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Historic Questions

Historic Questions

21 Episodes

Top historians tackle the big questions about history's key moments.

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Historic Questions
  • Charles II and the Restoration with Rebecca Rideal

    Episode 1

    What did Charles II do in the English Civil Wars? Why was he known as the merry monarch? When did things start to go wrong for Charles II? What happened during the Great Fire of London? How did Charles II die? Stuarts and Restoration London historian Rebecca Rideal answers some of the key questio...

  • The Life of Julius Caesar with Simon Elliott

    Episode 2

    Historian and archaeologist Simon Elliott has written extensively on the Roman world. He answers the key questions surrounding one of history's most compelling figures - Julius Caesar. Who was Julius Caesar and what was his family history? How did military and political changes aid the rise of Ju...

  • George Orwell's 1984 with Dorian Lynskey

    Episode 3

    Author and journalist Dorian Lynskey answers key questions about one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, George Orwell's 1984, which was published 70 years ago. Having written 'The Ministry of Truth' a book specifically about Orwell's work, Dorian talks through the origins and meanings of ...

  • Strategic Bombing in World War Two with Paul Beaver

    Episode 4

    Aviation historian Paul Beaver answers key questions about the strategic bombing campaigns of World War Two. How successful was the Blitz from a German perspective? What was the significance of Big Week? Was Dresden a war crime? And many more...

  • Strategic Bombing in World War Two with Victoria Taylor

    Episode 5

    Aviation historian Victoria Taylor answers key questions about the air war of World War Two: from the significance of the Dambusters raid to how we should remember "Bomber" Harris.

  • Medieval Kings: Richard II

    Episode 6

    Helen Carr, medieval historian and author of 'The Red Prince', answers the key questions about King Richard II. What kind of England did Richard inherit? Why was John of Gaunt so influential during his reign? What did John achieve? How significant was the 'Peasant's Revolt'? And many more.

  • Medieval Kings: Henry V

    Episode 7

    Henry V's exploits both as a King and as a young man have been cemented in the popular imagination thanks to Shakespeare’s plays. But how much of Shakespeare's depiction is true? Anne Curry, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History from the University of Southampton, answers key questions about thi...

  • Medieval Kings: Edward IV

    Episode 8

    Thomas Penn, historian of the Late Middle Ages and Early Tudor Period and author of The Brothers York, shines a much-needed light on Edward IV. He answers the key questions about England's forgotten warrior king: from his turbulent rise to the throne to how he dealt with his mischievous brothers.

  • Medieval Kings: Richard III

    Episode 9

    Michael Hicks, former Professor of Medieval History at the University of Winchester, answers key questions about Richard III. From Richard's noble beginnings to his demise on the battlefield at Bosworth Michael sorts the fact from the fiction about the last Plantagenet king.

  • Medieval Kings: Henry VII

    Episode 10

    Sean Cunningham, Head of Medieval Records at the National Archives, answers key questions about Henry VII. From his unexpected rise to the throne to his founding of England's most famous royal dynasty: the Tudors.

  • The Transatlantic Slave Trade

    Episode 11

    Olivette Otele, Professor of History and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society, answers key questions about the slave trade. From its origins to its abolishment.

  • Coronavirus and HIV

    Episode 12

    Sam Nightingale is an infectious diseases researcher and is currently treating patients with COVID-19. In this episode of Historic Questions he talks about this new form of coronavirus and how it might change our society. He also explains how humans responded to the emergence of AIDS in the late ...

  • Communities in Crisis

    Episode 13

    Steve Wyler answers the big questions about how communities have responded to pandemics in the past and whether similar reactions can be seen in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Coronavirus and War

    Episode 14

    Dr James Rogers explains how we can draw parallels between the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Second World War, particularly in how humans have responded to an extraordinary challenge.

  • Delphi
    42:11
    Episode 15

    Delphi

    Episode 15

    Renowned as the home of the Pythia, the sanctuary at Delphi was the religious heart of the Hellenic World. In this episode of Historic Questions Professor Michael Scott explains the site's history and why it was so significant in antiquity.

  • Shakespeare

    Episode 16

    Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford and the author of 'This is Shakespeare', tackles the big questions about William Shakespeare.

  • Thebes
    44:42
    Episode 17

    Thebes

    Episode 17

    Athens, Sparta and Corinth are arguably three of the most famous, and most significant, Greek city-states of antiquity. But there is one 'polis' that is often forgotten. A city that rose to prominence during the 4th century BC. That city was Thebes. From fighting with the Persians during the Pers...

  • The Emperor Justinian

    Episode 18

    Peter Heather, Professor of Medieval History at KCL, tackles the big questions about the Roman Emperor Justinian.

  • The Kingdom of Benin

    Episode 19

    Luke Pepera, a British-Ghanaian writer, historian, archaeologist and anthropologist tackles the big questions about the Kingdom of Benin, a powerful domain that flourished between the 13th and 18th centuries in modern day southern Nigeria.

  • The East India Company

    Episode 20

    Mark Williams, senior lecturer in Early Modern history at Cardiff University, tackles the big questions about the East India Company.

  • Science in the Middle Ages

    Episode 21

    Seb Falk, a historian of medieval science at Cambridge University and the author of The Light Ages, tackles the big questions about science in the Middle Ages.