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The Medieval Archives podcast transports you back to an age of heroic kings, gallant knights and pious bishops. Separate fact from fiction and find out how the men and women of the middle ages really lived.
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Have you ever seen an eclipse? I’ve seen numerous lunar eclipses and I’ve seen a few partial solar eclipse, but never a total solar eclipse. On 08 April 2024, Mexico, the United States and Canada will experience a total solar eclipse. It’s the first one in 7 years and the last one for 20 years. The next total solar eclipse in North America will be …
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Medievalist and Art Historian Dr. Amy Jeffs joins the show to discuss her books Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain and Wild: Tales from Early Medieval Britain In Amy’s first book, Storyland she examines the origins of Britain from Noah’s flood to the Norman invasion. And there are some good stories to tell, including the incredible story of Albi…
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Professor and author Nicolas Morton joins the podcast to discuss his book, The Crusader States and their Neighbours. The Crusader States were founded during the First Crusade. The Crusaders conquered the land and claimed it as their own. There were four Crusader States established during the First Crusade; The County of Edessa, The County of Tripol…
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We are embarking on a new podcasting adventure! Medieval Tales Podcast will be released every Tuesday and Thursday and feature medieval themed classic novels. The first book in the series is: The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson The Black Arrow: A Tale of Two Roses is the 1888 historical adventure novel. Set in fifteenth century England during…
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Welcome to the Medieval Tales podcast, well, to the trailer at least. Do you love reading classic novels set in the Middle Ages. Stories of brave Knights and epic battles, royal intrigue and life in a castle? Is it getting harder to find time to sit down and read a good book? With all the cooking and cleaning and commuting. Maybe you have the time …
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Professor and author Nicolas Morton joins the podcast to discuss his book, The Mongol Storm. The Mongol Empire rose to power in the early 1200s, founded by Genghis Khan. At it’s peak the Empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea, encompassing Korea, Mongolia, China, Russia and portions of Eastern Europe and the Near East. Nic’s new b…
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It’s Halloween again, the air turns colder, the nights grow darker and spirits roam in the shadows. On this year’s Halloween episode we are traveling to the Emerald Isle. In 1324 Kilkenny, Ireland witnessed it’s first witchcraft trial and the first execution carried out by burning at the stake. Alice Kyteler was a popular, beautiful inn keeper who'…
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Mudlarks A mudlark is defined as someone who digs or searches in in river or harbor mud for items of value. The term was widely used in 18th and 19th century London. Mudlarks would search the shores of the River Thames during low tide to find valuable items and sell them for a profit. Being a mudlark back then was usually a job for those in extreme…
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When people think of the Middle Ages one of the first images that pops into their head is a knight in shining armor. Knights are synonymous with the Middle Ages. Slaying dragons, saving damsels in distress, but beyond the fairy tales are the real life knights. Men who sacrificed and endlessly trained to earn the title of Knight. On this episode of …
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The witching season is upon us once again. Past Halloweens we’ve covered a Medieval Serial Killer, Medieval Zombies and more. All the Halloween episodes are available on the Halloween Podcast page. This Halloween we are looking at haunted castles from the Middle Ages. Castles We’ll visit a handful of castles around England and one in Ireland. Most …
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The Viking Age​ VIKINGS! The scourge of the early middle ages. Vikings raided England, Ireland and Europe with a ferocity never seen before. On this episode we’re going to look at a few Vikings that you may not have heard of, or know much about. One of them should be taught in every school in America and Europe. They are portrayed as blood thirsty …
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John II: King of France 1350-1364 King John II of France, called The Good. John ruled during a tumultuous time, the Plague was in full force killing large parts of France’s population, the Hundred Years’ War was raging and France was in financial trouble. With all that going on how did John get dubbed, The Good? We’ll take a look at his rise to the…
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Fight For Profit Soldiers in the Middle Ages fought for King and Country. But what did they do when the wars ended? Not all soldiers retired back to a life of farming or trade. Some men wanted to continue fighting and they fought for profit Medieval Mercenaries rose to prominence in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Mercenary Companies were made up …
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We hit a milestone this month for the Medieval Archives Podcast. Ten years of podcasting! Unfortunately the podcast hit an unexpected and lengthy hiatus. But we are coming back this summer! Along with the 10 year anniversary is a fresh new website. And we're removing all the ads from the website as well! The new website and renewed podcast will rem…
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In today's lesson we are joined by author Wayne Bartlett to discuss Richard the Lionheart! Wayne's new book Richard the Lionheart: The Crusader King of England is available through Amberley Publishing. It's an excellent biography and the first biography of Richard the Lionheart in over 40 years! Wayne and I discuss Richard's upbringing, the Crusade…
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Today's lesson features a talk with historian and author Stephen Spinks. Stephen's new book Edward II The Man: A Doomed Inheritance was recently published by Amberley Publishing. Edward II The Man is an in-depth biography of an often overlooked medieval king. Stephen and I talk about his work with the National Trust, his writing and his new book. I…
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! The Great Plague or Black Death ravaged Europe in the 14th century, killing around 200 million people. No one was immune to the Plague! But as we'll find out in today's episode one man thought his wealth could keep him safe. Today on the Halloween inspired episode we are going to listen to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red De…
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We have a special episode today of medieval inspired music! Ian Churchward and his band The Legendary 10 Seconds write music about Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. Today we are showcasing one of their albums Tant le Desiree, the second album in the Richard III saga. You can find all their music at thelegendary10seconds.co.uk Ian and his band …
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Ever wonder how medieval people dealt with natural disasters? No Red Cross or FEMA to come in and help clean up. Earthquakes and Tsunamis are some of the most destructive forces in nature. It's estimated there are over 500,000 earthquakes each year and over 100,000 of them can be felt. Earthquakes in the Middle Ages are some of the most destructive…
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In 1242 the Teutonic Knights were conquering lands to the east into Novgorod. Pope Gregory IX blessed the Knights in their Crusade to rid Novgorod of the orthodox pagans. Alexander Nevsky and his army had other plans. They intended to defend their country from all invaders. The conflict ended with a fierce battle, called the Battle on the Ice. On a…
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The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories written Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387–1400. The tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Miller's Tale is about a carpenter, Jo…
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Jack Cade's RebellionThe summer of 1450 was full of unrest in England. A failing war in France, political corruption and out of control crime left the citizens of England on edge. One man, Jack Cade, gathered together a band of followers from all classes of life and marched on London. The group presented King Henry VI a list of grievances called 'T…
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Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell MadeGlobal’s History in a Nutshell Series aims to give readers a good grounding in a historical topic in a concise, easily digestible and accessible way. Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell outlines the life of one of history’s most controversial figures from his birth through to his murder in 1507 at the age of just 31. This bo…
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The Children's Crusade 1212In the summer of 1212 a French boy and a German boy had separate visions of freeing the Holy Land from the Muslims. Their quests included over 20,000 medieval children and is known as the Children's Crusade. Stephan of Cloyes, a French shepard boy, claimed Jesus told him to gather a group of children and free the Holy Lan…
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Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from the Medieval Archives! No intro, no talking just Christmas music inspired by the Middle Ages! Have a safe holiday season and thank you for supporting the Medieval Archives Podcast. Please send any comments, suggestions or topic ideas to podcast@medievalarchives.com If you are enjoying the podcast please consi…
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Happy Halloween! The Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478 by Ferdinand and Isabella, was used to rid Spain and the Spanish Territories of heretics. The Spanish Inquisition targeted Catholics who strayed from the Catholic teaches and expanded to Jews, Muslims and non-Catholic Christians. Being convicted by an Inquisition tribunal didn't also led to …
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During the first phase of the Hundred Years War a smaller war broke out in France, the Breton War of Succession. Wars of Succession always start the same way, a Nobleman dies without an heir. In this case it was the Duke of Brittany, John the Good, who died childless in 1341. Two men stepped up to claim the duchy and the Civil War raged for 23 year…
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Women in the Middle Ages were docile, meek and subservient. Or at least that's what we were led to believe. But that isn't always the case. In previous lessons we looked at Black Agnes, the defender of Dunbar Castle and Melisende, the Queen of Jerusalem. Women like Joan of Arc, Isabella, the She-Wolf of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine are examples …
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The Battle of Sluys was the first major battle of the Hundred Years' War. There were a few battles before it but nothing that compared to the size and ramifications of Sluys. The Hundred Years' War was a series of wars between England's Plantagenet Dynasty and France's House of Valois and lasted 116 years! The main cause of the war was the rightful…
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Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales toward the end of the 14th century. The tales are a story telling contest by a group of pilgrims traveling to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Today we are going to listen to The Pardoner's Tale, a tale of greed, treachery and betrayal. The Pardoner's Tale is about three young me…
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While browsing a B. Dalton bookstore in 1987 I happened upon a book with a glowing sword on the cover. The description talked of Skull Bearers, trolls, dwarfs, elves and a powerful Sword of Shannara. I was sold! That summer I read the entire Original Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks. Over the years I would continue to read any book with the name Te…
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This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The medieval King responsible for the document is King John of England. He didn't create it, but it was his turbulent reign that caused the Barons to create the document. King John put his seal on it in June 1215 and then refused to abide by the Magna Carta forcing the Barons to revolt again…
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We are two weeks away from the beginning of the Richard III re-interment ceremonies. Leicester will be packed with dignitaries, tourist and medievalists to witness the final procession of Richard from Leiscester to Bosworth and back. On the last episode we talked to David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester Cathedral about the Cathedral and the re-inte…
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Three years ago archaeologists began a dig to discover the lost remains of King Richard III. Unbelievably they found his remains the very first day! It took over a week of careful excavation to uncover and exhume his bones. The bones were sent to the University of Leicester for analysis. After months of testing and DNA analysis the University confi…
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Season 3 Premiere! What's in store for Ragnar and company this year? A trip to Wessex, raids, glory? All that and more! Find out on another great episode of Vikings. On this episode of The Vikings Podcast we'll review and recap the Season 3 premiere episode, Mercenary. Then we'll look at the history presented in the show and see how it compares to …
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Six hundred years ago Anti-Pope John XXIII called the Council of Constance. It was an ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church and began in November 1414. The main purpose of the Council was to end the Western Schism. In 1414 three Popes ruled the Catholic Church, Anti-Popes John XXIII and Benedict XIII and Pope Gregory XII. There…
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Journalist and author Ian Macgill found his writing passion traveling through the jungles of South America. As a young man Ian was awarded the Winston Churchill fellowship and traveled through South America studying ancient sites. His adventures in South America would make a great book as well! After his travels he returned to Britain and began his…
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Gilles de Rais, an esteemed knight and the Marshall of France, who fought alongside Joan of Arc. Then he turned to the occult and tried to deal with the devil. Gilles isn't remembered as a hero of France, instead he is remembered as a gruesome child murderer. On today's episode we are going to look at Gilles de Rais, a knight who fought alongside J…
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I wanted to get out a quick update to let you know about the VIKINGS Season 2 Blu-ray giveaway! It's easy to enter and you could take home a great prize! Head over to http://www.medievalarchives.com/vikingsgiveaway to enter the contest. One lucky player will win a copy of VIKINGS Season 2 on Blu-ray Listen to the episode now The Blu-Ray version inc…
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Award-winning journalist, best selling author and Historian Dan Jones joins the Medieval Archives Podcast to talk all things Plantagenets! His first book on the subject The Plantagents: The Kings Who made England covers the first two centuries of Plantagenet Kings from Henry II to Richard II. In his latest book Wars of the Roses(Hollow Crown, UK Ti…
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Jan Hus was a Czech or more accurately for his time, a Bohemian priest, philosopher and religious reformer who shock up the catholic church in the 15th century. We'll look at his life, his ideas about religion and the catholic church and the wars fought in his name. I have shelves and shelves of medieval history books and almost all of them handle …
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Few authors can capture the atmosphere of the middle ages as well as Bernard Cornwell. A master storyteller Bernard has written over 50 books! I first discovered Bernard Cornwell in the early 2000s when I was browsing at a local bookstore. A book titled The Archer's Tale caught my attention and the main character was an archer fighting in the Hundr…
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In June 1314 Scotland faced off against England in a battle that would be remembered through the ages. Outnumbered more than 2-1 the Scots banded together to fight the mighty English. The Battle of Bannockburn started out with an epic confrontation between King Robert the Bruce and the English knight Henry de Bohun. The outcome of that single comba…
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For everyone living today the Kingdom of Scotland has been apart of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. But the two kingdoms weren't always united. In fact they have only been unified for 300 years. Prior to the 1707 Treaty of Union, Scotland was an independent nation. Travel back even farther, to the late 13th, early 14th century England led by E…
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Defender of the City of God is a new book by award winning author Sharan Newman. It examines the First Crusade, the Crusader state of Jerusalem and Queen Melisande. Sharan also writes fiction novels based in the Middle Ages, including a series of Medieval mysteries. In this lesson we talk with Sharan about her background, her books, both fiction an…
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Jacques de Molay the 23rd and final Grand Master of The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, better know as The Knights Templar. The Knights Templar formed in 1119 and quickly rose in power and wealth. With help from the church they were able to amass a fortune in money and property. They were fierce warriors of God that set ou…
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In the Middle Ages torture was used for a variety of reasons, to gain information, to purify heretics and to punish criminals. In this lesson of the Medieval Archives Podcast we are going to explore medieval torture and the devices used by medieval torturers. Devices of pain, torment and mutilation used by the Church to punish heretics and blasphem…
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The Kingdom of Jerusalem was the most powerful Crusader State in the Middle Ages. Melisende, the daughter of King Baldwin II, would rule Jerusalem after the death of her father. A power struggle with her husband, Fulk V, led to a divided Kingdom. Finally in 1143 she became the sole ruler of Jerusalem, but still faced concerns of the Muslims invadin…
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03 February 2014 marks the 1,000th anniversary of the death of King Sweyn Forkbeard. Once Forkbeard became the King of Denmark and Norway he started raiding England. After the English massacred thousands of Danes on St. Brice's Day Forkbeard increased his raids until he was able to overthrow the sitting King. Sweyn would never have a chance to rule…
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January 2014 marks the 1,200th anniversary of the death of Charlemagne. He started his reign at the age of 26 as the King of the Franks. By the time of his death in 814 he was the Holy Roman Emperor and ruled the majority of continental Europe. Join us today as we examine the life of Charlemagne. We'll look at his military exploits, how he was able…
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