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131 – Scotcast Part Eight

131 – Scotcast Part Eight

So we will begin the account of what was going on with the Picts following the withdrawal of Rome with a rather discouraging fact… isn’t it nice when I can start an episode on an up note? In the Group A version of the Pictish Chronicle there are only 3 Pictish Kings before Kenneth MacAlpin who had any of their deeds recorded. Just three. Everything else is pretty much just a chronology… just simple markers indicating the passage of time....

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130 – Scotcast Part Seven – Who Were The Picts?

130 – Scotcast Part Seven – Who Were The Picts?

You can your own Hipster Hadrian t-shirt, that was discussed on this episode, at www.teespring.com/hipsterhadrian The last time we had episodes focusing upon the Scotcast, it was at the end of Season Two… at the end of roman Britannia, and quite a lot of things have changed for our friends in the north. So, as is our custom, now that we’re changing gears and focusing on a new era in the main story, lets break away from our Anglo-Saxon...

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Season 4 Promo – Anglo Saxon Ascendancy

Season 4 Promo – Anglo Saxon Ascendancy

It began with Cassivellaunus. The first recorded King to have commanded the submission of most, if not all, of the British tribes and who fought valiantly against Caesar and his legions. And although the hegemony under Cassivellaunus didn’t last, it presented a tantalizing new possibility. Unity. A century later, the Romans returned… and this time they stayed…. and for nearly 4 centuries, England, Wales, and parts of Scotland all...

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129 – The Life of King Wulfhere

129 – The Life of King Wulfhere

About a year and a half ago I did a series on the Staffordshire hoard. And talking with the experts and viewing the relics was easily one of my favorite moments from the entire experience of putting together the BHP. As you might remember, the hoard was found in Mercia and it is dated to roughly around the era that we’re talking about right now. In fact, I would be willing to wager that for most of you, the first time you heard the name...

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128 – The End of King Oswiu’s Hegemony

128 – The End of King Oswiu’s Hegemony

The episode covers 664 to 670 and the major characters are… King Oswiu, ruler of Northumbria, son of AEthelfrith, and all around terrifying fellow King Alhfrith of Deira, Oswiu’s son and one of his probable rivals Wilfrid, abbott of Ripon, guy who argued for Rome at Whitby, and all around ambitious guy. and King Wulfhere, ruler of Mercia and son of Penda. When we last left off, it was still 664 and we just saw the end of the Synod of...

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Dude Where’s My Episodes? Where’s My Episodes, Dude?

Dude Where’s My Episodes?  Where’s My Episodes, Dude?

Alright, I didn’t think anyone would notice the changes because so far they’ve been minor, and also the World Cup is on. But it turns out that a lot of you are rather detail oriented, so you caught me! It’s true, we went from 151 regular episodes to 127 regular episodes. And that change wasn’t a bug on the site, but rather it’s phase one of a number of upgrades that I’m doing on the show. So let me bring you up to speed. First, the reason...

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127 – The Synod of Whitby

127 – The Synod of Whitby

The major players for today will be Hild (who was the daughter of King Edwin’s nephew, Hereric), King Oswiu of Bernicia, Bishop Colman of Lindisfarne, Wilfred the abbot of Ripon, and Bishop Cedd. And they will be, ostensibly, arguing over the date of Easter. See? Once again, we’ve got Easter causing trouble in Britain. Cadburys chocolate can’t come soon enough. This is getting out of hand. But honestly, the computation of Easter is just...

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126 – The End of an Era: The Triumph of Christianity

126 – The End of an Era: The Triumph of Christianity

Today we’re going to tackle the history from 660 right up to the lead up to the Synod of Whitby… and we’re going to have a lot of moving parts, but the theme that is developing here is one of the last gasps of Paganism in Britain and the rise of two rival imperiums: one based in Northumbria and another based in Mercia. The major players for today’s episode are King Oswiu of Northumbria as well as his chief rival, King Wulfhere of Mercia....

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125 – King Oswiu: A Gathering Storm

125 – King Oswiu: A Gathering Storm

So in late 655, following his victory at the Winwaed, King Oswiu occupied and ruled Northern Mercia and thus now ruled over an additional 7,000 households, according to Bede. Consider how much power that was conferring upon the King. We’re talking about 7,000 hides of land. Think of how many Ceorls and Thegns now answered to him, and how much food rent he would now command, in addition to all the holdings of Bernicia and the tributes he...

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124 – Social Mobility: Getting a Raise in Anglo Saxon Kingdoms

124 – Social Mobility:  Getting a Raise in Anglo Saxon Kingdoms

Ok, so stratification… for the most part we’ve been talking about the Royals and how they’re pulling away from the peasants, but there’s another thing that’s occurring on the island with regard to status… because history is rarely black and white… and that thing is an increasing level of social mobility. And right now you might have thought you misheard me, or that I misspoke, but no… you heard right. Despite the increasing concentration...

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123 – Retail Therapy: The Rise of Anglo Saxon Towns

123 – Retail Therapy: The Rise of Anglo Saxon Towns

The days of subsistence farming and small local communities is drawing to a close. And just like the early egalitarian days came to an end with the concentration of wealth at the dynastic level, now we’re seeing a concentration of goods and trade at trading towns and the rise of a new urban and merchant class. And the farmers and their slaves, whether they knew it or not, were supporting the entire structure. Podcast: Play in new window |...

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122 – The Concentration of Power and Wealth

122 – The Concentration of Power and Wealth

Something strange has been happening in our story… and I’m going to very briefly touch upon the arrival of the Anglo Saxons simply because I want you to see how much things have changed. As you might remember, when we began on Season two, we saw Roman Britannia in collapse and the introduction of a new cultural group that was a mix of farmers and mercenaries: The Anglo Saxons. And these people were frighteningly poor. The Romano-British...

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121 – King Oswiu: The Aftermath of the Winwaed

121 – King Oswiu: The Aftermath of the Winwaed

Now the Battle of Maserfield had established Mercia as a dominant force on the island, and specifically it had demonstrated the military prowess of Penda. It was there that King Oswald of Northumbria was killed and his kingdom was split into two separate kingdoms, each with its own king. It was there that Mercian power, which had already been growing with their challenges to the West Saxons, reached its full stride and broke the...

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120 – Penda and Oswiu: The Winwaed

120 – Penda and Oswiu: The Winwaed

Imagine the scene… the weather had been horrendous. Torrential rains had battered the region for days. Penda and his men were tired, far from home… and they were weighted down with whatever gifts they had retained, and their forces were already weakened… and as the war was now over, perhaps some of the warbands were already marching off independently, heading back to wherever they came from. And so Penda’s once great army was...

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119 – King Penda: No Posers

119 – King Penda: No Posers

So we have King Penda of Mercia in a pretty powerful position… and Northumbria had been broken up into Bernicia and Deira with Oswiu ruling the former and his Nephew ruling the latter… and as for East Anglia, their King, Anna, was on the run because he was in an awkward position having offered sanctuary to the King of Wessex, who foolishly spurned Penda’s sister, and then when King Penda came to visit, King Anna was defeated and he...

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118 – Oswiu and Oswine: There’s No Anglo Saxon Word for Take Backsies

118 – Oswiu and Oswine: There’s No Anglo Saxon Word for Take Backsies

King Anna and East Anglia was growing in power… gathering enough influence to provide sanctuary to one of King Penda’s enemies and even bringing new regions of the Fens under his control. Further, he was a devout King, converting both Penda’s former brother-in-law, King Cenwalh of Wessex, and also providing a great deal of support for the growing monastic community in his Kingdom. However, Penda had other plans… and this episode will...

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117 – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

117 – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Oswald was the King of Northumbria and son of AEthelfrith who was killed by Penda at Maserfield. Oswiu was his brother Osric of Deira was the King of Deira, and nephew of Edwin, who was killed by Cadwallon. and Oswine was the son of Osric… So to recap… Oswald and Oswiu are brothers and Bernician. Osric and Oswine are father and son, and are Deiran. Isn’t this fun? Alright, it’s 642 and in Wessex, King Cynegils of the West Saxons died, and...

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116 – Wait… Where Are We? Part Two

116 – Wait… Where Are We? Part Two

This is a recap of the last approximately two years of episodes and history! For Part One (covering the first year of the show) check out “Episode 42 – Wait… Where Are We?” Here’s a direct link: http://thebritishhistorypodcast.com/?p=312 Since we did the last recap, a ton of stuff has happened and we’ve really gotten to know these people rather well. But with all the crazy events and uncertain sources,...

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115 – Maserfield: Blood Makes The Grass Grow

115 – Maserfield: Blood Makes The Grass Grow

Edwin, Osric, Eanfrith, Eadfrith, Cadwallon, Sigeberht, Ecgric… Following Hatfield Chase, we have seen a blood letting of the aristocracy of Anglo Saxon Britain of epic proportions. And we are only hearing about the very highest echelons… but how many Thegns, AEthlings, and minor nobles have also lost their lives in these power struggles? If the life of Edwin is indicative of how these power struggles tended to go, it wouldn’t have just...

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114 – Oswald and Sigeberht: The Softer Side of Rule

114 – Oswald and Sigeberht: The Softer Side of Rule

Alright, so things have gotten pretty exciting. We’ve had the downfall of Cadwallon of Gwynedd and the rise of Oswald of Northumbria and the return of Christianity to the North as well as the spread of it throughout the south with only a few holdouts, like Mercia and the Isle of Wight staying Pagan. This is an enormous time of change. And as you might imagine, those changes were getting mixed reactions. For example, the death of Cadwallon...

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BHP Pub Quiz #6

BHP Pub Quiz #6

This one is pretty tough… but I believe in you! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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113 – Religious Ambitions: The Rise of Oswald (and Others)

113 – Religious Ambitions: The Rise of Oswald (and Others)

When we last left off, Oswald son of AEthelfrith and Acha, defeated and killed Cadwallon of Gwynedd at the battle of Heavenfield. The defeat was a serious blow for the Northern Welsh kingdom. In fact, in the praise poem written about Cadwallon, we see the first use of the term which would become the modern name for the Wales… Cymru. The land of the western Cumbrogi…or comrades. I love the fact that the term appears at this point in the...

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112 – The Battle of Heavenfield

112 – The Battle of Heavenfield

Edwin was dead… Eanfrith was dead… Only Osric, Oswald, and Oswiu were left to stand against King Cadwallon and his Welsh army. Everything was coming to a head… and at the Battle of Heavenfield, the future of Northumbria would be decided. —- The year was 633 or 634, and the tide was turning against Northumbria for the first time in as long as anyone could probably remember. AEthelfrith’s victory at the Battle of...

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111 – Edwin: What Goes Around Comes Around

111 – Edwin: What Goes Around Comes Around

That’s something I’ve heard my entire life. When I was younger and picked on at school my father would sometimes say “Don’t worry, Jamie, what goes around comes around.” The problem with that bit of advice is that it requires a sense of fairness in the world that isn’t always there… not to mention a tremendous amount of patience that is short supply when you’re a small awkward kid being picked on and simply want some sort of justice. But...

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110 – Mercia: A New Contender Enters the Ring

110 – Mercia: A New Contender Enters the Ring

Ok, last episode, we jumped forward a little to take the story of East Anglia to the point where Sigebehrt took the throne… but lets go back about 3 years… to 628 (ish)… and look at what is going on in Mercia. Mercia, the Midland kingdom, has been a bit of a backwater in our story so far but it’s about to get more important very soon. So we really should chat a bit about it. So Mercia… what exactly are we talking about here? Some of you...

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