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41 – Entering the Dark Ages: a Season Two Promo

41 – Entering the Dark Ages: a Season Two Promo

Next week we will start our second season. So here’s a promo of what to expect! I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am. Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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43 – Le Mort d’Arthur (Bonus Episode)

43 – Le Mort d’Arthur (Bonus Episode)

Today we’re going to have a reading of Le Mort d’Arthur by Thomas Mallory, Book 1 Chapters 1 through 4.  You can get a free Kindle copy of Le Mort de Arthur to read along with at Amazon.com. Friend of the show, James Cartwright, was kind enough to do the reading for us.  You can reach him at spinningturtleproductions@gmail.com. Additionally, if you like the music that we included in the background, credit goes to Kevin MacLeod....

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44 – Sources of Confusion

44 – Sources of Confusion

Today we’re going to talk about how we study this era. The things that help, the things that hinder, and the flaws of our ancient sources! This is where the Dark Ages really get fun! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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45 – The Last Outpost

45 – The Last Outpost

Ok, today we’re going to do a forest view of what we have to come. And next episode we’re going to get down into the nitty gritty! It should be fun! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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46 – Breaking News on the Staffordshire Hoard

46 – Breaking News on the Staffordshire Hoard

Many of you know about Sutton Hoo and it’s impact on Anglo Saxon studies. But the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard is an archaeological find that dwarfs Sutton Hoo by magnitudes. Well, thanks to the efforts of Member Rick, we might be able to have an interview or two with experts on the find. So submit your questions at facebook.com/britishhistory, thebritishhistorypodcast.com/forum/, or directly to me at...

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47 – Hengist and Horsa

47 – Hengist and Horsa

Today we launch into the legendary beginnings of Anglo-Saxon Britain. How much of this is real and how much is myth? Well, lets try to figure that out together! Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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48 – Was there an Anglo Saxon Invasion?

48 – Was there an Anglo Saxon Invasion?

Now that we’ve spoken about how unreliable our sources are from this era, and we’ve recounted the story of invasion they recorded, we’re going to analyze how much of their story we can trust. And why. Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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49 – Dark Age Drinks

49 – Dark Age Drinks

So when we left off, we were discussed the legends of how England went from being Romano-British to Germanic. We discussed the archaeological digs we have found that support the presence of this Germanic shift in culture. And, I didn’t mention this last week, but there’s evidence that the Anglo Saxons didn’t oust all of the Britons, but rather integrated with them. So we have the arrival of unknown numbers of Anglo Saxons, probably, and...

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50 – Dark Age Drunks

50 – Dark Age Drunks

Today we’re talking about monks getting about one to two gallons of ale a day per monk. And common people potentially brewing in a modest household brewing 200 gallons of ale every month. That’s 1600 pints (in a modest 16th century household). While it isn’t clear how much early anglo-saxon households would brew, we don’t have records indicating that the early anglo saxons engaged in temperance so they were probably brewing quite a bit at...

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51 – Dark Age Dinners I: the Vegan Edition

51 – Dark Age Dinners I: the Vegan Edition

Ok, so for the last couple weeks we have been talking about drinking. And all this booze has made me hungry. And as soon as I covered beer you must have known I’d have to cover food. If Portland is known for only one thing, it’s… well… it’s probably hipsters. But if Portland is known for three things, it’s still hipsters but also beer and food. We’re a bunch of foodies here. So of course I want to talk about food! Food...

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52 – Dark Age Dinners II: BBQ

52 – Dark Age Dinners II: BBQ

Ok, so as some of you might remember from the member’s podcasts, Cattle was a big deal among the Celts. Well, it’s also a big deal for the anglo saxons. And actually, cow and calf are anglo saxon words, so is heffer. Anyway, beef…. Everyone loves beef. We also love cheese, butter, and to a lesser extent clogged arteries. So we are going to see a bit of emphasis placed about cattle in the Anglo Saxon world. Today’s episode...

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53 – Dark Age Dinners III: Where The Wild Things Are

53 – Dark Age Dinners III: Where The Wild Things Are

Ok, we’ve spoken about farm life… but that isn’t the only way food can get on the table. So this episode is dedicated to all the food that was left out. So to start out, lets deal with Where the Wild Things Are. There’s plenty of tasty wild things if you know where to look, and from the record it seems that Anglo Saxons had a vague idea of where to look. Today we’ll be talking about hunting, fishing, and of course…....

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54 – Travels with Cerdic

54 – Travels with Cerdic

In the 11th century, Ingulf made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He was accompanied by 30 fat horsemen when they set forth, moving through Germany and Greece on their way to the holy land. When he returned he was joined by barely 20 emaciated pedestrians. Travel was serious business. And Ingulf’s trip was over 500 years after the point we’ve been speaking about. So you can only imagine how tough it must have been to get from place to place in...

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56 – Demanding Supplies

56 – Demanding Supplies

Over the last month or so we’ve been speaking in detail about food in the Dark ages. Diversified farms dotted the landscape, with even the larger ones probably having a mix of cattle, sheep, pigs etc. In many ways, it’s sounded like an idyllic rural life. Actually, the Venerable Bede in particular loved the pastoral nature of England (and I’m sure he would have loved Wales, too). And all of this food production was a key part of British...

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58 – Taxes, Tithes, and Thieves

58 – Taxes, Tithes, and Thieves

In the Seventh century we started to see the growth of monasteries and nunneries in Britain. Sometimes the land they operated on was rented, other times they were gifted big tracts of land in wills and such. And sometimes ancient public lands were handed over to the monasteries, such as what Eadwulf did in 746. This shouldn’t be too surprising, though. Ruling is tough business, and often times it involves a fair amount of sin. So what is a...

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59 – Dark Ages Kitchens (aka “Baby, You Got A Stew Going!”)

59 – Dark Ages Kitchens (aka “Baby, You Got A Stew Going!”)

So I really want to talk about Feasting culture. After all, part of what people think about when they think of Anglo Saxon culture, are gigantic feasts. And there’s a lot of interesting things going on with Anglo Saxon feasting culture. So yeah, I’m really excited to speak about it. But I realized that I left out a key part of our discussion on food. Namely, what is done with it. We’ve spoken about veggies, we’ve spoken about meat, we’ve...

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60 – Feasting

60 – Feasting

And to begin with, lets do a thought experiment. Imagine, if you will, an Anglo Saxon feasting hall. If you have the chance, pause this and write down a quick description of what it looks like, what people were doing, what was going on, whose feast it was, and who was attending. For bonus points, write down why it was being held. We’re going to spend a few episodes chatting about the culture of feasting and at the end, you can look back...

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63 – Symbel aka Fancy Feast

63 – Symbel aka Fancy Feast

So there were at least two different kinds of feasts as far as we can tell from the scattered references available to us. There was the Symbel and the Gebeorscipe. The Symbel was the more formal version of feasts. This was the one that had significant social and religious implications and the one that will get the lion’s share of attention in this podcast because it’s just so interesting. The Symbel was a structured and...

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64 – All the Small Things

64 – All the Small Things

Today we’re going to cover some interesting side notes regarding the feasts. Talking about the bigger aspects of history is important, but those little facts that rarely get looked at can also help us to understand these people we’ve been getting to know. So this episode is focused upon those overlooked bits. Podcast: Play in new window | Download Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailLike this:Like...

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65 – Dirty Riddles

65 – Dirty Riddles

Ok, so we have been talking about some pretty heavy detail about food and feasts. We know what they were eating, what they were drinking, how the parties were thrown, and why. We know how food played a key role in the economy, and thus how these feasts were a huge show of power. We know about the surroundings, and what they looked like. We even know about the table manners of the attendees of the feasts. But we’ve missed a key...

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66 – What Not To Wear: In The Dark Ages

66 – What Not To Wear: In The Dark Ages

Ok, so we are basically done with feasting and food in general. I could go into the construction of the feasting hall, and I might do that at a later date if it I get in a carpenter mood (or if there is a big hew and cry for that sort of information) but in general, I think we’re done with that aspect of the Dark Ages. So what did you think? Looking back on what you thought about the Anglo Saxons and the Dark Ages, did your view...

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67 – Anglo Saxon Construction

67 – Anglo Saxon Construction

OK, So I had requests for an episode on construction. I actually had a surprising number of requests for it, actually. So we’re going to do a single episode on how things were built, and since we’ve been talking about feasts, we’ll talk about… of course… feasting halls. Now as I’ve said with much of this material, it’s really hard to study. This is because of the materials they used, of course....

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69 – The Staffordshire Hoard and BHP meetups!

69 – The Staffordshire Hoard and BHP meetups!

There’s a really good chance that I’ll be in the UK in November to interview experts on the Staffordshire Hoard! If it happens, I’d love to meet up with you. We’re currently looking at setting up meet and greets in London and Birmingham (and maybe York) as well as a group viewing of the Hoard. So if you’re interested, could you please contact me and let me know so I can gauge interest? Thanks! Podcast: Play in...

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70 – A Tale of Three Cities (sort of)

70 – A Tale of Three Cities (sort of)

Ok, we’ve been getting pretty deep into the weeds and have been getting farther and farther from a coherent story. On the one hand, the culture is the story, but on the other hand it’s hard to get attached to a story if you forget who we are talking about and the people involved. So I thought that now would be a good time to tell a story about a community that was living in the early post-Roman era. After all, I’ve been spending a lot of...

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71 – Anglo Saxon Health

71 – Anglo Saxon Health

The oldest medical text is a clay tablet from Ur from about 4000 years ago. The Kahun papyrus was written in Egypt about 150 years later. There are writings of Hippocrates of Co from about 400 BCE. And then there was Greek and latin medical texts, and those flourished, and the result is that we have a pretty good idea of what medical thinking was like in the mediterranean from an early date. But what about the other cultures? Well, prior...

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