What happened this week in history? The people, decisions, disasters, and triumphs that have shaped our world come to life in Backtrack History.
Racetrack Riots: Justinian and the Nika Revolt
If you were a Roman citizen living in Constantinople in the 530's, your life revolved around one thing: chariot racing. Roman society cheered for one of two rival factions of charioteers: the Blues and Greens. While the Roman world around them changed radically, the people of Constantinople consoled themselves by supporting their team. It became part of their identity.
But when the new emperor sentenced leaders of both teams to death and the executions were botched, the two factions forgot their differences and rose up in rebellion. Join us as we talk about one of the most interesting emperors in Roman history, his brilliant and courageous wife, and how what started as a day at the races nearly destroyed the largest city in the world.
The Mysteries of Mesa Verde & History of the Antiquities Act
When five cowboy brothers stumbled on staggering cliff dwellings of the ancient Ancestral Puebloans in a remote corner of Colorado, their curiosity turned into a passion. That passion ignited a chain reaction that led to the creation of a controversial power entrusted to the President of the United States through the Antiquities Act.
The Impact of Pearl Harbor
Americans know the story of Pearl Harbor well; at least, we know the story from the moment planes showed up in the skies over Oahu. But many of us don't know the decades-long pressure that compelled the Japanese to attack and how that attack affected the lives of real people, including Stu's old neighbor, whose life was forever changed on December 7, 1941.
Cracking the Rosetta Stone
Ancient Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, was a total mystery to historians. For 1400 years, the ability to understand hieroglyphs had been lost to the world. So while they were surrounded by 3000 years of records, historians couldn't read them. But in a chain of events that involved Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte, a stone was discovered that would prove to be the key to Egypt's ancient secrets. And two bitter rivals set off on a race to turn the key first.
On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin was a known and well-respected scientist in 19th Century England. But few knew that for 20 years, he'd been holding back a theory that would radicalize our understanding of Biology and the history of life on Earth. He held it back because he knew all too well how intensely it would clash not only with the scientific thought of the day, but especially with religious belief. It has been a source of controversy from the moment he finally published his theory in his famous book, On the Origin of Species.
The Thanksgiving Mythology
While the English settlers we now know as Pilgrims fought to survive the deadly first winter in New England, they weren't aware their fates were being weighed by an Indian chief called Massasoit and a captive of Massasoit's tribe, a man called Tisquantum. Their decisions formed one of the most fateful alliances in American history and became a myth we now call Thanksgiving.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Informative and well presented
This podcast is presented in an entertaining way. My 10 year old listened to a particular episode for a history paper he was writing for school. It kept his attention for an hour- I was surprised by how much he retained as it’s not geared towards children. It gave him a better overall understanding of that historical event and he was then able to better comprehend details in books and online articles on the subject.
I’m referring this podcast to his teachers.
Keep it up!
Lots of well reasearched stuff
Nice first season. Sad there are no more
Very well done and nice view on history