History

Tides of History

Wondery / Patrick Wyman

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Everywhere around us are echoes of the past. Those echoes define the boundaries of states and countries, how we pray and how we fight. They determine what money we spend and how we earn it at work, what language we speak and how we raise our childre...Show More

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Who Was Christopher Columbus? With Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

43:46 | Mar 14th

1492 was a truly wild year, and there is no one better to talk about it with than one of Patrick's favorite historians, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, author of many excellent books on Columbus and exploration. You can listen to the back catalog of Tides...Show More

Civil Servants, State Finance, and the Rising State

54:24 | Mar 7th

States didn't pull themselves up by their bootstraps, driven solely by the will of indomitable rulers; instead, they benefited from the services of a class of highly educated and dedicated civil servants. They administered finance and justice and exe...Show More

The Troubled Inheritance of Mary of Burgundy and Dynastic Consolidation

50:43 | Feb 21st

When Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, met the business end of a Swiss halberd in 1477, his 19-year-old daughter Mary was set to inherit all of his vast possessions. But her position was precarious, surrounded by rapacious neighbors and rivals. The...Show More

Introducing One Plus One

10:45 | Feb 19th

Every great collaboration is a love story. It’s intense. Passionate. Along the way, there are flashes of love, hate, pride, ego, ambition, and brilliance. This is One Plus One, the show about the spark that drives two original thinkers to ultimate su...Show More

The Rise and Fall of Burgundy

1:03:28 | Feb 14th

The Valois dukes of Burgundy were kings in all but name. Originally a branch of the French royal family, they fought for control of the French crown, accumulated vast lands, and nearly carved out a kingdom for themselves in the borderlands between Fr...Show More

Game of Thrones and Late Medieval Politics

47:07 | Feb 7th

Surprise: Patrick loves Game of Thrones. Bigger surprise: GoT is actually a pretty accurate portrayal of late medieval politics - except for the dragons. Patrick's friend Albro Lundy, a very funny and smart TV writer, joins us to talk about it. Follo...Show More

Civil Wars and Political Breakdowns in Late Medieval Europe

58:42 | Jan 24th

The Wars of the Roses are infamous, but practically every European kingdom, not just England, was wracked by serious bouts of infighting in the second half of the 15th century. In a time period known for the growth of state power, why were there so ...Show More

The Wars of the Roses, II

1:04:11 | Jan 17th

By 1461, the Wars of the Roses had already claimed thousands of lives and shaken England's political system to its foundations. The bloodiest battle ever fought in England would soon follow, along with decades more of instability and periodic crisis....Show More

The Wars of the Roses

1:03:30 | Jan 10th

The Wars of the Roses brought what had once been Europe’s most stable and well-governed kingdom to its knees. Weakness at the center, in the form of the useless King Henry VI, reverberated outwards throughout the political system. Could England survi...Show More

38 | The Reformation, Live from Boston

42:53 | Dec 20th, 2018

Leah and I had the opportunity to give a public talk at the Sound Education Conference at Harvard. We talked about the Reformation, why it matters, and how historians think about it today. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! Hair Club for...Show More

Archaeology Rules with Raksha Dave!

39:28 | Dec 13th, 2018

YES we're talking to THAT Raksha Dave, the one from Time Team, Patrick and Leah's favorite show! She tells us about her future digs, all the cool stuff she's done since Time Team, how she became an archaeologist, and why we should all treat old stuff...Show More

37 | Vlad the Impaler and the Legend of Dracula

56:07 | Dec 6th, 2018

Medieval politics, full of assassinations and betrayal, was not for the faint of heart. But even within that landscape, one man stands out for his cruelty: Vlad the Impaler, prince of Wallachia, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula. This e...Show More

George Washington and the End of the Revolution: An Interview with Author Nathaniel Philbrick

41:22 | Nov 29th, 2018

Nathaniel Philbrick - one of Patrick's favorite authors of popular history - stopped by to chat about his latest book, In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown. The bestselling author filled us in on the dra...Show More

Beer, Brewsters, and Women's Work: An Interview with Judith Bennett

48:22 | Nov 15th, 2018

Professor Judith Bennett joined Patrick to talk about the difference between ale and beer, and how work - and women's work in particular - changed over time. Check out Judith's Books! A Medieval Life: Cecilia Penifader of Brigstock, c. 1295-1344 S...Show More

36 | The Fall of Constantinople and the Tragic End of the Byzantines

1:02:01 | Nov 8th, 2018

In 1453, after more than 60 years of trying, the Ottomans finally besieged and captured the city of Constantinople. This marked the end of one phase of Ottoman expansion and the beginning of another as the dominant power of the region. It was also th...Show More

Introducing The City

05:25 | Nov 5th, 2018

The City tells true stories of how power works in urban America. Season 1 begins in Chicago, 1990. After years of disinvestment, highways are rebuilt, old buildings demolished, and new skyscrapers erected. All that rubble has to go somewhere, and it...Show More

35 | Holy War and the Rise of the Ottomans

57:10 | Nov 1st, 2018

The Ottoman Empire rose from humble beginnings in Anatolia to dominate a vast swathe of territory. Holy war, gaza, was a powerful driving force behind that expansion. At the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, Ottoman holy war clashed directly with its Chri...Show More

Archaeology and Why It Rules

35:55 | Oct 18th, 2018

Archaeology shows up all the time on Tides of History, and it's one of Patrick's favorite topics. Leah joins to chat about what it can tell us, how it works, and why it's so dang cool.

34 | Heresy, Witch Hunts, and Inquisition

49:43 | Oct 11th, 2018

The dark side of the late medieval Church was its emphasis on control and conformity. A concept of orthodoxy produced a conception of unacceptable difference, which manifested itself in hunts for heretics, witches, and the institution of the Inquisit...Show More

33 | The Trials and Tribulations of the Late Medieval Church

48:33 | Oct 4th, 2018

The late Middle Ages were a time of upheaval for the universal Church, caught between the glories and overwhelming power of the High Middle Ages and the crisis of the Protestant Reformation. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! Don't be a ...Show More

Tides of History Book Club: Silk Roads

14:27 | Oct 1st, 2018

Patrick and Leah talk about Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, which Patrick didn't like very much. Critical reviews of books are just as important as glowing ones, so let's talk about that.

Interview: Historian Christopher Dyer on Peasants and the Medieval Economy

47:00 | Sep 27th, 2018

Professor Christopher Dyer of the University of Leicester joins us to talk about why peasants mattered and how the medieval economy worked. You can check out his book, A Country Merchant, 1495-1520: Trading and Farming at the End of the Middle Ages, ...Show More

32 | Peasants' Rebellions and Resistance

51:32 | Sep 20th, 2018

Peasants and common folk were oppressed by their social superiors, but they didn't accept that as a natural state of affairs: They resisted in small, everyday ways, and they rebelled, sometimes spectacularly.

31 | Peasants and the Medieval Countryside

55:22 | Sep 13th, 2018

Humble peasants, not knights in shining armor or fancy bishops in soaring cathedrals, were the backbone of medieval society. Let's talk about them. You can support this show by supporting our sponsors! Whether you rent your home from a feckless lan...Show More

Listener Mail: Your Questions, Our Answers

45:36 | Sep 6th, 2018

We put out the call for questions, and you guys responded. We covered a ton here, from the rise of capitalism and the subjection of medieval peasants to the Roman army and good historical fiction. Thanks to everybody who wrote in! Support this show ...Show More

Tides of History Book Report: The Guns of August

21:50 | Aug 26th, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen. Leah read a book. Well, most of a book. I think she read the book? We're discussing in detail The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. You can download it on Audible or wherever books are sold. What should Leah read next? Let ...Show More

Interview: Economist Jared Rubin on Islam, Christianity, and the Rise of the West

49:47 | Aug 23rd, 2018

Professor Jared Rubin of Chapman University joins us to talk about the economic divergence between Europe and the Middle East that began in the early modern period. Check out his fantastic book - Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich an...Show More

30 | Chivalry

54:16 | Aug 16th, 2018

When we think of the Middle Ages, the first thing that comes to mind is usually knights in shining armor. Chivalry - the ideal of behavior that guided knights - was a major force in medieval life. Honor and piety, bravery and reputation: these were c...Show More

29 | The Effects of the Hundred Years War

55:22 | Aug 9th, 2018

Wars that last for a century tend to leave a mark. The Hundred Years War transformed warfare, remade England and France as states, and had a transformative impact on the subjects of both kingdoms. You are directly supporting this show when you suppo...Show More

Tides of History Book Club: Getting Medieval with Dan Jones

17:08 | Jul 30th, 2018

Leah and I discussed the medieval narrative histories of Dan Jones, whom I interviewed last September on Tides of History about his book The Templars. That's one of three books we discussed, all of which are available on Audible, so you should check ...Show More

Interview: Historian William Chester Jordan on the Great Famine and the High Middle Ages

27:27 | Jul 26th, 2018

Historian William Chester Jordan of Princeton University joins us to talk about his work on the Great Famine of the fourteenth century. Support us by supporting our sponsors! SimpliSafe - Order your SimpliSafe security system today and SimpliSafe ...Show More

28 | The Hundred Years War: Agincourt, Joan of Arc, and the Rise and Fall of English Power in France

1:01:47 | Jul 19th, 2018

The second major phase of the Hundred Years War saw the peak of English power in France, controlling half of the kingdom and ruling it as a dual monarchy. But that situation couldn't last, and beginning with the miraculous intervention of Joan of Arc...Show More

27 | The Hundred Years War: Origins and the Triumph of England

1:03:31 | Jul 12th, 2018

The Hundred Years War, fought between England and France from 1337 to 1453, defined late medieval politics and drastically changed the course of history. Today, we explore the origins of the conflict and the first six decades, from 1337 to 1396. ...Show More

26 | Europe After the Black Death

51:13 | Jun 28th, 2018

Plague, war, and a worsening climate drastically changed Europe in the years and decades after 1350. This new state of affairs laid the groundwork for the explosion around 1500 that gave rise to the modern world. Support us by supporting our spon...Show More

25 | The Black Death

54:22 | Jun 21st, 2018

Between 1346 and 1351, the Black Death killed tens of millions of people - at least half the population - in Europe and the Middle East. This great mortality, one of the worst disasters of any era, fundamentally reshaped European society and set the ...Show More

Tides of History Book Club: Roger Crowley Takes Us To The High Seas

16:46 | Jun 18th, 2018

This week we talked about friend of the show Roger Crowley, whom we interviewed back in April. He's a master storyteller, and luckily for us he decided to write a bunch of books for us to enjoy! Check out Roger's books on Audible! Empires of the Se...Show More

Interview: Historian and Friend of the Show Keith Pluymers on Rebellions and Popular Politics in Early Modern Europe

57:21 | Jun 14th, 2018

Keith returns to talk to us about rebellions, revolts, and how you can have popular politics in non-democratic political systems. We also discuss trials and executions of cows (!!!) for treason and other fascinating anecdotes.

Tides of History Book Club: Chris Wickham and the Legacy of Rome

17:22 | Jun 4th, 2018

Have you wondered about power relations between peasants and lords in Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean? We have just the author for you. Today we're talking about Patrick's favorite historian, Chris Wickham! He wrote the following books: Med...Show More

24 | 1346: Europe on the Brink

51:54 | May 31st, 2018

Follow along on an in-depth tour of Europe on the brink of the late Middle Ages, with a changing climate, the Black Death, and the Hundred Years War peeking over the horizon. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Boll & Branch - Get $50 off you...Show More

23 | John Calvin, Henry VIII, and the Counter-Reformation

56:59 | May 24th, 2018

The Reformation may have begun with Martin Luther, but it didn't end there. Other reformers in different parts of Europe took the threads of change in a wide variety of directions, from the Reformed movement of Zwingli and Calvin to the conservative ...Show More

Tides of History Book Club: The Old West

25:15 | May 18th, 2018

In Part 2 of our Book Club, we explore the Old West. Thank you to Audible for sponsoring our book club! Start a 30-day free trial and get your first audiobook for FREE by visiting Audible.com/TIDES or texting TIDES to 500-500. Today we're talking ...Show More

22 | Martin Luther and the Early Reformation

55:12 | May 17th, 2018

The Protestant Reformation is one of the defining processes of the last 500 years, and Martin Luther's 95 Theses kicked it off. Today, we look at the medieval background to the Reformation, the complicated character of Luther himself, and the dramati...Show More

Pea Plants, Salmon Sperm, and a Milestone for Humanity - Interview with Steven Johnson

38:25 | May 10th, 2018

The phone in your hand is more powerful than all of the computers that put a man on the moon, combined. In the age of supercomputers, driverless cars, and mail-order DNA testing it’s easy to forget that the journey to these incredible innovations was...Show More

Tides of History Book Club: Five Great Popular Histories

33:27 | May 3rd, 2018

More than anything else, we get asked two questions: “What is Patrick reading?!”; and "What would you recommend to read?" We hear you, and we’re bringing you several episodes dedicated to Patrick’s favorite books over the next few months. Today's epi...Show More

Interview: Historian and Author Roger Crowley on the Portuguese Voyages to India

44:36 | Apr 19th, 2018

How and why did the Portuguese end up sailing thousands of miles from their home country to acquire the riches of the Indian Ocean? To find out, I spoke to Roger Crowley, author of the recent book Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empi...Show More

21 | Columbus, Da Gama, and the Age of Discovery

58:54 | Apr 12th, 2018

Within one fateful decade, the 1490s, Europeans burst onto the world scene: Christopher Columbus headed west across the Atlantic and came upon the Americas, while Vasco da Gama reached India. In today's episode, we try to understand these two figures...Show More

20 | Medieval Exploration and the Age of Discovery

54:11 | Apr 5th, 2018

Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and the other important explorers of the early sixteenth century didn't appear in a vacuum; instead, their voyages were the result of centuries of slow, steady exploration in the Atlantic. In today's episode, we e...Show More

19 | The Printing Press and the Information Revolution

50:36 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Within a few decades of its invention in the 1450s, the printing press transformed the world. It launched an information revolution, leading directly to the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and even the invention of news as we under...Show More

Introducing Grammar Girl

04:36 | Mar 20th, 2018

Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing and pique your curiosity about the English language. Enjoy this preview.

Interview: The Washington Post's Lillian Cunningham on the Ebb and Flow of History

36:39 | Mar 15th, 2018

Today we're joined by Washington Post editor and podcaster Lillian Cunningham. Lillian has two shows that we highly recommend - Presidential and Constitutional - that trace American History and the way that our nation's past influences our present. S...Show More

18 | Gutenberg and the Printing Press

1:02:55 | Mar 8th, 2018

The printing press is one of the most important inventions in human history. It launched a communications revolution, gave us mass production of books, and even enabled political propaganda on a huge scale. In today's episode, we'll explore its inven...Show More

Interview: Historian Keith Pluymers on Environmental History and Political Ecology

1:08:44 | Feb 22nd, 2018

How do people interact with their environments, and how do those environments change over time? How do people respond to shifts in climate and the scarcity of resources? Dr. Keith Pluymers, soon to be professor of history at Illinois State University...Show More

17 | Why Did the Roman Empire Fall, and Why Does It Matter?

57:51 | Feb 15th, 2018

Did the Roman Empire ever actually fall? Some historians don't think so, for good reasons. In today's episode, we finish our conversation on why I believe the Roman Empire actually fell, why that happened, and why it matters in the grand scheme of th...Show More

16 | Decline, Fall, or Transformation?

55:38 | Feb 8th, 2018

Did the Roman Empire ever actually fall? Some historians don't think so, and say its end is better described as a long transformation. Others say that the question itself misses the point, and prefer to discuss a long Late Antiquity of religious and ...Show More

Introducing Business Wars

20:10 | Feb 6th, 2018

Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet, or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live.  Business Wars gives yo...Show More

15 | Life in Renaissance Florence

1:04:34 | Jan 25th, 2018

What was it like to have a front-row seat to the explosion of learning, art, and culture in Renaissance Florence? In this episode, we follow two people as they lived in the linked worlds of business and humanistic learning in the fifteenth century. T...Show More

14 | The Renaissance

1:06:15 | Jan 11th, 2018

The Renaissance is still with us today. It shapes our sense of what art is, our ideas of education, our understanding of historical time, and even our political concepts. But the Renaissance didn't arrive out of nowhere: It grew out of a specific pla...Show More

Interview: Historian Kyle Harper on Disease, Climate and the Fall of the Roman Empire

56:09 | Jan 4th, 2018

How did a changing climate and plague play into the fall of the Roman Empire? I'm joined by Kyle Harper, Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma, to discuss his important new book The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empi...Show More

Interview: Historian Peter Mancall on Monsters, the Atlantic World, and Early Modernity

1:03:40 | Dec 29th, 2017

Why did sixteenth-century maps of the Atlantic Ocean prominently feature monsters? How did early modern people imagine the world around them? What does "early modern" mean, anyway? To find out, I talked to Peter Mancall, the Mellon Professor of the H...Show More

Interview: Actor Gary Oldman from "Darkest Hour" on History and Film

45:53 | Dec 21st, 2017

For much of the general public, fictional portrayals (rather than nonfiction history) dominate their understanding of the past. We had the opportunity to talk to Actor Gary Oldman and Screenwriter Anthony McCarten about that. The conversation covered...Show More

13 | Natural Disasters and the End of the Roman Empire

1:00:55 | Dec 14th, 2017

Justinian was the last great Roman emperor, but his reign was plagued by disasters beyond his control: volcanic eruptions, a changing climate, and a plague of epic proportions. Those disasters created a turning point that we can, with good reason, ca...Show More

12 | Justinian the Great and the Reconquest of the Western Empire

1:02:25 | Dec 7th, 2017

Justinian is one of the defining figures of the Roman Empire. In many ways, he marks the boundary between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In this episode, we explore his ambitious reform program and his reconquest of the lost provinces of the West. T...Show More

11: How Latin Became the Romance Languages

1:07:41 | Nov 23rd, 2017

How did Latin splinter into the Romance languages? In this episode, we explore how Latin transformed from a single, widely dispersed language into a series - French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and so on - of related but no longer mutuall...Show More

Bonus: Thanksgiving Binge

15:08 | Nov 16th, 2017

Patrick chats with Lisa Zambetti of Real Crime Profile about their favorite episodes on each other's podcasts! Feast on these shows @ www.Wondery.com/Thanksgiving    Tides of History Binge: The History of Rome by Mike Duncan - Ep 36 Hardcore H...Show More

10 | Experiencing the Rise of Capitalism and the Early Modern Economic Explosion

1:07:26 | Nov 16th, 2017

What was it like to live through huge economic upheavals? To find out, we follow a Venetian merchant and banker and an English farmer and wool trader in the years between 1350 and 1520. Subscribe today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl....Show More

9 | The Rise of Capitalism and the Early Modern Economic Explosion

1:07:59 | Nov 9th, 2017

Out of the disasters of the Black Death and the economic recession that followed grew the roots of the economic innovations that still define our world today. From credit instruments to the capitalist mindset, the years between 1350 and 1650 built th...Show More

Interview: Christianizing the Roman Empire with Professor Lisa Bitel

59:46 | Nov 2nd, 2017

How did the Roman Empire, and barbarian Europe after it, become Christian? To find out, I talked to Professor Lisa Bitel of the University of Southern California, a world-class expert on medieval Christianity and Christian conversion. Subscribe toda...Show More

8 | The Decline and Fall of the Roman City

41:29 | Oct 19th, 2017

Cities were what made the Roman world Roman, but as the Empire fell apart, so did its cities. They shrank drastically or disappeared entirely between 400 and 600. In today's episode, we'll find out how and why. Subscribe today so you never miss a...Show More

7 | The Roman City

55:31 | Oct 12th, 2017

Cities were what made the Roman world, well, Roman. They were centers of culture and political life, and they were the bedrock that tied together its economy. Today we'll explore how those cities came into being, what sustained them, and what made th...Show More

Interview: Historian Dan Jones on the Knights Templar

1:00:58 | Oct 5th, 2017

I'm joined by historian Dan Jones, author of some of the best popular history out there (The Wars of the Roses, The Plantagenets) to discuss his new book on the fascinating Knights Templar (The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Wa...Show More

Interview: Dr. Jennifer Raff on DNA and History

51:08 | Sep 21st, 2017

I'm joined by Dr. Jennifer Raff, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, to discuss her work with DNA. Dr. Raff explains how DNA is rewriting our understanding of prehistory and migration and changing everything we thought we...Show More

6 | Life as a Mercenary in the Military Revolution

1:07:32 | Sep 14th, 2017

The Military Revolution transformed warfare, but what was it like to be one of the soldiers who experienced those enormous changes? We follow the lives and careers of two English archers in the late stages of the Hundred Years War and two German merc...Show More

5 | The Military Revolution, 1350-1650

1:06:36 | Sep 7th, 2017

As the fifteenth century turned into the sixteenth, warfare was transformed. Cannon made castles obsolete, and firearms and pikes displaced knights as the dominant force on the battlefield. Most of all, the scale of war grew infinitely larger, with a...Show More

Interview: Podcaster and Author Mike Duncan on the End of the Roman Republic

56:15 | Aug 24th, 2017

I'm joined by Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome and Revolutions podcast and author of the upcoming book The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic. We discuss his new book - which is excellent! - along with whet...Show More

4 | How the Eastern Roman Empire Survived Attila the Hun and the Disastrous Fifth Century

1:07:34 | Aug 17th, 2017

While the western half of the Roman Empire was collapsing, the east managed to weather the storm of the disastrous fifth century. In this episode, we examine how and why it survived Attila the Hun and a host of other problems through the eyes of a fa...Show More

3 | Why Didn't the Eastern Roman Empire Fall?

57:18 | Aug 10th, 2017

When we talk about the fall of the Roman Empire, we're only talking about the western half - France, Spain, Italy, North Africa, and Britain. The eastern half of the Roman Empire survived the disastrous fifth century and would last in one form or ano...Show More

2 | The Rise of the State

52:14 | Jul 20th, 2017

We take for granted that central governments - sovereign states - are the ultimate political force in the world, but it wasn't always this way. Between 1350 and 1650, this form of government vanquished city-states, town leagues, and smaller lordships...Show More

1 | The Ebb and Flow of History

25:35 | Jul 20th, 2017

History shapes our world in ways both seen and unseen. In the introductory episode of Tides of History, we explore two major tides - the Fall of Rome and the Rise of the Modern World - and why history matters in the here and now.Subscribe today so yo...Show More

Introducing Tides of History

03:49 | Jul 7th, 2017

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme, said Mark Twain. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of the modern world: history ebbs and flows over the centuries, driven by great tides of economic, social, political, religious, and cul...Show More