153 episodes

How do empires rise? Why do they fall? And how have they shaped the world around us today?

William Dalrymple and Anita Anand explore the stories, personalities and events of empire over the course of history.

Empire The Empire Club

    • History
    • 4.7 • 31 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

How do empires rise? Why do they fall? And how have they shaped the world around us today?

William Dalrymple and Anita Anand explore the stories, personalities and events of empire over the course of history.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    139. Mrs Genghis Khan

    139. Mrs Genghis Khan

    Börte came from a powerful nomadic tribe and in many ways her marriage to Genghis Khan set him up to become the great conqueror we know. They married young and when they were twenty, he brought his new bride back to his camp. But their newlywed life was turned upside down when Börte was kidnapped. He formed important alliances to retrieve her and seek revenge. Once reunited, Börte became a key advisor to her husband as he laid the foundation of the Mongol Empire, establishing a dynasty that lasted for centuries. Listen as Anita and William are joined by Marie Favereau to discuss the life of Börte.

    **Empire Live**
    Empire live show tickets are ON SALE TODAY from 9am UK time!! Join Anita and William at the London Barbican 8 July 2024! Buy your tickets here or here.

    Twitter: @Empirepoduk
    Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com
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    Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis
    Producer: Callum Hill
    Exec Producer: Neil Fearn
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    • 47 min
    138. The Graceful Reed: Ruling the Islamic Empire

    138. The Graceful Reed: Ruling the Islamic Empire

    Sold as a slave to the great Abbasid Caliph, al-Khayzuran quickly rose to the very top of the pyramid. Through marriage and motherhood, she became wife of the caliph and then Queen Mother and in both instances she wielded extraordinary power. In the court at Baghdad - the very heart of the civilised world - al-Khayzuran had major influence and it is possible that during her lifetime, she was the most powerful woman in the world, determining politics from Morocco to Afghanistan. Some even say she assassinated one of her sons, and put a second on the throne. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Hugh Kennedy to discuss the extraordinary life of al-Khayzuran.

    **Empire Live**
    Tickets for our live show go on sale on THIS Thursday, but for members of the Empire Club tickets are available in the pre-sale as of 9am GMT TODAY! If you want to sign up to the Empire Club, simply go to https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/

    Twitter: @Empirepoduk

    Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com

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    Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis
    Producer: Callum Hill
    Exec Producer: Neil Fearn
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    • 43 min
    Bonus: Ancient eclipses, riverside sculptures, and the caste system in the time of the Buddha

    Bonus: Ancient eclipses, riverside sculptures, and the caste system in the time of the Buddha

    What language was spoken in the Eastern Roman Empire during the time of Theodora and Justinian? Which was the first empire to formally introduce women’s rights? What was the caste system like in the Buddha's time and did he really oppose it? Listen as Anita and William answer these questions and discuss eclipse-chasing and magic along the Tungabhadra river.

    Twitter: @Empirepoduk

    Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com

    Goalhangerpodcasts.com

    Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis

    Producer: Callum Hill

    Exec Producer: Neil Fearn

    137. Empress Theodora: Making Heaven on Earth

    137. Empress Theodora: Making Heaven on Earth

    The Empress Theodora is often unfairly remembered for the salacious stories that have been told about her when she was forced to work in a brothel. She was far more than that. She used her power to improve the fortunes of women who were unfortunate enough to go through the same shocking situation as her. She helped rebuild the Hagia Sophia and turn it into the largest and most beautiful building in the 6th century world. She assisted Justinian’s foreign campaigns that sought to restore the glory of the Roman Empire. In short, she was remarkable. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Peter Sarris for the final time, as they discuss the extraordinary story of Theodora as Empress of the Roman Empire.

    For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/

    Twitter: @Empirepoduk

    Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com

    Goalhangerpodcasts.com

    Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis
    Producer: Callum Hill
    Exec Producer: Neil Fearn
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 55 min
    136. Empress Theodora: From the Brothel to the Throne

    136. Empress Theodora: From the Brothel to the Throne

    Placed by her mother into a brothel when she was just a child, Theodora was born into the most brutal of worlds. It was a Constantinople riven with division, whether due to theology or circus factions it was always ready to boil over. As befitting a Christian saint, Theodora managed to rise above all of this; she escaped working in a brothel, became the model of a reformed woman, and married the future emperor, Justinian. Then, in 527, when he was declared Emperor, Theodora was brought forward and revealed as Empress of the Roman Empire. Listen as William and Anita are once again joined by Peter Sarris to discuss this tale of star-crossed lovers and how it facilitated the improbable rise of Theodora.

    For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/

    Twitter: @Empirepoduk

    Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com

    Goalhangerpodcasts.com

    Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis
    Producer: Callum Hill
    Exec Producer: Neil Fearn
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 41 min
    135. Helena: Queen of the World and Finder of the One True Cross

    135. Helena: Queen of the World and Finder of the One True Cross

    Born in poverty at a time when the Roman Empire was in danger of cracking up and disintegrating, Helena was set for a life of obscurity as a stable hand, bar maid, and, according to some, a prostitute. Yet, in the most improbable tale she rose through the social hierarchy to be proclaimed Empress, then later canonised, and declared by some as queen of the world. Not only was she mother and most trusted advisor to the Emperor Constantine, but she played a pivotal role in the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. Whilst on pilgrimage in the Middle-East she was said to have discovered the one true cross and helped to set a template for Christian pilgrimages that would last for centuries. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Peter Sarris to discuss St Helena and her unprecedented rise through Roman society to the position of supreme power.

    A key source for St Helena's life is Helena Augusta: Mother of the Empire, by Julia Hillner.

    For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/

    Twitter: @Empirepoduk

    Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com

    Goalhangerpodcasts.com

    Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis
    Producer: Callum Hill
    Exec Producer: Neil Fearn
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Deepz J ,

Truly love this podcast :)

This is honestly a podcast I have enjoyed throughly after a very long time. I am hooked. I look forward to putting it on every morning before work and every evening after work. Keeps me entertained while I sit in Johannesburg traffic

Waesel and hopscotch ,

Brilliant podcast

I am learning so much from this podcast and am realising how limited and biased my understanding of history has been. Thank you so much for the incredible insights both past and present.

thicket! ,

Insightful & Entertaining

In a AI driven world I never thought I would ever comment on a podcast recalling the past! The presenters make their subject come alive, and are really very passionate about their story! The best podcast!

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