A podcast about myths we think are history and history that might be hidden in myths! Awesome stories that really (maybe) happened!
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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Episode #143- Who Was the Mother of Empires? (Part II)
When the King and Queen of France went on crusade in 1147 it nearly destroyed their marriage. The campaign led by King Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine was an unmitigated disaster. But despite (or perhaps because of) it's failure the Second Crusade would remain a potent part of Eleanor's legend. It was rumored that she dressed like an Amazonian Queen and carried on affairs with everyone from the Muslim General Saladin to her own Uncle. Are any of these stories true or is just another part of Eleanor's so-called "Black Legend"? Tune-in and find out how lost epics, cousin divorce, and Pope inspired conception all play a role in the story.
Episode #142- Who Was the Mother of Empires? (Part I)
Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of the best remembered medieval Queens. She has been celebrated as one of the most daring and consequential women of her age. But despite her fame Eleanor is often misunderstood. Some writers have sullied Eleanor’s historical reputation by spreading scandalous rumours about the Queen. Other writers, in an attempt to revive her reputation, have overcorrected and have presented her as a completely exceptional “woman out of time.” These two skewed understandings of Eleanor have been called the “Black Legend” and the “Golden Myth.” Is it possible to bring some balance back to our understanding of Eleanor? Tune-in and find out how Oscar acceptance speeches, a convent-themed harem, and the craziest month ever, play a role in the story.
Episode #141- Who's Afraid of the 30 Years War? (Ft. Zack Twamley)
The 30 Years War has reputation among history buffs as one of the most complicated conflicts you can study. Even though the war is filled with fantastic stories, it can sometimes scare away history podcasters (like Sebastian). The complexity of the war makes it difficult to break down simply and clearly. Luckily, in this episode Sebastian is joined by the one podcaster who has managed to bring the war to life, host of When Diplomacy Fails, Zack Twamley. Zack has also just written his first piece of historical fiction set against the tumultuous backdrop of the 30 years war. Can Zack help Sebastian wrap his head around this war? Tune-in and find out how confusing maps, mysterious black masks, and big pile of poop all play a role in the story.
Find Zack's new book Matchlock and the Embassy here:
Episode #140- What Became of the Great Library of Alexandria? (Part II)
There are three main culprits in the alleged burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. But weirdly they all lived roughly 300 years apart from one another. How is that even possible? It’s weird anomalies like this that complicate the history of the Great Library. Many have written poetically about the dramatic burning of this ancient institution, but is this cataclysm just an elaborate myth? Tune-in and find out how past life regression, The Great Gatsby, the Sandy Koufax of Roman Emperors all play a role in the story.
Fun with facts
I appreciate all of Sebastian’s diligent effort in digging up such unusual facts and fiction 😋
Great show but the commercials are getting ridiculous
Love the show but he’s doing over 10 mins of commercials. I’m all for people making money but this is just nuts. I’ve never heard a show with more commercials.
Great content, too many ads
I love this show, it’s a wonderful mix of mainstream and alternative history. Just make sure you have your phone nearby to skip ahead when you listen because about 30% of it is ads.