Podcast episodes

  • Medieval Welsh bards

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    Medieval Welsh bards

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    Journey across space and time with Olivia and Aran this week as we head to medieval Wales, home of one of history's finest bardic traditions. But what was a bard, what did they do, and why did Wales have so darn many of them? Give the episode a listen to learn all this and more! Also discussed are sand worms, long houses, and why foxes are better than babes. For more on some of what we discuss, check out: English translations of Dafydd ap Gwilym's poetryhttps://dafyddapgwilym.net/eng/3win.php Y Goddodinhttps://www.jstor.org/stable/48578318 The Court Poets of the Welsh Princeshttps://www.jstor.org/stable/459824 Performance and Literacy in Medieval Welsh Poetryhttps://www.jstor.org/stable/3737807 Music sources for this episode: Intro: https://archive.org/details/78_bugeilior-gwenith-gwyn-idle-days-in-summer-time_gwilym-williams-frances-williams_gbia0015181a Breaks: https://archive.org/details/78_evanss-jigg_the-folk-dance-orchestra-w-s-gwynn-williams-p-green-philip-green_gbia0511441b Bard rap battle (track 3): https://archive.org/details/lp_spanish-medieval-music_new-york-pro-musica-alfonso-x-el-sabio/disc1/01.03.+Cantigua+XXV%3B+Cantigua+CXXXIX.mp3

  • Weird medieval animal facts

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    Weird medieval animal facts

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    Something tells me it's all happening at the zoo... Spring is just around the corner in the northern hemisphere, so it's time to learn some animal facts! Turns out, medieval people had all sorts of strange beliefs about wildlife both real and imagined. So, join Olivia, Aran, and beloved naturalist Sir David Attenborough* as they take you to meet fruit-rustling hedgehogs, homicidal pelicans, immortal eagles, and the most tender lovers in the animal kingdom: bears. Also discussed: the existential terror of Animorphs, CS Lewis' creative process, and which animals are Jesus. An excellent English translation of a Latin bestiary https://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/PVFA6XOOSG2448C The Ashmole Bestiary https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/faeff7fb-f8a7-44b5-95ed-cff9a9ffd198/ The Northumberland Bestiary https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/object/109AX3 *Not really.

  • How to design your medieval coat of arms

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    How to design your medieval coat of arms

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    Anyone who's anyone in the Middle Ages needs their own coat of arms, but it's not as simple as just throwing some snazzy shapes and cool animals on a shield and calling it a day. Join Olivia and Aran as they walk you through how to make your very own authentically (or inauthentically) medieval coat of arms, as well as a little bit of background on how and why these cool emblems became a quintessential part of medieval visual communication. Also discussed are short king representation, why leopards are bastards, and the glory of Peterhead FC. For more on some of what we discuss, check out: An English translation of John Trevor's heraldic treatisehttps://archive.org/details/medievalheraldry0000ejjo/ Geoffrey Chaucer's testimony in favour of Sir Richard Scropehttps://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/pages/deposition-geoffrey-chaucer-esquire-1386 Heraldry, Ancient and Modern by Charles Boutellhttps://archive.org/details/heraldryancientm00bout/

  • Medieval Feminism

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    Medieval Feminism

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    Weird Medieval Guys is back! And it's gone woke!!!!!! We all know medieval women didn't have it so good. Endlessly discriminated against in law, demeaned in culture and ignored in the histories. So, did anyone take issue with that? Turns out, yes! This week Olivia and Aran take you through the cultural milieu that produced Christine de Pizan, the poet / political scientist / gender polemnicist who revolutionized fourteenth-century debate and was (maybe?) the world's first feminist. Also discussed: the origins of the wage gap, the medieval Yoko Ono, and whether losers will listen to this episode before getting mad about it on the internet! Further reading: Joan Kelly, "Early Feminist Theory and the "Querelle des Femmes", 1400-1789" https://www.jstor.org/stable/3173479 Fiona Tolhurst, "Geoffrey and Gender: the Works of Geoffrey of Monmouth as Medieval “Feminism”", in A Companion to Geoffrey of Monmouth, eds. Georgia Henley and Joshua Byron Smith https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/10.1163/j.ctv2gjwzx0.20.pdf?refreqid=fastly-default%3Ab0f9ab96223431831c1834f0de4f492d&ab_segments=0%2FSYC-7052%2Fcontrol&origin=&initiator=search-results&acceptTC=1 An English translation of Christine de Pizan's Book of the City of Ladies https://www.docdroid.net/file/download/lFahHSo/the-book-of-the-city-of-ladies-by-christine-de-pizan-earl-jeffrey-richards-transl-z-liborg-pdf.pdf

  • Constantinople part II: The sultan of Rome

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    Constantinople part II: The sultan of Rome

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    The year is 1453 and the Ottomans are at the gates of the great city of Constantinople. For centuries, they have been laying siege to this city; for centuries their efforts have failed. But this time, everything is going to be different. Constantinople is going to fall. How did history lead them there, though? And how exactly are the events of the siege going to play out? Olivia and Aran wrap up their magnificent two-part overview of Constantinople with an exploration of how the Ottoman Turks came to be the most powerful force in Anatolia and how they finally managed to claim Constantinople for themselves. Also discussed are the Wild East, Scottish things, and the simple pleasures of a flaked almond. For more on some of what we discuss, check out: This biography of Mehmed the Conqueror by Franz Babinger https://archive.org/details/mehmedconqueror00fran/mode/2up Nicolo Barbaro's first-hand account of the siege of Constantinople https://deremilitari.org/2016/08/the-siege-of-constantinople-in-1453-according-to-nicolo-barbaro/ The music used in the intro and outro of this episode is a public domain recording of the Ottoman march Ceddin Deden. https://archive.org/details/lp_turkey-a-musical-journey-traditional-son_various/disc1/02.07.+Mehter+Music.mp3 Additional music used throughout is a public domain recording of a Turkish folk song called "Girl from Kermen" https://archive.org/details/lp_songs-and-dances-of-turkey_various/disc1/01.05.+Girl+From+Kermen+(Love+Song+From+Central+Turkey).mp3