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History lectures by Samuel Biagetti, a historian (and antique dealer) with a Phd in early American history; my dissertation was on Freemasonry in the 1700s. I focus on the historical myths and distortions, from "the Middle Ages" to "Race," that people use to rationalize the world in which we live. More info at www.historiansplaining.com Please see my Patreon page, https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5530632, if you want to keep the lectures coming, and to hear the patron-only materials.
 
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We consider the struggles of European colonists and missionaries, indigenous tribes, and African laborers to protect their territories and secure their freedom through two tumultuous centuries of Spanish rule in Florida. From the first arrival of yellow fever, to the construction of an indestructible limestone fortress, to the creation of the first…
 
How did the Holy Grail transform from the object of a purifying spiritual quest to a Faustian symbol of the corruptions of power? We consider the evolution of the Grail myth from the later medieval romances through Le Morte D'Arthur, the works of Tennyson, Wagner, and T.S. Eliot, and the portrayals of the Grail by Monty Python, Dan Brown, and Jay-z…
 
Why did an enigmatic relic discussed in a series of medieval romances of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table leap out of the Arthurian myths and rise to become the most famous object in the history of literature? What does the vessel represent spiritually, morally, and sexually? And what the heck is a "grail" anyway? We begin by examinin…
 
Unlocked for the public after 1 year on Patreon for patrons only:The "Founding Fathers" -- the most rarefied club in American history -- stand in for everything we love or hate about this country, from its civic and religious freedom to its white supremacism. As if carved in stone (which they oftentimes are), they loom over every political debate, …
 
After 1500, Florida becomes a battleground in a new struggle for control of North America; we discuss the repeated doomed attempts by French and Spanish adventurers, from Ponce de Leon to the Huguenot colonists at Fort Caroline, to establish a foothold in Florida, until Spain finally succeeds in creating a lasting European stronghold at Saint Augus…
 
I join with Geoff Shullenberger of "Outsider Theory" to discuss the sweeping and challenging new book, "The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity" by David Graeber and David Wengrow. We consider the book's marshalling of new archaeological evidence to debunk mechanistic and deterministic assumptions about the rise of civilization, its deep …
 
We discuss the complex and multilayered history of Florida, beginning with the prehistoric peoples that survived in and mastered the tropical landscape, built monumental mound complexes, and formed powerful kingdoms that would eventually confront the first European invaders.Hear part 2 here -- https://soundcloud.com/historiansplaining/fortresses-on…
 
I give an update on my historical activities this winter and plans for the podcast, as well as a brief teaser from the latest installment of the History of the United States in 100 Objects.My lecture on the History of the British and Irish Travellers: https://soundcloud.com/historiansplaining/history-of-the-british-and-irish-travellersMy latest pat…
 
Before Columbus had even set foot in America, medieval Europe and the Islamic Middle East already had a long history in trading and exploiting slaves. An important branch of the slave trade involved buying captives from the shores of the Black Sea and trafficking them through the Mediterranean to the commercial cities of Italy or to Egypt, where ma…
 
We consider the strange ambiguous developments of this year, including the political paralysis in the US, the furors over mask and vaccine mandates, and most importantly, the labor reshuffle or "great resignation," in light of crises past, including the bubonic plague and World War I and World War II, which have tended to bring class conflict and u…
 
UNLOCKED after 1 year for patrons only:--Wainscot great chair with turned and carved ornaments--Made of Oak, by unknown maker in New York or Connecticut, 1660-75--Owned by John Winthrop, Jr.; held by Connecticut Historical SocietyHow do the enigmatic designs on an oak chair belonging to the governor, doctor, and alchemist, John Winthrop, Jr., refle…
 
America marked this year the 100th anniversary of the race massacre that destroyed the Greenwood district of Tulsa, the so-called "Black Wall Street," but left out of the commemorations were the contexts that led to the outbreak of civil violence: the town's Indian origins in the Trail of Tears; the massive cattle and oil booms that gave rise to a …
 
Unlocked after a year for patrons only:Why do we divide history into epochs separated by "revolutions"? Astrology. How did Magellan chart his course around the globe? Astrology. How did Ronald Reagan schedule his acts of state? Astrology. We trace how the highest of the occult arts evolved from interpreting omens in ancient Babylonia, to containing…
 
In 1974, group of Chinese farmers drilling a well in a parched field in a far northwestern corner of China found pieces of terracotta sculpture, which would point the way to East Asia's greatest ever archaeological discovery -- a tremendous trove of sculpted warriors, each one unique, amassed in a great army marching eastward from the necropolis of…
 
At a time of intensifying hope and anxiety over the direction of the Supreme Court, we take stock of how the lawmaking process and the judiciary have changed over the past fifty years with the mobilization and funneling of large amounts of money into the political realm; we focus especially on the little-known but pivotal "Powell Memo" of 1971, in …
 
In the first installment on the Robin Hood mythos, we consider how the legend of Robin Hood has evolved from a series of brutal tales of a medieval outlaw bandit in the fifteenth century to that of the swashbuckling champion of the poor of modern pop culture, and how he picked up sidekicks like Friar Tuck and Maid Marion along the way; we consider …
 
What do Hindus believe? What rituals, traditions, and ethical principles does one follow as a Hindu? What does Hinduism say about the soul and spiritual enlightenment? We trace the development in ancient and classical India of the multi-layered and comprehensive philosophy of life that we today call Hinduism, from the ancient rites of the Vedas, th…
 
We discuss the complex geography of the Indian Subcontinent, and how early societies in India, beginning with the mysterious Indus Valley Civilization, developed cities, technology, art, and literature, giving rise eventually to the flourishing Maurya and Gupta empires and the inventions of the Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu religions. Image: Asoka pill…
 
--Made of leather, sinew thread, and wampum (quahog shell) beads, ca. 1400s--In possession of the Onondaga Nation, central New YorkThis most ancient and precious ceremonial wampum belt, created by the Ondondaga tribe to record the proclamation of the Great Law of Peace at the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy (or more properly, the Haudenosaunee…
 
Unlocked after 1 year for patrons only:America's oldest bowling ball, found in the backlot of a colonial house in Boston, and what it reveals about the Puritans' futile struggles against vice -- drunkenness, fornication, gambling, and even witchcraft.Please support this podcast and hear the entire lecture on the Nag Hammadi discovery -- www.patreon…
 
Michael of "Xai How Are You" and I discuss the history of the Chasidic / Hasidic movement, a Jewish lay mystical and pietistic movement, which applies the insights of Kabbalah to everyday life and prayer, and which originated among Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe in the 1700s, flourished in the 1800s, survived the pogroms and world wars, and in re…
 
Michael of "Xai How Are You" and I discuss the different ways that Jews have distinguished themselves into groups and sub-groups, from the Biblical tribes to the Sephardic and Ashkenazi ethnic groups to the modern Reform, Orthodox, and Conservative movements. We lay the groundwork for an upcoming discussion of the origins and character of Chasidic …
 
We consider the narrative structure, symbols, and meanings of the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the context of the Middle Ages and the Arthurian cycle, and how the movie has been adjusted to speak to modern sensibilities. I argue that the Green Knight myth has relevance today as a parable about shame."I would have written a shorter le…
 
How did the early colonists in Virginia know that they could profitably grow a species of tobacco from South America? They learned about it from the series of mostly short-lived English, French, and Dutch colonies and outposts in tropical South America, between the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, in the area called "Guiana." We discuss with historian Me…
 
I mark the milestone of surpassing 100 patrons with a thank-you and a clip of my patron-only lecture, "Doorways in Time: The Great Archaeological Finds -- 2: The Nag Hammadi Library," which deals with the discovery a massive trove of Egyptian documents blowing the lid off of the secretive Gnostic movement of mystical Christianity in the early churc…
 
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