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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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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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