🎧 How and Why History

🎧 How and Why History

34 Episodes

How and Why History asks the big questions on some of history's biggest events and personalities. Experts from the UK's top universities give a accessible masterclass on their specialist knowledge.

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🎧 How and Why History
  • 🎧 The Birth of Scotland

    Episode 1

    The recorded story of Scotland begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, when the province of Britannia reached as far north as the Antonine Wall. But how much further back can the history of Scotland be traced? Who were the Picts and the Gaels? And how did the Viking invasi...

  • 🎧 Joan of Arc

    Episode 2

    In the early 15th century, a French village girl became a heroine for her role in the French victory during the Lancastrian phase of the 100 Years War. But it took 600 years before Joan of Arc was canonised as a Roman Catholic Saint. How did she become such a famous name in history? Why did she j...

  • 🎧 Genghis Khan

    Episode 3

    Genghis Khan was one of the most feared and most famous warrior kings in history. But how did he rise to power to become the Emperor of the Mongol Empire? How did he unite many of the nomadic tributes of North-East Asia, and then conquer most of Eurasia? Why is he considered a hero in modern-day ...

  • 🎧 The South African Boer War

    Episode 4

    From 1899 to 1902, a bloody war was fought between the British Empire and two independent Boer states – the Republic of Transvaal and the Orange Free State – over the Empire's influence in South Africa. But how and why did the war come about? How did the Boers achieve initial success? Why did the...

  • 🎧 Oliver Cromwell

    Episode 5

    Having led the parliament of England’s armies against King Charles I, and seen to it that the king was executed, Oliver Cromwell went on to rule the British Isles as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658. But how did Cromwell rise to play his part in the overthrow of the monarchy? Why did he take on I...

  • 🎧 The Philosophers of Ancient Greece

    Episode 6

    From the 6th century BCE, philosophy was used to make sense of the world – including astronomy, mathematics, politics, ethics, metaphysics and aesthetics. But why did philosophy flourish in Greek culture? How were the great philosophers received in their own time? And how did it influence Islam, ...

  • 🎧 The United Nations at 75

    Episode 7

    In the aftermath of the Second World War, 850 delegates from 50 nations gathered in San Fransisco, determined to establish an organization which would preserve peace and help build a better world. Over the last 75 years, the UN has committed itself to maintaining international peace and security,...

  • 🎧 The Great Fire of London

    Episode 8

    In September 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed more than 13000 houses, 87 Parish churches as well as St Pauls Cathedral, and had uprooted hundreds of thousands of Londoners. But how did the fire start and spread so rapidly? Why did King Charles II intervene and what took him so long? And w...

  • 🎧 King David

    Episode 9

    One of the Old Testament’s most compelling figures, David was anointed as king of a united Israel, conquering Jerusalem and bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the city. First renowned for his musicianship and killing Goliath, David was feted by King Saul who then turned against him. But how di...

  • 🎧 King Alfred

    Episode 10

    Ever since his reign in the 9th century, Alfred the Great has been celebrated as one of the most accomplished of our kings. A learned and religious man who encouraged education, Alfred defended his lands against Viking invaders. But how did Alfred, King of Wessex become Alfred the Great? How effe...