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Illuminating the Dark Ages for the Digital World

Illuminating the Dark Ages for the Digital World


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Illuminating the Dark Ages for the Digital World






MAP86: Alice Kyteler: The Witch of Kilkenny

Listen now! The Season of the Witch It’s Halloween again, the air turns colder, the nights grow darker and spirits roam in the shadows. On this year’s Halloween episode we are traveling to the Emerald Isle. In 1324 Kilkenny, Ireland witnessed it’s first witchcraft trial and the first execution carried out by burning at the stake. Alice Kyteler was a popular, beautiful inn keeper who's husbands had a bad habit of dying mysterious deaths. Her fourth and final husband, certain Alice was...


MAP 84: The Medieval Knight with Christopher Gravett

Click here to download the episode When people think of the Middle Ages one of the first images that pops into their head is a knight in shining armor. Knights are synonymous with the Middle Ages. Slaying dragons, saving damsels in distress, but beyond the fairy tales are the real life knights. Men who sacrificed and endlessly trained to earn the title of Knight. On this episode of the Medieval Archives podcast I'm joined by historian and author Christopher Gravett to discuss The Medieval...


MAP #83: Halloween Special – Ghost Stories From Haunted Castles

The witching season is upon us once again. Past Halloweens we've covered a Medieval Serial Killer, Medieval Zombies and more. All the Halloween episodes are available on the Halloween Podcast page. This Halloween we are looking at haunted castles from the Middle Ages. Castles We'll visit a handful of castles around England and one in Ireland. Most of the castles today are in Northern England and one isn't a castle. We'll start out at Whitby Abbey and make our way north to Alnwick Castle and...


MAP82: Viking Warriors and Explorers

Listen Now! The Viking Age VIKINGS! The scourge of the early middle ages. Vikings raided England, Ireland and Europe with a ferocity never seen before. On this episode we’re going to look at a few Vikings that you may not have heard of, or know much about. One of them should be taught in every school in America and Europe. They are portrayed as blood thirsty killers who pillage and plunder, but they were also adventuring explorers who discovered new lands and some even set aside their Viking...


MAP81: John II The Good: King of France 1350-1364

Listen Now! John II: King of France 1350-1364 King John II of France, called The Good. John ruled during a tumultuous time, the Plague was in full force killing large parts of France's population, the Hundred Years' War was raging and France was in financial trouble. With all that going on how did John get dubbed, The Good? We'll take a look at his rise to the throne, his exploits in battle and on the home front to see if he was truly a good king. John II: Prisoner of War King John II and...


MAP80: Sword for Hire: Mercenaries in the Middle Ages

Listen Now! Fight For Profit Soldiers in the Middle Ages fought for King and Country. But what did they do when the wars ended? Not all soldiers retired back to a life of farming or trade. Some men wanted to continue fighting and they fought for profit Medieval Mercenaries rose to prominence in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Mercenary Companies were made up of men from every corner of Europe; Germany, France, England, Spain, Scandinavia, Italy. Mercenary Companies The Mercenaries formed...


Medieval Archives Podcast Update

We hit a milestone this month for the Medieval Archives Podcast. Ten years of podcasting! Unfortunately the podcast hit an unexpected and lengthy hiatus. But we are coming back this summer! Along with the 10 year anniversary is a fresh new website. And we're removing all the ads from the website as well! The new website and renewed podcast will remain ad-free! There are great lessons ready and planned, looking at the history and tragedy of Notre Dame cathedral, Medieval Mercenaries, Vikings,...


MAP#79: Richard the Lionheart and author W.B. Bartlett

In today's lesson we are joined by author Wayne Bartlett to discuss Richard the Lionheart! Wayne's new book Richard the Lionheart: The Crusader King of England is available through Amberley Publishing. It's an excellent biography and the first biography of Richard the Lionheart in over 40 years! Wayne and I discuss Richard's upbringing, the Crusades and his war in France. We also cover the women in his life; his powerful mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the rejected Alice of France and his wife...


MAP#78: Edward II The Man with author Stephen Spinks

Today's lesson features a talk with historian and author Stephen Spinks. Stephen's new book Edward II The Man: A Doomed Inheritance was recently published by Amberley Publishing. Edward II The Man is an in-depth biography of an often overlooked medieval king. Stephen and I talk about his work with the National Trust, his writing and his new book. It's a fantastic talk and I have a whole new outlook on Edward II, his reign and his fate. You can also read a Q&A post with Stephen about his...


MAP#77 – The Masque of the Red Death

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! The Great Plague or Black Death ravaged Europe in the 14th century, killing around 200 million people. No one was immune to the Plague! But as we'll find out in today's episode one man thought his wealth could keep him safe. Today on the Halloween inspired episode we are going to listen to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death. It's a story of the lower class suffering while the Nobles stay safe in their castle…but with Poe there is always a twist… The creepy cool...


MAP#76 – Music inspired by Richard III and the Wars of the Roses

We have a special episode today of medieval inspired music! Ian Churchward and his band The Legendary 10 Seconds write music about Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. Today we are showcasing one of their albums Tant le Desiree, the second album in the Richard III saga. You can find all their music at Ian and his band have a new album out called Sunnes and Roses, which focuses on the Wars of the Roses. Head over to their website and check out all their great...


MAP#75: Natural Disasters: Earthquakes that rocked the Middle Ages

Ever wonder how medieval people dealt with natural disasters? No Red Cross or FEMA to come in and help clean up. Earthquakes and Tsunamis are some of the most destructive forces in nature. It's estimated there are over 500,000 earthquakes each year and over 100,000 of them can be felt. Earthquakes in the Middle Ages are some of the most destructive in history. Today on the Medieval Archives Podcast we'll discuss Medieval Earthquakes! We'll see where they hit, the devastation they caused and...


MAP#74: Northern Crusades: Teutonic Knights, Alexander Nevsky and the Battle on the Ice

In 1242 the Teutonic Knights were conquering lands to the east into Novgorod. Pope Gregory IX blessed the Knights in their Crusade to rid Novgorod of the orthodox pagans. Alexander Nevsky and his army had other plans. They intended to defend their country from all invaders. The conflict ended with a fierce battle, called the Battle on the Ice. On a frigid day in April the two armies met on the frozen ice of Lake Peipus. If the Teutonic Knights were victorious they would stamp out the...


MAP#73: The Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories written Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387–1400. The tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Miller's Tale is about a carpenter, John, his beautiful wife Alison and two clerks who fall in love with Alison. Today on the Medieval Archives Podcast we'll listen to the Miller's...


MAP#72: Jack Cade’s Rebellion: A Prelude to the Wars of the Roses

Jack Cade's Rebellion The summer of 1450 was full of unrest in England. A failing war in France, political corruption and out of control crime left the citizens of England on edge. One man, Jack Cade, gathered together a band of followers from all classes of life and marched on London. The group presented King Henry VI a list of grievances called 'The Complaint of the Poor Commons of Kent' and demanded the King clean up the corruption and crime. What followed was a summer of battles,...


MAP Bonus: Top Five Borgia Myths and Book Giveaway

Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell MadeGlobal’s History in a Nutshell Series aims to give readers a good grounding in a historical topic in a concise, easily digestible and accessible way. Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell outlines the life of one of history’s most controversial figures from his birth through to his murder in 1507 at the age of just 31. This book aims to expose the truth behind the age-old rumours of this ancient family and to shed light onto a fascinating period of history. Today on...


MAP#71: The Children’s Crusade 1212

The Children's Crusade 1212In the summer of 1212 a French boy and a German boy had separate visions of freeing the Holy Land from the Muslims. Their quests included over 20,000 medieval children and is known as the Children's Crusade. Stephan of Cloyes, a French shepard boy, claimed Jesus told him to gather a group of children and free the Holy Land. That same year in Germany, Nicholas of Cologne, had his own idea to free the Holy Land of Muslims. The two boys enlisted the help of thousands...


MAP#70 – Medieval Christmas II

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from the Medieval Archives! No intro, no talking just Christmas music inspired by the Middle Ages! Have a safe holiday season and thank you for supporting the Medieval Archives Podcast. Please send any comments, suggestions or topic ideas to If you are enjoying the podcast please considering leaving a rating on iTunes. Rate the Medieval Archives Podcast now! Listen to the episode now...


MAP#69: The Pit and the Pendulum

Happy Halloween! The Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478 by Ferdinand and Isabella, was used to rid Spain and the Spanish Territories of heretics. The Spanish Inquisition targeted Catholics who strayed from the Catholic teaches and expanded to Jews, Muslims and non-Catholic Christians. Being convicted by an Inquisition tribunal didn't also led to death, but it almost guaranteed torture. Torture to confess your sins, torture to renounce your evil ways or to name other heretics. Today on the...


MAP#68: Combat of the Thirty

During the first phase of the Hundred Years War a smaller war broke out in France, the Breton War of Succession. Wars of Succession always start the same way, a Nobleman dies without an heir. In this case it was the Duke of Brittany, John the Good, who died childless in 1341. Two men stepped up to claim the duchy and the Civil War raged for 23 years. But in the midst of it all a combat was held that's remembered for the Chivalry and Honor that was displayed by both sides. On 26 March 1351 60...