Gone Medieval

By History Hit

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Description

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


Episode Date
Royal Witches
00:53:53

Witchcraft has a plethora of negative connotations attached to it. Being accused and found guilty of this in the Middle Ages could be fatal, but could it also be used as a political tool that even members of the royal family could not avoid? Matt is joined by author and Historian Gemma Hollman to explore the development of the idea of witchcraft, and its use against women.

 

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Sep 18, 2021
Women & Military Power
00:33:07

It's often assumed that women played a passive role in Medieval society. But did women hold more power than we know? When a richly furnished grave at a Viking burial site was recently discovered to be the final resting place of a woman, not a man, it stunned many archaeologists and challenged the stereotypes of women in Viking society. In this episode, Cat is joined by Dr. Clare Downham from the University of Liverpool, as we discuss the political and military power that women held in the 10th Century.

 

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Sep 14, 2021
Edward III's Golden Treasure
00:40:10

The leopard coin, which is considered the last 'unsuccessful' was re-called shortly after release. But did this coinage make more of an impact than we know? Matt is joined by Dr. Helen Geake, archaeologist and Finds liaison officer in Norfolk for The Portable Antiquities Scheme to discuss the significance of the discovery.

 

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Sep 11, 2021
Viking Ships
00:36:20

The Vikings are remembered fundamentally as seafaring people, and how could they be so if not for their ships? In this episode, Cat speaks to a world expert on Viking ships, Professor Jan Bill, who introduces us to the incredible remains of a Viking ship discovered in a field in Gjellestad, Norway, in 2017. With the excavations nearly complete, Jan and Cat discuss the remarkable proportions of this Viking ship, the technology used to reveal it, and what it tells us about medieval seafaring as a whole. Jan is a Professor of Viking Age Archaeology at the University of Oslo and curator of the Viking Ship Collection at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo since 2007.

 

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Sep 07, 2021
Saving Medieval Churches
00:37:49

With Christianity dominating Europe, the Church became one of the most powerful institutions in Britain during the Medieval period and its places of worship played a crucial role in the focal points of people's lives, from birth to death. But as populations declined in areas within the UK, so did the number of attendees, leaving several churches neglected. This is where 'The Friends of Friendless Churches' charity comes into importance. Formed in 1957, this organisation helps to preserve these sites. In this episode, Matt is joined by Rachel Morley, director of 'the Friends', to discuss some of the buildings they care for and their architectural significance.

 

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Sep 04, 2021
Harald Bluetooth & the Danish Ring Forts
00:34:57

Many of us use Bluetooth technology every day, but know nothing or little of its namesake. And there is little to be known of the King of Denmark Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, except that he is credited with introducing Christianity to Denmark. In this episode, Søren Sindbæk explains what we do know of Bluetooth, and about his remarkable archaeological discovery of Danish Ring Forts. Søren is a Professor at the University of Aarhus.

 

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Aug 31, 2021
Castles, Guns & the Wars of the Roses
00:36:34

In Britain, you’re never too far from a castle. These landmark structures are key to the history of the country, the rise and fall of great powers being marked upon their walls. In this episode, Dan Spencer takes a closer look at the use of castles in the Wars of the Roses both as defensive garrisons and as headquarters. Dan is a military historian and leading expert in the study of early gunpowder weapons, artillery fortifications and castles. He also takes Matt through the developing use of guns during this period, and the everyday health and safety mishaps which came from operating them.

 

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Aug 28, 2021
Human Sacrifice
00:28:08

Making sacrifices to the Gods is common practice in religion, even today. From symbolic to physical offerings, this is something that has happened for millennia. But did human sacrifice ever take place? And what do we even mean by human sacrifice? In this episode, Cat is joined by Archeologist Marianne Moen from the University of Oslo as we assess what it meant to make the paramount sacrifice in early medieval Europe.

 

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Aug 24, 2021
King Arthur
00:38:54

King Arthur of Camelot, we've all heard stories about him, but who exactly was he? In this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt is joined by Senior Lecturer of Early Medieval European History, Katherine Weikert. Exploring King Arthur's impact and power, we delve into why such an elusive king became a historic anchor.

 

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Aug 21, 2021
Æthelred: The Unready?
00:35:08

His 38 years as king make him one of the longest ruling monarchs in English history, and yet he is remembered as unsuccessful, naive and overly harsh on his opponents. In this episode, Levi Roach discusses the rule of Æthelred the Unready. Was he as much of a failure as his nickname suggests? And what does that nickname actually mean? Levi, from the University of Exeter, is the author of 'Æthelred the Unready'.

 

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Aug 17, 2021
Fertility & Childbirth: The Great Leveller?
00:36:47

Giving birth in the middle ages was a dangerous time for women. It had no regard for class, wealth, or status. It could even have been more dangerous for richer, Nobel women. Matt is joined by author Michèle Schindler, to take us through the realities and some of the weird and wonderful stories around conception, infertility, and giving birth.

 

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Aug 14, 2021
The Walls That Made Wales
00:25:47

For thousands of years, the building of walls has played an essential role in shaping the world as we know it; from being used to monitor populations to controlling trade, they have often acted as borders of entire nations. In this episode, Howard Williams takes us through some of the most famous walls in medieval history and explores how two of the best-known linear earthworks in western Britain, Offa's Dyke and Wat's Dyke, have served to separate England and Wales. Howard Williams is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Chester.

 

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Aug 10, 2021
What is a Tithe Barn?
00:48:39

Taxes are now an established aspect of our lives, but scattered across Britain’s countryside are reminders of their earliest days, when farmers were obliged to offer 10 percent of their produce to the church: these are tithe barns. In this episode, Joseph Rogers explains how we can spot a tithe barn, what they were built for and how they have survived to the present day. Joseph is the author of Tithe Barns and Britain’s Greatest Bridges.

 

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Aug 07, 2021
Brunanburh & the Birth of England
00:42:44

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 episode, we're joined by historian and author Michael Livingston to delve into the location of the battle, the events that ensued and why, generations later, the Battle of Brunanburh is known to many as 'The Great Battle'. Michael Livingston is a historian, a professor of medieval literature, and author of 'Never Greater Slaughter: Brunanburh and the Birth of England'.

 

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Aug 03, 2021
Cecily Neville: Duchess of York
00:52:08

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 of Gone Medieval, fact meets fiction! Matt is joined by author Annie Garthwaite, as they delve into her debut novel 'Cecily'. With extracts from Annie's newly released book, we examine the mind and life of an aristocratic medieval woman, mother, and wife.

 

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Jul 31, 2021
Orkney’s Buried Vikings
00:21:17

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 archeologist Lindsey Dunbar, who served as a project manager for the rare discoveries.

 

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Jul 27, 2021
The Power of a Queen
00:36:43

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? In this episode with Dr Joanna Laynesmith, we explore the vital historical discipline of medieval queenship, looking at the role of the four women crowned queen of England during the last half- century of the medieval period. Joanna is the author of ‘The Last Medieval Queens: English Queenship, 1445-1503’. 

 

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Jul 24, 2021
The Origins of English
00:38:18

Approximately 1.35 billion people use it, either as a first or second language, so English and the way that we speak it has a daily impact on huge numbers of people. But how did the English language develop? In this episode of Gone Medieval, Cat spoke to Eleanor Rye, an Associate Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of York. Using the present day language, place names and dialects as evidence, Ellie shows us how English was impacted by a series of migrations.

 

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Jul 20, 2021
Buried Beneath the Castle
00:38:31

From an impressive castle built to defend the borders of England against the Welsh, to a fortified town brimming with industry and commerce, to an archaeological gold mine: the town of Ludlow offers incredible insight into the lives of people in Medieval England. In this episode, Matt speaks to the Resident Archaeologist at Ludlow Castle, Leon Bracelin, about his favourite finds. They delve into the fine details of the lives of former residents of Ludlow for a remarkably close look at Medieval England.

 

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Jul 17, 2021
Messages from the Middles Ages: Discovering Runes
00:30:59

Runes give us a unique understanding of the Vikings in their very own words. While the Latin alphabet became widely adopted in northwestern Europe during the medieval period, in some places this happened late and it wasn’t the only language used. So if we want to get into the minds and lives of the Vikings we need to turn to runology. Cat is joined by Judith Jesch, Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham, as well as a specialist in runology and the Old Norse language. Judith takes us through the world of runes, from runic love notes, to inscriptions on footwear, to whether or not they were used for magical powers.

 

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Jul 13, 2021
Digging for Battles: Unpicking Battlefield Archaeology
00:40:14

How different is battlefield archaeology compared to other disciplines? Do local legends ever help track down evidence in a field? And why are potato fields in particular sometimes problematic for archaeologists... Sam Wilson, a specialist in battlefield and conflict archaeology, joins Matt to talk through his specialist work and explain more about some of his incredible discoveries.

 

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Jul 10, 2021
Bunions: Dangerous Foot Fashion in the Middle Ages
00:22:53

Fashionable footwear in the Middles Ages was not just uncomfortable, but downright dangerous. It turns out fashionable people paid the price for their love of very pointy shoes with painful bunions, according to new study on a series of medieval cemeteries in Cambridge. Cat is joined by archaeologist Dr Jenna Dittmar, who talks us through this insightful research, which saw 177 skeletons analysed as part of University of Cambridge’s After the Plague project. Find out why these ‘Blackadder-style’ pointy shoes became so popular, and what sort of injuries they caused.

 

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Jul 06, 2021
Northampton: The Heart of England?
00:36:55

When we think of the heart of England, we often think of the city of London. But in Medieval times, Northampton held this title and it solidified royal roots as a result. It’s geographical advantages made it an ideal location for countless important meetings in history and a Midlands base of choice for many. For this episode, Matt was joined by historian and author Mike Ingram to talk about the history and significance of Northampton. From famous feuds and executions to rebellions and the destruction of the town. Was Northampton a victim of it’s own importance? Mike Ingram is the author of Northampton: 5,000 Years of History.

 

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Jul 03, 2021
Saint Edmund: England's Lost King
00:38:10

From Danish Archers using him as target practice to a wolf towing his perfectly severed head, King Edmund has a wealth of tales attached to his name and a healthy cult following… but how much of these tales are true? Cat is joined by Dr Francis Young, a historian and folklorist specialising in the history of religion and supernatural belief, author of Edmund: In Search of England's Lost King. We take a look into the fascinating life and death of Edmund the Martyr. Can we find the lost King?

 

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Jun 29, 2021
The White Ship: The Wrecking of Henry I’s Dynastic Dream
00:42:16

During the night of the 25 November in 1120, a routine crossing of the English Channel went catastrophically wrong. The White Ship disaster saw approximately 300 people perish, including King Henry I’s only legitimate son and heir. Charles Spencer talks to Matt Lewis about the tragedy, which caused a dynastic disaster and uncertain turmoil in England and Normandy, 900 years ago. Find out the consequences of that fateful night, what was discovered during about a recent dive in the search for the White Ship, and why it’s believed Henry I is buried under a school in Reading.

Earl Spencer’s book, The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream, is out now.

 

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Jun 26, 2021
The Berserkers
00:29:13

To go berserk, meaning out of control with anger or excitement: the phrase originates from stories of the Berserkers, but what do we really know about them? Dangerous to friend or foe, the Berserkers are said to have fought feuds in the nude or even to have taken magic mushrooms in battle, but how much of this is true? Joined by Dr. Roderick Dale, a specialist in Old Norse and Viking Studies, we debunk the myths and legends, deciphering the facts from fiction..

 

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Jun 22, 2021
John of Gaunt
00:43:57

Born in 1340 as the younger brother of the Black Prince, John of Gaunt's life is captivating. John was a brave leader, first setting foot on the battlefield at the age of 10. Later, as one of the richest men in the country, he would uphold chivalric values, support early religious reform and champion a renaissance of art and literature in England. Matt is joined in this episode by Helen Carr, a historian, TV producer and author of the biography of John of Gaunt 'The Red Prince'. Helen takes us through the incredible life of this diplomat, brother and son.

 

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Jun 19, 2021
Sex in the Middle Ages
00:31:33

Despite being a key part of society and everyday life, medieval sexuality was probably left out of your history lessons at school. But how much do we really know about these very private aspects of life in the Middle Ages? Dr Cat Jarman is joined by historian Dr Eleanor Janega from the London School of Economics, who tells us all about medieval sex toys, religious rules, sex workers and more. Please be aware there are adult themes in this episode.


Eleanor’s book, The Middle Ages: A Graphic History, is out now

 

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Jun 15, 2021
Identity and Society in Medieval Africa
00:35:48

It’s no secret that Africa’s early history is documented quite differently from its European counterparts, relying instead on elements such as oral traditions and art. Anthropologist and historian, Luke Pepera, studies the true histories, mythologies, and cultures of Africa. He joins Matt in this episode to explore what these materials can tell us about Medieval Africa. They delve into the identities and societies of the continent, examining its international connections, trade transport, and wealth, and how all of this is reflected in the life of Mansa Musa. To hear more from Luke, check out this documentary on History Hit: https://access.historyhit.com/videos/africa-written-out-of-history

 

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Jun 12, 2021
The Raid on Lindisfarne
00:28:58

1228 years ago, on June 8 793, Vikings attacked a monastic settlement on the island of Lindisfarne. This raid had such an impact across Europe that despite there being no archaeological evidence for it, only literary sources, it is still remembered today. In this episode, Cat speaks to Dr David Petts from Durham University. They discuss why the Vikings chose to raid Lindisfarne, the community that they would have found there, and how the attack impacted upon Northumbrian Christendom and the wider world.

 

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Jun 08, 2021
Mythbusting Medieval Buildings
00:54:36

From spiral stairs, to tunnels leading to pubs and brothels, to witch markings; join us as we find out the truth about medieval buildings. Matt is accompanied by archaeologist and architectural historian James Wright to debunk the myths.

 

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Jun 05, 2021
Slaves, Gold & Ivory: Trade Routes From East Africa
00:33:59

Long before Atlantic trade routes became established East Africa had strong connections with the wider world, trading across the Indian Ocean and into Asia. Professor Mark Horton has been leading research projects in East Africa for over forty years. In this episode he describes the resources traded in East Africa and the cultural transformations that went along with them. Mark is Professor of Archaeology & Cultural Heritage and Director of Research at the Royal Agricultural University.

 

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Jun 01, 2021
Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior
00:43:22

In many ways, Empress Matilda can be seen as a pawn of the men in her world. Sent away aged eight to match with the Holy Roman Emperor, she represented status for her father and money for her intended. However, Matilda was independent, intelligent, educated and authoritative. Join Dr Catherine Hanley as she takes Matt through the early life of Matilda, her ascension to Empress and her changing position in the succession to the English throne. Catherine is a medieval historian, author and writer of Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior.

 

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May 29, 2021
Mysteries of Cerne Abbas Giant
00:31:09

It's not often a discovery shocks archeologists, but the revelation that the Cerne Abbas Giant could've been created in the late Saxon period has surprised many. In this episode Cat Jarman speaks with the person who was in charge of dating the 180 ft giant with the 30 ft erect penis, Martin Papworth from the National Trust. Find out how they went about testing the Dorset landmark, why so many people assumed it was created in the 17th century, and what challenges popped up during the project.

 

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May 25, 2021
The Plots Against Henry VII
00:40:02

After seizing the throne from Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, the drama in Henry VII's life had only just begun. In this second episode with Nathen Amin, he and Matt Lewis explore the Simnel, Warbeck and Warwick plots against Henry Tudor.

 

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May 22, 2021
Vikings in Northern Britain
00:25:40

Archeological evidence of the Vikings as far north as Northumbria has practically been non-existent...until now. In an exclusive for Gone Medieval, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by Dr Jane Kershaw as they discuss their discoveries from a brand-new Viking site in Northumberland, fifteen years after metal detectorists started carefully documenting their finds in the area. Hear why Halfdan and the Viking Great Army ended up in this part of the country and find out what they've left behind. Jane is a professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, specialising in the Early Medieval period and Viking-Age; Scandinavian settlements in Britain; and Viking silver, gender and cultural identity.

 

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May 18, 2021
The Rise of Henry VII
00:43:35

Henry VII has been an unbudging figure in British history since taking the throne in 1485. Nathen Amin has been researching this king, and here, in conversation with Matt Lewis, he explores Henry VII's rise to power, how it was shaped by his personality and how it has since been portrayed. Nathen is an author and researcher from Carmarthenshire, West Wales, who focuses on the 15th Century and the reign of Henry VII. His fourth book is 'Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders; Simnel, Warbeck and Warwick.'

 

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May 18, 2021
Introducing: Gone Medieval
00:02:53

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

 

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Apr 21, 2021