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Human Circus: Journeys in the Medieval World

History Podcasts

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

Location:

Vancouver, British Columbia

Description:

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo 1: Byzantine Entanglements

10/23/2020
In 1403, Henry III of Castile sent ambassadors to Timur (Tamerlane), among them a man named Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo. In this episode, we cover the context and depart from port near Cadiz, travel the length of the Mediterranean, and visit Lesbos where we spend time with the ruling family and their involvements in Byzantine imperial politics. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter...

Duration:00:43:45

Ibn Fadlan 4: Communal Hygiene and the Viking Funeral

9/19/2020
In the conclusion the Ahmad ibn Fadlan series, ibn Fadlan encounters the Rusiyyah, recounts the famous Viking funeral, and is disgusted by a communal wash basin. I also talk about the text itself. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at...

Duration:00:39:17

Ibn Fadlan 3: Bulgar Discomforts & Jinn Warfare

8/28/2020
Our 10th century traveller, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, settles in among the Bulgars, develops a distaste for their fish-oil based food, and is terrified by events in the sky. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus. Sources: Ahmad ibn...

Duration:00:35:49

Ibn Fadlan 2: A Letter from the Caliph

8/13/2020
Ahmad ibn Fadlan carries on to his cash-poor appointment with the Volga Bulgars. There's talk of funerals, cultural differences, and threats of death. 10th century diplomacy could be hard. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at...

Duration:00:35:16

Ibn Fadlan 1: From Baghdad with Very Cold Beards

7/20/2020
Ahmad ibn Fadlan travels from early 10th century Baghdad on a diplomatic mission to the Volga Bulgars. There is a Viking funeral in his future, along with unfamiliar cultures and extremely cold weather. It's not The 13th Warrior, which it loosely inspired, but it is a good story. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is...

Duration:00:37:31

Eustace the Black Monk

6/24/2020
This is the story of a monk, a sorcerer, a pirate, a woodland outlaw, and a master of disguise. His name is Eustace. The book I mention at the start of the episode is Desmond Cole's The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. His recent podcast appearance can be found here. The other podcast I mention is Sandy and Nora Talk Politics. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter...

Duration:00:34:37

Brancacci's Mission 2: Already Dismissed

5/21/2020
The conclusion of the Felice Brancacci story. Our ambassador from Florence deals with the Mamluk sultan in Cairo, with sickness, and with a shortage of funds, and he comes home to commission some memorable art at the Brancacci Chapel. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on...

Duration:00:51:41

Brancacci's Mission 1: From Florence to Cairo

5/1/2020
In 1422, Felice Brancacci set out from Florence to establish trading relations with Mamluk Egypt, and to advocate for his city's currency. This is that story, part one of two. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus. Sources:...

Duration:00:42:09

Sir John Mandeville 5: Mongols, Mountains, and Myths

4/11/2020
Finishing up with Mandeville's travels, we visit the palace of the Mongol khan, the fortress paradise of the Old Man of the Mountain, and a land that never sees the sun. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus. Sources: Sir...

Duration:00:53:33

Sir John Mandeville 4: Of India and Medieval Monsters

3/11/2020
Mandeville goes east into Greater India, and we go with him, following, as he follows the path of Odoric of Pordenone, into India, into the sea and its islands, and into a discussion of medieval hybrids and monsters, and what they mean. We'll find Amazons, the hand of St. Thomas, and people with neither noses nor eyes. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram...

Duration:00:40:41

Sir John Mandeville 3: Mamluk Egypt

2/22/2020
Our traveller reaches Egypt. He writes of wondrous gardens of balsam, of the pyramids and their purpose, of the recent history of the sultanate, and of the Mamluk Sultan's views of Latin Christian life. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at...

Duration:00:45:00

Sir John Mandeville 2: In and Around Jerusalem

1/25/2020
It's part two of the Mandeville series, and our journey reaches the Jerusalem of a 14th-century pilgrim. We'll spend some time there, getting to know the place and its surroundings, and its treatment in the Mandeville text. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at...

Duration:00:33:20

Sir John Mandeville 1: To the Holy Land

12/28/2019
Sir John Mandeville, a 14th-century figure who travelled/maybe travelled/almost definitely didn't travel from England to Jerusalem and its holy places, to the court of the sultan in Egypt, to the realms of the Mongol khan, and to the long sought lands of Prester John. With this episode, we start the journey. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod,...

Duration:00:34:16

The Book of the Wonders of India

11/16/2019
Today's topic is the Kitāb ʻajāyib Al-Hind, or the Book of the Wonders of India, a 10th-century collection of wonders covering east Africa all the way to what might have been Japan. It's something of a sequel to the Abu Zayd episode. I mentioned there that the compiler avoided including the fanciful fables of the sea that sailors were so fond of spreading. This text, on the other hand, is full of them. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here,...

Duration:00:35:30

Halloween Mini Episode: The Stories of Walter Map

10/31/2019
It's Halloween, and here are some medieval stories appropriate to the season. This mini episode is about the stories of Walter Map, particularly those ones featuring demons, faeries, and the prisoners of the Wild Hunt. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at...

Duration:00:28:47

Abu Zayd and the Ways East

10/24/2019
The Accounts of China and India, covering the trade between the Persian Gulf and points east in the 9th and 10th centuries, and the writings of Abu Zayd al-Sirafi. There are cultural customs, trading routes, and the calamitous events of the late 9th-century that shattered that trade and the Tang Dynasty. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my...

Duration:00:37:23

Salah ad-Din 6: The Ayyubids

9/28/2019
This episode is a what-came-after for the Salah ad-Din series, covering the decades beyond the dynastic founder's death. This is the Ayyubid Sultanate, the legacy of Salah ad-Din, a run through decades of civil war and crusades, culminating in the rise of the Mamluks. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com,...

Duration:00:45:08

Salah ad-Din 5: The End of the End

8/14/2019
This is the end of the Salah ad-Din series, featuring the arrival of Richard the Lionheart and Philip II at Acre, the Battle of Arsuf, and the Treaty of Jaffa. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. Sources:Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, edited by William Stubbs. Longmans, 1864. Translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History. Marquette University Press, 1962.De...

Duration:00:43:42

Salah ad-Din 4: The Beginning of the End

7/28/2019
This is the end of my Salah ad-Din series, part one. As I mention in the episode, I was aiming to wrap things up here, even aiming to do so with an extra-long episode, but there's just too much left to do that. So, this is the end, part one. In this episode, we follow the Salah ad-Din story after the Battle of Hattin and up to the arrival of King Richard the Lionheart at Acre. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and...

Duration:00:39:51

Salah ad-Din 3: The Horns of Hattin

7/1/2019
Salah ad-Din (Saladin) enters Aleppo, struggles with Reynald de Chatillon, and faces the armies of Guy de Lusignan at the Horns of Hattin. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcast.com, and I have some things on Redbubble at https://www.redbubble.com/people/humancircus. Sources:Cobb, Paul, M. The Race for Paradise:...

Duration:00:40:51