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  • 🎧 Female Gladiators

    Mention the word gladiator and you would be forgiven for instantly thinking of the 2000 namesake epic movie. Of spectators watching on as men battled each other with a variety of weapons, sometimes to the death, for the entertainment of the crowd. But did women also fight as gladiators? Was the g...

  • 🎧 Britain's Forgotten Olympic Heroes

    The Olympics are a sporting event like no other and in this episode, we celebrate two great British Olympians of the past Anita Neil and Hugh 'Jumbo' Edwards. These are two very different athletes from completely different backgrounds, but each highlights the Olympic spirit at its finest.

    First...

  • 🎧 Brunanburh & the Birth of England

    When we think of great Medieval battles, many people imagine the Battles of Hastings or Agincourt. Another clash, however, between the kings of England, Dublin, Scotland and Strathclyde late in AD 937, also had far-reaching consequences and resulted in alliances of a scale unseen before. For this...

  • 🎧 The Fall and Rise of India's Royal Families

    One aspect of India's independence that is often overlooked is the role of India's princely states; the Maharajas. During the Raj, these states had been semi-autonomous and not actually part of the British Empire. They did however rule with the permission of the British Government and were really...

  • 🎧 The Spanish Armada

    In 1588 the English Navy defeated one of the greatest fleets ever assembled; the Spanish Armada. A week of running battles in the English Channel culminated in a major clash off the coast of the town of Gravelines (now in France) where the English used fire ships to score a crushing naval victory...

  • 🎧 Cecily Neville: Duchess of York

    Born in 1415 as the youngest of the 1st Earl of Westmorland's 22 children, Cecily Neville led one of the Medieval periods' most captivating lives. Her life was filled with promise and power from the very beginning, and Cecily soon became one of the most powerful women in England. In this episode ...

  • 🎧 Tornadoes in the Gulf War

    The First Gulf War was the combat debut for the RAF Tornado, and also for many of the aircrew who would fly one. John Nichol served as a navigator in the RAF for 15 years, even returning to service after being shot down in 1991. In this conversation with James, John shares his own experiences of ...

  • 🎧Liverpool's Historic Docks

    Just 17 years after Liverpool’s historic waterfront was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city was stripped of its prestigious status.
    The UN's heritage body said it made the decision because of β€œirreversible” damage to the city’s cultural value after years of development, including a p...

  • 🎧 The Theban Sacred Band

    The Theban Sacred Band was one of the greatest military corps of Ancient Greece, thriving from the city-state of Thebes for almost 50 years in the mid 4th century BC. In addition to their fighting prowess, however, there is another fascinating aspect to their history; this 300-man elite corps was...

  • 🎧 England and Spain's Battle for Global Supremacy

    This week in 1588 the Spanish Armada fought running battles in the Channel with the English Navy. It was sent by King Phillip of Spain who ruled half the world to crush Elizabeth Tudor the woman who ruled half an Island but would end in defeat and disaster for the Spanish. The background to this ...

  • 🎧 The Real Thomas Cromwell

    On this day in 1540, Thomas Cromwell was executed. On the same day Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. To mark the anniversary we've found an episode from the archives with author, historian and curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Tracy Borman.
    Cromwell was a man who rose to be th...

  • 🎧 The Fight to Save Archaeology

    Archaeology is not just about digging, it’s about understanding the human experience of existence.
    In the space of a few weeks there have been many sad developments in archaeology in the UK. Sheffield University announced the closure of its world-renowned archaeology department, shortly before L...

  • 🎧 Orkney's Buried Vikings

    How did Viking remains find themselves under a house in Orkney? in 2015, human remains were unearthed on the northeast coast of Papa Westray. The graves were stumbled upon by sheer luck, with further investigations revealing the finds to be remains of Viking age burials. Cat is joined by field ar...

  • 🎧 Pathfinders: Bomber Command's Elite

    The Pathfinders were ordinary men and women who transformed the efficiency of the Allies' air campaign over mainland Europe and helped deliver victory over Nazi Germany. Journalist and bestselling author Will Iredale joins Dan on the podcast to tell the incredible story of the team who transforme...

  • 🎧 What is Going on with Democracy?

    Democracy is in crisis around the world. Dr Robert Saunders, from Queen Mary University of London, is back on the podcast to discuss why it is under threat. From the changing media landscape, to technological advances and questionable electoral systems, hear why we are facing this global shift an...

  • 🎧The Woman Who Flew Spitfires in WW2

    Mary Ellis was a pioneering and courageous aviator who flew hundreds of fighters and bombers to Britain’s frontline airfields. She was one of the first women to fly Spitfires, heavy bombers and jet aircraft, blazing a trail for female pilots with her passion and skill. Mary sadly passed away aged...

  • 🎧 The Power of a Queen

    What was the role of a queen in the Medieval Age? Was she there to strengthen the position of her family and build alliances to protect the interests of England? To stand idly by as her husband took decisions for the nation, then took mistresses for himself? Or could she have a more active role? ...

  • 🎧 The Olympic Games

    The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are finally here, after being delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From Ancient Greece to when it was reborn in 1896, the tournament has nearly 3,000 years of history. Sports historian, Professor Martin Polley from De Monfort University, joins Dan on the podcast ...

  • 🎧 An American Year of Peril: 1942

    The year is 1942; American citizens are still recovering from the surprise military strike on Pearl Harbor, which had intensely impacted morale across the country and brought them into the Second World War. Fear and division ran deep within the American people, and democracy was under pressure. J...

  • Beards Maketh the Man

    For the Tudors and Elizabethans, a beard denoted masculinity while beardlessness indicated boyhood or effeminacy. How a man wore his beard - or not - said a lot about his power and position in society.

    In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to theatre historia...

  • 🎧 Decoding the Roman Dead

    Often known as β€˜Britain’s first town’, Colchester is a city rich in ancient history and on 24 July 2021, a new exhibition will open at the Colchester Museum revealing more about some of its earliest Roman occupants. Called β€˜Decoding the Roman Dead’, the exhibition focuses around cremations found ...

  • 🎧 Nazi Scientists & the Space Race

    β€˜One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’: in July 1969 the United States successfully landed a man on the moon. It was part of a race into space which continues to this week and Jeff Bezos’ short voyage. But how was the American space race aided by Nazi Scientists and their barbaric...

  • 🎧 Queen Catherine Howard: Henry VIII's Fifth Wife

    Catherine Howard was Queen Consort - and fifth wife - to Henry VIII for just 16 months before he had her executed for treason for committing adultery. Since Victorian times, historians have labelled her as lewd and promiscuous, but there was an altogether more complex young woman behind the rumo...

  • 🎧 Life in Sparta

    A legendary city-state in Ancient Greece, we associate Sparta with fierce warriors in battle. But what about the everyday? In this second episode with Professor Stephen Hodkinson, we discuss the eating habits, training and even kingship of Sparta. Stephen is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History ...