61 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 Recorded History Podcast Network

    • History
    • 4.5, 137 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.

    Ibn Fadlan 2: A Letter from the Caliph

    Ibn Fadlan 2: A Letter from the Caliph

    Ahmad ibn Fadlan carries on to his cash-poor appointment with the Volga Bulgars. There's talk of funerals, cultural differences, and threats of death. 10th century diplomacy could be hard.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus.
    Sources:

    Ahmad ibn Fadlan. Mission to the Volga, translated by James E. Montgomery. New York University Press, 2017.


    Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North, translated and with an introduction by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone. Penguin, 2012.


    Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, edited by Josef W. Meri. Routledge, 2005.

    Bukharaev, Ravil. Islam in Russia: The Four Seasons. Routledge, 2014.

    Curta, Florin. Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

    Hansen, Valerie. The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World and Globalization Began. Simon and Schuster, 2020.

    Le Strange, Guy. The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate: Mesopotamia, Persia, and Central Asia from the Moslem Conquest to the Time of Timur. Cosimo Classics, 2010.

    Romano, John F. Medieval Travel and Travelers: A Reader. University of Toronto Press, 2020.

    Vernadsky, George. Kievan Russia. Yale University Press, 1973.


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    • 37 min
    Ibn Fadlan 1: From Baghdad with Very Cold Beards

    Ibn Fadlan 1: From Baghdad with Very Cold Beards

    Ahmad ibn Fadlan travels from early 10th century Baghdad on a diplomatic mission to the Volga Bulgars. There is a Viking funeral in his future, along with unfamiliar cultures and extremely cold weather. It's not The 13th Warrior, which it loosely inspired, but it is a good story.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus.
    Sources:

    Ahmad ibn Fadlan. Mission to the Volga, translated by James E. Montgomery. New York University Press, 2017.


    Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North, translated and with an introduction by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone. Penguin, 2012.


    Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, edited by Josef W. Meri. Routledge, 2005.

    Bukharaev, Ravil. Islam in Russia: The Four Seasons. Routledge, 2014.

    Le Strange, Guy. The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate: Mesopotamia, Persia, and Central Asia from the Moslem Conquest to the Time of Timur. Cosimo Classics, 2010.

    Romano, John F. Medieval Travel and Travelers: A Reader. University of Toronto Press, 2020.


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    • 39 min
    Eustace the Black Monk

    Eustace the Black Monk

    This is the story of a monk, a sorcerer, a pirate, a woodland outlaw, and a master of disguise. His name is Eustace.
    The book I mention at the start of the episode is Desmond Cole's The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. His recent podcast appearance can be found here.
    The other podcast I mention is Sandy and Nora Talk Politics.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus.
    Sources:

    Burgess, Glyn S. Two Medieval Outlaws: Eustace the Monk and Fouke Fitz Waryn. D.S. Brewer, 1997.

    Davis, Alex. Imagining Inheritance from Chaucer to Shakespeare. Oxford University Press, 2020.

    Ohlgren, Thomas H. Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern English Translation. Parlor Press, 2005.

    Seal, Graham. Outlaw Heroes in Myth and History. Anthem Press, 2011.


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    • 35 min
    Brancacci's Mission 2: Already Dismissed

    Brancacci's Mission 2: Already Dismissed

    The conclusion of the Felice Brancacci story. Our ambassador from Florence deals with the Mamluk sultan in Cairo, with sickness, and with a shortage of funds, and he comes home to commission some memorable art at the Brancacci Chapel.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus.
    Sources:


    Florence's Embassy to the Sultan of Egypt, translated by Mahnaz Yousefzadeh. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

    Ashtor, Eliyahu. Levant Trade in the Middle Ages. Princeton University Press, 2014.

    Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Practising Diplomacy in the Mamluk Sultanate: Gifts and Material Culture in the Medieval Islamic World. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014

    Goldthwaite, Richard A. The Economy of Renaissance Florence. JHU Press, 2009.

    Najemy, John M. A History of Florence, 1200-1575. John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

    Shulman, Ken. Anatomy of a Restoration: the Brancacci Chapel. Walker, 1991.


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    • 51 min
    Brancacci's Mission 1: From Florence to Cairo

    Brancacci's Mission 1: From Florence to Cairo

    In 1422, Felice Brancacci set out from Florence to establish trading relations with Mamluk Egypt, and to advocate for his city's currency. This is that story, part one of two.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus.
    Sources:


    Florence's Embassy to the Sultan of Egypt, translated by Mahnaz Yousefzadeh. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

    Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Practising Diplomacy in the Mamluk Sultanate: Gifts and Material Culture in the Medieval Islamic World. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.

    Goldthwaite, Richard A. The Economy of Renaissance Florence. JHU Press, 2009.

    Najemy, John M. A History of Florence, 1200-1575. John Wiley & Sons, 2008.


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    • 41 min
    Sir John Mandeville 5: Mongols, Mountains, and Myths

    Sir John Mandeville 5: Mongols, Mountains, and Myths

    Finishing up with Mandeville's travels, we visit the palace of the Mongol khan, the fortress paradise of the Old Man of the Mountain, and a land that never sees the sun.
    If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.
    I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus.
    Sources:


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


    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by Charles Moseley. Penguin, 2005.


    The Book of John Mandeville, edited by Tamarah Kohanski and C. David Benson. Medieval Institute Publications, 2007. 

    Friedman, John Block. The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought. Syracuse University Press, 2000.

    Higgins, Iain Macleod. Writing East: The "Travels" of Sir John Mandeville. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.

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

    Metlitzki, Dorothee. The Matter of Araby in Medieval England. Yale University Press, 2005.

    Tzanaki, Rosemary. Mandeville's Medieval Audiences: A Study on the Reception of the Book of Sir John Mandeville (1371-1550). Taylor & Francis, 2017.

    Verner, Lisa. The Epistemology of the Monstrous in the Middle Ages. Routledge, 2005.


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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
137 Ratings

137 Ratings

Russell gawat ,

Excellent despite the complaints

Devon’s voice is in my view a lot less boring than many podcasters ( try the history of crusades lady ) so I like it. The ads are awful if I could get hold of Flo advertising a product you can’t even by in 194 countries which is on a constant loop ..... well it wouldn’t end well. The content though is excellent and I love history podcasts and this product is 90 percent new to me. So keep it up mate just try and dump Flo .....

aRghJaay ,

Most excellent!

This is a fantastic history podcast. Wonderful work, easy to listen to and fun! Keep it up!

Runningandfarting ,

Content Great; Delivery Very Annoying

Honestly I really like the content.
It’s well put together and interesting.

HOWEVER I actually stopped listening to this podcast because of the narrator attempting to SING OUT parts of the stories, possibly unintentionally.

Voice emphasis placed on the wrong parts of words all day long... as if this was the speakers 3rd language.

If I wanted to hear that I would listen to “History on Fire.”

STOP SINGING the story please man!

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