Gone Medieval

By History Hit

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 Nov 13, 2021

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.

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Episode Date
The Wars of the Roses: Endings
32:25

All things must end. This final special episode on the Wars of the Roses deals with a series of endings and considers what finding a date for the end of the conflict means for how we think about this critical period. Lancaster will be revived, only to meet a final end. The House of York seems secure, but would fall, replaced by an unknown Welshman who had lived half his life in exile.


Does the arrival of the Tudor dynasty really mark the end of the Wars of the Roses? Or is that just the story that wanted everyone to believe? What of Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck, the White Roses, and the papal plot to destroy Henry VIII by restoring the House of York? All things must end. The question is how and when did the Wars of the Roses end.


The Senior Producer on this episode was Elena Guthrie. The Producer was Rob Weinberg. It was edited and sound designed by Aidan Lonergan.


For more Gone Medieval content, subscribe to our Medieval Monday's newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple store.



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May 21, 2022
Anglo-Saxon Royals: Unexpected Veggies?
30:02

Early medieval royals ate mostly meat, right? Wrong! A new study that’s made headlines around the world has shown that medieval kings were largely vegetarian! To help shed light on this exciting new discovery, today Cat is joined by Dr Sam Leggett of the University of Edinburgh, a bio-archaeologist and the lead author of the study.


For more Gone Medieval content, subscribe to our Medieval Mondays newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple store.


Join the History Hit Book Club in time for the June and July read of Charles Spencer's, The White Ship. Become part of a community of readers who are passionate about history and its thrilling lessons. Members read a new book every 2 months, and get a £5 Amazon voucher towards the cost of the book, as well as exclusive access to an online Q&A between History Hit presenters and the author in the second month.



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May 17, 2022
The Wars of the Roses: Dynastic War
28:57

Part one of this comprehensive trilogy covering the Wars of the Roses left the Yorkist lords attained and in exile. From this point, the 15th century civil wars were transformed into a bitter procession of dynastic clashes between the rival houses of Lancaster and York - the result of which would reforge England's destiny for centuries to come.


In part two, Matt Lewis explains how and why feuding nobles came to contest the very crown of England, explores the rise of the House of York and examines the problems it faced by the end of the 1460s as Edward IV fell out with his powerful cousin the Earl of Warwick - whose name echoes through history as the Kingmaker.


The Senior Producer on this episode was Elena Guthrie. The Producer was Rob Weinberg. It was edited and sound designed by Aidan Lonergan.


For more Gone Medieval content, subscribe to our Medieval Monday's newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple store.



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May 14, 2022
Margery Kempe: Medieval Mysticism or Psychosis?
29:37

Margery Kempe: mystic, autobiographer…schizophrenic?


In honour of Mental Health Awareness week, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by Dr Alison Torn from Leeds Trinity University to explore the complicated legacy of a woman who is credited as both the first English autobiographer, and case of schizophrenia.


However, how appropriate is it to view Kempe’s life through a 21st century understanding of mental health? Can we remove the cultural frameworks of 15 century England and confidently diagnose a psychosis? 


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May 10, 2022
The Wars of the Roses: The Origins
38:47

The Wars of the Roses is a complex and fascinating period of English history that dominates the second half of the 15th century and leads to the rise of the Tudor dynasty. It’s often characterised as a dynastic struggle between Lancaster and York, but it was much more than that.


In this first part of three special episodes, Matt Lewis details the origins of the conflict and how it erupted into open war. Episodes 2 and 3 will explore the events of the conflict, but this is a chance to get to grips with how, and why, it all began.


The Senior Producer on this episode was Elena Guthrie. The Producer was Rob Weinberg. It was edited and sound designed by Annie Coloe.


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May 07, 2022
The Valkyries: Handmaids of the Gods
33:11

In Norse mythology, the Valkyries determine who lived and who died on the battlefield. Translated as “Chooser of the Fallen” in Old Norse, they’re often depicted as supernatural women who guide the souls of deceased soldiers worthy enough of a place in Valhalla, to feast with the god Odin.


Today, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by Dr Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir, a medievalist and literary researcher based at the National Library of Norway. Together they explore who the Valkyries were, the purpose they served in reassuring Viking soldiers to go to war, and what the myths can tell us about the lives of real Viking women.


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May 03, 2022
Medieval Masters of Invention
36:10

In today’s Gone Medieval podcast, Matt Lewis joins Dallas Campbell - host of our sister podcast Patented: History of Inventions - to explore the role of medieval monks in inventing. Seeing scientific and philosophical investigation as a way to get closer to God - despite the threat of being labelled a heretic - monks were considered masters of invention. Together, they explain how monks navigated this balance and tell the story of Roger Bacon, a friar credited with designing the magnifying glass and who also predicted cars, powered ships and manned flight.


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Apr 30, 2022
The Dynasty that Transformed Southern India
20:52

Histories of India usually concern themselves with events and invasions in the subcontinent’s North, while the rest of India’s rich story is often reduced down to little more than dry footnotes. 


Now historian and Indian history podcast presenter Anirudh Kanisetti has brought to light the early medieval period in the Deccan Plateau - between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal - when the region was transformed by the Chalukya dynasty, shaping life in southern India for centuries.


In this edition of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman is at the Jaipur Literature Festival where she meets Anirudh Kanisetti to find out why his work means the history of the subcontinent will never be seen in the same way again.


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Apr 26, 2022
The Global Middle Ages with Peter Frankopan
28:25

The term “Middle Ages” is commonly used but really only applies to a Western European view of history. It was created at the beginning of the Early Modern period in England to categorise what had gone before.


The acclaimed historian Peter Frankopan is widening the geographic focus to understand the period in world history as a whole, and counter a Euro-centric perspective that has dominated and shaped our view of the past.


In this episode of Gone Medieval, Peter Frankopan joins Matt Lewis to explore where the real centre of global geography sat then, and why life on our own doorstep is important - but far from the whole story.


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Apr 23, 2022
The Northman: How to Put Vikings On Screen
28:51

The Northman now showing in UK cinemas is an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father's murder. Its director Robert Eggers has described it as the “most accurate Viking movie ever made." But what does "accuracy" mean for a historical blockbuster? And how is it achieved?

In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman talks to Professor Neil Price, an archaeologist specialising in Viking Age Scandanavia. He was one of the historical advisors on The Northman and explains what they did to get the period just right for modern audiences.


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Apr 19, 2022
The Origins of Easter
16:47

Easter today is marked by chocolate eggs and two Bank Holidays - in the Medieval world it had a deeply spiritual significance.

But it wasn’t without its share of celebration and merrymaking too.


In this episode, Matt Lewis explains the origins of many Easter traditions in the Medieval period, and how our ancestors knew how to fuse together religious worship with a bit of fun.


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Apr 16, 2022
The Forgotten Women of the Crusades
24:53

Little has been known up until now about the involvement and power of women during the Crusader period. When Saladin's armies besieged Jerusalem in 1187, behind the city walls a last-ditch defense was being led by an unlikely trio - including Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem. She was the last of a line of formidable female rulers in the Crusader States of Outremer - a world where women conducted diplomatic negotiations, made military decisions, forged alliances, rebelled, and undertook architectural projects. In today's episode, Gone Medieval goes to India! Cat is on location at the Jaipur Literature Festival where she is joined by Katherine Pangonis, a historian and author specialising in the medieval world of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Together they explore some of the women who dared to rule.


Katherine Pangonis is the author of Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule, published by Orion Publishing Co.


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Apr 12, 2022
The Rise of Genghis Khan
33:01

Genghis Khan is still considered one of the most famous and most feared warrior kings in history. But his name still divides opinion. To some, he was the ruthless conqueror of great civilisations, for others a hero who united nomadic tribes and created an enlightened empire. But who was the real Genghis Khan? In today's episode, Matt is joined by historian and author John Man who takes us through the rise, character, and conquests of Genghis, delving into the life of one of the most recognisable names of the Middle Ages.


John Man, author of Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. Published by St Martins Pr (2005).


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Apr 09, 2022
Rapa Nui: The Truth About Easter Island
35:21

1,900 miles west of South America and 1,250 miles from any other population centre, Easter Island - or Rapa Nui - is world famous for its monolithic stone statues. But new evidence indicates that the isle's infamous prehistoric 'societal collapse' may actually be a myth.


With the help of fresh techniques and research, Robert DiNapoli and his team from Binghamton University in the US have found that descendants of Polynesian seafarers who settled Easter Island in the 13th century continued to erect statues for at least 150 years past 1600 - the date long hailed as the start of societal collapse. In this episode Cat is joined by Robert DiNapoli to learn more about his remarkable findings.


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Apr 05, 2022
Henry III: England's Longest Reigning King
47:44

In 1216, at the adolescent age of nine, Henry became King Henry III of England. With his father, King John passing, right amid the First Barons’ War, Henry was left to inherit his mantle and all the chaos that came with it. But how did the young King rule the country? In this episode, Matt is joined by a leading authority on the history of Britain, David Carpenter, to delve into the first half of King Henry's reign.


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Apr 02, 2022
Raiding & Trading in Viking Britain
38:10

Several large kingdoms were formed in the Viking-Age period, the best known settlements being in Ireland and York. Dublin became a thriving hub for western Viking expansion and trade. New discoveries of silver and other items show that traded commodities traveled vast distances, but how interconnected were these towns? And how much were they a part of a greater Viking network? In this episode, Dr. Cat Jarman is joined by Dr. Tom Horne, author of 'A Viking Market Kingdom in Ireland and Britain'.


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Mar 29, 2022
Lost Manuscripts: Where Are They Now?
27:03

Missing manuscripts mean melancholy medievalists, mourning materials that might make mysteries manifest.


A gap in knowledge - both of stories and artefacts - provides a frustrating block when looking into the past. But, a new report, based on the use of statistics, is hoping to shine a light on some of these hidden mysteries. This week Matt is joined by Dr Katarzyna Anna Kapitan from the University of Oxford who talks Matt through her fascinating research, from finding out that medieval romance manuscripts were recycled into Bishop's mitres to the masses of Icelandic manuscripts discovered preserved across Europe.


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Mar 26, 2022
Early Medieval Ireland
34:36

The dynamics in everyday life in the Medieval period may seem drastically different compared to how we live today. From traditions, gender, power, and religion, advancements in the present seem rapid. But do we have more in common with those of the past than we realise? In this episode of Gone Medieval, Cat is joined by Elizebeth Boyle. Elizebeth is a historian and author who specialises in the intellectual, literary, and religious culture of Britain and Ireland, with a particular focus on Ireland from the seventh to twelfth centuries. We study the past, comparing experiences, individual and personal stories, to see if we can learn from those who have resided before us.


Elizebeth Boyle is author of ‘Fierce Appetites: Loving, losing and living to excess in my present and in the writings of the past’, published by Sandycove.


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Mar 22, 2022
Lost Towns of Britain
43:25

It's hard to imagine the familiar places around you disappearing forever. But all across Britain, there are once inhabited towns and buildings that disappeared under the sea, were decimated by plagues, or simply abandoned - leaving no trace of their existence. With discussions of the horrors of climate change, young archaeologists buying entire fields on a hunch, and hidden medieval wine cellars along the south coast, the lost history of Britain is slowly uncovered. On this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt is joined by Matthew Green to discuss this fascinating phenomenon as featured in his new book, Shadowlands: a Journey Through Lost Britain'.


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Mar 19, 2022
Recreating the Viking World in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
34:42

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla has brought the Viking Age to life in stunning detail, and now the game is even being used as an educational tool!


Maxime Durand is World-Design Director at Ubisoft and the mind behind the hit franchise's Discovery Tour, which is a fun way to learn about history in the game's virtual world. Our very own Dr Cat Jarman acted as a historical consultant for the game, making sure it was as accurate as possible. In this episode she sits down with Maxime to discuss the value of historical gaming as an educator as well as a form of entertainment.


AC: Valhalla's latest update 'Dawn of Ragnarok' dropped just last week and is available on all major platforms!


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Mar 15, 2022
Medieval Gaming: Getting the History Right for Crusader Kings III
35:10

How would you rule an early medieval dynasty? Maybe you'll send your spymaster to dig around for secrets or champion honestly to keep stress levels down. Remembering with every decision made consequences could have a ripple effect on entire medieval worlds; for generations to come. Crusader King III is an immersive grand strategy role-playing game, allowing you to rule from the comfort of your sofa. In this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt is joined by Alexander Oltner, Game Director at Paradox Games for Crusader King III. With a new extension pack Royal Courts, we explore the unique RPG and its history-driven gameplay.


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Mar 12, 2022
The Queens Who Fought for 40 Years
32:19

We've all heard epic tales of early medieval kings, but what about the queens? It doesn't get much more spectacularly brutal than Brunhild and Fredegund, two sixth century queens who fought a bloody civil war against one another that lasted no less than four decades.


The rival matriarchs commanded armies, developed taxation policies, established infrastructure and negotiated with emperors and popes... yet their story has been largely forgotten, until now. In this episode for International Women's Day, host, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by award-winning poet and writer Shelley Puhak, whose new book The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World tells this gripping tale of power, ambition and murderous rivalry in early medieval France.


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Mar 08, 2022
The Origins of Kyiv
40:33

24th of February 2022 marked the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This episode of Gone Medieval looks at the origins of its capital city, Kyiv, and how today it has become central to this ongoing conflict. Host Matt Lewis is joined by Dr. Olenka Pevny from the University of Cambridge. Together, they discuss the emergence of the Rus people, the consequences of the Mongols' arrival into the region - and ultimately how this period of medieval history has influenced eastern European relationships and the modern day geopolitical stability of eastern Europe.


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Mar 05, 2022
Discovering Bury St Edmunds
42:16

The historic cathedral town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk may well be familiar to listeners to Gone Medieval - perhaps from our episode 'Saint Edmuntd: England's Lost King' or the town’s mention during our hunt for the 'Viking Great Heathen Army' on Dan Snow's History Hit. In its heyday, Bury St Edmunds served as a significant and life-changing place of pilgrimage. In this episode of Gone Medieval, Cat is on location, exploring Bury St Edmunds’ landmarks, including what was one of the richest and largest Benedictine monasteries in England. She’s joined by archaeologist Adrian Tindall, Chair of the Bury St Edmunds Association of Registered Tour Guides.


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Mar 01, 2022
1066: The Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England
32:14

1066 is a year carved into the history of western Europe. It radically transformed the cultural, political and built landscape of England in a way that is hard to overstate - and yet its immediate aftermath is often forgotten. By Domesday, just 20 years later, around 94 percent of England's land remained in the hands of the Normans and their allies, and their children would inherit its vast majority.


So what became of those Anglo-Saxons who were too young to fight in 1066? In this episode Matt is joined by Dr Eleanor Parker, author of the fascinating new book Conquered: The Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England, to find out more about the fates, fortunes and misfortunes of those last people born and raised in pre-conquest England.


Eleanor's book is available on Amazon here.


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Feb 26, 2022
Charlemagne
33:33

Charlemagne is labelled by many as the most ambitious ruler in Europe prior to Napoleon - but what do we really know about him? A 46 year long rule beginning at the end of the 8th Century, responsible for a cultural and intellectual renaissance - what can we learn from the sources about Charlemagne and his own personal history? This week Cat is joined by Rosamond McKitterick to discuss Charlemagne's life, legacy, and shine some light on one of the most influential rules in European history.


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Feb 22, 2022
The Rise & Fall of England's Richest Dynasty
42:00

Throughout Medieval history, figures like Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, and William the Conqueror are commonly forefront when many think of the middle ages. However, some important figures and families are a mystery, and The Warenne Earls of Surrey are no exception. In this episode, Matt is joined by historian and author Sharon Bennett Connolly to focus on one of the richest dynasties in the world to date. From their extensive family tree, wealthy origins, and abrupt end, we explore the history of this influential family.


Defenders of the Norman Crown: Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey, book by Sharon Bennett Connolly



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Feb 19, 2022
The Search for Alfred the Great's Tomb
33:00

Alfred the Great (r. 871-899) is without a doubt one of the best-known and most admired kings of early medieval England. We know quite a lot about his life, not least because he had a biography written about himself while he was still alive. However, we know very little about what happened to his remains after he died. The search for King Alfred's remains has involved some highly dubious antiquarians and quite a bit of detective work. Now, modern methods may have made a breakthrough. In this episode Cat discusses what may have become of Alfred's bones with Dr Katie Tucker, the osteoarchaeologist who has led a new search for the tomb of Alfred the Great.


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Feb 15, 2022
Battle of Passion: Love & Death
34:38

Valentine's Day has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love across the world. With the oldest surviving Valentine's letter confessing undying love being over 500 years old, we take a look at some extraordinary Valentine stories. In this special episode of Gone Medieval, Matt and Cat join forces! From Viking age romance, revenge, arson, and even bribery. Matt and Cat compete for the best medieval Valentine's saga. Do you have any Medieval love stories you would like to share with us? 


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Feb 12, 2022
On Trial: Understanding Women Through Crime
38:50

Justice; the principle that people receive that which they deserve. But what did this mean for women when dealing with Medieval Law? In today's episode of Gone Medieval, Cat is joined by historian and author Teresa Phipps as we draw upon legal records. Examining women's involvement in crime and the legal system. How were women represented in late-medieval England?


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Feb 08, 2022
Ely Cathedral: 700 Years Since Disaster
35:28

During the early hours of February 13 1322, disaster struck at the vast cathedral on the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire, known now as the Ship of the Fens. At around three or four in the morning, the building's huge central tower collapsed with a mighty crash, falling where the monks had only recently been celebrating mass.


As this year marks the 700th anniversary of the disaster–and it's the reason for the unusual replacement tower seen at Ely today–for this episode, Matt sits down with art and architectural historian Dr James Alexander Cameron to find out more about the night disaster struck at one of Britain's best-loved cathedrals.


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Feb 05, 2022
Introducing: On Jimmy's Farm
2:07

Join celebrity farmer, ecologist and conservationist, Jimmy Doherty, on his farm as he talks to eco-experts and well-known faces about trying to live a greener life.


From bug burgers and sustainable football clubs, to viagra honey and foraging fungi, Jimmy’s new weekly podcast will cover all things ecology.


Hear Jimmy chat to guests like his old friend Jamie Oliver, ecopreneur Eshita Kabra-Davies, the Eden Project's Sir Tim Smit, BOSH!, Dale Vince, Bez from the Happy Mondays... and many more.


A new episode will drop every Thursday.


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Feb 02, 2022
River Kings: Epic Stories of the Viking Age
31:40

To mark the US release of our very own Dr Cat Jarman’s incredible book River Kings: A New History of the Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads, sit back and relax as she takes us a whistle-stop tour of her captivating Sunday Times bestseller.


From Sweden to Ukraine and from London to Constantinople, the Vikings certainly got about! But how much of a link was there between the western and eastern Viking worlds? By joining the dots of fascinating new archaeological evidence, pioneering research and reassessments of traditional sources, Dr Cat reveals that many of the stories we are traditionally told about the Viking Age might not quite be as true as they seem.


Order Dr Cat's book today: https://www.amazon.co.uk/River-Kings-Times-Book-Year/dp/0008353115/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=


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Feb 01, 2022
Medicine in the Middle Ages
32:43

The Middle Ages were a period of exploration in medicine, but it didn't come without risk. The lack of understanding when it came to sanitation and cleanliness resulted in disaster and even death for many. But how far have we come? In this episode, Matt is joined by author Juliana Cummings who specialises in Tudor and medieval history. We delve into the myths and misconceptions around medieval medicine, exploring this period of medical learning. From physicians to barber-surgeons, we gain a better understanding of how they approached healing.


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Jan 29, 2022
Medieval Warhorses: Does Size Matter?
31:21

While Braveheart isn't known for its historical accuracy - there is one surprising fact it gets dramatically wrong. In the medieval period, the large formidable horses often depicted riding into battle were actually no bigger than a modern day pony. This week Cat is joined by Oliver Creighton and Alan Outram from the University of Exeter to discuss their new, fascinating findings into this topic. Working along side other research teams, they have been able to extract and analyse DNA from horse skeletons at over 171 different archaeological sites to bring a new light onto medieval warhorses.


If you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit

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Jan 25, 2022
How to Survive in Medieval England
32:47

If you travelled back in time to the Medieval period this very second, do you think you would survive? The short answer is probably not. If you weren't wearing a hat, wore glasses on the street, or even laced your corset in the wrong way, things would go south for you very quickly. Luckily, this week Matt is joined by Toni Mount, author of the book 'How to Survive in Medieval England' who provides an insight on what it would take to avoid beatings, homelessness, and hunger in Medieval times.


If you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit

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Jan 22, 2022
Vikings: What Does Their Hair Tell Us?
34:55

If you've watched a film or TV show about vikings recently, you may well have noticed a distinctive hairstyle featuring an undercut and a ponytail. But is this actually a realistic depiction? And, do we really know much about viking hair at all?


Luckily, we certainly know a lot about viking grooming, not least because Norsemen were said to be popular with Anglo-Saxon women thanks to their (relative) cleanliness! What we know about viking hair, hygiene and grooming can actually tell us a lot about the Viking age as a whole. Alas in this episode, Cat sits down with Dr Steve Ashby, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of York, to find out more about this hairy subject.


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Jan 18, 2022
English Steel: A Knight's Armour
47:46

Knights in their armour is one of the most enduring images of the Middle Ages, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind and a role that many of us would have played at as children.


Yet surprisingly, there are no surviving examples of English armour from this period that we know of in the world. So how do we know what armour English knights donned on the battlefield? In this episode, Matt is joined by Toby Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection, who has used alternative sources of evidence to help reveal the lost world of Medieval English steel.


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Jan 15, 2022
Vikings In the Frankish Kingdom
30:45

The Kingdom of the Franks was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe, ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. But how did it fare against Viking attacks? From the changes in travel, early raids, exports, and trades, we look at this kingdom and its Viking activity through a different lens. In this episode, Cat is joined by Christian Cooijmans. Christian is a British Academy Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool, with his research focusing on the reach and repercussions of Viking endeavors across mainland Europe. We examine and challenge the widely accepted central interpretations of Viking activity in northern continental Europe.


Christian Cooijmans, author of Monarchs and Hydrarchs: The Conceptual Development of Viking Activity across the Frankish Realm. Published by Routledge.


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Jan 11, 2022
Who was Joan of Arc?
48:19

Joan of Arc is a name that’s instantly recognisable to most. A controversial figure in her own day, she has remained so ever since, often being adopted as a talisman of French nationalism. 


But how much do we really know—or understand—about the young woman who ignited France’s fightback against England during the Hundred Years’ War, but who paid the ultimate price at the age of just 19? To get to the heart of the real ‘Maid of Orléans’, Matt is joined in this episode by Dr Hannah Skoda, a Fellow and Tutor in Medieval History at the University of Oxford.


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Jan 08, 2022
Leprosy in the Middle Ages
27:12

Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It’s a condition that can have a devastating effect on those who catch it, affecting the skin, the eyes, the peripheral nerves and the respiratory tract in people of all ages. 


It’s also a disease with a lot of stigma and myths attached to it, many of them dating back to the Middle Ages. The image of the medieval leper as an outcast from society is a familiar one—but is it accurate? To find out more Cat chats with Dr Simon Roffey, a Reader in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Winchester.


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Jan 04, 2022
A Medieval New Year
21:07

In the medieval world, January 1 wasn’t actually New Year’s Day (that was March 25), but the anniversary of Jesus’s circumcision (according to the church). In fact, unlike many Christmas traditions, there’s very little in the way of New Years traditions we still do today that have medieval origins. Nevertheless, this was still a time of feasts, parties, and the medieval equivalent of the Black Friday sales (think less angry queues and more nobility buying themselves fancy swords and jewel encrusted model ships). In this special episode, Matt Lewis explains what medieval society got up to around this time of year, and why medieval new year was actually March 25. 


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Music:

Able - Joseph S Greenier, David John Vanacore

Walk Tall - Johannes Bornlof 

Dreams of Tomorrow - Daniel James Nolan

Godsend - Johannes Bornlof

Galivant - Bradley Andrew Segal, Bong H. Jung, Chang Wooi Kang

Reverse - Matthew Burnette Heath, Noel Arthur Goff, Kristen Lee Agee

We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Kevin MacLeod / unknown (english christmas carol), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Worst - Brian Scott Carr, Kristen Lee Agee

Vad Rost, Vad Ljuvlig Rost Jag Hor - Kurt Lyndon



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Jan 01, 2022
Vikings: Surviving Winter
36:50

Vikings are often depicted as fearless warriors, but they were not immune to the harsh realities of northern weather. They not only survived in countries like Greenland and Iceland but thrived. How did they adapt to the unforgiving ice and snow? In this episode, Cat is Joined by Medievalist James McMullen as we explore elements of Viking settlement and winter survival. From insulating clothing, skating, and saga sources to social adaptations and hosting.


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Dec 28, 2021
A Medieval Christmas
33:06

Ever wondered why we call Christmas, ‘Christmas’? And why it’s celebrated on the 25th December? Or maybe where the Christmas tree came from, the Yule log, the nativity, Father Christmas and even the advent calendar?


Well you might be surprised to learn they’re all rooted in medieval traditions. From the bringing in of evergreen trees to hold on to a symbol of new life to come, to a Greek 4th century bishop giving out presents to all the children who had been good that year. 


Grab some nibbles and a drink of choice, and let our host Matt Lewis, take you on a journey through a medieval Christmas.


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Music:

Agne Parthene - Pavlos Karpalos, St Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Michael Georgiou Alexandros Gkikas, Matthew Tomko and Thom Ntinas



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Dec 25, 2021
Viking Midwinter Solstice
19:56

For many of us, our Christmas traditions have been passed down generations. Whether we realise it or not. But where could some of these traditions originate from, and could some go back to the Viking age? In today’s episode, Cat is joined by cultural historian Herleik Baklid to discuss midwinter traditions and cultural practices, especially those from Scandinavia. Will you be partying like a Viking this holiday?


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Dec 21, 2021
Medieval Perceptions of Gender
45:51

Nonconforming beyond the limitations of what's typically expected of men and women has been happening for many centuries. A part of history and tradition which, some might say, even crossed into religion. But focusing on the years 200–1400 C.E, how were non-binary identities defined? In this episode, Matt is joined by professor and author Leah Devin. Leah talks about their new book and the research surrounding it. Author of 'The Shape of Sex', they delve into the history of nonbinary sex, from its embrace in early Christianity to the attempted erasure at the turn of the thirteenth century.


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Dec 18, 2021
Stonemasons: Building Britain’s Churches
43:28

What is a perpendicular church? In this episode, Cat is on location! Invited by expert stonemason Andrew Ziminski to a spectacular perpendicular church in Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire, Andrew takes us on a guided tour. From honky punks to secret libraries. We learn all about what makes this perpendicular church unique and stonemasonry as a medieval trade, showing us how Britain's buildings offer unexpected and special insights into our history.


Andrew Ziminski, author of 'The Stonemason: A History of Building Britain', published by John Murray in 2020.


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Dec 14, 2021
Heralds & Heraldry with York Herald
43:02

Heralds and Heraldry share many aspects of modern sport today, from colourful kits to large gatherings of cheering crowds. But what did it mean to have a coat of arms, and what role did Heralds have in Medieval society? In this episode, Matt is joined by Peter O'Donoghue. Peter currently serves as York Herald of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms and will be sharing his knowledge of the development and significance of this system.


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Dec 11, 2021
Finding Queen Cynethryth's Lost Abbey
28:11

Queen Cynethryth of Mercia was one of the most distinguished rulers of Anglo Saxon Britain. Wife to King Offa, ruler of the Mercians (the most powerful kingdom in Anglo-Saxon Britain) and the only woman to have coinage minted in her image. So how did she end up in Cookham Monastery in Berkshire? After the exciting excavation and discovery of the monastery this past summer, Cynethryth’s story is finally being told. In today’s episode, Cat is joined by Professor Gabor Thomas, an associate professor in archaeology at the University of Reading, and the archaeologist in charge of excavating the Cookham Monastery. Together they discuss Cynethrtyh’s importance as a medieval Queen and the roles medieval monasteries played beyond being a place of worship.


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Dec 07, 2021
The Burgundians: Battles, Murders and Forgotten Treasure
42:04

Battles, murders, and forgotten treasures - the Burgundians lived life like an episode of Game of Thrones. Once one of the most powerful kingdoms in Western Europe, they are now known as a vanished empire. This week Matt is joined by historian and author Bart van Loos to discuss who exactly were the Burgundians, their contribution to history and culture, and together they examine how a kingdom once the epicentre of trade and art, could fall through the gaps of our knowledge.


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Dec 04, 2021
Ibn Fadlan: The Real 13th Warrior
44:04

Ibn Fadlan might be familiar to many based on modern-day renditions from films such as The 13th Warrior. Ibn Traveled from Bagdad to Russia, journaling his encounters and cultural observations. Amazingly his manuscripts were preserved, but what do we know about him? In this episode, Cat is joined by historian Tonicha Upham who specialises in Arab Sources. Tonicha delves into the life, text, and impact of Ibn Fadlan's. From translations, the Soviet Union, and even Nazi-occupied Norway. How has Ibn's legacy been kept alive?


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Nov 30, 2021
How To Live Like A Monk
36:02

Monks. We know that they dedicated their lives to serving God, but what did it mean to be a Monk? In today's, episode Matt is joined by the Five-Minute Medievalist, Danièle Cybulskie. Author, historian, and Podcaster (to name a few), Danièle is well known to many Medieval history enthusiasts. We explore the lives of Monks, from mindfulness to identity and purpose. What can we learn from the Monks, to be happier in today's world?


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Music by: Katcamusic

Title: Spiritual Lords



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Nov 27, 2021
Who Decides What Is Treasure?
34:48
Discoveries are becoming quite common in today's society, from the Crusader's Sword Lost at Sea to the small gold bible recently discovered by a metal detectorist which we recently covered on Gone Medieval. Many of these finds are categorised as treasures and therefore belong to the Crown. But what makes an object treasure, and what are the processes behind it? In today's episode, Cat travels to The British Museum. Joined by Professor Michael Lewis, head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and Treasure at The British Museum. Learning more about the PAS and the work involved, we explore the Medieval objects and their importance to our understanding of the past.

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Nov 23, 2021
Changing Horizons In The Middle Ages
47:06
The Medieval periods' impact on the world and how we see it today is often overlooked. From culture, society, and technology, the horizons of England are ever-changing, but how did the medieval period contribute to these advancements? In this episode, Matt is joined by one of the most prolific voices in Medieval history, Ian Mortimer. From the element of speed, war, and even self-reflection. Ian takes us through the extraordinary shift of horizons.

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Nov 20, 2021
Sutton Hoo: Viking Mounds & Burial Grounds
31:18
Centuries ago, an Anglo-Saxon noble was buried within a 90-foot ship in a mound at Sutton Hoo. It serves as the richest burial ever found in northern Europe to date. Discovered in 1939, not much survived of the original ship. However, an imprint of the ship remains on the earth. In this episode, Cat is joined on the ground by archaeologist and writer Martin Carver. Martin, Director of the Sutton Hoo Research Project, shares his knowledge of the infamous mounds and the ongoing reconstruction of The Great Ship Burial.

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Nov 16, 2021
Digging For Gold: A Medieval Treasure
36:17
When Buffy and husband Ian Bailey went out with their metal detectors in Yorkshire, they thought they'd stumbled across a sheep's ear tag when they picked up a signal something was in the ground. A little digging and it turned out to be a piece of medieval treasure buried on land once belonging to Richard III. Join Matt as he chats to Buffy and Ian about the fascinating history behind the curious artefact. Medieval finds like this are extremely rare, so is metal detecting worth it?

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Nov 13, 2021
Vikings in North America
24:24
Five centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot in America, the Vikings had already crossed the Atlantic. Using new dating techniques, scientists studying timber buildings at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Canada’s Newfoundland, have established the Norse settled in AD 1021, 471 years before Columbus’s first voyage. While it’s already known the Vikings landed in North America, exactly when they settled has remained an estimate, until now. Cat was joined by Dan Snow to speak to archaeologist Birgitta Wallace about this breakthrough research: discover how a long-ago Solar storm provided vital information for the study, the significance of the date, and what's left to be discovered in the future. You can read more about the evidence here.

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Nov 09, 2021
The Hundred Years' War
38:58
Over 100 years of conflict, two warring nations, five monarchs on either side and countless casualties in a dispute over claims to the throne: in this episode, our very own Matt Lewis unravels the numbers. He takes us through the biggest turning points of the Hundred Years’ War chronologically, and gives us some insight into the personalities involved on the English and French sides.

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Nov 06, 2021
The Origins Of Scotland
39:20

The Medieval period saw the advancement of many countries, evolving to the provinces in Europe that we know today; Scotland is no different. In this episode, Cat is joined by Dr. Adrian Maldonado, an Archeologist and Glenmorangie Research Fellow at National Museums Scotland. With the birth of kingdoms such as Alba, Strathclyde, Galloway, and the Norse Earldom of Orkney, what can the artefacts and materials tell us about the emergence of Scotland?


Adrian Maldonado is the author of 'Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking-age to Medieval kingdom', published by NMSE - Publishing Ltd



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Nov 02, 2021
Did the Papacy Support the Norman Conquest?
32:48
In October 1066, William the Conqueror led his army to victory over Harold Godwinson and his Anglo Saxon forces. This was to begin the Norman invasion of England, inspire the famous Bayeux Tapestry and result in thousands of deaths. Many Many have argued that William's Conquest had the pope's support, with a supposed papal banner being carried by the Normans into battle. But is this true? And why else might this have been written into history? Daniel Armstrong is a PhD student at St. Andrews and Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. He takes us through the evidence and explores the possible reasons for such a story.

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Oct 30, 2021
Eels: Meals, Money & The Middle Ages
39:31
The European eel is now categorised as a critically endangered species, but 1000 years ago they flourished in abundance, and were an important aspect of Medieval life. In this episode, Cat is joined by Medieval historian Dr. John Wyatt Greenlee, also known to many as the ‘Surprise Eel Historian’. We examine the cultural history and significance of Eels in England. From a delicious meal to being used a a form of currency, just how vital was the presence of Eels in the Middle Ages to Britain?

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Oct 26, 2021
Doomsday, Doodles & Mummified Rats: Inside the National Archives
39:09
The National Archives can be seen as any medieval historian's candy store. It's filled with an amazing variety of materials, from the Magna Carta to mummified rats. In this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt is joined by Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives (TNA), Dr. Euan Roger. Euan takes us through the fascinating ancient documents, materials, and upcoming endeavours that the TNA has to offer, even including a riddle. Can you help us make sense of this early Tudor puzzle?

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Oct 23, 2021
Vikings & Mice: The Reach of Norse Explorations?
30:30
The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal in the middle of the Atlantic, was said to be discovered in 1427 by Portuguese explorer Diogo de Silves. However, new studies of the land suggest the Portuguese may not have been the island's first inhabitants. The key to these studies? Mice. Similarities have been found between Azorean and northern European mice. In this episode, Cat is joined by Ecology and Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Jeremy Searle from Cornell University. We delve into this unexpected location of Viking occupancy, exploring Jeremy's research on the land and the mice who can tell us more about our complex history. What can mice tell us about the movement of people in the past?

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Oct 19, 2021
The Bayeux Tapestry
40:04
The Bayeux Tapestry is one of the world’s most prominent pieces of medieval art. Depicting the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England, the tapestry tells a story through detailed embroidery. But what can we learn about the Norman Conquest and the people being it through this skilful art? In this episode, Matt is joined by David Musgrove. David helps us explore the lavish narrative behind the embroidery and the circumstances behind it.David Musgrove is the co-author of The Story of The Bayeux Tapestry: Unravelling the Norman Conquest, published by Thames and Hudson Ltd.

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Oct 16, 2021
Galloway Hoard
29:02
In September 2014, a metal detectorist discovered the rarest collection of Viking-age objects ever found to date in Britain. The Galloway hoard displays a remarkable variety of material and treasures, not only from the United Kingdom but as far as central Asia. In this episode, Dr. Martin Goldberg, the Senior Curator of Early Medieval and Viking Collections at the National Museums Scotland joins Cat. Discussing the extraordinary hoard, we delve into the range of objects. What can it tell us about medieval Scotland?

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Oct 12, 2021
Manuscripts & Their Makers
48:46

Medieval manuscripts can shed light on some of the most important events of the past. But what about the physical manuscripts themselves? And what can they tell us about the people who made them? In this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt is joined by author Mary Wellesley as they examine the extraordinary work of the people behind the text.


Mary Wellesley is the author of Hidden Hands: The Lives of Manuscripts and Their Makers, published by Quercus Publishing.



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Oct 09, 2021
Early Medieval Graves
26:48
How we bury the dead has changed drastically throughout history, from grave goods to bed burials. But just how drastic are the changes in burial practices? In this episode, Cat is joined by archaeologist Dr. Emma Brownlee. Emma has studied an astonishing 33,000 graves across England and Europe and will be taking us through her research of these medieval graves.

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Oct 05, 2021
Richard III
36:17

Richard III of England is one of medieval history's most controversial figures. He is known to many as a tyrant, a sleazy, greedy king who even murdered his nephew. But how much of this is true? This episode of Gone Medieval is a little different, as our very own Ricardian Matt Lewis takes us through the story of Richard III. Did England need saving from this alleged horrid king?


Matt Lewis is the author of Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me, published by Amberley Publishing.



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Oct 02, 2021
The Light Ages & Medieval Science
42:52

The word 'medieval' is often used to describe backward ideas and opinions, but why is this the case? The middle ages was a time of life-changing advancements in the world of science. Cat is joined by Seb Falk, a historian, broadcaster, and lecturer at the University of Cambridge, as they debunk misconceptions about medieval science and the church.


Seb Falk is the author of The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey, published by Penguin.



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Sep 28, 2021
What is a Pilgrimage?
37:26
People of a multitude of cultures, religions, and cultures around the world have long traveled vast distances as forms of pilgrimage. But why would people undergo a pilgrimage? And why do some send people in their honour? In this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt is joined by Architectural Historian Emma Wells as they discuss the practice that some might consider the beginning of tourism.

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Sep 25, 2021
The Saxon Origins of London
43:20
From ghost town to ceremonial, ecclesiastical and economic hub: how did London develop in the Saxon era, and how is that crucial to what London has become. Rory Naismith is the author of ‘Citadel of the Saxons: The Rise of Early London’ and a lecturer at Corpus Christi College at the University of Cambridge. In this episode with Cat, he takes us through the story of London from its decline after the Roman period to its eventual reemergence. 

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Sep 21, 2021
Royal Witches
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
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
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
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
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
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
36:38
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
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
31:01
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
40:17
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
22:55
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?
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
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
42:20

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
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
44:01
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
31:36

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2:53
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