120 episodes

We explore ideas and practices once believed to be true but no longer. Each dead idea is explored in all its glorious eccentricity.

For example, discover miasma, the theory that plague comes from stinky air; or the medical diagnosis of hysteria, which holds that women's wombs wander around their bodies causing trouble.

Join us on a fun romp through the history of ideas that didn’t quite stand the test of time.

Dead Ideas: The History of Extinct Thoughts and Practices Recorded History Podcast Network

    • History
    • 3.9 • 134 Ratings

We explore ideas and practices once believed to be true but no longer. Each dead idea is explored in all its glorious eccentricity.

For example, discover miasma, the theory that plague comes from stinky air; or the medical diagnosis of hysteria, which holds that women's wombs wander around their bodies causing trouble.

Join us on a fun romp through the history of ideas that didn’t quite stand the test of time.

    The All-Gay Army: Ancient Greece’s Sacred Band of Thebes: An Interview with James Romm

    The All-Gay Army: Ancient Greece’s Sacred Band of Thebes: An Interview with James Romm

    The Sacred Band of Thebes, comprised entirely of gay male lovers, was Ancient Greece’s original response to the gays in the military question. What was that like? How did it function? And what was its lasting legacy? That’s what we’re going to find out today, just in time for Pride Month. Here to help us do it is classicist James Romm, author of The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers Fighting to Save Greek Freedom.

    By the way, the New Yorker article referenced in the episode is "Ancient Greece's Army of Lovers" by Daniel Mendelsohn.

    Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/btnewberg and get a hand-drawn portrait. Research, writing, editing, and production by B. T. Newberg. Music and Logo Design by Rachel Westhoff. Additional credits, references, and more at www.deadideas.net.

    Report From Minneapolis: Making Sense of the Riots Over George Floyd’s Death

    Report From Minneapolis: Making Sense of the Riots Over George Floyd’s Death

    My city is on fire today. This is day four of the riots in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police. And everyone around me is saying, “I’m angry too, but why destroy your own community? It doesn’t make sense.”

    But is there another way to look at it? In this episode, I share first-hand reports of the riots as well as experiences of income disparity in local schools. By looking behind the violence to the roots of disadvantage, can we turn confusion into empathy?

    Covid Cabana: Top 5 Ways to Have Fun Despite the Coronavirus

    Covid Cabana: Top 5 Ways to Have Fun Despite the Coronavirus

    This episode goes out to all of you at home out there during this pandemic, but we want to dedicate it especially to listener Owyn in Toronto, Canada. He’s faced a string of tough challenges recently, and now there’s the covid challenge on top of it all, but on the bright side, Owyn: it’s your 19th birthday today! Happy Covid 19th, Owyn!

    Be sure to support the show at www.patreon.com/btnewberg to get your portrait drawn!

    Music by Rachel Westhoff. Pics, references and more at http://www.deadideas.net.

    Fascism II: The Silver Legion: A Real American Fascist Movement – American History

    Fascism II: The Silver Legion: A Real American Fascist Movement – American History

    Did you know America spawned its very own homegrown fascist movement in the 1930s? Yup. The Silver Legion's William Dudley Pelley was the original Man in the High Castle. Or... at least he dreamed himself to be.

    Be sure to support the show at www.patreon.com/deadideaspod to get your portrait drawn!

    Music by Rachel Westhoff. Maps, pics, references and more at www.deadideas.net.

    Fascism I: What Is Fascism, and Is Trump It? – Modern History

    Fascism I: What Is Fascism, and Is Trump It? – Modern History

    TRIGGER WARNING: Politics. Today we explore what characterized early 20th-century fascism, and then ask whether its fair to call Trump fascist.

    Be sure to support the show at www.patreon.com/deadideaspod to get your portrait drawn!

    Music by Rachel Westhoff. Maps, pics, references and more at www.deadideas.net.

    Introducing Our New Show: The History of Sex!

    Introducing Our New Show: The History of Sex!

    It's here! It's finally here! After a full year of development, our new show the History of Sex is here. Cruise on over to The History of Sex on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get podcasts.

    Also, an announcement: next month, we will have more Dead Ideas!

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
134 Ratings

134 Ratings

Garrettsmith4 ,

Fun conversation, but some bite sized episodes would be nice

There is good chemistry between the main host and his recurring series of co-hosts. It’s a fun conversation and they do a good job digging for details. The only thing I would want is for them to release the occasional shorter single part episodes - say 30-40 min inline with the Genghis Khan/Prester John episode at 44 minutes, for easier use during shorter commutes or jogs. The 3-7 part series are great, I love the depth and detail, but perfection would be a mix of the two.

1/2dan1066 ,

Amateur...

Even for a podcast that is self-admittedly amateur, the word “amateur” is a huge understatement. They regularly misrepresent simple historical facts and misuse simple English words (“rationed” in place of “reasoned”, “heretical” in place of “hierarchical” for example.)

And as the chemistry...let’s say the host isn’t half as funny as the lackeys pretend, and the lackeys aren’t half as good at pretending as the host seems to think.

E.J. likes podcasts ,

Don’t listen to the negativity!

This is an amazing podcast!! It makes me laugh, and you actually learn stuff! Words don’t describe how fun this podcast is.

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Recorded History Podcast Network