ten thirteen eighteen podcasts/radio programs you can listen to which offer great content on the Middle Ages.
Created by two medieval literature professors, this podcast explores the Icelandic Sagas. “Our goal is to read and review the sagas, one at a time, in an epic quest to put the sagas of the Icelanders on trial and to celebrate the greatness of saga literature.” Several sagas have been featured so far, including Gisli’s Saga and The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok and His Sons.
Created by historian and journalist Michael Rank, this podcast gives short talk about various topics in history. Many of the episodes feature the Middle Ages and some of them have been inspired by posts from Medievalists.net (which we find to be very cool!)
Created by Adam Franklin-Lyons, history professor at Marlboro College, this podcast focuses on European History. It includes topics such as Spices in Medieval Cuisine and an interview with Lauren Mancia on Christianity in the 11th century. He also has a few lectures on medieval topics, such as:
Created by Kevin Stroud, it now has over 40 episodes and is in the midst of the talking about the history of the English language during the Middle Ages. Look for several episodes coming soon that will focus on Beowulf.
Created by Fin Dwyer, who is also the author of Witches, Spies and Stockholm Syndrome: Life in Medieval Ireland. The podcast looks at the overall history of Ireland, but most of the episodes so far have dealt with the Middle Ages.
“Because the best stories are in the footnotes.” Created by a group of young scholars early in 2013, they produce weekly podcasts on a wide variety of historical topics, often taking a look at some of the less known and more interesting bits of history. Each podcast is about ten minutes, and they have covered many medieval stories, including:
Drinking In Medieval England
Zombies In Theitmar Of Merseburg
And It Cried ‘Here! Here! Here!’: King Edmund’s Martyrdom by Vikings and the Miraculous Talking Head
The online radio station CEU Medieval Radio has now begun adding podcasts from their flagship show Past Perfect! Hosted by Christopher Mielke, they provide indepth conversations with medieval and early modern scholars, including Natalie Zemon Davis and Nicholas Coureas. We at Medievalists.net were also guests on the show!
Created by Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King’s College London, this is an indepth series that is looking at philosophy from ancient times onwards. Already at over 140 podcasts, it is moving chronologically and has already finished with Hellenistic and Roman philosophers. The show is currently covering medieval Islamic philosophy, and will soon cover western medieval philosophers. The content here is quite strong, and will be a great resource for anyone interested in this subject.
This podcast started in 2010 and now has over 30 episodes that examine topics in medieval history and the Middle Ages in popular culture. Some of the episodes include:
Mad Monarchs of the Middle Ages – includes a king who thought he was made of glass and how one well-known eastern noble got nicknamed ‘The Impaler’
Interview with Christy English – speaks with writer Christy English about her latest historical fiction work: To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Interview with Medievalists.net – speaks with us. An hour-long episode where we talk about how we started our websites.
The British History Podcast is a chronological telling of the story of Britain. Starting with prehistoric times, the podcast has now reached the Anglo-Saxon period and includes over seventy episodes. The host offers a wide range of information about various topics and adds in some insights and humour as well. Some of the episodes include:
Dark Age Dinners I: the Vegan Edition – one of three episodes about food in the Anglo-Saxon period
Hadrian’s Wall – the show includes many episodes on Roman Britain
See also our Interview with Jamie Jeffers about his podcast
This popular show from BBC Radio 4 has been running since 1998, and offers a wide range of topics related to history, philosophy, theology and science. Dozens of episodes related to medieval topics have been aired, where Melvyn Bragg speaks with two to three scholars. Some of the episodes include:
The Concordat of Worms - This treaty between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, signed in 1122, put an end, at least for a time, to years of power struggle and bloodshed. The wrangling between the German kings and the Church over who had the ultimate authority to elect bishops, use the ceremonial symbols of office in his coronation and even choose the pope himself, was responsible for centuries of discord.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge – examines one of the other battles fought in 1066 that shaped England’s history
St Thomas Aquinas - Melvyn Bragg discusses the life, works and enduring influence of the medieval philosopher and theologian St Thomas Aquinas with Martin Palmer, John Haldane and Annabel Brett.
The makers of BBC History Magazine have a weekly radio show that usually features segments related to articles appearing in the current issue of the magazine. Medieval-related segments can be found in many of these episodes. Some of the episodes include:
19th July 2012 - Paul Oldfield details the medieval travelling experience, while June Purvis analyses anti-Suffragette postcards.
17th May 2012 - Emily Lethbridge considers Viking sagas, while Robert Blyth reviews royal pageants of the past
August 2009 - John Gillingham explains how the murder of Thomas Becket inspired a magnificent fortress; Nicholas Orme leafs through a 16th-century guide to the art of swimming.
Lars Brownworth became one of the most famous history podcasters when he was featured in this New York Times article. The 12 Byzantine Rulers covers the reigns of figures such as Constantine, Justinian and Irene. While this podcast series is complete, Lars is now working on Norman Centuries, which has episodes on Rollo, William the Conqueror and William the Bad.
Although this series has recently come to an end, listeners can download over sixty episodes that include interviews with educators, interpreters, authors, and other experts who bring new insight into some aspect of the history, literature, and philosophy of the Code Of Chivalry, from the Middle Ages to the modern world.
Professor Matthew Gabriele of Virginia Tech offers short talks about various medieval sources, including works by the Templar of Tyre, Geoffrey of Monmouth and Peter Abelard. Available through iTunes.
In 2012 Robin Pierson began a series of podcasts looking at the history of the Byzantine empire. Ten episodes so far.
This CBC radio program deals with a wide range of scholarly topics, including history. Several episodes about medieval history have been aired, including a recent three-part show on the Knightly Orders.
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