85 episodes

Where history and epic collide--"History on Fire" is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli. For more, go to LuminaryPodcasts.com.

History on Fire Dark Myths

    • History
    • 4.8 • 324 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
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Where history and epic collide--"History on Fire" is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli. For more, go to LuminaryPodcasts.com.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    EPISODE 82: The Other 300 (Part 2)

    EPISODE 82: The Other 300 (Part 2)

    “Take me back to the quarries.” Philoxenus



    “Pelopidas died as he’d lived, a freedom fighter who rushed fearlessly into the fray.” James Romm

    “As one approaches Chaeronea, there is a tomb of the Thebans who died in the battle with Philip. No inscription adorns it, but a monument stands over it in the form of a lion, the best emblem of the spirit of those men. It seems to me the inscription is lacking because their fortunes were not equal to their courage.” Pausanias

    In this second and final episode in this series, we see the age of Thebes’ Sacred Band coming to an end, as a new power rises in Macedon. As we tackle this fundamentally important period in Greek history, we’ll run into Dionysius of Syracuse and his horrendous poetry, the rise of Philip of Macedonia and Alexander (soon to be ‘The Great’), the badass sayings of Pelopidas and his heroic death, the rise of wealthy dictators and their bloody ends, the Sacred Wars, the career of Phyrne—the greatest hetaera of the age, and the end of Thebes.

    The Other 300 (Part 1)

    The Other 300 (Part 1)

    “There was no uproar, and no silence either, but that certain type of noise that results from anger and battle. Clashing shield on shield, they were shoving, fighting, killing, dying.” Xenophon

    “Pelopidas, after receiving seven wounds in front, sank down upon a great heap of friends and enemies who lay dead together; but Epaminondas, although he thought him lifeless, stood forth to defend his body and his arms, and fought desperately, single-handed against many, determined to die rather than leave Pelopidas lying there.” Plutarch

    “Urgent matters tomorrow!” Archias

    “If by… an army, of lovers and their young loves could come into being . . . then, fighting along- side one another, such men, though few in number, could defeat practically all humankind. For a man in love would rather have anyone other than his lover see him leave his place in the line or toss away his weapons, and often would rather die on behalf of the one he loves.” Plato

    “If we are to have peace. it must be on the basis of equality and justice. If we aren’t all equal, then peace won’t endure.” Epaminondas

    Following the end of the Peloponnesian War, Sparta emerged as the dominant military power in ancient Greece. Seemingly, no one could stop them. But someone did. The rising power of Thebes would challenge Sparta as no one had done before. Thebes’ main heroes, Pelopidas and Epaminondas, radically changed military tactics, and risked it all in the name of freedom from Spartan imperialism. Their secret weapon against Sparta was The Sacred Band, an elite group of 300 soldiers destined to become the most feared infantry unit in the entire Greek world. Something peculiar characterized this legendary unit. The Sacred Band was made up of 150 homosexual couples. And it was these 150 couples who broke the myth of Spartan military invincibility.

    In this episode, we follow the rise of Thebes from the ashes of the end of the Peloponnesian War in 401 BCE, through the Theban revolution of 379—when Pelopidas led 11 men to reclaim their city, to the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BCE, when the Sacred Band had its chance to demonstrate its valor against the Spartans. And in the course of narrating all this, we will grapple with one central question: what force can allow people to defeat their natural fears and fight like heroes?

    EPISODE 80 The Patriotic Mobsters

    EPISODE 80 The Patriotic Mobsters

    “Lucky will not be pleased to hear that you have not been helpful.” —Joe Adonis

    “The outcome of the war appeared extremely grave. In addition, there was the most serious concern over possible sabotage in the ports. It was necessary to use every possible means to prevent and forestall sabotage and to prevent the possible supplying of and contact with enemy submarines.” —Captain Roscoe C. MacFall

    “There was peace on the waterfront. It was kept with rough methods. But that's what the Navy asked us to do and that's what the Navy got.” —Meyer Lansky

    Just because Lucky Luciano was one of the most famous mobsters of the 20th century doesn’t mean he was not a patriot ready to help the Allies win the war. Well… that’s one way to look at it. Otherwise, we’d have to conclude that during WWII, the government made a deal with the biggest Mafia boss of the times, releasing him from prison in exchange for his cooperation. Back then the government was in a bind—it wanted to protect American shores from sabotage at the hands of Nazi sympathizers, but it had only limited control on the docks. American ports belonged to the Mafia. And so the logical conclusion was that, for the sake of the war effort, the government jumped in bed with organized crime. This is the tale of the marriage of convenience between the American Navy and Lucky Luciano.

    Thank you to Alexander Von Sternberg from History Impossible for his help in crafting this episode.

    Slavery (with Darryl Cooper)

    Slavery (with Darryl Cooper)

    It was only a few generations ago when large numbers of people in United States saw nothing wrong with the notion of buying, selling and owning human beings. Weirder yet, some slave owners were masters in the mental gymnastics required to feel morally justified in enslaving members of their own families, including their own children. In this episode, I am joined by Darryl Cooper from The Martyrmade Podcast for a conversation about the institution of slavery.

    EPISODE 78 Bruce Lee (Part 2)

    EPISODE 78 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 

    Bruce Lee’s methodology :
    “1. Research your own experience.
    2. Absorb what is useful.
    3. Reject what is useless.
    4. Add what is specifically your own.”

    “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 28 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 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
324 Ratings

324 Ratings

Johnumair ,

A true storyteller of our ancestors.

Pick up a topic that interest you and just listen to one episode for experience.
There is so much in it that it would be hard to write.

PeanutLives! ,

Awesome

Quite possibly better than Dan Carlin. Some of my favourite History podcasts. Thanks Daniele keep up the good work and release some more please!

Accoustic is best ,

So interesting balanced and challenging

This podcast is hugely interesting. The best thing about it is the narrator Daniele. His unique style compliments the detailed content. He is not afraid to challenge perceptions nor approach controversy with courage. I have just found this podcast late - in 2020 during the tragedy of Covid 19. It has provided me with an intellectual outlet that has helped to block at least some of the anxiety I have been experiencing in these times. Thank you for your podcast. I wholeheartedly recommend it to all and especially lovers of history.

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