100 episodes

In each episode we ask a leading historian, novelist or public figure the tantalising question, "If you could travel back through time, which year would you visit?" Once they have made their choice, then they guide us through that year in three telling scenes. We have visited Pompeii in 79AD, Jerusalem in 1187, the Tower of London in 1483, Colonial America in 1776, 10 Downing Street in 1940 and the Moon in 1969. Chosen as one of the Evening Standard's Best History Podcasts of 2020. Presented weekly by Sunday Times bestselling writer Peter Moore, award-winning historian Violet Moller and Artemis Irvine.

Travels Through Time Travels Through Time

    • History
    • 4.7 • 63 Ratings

In each episode we ask a leading historian, novelist or public figure the tantalising question, "If you could travel back through time, which year would you visit?" Once they have made their choice, then they guide us through that year in three telling scenes. We have visited Pompeii in 79AD, Jerusalem in 1187, the Tower of London in 1483, Colonial America in 1776, 10 Downing Street in 1940 and the Moon in 1969. Chosen as one of the Evening Standard's Best History Podcasts of 2020. Presented weekly by Sunday Times bestselling writer Peter Moore, award-winning historian Violet Moller and Artemis Irvine.

    John Sellars: Aristotle (347 BC)

    John Sellars: Aristotle (347 BC)

    This week we’re heading back to the fourth century BC to take a look at one of the world’s greatest ever philosophers. Indeed, according to today’s guest, John Sellars, Aristotle may be even more than that. He might well be the single most important human ever to have lived.
    Aristotle’s philosophical work transformed the people thought about the world around them. During his magnificent career he laid the foundation for science; he pioneered new methods for understanding drama and literature; he founded a new way of thinking about politics, and he invented formal logic.
    But how did Aristotle do this? How was he shaped by the intellectual culture of Ancient Greece? What did he owe to his famous forebears, Plato and Socrates?
    In this episode John Sellars engages with these questions as he describes the life of this hugely significant philosopher.
    John Sellars is a Reader in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, a Visiting Research Fellow at King's College London and a Member of Common Room, Wolfson College, Oxford. He is the author of a sleek and stylish new short book, Aristotle: Understanding the World’s Greatest Philosopher.
    For more, as ever, visit our website: tttpodcast.com.
    Show notes
    Scene One: 347 BC. Aristotle leaves Plato’s Academy after twenty years.
    Scene Two: 344 BC. Aristotle arrives on Lesbos and begins to study animals.
    Scene Three: 335 BC. Aristotle returns to Athens, founds the Lyceum and embarks on a dizzying array of philosophical work.
    Memento: A papyrus scroll containing one of Aristotle’s lost dialogues.
    People/Social
    Presenter: Peter Moore
    Guest: John Sellars
    Production: Maria Nolan
    Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours
    Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_
    See where 347 BC fits on our Timeline

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Simon Akam: The Changing of the Guard (2006)

    Simon Akam: The Changing of the Guard (2006)

    The British Army can trace its origins back to the Acts of Union of 1707 and its rich history involves conflicts both large and small in all corners of the globe.
    But as the twenty-first century dawned, the organisation found itself in a transitional phase and with something of an identity crisis. What exactly was its culture? What, with its resources, could it really be expected to achieve? What was its relevance to modern Britain?
    Today’s guest, Simon Akam, sought to confront questions like these in his book Changing the Guard: The British Army Since 9/11. Grounded in his own first-hand experience and supported by hundreds of interviews, in this episode Akam explains the conclusions that he reached and the incredible resistance he experienced as he sought to bring his book to publication.
    Simon Akam is a journalist and author. Born in Cambridge, he held a Gap Year Commission in the British Army before studying at the University of Oxford and Columbia Journalism School. He has worked for the New York Times, Reuters and Newsweek. Changing the Guard, published in 2021, is his first book.
    Show notes
    Scene One: A tent in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Jamie Loden edits a video.
    Scene Two: Autumn 2006. Downing Street with Major-General Jonathan Shaw and Nigel Sheinwald.
    Scene Three: 28 March 2006. The creation of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
    Memento: A copy of a tabloid newspaper from 2006.
    People/Social
    Presenter: Artemis Irvine
    Guest: Simon Akam
    Production: Maria Nolan
    Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours
    Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_
    See where 2006 fits on our Timeline

    • 58 min
    [From the archives] Diarmaid MacCulloch: Thomas Cromwell (1536)

    [From the archives] Diarmaid MacCulloch: Thomas Cromwell (1536)

    It’s midwinter, we’re midway through our sixth season and we thought it was time to revisit a favourite old episode. Today we have for you a recording made at Buxton Literary Festival in 2019. It is with the Oxford professor and prize-winning historian Diarmaid MacCulloch. Our destination is the year 1536 and our subject is one of the most complex and fascinating in English political history: Thomas Cromwell.
    ==
    Thomas Cromwell, a self-described “ruffian”, was King Henry VIII’s chief minister in the 1530s. He was clever, driven and ruthless, qualities that have captivated novelists and historians for generations as they have attempted to capture his mysterious essence.
    The year 1536 saw Cromwell at the peak of his career. As chief administrator of the realm he had vast and wide-ranging powers, but he also had enemies. Prominent among these, as we hear in this episode, was the King’s second wife, Anne Boleyn.
    Thomas Cromwell: A Life by Thomas Cromwell by Diarmaid MacCulloch is now available in paperback from Penguin.
    Show notes
    Scene One: 24 May 1536. Ambassador Eustache Chapuys and Thomas Cromwell debriefing after the execution of Anne Boleyn.
    Scene Two: Around 3 October 1536 when King Henry VIII was told of the Lincolnshire Rising.
    Scene Three: 22 December 1536. Thomas Cromwell sits in his house at the Rolls listening to the sounds of the magnificent procession of the King from Whitehall to Greenwich down Fleet Street.
    Memento: The keyboard that Mark Smeaton played for Anne Boleyn
    People
    Presenter: Peter Moore
    Guest: Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch
    Recording/Live Mix: Hannah Griffiths
    Post production: Maria Nolan

    • 55 min
    Tim Clayton: James Gillray and a Revolution in Satire (1792)

    Tim Clayton: James Gillray and a Revolution in Satire (1792)

    As today’s guest Tim Clayton explains, 'the late eighteenth-century mixed the extremely crude with the extremely fine in a fascinating sort of way.’ The grand master of this potent concoction was the greatest political caricaturist of modern times: James Gillray.
    Gillray worked in raucous, restless times. He began in the wake of the American War of Independence and, having charted each twist and turn of the French Revolution, he died a short time before the Battle of Waterloo.
    In this time he pioneered a fearless new brand of political satire. No one was spared. He lampooned King George III; his son the Prince of W(h)ales; the prime minister William Pitt the Younger, and all the prominent cultural and political figures in London life.
    But how did he get away with it? What was his true motivation? How clever really was James Gillray? In this episode the historian Tim Clayton takes us back to 1792, a testing year in Gillray's career, to find out.
    The characters and stories that feature in this episode of Travels Through Time form part of Clayton’s latest book. James Gillray: A Revolution in Satire is out now.
    Show notes
    Scene One: February/March 1792 London and Hannah Humphrey’s house at 18 Old Bond Street.
    Scene Two: 21 May 1792. The Royal Proclamation against seditious writing.
    Scene Three: December 1792. The French King is on trial and Gillray releases his series of ‘pro bono publico’ prints.
    Memento: A fire screen, painted on both sides by Gillray, as presented by the artist to Hannah Humphrey.
    People/Social
    Presenter: Peter Moore
    Guest: Tim Clayton
    Production: Maria Nolan
    Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours
    Theme music: ‘Love Token’ from the album ‘This Is Us’ By Slava and Leonard Grigoryan
    Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_
    See where 1792 fits on our Timeline

    • 56 min
    Harry Sidebottom: The Mad Emperor (218)

    Harry Sidebottom: The Mad Emperor (218)

    We have our fair share of bizarre rulers in the twenty-first century, but the subject of today’s episode makes Putin, Trump and Kim Jong Il seem rather tame. According to the Oxford academic and bestselling novelist Harry Sidebottom, our guide this week, the Roman Emperor Heliogabalus was the maddest and baddest of them all.
    Heliogabalus turned Rome upside down as he rampaged over political and religious tradition during his lust-fuelled, four-year reign, contributing to the instability and chaos of the later third century AD.
    In this special end of year episode, we get into the spirit of Heliogabalus by allowing Harry Sidebottom to trample on our own tradition of choosing just one year in history to travel back to.
    Today we visit three separate years, 218, 220 and 222 so we can hear the full extraordinary story he tells in his new book on the maddest emperor of them all.
    The characters and stories that feature in this episode of Travels Through Time form part of Sidebottom’s latest book. The Mad Emperor: Heliogabalus and the Decadence of Rome is out now.
    Show notes
    Scene One: 1 May 218. Heliogabalus’ grandmother sneaks him out of Emesa (modern day Homs) in Syria to start the revolt that will elevate him to the position of Emperor of Rome.
    Scene Two: Midsummer’s Day 220. Heliogabalus holds a huge parade in Rome to demonstrate his new religion.
    Scene Three: March 222. Heliogabalus is murdered on the orders of his grandmother.
    Memento: Heliogabalus’ horn.
    People/Social
    Presenter: Violet Moller
    Guest: Harry Sidebottom
    Production: Maria Nolan
    Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours
    Theme music: ‘Love Token’ from the album ‘This Is Us’ By Slava and Leonard Grigoryan
    Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_
    Or on Facebook
    See where 218 fits on our Timeline

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Josiah Osgood: Caesar, Cato and the Fall of the Roman Republic (46BC)

    Josiah Osgood: Caesar, Cato and the Fall of the Roman Republic (46BC)

    The rivalry between Julius Caesar and Cato the Younger is one of the most intense in political history. Both were high-ranking figures of great gifts, but their personal feud was a powerful factor in the downfall of the Roman Republic.
    Joining us in this episode to tell us more about Cato and Caesar’s contrasting characters and the dramatic historical events they lived through is the award-winning author and Professor of Classics at Georgetown University, Josiah Osgood.
    Osgood takes us back to the year 46BC. Here we see Caesar at his peerless best on the battlefield and then, shortly afterwards, we analyse Cato’s shocking and defiant response.
    The characters and stories that feature in this episode of Travels Through Time form part of Osgood’s latest book. Uncommon Wrath: How Caesar and Cato’s Deadly Rivalry Destroyed the Roman Republic is out now.
    Show notes
    Scene One: April 6, 46 BC, the Battle of Thapsus, North Africa.
    Scene Two: April 10, 46 BC, Utica, North Africa: Cato’s suicide.
    Scene Three: September, 46 BC, Rome, Caesar’s Egyptian triumph.
    Memento: The sign that was paraded through the streets of Rome during Caesar’s Asia Minor Triumph with the words ‘Veni, vidi, vici’.
    People/Social
    Presenter: Peter Moore
    Guest: Josiah Osgood
    Production: Maria Nolan
    Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours
    Theme music: ‘Love Token’ from the album ‘This Is Us’ By Slava and Leonard Grigoryan
    Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_
    Or on Facebook
    See where 46BC fits on our Timeline

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
63 Ratings

63 Ratings

Amy Z B ,

Timelines and society

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Top Notch 👍

Super show. Have listened since Episode 1 and even though I live in the US I find it utterly fascinating! Every episode is fascinating and my personal library keeps growing thanks to the marvelous guests on this podcast. I have learned so much, thank you!

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Like A Historically Accurate Tardis

Offers a grab-bag of historians and novelists talking about a particular moment in history with an emphasis on daily life and context for events rather than being the usual 'Great Men of History'. Topics have ranged from the last emperor of Mexico to the Katyn Massacre to booksellers in Florence; the range means there's almost certainly something of interest for someone, perhaps the only complaint is that the channel is a bit Euro-centric.

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