Sunday 22 December 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 19 - Inonu

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we return to Turkey. We tell the story of Ismet Inonu and his rise to power along with Ataturk, before seeing what happened after Ataturk's death. We cover the creation of the Democratic Party in 1946 and the important election of 1950.

Sunday 8 December 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 18 - The Fall of Nasser

This week we end the story of Nasser. We cover the last decade of his life, looking at the Yemeni Civil War, the Six-Day War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the creation of the PLO.

Sunday 24 November 2013

PSA - Episode Delay

There will be no episode of Arab Spring this week, and no episode of Hannibal next week. My apologies.

Sunday 17 November 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 58 - The Siege of Syracuse

This week we look at the beginnings of the Siege of Syracuse, including some inventions of Archimedes. We also see Marcellus' campaigns around Sicily and end with Les Miserables references in Henna.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Sunday 3 November 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 57 - The Sting

This week we look at the combined Roman-Syracusan attack upon Leontini, the tricks of Hippocrates and Epicydes, yet another revolution in Syracuse, and we introduce a huge figure of world history: Archimedes. In addition to this are references to grifting films, an exploration of a young Jamie learning Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, and a plot summary of Top Gear (UK) Season 10 Episode 2.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Sunday 27 October 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 16 - Suez Crisis

This week we continue telling the story of Egypt, covering 1956 and the Suez Crisis. Then we also double back yet again to bring ourselves up to speed on events in Jordan and Syria.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Sunday 13 October 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 56 - Are We At War Yet?

This week we continue to look at Syracuse, finding out what Epicydes and Hippocrates do once they become magistrates. Marcellus also rejoins the story.

Sunday 6 October 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 15 - A Very Likely Friendship.

This week we explore the effect the creation of Israel had on Egypt. Things begin to go down the toilet until a coup by Nasser and the Free Officers. We also talk about the Third World and Soviet relations with the Middle East. Also, make sure to vote for the podcast in the Best Education category at

Here you can find a newsreel of the 1952 Coup.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Sunday 29 September 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 55 - Vive la Syracuse

This week we focus on Syracuse. The spirit of revolution takes hold of the city, leading to more intrigue, more assassination, and two unlikely figures coming to power.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Thursday 19 September 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 54 - Red vs. Blue

This week we head over to the Mediterranean islands. We look at the war of Titus Manlius against Hampsicora in Sardinia, the death of Hiero and the ascension of Hieronymus in Syracuse. I'm sorry for the delay in the episode, I've been too ill to record.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Sunday 15 September 2013

Delay in Hannibal Episode 54

Sorry guys, there will be no new episode today. I'm too ill to record. Once I can go 5 seconds without sneezing/talk for more than 30 seconds without my voice going I'll get it out.

Sunday 8 September 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 13 - More of the Same

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we continue events Egypt. We see how Egyptian independence did not really mark a change, the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, the early life of Nasser, cover World War Two in Egypt - bringing the whole region up to 1945 - and in the Azerbaijan conflict cover the beginnings of the Cold War.

Sunday 1 September 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 53 - The Man Who Saved Spain

This week we take events in Spain to 212. We cover the beginnings of Roman involvement in Africa, introduce Masinissa, cover the sad end of the Scipio Brothers in Spain, and an unsung hero, Lucius Marcius.

Friday 30 August 2013

Game Time (?) 1 - The Competitions

Hello there. This post is a bit of an experiment. I've made it clear on the podcasts that I am a huge football fan (soccer for my American/Canadian/Australian listeners, though I shall call it football here), particularly for my beloved home town club, Manchester City. As the sport is expanding in America, and most of my listeners are American, I thought 'Hey, why not try and explain it a bit?' I often receive questions and comments about football, so this shall be a test for adding it to the blog, and we shall do this by discussing the competitions. Well, the top competitions for English clubs. I'm sure I'll get into foreign leagues at some point, but let's start with the basics. You can group competitions into three groups, 'League, Cup, and European', we'll begin with the most important, the league.

As I'm writing this for an American audience, I should explain just how a league works. In a league, all the clubs in it play each other twice, once in their home ground, once in an away ground. You receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. The team with the most points after everyone has played each other wins. There are no playoffs at the end to determine who wins, it is a simple most points wins. Or, if the teams are tied in points, then it goes on goal different (goals scored minus goals conceded), then most goals scored, and it very rarely ever goes beyond that. So, that is how a league works, but what league do the teams play in?

The top league in England is the Barclay's Premier League, usually just called the Premier League or sometimes the English Premier League (EPL). The Premier League has twenty teams in it who play the other nineteen (making for 38 games a season) from August until March. The top four teams qualify for the Champions League (to be discussed later), 5th place qualifies for the Europa League, while the bottom three teams are relegated to a lower league. There are a group of clubs who always tend to finish near the top of the league, these are Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. If you're beginning to take an interest in the league, these are the teams you need to keep an eye on. That isn't to say another team won't break into their stranglehold on the top, Swansea City and Southampton are both excellent teams, but it certainly would be a surprise. The problem for these teams is that while they are very good, there are a lot of very good teams in this league. You need to be on top form throughout the whole year if you want to win. It is the hardest league in the world to win.

These though are just the top 20 teams. The football league comprises of 92 clubs. What of the other 72? There are three leagues below the the Premier League; the Championship (not to be confused with the Champions League), League One and League Two. While the Premier League receives most of the attention in the UK, and all the attention abroad, the Championship is one of the closest leagues out there. Every year there are between 10 and 15 teams who all stand a realistic chance of being promoted. To be promoted you can either come in the top two places, or places three through six fight it out in the playoffs for the final place. These three replace the bottom three teams in the Premier League in the next season. Similar battles take place between the Championship and League where three teams chance place, and between League One and League Two, where four teams change places. Below League Two is the Blue Square Bet Premier, a league known as the Conference. This is the top League in non-League football which has its own vast network of leagues too complicated to go into. Two teams go from non-League Football and out of the League each year. Much is made of the Premier League being the best league in the world, but the real beauty of English football is the lower leagues. Most countries only have 2 major leagues, such as Serie A and Serie B in Italy, but England has 4. This is enough about leagues for the moment, let's move on to the cups.

There are two major cup competitions in the UK, the FA Cup and the League Cup. Both begin around August, but the League Cup only comprises of the 92 Football League clubs. It is a knockout competition, easy enough to understand. The League Cup is the least important of the major trophies. The FA Cup however is a major cup. Every team in the country complete, in the 2013-14 competition this means 737 teams will enter the competition. It takes a few months of competition between the lower-leagues for the League Clubs to get involved, but it has a rich history. It is the oldest football competition in the world, dating back to 1871, and it is a great prize. The season is opened by the winners of last years FA Cup and Premier League playing each other in the Charity Shield.

As to European Competition, there are two competitions. The Europa League and the Champions League. Both begin with small leagues of 4 clubs playing each other. These matches go on until December, after Christmas a knockout competition begins. The Europa League is often mocked as a competition, but the Champions League is the ultimate prize in European Football. The two things every football player wants to win are the World Cup and the Champions League. It is a competition which pits the best clubs in Europe against each other, and is something special. The winners of these competitions play each other at the start of the season in the European Supercup, but this isn't particularly important.

I hope you've found this interesting, and hopefully there will be more of this explaining the finer points of the game, and eventually some analysis of what is going on.


Thursday 29 August 2013

The Arab Spring - A History. Episode 12 - British Egypt

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we continue events Egypt. We continue looking into  British occupation of Egypt, the beginnings of the nationalist movement and Egypt's eventual 'independence' in 1922.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Paypal Donations

After several requests I've decided to add a donation button to the website should you be interested in making one. In addition to this change the website has had a redesign.

A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered. Episode 11 - O, pai Dios

In this episode we look at Alexander's journey to the oracle at Siwa, whether Alexander thought he was a god, the government of his empire and the Agis revolt.

Monday 26 August 2013

Zune Marketplace/Windows Phone Store

Hello all! For the past year or so one of the questions bothering me has been how to get the podcasts onto the Zune Marketplace/Windows Phone Store, but I have finally managed to do so. I've heard back from Microsoft informing me that the podcasts (Alexander Remastered, Arab Spring and Hannibal) have been approved and are now available on the store. If you are a Windows Phone user, simply search the store for the podcasts and you should be able to find them.

Thursday 15 August 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 11 - The Inn on the Road

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we turn to Egypt. We look into bringing Egypt up to speed, examining the establishment of the Suez Canal and the accidental British occupation of Egypt.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Thursday 8 August 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 10 - An Impossible Task

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we take the story of Zionism, Transjordan and the British Mandate in Palestine through to 1939, before covering the Second World War in the region.

Sunday 4 August 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 50 - Nobody Calls Me Chicken

This week we follow a series of battles throughout 212, some won by Carthaginians, others by Romans. The real development is that the Romans begin working on the capture of Capua. Also featuring the death of a beloved character and Back to the Future.

Thursday 1 August 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 9 - Zionism

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we turn to Zionism. We firstly look at the Mandate in Iraq, seeing how unlikely it was that such a divided state would succeed, before turning our attention to the foundation of Zionism.

Wednesday 31 July 2013

The Arab Spring: A History - Daily Telegraph Review

I mentioned in the most recent episode of Hannibal (49) that the Arab Spring podcast received a review from the Daily Telegraph, should you be interested here it is.

A digital version is also available here.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered. Episode 8 - Alexander vs. Darius

In this episode we look at Alexander's movements across Asia, the Gordian Knot, the war in the Greek islands and introduce Darius.

Here is the photo of the mosaic of Alexander and Darius provided by Listener Grant.

Sunday 28 July 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 49 - Tarentum Part 2

This week we follow Hannibal's attempts to take Tarentum, where something finally goes right for Hannibal, in addition to troublesome tax-farmers. We also have some programming notices discussing the episode length, a Fantasy Football League and the Daily Telegraph.

Thursday 25 July 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 8 - Mandate

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we turn to the Mandates. We look at just what they were and how they were set up. We take a look out the fall of the Kingdom of Hejaz, the rise of Saudi Arabia, and follow the history of the French Mandates in Lebanon and Syria through to 1939.

Sunday 21 July 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 48 - Tarentum.

This week we follow Hannibal's attempts to take Tarentum, taking the story into 212. Also included is a plug for new show Talking History Podcast: The Italian Unification and the podcast's first cricket reference.

Thursday 18 July 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 7 - The Superpowers

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we finish off looking at Reza Shah. We see how he shot himself in the foot by troubling the Superpowers of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union. We then turn to how the Great Powers imposed themselves on the west by setting up the situation for the Mandates.

Sunday 14 July 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 47 - Getting A Head

This week we follow the march of the war through 214. We find out who the consuls for that year were, compare Hannibal's tactics in taking a port to that of Salah al-Din, find out what the censors were doing at Rome and look at a curious event involving heads. Find it here, or on iTunes.

Thursday 11 July 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 6 - Khan to Shah, Persia to Iran

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we look at revolution. Inspired by Ataturk, Reza Khan rebuilds the Persian State into Iran. A lot of effort given to the army and he tries to make his country more European.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

A History Of: Alexander the Great. Remastered. Episode 5 - Consolidating Power

In this episode we look at Alexander's personality, before looking at just how chaotic the first years of his rule were. Alexander must deal with the Barbarians and the Greeks before Macedonia is ready to challenge Persia.

Sunday 7 July 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 46 - Cumae Get 'Em

This week we return back to Hannibal in Campania. Things do not go well for the Carthaginian general as he faces trouble at Cumae and Nola against the Roman dream team of Gracchus, Fabius and Marcellus. And in 'the dye was cast', this episode also features the best delivered line in the podcast thus far. Seriously, I card read good.

Here is Lucania.

Thursday 4 July 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 5 - The Not So Constitutional Revolution

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we turn to Persia. As bad as things were for the Ottomans, things were worse for the Qajars. We look at the Constitutional Revolution, the weakness of the central government, the weakness of the army, issues with the Majlis, the discovery of oil and Reza Khan's 1921 Coup.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered. Episode 4 - The Young Alexander

In this episode we look at Alexander's youth. We go over the omens surrounding his birth, his upbringing, his friends, his early career - including the Battle of Chaeronea, and the assassination of Philip.

Sunday 30 June 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 45 - Philip

This week we turn our attention to the east, to Macedon, and to Philip. Featuring: The full Carthaginian-Macedonian alliance treaty. How many other podcasts offer this kind of entertainment?

Thursday 27 June 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 4 - Father of the Turks

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we finish looking at Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. We look at how Turkey was created through a mixture of political, social and economic reforms, such as the use of political parties, the Latin alphabet and the 1932 Miss Universe Contest.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered. Episode 3 - Philip and Macedonians

In this episode we have a quick history of Macedonia, looking at the origins of the Kingdom, and its difficulties throughout the classical period. We look at the rise of Philip, seeing just how and why he was able to dominate Greece in the way he did. Find it on iTunes, or right here.

Thursday 20 June 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 3 - From the Ashes

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we cover the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. We look at his early life, and follow him through World War One and the Turkish Wars of independence. Ataturk may have created a state, but he still needs to create a nation. Find it on iTunes or right here.

Here is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, on the left.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

A History Of: Alexander - Remastered. Episode 2 - Squabbles

In this episode we have a rapid fire history of classical Greece, looking at the campaigns by Athens against Persia, the rise of the Athenian Empire, the Peloponnesian War, Sparta's rise and fall, the rise of Thebes and ultimately the wars that doomed Greece. Also featuring the Thucydides fan club hour. Find the episode here or on iTunes.

Sunday 16 June 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 44 - The Broken City

This week we see Rome broken as news of another crushing defeat arrives in Rome from the north. In addition we tell the story of Petelian resistance to Carthage, ending in disaster. Attempts to make Latin senators, ending in disaster. I also try and explain just what the Roman command structure was like as we enter 215BC. There is no disaster here, but it is rather confusing. Find it here, or on iTunes.

Thursday 13 June 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 2 - Ottoman Ruins

This week in The Arab Spring: A History we cover the Ottoman Empire in the years 1876-1919. We cover the Young Ottomans, the Young Turks, the CUP and, the Armenian Genocide, not to mention the small matter of the First World War. The scene is set for the rise of Ataturk next week. Find the episode right here or on iTunes.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered. Episode 1 - Introduction

Hello and welcome to A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered. In this episode we will introduce the world Alexander was born into, by looking at the Persians, the Greeks, the Macedonians and taking the historical narrative up to the defeat of the Persians in their invasion of Greece. We will also review our sources. Find the show on iTunes, or right here.

The show's logo is here.

Sunday 9 June 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 43 - Frustration!

The new episode of Hannibal is out! This week we see Hannibal move all around Campania, trying desperately to get some allies. Sadly, no one wants to be Hannibal's friends and he becomes very frustrated. Also features is a snippet from my new podcast, The Arab Spring: A History. Find it on iTunes, or right here -->

Thursday 6 June 2013

The Arab Spring: A History. Episode 1 - Introduction.

Hello and welcome to The Arab Spring: A History. In this episode we introduce the series, and have an overview of what we will be covering in the coming weeks. The scene is set in 1900, as we explore why the Ottoman Empire and Qajar Persia had fallen so far behind the West. Find it here or on iTunes.

New Podcast Logo!

The New Logo for 'The Arab Spring: A History'.

Saturday 1 June 2013

London Date Change and New Podcasts

A PSA. London's date changes from 8th June to 23rd of June, and two new podcasts are announced. A History Of: Alexander the Great - Remastered - from Tuesday 11th June, and The Arab Spring: A History - from Thursday 6th June. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience of the date change, and for the fact that Hannie will no longer be able to join us, but myself, Roifield Brown of How Jamaica Conquered the World and now Robin Pierson of The History of Byzantium will be having a drink at the George Inn from 4PM on Sunday 23rd June. I hope you can join us.

Sunday 19 May 2013

TheHistoryOf Adrianople

In this episode unlike any other, I go more into 'historian mode' than you've ever seen before. I spend 50 minutes trying to answer the question of whether Adrianople was a significant battle.

Saturday 18 May 2013

London Meetup Details

Hey guys, I'll just make this post so you know the exact details for the meetup.

It will be at 4PM, Saturday 8th June 2013 at the George Inn, 75-7 Borough, High Street, London, SE1 1NH.

Hannie and I shouldn't be that hard to miss, I'll be wearing a bright red 'Keep Calm and Raise More Legions' shirt for one, but I'll stick some photos up before the due date so can spot us. Either that, or just eavesdrop until you hear people talk about Roman history, that'll probably be us. I'll be tweeting and instagramming throughout the day from London, so subscribing there won't be a bad idea. I'll let you know when I'm at the Inn and whatnot.

Hope to see you there!



Thursday 2 May 2013

TheHistoryOf Podcast - Third Year Anniversary

We celebrate three years of TheHistoryOf by recording our first three ever episodes, the beginning of 'TheHistoryOf - Nationalism in Ireland'. Find it on iTunes, or right here.

Sunday 28 April 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 42 - The Carthaginian van Persie

In this last regular episode before I take a break for the exam period, we journey over to Carthage to see Hannibal's brother ask the Senate for supplies. Hannibal needs the level of reinforcements to win him the war, he needs a Carthaginian Van Persie. Find it on iTunes or right here.

Sunday 21 April 2013

A History Of: Episode 41 - Judas!

Episode 41 - Judas! is out. This week Rome is betrayed! We take a look at Hannibal's journey to Campania, he fails to take Naples, but luckily for him, there is a traitor in Rome's midst. This is the episode that the second city of Italy, Capua, betrays Rome and joins Hannibal. Find it on iTunes or right here.

Sunday 14 April 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 40 - 24601

This week we have a second episode title which is numbers, anyone able to work out what this is a reference to? This week we deal with the hostages captured by Hannibal, and I go over why Hannie's opinions on Rome's attitude towards these hostages from episode 35 are spot on.

Sunday 7 April 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 39 - 5.26

This week we have a second introduction, as well as looking at what events after Cannae. We see Fabius and the Senate impose some order on Rome, introduce Marcellus to the story, as well as looking at Rome's darkest moment: human sacrifice within the eternal city. Find it on iTunes, or right here. Also here is a map of the Via Latina and Via Appia.

Sunday 31 March 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 38 - My Generation.

This week is a departure from normality. For a week we mostly break out of the narrative, and go into historian mode. We take a look at the rise of the next generation, men like Scipio Africanus, in the days after Cannae, as well as looking at the situation at Rome. Please, let me know if you like the approach taken in this episode. You can find the episode here, or on iTunes.

Sunday 24 March 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 37 - All Aboard! Next Stop Sicily!

Episode 37 - All Aboard! Next Stop Sicily! is out! This week we return to Sicily, another theatre of the war where the Romans are getting the better of the Carthaginians. We take a look at the Battle of Lilybaeum, as well as the Roman conquest of Sicily. I also announce a new History Podcasting Cage Match: the most important event since World War Two. Featuring a guest introduction by Tom Villemaire of the History of France in English Podcast.

Sunday 10 March 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 36 - Opposite Day

Episode 36 is out! This week we return to Spain to catch up on what was going on in the Mediterranean elsewhere than Italy. As Gnaeus and Publius Scipio direct this theatre of the war, a very strange thing happens. The Romans do well. I also announce a new 'Who's Who?' feature on the website.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Who's Who?

Find yourself confused about just who is who on matters to do with the podcast or topics covered by it? It looks like you've come to the right place.


Jamie Redfern - Hi there, I'm Jamie, the show's creator and host. I have the task of writing and delivering the show's lecture episodes, and am half of the Let's Talk episodes. I've a keen interest in military history; this has led to shows on Alexander the Great and Hannibal. I can usually be found pouring over a penguin classic, whether it be work by Livy or Dickens. Either that, or watching sitcoms looking for inspiration for the show's cheesy jokes.

Alexander the Great:

Alexander the Great - Macedonian King and General from 336-323BC. He is the son of the Philip II. He conquered the Persian Empire and led his army all the way to India, winning many decisive battles such as Gaugamela.

Darius I (the Great) - Persian King of Kings (Shahanshah) from 522-486BC. He orders the first Persian invasion of Greece which results in Persian defeat at the battle of Marathon. He is the father of Xerxes.

Darius III - The Persian King of Kings from 336-330BC. He is, at least for the early part of Alexander's campaigns, his main opponent. They fight several times, at Issus and Gaugamela. After being defeated by Alexander he flees into the Asiatic mountains where he is betrayed by his own men and killed.

Arab Spring

Abdul Hamid II - Ottoman Sultan 1876-1909, reactionary who fought the rise of the Young Turks.

Ataturk, Mustafa Kemal - Founder of the Modern Turkish State.

Reza Shah - Founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty in Iran.

Hannibal and the Punic Wars:


Hamilcar, son of Gisgo, the Younger - Carthaginian commander of Malta who is captured by Tiberius Sempronius Longus in 218BC.

Hannibal Barca - Carthaginian general, son of Hasdrubal Barca, who led the invasion of Italy and won significant battles such as the Trebbia, Lake Trasimene and Cannae.

Hanno the Spaniard - Left in charge of Carthaginian forces north of the Ebro when Hannibal goes to Italy in 218BC.

Hasdrubal Barca - Hannibal's brother. He is in charge of the war in Spain when Hannibal goes to the Italy in 218BC.


Aemillius, Marcus - Roman Praetor of Sicily in 218BC.

Pomponius, Sextus - Second in command to Tiberius Sempronius Longus on Sicily in 218BC.

Scipio, Gnaeus Cornelius - Roman general who is sent to Spain by his consular brother Publius in 218BC. He jointly commands the Roman force in Spain until his death in 211.

Scipio, Publius Cornelius - Roman consul in 218BC, consular colleague of Tiberius Sempronius Longus, who fights Hannibal Barca at the Ticinus. He joins his brother Gnaeus in Spain in 217 and jointly leads the Roman force there until he is killed 211.

Sunday 3 March 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 35 - Let's Talk Marching on Rome

This week we are rejoined by Hannie Kirkham for Let's Talk Number 3: Marching on Rome! We get into the ins and outs of this great historical debate hearing from you, the listener! We explore all the issues crucial to this debate, such as a Germanic Rome, time travelling toasters, was Hannibal a born genius, the Lord of the Rings, the Hunger Games, rain checks, Les Miserable and Manchester City commentaries. We also announce the London Meetup in The George Inn, 8 June 2013! It's all very exciting, and we hope to see you there!

Thursday 28 February 2013

Hannibal's London Jamboree! - MEETUP

Hey guys! I've got a bit of an announcement to make.  On the afternoon of Saturday 8th June 2013 I'm coming to London! I'll be hanging out in The George Inn and I'd love for you to come out and talk about history, podcasting, or anything else really. Hannie Kirkham, our guest on Let's Talk episodes, is going to be there, as is Roifield Brown of the How Jamaica Conquered the World podcast (provided he is in the country), and possibly Peter Adamson of The History Of Philosophy podcast. I'll hopefully see you there!

Sunday 17 February 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 33 - A Tale of Two Cities

This week we see Rome raise her largest military force to date, 8 legions, we see Fabius give some advice to Paullus on how to deal with Varro and Hannibal and we see Hannibal almost trick the Romans. There is a sense of looming disaster, a disaster we shall meet next week at Cannae. You can find the episode here or on iTunes.

Thursday 14 February 2013

BBC Latin Interviews

Hey guys! It has sure been a busy week, I've been interviewed on BBC Breakfast about whether Latin should still be taught in schools. If you are in the UK you can watch one of the two interviews I did here!

For the next week, UK folk will also be able to listen to a brief interview I did with BBC Radio 5 Live, skip to 2:55.

Sunday 10 February 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 32 - The Odd Couple

A History Of: Hannibal Episode 32 - The Odd Couple is out! This week sees what happens with two dictators in power at the same time. Hint - it doesn't go well for Rome. Minucius almost gets his army completely destroyed before Fabius saves the day. Fabius then steps down as dictator, the consuls Servillius and Regulus return to power. Elections are then held and Varro and Paullus are announced as consuls for 216.

Sunday 3 February 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 31 - Trouble in Paradise

This week see Rome get sick of Fabius' defensive strategy. Furious with the lack of progress made in the war, and with reports of a great victory by Minucius Rome appoints Minucius Fabius' co-dictator. You can find the episode on iTunes or right here.

Sunday 27 January 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 30 - Let's Talk What If

This week we have our second 'Let's Talk' episode; this time our guest is the host of the Twilight Histories Podcast, Jordan Harbour. Jordan and I venture into Alternative History and imagine what would happen if Carthage had won the Punic Wars. We muse over the fate of Italy without Rome, civil war at Carthage, a Carthaginian monarchy with Hannibal as king, the effects of Carthage meddling with the Jews, who would win a fight between Hannibal and Philip V of Macedon, how Europe would cope against the Huns without Rome, and of course the inevitable Buddhist Europe. Want to know how we get there, you have only to listen! Find the episode right here or on iTunes.

Also, that fantastic analogy by Listener Colin.

It’s always difficult to agree on what would happen next and that is half the fun.  I know you are a fan of the beautiful game so I am going to use a football analogy to illustrate the difficulties.  If your team has a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out in a goalless draw, there is a tendency to argue that, but for the myopia of the officials, your side would have won 1-0. However had the goal stood, play would have re-started from a kick off and all the subsequent play would have been different.  1-0 is only one of many possible outcomes.

So if the Carthaginians had defeated the Romans, and let’s assume it was a knock out blow with no chance of a comeback, what would have happened next? Would the Carthaginians have beaten Mithridates in the next round, then eliminated the Gauls before beating a British side poorly managed by Caractactus to set up a final against the Germanic  hordes ? (As in football you can always count on the Germans to make the final).

I would suggest not.   I don’t think that Carthage had the resources or the cultural impetus to drive on and establish Carthaginian superiority across Europe. Hannibal did not seem to have a clear plan for his Italian adventure and I think he would have settled for simply removing the Roman threat.  The remoteness of their African capital would also have militated against further expansion. 

I suspect that they would not even have turned up for the Mithridates match and settled for a sphere of influence covering Spain, Italy and North Africa.   So what would have happened then? Would the bourgeoning Gallic and Celtic cultures of Northern Europe flourished in the absence of Julius Caesar and his size nine boots?   Would these disparate tribes have united to form a Celtic nation that would have pushed south into Carthaginian Spain and Italy?  What would have happened in the east without the bulwark of Roman military might?  Would the Parthians or Sassanids pushed west into Europe and where would they have stopped?

Clearly nobody knows, but I would argue that in answering this question you can’t simply replace the Roman Empire with a Carthaginian one.  Unfortunately for supporters of Carthage City or ‘Rome is Overrated United’  this question quickly mutates into ‘what would happen if there had been no Roman Empire’.

So here’s my view.  The Roman occupation of Judea was a catalyst for a re-focusing of Jewish identity including the teachings of a certain Nazarene carpenter.   The Roman Empire provided the information super highway by which St Paul was able to spread these teachings through Europe culminating in the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine.  Christianity survived the dark ages and, for better or worse, became the driving philosophy for a Europe that went onto dominate the world.  So Carthage beats Rome -no Christianity - no enlightenment or renaissance - no protestant work ethic (hurrah!) – no Industrial Revolution – no Internet – no History of Podcast (boo).

So I am listening to the History of Hannibal on my i-pad whilst keeping an eye on the Rome Carthage match on my alternative history app.   It’s late into injury time when the Carthaginian striker, Hannibal rises at the far post to metaphorically nod the ball past the Roman custodian Scipio. The flag stays down! The Romans are out!  Carthaginian supporters run riot through the streets of Rome.  Suddenly my i-pad starts to disintegrate before my eyes, the podcast gets fainter. I can’t hear Jamie, why can’t I hear Jamie…Warum kann ich Jamie nicht horen. Slowly my surroundings come back into focus and I blow out my bedside candle and go to sleep.

This scenario is obviously very tongue in cheek, Euro centric and does a great disservice to the scientific knowledge of the Muslim world and China. But I think at the end of the day all one can safely say is that if Carthage had managed to strangle the nascent Roman Empire at birth the world today would be a very different place.

Sunday 20 January 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 29 - Opportunity Knocks

This week we are finished with breaks for the moment and get back into the action. We look at what happened when Mancinus tries to kill some Numidian horsemen and when Fabius manages to trap Hannibal in Campania. Hint: neither goes well for Rome. I also give a lengthy explanation of why Fabius was not a great general, as well as announce the creation of the TheHistoryOf Podcast Store! You can find it here or on iTunes.

Monday 14 January 2013

TheHistoryOf Podcast Store

We now have an official podcast store! It will be expanded over time, but you can now buy TheHistoryOf Podcast merch! You can get to it through the link at the top of the page, or through the Facebook Page, or at This will replace the Amazon recommendations which have been taken down.

Some of our launch products are:

And of course...

Podcast Recommendations


Here you can find some of my favourite podcasts which I heartily recommend you listen to. After you've listened to all of my shows of course.

American Biography - Thom Daily

History of Germany Podcast - Travis Dow

History of Pirates Podcast - Craig Buddy

Revolutions - Mike Duncan

The British History Podcast - Jamie Jeffers

The History of Byzantium - Robin Pierson

The History of Philosophy - Peter Adamson

The History of Rome - Mike Duncan

The History of the Papacy - Stephen Guerra

The History of World War II - Ray Harris

The Life of Caesar - Ray Harris and Cameron Reilly

The Podcast History of Our World - Rob Monaco

The Russian Rulers History Podcast - Mark Schauss

Talking History Podcast - Benjamin and Adam Ashwell

The Twilight Histories Podcast - Jordan Harbour

When Diplomacy Fails - Zack Twamley


Sunday 6 January 2013

A History Of: Hannibal. Episode 28 - The Dictator

Happy new year everybody! This week we look at what happened after Trasimene. We see the reaction at Rome to the news and watch Quintus Fabius Maximus be appointed Dictator and Minucius his Master of Horse. We then see Fabius's plan for the war; to avoid battle. Find the episode on iTunes or right here.