54 episodes

Where history and epic collide--"History on Fire" is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli.

History on Fire Daniele Bolelli

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Where history and epic collide--"History on Fire" is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli.

    EPISODE 92: Jujitsuffragettes With Attitude

    EPISODE 92: Jujitsuffragettes With Attitude

    “…a mad, wicked folly…” — Queen Victoria about the notion of women having the right to vote
    “When I watched a policeman fell a girl to the ground and kick her across the platform, my only regret was that I had no weapon with which to strike him an effective blow.” — Eunice G. Murray
    “£100 to any man who can defeat him. Notwithstanding the physical disadvantages against heavier men (for Tani weighs 9 stone only), Apollo will pay any living man twenty guineas who Tani fails to defeat in fifteen minutes: Professional champion wrestlers specially invited.” — Music Hall advertisement 
    “Physical force seems to be the only thing in which women have not demonstrated their equality to men, and whilst we are waiting for the evolution which is slowly taking place and bringing about that equality, we might just as well take time by the forelock and use ju-jitsu." — Edith Garrud
    These days, pretty much any time I run into a movie or a book or a tv series with a strong woman among the lead characters, almost inevitably I run into comments by people whining about it, basically implying that strong women are a Hollywood invention created purely to satisfy some PC, affirmative action requirement. What we play with today is not that kind of a story. There’s nothing fictional about the rather intense ladies starring in this episode. One of them, in particular, Edith Garrud is Exhibit A when it comes to real life tough women from humanity’s past. 
    Our story takes place at the very beginning of the 1900s in England, and it weaves together some rather unlikely elements: how the upper classes’ fear of crime associated with urbanization led to the popularization of Asian martial arts, how the very legitimate request for women to have the right to vote unleashed some rather extreme violence… We’ll talk about suffragettes and terrorism, the early days of pro wrestling, Sherlock Holmes, and some Japanese expats (including that Mitsuyo Maeda destined to set in motion a sequence of events leading to the creation of modern MMA and the UFC.) And most of all, we’ll talk about Edith Garrud, one of the very first women to become a martial arts teacher and to star in the granddaddy of martial arts movies. 
    Please support History on Fire at www.patreon.com/historyonfire  

    • 2 hrs 24 min
    EPISODE 85: The Siege That Changed All of History

    EPISODE 85: The Siege That Changed All of History

    “I cut off their heads. I burned them with fire. With their blood I dyed the mountain red like red wool. Men I impaled on stakes. The city I destroyed, devastated… the young men and maidens I burned in the fire.” — Ashurnairpal II
    “I filled the wide plain with the corpses of his warriors…. These [rebels] I impaled on stakes. …A pyramid of heads I erected in front of the city.” — Salmaneser III
    “Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us!’ Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria? 19 What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power? 20 What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lord can rescue Jerusalem from me?” — Isaiah 36:18-20
    History is a fickle beast. Some events may not seem like much at the time when they happen, but they end up radically shaping all events afterwards. For example, had just one event turned out different—an event largely forgotten today, such as the siege of Jerusalem in 701 BCE—and all of history would have changed. If the siege had ended in the way everyone expected it to end, Judaism would have disappeared from the pages of history, and Christianity and Islam would have never been born. Can you imagine how different the world would be if you were to remove the entire history of the three main monotheistic religions?
    In this episode we’ll tackle this greatest of ‘what ifs.’ In the process of doing so, we’ll discuss the origins of Western monotheism, Assyrian culture, Hebrew legends, the Assyrian protection racket, the clash between monotheistic Hebrews and polytheistic Hebrews, how the Assyrians turned 10 of the tribes of Israel into the “lost tribes”, committing ‘suicide by Assyrian’, the destruction of Lachish, what may have happened in Jerusalem in 701 BCE, and much more.

    • 2 hrs 29 min
    EPISODE 77: Bruce Lee (Part 2)

    EPISODE 77: Bruce Lee (Part 2)

    “Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its ends.” — Bruce Lee
    “1. Research your own experience.
2. Absorb what is useful.
3. Reject what is useless.
4. Add what is specifically your own.” — Bruce Lee’s methodology
    “I maintain that truth is a pathless land and you cannot approach it by any religion. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others.” — Jiddhu Krishnamurti

    “This doesn’t look like success to me.” — Sovannahry Em
    “A martial artist is a human being first. Just as nationalities have nothing to do with one’s humanity, so they have nothing to do with the martial arts.” — Bruce Lee
    Ask anyone for one name they associate with martial arts, and odds are they will mention Bruce Lee. Because of his career, millions of people were introduced to martial arts. Thanks to his movies, Lee achieved enduring, worldwide fame, broke plenty of box office records, and forever changed the aesthetics of action films. Not bad for a skinny kid from Hong Kong who arrived in United States with the proverbial shirt on his back. The image of his hyper-muscular body in combat pose has become iconic. But there was a lot more to Bruce Lee than meets the eye. He could have been a rock star or a spiritual leader or anything else he had wished… Martial arts was just a channel for his energy. Had he put that same energy anywhere else, he’d have probably had similar success. Despite Hollywood turning him down time and time again due to racial prejudices, Lee refused to take no for an answer and more or less single-handedly changed the way in which Asian people were perceived in the West. His philosophical insights also changed the face of martial arts training, and introduced masses of people to Taoism and Zen Buddhism. His creative & anti-authoritarian approach to life captured the best of the essence of the 1960s. Get ready for a ride because this is an incredible story I have wanted to tell since I first started podcasting.
    This episode covers Bruce Lee’s philosophy and life from 1965 through his death in 1973.

    • 2 hrs 26 min
    EPISODE 77: Bruce Lee (Part 1)

    EPISODE 77: Bruce Lee (Part 1)

    “Energy is eternal delight.” — William Blake
    “Hong Kong in the 1950s was a depressed place. Post–World War II Hong Kong had suffered from unemployment, a poor economy, over-crowding, homelessness, and people taking advantage of each other. Gangs roamed the street, and juvenile delinquents ran rampant.” — Hawkins Cheung
    “Teachers should never impose their favorite patterns on their students—he said—They should be finding out what works for them, and what does not work for them. The individual is more important than the style.” — Bruce Lee
    “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all of these combined…” — Bruce Lee
    Ask anyone for one name they associate with martial arts, and odds are they will mention Bruce Lee. Because of his career, millions of people were introduced to martial arts. Thanks to his movies, Lee achieved enduring, worldwide fame, broke plenty of box office records, and forever changed the aesthetics of action films. Not bad for a skinny kid from Hong Kong who arrived in United States with the proverbial shirt on his back. The image of his hyper-muscular body in combat pose has become iconic. But there was a lot more to Bruce Lee than meets the eye. He could have been a rock star or a spiritual leader or anything else he had wished… Martial arts was just a channel for his energy. Had he put that same energy anywhere else, he’d have probably had similar success. Despite Hollywood turning him down time and time again due to racial prejudices, Lee refused to take no for an answer and more or less single-handedly changed the way in which Asian people were perceived in the West. His philosophical insights also changed the face of martial arts training, and introduced masses of people to Taoism and Zen Buddhism. His creative & anti-authoritarian approach to life captured the best of the essence of the 1960s. Get ready for a ride because this is an incredible story I have wanted to tell since I first started podcasting.
    This episode covers Bruce Lee’s life from birth to his famous fight with Wong Jack Man in 1964.

    • 2 hrs 13 min
    EPISODE 67: Ripples of History

    EPISODE 67: Ripples of History

    “If I knew the way, I would take you home.”  — From the song Ripple by the Grateful Dead 
    “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” — Bertrand Russell 
    “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan 
    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” — Tao Te Ching 
    In most fields, we are taught that people in your same profession are your competitors, and you need to do whatever you can to prevent them from rising above you. In podcasting I found the opposite attitude—people helping each other out and doing whatever possible to facilitate things for other podcasters in the same field. In this spirit, today we’ll do something unique: six history podcasters cooperating, with each one tackling a segment, to create a super-episode together. As the host, yours truly will get the ball rolling setting the theme and offering some examples of ‘historical ripples’—events that end up having unforeseen consequences years, or decades, or centuries after they take place. Alexander Rader Von Sternberg (History Impossible) will chat about how a man who died feeling like he had failed to make his mark in history ended up—possibly more than any other—shaping the culture of several Asian civilizations. CJ Killmer (Dangerous History) will tackle the Bacon’s Rebellion and its ramifications. Sebastian Major (Our Fake History) will play with the myth and lasting impact of Homer’s telling of the Trojan War. Sam Davis (Inward Empire) will be discussing the impact of Henry David Thoreau’s essay Civil Disobedience on the Civil Rights Movement about a century later. And Darryl Cooper (Martyrmade) will make a case for the Japanese origin for suicide bombings in the Middle East. 
    If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 
    Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 
    My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. 
    This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 
    Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 
    For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

    • 2 hrs 51 min
    EPISODE 53 Diogenes: The Punk Rocker of Ancient Greece

    EPISODE 53 Diogenes: The Punk Rocker of Ancient Greece

    “A Socrates gone mad.” — Plato referring to Diogenes 
    “Had I not been Alexander, I would have liked to have been Diogenes.” — Alexander the Great 
    "If I wasn't Diogenes, I would be wishing to be Diogenes too." — Diogenes
    “There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers… To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.” — Henry David Thoreau 
    “I am a citizen of the world.” — Diogenes
    “Free from what? As if that mattered. . . . But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what?” — Friedrich Nietzsche 
    “He maintained, moreover, that nothing in life has any chance of succeeding without strenuous practice, which is capable of overcoming any obstacles.” — Diogenes Laertius 
    2,400 years ago, long before punk rock was created, there was a man in ancient Greece who embodied the spirit of punk as much as anyone ever did. He was known as Diogenes The Dog. And Sid Vicious had nothing on him. 
    Between the end of the Peloponnesian War, the bloody reign of the Thirty Tyrants, Socrates’ death… the times he lived in were wild ones, but Diogenes was considerably wilder than his historical context. As a master of frugality, he lived on the streets as a homeless philosopher inviting people to stop being slaves of their possessions. In this episode, we’ll see him clashing with the father of Western philosophy, getting busted for manipulating the currency, being the recipient of the good graces of celebrity sex workers, planting the seeds at the roots of Stoicism, defying Alexander the Great, getting kidnapped by pirates, rejecting nationalism, and pushing forward ideas that were as outlandish in Ancient Greece as they are today. The Amazons, the Oracle at Delphi, Game of Thrones, The Clash, The Temptations, The Princess Bride, and Nicki Minai also make an appearance in this episode.  And before we wrap things up, we’ll consider the limitations of punk as a worldview. 
    If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 
    Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. 
    This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 
    Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 
    For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

    • 1 hr 47 min

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