A podcast about myths we think are history and history that might be hidden in myths! Awesome stories that really (maybe) happened!
Episode #149- Who Was the Real Stagger Lee?
The character of Stagger Lee has been one of America’s most enduring folk heroes. There have been over 400 songs written about the swaggering, gun-toting, bad man. He has gone by many names: Stacks Lee, Stagolee, Staxs O’Lee. Sometimes he is presented as a malevolent villain, others a heroic defender of the oppressed. No matter the telling Stagger Lee is always a badass. Is this figure just a piece of fiction dreamt up by blues musicians and perpetuated by their rock’n’roll progeny, or was there a real man behind the murderous myth? Tune-in and find out how Biggie Smalls, 19th century fightin’ words, and a milk white stetson hat all play a role in the story.
Episode #148- Who Was First in Flight? (Part III)
In 1906 Alberto Santos-Dumont performed a number of short flights in front of a large crowd in Paris. These were done in his newly constructed heavier-than-air flying machine, the No.14-Bis. After these successful hops newspapers roared that Santos had once again "conquered the air". Until at least 1908 he was widely recognized as the inventor of the first airplane. Now very few remember the achievements of Santos-Dumont outside of his native Brazil. What changed? It turns out that there are many potential contenders for the first "controlled" heavier-than-air flight. This story goes well beyond the Wright Brothers. Tune-in and find out how gliding Germans, pesky catapults, and some guy named "Bamboo Dick" all play a role in the story.
Episode #147- Who Was First in Flight? (Part II)
The late 19th century in France sometime gets called La Belle Époque or the "Beautiful Era". As the name suggests, this is a time that has been fondly remembered as an age of optimism marked by artistic and scientific triumphs. However, this era is also sometimes called the Fin De Siecle. When this nickname is evoked it's usually to cast this era as a cynical and pessimistic time, when people openly fretted about how different the 20th century would be from the 19th. This period was also marked by the first attempts at controlled manned flight. Perhaps the contrasting Belle Époque and Fin De Siecle attitudes can act as a helpful analogy to help understand the "lighter-than-air" and "heavier-than-air" approach to flight? The figure who somehow embodies all of this (Belle Époque optimism, Fin De Siecle ennui, lighter-than-air triumphs, and heavier-than-air controversies) is the Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos-Dumont. Tune-in and find out how bar-hopping dirigibles, hydrogen explosions, and a gingerbread Santos all play a role in the story,
Episode #146- Who Was First in Flight? (Part I)
In mythology from around the world the ability to fly was reserved strictly for the gods. Stories about human beings constructing flying machines were usually punctuated with a moral about hubris. Vain attempts at flight were an easy metaphor for the limits of human ingenuity. Even in the late 19th century, when technology was progressing quickly and inventors were becoming celebrities, those who devoted themselves to flying machines were written off as daredevils or cranks. However, the stigma did not deter a handful of obsessed would-be aeronauts. Around the turn of the century a number of inventors from different corners of the world raced to be the first in flight. The Wright Brothers have gone down in history as the inventors of the airplane, but were they truly the first people to create a working flying machine? Tune-in and find out how Olympic opening ceremonies, Eagle Thrones, and the world's tiniest balloon all play a role in the story.
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Episode #145- Real Gryphons?
The legendary hybrid creature known as the gryphon was said to have the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. Despite this fantastical descriptions the ancient Greeks and Romans truly seemed to have believed that gryphons were real animals. It was thought that gryphons lived in arid steppes and deserts of central Asia where they guarded stashes of gold. Stories of gryphons made their way to Mediterranean by way of the nomadic Scythian people, who hunted for gold in the gryphon's homeland. Stanford Professor Adrienne Mayor thinks she may have solved the mystery of this puzzling creature. Could the gryphon stories be an early form of paleontology? Tune-in and find out how giant hoaxes, paleo-art, and one eyed gold hunters all play a role in the story.
Episode #144- Who Was the Mother of Empires? (Part III)
Eleanor of Aquitaine has been called the "Queen of the Troubadours" by fawning biographers. She has been credited with transforming medieval European culture through her patronage of the arts. It's also been written that she presided over elaborate "Courts of Love" where she made rulings on matters of the heart. However, this image of Eleanor may just be another aspect of the so-called "Golden Myth". Some historians have argued that it was only after Eleanor became a widow that she really stepped into her role as the "Mother of Empires". Has Eleanor's formidable widowhood coloured our perceptions of her entire life. Tune-in and find out how romantic lawsuits, secret love nests, and Blink-182 all play a role in the story.
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You will learn something new every time you listen. It’s great
Pace is good and bad
Learning interesting facts and enjoy Sebastian’s story-telling and research. Mixed feelings about the overall pace. It’s nice that he uses his teacher background to explain things carefully. One need not know a lot about the stories to follow along. Sometimes, though, it takes too long to get to the point. Cutting some of the repetition and slow build would make it even better.
Ads have gotten bad on this one.
Been listening from the start, content is good, but the number of ads has gone over the top. I understand, but will probably be letting this one go.