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143 – Man Up: Gender in the Middle Ages

143 – Man Up:  Gender in the Middle Ages

Often times, the way the Middle Ages are presented, are as an era where everyone was lily white and a time when men were men and women were women. A time of hyper masculinity where all the guys were muscle bound warriors with big bushy beards and a bone structure that makes them look like extras from Clan of the Cave Bear. But just like everything else that pop culture has taught us about the Middle Ages, including the commonly used...

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142 – The Failed Dynastic Politics of Mercia and Northumbria

142 – The Failed Dynastic Politics of Mercia and Northumbria

As you might remember, Queen Osthryth has recently been murdered by the Mercian nobility and was buried at Bardney. And the murder might have happened because she was working to detach the Hwicce off from Mercian domination. And while we talked a little about that, I got a few questions about it so I thought we might talk a little more about how Mercia was organized so that you understand why that was such a big deal. Because this wasn’t...

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141 – King Aldfrith and St. Wilfrid

141 – King Aldfrith and St. Wilfrid

Ok, when we left off, Bishop Wilfrid was jilted out of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, and instead Abbot Beorhtwald became Archbishop Beorhtwald. So Wilfrid readjusted and made an attempt to reunify the Bishopric of York and then head it up. But King Aldfrith didn’t agree and, presumably because the Wilfrid wouldn’t let it drop, he banished Wilfrid out of Northumbria. And then, when Wilfrid fled to Mercia and became the Bishop of the...

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140 – Wilfrid: How to Win Friends and Influence People

140 – Wilfrid: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Today’s episode will take place in the turbulent years from 686 to 692 and the main characters will be… Aldfrith – King of Mercia, son of Oswiu, brother of Ecgfrith, and scholarly dude. Wilfrid – Former Bishop of York, friend of the terrifying pagan king Caedwalla, and man you really don’t want to cross. and Aethelred – King of Mercia, son of Penda, brother of Wulfhere, and (despite his rather pious upbringing) he...

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139 – The Rise of Aldfrith and Caedwalla

139 – The Rise of Aldfrith and Caedwalla

This episode will roughly cover the eventful years between 685 and 689. The main characters today will be two kings, two wannabe kings, and a bishop… here we go: First we have King Aldfrith of Northumbria – He was the brother of the slain King Ecgfrith and also the son of King Oswiu, and he was ruling over Northumbria. Then we have King Hlothere of Kent – He was the brother of Ecgberht, who was the former King of Kent. And...

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138 – Religious Lives

138 – Religious Lives

Alright, so last week we talked about how uneven and confused the conversion of Britain was. And how the beliefs of one village might not bare all that much similarity to the beliefs of another village even though they both might profess to worship the same god. Well, what about the people who’s job it was to worship and evangelize that god? What about the men and women of the cloth? Sure, as we learned last week, monasteries in many ways...

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137 – Preaching in the Dark Ages

137 – Preaching in the Dark Ages

Today we’re going to cover the crazy environment that early Christian converts found themselves in during the Dark Ages, and some of the bizarre notions they might have gotten regarding their religion thanks to poor access, education, and stubborn attachment to old pagan traditions. Also: we learn why mothers don’t stuff their feverish daughters into ovens anymore. Seriously, that’s something they used to do. Podcast:...

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