Human Circus: Journeys in the Medieval World

Recorded History Podcast Network

Since Jan 2017·59 episodes

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

Episodes

35:37
10 days ago
This is the story of a monk, a sorcerer, a pirate, a woodland outlaw, and a master of disguise. His name is Eustace. The book I mention at the start of the episode is Desmond Cole's The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. His recent podcast appearance can be found here. The other...
51:21
1 month ago
The conclusion of the Felice Brancacci story. Our ambassador from Florence deals with the Mamluk sultan in Cairo, with sickness, and with a shortage of funds, and he comes home to commission some memorable art at the Brancacci Chapel. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the p...
41:54
2 months ago
In 1422, Felice Brancacci set out from Florence to establish trading relations with Mamluk Egypt, and to advocate for his city's currency. This is that story, part one of two. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is...
54:33
3 months ago
Finishing up with Mandeville's travels, we visit the palace of the Mongol khan, the fortress paradise of the Old Man of the Mountain, and a land that never sees the sun. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here....
41:31
4 months ago
Mandeville goes east into Greater India, and we go with him, following, as he follows the path of Odoric of Pordenone, into India, into the sea and its islands, and into a discussion of medieval hybrids and monsters, and what they mean. We'll find Amazons, the hand of St. Thomas, and people with ...
45:51
4 months ago
Our traveller reaches Egypt. He writes of wondrous gardens of balsam, of the pyramids and their purpose, of the recent history of the sultanate, and of the Mamluk Sultan's views of Latin Christian life. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my K...
34:24
5 months ago
It's part two of the Mandeville series, and our journey reaches the Jerusalem of a 14th-century pilgrim. We'll spend some time there, getting to know the place and its surroundings, and its treatment in the Mandeville text.  If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my...
35:16
6 months ago
Sir John Mandeville, a 14th-century figure who travelled/maybe travelled/almost definitely didn't travel from England to Jerusalem and its holy places, to the court of the sultan in Egypt, to the realms of the Mongol khan, and to the long sought lands of Prester John. With this episode, we start ...
36:30
8 months ago
Today's topic is the Kitāb ʻajāyib Al-Hind, or the Book of the Wonders of India, a 10th-century collection of wonders covering east Africa all the way to what might have been Japan. It's something of a sequel to the Abu Zayd episode. I mentioned there that the compiler avoided including the fanci...
28:47
8 months ago
It's Halloween, and here are some medieval stories appropriate to the season. This mini episode is about the stories of Walter Map, particularly those ones featuring demons, faeries, and the prisoners of the Wild Hunt. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patre...
37:23
8 months ago
The Accounts of China and India, covering the trade between the Persian Gulf and points east in the 9th and 10th centuries, and the writings of Abu Zayd al-Sirafi. There are cultural customs, trading routes, and the calamitous events of the late 9th-century that shattered that trade and the Tang ...
44:01
9 months ago
This episode is a what-came-after for the Salah ad-Din series, covering the decades beyond the dynastic founder's death. This is the Ayyubid Sultanate, the legacy of Salah ad-Din, a run through decades of civil war and crusades, culminating in the rise of the Mamluks. If you like what you hear an...
43:42
11 months ago
This is the end of the Salah ad-Din series, featuring the arrival of Richard the Lionheart and Philip II at Acre, the Battle of Arsuf, and the Treaty of Jaffa. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. Source...
40:51
11 months ago
This is the end of my Salah ad-Din series, part one. As I mention in the episode, I was aiming to wrap things up here, even aiming to do so with an extra-long episode, but there's just too much left to do that. So, this is the end, part one. In this episode, we follow the Salah ad-Din story after...
40:35
1 year ago
Salah ad-Din (Saladin) enters Aleppo, struggles with Reynald de Chatillon, and faces the armies of Guy de Lusignan at the Horns of Hattin. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human,...
Last updated 14 minutes ago
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