and his pathetic efforts to invade Egypt. 

Direct download: 105.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we cover the Norman conquests of Southern Italy and Sicily between roughly 1025 and 1100. A series of brothers from the house Hauteville in Normandy personally begin the expansion as the demand for mercenaries spikes in Apulia. The conquest proceeds apace until finally Sicily and Southern Italy are united under Roger II.

Direct download: 104.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we follow the reigns of King Richard I and King John as they battle to maintain their Plantagenent Empire against King Philip of France. We will see King Richard die after foolishly failing to wear armor one April evening. We will see King John battle the French King and his own nobles before eventually signing the Magna Carta. And we will see the final collapse of the Plantagenet Empire as England and France begin to form into nation states. 

Direct download: 103.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

This episode covers the disaster that was the Fourth Crusade. Pope Innocent III will try and reinvigorate crusading and wind up sacking one of the most Christian cities in the world. Then we will take a quick look at life in the Near East between the Third and Fifth Crusades. 

Direct download: 102.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we take a look at the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries from the Byzantine perspective. We will go from the death of Basil II through the beginning of the Fourth Crusade. These centuries give us our last look at Byzantium as an "Empire". We will also cover some of the major political and economic changes that will dictate Byzantine history in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. 

Direct download: 101.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we wrap-up the Third Crusade. Richard the Lionheart will battle Saladin to very end for Jerusalem. We will see how Richard's misunderstandings about how a crusade could be run ultimately undermine the Third Crusade. 

Direct download: 100.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:03am EDT

Richard the Lionheart, King of England and the Angevin Empire, arrived in the Holy Land in June, 1191. When he arrived he found the crusaders already battering the walls of Acre surrounded on the other side by Saladin's army. The fight for Acre would prove to be Richard's first real test in the Holy Land. But it would not prove to be his last. Yet, with Richard's arrival the Third Crusade could truly and fully begin. 

Direct download: 99.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we set the stage for the Third Crusade. Frederick Barbarossa will make an overland march to Asia Minor while Richard I and Philip Augustus use naval transportation for the first time en masse to start a crusade. Meanwhile, back in the Near East Saladin pressed to capture Tyre and destroy the remaining crusader outposts. 

Direct download: 98.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we follow the career and reign of the ruler widely considered to be Germany's greatest medieval Monarch: Frederick Barbarossa. In total Frederick will conduct six Italian campaigns, battle a Pope, and rework Germany's economy. And all this before he leaves for the Third Crusade with the likes of Richard the Lionheart and Philip of France to take on Saladin. 

Direct download: 97.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

In this episode Saladin cements his hold over the Near East by subduing Damascus, Aleppo, and Mosul. Then he turns his attention to the Crusader State: the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the death of King Amalric in his early thirties results a child succeeding to the throne in Jerusalem. The young Baldwin IV would live a tragic life and suffer from leprosy throughout his short reign. His death would then lead directly to the devastating crusader defeat at the Horns of Hattin and the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Saladin would emerge from these decades as the undisputed ruler of the Near East. 

Direct download: 96.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we turn back to the Near East as the fortunes of the Crusader States continue to fall. Nur al-Din presses his empire further and further into the declining Latin Kingdoms while both Nur al-Din and the Kingdom of Jerusalem fight over the future of Fatimid Egypt. Finally, at the end of the episode a new man rises to power: Saladin. 

Direct download: 95.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we return to our narrative though not to the Crusades. We will head back to the year 1095 when the First Crusade was launched and set about catching the rest of Europe back up to speed. Then, we spend the bulk of the second half of the episode tackling Norman England. The realm of William the Conqueror is once again fractured by civil war and it is going to take Geoffrey Plantagenet and his son, the future King Henry II, to put it all back together again. (Years: 1095-1154)

Direct download: 93.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this supplemental episode we examine music in the Early Middle Ages. Essentially, this comes down to Gregorian Chanting (Religious) and secular music.

Direct download: Music.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

92

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.

Direct download: 92.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT

In this episode we take a look at the Counties of Edessa and Tripoli and give a quick overview of life in the Near East during the Crusades. Finally, the Crusader States are dealt a series of crushing blows in the 1140's setting the stage for the Second Crusade.

Direct download: Episode_91.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:29pm EDT

In this episode we follow the development of the four key Crusader States after the unexpected success of the First Crusade. King Baldwin I leads the Kingdom of Jerusalem to new heights while Tancred is forced to clean up a royal mess in Antioch. 

Direct download: Episode_90.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

In this episode, we follow the First Crusader as the crusader army swings south into Asia Minor and approaches the formidable city of Antioch. At Antioch, the First Crusade will nearly meet its premature end as the crusaders quickly go from besiegers to besieged. 

Direct download: 88.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In 1095 Pope Urban declared a "pilgrimage" to the Holy Land. In this episode we start with his declaration and then follow the First Crusade as it moves through Byzantine territory and faces its first challenge: Nicaea. 

Direct download: Episode_87.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we begin the Crusades. Specifically, we need to catch up on Byzantium a little bit since we left off with Michael IV in the middle of the Eleventh Century. After we get back up to speed in the East we will then turn our attentions towards setting the stage for the First Crusade which begins in 1095. 

Direct download: Episode_86.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

In this episode we wrap-up our survey of Early Medieval Art by looking at the changes brought about by the transition to the Middle Ages particularly the advent of Christianity. Like in the last episode, here are a few links to images that I reference:

Ivory Carving of Jesus

Quedinburg Itala

Cross of St. Martin 

Gospel of St. Augustine (St. Luke with Gospel)

Direct download: Art2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we are going to begin our look at Early Medieval Art by considered Late Classical and specifically Roman influences on artistic expression that outlived the empire itself. For this episode, you might want to view the following images:

Coronation of Otto III

Trajan's Column

Marcus Aurelius' Column

Four Tetrarchs 

Click the hyperlinked text to see the image. 

Direct download: Art1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we take a break from the political narrative to focus on some of the key social and economic changes that are taking shape in Northern Italy between 875 and 1000 AD. During this period, Medieval Italy experiences a number of changes (urbanization, estate fragmentation) that will result in major changes to Italian economic and social life in the very near future. Next time, we will see how these broader changes influence the political development of Italy during this same period. Finally, in this episode I want to answer the often asked question: what did happen to the old Roman Senators and wealthy landowners after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire? 

Direct download: 84.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we continue our examination of the Holy Roman Empire between 973 and 1106. We pick up the story with Otto II and then follow Otto III and Henry II as they try desperately to both expand and consolidate German power in medieval Europe. Then, we detail the stories of Henry III and IV who would battle increasingly powerful and difficult Popes. The story comes to a climax in the epic showdown between Pope Gregory VII and Henry who must humble himself before the Pope and then seeks his revenge. 

Direct download: 83.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we start our in-depth look at the Holy Roman Empire. This episode covers the time period from the collapse of the unified Carolingian Empire to the death of Otto I in 973. In this episode we will also take a larger look at the Empire in general, its political system, culture, and economy. 

Direct download: 82.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

In this episode we conclude our close look at the Papacy by picking up the story at the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 and following the Vicars of Christ through to Gregory VII and his death in 1085. The Popes during this period were often far from moral. 

Direct download: 81.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:28pm EDT

80

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.

Direct download: 80.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

In this episode we return to what we will loosely be calling "France". The Carolingian Empire is forever gone. In its place are a patchwork of small kingdoms ruled over, nominally, by the new King, Hugh Capet. Over the next roughly one-hundred years, Capet and his successors would battle Dukes, Counts, and other Kings, in an effort to re-centralize authority in Medieval France. 

Direct download: 78.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode William the Conqueror cleans up the last few rebellions in England, only to turn around see his possessions back on the continent under siege. While William fights his son and the King of France, his subordinates in England nearly drive the English to yet another rebellion. 

Direct download: 77.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Between 1066 and 1074 William the Conqueror fights off a series of rebellions in England to solidify his rule. 

Direct download: 76.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we follow Harold Hardrada and William of Normandy across the seas to England to battle Harold Godwinson for the throne. When the dust settled, William the Bastard would be re-titled, William the Conqueror. 

Direct download: 75.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode, we step back again from the narrative to consider the major demographic changes which swept Europe during the High Middle Ages (1000 - 1300 AD). 

Direct download: Episode_73.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this episode we consider the question: what are the Dark Ages? And specifically, when should the Early Middle Ages be said to begin?

Direct download: Episode_72.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: 70.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: 69.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: Voices_NorseMyths.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT