Tides of History

By Wondery / Patrick Wyman

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Category: History

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Subscribers: 4937
Reviews: 25


 Sep 24, 2021

Nat
 Apr 14, 2021
fantastic take on history, looking at actual sources and rethinking preconceptions. nothing is inevitable, people do things for specific reasons at specific times.

Cake-Raptor
 Feb 9, 2021
Generally good, but the number of ads is incredibly irritating and they're all long so I have to listen to this when I have the ability to get out my phone to skip them. I know podcasts have to pay the bills but holy fack, do they need to be three minutes long?

Gerry
 Jan 25, 2021
great job making this information accessible to the mass. educational as well as informational

Martin
 Sep 17, 2020
Very interesting topics, great presentation. Extra plus for the minimalist approach to music and ambiance. Patrick has a calm, yet engaging voice. You can tell he loves subject matters. Kinda like an academic version of Dan Carlin. The interview episodes are often lacking in sound quality. But that's not unique to this podcast.

Description

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 children. From Wondery, host Patrick Wyman, PhD (“Fall Of Rome”) helps us understand our world and how it got to be the way it is.


Episode Date
Interview with Shane Miller and Jessi Halligan on the White Sands footprints
00:50:55

The discovery of 21,000-23,000-year-old human footprints at White Sands National Park in New Mexico is one of the most exciting developments in the study of the deep past in recent years. But do these footprints hold up to real scrutiny? And if they’re real, how do they change our understanding of the first people in the Americas? 

I asked two experts on the earliest inhabitants of the Americas what they thought of this incredible new evidence: Dr. Jessi Halligan, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Florida State University, and Dr. Shane Miller, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Mississippi State University. Both have extensive experience on the topic, and help us understand precisely what these footprints tell us about the human past in North and South America.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Oct 21, 2021
Egypt’s Middle Kingdom
00:53:14

The Middle Kingdom, beginning around 2000 BC, was the second of ancient Egypt’s classical ages. Powerful pharaohs ruled from the cataracts of the Nile to the Mediterranean, building enormous monuments and patronizing exceptional art and literature. But on either side of the Middle Kingdom lay two ages of chaos, the Intermediate Periods, when the pharaoh’s rule - the defining feature of ancient Egyptian history - essentially disappeared.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Oct 14, 2021
Ancient Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush: Interview with Dr. Geoff Emberling
00:42:48

Located to the south of Egypt, in today’s Sudan, ancient Nubia had a complicated relationship with the old state of the Nile, and scholars have traditionally understood it through the shadow of its much better understood northern neighbor. But, as Dr. Geoff Emberling of the University of Michigan explains, Nubia had a long and fascinating history of its own and a stunning array of achievements, spanning thousands of years and many different cultures.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Emberling’s excavations at Jebel Barkal, you can do so here; if you’d like to learn more about community archaeology in Sudan, check out the “Narrating Nubia” project here.

 

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

 

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.


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Oct 07, 2021
Old Kingdom Egypt
00:49:08

When we think of Ancient Egypt, we think of the pyramids: vast, eternal monuments to the glory of long-dead pharaohs. But we shouldn’t take them for granted: They belong to a specific place and time, and the people who built them had their reasons for doing so. The world that produced the pyramids was Egypt’s Old Kingdom, one of its three classic ages. We’ll explore it here today.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Sep 30, 2021
When Did Things Happen in the Ancient World? Interview with Professor Sturt Manning
00:58:08

We can’t understand the past without understanding when things happened, because if we can’t place them in some sort of chronological order, we can’t understand the relationship between them. But how do we know when things happened in the distant past? Professor Sturt Manning of Cornell University is an expert on chronology, using tree-rings, radiocarbon, and historical sources to date events and archaeological sites from many thousands of years ago. 

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Sep 23, 2021
Mycenaean Greece and Minoan Crete
00:52:40

The Late Bronze Age was a remarkable time in the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. An interconnected world sprang up, tying together the lands from Greece and Crete in the west all the way to Mesopotamia in the east and the Nile cataracts in the south. Let’s explore the Aegean during this time, looking at how palaces on Crete continued to grow and how Minoan civilization reached an apex of sophistication and reach. And on the Greek mainland, a new people - the Mycenaeans - emerged, building their own palaces and society, the foundations of the Greek world that would later encompass so much of the Mediterranean and beyond.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

 Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Sep 16, 2021
How the Industrial Revolution Changed the World: Interview with Economist Duncan Weldon
00:41:23

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the whole of human history can be divided into two parts: before the Industrial Revolution, and after. Economist Duncan Weldon joins me to talk about the Industrial Revolution, why it started in Britain, and the trajectory of the British economy over the past two centuries. 

Get Duncan’s book, Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through, here.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Sep 09, 2021
The Early Aegean Bronze Age and Minoan Crete
00:48:45

From mainland Greece to Minoan Crete and the famous city of Troy, what made the Aegean Sea one of the constituent pieces of the Bronze Age world? All of these cities are linked, not just by their proximity, but by much bigger things: trade, the emergence of cities and elite classes, the development of state structures and the written word.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the Worldin hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Sep 02, 2021
Mike Duncan on the Marquis de Lafayette and His New Book, Hero of Two Worlds
00:48:52

Bestselling author and history podcaster extraordinaire Mike Duncan returns to Tides to talk about his new book, Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution. It’s a wonderful book about a fascinating character who lived through and shaped impossibly eventful times, and I highly recommend both it and Mike’s other work.

Get Hero of Two Worlds here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Aug 26, 2021
Sargon of Akkad and the World's First Empire
00:50:00

More than 4,000 years ago, a ruler came to power in the fractious, war-torn lands of Mesopotamia. He ruled a small state north of the region's ancient heartland, a place called Akkad, but over the course of his life, Sargon built something sprawling and unique: the world's first empire, the Akkadian Empire.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Aug 19, 2021
Mike Duncan and Patrick in Conversation at Powell's Books: "The Verge," Ancient Rome, and Doing History
01:04:35

To mark the release of Patrick's book The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years That Shook the World, he did a virtual event with Powell's Bookstore in Portland, hosted by history podcaster extraordinaire and bestselling author Mike Duncan. Mike and Patrick discussed the book, but also the art of doing popular history, key periods in history, and a whole variety of other topics in the course of their talk.

You can get the book through Powell's here, or elsewhere here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Aug 12, 2021
Colonies and the Quest for Resources in Early Modern Europe: Interview with Dr. Keith Pluymers
00:56:46

Friend of the Show Dr. Keith Pluymers returns to tell us about how people thought about and fought over resources, especially wood, in early modern England. Scarcity, Keith argues, is more about perception than an actual lack of resources. Different groups within society had different perceptions, and they fought constantly about what to do about this shortage, including colonizing North America.

Check out Keith's book, No Wood, No Kingdom: Political Ecology in the English Atlantic, available here.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the Worldinhardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Aug 05, 2021
Cities, States, and Living in Ancient Mesopotamia
00:50:48

We're often told that ancient Mesopotamia was the "Cradle of Civilization," but what made the region stand out in comparison to its neighbors and contemporaries? More than anything else, it was living in cities and working in a hyper-specialized economic role as subjects of kings that defined life in Mesopotamia.

Patrick's book is now available! Get The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook (read by Patrick) here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jul 29, 2021
"The Verge" Audiobook Sneak Peak: Mercenaries and the Military Revolution
01:08:25

Listen to an exclusive sneak peak of Patrick's book, The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World, which comes out today, July 20th! This chapter looks at the one-armed German mercenary knight Goetz von Berlichingen, and the emergence of large-scale gunpowder warfare in the 16th century.

Listen to the rest of The Verge on Audible here.

You can order a hard copy or e-book of The Verge here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jul 20, 2021
Patrick Wrote a Book! With Leah Sutherland and Rachel Kambury
00:52:02

Patrick's book, The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World, comes out next Tuesday, July 20th! He worked really hard on it, people like Mike Duncan and Dan Jones say it's good, and you should read it if you liked the seasons of Tides of History on the late Middle Ages and Early Modern periods.

But what's it about? And what's it like to sell, write, edit, and release a book? To answer these questions, Patrick chats with two wonderful people: ex-Tides of History producer Leah Sutherland, now the Podcast Director for Headspace; and Rachel Kambury, who bought and edited The Verge for Twelve Books, an imprint of Hachette.

Get the audiobook version of The Verge on Audible here.

You can order a hard copy or e-book of The Verge here.

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Jul 19, 2021
Iran, Central Asia, and the Caucasus Mountains
00:54:07

While Mesopotamia and even the Indus Valley get the lion's share of the attention, sophisticated and long-lasting societies inhabited the lands fringing the Caspian Sea for thousands of years. The people of the Kura-Araxes Culture, the Oxus Civilization, and Elam left their mark everywhere from Anatolia to Mesopotamia to South Asia, shaping future cultures for millennia to come.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jul 15, 2021
The Lives of Herders on the Ancient Steppes: Interview with Professor Alicia Ventresca Miller
00:55:48

When we think of the open grasslands of the Eurasian steppes, we usually imagine nomadic herders taking their livestock from place to place on horseback. But the steppes are a vast and varied place, and so too were the ways of life that ancient people developed to live there. Professor Alicia Ventresca Miller of the University of Michigan joins me to talk about diet, mobility, and how chemical isotopes can tell us more about the diversity of life on the ancient steppes.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jul 08, 2021
The Bronze-Age Steppe and the Emergence of the Indo-Iranians
00:51:44

Things didn't stop happening on the vast grasslands of the Eurasian steppes once the first waves of migrants had departed to make their mark on Europe and beyond. New societies, languages, and ethnic groups emerged. The chariot was invented, and bronze metallurgy spread far and wide. One of those innovative societies on the steppe gave rise to the Indo-Iranians, whose descendants would spread out everywhere from Siberia to Syria.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jul 01, 2021
Ancient DNA, Indo-Europeans, and the Steppe: Interview with Professor David Anthony
00:59:23

Professor David Anthony is one of the world's foremost experts on the archaeology of the ancient Eurasian steppes and sits at the cutting edge of Indo-European studies. We discuss the unique nature of the Yamnaya and the prehistoric steppe, the people who lived there, what ancient DNA can tell us about these past societies, and why they matter even 5000 years later.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jun 24, 2021
The Archaeology of Human Bones and the Iberian Copper Age: Interview with Dr. Jess Beck
01:00:45

Human bones are one of our most valuable and illuminating sources of information about the past, but how do we use them, and what can they tell us about prehistory? I talked to Dr. Jess Beck, a bioarchaeologist and expert on later European prehistory, about the incredible insights we can glean from the study of human remains and about her specialty, the Copper Age (c.3250–2200 BCE) in the Iberian peninsula.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jun 17, 2021
The Bell Beaker Phenomenon and the Rise of the Bronze Age
00:51:06

Around 4,500 years ago, bell-shaped ceramic drinking vessels called "beakers" begin showing up with the dead in tombs all over western Europe. Everywhere from Portugal to Sicily to Scotland to Slovakia, these distinctive containers show up, often accompanied by archery equipment and upheaval in the societies established in these places. The Bronze Age and metallurgy would soon follow. But what were the Beakers for? Who used them, and why? Thanks to ancient DNA and cutting-edge archaeological science, we can explore the Beaker Phenomenon in all its manifestations, from marriage networks and trade to prehistoric genocide.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jun 10, 2021
Indo-European, Migration, and the Corded Ware Culture
00:47:30

Five thousand years ago, small groups of herders began making their way from the open grasslands of the Eurasian steppe into the hills and forests of northern Europe. They moved west, intermarrying with the local farmers and sometimes fighting them, eventually reaching as far as present-day Belgium. These were the people of the Corded Ware Culture, and they brought their language - Indo-European - and genes into the heart of Europe.

I wrote a book, and it comes out on July 20! You can preorder (in hard copy, e-book, or audiobook) The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World here.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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Jun 03, 2021
Cuneiform Literature, Medicine, and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Moudhy Al-Rashid
00:42:57

At the heart of the ancient Middle East, a sophisticated, urbanized, and long-lived world, was a writing system: cuneiform, used for everything from heroic epic to receipts and medical texts, and first developed in Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago. Dr. Moudhy Al-Rashid of Oxford joins me to talk about cuneiform literature, medicine, and mental health in this fascinating and little-known ancient world.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to exclusive seasons 1 and 2, and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/tidesofhistory.

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May 27, 2021
The Yamnaya Culture and the Proto-Indo-European Migrations
00:44:08

More than 5,000 years ago, a group of wandering herders on the Eurasian steppes - the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European - began to move outward from their homeland. With their wagons, horses, and livestock, they traveled hundreds of miles through the Danube Valley and into Central Europe, forever shaping the linguistic, cultural, and genetic future of the continent and beyond.

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May 20, 2021
Achilles, Gilgamesh, and Epic Poetry: Interview with Professor Michael Clarke
00:48:21

What do Achilles and Gilgamesh, two of the most renowned literary figures of the ancient world, have in common? A great deal more than you might expect. I talked to Professor Michael Clarke of the National University of Ireland, Galway, one of my favorite people in the world and an enormously creative and thoughtful scholar, about his recent book - Achilles beside Gilgamesh: Mortality and Wisdom in Early Epic Poetry. We discussed Homer, the world of the Bronze Age, how literature moved, and why so many of the same motifs appeared at various places and times in heroic literature.

Get Professor Clarke's book, Achilles beside Gilgamesh, here.

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May 13, 2021
The Indus Valley Civilization
00:50:35

Egypt and Mesopotamia are the most famous civilizations of the ancient world, but at the same time in South Asia - today's Pakistan and India - an even larger and more populous society came into being: the Indus Valley Civilization, whose peak lasted from 2600 to 1900 BC. But the Indus Valley Civilization challenges much of what we think we know about ancient societies, from inequality and violence to political control.

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May 06, 2021
Ancient South Asia
00:44:47

South Asia - encompassing Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan - is one of the cradles of human civilization, and today it's home to one in every four people in the world. But who were the early inhabitants of South Asia, where had they come from, and what led them to develop agriculture, writing, cities, and some of the ancient world's most complex and populous societies?

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Apr 29, 2021
Bananas, Civilization, and Ancient Farming in New Guinea: Interview with Professor Tim Denham
00:44:51

Professor Tim Denham is one of the world's leading experts on Kuk Swamp, the most important archaeological site for understanding the origins of agriculture in New Guinea. He explains how we can use cutting-edge techniques in the study of ancient soils and tiny bits of plant to understand these fascinating past developments. We also talk about "civilization," the invention of agriculture in global context, and why it took so long to understand New Guinea as an agricultural center.

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Apr 22, 2021
The Invention of Agriculture in New Guinea
00:43:07

The Highlands of New Guinea are one of the most remote places on the planet, a maze of crosscutting valleys and enormous mountains that weren't reached by outsiders until the 1930s. Yet they're also one of the world's original centers of agriculture, a place responsible for domesticating crops like taro and the omnipresent banana. Crops on which millions of people rely today trace their origin all the way back to the isolated high valleys of New Guinea many thousands of years ago.

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Apr 15, 2021
Ancient Egypt in Context: Interview with Professor David Wengrow
00:58:16

Professor David Wengrow is one of the world's leading experts on Egypt before the pharaohs. He's also one of the most creative and wide-ranging archaeologists working right now, and he has fascinating insights into the primordial emergence of inequality, hierarchies, states, and all of the other things. Check out his new book, co-authored with the late David Graeber: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity.

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Apr 08, 2021
Ancient Tattooing: Interview with Aaron Deter-Wolf
00:47:13

Tattoos, and other forms of body decoration, are as old as humanity itself. But what can we know about the skin of long-past people that no longer exists? I talk to Aaron Deter-Wolf, Prehistoric Archaeologist for the State of Tennessee’s Division of Archaeology and one of the world's experts on the archaeological study of tattooing, to get some answers.

Follow Aaron on Instagram @archaeologyink - it's a fascinating page.

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Apr 01, 2021
North America After the Ice Age: Interview with Professor Shane Miller
00:58:56

Understanding the first migrants to the Americas more than 13,000 years ago is a big task. So is figuring out how the ancestors of indigenous peoples transformed themselves from hunters of mammoth and mastodon to farmers to the builders of complex societies. Professor Shane Miller, an archaeologist working in the American southeast (and a Tides listener!) joins me to talk about cutting-edge archaeology and how our understanding of the early Americas is changing.

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Mar 25, 2021
Languages of the World in 3000 BC
00:48:11

Language is one of the foundational pieces of being human, but in the absence of writing, what can we know about it in the deep past? Historical linguistics and the comparative method shed valuable light on these long-lost languages, and uncover the roots of some of today's most widely spoken tongues.

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Mar 18, 2021
Understanding Prehistory Through Ethnography
00:49:58

There are still people living now who make their living by foraging, and understanding them is an essential component of grasping the breadth of human experience. Today's hunter-gatherers aren't living fossils from a bygone age, but studying them can give us deep insights into the more distant past. In this episode, I discuss ethnography, ethnoarchaeology, and how we can apply these tools to prehistory.

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Mar 11, 2021
Egypt and the Rise of the Pharaohs
00:50:34

Kings are practically synonymous with ancient Egypt, and it's not just because their monuments - like the pyramids - still tower above the desert and the Nile. Egyptian society was organized around the pharaohs in many different ways, but how did they come into being? What turned Egypt into one of the world's longest-lived kingdoms?

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Mar 04, 2021
Hunter-Gatherers, Archaeology, and Prehistory: Interview with Professor Robert Kelly
00:59:40

What can we learn about the deep human past by studying present-day hunter-gatherers? I asked that question to Professor Robert Kelly of the University of Wyoming, who's both one of the world's experts on hunter-gatherers and an accomplished archaeologist. Today's hunter-gatherers aren't living fossils who provide a direct window onto the distant past, but their lifeways do offer fascinating insights into that past.

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Feb 25, 2021
Uruk and the Rise of Civilization
00:49:13

More than 5,000 years ago, the city of Uruk in what's now Iraq was the heart of a new civilization. Cities, kings, armies, monumental temples, and writing were all new developments. But why here? Why then? And who suffered so that civilization could rise?

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Feb 18, 2021
Egypt Before the Pharaohs
00:46:04

Pyramids, mummies, and pharaohs define our understanding of ancient Egypt, a timeless and eternal land. But the Nile wasn't always ruled by god-like kings, and long before they emerged, Egypt was home to other peoples and other ways of life. As Egyptian civilization emerged, these older traditions didn't disappear, but remained, shaping thousands of years of subsequent history.

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Feb 11, 2021
Classic Tides | Boxing, Race, and the Gilded Age: An Interview with Professor Louis Moore
00:36:37

Boxing has a long past, one deeply connected to race, labor, and broader developments in American history. Professor Louis Moore joins me to talk about those topics and about his outstanding book, I Fight For a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915.

Find Professor Moore's book here: https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Living-Manhood-1880-1915-Society/dp/0252082877.

This episode originally aired on August 8, 2019.

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Feb 09, 2021
Mesopotamia at the Dawn of History
00:44:23

Civilization first emerged in the fertile floodplains of Mesopotamia - present-day Iraq - with priest-kings and cities full of temples and ziggurats, pictographs and cuneiform writing. But what were the conditions and processes that led up to this complex of developments? How and why did it happen, and why there?

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Feb 04, 2021
What is Civilization?
00:42:25

I'm not just talking about the wonderful Sid Meier game series, which I've spent far too many hours playing; how do we define "civilization," how does it come into being, and why does it matter?

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Jan 28, 2021
Alcohol and Agriculture in Prehistoric East Asia: Interview with Professor Li Liu
00:51:50

Stanford University's Professor Li Liu is one of the world's leading experts on prehistoric East Asia and one of the world's primary inventions of farming. I ask her about that, the deep continuities of Chinese civilization, and her recent research on the origins of brewing and alcohol.

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Jan 21, 2021
Agriculture and Complex Societies in the Americas, 4000-1500 BC
00:50:02

Agriculture was invented in no fewer than three, and probably four, places in the Americas. It went along with sedentary living and complex societies, but in complicated ways: fishing villages along the Andean coast grew into the cities of Norte Chico, but hunter-gatherers produced the first great mound complexes of the American southeast. How did farming change, and not change, the diverse societies of the Americas?

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Jan 14, 2021
The Americas from Foraging to Agriculture, 10,000 BC-4000 BC
00:47:18

The initial migrations to the Americas get most of the attention, but people didn't stop living there in the aftermath of those first movements of peoples; they spread out over the Great Plains and the forests of the eastern United States, south into the deserts and jungles of Mesoamerica, and into every corner of South America. In the process, they invented agriculture no fewer than three different times.

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Jan 07, 2021
Agriculture, Migration, and the Births of Language Families: Interview with Professor Peter Bellwood
00:40:34

The relationship between agriculture, migration, and the distribution of today's most prominent language families is direct but complex. Professor Peter Bellwood, one of the world's leading experts on prehistory, explains how farming led to population growth and movements of people that still shape our world today.

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Dec 31, 2020
Classic Tides | Europe After the Black Death
00:52:07

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.

This episode originally aired on June 28, 2018.

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Dec 24, 2020
Neolithic China and Jomon Japan
00:46:17

East Asia was one of the world's primary centers of agricultural innovation. Farming was invented there, rice and millet domesticated, and the people who did so grew in numbers and sophistication. Some of the world's most-spoken language families grew out of Neolithic China, and so did the roots of Chinese civilization.

If you'd like to see some pictures of things covered in today's episode, check out the Substack post that goes along with it.

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Dec 17, 2020
East Asia in Prehistory
00:47:45

Hominins have lived in East Asia - what's now China, Korea, and Japan - for millions of years, at least as far back as Homo erectus if not further. And as the glaciers began to recede for the last time after 20,000 years ago, people in this part of the world developed humanity's first pottery, rice-farming, and complex societies of incredible diversity and resilience.

If you'd like to see visuals of some of what we've discussed here, check out the accompanying Substack post.

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Dec 10, 2020
Why Were There So Many Neolithic Farmers? And What Can Big Data Do For Archaeology? Interview with Professor Stephen Shennan
00:45:45

Professor Stephen Shennan is one of the world's leading experts on the early farmers of the Fertile Crescent and Europe. In this interview, I pick his brain about why early farmers were so, uh, fertile, and produced so many descendants; how those farmers spread outward from their regions of origin; and how we can understand their Neolithic world. Professor Shennan also one of the world's most accomplished archaeological theorists, and he answers my questions about archaeology in the age of Big Data, statistics, and new ways of understanding the past.

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Dec 03, 2020
Classic Tides | Peasants' Rebellions and Resistance
00:53:30

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.

This episode originally aired on September 20, 2018.

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Nov 26, 2020
Neanderthals, Our Closest Kin: Interview with Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes
00:44:23

What were Neanderthals really like? Our closest relatives shared an incredible amount in common with us, argues Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes, author of the wonderful new book Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death, and Art. But we shouldn't pigeonhole them; Neanderthals persisted for hundreds of thousands of years across time and space, living diverse and varied lives everywhere from mountains to deserts to icy tundra.

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Nov 19, 2020
Ötzi the Iceman: The Neolithic Ice Mummy
00:43:06

Five thousand years ago, a man died more than 10,000 feet high in the Alps of northern Italy. He had been shot in the back with an arrow, the corpse left behind, where he was frozen into a glacier along with all of his belongings. He stayed there until two hikers found him - still half covered in ice - in 1991. What was Ötzi's life like? And what can we learn about his final days and hours? Thanks to incredible scientific studies, we know more about Ötzi than almost anybody who's ever lived.

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Nov 12, 2020
Who Were the Proto-Indo-Europeans?
00:51:48

Today, everywhere from Bengal to British Columbia, some 3.2 billion people speak an Indo-European language. All of these diverse languages are descended from a common ancestor spoken long before the advent of writing. But where and when was that, and who were the speakers of Proto-Indo-European? Follow us more than 5,000 years back in time to a story about livestock herding, horseback riding, chieftains, burial mounds, and powerful new gods.

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Nov 05, 2020
The Lost Civilization of Old Europe: The Copper Age and the First Cities
00:50:19

The first farmers of Europe and their descendants persisted for thousands of years. In the Neolithic heartland of eastern Europe, along the Danube River and through the northern Balkan Mountains, they built a unique civilization: Old Europe, with its artificial mounds, gorgeous pottery, and for the first time, the use of metal. The first cities in the world grew out of this long-lived Neolithic just before it disappeared forever.

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Oct 29, 2020
Classic Tides | Peasants and the Medieval Countryside
00:54:56

When we think of the medieval world, our minds usually turn to knights, royalty, and clergy. But the backbone of the medieval economic and social order was the humble peasant. In this rebroadcast from 2018, we explore the world and lives of the vast bulk of the people who actually lived in the Middle Ages, and why they matter.

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Oct 22, 2020
Prehistory Mailbag! Archaeology, Language, and the Advantages of Farming
01:03:26

How do we know what we know about the deep past? What languages did people speak in prehistory? And why, if the life of an early farmer seemed to be so miserable, did farmers have so many children? I answer all of these questions and more in our first prehistory mailbag episode.

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Oct 15, 2020
Megalithic Europe
00:54:25

It didn't take long for the first pioneering farmers of Europe to establish mature and stable societies. The monuments of these societies are still with us today: enormous earthen tombs and standing stones, silent reminders of a lost civilization.

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Oct 08, 2020
The Neolithic Revolution: Europe's First Farmers
00:49:42

Farming came into existence in the Fertile Crescent, but it didn't stay there. By 5000 BC, agriculture had spread east and west, reaching both Central Asia and the Atlantic Ocean. But how did this happen? Did indigenous hunter-gatherers adopt farming, or did the farmers themselves move and bring their way of life with them?

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Oct 01, 2020
How Did People Domesticate Animals? An Interview with Professor Greger Larson
01:02:32

The domestication of animals has transformed the way that people eat, clothe themselves, and live over the past 10,000 or so years, but what in the world does "domestication" even mean? How did this happen, and why did people start doing this? I talk with Professor Greger Larson of Oxford University about the genetics of animal domestication and how cutting-edge science is helping us answer these age-old questions.

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Sep 17, 2020
The First Farmers
00:50:26

The domestication of plants and animals has remade the way that people feed themselves, organize their societies, and interact with the landscapes around them. But for most of the human past, this isn't how people subsisted. When, where, and how did people start farming? And most importantly, why?

If you'd like to see some visuals of the things we talk about in this episode, check out the accompanying post on Substack.

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Sep 10, 2020
After the Ice: The Younger Dryas, the Mesolithic, and the Birth of a New World
00:50:23

For most of Homo sapiens' time out of Africa, we lived in a world defined by ice. But by around 20,000 years ago, the ice had begun to melt, the glaciers retreating back toward the poles and mountain ranges. This left behind a new world, a whole different series of environments, opportunities, and perils for the people who had made it through the Ice Age.

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Sep 03, 2020
How Should We Understand the Deep Human Past? Interview with Professor John Hawks
00:57:34

Professor John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the world's best communicators on the deep human past and paleoanthropology, joins me to talk about archaic humans, genomics, and whether the concept of different human species even makes sense these days. Check out his blog, which is an amazing resource, and follow him on Twitter.

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Aug 27, 2020
New Insights on the First Americans: Interview with Professor Jennifer Raff
00:52:41

Our understanding of the past is constantly in flux, and there's no field where that's clearer than with the early settlement of the Americas. I'm joined by Professor Jennifer Raff of the University of Kansas, an anthropological geneticist, to discuss the game-changing (or not?) recent work pushing back the date of first settlement to 30,000 years ago or more.

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Aug 13, 2020
Who Were the First Americans?
00:51:15

The Americas were the last continents Homo sapiens reached. Why did it take so long for people to enter this vast and promising expanse of land? Who were they, and where had they come from? In today's episode, we explore the latest - just days old! - science of the First Americans, and discover the descendants they've left behind even today.

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Aug 06, 2020
Trapped in Ice: The Paleolithic World
00:45:52

Twenty thousand years ago, the world was locked in ice. The glaciers advanced from the poles and mountain ranges, swallowing huge portions of the planet's surface and making the rest colder and drier, a more difficult place to live. Yet people nevertheless thrived, spreading out across the continents and creating some of the most incredible art in human history.

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Jul 30, 2020
Ancient DNA and the Human Story: Interview with Geneticist Eske Willerslev
00:43:46

Ancient DNA is the key that's unlocking the deep history of humanity, allowing us to answer questions about our collective past that we never dreamed of addressing even 20 years ago. Eske Willerslev is a pioneer in the field of extracting, sequencing, and analyzing the preserved DNA of people who lived thousands upon thousands of years ago; on top of that, he's a fascinating person with unique perspectives on how to understand the human past.

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Jul 16, 2020
The Ghosts of Archaic Humans
00:47:08

Until very recently, Homo sapiens - our species - was only one of several varieties of humans on this planet. As our ancestors spread outward from Africa in their great migration, they encountered those other species. The results of those encounters left us a genetic legacy that is still with us today.

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Jul 09, 2020
Bone, Stone, and Genome: Understanding Humanity's Deep Past
00:47:14

Welcome to a new season of Tides of History! Over the next year, we'll be traveling from the very origins of our species through the peopling of the planet, the Ice Age, and then to the beginnings of agriculture, cities, metalworking, and states. Today, we cover our deepest past, from the divergence from our closest ape relatives to the first appearance of anatomically modern humans.

To see visuals of our earliest ancestors, and how-to videos for making ancient stone tools, check out Patrick's website.

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Jul 02, 2020
Did I End My Early Modern Series in the Right Place? Interview with Keith Pluymers
00:57:19

How do we tell when one period ends and another begins? What are the fundamental characteristics of the early modern period? My dear friend (and friend of the show!) Keith Pluymers, assistant professor of history at Illinois State University, returns to chat with me about periodization, the Great Divergence, and riots in the early modern period.

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Jun 18, 2020
The Globalization of the Year 1000: Interview with Professor Valerie Hansen
00:36:46

Around the year 1000, merchants, explorers, and missionaries linked the world together from Newfoundland to China. Trade goods, people, and above all ideas flowed across a rich assortment of routes, connecting previously distant places into a single unit. This was the first instance of what we can call globalization, according to Professor Valerie Hansen of Yale, who wrote a compelling new book on the topic: The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World - and Globalization Began.

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Jun 11, 2020
Alaric, the Goths, and the Sack of Rome: Interview with Professor Douglas Boin
00:45:02

Alaric was one of the most famous barbarians of antiquity, and yet we know little about him - or at least, we knew very little, until Douglas Boin's excellent new book came out. It's entitled Alaric the Goth: An Outsider's History of the Fall of Rome. In today's episode, I chat with Professor Boin about the book, the Goths, and how we should understand this period of Roman - and Gothic - history.

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Jun 04, 2020
John Maynard Keynes and His Legacies: Interview with Author and Journalist Zach Carter
00:47:19

John Maynard Keynes was one of the most important figures of the 20th century, creating the economic structures and ideas that defined the Second World War and its aftermath. I spoke with Zach Carter, author of the wonderful new Keynes biography The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, about Keynes's wild life and enduring legacies.

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May 28, 2020
Malta, Lepanto, and the End of an Era
00:51:01

We reach the epic conclusion of our series on the early modern period with the Great Siege of Malta and the Battle of Lepanto.

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May 14, 2020
The Battle for the Mediterranean
00:50:51

For much of the 16th century, the Habsburgs of Spain and the Ottoman Empire waged an epic conflict for control over the Mediterranean. Follow along with two composite characters, a Barbary corsair and a Hospitaller knight, as they raid, pillage, and fight a holy war for decades on end.

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May 07, 2020
Charles V and the Failure of Empire
00:53:41

Charles V controlled more of Europe than any ruler in centuries, with resources other monarchs could only dream of. But that was never enough to give the Holy Roman Emperor more than a momentary victory; there was always a new enemy, some unforeseen calamity, waiting around the corner.

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Apr 30, 2020
Mike Duncan on Pandemics, Revolutions, and COVID-19
01:16:51

DISCLAIMER: If you do not think that this pandemic is a big deal; if you do not want to hear our personal political views; if you don’t care about present-day politics; if you think that this will somehow offend you; then please don't listen to this episode.

Author and history podcaster extraordinaire Mike Duncan joins me to talk about pandemics, social instability, and present-day politics.

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Apr 23, 2020
The Rise of Charles V
00:52:29

Charles V was the most powerful European ruler since Charlemagne: king of Spain and Naples, Holy Roman Emperor, and ruler of a whole bunch else besides. How did all of these vast territories, and the central political role that went along with them, come into his possession? The answer wasn't ability or merit; it was inheritance.

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Apr 16, 2020
Pandemics in History
00:47:44

All of us are dealing with the ongoing pandemic in different ways, and I decided to wedge myself into my closet to record an informal talk with you all about pandemics throughout history and what, if anything, they might help us understand about what we're dealing with today. Economic effects, political upheavals, and disease all play together, so let's try to figure out the connections.

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Apr 09, 2020
Genetics and the Transformation of Prehistory: Interview with Spencer Wells and Razib Khan
00:40:14

Genetics has radically transformed our understanding of prehistory over the past two decades, revealing everything from the existence of brand-new, unknown species to interbreeding between Neanderthals and our human ancestors. I talked to geneticists Spencer Wells and Razib Khan, two of the world's most knowledgable communicators on genetics and prehistory, to get a sense for how things have changed.

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Apr 02, 2020
Classic Tides: Plague, Climate, and the End of the Roman World
00:43:27

In light of current events, we are re-posting one of my favorite episodes (from December, 2017) on natural disasters and the fall of the Roman Empire.

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, call the end of the Roman Empire.

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Mar 26, 2020
American Nations, American Union: Interview with Colin Woodard
00:48:14

Few books have influenced my view of American history and politics more than Colin Woodard's American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. We've been divided since the beginning, Woodard argues, and this has influenced every aspect of American history, not to mention its future. He has a new book coming out in May, Union, which expands this thesis further.

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And get Colin's new book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, here.

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Mar 19, 2020
Classic Tides: The Black Death Revisited
00:52:36

In light of current events, we are re-posting one of my favorite episodes (from June, 2018) on the Black Death.

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 stage for the world that followed.

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Mar 17, 2020
Suleiman the Magnificent and Ottoman Decline
00:45:37

The reign of Suleiman the Magnificent was the high point of the Ottoman Empire, but for centuries, it has also been pegged as the beginning of the empire's long, slow decline into irrelevance. Is this true? Was Suleiman's reign simultaneously the best of times and the beginning of the end?

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Mar 12, 2020
Suleiman the Magnificent and the Apex of the Ottoman Empire
00:49:18

Suleiman the Magnificent ruled the Ottoman Empire for forty-six years. During that time, his armies fought everywhere from Iran to Vienna. His navies touched Indonesia and the Straits of Gibraltar. Under his reign, the Ottoman Empire reached its glorious peak.


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Mar 05, 2020
Pirates! With Leah Sutherland
00:42:01

Leah returns to chat with Patrick about one of their favorite topics - pirates. It wouldn't be a Leah episode if we didn't range widely, so we also chat about essays and Laura Ingalls Wilder.


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Feb 20, 2020
The Ottomans, the Safavids, and the War for the Muslim World, 1501-1514
01:01:09

The Muslim world was a vast and diverse place, home to a variety of traditions and schools of thought. The Safavids began as a brotherhood of Sufi mystics, but soon transformed themselves from a religious order to the seeds of a powerful extremist state in Iran under the leadership of a teenaged prodigy, Shah Ismail I. A clash with the Ottomans and Selim the Grim was inevitable.


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Feb 13, 2020
The Ottomans, the Mamluks, and the Clash for Control of the Muslim World
00:48:13

While the Ottoman Empire spent most of its early history expanding into Christian Europe, it also faced east, toward the vast, wealthy, and dynamic Muslim world. As the Ottomans grew in prestige and power, a clash with the Mamluks of Egypt for supremacy became inevitable.


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Feb 06, 2020
Pilgrims, Puritans, and the Battle for New England: Interview with Historian Peter Mancall
00:51:17

The Pilgrims and the Puritans dominate our understanding not just of early New England, but also early America and the entire future course of American history. Yet their success and long-term influence weren't foreordained, and they weren't inevitable. Peter Mancall, Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford and Mellon Professor of the Humanities at USC, joins us to talk about his new book, The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for a New England.

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Jan 23, 2020
The Rising Tide of the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1481
00:49:18

Mehmet the Conqueror captured Constantinople for the Ottoman Empire in 1453 and ended the thousand-year reign of the Byzantine Empire after an epic siege, but he was far from done. For the next three decades, Mehmet led Ottoman armies against Serbs, Hungarians, Venetians, Wallachians, and Turkoman tribesmen, expanding his empire and drenching two continents in blood and war.

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Jan 16, 2020
The Dawn of the Age of Exploration
00:44:27

What was it like to be on the cutting edge of the Age of Exploration, and what made these enormous leaps possible? To answer those questions, we follow the life of a composite character, a Portuguese sailor named Pedro, on his journeys to the coast of Africa and then India beyond.

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Jan 09, 2020
The Last Battle of the Wars of the Roses
00:51:17

What brought the son of a German shoemaker to a blood-soaked English field in June, 1487? In today's episode, we follow the life of a composite character, Hans, an artisan-turned mercenary, on his journey from Augsburg to Stoke Field and try to understand how the currents of the late Middle Ages made his life possible.

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Dec 19, 2019
Leah Interviews Dr. Patrick Wyman, PhD, about his upcoming book
00:37:28

Leah declared mutiny and there was a small defenestration from the 8th Floor Wondery Studio as she took full creative control of Tides of History. Well, not quite, but she did control the interview. Patrick Wyman guests today to talk about his upcoming book, The Crunch!


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Dec 12, 2019
The Life of Margaret, Brewer of London
00:45:48

What was it like to be a regular person in the late Middle Ages? We follow the life of a composite character, a brewer in London named Margaret, through her family, work, and marriage. She was a product of her time, everything from the Black Death to shifting expectations of work and gender, and she's a great window onto a period of upheaval and change.

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Dec 05, 2019
Minisode: Is Netflix's "The King" Good History? And Winter Reading Recommendations!
00:29:35

Leah is back on the show today to discuss The King on Netflix starring Timothee Chalamet as King Henry V, our favorite Sadboi King, as he becomes the greatest king England's ever seen. Overall, we liked it! And if you need something that everyone in your family can agree on, it's that Robert Pattinson is doing something, we aren't sure what, but a definite thing as the Dauphin.

Watch it here.

Thank you so much for listening to Tides, we are thankful for you.


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Nov 28, 2019
The End of the Crusades and the Fall of Acre: An Interview with Historian Roger Crowley
00:56:15

Popular historian Roger Crowley returns to the show to discuss his new book, The Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades, which covers the last great siege of the Crusades at the city of Acre. It's a really fun read, I highly recommend it, and you can get it here.

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Nov 21, 2019
Was the Protestant Reformation Inevitable?
00:48:36

Was history destined to happen as it did? That's what counterfactuals - alternative scenarios of how things might have gone - are useful for answering. In this episode, we apply them to the Protestant Reformation, one of the key processes of the past millennium.


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Nov 14, 2019
Medieval Merchants
00:46:31

The medieval economy underwent a profound transformation, becoming ever more commercialized and monetized. Merchants helped drive that change, moving goods from place to place and profiting on the returns. Today, we meet some of them: an Italian named Francesco Datini, one of the richest men in Europe, and the Cely family of English wool merchants.


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Nov 07, 2019
Persecution, Toleration, and the Rise of Modernity: An Interview with Historian Mark Koyama
00:53:46

Religious freedom is a core value of the modern West, but how did it emerge, and why does it matter? Economic historian Mark Koyama, of George Mason University, joins me to discuss his recent book (co-authored with Noel Johnson), Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom.

Check out the book here, and follow Professor Koyama on Twitter @MarkKoyama.

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Oct 31, 2019
The Commercial Revolution
00:42:42

The roots of the modern economy, based on markets, money, and exchange, lie deep in the Middle Ages. The Commercial Revolution remade the European economy, paving the way for the explosive growth that followed centuries later.

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Oct 17, 2019
The Venetian Empire
00:53:02

Venice was a commercial hub, the hinge of the medieval economy, but it was also the center of a remarkable empire that spanned the sea lanes and trade routes of the Mediterranean. The Venetian Empire was an odd beast, beset on all sides by more powerful neighbors, but it survived for centuries thanks to Venice's unique combination of wealth and stability.

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Oct 10, 2019
The Crusades: An Interview with Dan Jones, Part 2
00:45:56

Here's the rest of our conversation with historian and bestselling author Dan Jones. In Part 1, which you should absolutely listen to if you haven't already, we covered the Crusades in general; this time out, we discuss some of Dan's favorite crusaders, the most fascinating figures from four centuries of holy war.

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Oct 03, 2019
Why Rome Never Rose Again: An Interview with Professor Walter Scheidel
00:43:36

Alone among the world's regions, western Europe only had one major, long-lived imperial experience: that of Rome. When it fell, nothing like it ever returned again. According to Stanford's Professor Walter Scheidel, that fact had enormous consequences for the long-term development of Europe, and was a necessary precursor to the rise of modernity.

Check out Professor Scheidel's new book, Escape From Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity, which comes out October 15th.


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Sep 19, 2019
We Join Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie's Guild (And You Should, Too!)
00:42:43

When it comes to medieval and early modern economic history it is important to understand guilds, how they functioned, and their effects on society. Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie joins me to talk about guilds and her most recent book, The European Guilds: An Economic Analysis.

Find Professor Ogilvie’s book here: https://www.amazon.com/European-Guilds-Economic-Analysis-Princeton/dp/0691137544

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Sep 12, 2019
The Crusades: An Interview with Dan Jones
00:49:22

The Crusades defined the Middle Ages and left a long legacy behind them. We chat with Dan Jones, author of the upcoming book Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Land, about why this long series of conflicts mattered so much to medieval people and why they're still important today.

Get Dan's book here.

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Sep 05, 2019
The Rise of Printing and the Invention of News: An Interview with Professor Andrew Pettegree
00:48:14

There’s an interesting history when it comes to books, printing, and the Reformation, all tied together through new technology and business. Professor Andrew Pettegree joins me to talk about all of this and more, as well as his new book, The Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age.

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Aug 29, 2019
The Origins and Rise of Venice
00:55:49

A swampy lagoon on the Adriatic coast of Italy was not a promising place for a city, but Venice grew from a collection of huts on spits of land to a glittering center of commerce and the heart of a maritime empire. Today, we explore the beginnings and rise of this fascinating city from late antiquity to the Black Death.

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Aug 15, 2019
Boxing, Race, and the Gilded Age: An Interview with Professor Louis Moore
00:37:50

Boxing has a long past, one deeply connected to race, labor, and broader developments in American history. Professor Louis Moore joins me to talk about those topics and about his outstanding book, I Fight For a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915.

Find Professor Moore's book here: https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Living-Manhood-1880-1915-Society/dp/0252082877

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Aug 08, 2019
The Experience of the Italian Wars
00:48:26

The Italian Wars changed the face of Europe, but what was it like living through them? Today, we follow the lives of two composite characters to see both how war changed and how it affected the people who participated in them.

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Aug 01, 2019
Book Club: Summer Reading
00:12:43

Planning a summer vacation and looking for something fun to read? Patrick and Leah have you covered with a few suggestions.

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Jul 25, 2019
The Italian Wars, Part 2
00:54:58

In our second episode on the Italian Wars, we explore how Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's vast territories ratcheted up the conflict from a dynastic squabble to a continent-spanning contest of great powers.

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Jul 18, 2019
Walls throughout History: An Interview with Professor David Frye
00:43:42

What creates civilization, in the most basic sense? According to Professor David Frye, who joins me this week, it's walls - Hadrian's Wall, the Great Wall of China, city walls, and thousands more over the millennia.

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Jul 11, 2019
The Italian Wars, Part 1
01:03:34

The Italian Wars were the defining conflict of the sixteenth century, bridging the gap between the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Today, we explore their origins in medieval dynastic infighting and their opening stages, as King Charles VIII of France rolled south into Italy and changed European politics forever.

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Jul 04, 2019
Minisode: Military Revolutions
00:18:52

It's a concept! It's a feeling! It's... been a long time since we talked about it. We're throwing it back to 2017 and tracing the evolution of war in the 15th and 16th centuries.

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Jun 27, 2019
Why Bother with the Seventeenth Century? An Interview with Professor Keith Pluymers
00:47:59

Friend of the show Keith Pluymers returned for a great chat about fuel, environmental history, and why the seventeenth century is worth studying.

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Jun 20, 2019
Condottieri: War for Profit in Renaissance Italy
00:55:04

In Renaissance Italy, war was simultaneously art, science, and big business, waged for profit and glory by hired contractors known as condottieri. Today, we follow one condottiere as he makes his way through the dangerous world of mercenary warfare in the fifteenth century.

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Jun 13, 2019
Machiavelli's Laboratory: The Politics of Renaissance Italy
00:57:26

Renaissance Italy was a political minefield, where backstabbing dukes, ambitious republics, and disloyal mercenaries created a laboratory for political innovation. This environment produced professional armies, the roots of state finance, and modern diplomacy, a legacy Italy left for the rest of Europe.

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Jun 06, 2019
Classic Tides: Life in Renaissance Florence
00:54:24

We're revisiting an episode of Tides of History we originally released in January 2018. Pay close attention, we're going to be spending a LOT of time in Italy this summer.

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. These early knowledge workers combined a genuine interest in the wisdom of the classical past with a practical desire for the skills that would help them rise up the economic and social ladder.

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May 30, 2019
Minisode: Banking
00:15:08

We catch up a bit more on Jakob Fugger's personality - or lack thereof - along with some of the other important south German trading firms of the age, the development of the Antwerp financial market, and the connection between banking and the patronage of Renaissance art.

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May 23, 2019
Jakob Fugger: The Richest Man Who Ever Lived?
00:56:53

At the end of the fifteenth century, the center of European banking suddenly swung from its birthplace in Italy to south Germany. The key figure in that transition was Jakob Fugger of Augsburg, maybe the richest man who ever lived.

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May 16, 2019
The Rise and Fall of the Medici Bank
00:57:29

The Medici name still carries echoes of power and labyrinthine politics. But the Medici got their start as bankers, and built a financial empire that spanned fifteenth-century Europe. Popes, kings, and merchants all did business with the Medici, and the family's power over Florence grew out of its fiscal wizardry - at least until it all fell apart.

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May 09, 2019
The Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age: An Interview with Stanford's Professor Richard White
00:47:54

The Civil War and its decades-long aftermath continue to define American life well into the twenty-first century. Today we chat with Stanford's Professor Richard White, author of The Republic For Which It Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896, to get a grip on this pivotal and under-discussed era of history.

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May 02, 2019
Minisode: Messianic Rulers and Military Revolutions in Spain
00:22:20

Let's chat about some of the other interesting things Patrick discovered in his research for this month's episodes: messianic rulership and military revolutions in the Spain of Isabella and Ferdinand.

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Apr 25, 2019
The Spanish Inquisition, the Expulsion of the Jews, and the Rise of Spain
00:52:19

Queen Isabella of Castile was one of the great state-building monarchs of the later Middle Ages, but state-building had a dark side: the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion of the Jews, and the beginnings of a decades-long war that would consume western Europe for three generations.

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Apr 18, 2019
Queen Isabella of Spain and the End of the Reconquista
00:56:54

Queen Isabella of Castile was the greatest of the state-building rulers of the late Middle Ages. During her rule, she sent Columbus to America, married Ferdinand of Aragon to launch modern Spain, and finished the centuries-long Reconquista, ending centuries of Muslim rule in Iberia.

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Apr 11, 2019
Historical Fiction and the Wars of the Roses: An Interview with Philippa Gregory
00:47:16

We talked to bestselling novelist Philippa Gregory about her views of history and historical fiction, and her perspective on the Wars of the Roses, where she has spent many years.

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Apr 04, 2019
1492: A Guided Tour of Europe on the Brink
00:54:58

1492 was a big year, and not just because a certain Genoese navigator set sail into the unknown. Europe was on the cusp of enormous changes. Follow along as we travel all across the continent and get a feel for Europe on the brink.

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Mar 21, 2019
Who Was Christopher Columbus? With Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
00:43:46

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.

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Mar 14, 2019
Civil Servants, State Finance, and the Rising State
00:53:22

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 executed the royal will with competence and ruthlessness.

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Mar 07, 2019
The Troubled Inheritance of Mary of Burgundy and Dynastic Consolidation
00:50:26

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 decisions she made about her future set in motion a chain of political events that would define Europe for centuries to come.

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Feb 21, 2019
The Rise and Fall of Burgundy
01:02:19

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 France and the Holy Roman Empire. But eventually their ambition stretched too far, and they disappeared in a haze of gunpowder and blood.


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Feb 14, 2019
Game of Thrones and Late Medieval Politics
00:47:01

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. Follow him on Twitter @bromanconsul.

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Feb 07, 2019
Civil Wars and Political Breakdowns in Late Medieval Europe
00:56:01

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 many civil wars - and why were they all happening at the same time?


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Jan 24, 2019
The Wars of the Roses, II
01:04:11

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.

Love Tides of History? You can follow Patrick on Twitter @Patrick_Wyman and Leah at @leahgoeswhere. You can follow the show @TidesHistory. Send us your questions and love letters! If you have hate mail address it to: Tides of History, Attn: Charles, Duke of Burgundy. He'll be sure we get it.

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Jan 17, 2019
The Wars of the Roses
01:00:55

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 survive Henry VI, and at what cost?


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Jan 10, 2019
The Reformation, Live from Boston
00:40:28

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.

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Dec 20, 2018
Archaeology Rules with Raksha Dave!
00:36:43

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 with respect.

Follow Raksha on Twitter!

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Dec 13, 2018
Vlad the Impaler and the Legend of Dracula
00:54:44

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 episode examines the real person behind the legend and the world that made him.

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Dec 06, 2018
George Washington and the End of the Revolution: An Interview with Author Nathaniel Philbrick
00:38:49

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 dramatic final days of the Revolutionary War and the strategic vision of George Washington.

You can get Nat's book here.

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Nov 29, 2018
Beer, Brewsters, and Women's Work: An Interview with Judith Bennett
00:45:20

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

Sisters and Workers in the Middle Ages

Women in the Medieval English Countryside: Gender and Household in Brigstock before the Plague

Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women's Work in a Changing World 


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Nov 15, 2018
The Fall of Constantinople and the Tragic End of the Byzantines
00:58:27

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 the end of the Byzantines, the last vestige of a Roman Empire that had once stretched over the entire Mediterranean and beyond.

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Nov 08, 2018
Holy War and the Rise of the Ottomans
00:55:09

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 Christian equivalent: crusading.


If you're interested in learning more, you can check out:

The great book by Cemal Kafadar, Between Two Worlds

If you prefer to watch your history, try Resurrection: Ertugrul on Netflix.


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Nov 01, 2018
Archaeology and Why It Rules
00:34:44

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.

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Oct 18, 2018
Heresy, Witch Hunts, and Inquisition
00:47:36

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 Inquisition.

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Oct 11, 2018
The Trials and Tribulations of the Late Medieval Church
00:47:30

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.

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Oct 04, 2018
The Ebb and Flow of History
00:19:44

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.

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Jul 20, 2017
Introducing Tides of History
00:01:49

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 cultural change that shape the world and everyone who lives on it. In this new series from Wondery, PhD historian Patrick Wyman (Fall of Rome) brings the cutting edge of that history to listeners in plain, relatable English. Premieres July 20th.

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Jul 07, 2017