47 episodes

Witches didn't exist, and yet thousands of people were executed for the crime of witchcraft. Why? The belief in magic and witchcraft has existed in every recorded human culture; this podcast looks at how people explained the inexplicable, turned random acts of nature into conscious acts of mortal or supernatural beings, and how desperate communities took revenge against the suspected perpetrators.

The History of Witchcraft Samuel Hume

    • History
    • 4.8, 111 Ratings

Witches didn't exist, and yet thousands of people were executed for the crime of witchcraft. Why? The belief in magic and witchcraft has existed in every recorded human culture; this podcast looks at how people explained the inexplicable, turned random acts of nature into conscious acts of mortal or supernatural beings, and how desperate communities took revenge against the suspected perpetrators.

    Early Modern English Witchcraft with Professor Darren Oldridge

    Early Modern English Witchcraft with Professor Darren Oldridge

    Prof. Oldridge joins me to talk about witchcraft and religion in early Stuart England,
    The recommended books, available from all good retailers, are:


    Strange Histories (2017)


    The Supernatural in Tudor and Stuart England (2016)


    The Witchcraft Reader (2019)


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    • 41 min
    Sound Education Experience

    Sound Education Experience

    This is just a short catch up episode to share what I experienced at Sound Education 2019. I met so many great podcasters, many that I've listened to for years and many more that are now in my queue.
    www.SoundEducation.fm
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    • 21 min
    What's it like to make a History Podcast (feat. Dead Ideas)

    What's it like to make a History Podcast (feat. Dead Ideas)

    In a special episode BT Newberg and I talk about the highs and lows of making a history podcast. What made us want to start a podcast? Why did we pick the subjects we did? When did I decide to change focus to Pax Britannica? What are the best and worst things about it? Peak behind the curtain!
    Go check out Dead Ideas: https://deadideas.net/
    Check out the podcast website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch
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    • 44 min
    Introducing Pax Britannica

    Introducing Pax Britannica

    A short introduction and clip from the first episode of Pax Britannica. Follow the links below to find my new show your favourite way!
    Show Page: https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/ADL3707263633
    Website: https://paxbritannica.info
    iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/pax-britannica/id1451859986?mt=2
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6FQwqzI4u8waYkEaEUiXut?si=n0GT5GBASzyyl1d1GK-j8w
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/samuel-hume-3/pax-britannica
    Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLm1lZ2FwaG9uZS5mbS9BREwzNzA3MjYzNjMz
    PlayerFM: https://player.fm/series/pax-britannica-2483186
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PodBritannica/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritannicaPax
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    • 8 min
    043 - Salem, Massachusetts

    043 - Salem, Massachusetts

    If anyone has heard of a particular witch trial, they will have heard of Salem. It's an infamous part of early American history, and everywhere in popular culture. Today's episode will be explaining the main theories as to why the small village of Salem, Massachusetts began the greatest witch panic in American history.
    This episode primarily made use of the following texts:
    - Anderson, Virginia Dejohn, 'New England in the Seventeenth Century', in The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
    - Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, (2002)
    - Godbeer, Richard, ‘Witchcraft in British America’, in Levack, Brian (ed.),The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (2014)- Hansen, Chadwick, ‘Andover Witches and the Causes of the Salem Witchcraft Trials’, in Levack, Brian (ed.), Witchcraft in Colonial America, ed.
    - Le Beau, Bryan F. The Story of the Salem Witch Trials, (1998)
    Also included in today's episode is a brief announcement for a new podcast of mine, Pax Britannica, launching 10th February 2019. Keep up to date with the launch by following the social media pages below:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PodBritannica/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritannicaPax

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    • 35 min
    Witchcraft in Russia with Prof. Valerie Kivelson

    Witchcraft in Russia with Prof. Valerie Kivelson

    I'm delighted to speak with Valerie Kivelson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Professor Kivelson graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude in 1980, and received her PhD from Stanford University in 1988. Since then Professor Kivelson has been a prolific author of books and papers covering topics as varied as Russian Cosmography, Siberian colonisation, cartography, and of course witchcraft.
    Recommended texts by Prof. Kivelson:
    - Desparate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Russia (Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desperate-Magic-Economy-Witchcraft-Seventeenth-Century-ebook/dp/B00G6SD4JO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544309091&sr=8-1&keywords=desperate+magic)
    - 'Male Witches and Gendered Categories in Seventeenth-Century Russia', Comparative Studies in Society and History (Available from Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history/article/male-witches-and-gendered-categories-in-seventeenthcentury-russia/F9FA9F79E0576D4F0AC5EA29E3EFF59A/share/834641cd30309cda70c4c5ed8ee30e6054f43d51)
    Website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft
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    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
111 Ratings

111 Ratings

2ndDegreeMama ,

Simply brilliant, highly recommended

Entertaining and worth more than my history classes in school - and yes, Sam - I am in love with your voice

onegirlattheluau ,

So informative

This show is so thorough and informative it’s amazing to listen to and has reliable information.

Adomissioner ,

A blithe masculine take

An impressive production! But in this age of reckoning with the ways the horrors of history affect us still today, I’m disturbed by the levity with which this content is handled. In particular, Samuel often uses the phrases like “200 witches were executed” when it might be more accurate and humanizing to say “200 people accused of witchcraft.”
It’s also so telling that these events which disproportionately destroyed women have to be pieced together via the accounts of powerful men. I am 5 episodes in and hope that there will be more gentle and sober reckoning to come between Samuel’s confident recitation of people and places. If not, listeners may end up informed and entertained, yet desensitized to trauma which deserves examination, given the ongoing suppression of the Feminine in modern western culture.

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