🎧 Gone Medieval

🎧 Gone Medieval

From long-lost Viking ships to kings buried in unexpected places; from murders and power politics, to myths, religion, the lives of ordinary people: Gone Medieval is History Hit’s podcast dedicated to the middle ages, in Europe and far beyond.

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🎧 Gone Medieval
  • 🎧 Cult of St. Swithun

    According to tradition, if it rains on Saint Swithun's bridge in Winchester on St. Swithun’s day — 15 July — it will continue for 40 days. But who was the real Swithun? And why has his historical importance as an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester been overshadowed by his reputation as a miracle ...

  • 🎧 Myths and Nature in Medieval Britain

    Humanity's relationship with the wilderness has been a theme of myths and legends for thousands of years. Such stories can offer a unique insight into the medieval mind and its concept of the wild.

    In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman ventures out into ancient Selwood Forest in Wilts...

  • 🎧 The Real King Wenceslas

    At this time of year, many of us will find ourselves singing about a royal personage who braves the snow on the Feast of Stephen – the Second Day of Christmas – so that he can distribute alms to a poor peasant. But who was the real Good King Wenceslas and was he as pious and saintly as the Christ...

  • 🎧 878 AD: A Key Anglo-Saxon Year

    878 AD witnessed a pivotal moment in the history of England as an emerging, unified nation, with the defeat of the Vikings by Alfred the Great at the Battle of Edington.

    Now, a new immersive history experience is opening in Winchester, titled 878 AD. Winchester featured heavily in the world of A...

  • 🎧 Hanseatic League

    Growing from a few North German towns in the late 12th century, the Hanseatic League — a powerful network of merchant guilds and market towns — dominated trade across almost 200 settlements in seven modern-day countries. But how did it function and manage to become so successful over such a vast ...

  • 🎧 Britain's Lost Kingdoms

    Britain was once a mosaic of small kingdoms, some of which have vanished without a trace.

    In his new book Lost Realms, Thomas Williams, uncovers the forgotten stories of nine kingdoms that fell while others - such as Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and Gwynedd - prospered.

    In this episode of Gone ...

  • 🎧 Czech Braveheart: Jan Žižka

    Jan Žižka is the legendary Czech national hero who led Hussite forces against three crusades and never lost a single battle. His rise to military greatness is now told in the feature film titled Medieval, starring Ben Foster and Sir Michael Caine - the most expensive Czech film ever made.

    In thi...

  • 🎧 Jews in Medieval England

    Medieval England’s relationship with the Jewish community was complex and, at times, brutally violent and cruel. In 1290, the entire population of some 3,000 Jews was expelled from the country by King Edward I.

    In this edition of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis talks to Dr. Dean Irwin, whose research...

  • Mongol Empire

    The Crusades are well-known but only part of the complex history of the medieval Near East. During the same era, the region was completely remade by the Mongol invasions. In a single generation, the Mongols upended the region’s geopolitics.

    In this edition of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis talks to...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Christianity

    In the fourth century AD, the Christian faith exploded out of Palestine, overwhelming the paganism of Rome, converting the Emperor Constantine in the process. Almost a thousand years later, all of Europe was controlled by Christian rulers, and the religion was deeply ingrained within culture and ...

  • 🎧 Vlad the Impaler

    Vlad the Impaler - Vlad Dracula - is one of history’s most brutal figures, who has enjoyed a bizarre afterlife as a cult character. Although a hero to his Romanian countrymen, the name Dracula has since become a global byword for horror.

    In this Hallowe’en edition of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis fi...

  • 🎧 Executions in Medieval London

    Public executions were a major part of Londoners’ lives from the twelfth century right through to the nineteenth. Now the Museum of London Docklands has brought the rarely told and often tragic human stories behind these events to a superb new exhibition, containing a range of fascinating objects...

  • 🎧 Vikings in Britain: New Evidence

    Archeological evidence of the Vikings as far north as Northumbria has practically been non-existent. On Gone Medieval in May 2021, Dr. Cat Jarman reported on a brand-new Viking site in Northumberland, 15 years after metal detectorists started carefully documenting their finds in the area.

    In th...

  • 🎧 Who were the Africans in Medieval Britain?

    Earlier this month, it was reported that DNA analysis of the skeleton of a 10-year-old girl buried in Kent in the 7th century showed she was of West African descent. Thirty-three per cent of her DNA suggests that the girl’s grandfather or great-grandfather was probably from the Esan or Yoruba peo...

  • 🎧 King Charles VI of France

    On 21 October 1422 - 600 years ago - King Charles VI of France died at the age of 53 after reigning for 42 years. He was known as both Charles le Bien-Aimé (the Beloved) and Charles le Fou (the Mad) - the latter a reference to the mental health episodes that frequently dogged his life. Because he...

  • 🎧 Medieval Pubs

    For centuries, the pub has played a central role in our lives and communities. Throughout Britain, there are many pubs saying that they are the oldest - some of them even claim to have Medieval origins.

    In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman welcomes back award-winning buildings archae...

  • 🎧 African History in the Medieval Period

    Were sub-Saharan African people present in Medieval Europe? Despite their absence from many histories, they were, arriving as traders, as explorers, as warriors, or - for those only known from archaeological discoveries - for many reasons that we may never find out.

    In this episode, Matt Lewis ...

  • 🎧 Ogham: A Forgotten Medieval Alphabet

    Across the world, a wide range of writing systems developed in diverse societies and Medieval Europe was no different. Apart from the Latin alphabet, many will be familiar with the use of runes. But did you know that in Ireland and Britain, right at the start of the Medieval period, a different a...

  • 🎧 DNA and Jewish Persecution in Medieval Britain

    When the skeletons of six adults and 11 children were found at the bottom of a Medieval well in Norwich in 2004, they were thought perhaps to be the victims of plague or famine or civil unrest. Now scientific advances in DNA analysis have made it possible to not only age the victims, but identify...

  • 🎧 Boy Kings of Medieval Europe

    Charles III recently became King at the age of 73 - the oldest man ever to become a British monarch. That might not seem so odd to us today, but had he been a child it would certainly have raised eyebrows. The idea of a child monarch is today practically unthinkable; in the Medieval period it was...

  • 🎧 King Cnut and the End of the Viking Age

    Dr. Cat Jarman concludes her month-long series about her favourite, specialist subject - the Vikings.

    Cnut the Great became King of England in 1016, King of Denmark in 1018 and King of Norway in 1028, creating the North Sea Empire. In today’s episode Cat talks to Dr. Caitlin Ellis about Cnut, hi...

  • 🎧 The Viking Sagas

    Few people in European history have had as many stories told about them as the Vikings. We know about them from novels, films, TV series and games. But telling stories about the Vikings is nothing new. In fact the richest stories come from the Middle Ages in the form of sagas that were mainly wri...

  • 🎧 The World’s Greatest Cathedrals

    The emergence of the Gothic style in twelfth-century France - with its pointed arches, flying buttresses and stained glass windows - triggered an explosion of cathedral-building across western Europe. But behind every great cathedral lay human stories of competition, triumph and tragedy.

    In toda...

  • 🎧 Essex Dogs and the Crécy Campaign

    Dan Jones is world-famous for writing swashbuckling factual history. But now he’s turned his hand to historical fiction with a debut novel Essex Dogs. It’s the first of a trilogy set in the Hundred Years War, in particular during the Crécy Campaign when England conducted large-scale raids through...