84 episodes

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

Human Circus: Journeys in the Medieval World D Field

    • History
    • 4.4 • 171 Ratings

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

    Prester John 6: The Ethiopian Prester John

    Prester John 6: The Ethiopian Prester John

    This is the first of two episodes on the next jump in the Prester John narrative, as the story pivots to Ethiopia and as Ethiopian envoys and pilgrims travel in 15th-century Italy and Spain.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, and I have some things on Redbubble.
    Sources:


    Prester John: The Legend and its Sources, compiled and translated by Keagan Brewer. Taylor & Francis, 2019.

    Knobler, Adam. Mythology and Diplomacy in the Age of Exploration. Brill, 2016.

    Krebs, Verena. Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe. Springer International, 2021.

    Krebs, Verena. "Re-examining Foresti's Supplementum Chronicarum and the 'Ethiopian' embassy to Europe of 1306," in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Volume 82, Issue 3 (October 2019) .

    Kurt, Andrew. "The search for Prester John, a projected crusade and the eroding prestige of Ethiopian kings, c .1200 – c .1540," in Journal of Medieval History, 39.3 (September 2013).

    Salvadore, Matteo. The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555. Taylor & Francis, 2016.

    Salvadore, Matteo. "The Ethiopian Age of Exploration: Prester John's Discovery of Europe, 1306-1458," in Journal of World History, Vol. 21, No. 4 (December 2010).


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    • 42 min
    Medieval Halloween: Lamias, Devils, and Disembodied Hands

    Medieval Halloween: Lamias, Devils, and Disembodied Hands

    Medieval stories of the paranormal, for Halloween or any time really. Featuring invisible devils, water sprites, and helpful hands.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, and I have some things on Redbubble.
    Sources:


    Gesta Romanorum, translated by Charles Swan. George Bell & Sons, 1905.

    Joynes, Andrew. Medieval Ghost Stories: An Anthology of Miracles, Marvels and Prodigies. Boydell, 2006.


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    • 35 min
    Prester John 5: The Mongol Priest-King

    Prester John 5: The Mongol Priest-King

    The Mongols, their conquests, and the travellers who went to see them were all going to necessitate some changes to the Prester John narrative. This episode is all about those changes.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, and I have some things on Redbubble.
    Sources:


    Prester John: The Legend and its Sources, compiled and translated by Keagan Brewer. Taylor & Francis, 2019.


    Sir John Mandeville: The Book of Marvels and Travels, translated by Anthony Bale. Oxford University Press, 2012.

    Aigle, Denise. The Mongol Empire Between Myth and Reality. Brill, 2014.

    Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Routledge, 2018.

    Rachewiltz, Igor de. Prester John and Europe's Discovery of East Asia. Australian National University Press, 1972.


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    • 41 min
    Prester John 4: Waiting for David

    Prester John 4: Waiting for David

    After their success at Damietta, the participants in the Fifth Crusade decide what to do next, and they wait for a certain someone...
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, and I have some things on Redbubble.
    Sources:


    Prester John: The Legend and its Sources, compiled and translated by Keagan Brewer. Taylor & Francis, 2019.


    Crusade and Christendom: Annotated Documents in Translation from Innocent III to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291. Edited by Jessalynn Bird, et al. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.


    The Fifth Crusade in Context: The Crusading Movement in the Early Thirteenth Century. Edited by E.J. Mylod, et al. Routledge, 2016.

    Brownworth, Lars. In Distant Lands: A Short History of the Crusades. Crux Publishing Ltd, 2017.

    Cassidy-Welch, Megan. War and Memory at the Time of the Fifth Crusade. Penn State University Press, 2019.

    Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

    Powell, James M. Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213-1221. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986.

    Powell, James M. Innocent III: Vicar of Christ Or Lord of the World? Catholic University of America Press, 1994.


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    • 40 min
    Prester John 3: The Fifth Crusade

    Prester John 3: The Fifth Crusade

    The crusaders make their way first to Acre and then to Damietta. Perhaps someone would be along to help them soon?
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, and I have some things on Redbubble.
    Sources:


    Prester John: The Legend and its Sources, compiled and translated by Keagan Brewer. Taylor & Francis, 2019.


    Crusade and Christendom: Annotated Documents in Translation from Innocent III to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291. Edited by Jessalynn Bird, et al. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.


    The Fifth Crusade in Context: The Crusading Movement in the Early Thirteenth Century. Edited by E.J. Mylod, et al. Routledge, 2016.

    Brownworth, Lars. In Distant Lands: A Short History of the Crusades. Crux Publishing Ltd, 2017.

    Cassidy-Welch, Megan. War and Memory at the Time of the Fifth Crusade. Penn State University Press, 2019.

    Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

    Powell, James M. Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213-1221. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986.

    Powell, James M. Innocent III: Vicar of Christ Or Lord of the World? Catholic University of America Press, 1994.


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    • 28 min
    Prester John 2.5: Papal Correspondence

    Prester John 2.5: Papal Correspondence

    A shorter episode, on a letter from Pope Alexander III to Prester John.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, and I have some things on Redbubble.
    Sources:


    Prester John: The Legend and its Sources, compiled and translated by Keagan Brewer. Taylor & Francis, 2019.


    Pope Alexander III (1159–81): The Art of Survival. Taylor & Francis, 2016.

    Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Stanford University Press, 1971.


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    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
171 Ratings

171 Ratings

matan0 ,

Well researched and an easy listen

I’m admittedly a history nerd. I find this podcast to be thoughtful and well researched. It covers a subject and time frame that is rarely presented in western history. The narration is soft spoken and easy to listen to. I often use it to lull me to sleep, and I mean this in a good way.

Beccaaz746 ,

Dont believe the positive reviews

Pretty sure they need fo have so many ads because the listener count is so low. I’m willing to bet most of the positive reviews come from people who think the host has a verbal disability and they are “trying to be nice”.

It’s unlistenable.

And I love the content.

Kristinadrakeart ,

Long time listener

I found this while searching for an engaging history podcast that doesn’t tell me the same stories I’ve heard a thousand times before. I love this especially since it’s based on real letters and books from the period. which gives you the perspective of the humans who lived in this time, what they believed, thought about and feared. Really unique.

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