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Human Circus: Histories

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Great, old, stories Human Circus: Histories is a podcast focused on telling great stories from the past and and talking about the events that surrounded them.

Great, old, stories Human Circus: Histories is a podcast focused on telling great stories from the past and and talking about the events that surrounded them.
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Vancouver, British Columbia


Great, old, stories Human Circus: Histories is a podcast focused on telling great stories from the past and and talking about the events that surrounded them.




To See the Mongols 3 - Human Circus: Histories

Greetings Good People, Welcome back to my current series on the Mongols and on Euro-Mongol relations. Today, a quick rewind into what it means to be a Mongol, some early reactions to the Mongol invasion, some King Louis IX, the death of a khan, and the question of who is to be next. Also, I horribly butcher Eljigidei's name. Sorry, Eljigidei. Thanks for listening! Devon. Shop: Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast:

Duration: 00:33:35

To See the Mongols 2 - Human Circus: Histories

Giovanni Carpine returns, to the podcast, and to Lyon. This episode we hear about his journey to the kurultai, the great council which raised Guyuk as the new great khan, his diplomatic dealings with Guyuk, and the news and views he brought home with him. Devon. Shop: Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:36:14

To See the Mongols 1 - Human Circus: Histories

Apologies for my recent silence. There have been some false starts and it's been slow going at times, but I think things are back on the rails. You'll have another episode from me much sooner this time. This episode starts off a new series and a new set of travelers in the surprisingly interconnected world of the 13th century. Over the next number of episodes, I'll be focussing on contacts between Europe and the Mongols, and the travelers who went one way or another in establishing those...

Duration: 00:33:45

Edward Webbe - Human Circus: Histories

Edward Webbe was, maybe, a 16th-Century adventurer who moved in and out of captivity and other forms of trouble. His troubles took him from Elizabethan England to Muscovy, Crimea, Constantinople, Italy, and possibly to Persia and the lands of Prester John. On the way, there will be slavery, warfare, unicorns, and one man's quest for gainful employment. Enjoy! Devon. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:39:52

Thomas Dallam part 7 - Human Circus: Histories

This episode, Thomas Dallam's travels conclude, or at least the part of them that I'll be covering here. There will be comedic chaos on the trip up the Hellespont, awkward interactions with the local ambassador, one incredibly stressful musical performance, and the unwelcome rewards of a job well done. Hope you enjoy it! Devon. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:48:54

Thomas Dallam, Part 6 - Human Circus: Histories

The 1599 voyage continues, and Thomas Dallam draws ever closer to the Ottoman court at Constantinople. There are carrier pigeons, imprisonments, problems with presents, and adventures ashore. Enjoy, Devon. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:43:44

Thomas Dallam, Part 5 - Human Circus: Histories

The journey of Thomas Dallam begins in earnest. This episode our adventurous organ maker finally leaves London for Constantinople, encountering storms, pirates, infinite porpoises, and Algiers along the way. D. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:41:59

Thomas Dallam, Mini Episode 2 - Human Circus: Histories

We're back to Constantinople again this episode for another try at the mini-episode format. Here, I'm talking about Esperanza Malchi, a Spanish-born Jewish woman who rose to prominence in the Sultan's palace during the final years of the 16th century. She's a somewhat mysterious figure. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there about her (or else I would have done a longer episode), but she's a fascinating character and it gives us an avenue into the Sultanate of Women and...

Duration: 00:24:39

Thomas Dallam, Part 4 - Human Circus: Histories

Part four of my series on, or leading up to, Thomas Dallam's journey. This one takes us back to Constantinople to follow another English ambassador there named Edward Barton. Enjoy! D. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:47:10

Thomas Dallam, Part 3 - Human Circus: Histories

Elizabethan England's engagements with the Islamic world continue in this episode, this time taking us back to Constantinople with England's first ambassador there, William Harborne. There's piracy, palace intrigue, and Harborne's steadfast distaste for French and Venetian diplomats. Enjoy! D. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:

Duration: 00:37:23

The Battle of the Three Kings - Human Circus: Histories

Hello friends, Trying something something slightly new today with a mini-episode, a shorter, more focused, show to slip between main episodes in the Elizabethan trade series. Except that it didn't turn out to be quite as mini as I initially imagined. In any case, it is here, an episode devoted to the Battle of Three Kings, so you can listen to the doom of King Sebastian at your leisure. Hope you enjoy. D. Twitter: @circus_human Donate to the podcast: Email:...

Duration: 00:33:41

Thomas Dallam, Part 2 - Human Circus: Histories

Greetings Citizens! This episode, we carry on with the prelude to Dallam's Ottoman adventure by continuing to explore Elizabethan England's trade and where it took them. Today, that means Morocco. We'll get into antagonism with Spain, Portuguese misadventure in North Africa, and trade for sugar, saltpetre, and shot. We'll also talk about regents like Elizabeth, al-Malik and al-Mansur of Morocco, Sebastian of Portugal, and Philip of Spain, famous figures such as Francis Drake, Robert...

Duration: 00:55:51

Dallam 1: Jenkinson and the Safavids - Human Circus: Histories

This is episode one of a projected 5 which will follow the journey of Thomas Dallam, Elizabethan organ-maker and ill-prepared ambassador to the Ottoman Sultan. This first episode, we're not actually going to get to Dallam though. We're setting the stage, introducing some of the background, and following a man named Jenkinson to Safavid Persia. Jenkinson is an interesting figure in his own right, and it's also a way to dip into the world of trade and diplomacy that Dallam was going to find...

Duration: 00:45:57

The Travels of Johann Schiltberger 04 - Human Circus: Histories

Hello good people, This is the 4th and final episode in my little series on Johann Schiltberger. Our wandering friend has come a long way and been through a great deal, but here he is, on the edge of making it back to Bavaria. In this episode, we'll look at how things fall out after the death of Timur, we'll see where that leaves Schiltberger, and we'll trace his path towards home. There will also be time for some of the many interesting things that come up in his book but don't...

Duration: 00:46:06

The Travels of Johann Schiltberger 03 - Human Circus: Histories

Good people, Episode 3 is here, and it follows Johann Schiltberger on his merry way, after the Battle of Angora and into the life of Timur, the limitlessly violent Turko-Mongol conqueror. There will be pyramids of heads, flaming camels, and elephants, poisoned-scimitar wielding elephants. Timur's story is actually fascinating in itself, and we'll also look at his Imperial home, Samarkand, by way of a somewhat food obsessed Castilian knight. Please, please, if you're enjoying things, do...

Duration: 00:57:49

The Travels of Johann Schiltberger 02 - Human Circus: Histories

Hello everyone, Sickness has slowed this down and weather has added a few more hours, but I've traversed the snowy roads to find a working internet connection and bring you this episode, and only a week late! Today, we'll follow Johann Schiltberger's journey under Bayezid's control. There will be an escape attempt, epic battles, an epic snake battle, and some Ottoman history. I hope you like it. If you are enjoying the podcast, please do take the time to give us an iTunes rating and to...

Duration: 01:00:18

The Travels of Johann Schiltberger 01 - Human Circus: Histories

This has, unsurprisingly, taken longer than expected, but at last we are here. At Human Circus, we'll be telling stories every two weeks, usually in "seasons," but sometimes in one-off episodes. We're starting with the travels of Johann Schiltberger, a 14th/15th century Bavarian Marco Polo who left his home to join a crusade against the Ottomans and didn't make it back for a long, long, time. In the intervening 30 years, he travelled widely as a prisoner, first with the Ottoman Sultan...

Duration: 00:50:37