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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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136 – The Power of Mercia

136 – The Power of Mercia

This episode will cover the years 678 to 685 and its major characters will be… King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, the man who brought down Wulfhere, was wielding supreme power in Northumbria and was arguably exercising quite a bit of power south of the Humber as well. King AEthelred of Mercia, son of Penda and brother of Wulfhere. And a frighteningly savvy King, quite possibly the most like his father out of all of the sons of Penda. And he has...

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135 – A Reshuffling of Power

135 – A Reshuffling of Power

Today we’re going to cover the eventful years of 675 to 678, and our main characters will be… King Wulfhere of Mercia, Son of Penda and tough guy with a bloodied lip. King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, Son of Oswiu and guy who bloodied Wulfhere’s lip. And Bishop Wilfrid… the Northumbrian Bishop who was a key player in converting Northumbria to Roman Catholicism and also a key player in keeping King Ecgfrith childless. A remarkably stupid move...

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134 – The Power of Northumbria

134 – The Power of Northumbria

This episode covers the years 670 to 685. The main characters are: King Ecgfrith of Northumbria – son of Oswiu, former hostage of the Mercians, and generally tough dude. King Wulfhere of Mercia – son of Penda, veteran warrior, and leader of a growing southern Hegemony. Queen AEthelthryth of Northumbria – Queen of Ecgfrith’s, unhappy wife, and aspiring nun. Bishop Wilfrid – The most powerful man in the Northern...

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BHP Pub Quiz #8

BHP Pub Quiz #8

This one will focus on what you’ve learned during the Scotcast episodes! Good luck! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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133 – Scotcast: Part Ten

133 – Scotcast: Part Ten

We’re covering all that mess between Northumbria and Scotland today. It should be a fun one! Degsastan, Bridei, Columba… they’re all in there. I hope you enjoy it! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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Bonus Episode – Anglo Saxon Childhoods

Bonus Episode – Anglo Saxon Childhoods

Thanks again everyone, and I hope you enjoy this episode! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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Bonus Episode – The Anglo Saxon Ale Experiment

Bonus Episode – The Anglo Saxon Ale Experiment

Thank you so much for being patient while I’ve been AWOL and handling a family emergency. You’re the best! And I hope you enjoy this little extra. Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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BHP Pub Quiz #7

BHP Pub Quiz #7

This one focuses on the time from Penda to Wulfhere. Good luck! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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132 – Scotcast Part Nine: St. Columba and King Brude

132 – Scotcast Part Nine: St. Columba and King Brude

This episode will cover the years 506 to 584 and will focus primarily upon: King Brude (also known as King Bridie), the King the the Northern Picts … also referred to as King of Fortriu and St. Columba, the man credited with converting the Northern Picts… and lesser known monster expert. Alright… lets get to it. And today we’re going to talk about the last of the three Kings of Pictland whom the Pictish Chronicle has anything to say beyond...

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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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