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History Today Podcast

History Today for the airwaves. Interviews with leading historians about their latest work, interspersed with long reads: articles specially selected from the magazine for an eclectic, fascinating and informative mix. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Helen Castor interview - Part 1

In our first podcast for the History Today Book Club, History Today Editor Paul Lay talks to Helen Castor, author of our recommended book for July, She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth (Faber). In this podcast she discusses one of history’s most important themes – contingency – how the happenstance of Edward VI’s early death in 1553 meant that there were now only women left on the Tudor family tree. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

5mins

27 Jun 2011

Rank #1

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The Origins of Islam

In this episode we talk to Tom Holland, author of the cover story in the May issue of History Today, about his research into Islam's beginnings. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

23mins

25 Apr 2012

Rank #2

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The Inspiration for Tolkien's Ring

Mark Horton tells the story of an archaeological dig that may have fuelled the fantasies of J.R.R. Tolkien. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

18 Dec 2013

Rank #3

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Making Sense of the Maya

Nigel Richardson discusses how European explorers in the 19th century began to solve the mystery of who the Maya were, and how they established their remarkable civilisation. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

12mins

15 Apr 2013

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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The Uncatchable Lizard

In this episode, Dan Whitaker discusses the life of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, considered one of Germany's great war heroes for his guerrilla campaign during the First World War. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16mins

12 Feb 2013

Rank #5

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The Origins of the Shroud of Turin

Charles Freeman discusses his research into one of history's greatest mysteries. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

25mins

29 Oct 2014

Rank #6

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"I Was Hitler's Neighbour"

An interview with Edgar Feuchtwanger, who as a boy growing up in Munich witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler at extraordinarily close range. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

23 May 2012

Rank #7

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The Disappearing Religions of the Middle East

Gerard Russell and Tom Holland discuss the plight of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

15mins

28 Nov 2014

Rank #8

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Murder in the Cathedral

Paul Lay and Richard Dale discuss the mysterious death of a liveryman at St Paul's Cathedral in 1514. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

12mins

5 Dec 2014

Rank #9

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How Big and How Bad was the British Empire?

In this episode, Bernard Porter discusses the British Empire, and finds that Britain's imperial reach was neither as great as once thought nor as pernicious as some historians argue. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

25 Sep 2012

Rank #10

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Tom Holland on Herodotus

The History Today Podcast is back from a summer hiatus. In this episode, Tom Holland discusses his new translation of The Histories, by Herodotus. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

25 Sep 2013

Rank #11

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Magna Carta

This episode is a Magna Carta special. We talk to Alexander Lock about the Charter's importance in America, and Lauren Johnson about the role of women in Magna Carta. Plus, a look at the British Museum's new display the medals of the Sun King. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

33mins

17 Jun 2015

Rank #12

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A Mystery in the Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is among the most celebrated medieval objects, yet it still retains its mysteries. J.L. Laynesmith discusses one of the most intriguing of them. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

11mins

4 Oct 2012

Rank #13

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Ian Mortimer

Ian Mortimer discusses historical fiction and his latest novel Sacred Treason with Kathryn Hadley. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

15mins

8 Jun 2011

Rank #14

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Turkey: A Short History with Norman Stone

Kathryn Hadley interviews historian Norman Stone about his book Turkey: A Short History See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

9mins

17 Mar 2011

Rank #15

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The Tower of London

In this episode, Nigel Jones discusses the surprising history of the Tower of London, and Anthony Hornyold recalls his time in revolution-torn Iraq. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

20mins

4 Jul 2012

Rank #16

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The Romans in Africa

Raoul McLoughlin talks about Rome’s desire for an African empire, a fierce struggle for trade, land and the search for the source of the Nile. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

5 Jun 2014

Rank #17

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How the Scots Invented Britain

Paul Lay talks to Ian Bradley about how the Scots were the most vocal advocates of a vibrant, imperial, Protestant Great Britain. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16mins

2 May 2014

Rank #18

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The Root of Language

This month we discuss Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of almost every language now spoken from the Hebrides to the Himalayas. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

19mins

27 Jul 2015

Rank #19

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The Opium Wars

Julia Lovell discusses the legacy of the Opium Wars in both China and Britain. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

11mins

5 Jun 2012

Rank #20