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Ancient History Fangirl

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Ancient History Fangirl

Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy

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An ancient history podcast run by two Millennial women. Misbehaving emperors, poison assassins, mythological mayhem; it’s like if Hardcore History met up with My Favorite Murder in the ancient world, with a heavy helping of booze and feminism. New episodes weekly. Currently in ancient Greece.
 
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This is a bonus episode from our Patreon at the $2 level. Deep in the storied past of Iceland, the Yule Cat once roamed the snowy forests, valleys and villages—stalking and devouring any who weren’t given new clothes for the holiday. Pour yourself a holiday-themed beverage and get ready for a feline-centric midwinter myth that will get you in the m…
 
How did sex workers in ancient Greece and Rome manage their periods? What were the most popular fashions for pubic hair? What underwear was everyone wearing? And how did sex workers handle contraception and unwanted pregnancies? In this episode, we team up with Kate the Exploress to delve into the most intimate aspects of daily life for sex workers…
 
We’re dropping this bonus episode to let you know we’re going to be doing something a little different in December. In addition to dropping our normal scheduled episodes once a week on Thursday, we’re going to be dropping a second episode on Mondays from our bank of extra Patreon episodes at the $2 level. It's a way to boost traffic for the holiday…
 
Despite inspiring desire of all kinds in people of all genders, Aphrodite herself is often depicted as a cisgender woman. But not always. Ancient writers tell us of mystery cults that worshipped Aphrodite as a transgender woman--or perhaps as nonbinary or intersex. And when you delve into her most ancient roots, there’s an even older tradition of w…
 
Goddess of sex workers, Our Lady of the Castration Foam, the walking embodiment of orgasm herself—Aphrodite was one of the most powerful goddesses in the Olympian pantheon. And as a free, unattached woman with lots of sexual agency, she directly threatened the patriarchy. In this episode, we’ll examine the stories told about Aphrodite--and what the…
 
If you know anything about Aphrodite, then you know she is the ancient Greek goddess primarily associated with love, beauty, sex, reproduction, and passion. She was also the patron goddess of sex workers in the ancient Classical world. Join us as we explore how Aphrodite was worshipped in ancient Greece, the goddess's history and ancient roots, and…
 
Liv Albert from Let's Talk About Myths Baby! has an obsession, and the name of that obsession is Assassin's Creed Odyssey. This game immerses you immediately in Ancient Greece--and provides loads of historically accurate settings from the world we've been exploring this season: the symposia of Athens, the pleasures of Corinth, the Peloponnesian War…
 
The werewolf myth as we know it today generally involves getting bitten by a werewolf, transforming during the full moon, and being very susceptible to silver bullets. But werewolves in ancient Greece and Rome were a little different. Join us for a spooky-season deep dive into ancient werewolf mythology from thousands of years ago. We'll take a loo…
 
What tales kept people from thousands of years ago up at night? This Halloween, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to delve into spooky stories from the ancient world that will send a shiver up your spine—tales of shrieking Banshees, deathly Furies, and the terrors of Samhain. So spread some salt ove…
 
Dads who devour their children. Disembodied baby heads. Corpses that stand up on the battlefield to prophesy doom. Women who return from the grave to carry on steamy affairs. The Ancient Greeks did ghost stories...a little differently. This week, we team up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to bring you three ghostly tales from anc…
 
Communities all over the ancient world had a problem: their dead wouldn't stay in the ground. They rose up as shambolic corpses, gusts of wind and evil spirits, draining human life force and devouring flesh and blood. The vampire myth is an ancient one, found on every continent. Join us as we explore the oldest vampire myths we could find from Sume…
 
The Lupanar, or “Wolf Den,” is the infamous brothel of Pompeii. Elodie Harper’s bestselling novel follows the lives of the sex workers who lived and worked there—their passions, their heartbreaks, and the tightly-knit community they built for themselves. Today, we’ve invited Elodie on the show to talk about the realities of sex workers’ lives in th…
 
Last week, we told you about the lives of five courtesans in Classical Athens. But we left someone out--perhaps the most elite hetaera of them all. Long-term partner of a leading Athenian statesman, darling of the philosophical set, survivor of the plague of Athens—she threw her own parties, and they were the best parties ever thrown within a hundr…
 
In our last few episodes on sex workers in ancient Greece, we tried to paint a picture of a group of women, in some cases, with more freedom and independence than most in the ancient Greek world could dream of. But that freedom came at a price. Now, we’re going to tell you about the lives of some of ancient Greece’s most famous Hetaerae. Get ad-fre…
 
The symposia--all-male drinking parties--were the playground and hunting ground of Athens' elite courtesans. But they had their dangers, too. Join us as we attend a symposium with the fast set of Ancient Athens. We’re going to hang out with the hetaerae, drink our faces off, flirt outrageously with everyone in range, and debate with the philosopher…
 
The conventional wisdom is that sex workers in ancient Greece were divided into two main categories: pornai who were enslaved in brothels, and hetaerae, who were elite courtesans. That’s actually a drastic oversimplification. This is the beginning of a journey into the world of sex workers in ancient Greece. Join us as we explore what life was like…
 
We're so thrilled to announce our very first live(streamed) event, in partnership with Liv Albert from Let's Talk About Myths, Baby! and Moment House! We'll be taking our drunk mythology series live to tell you the story of the founding of Athens--from a rooftop in Athens, in sight of the Parthenon! Listen in as Genn and Jenny tell you more about t…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. Close your eyes and imagine a loving family. Devoted parents and six children: three happy brothers and three happy sisters. The father, Germanicus, is a war hero—beloved by the people, and next in line for the throne. Life is good. Life…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. Our only explanation for this episode is that it was Jenny's birthday and she wanted to have some friends over. So we invited Katy and Nathan from Queens Podcast to come on our podcast and drink us under the table. Join us on a drunken r…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. Hippolyte and her golden belt. Penthesilea and the fall of Troy. The Daughters of Ares. Atalanta and the golden apples. They're everywhere in Greek mythology: fierce, deadly women warriors. But in a society as male-dominated as ancient G…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. In this episode, the epic story of the elephant of war continues. Join noted elephant adventurers King Pyrrhus of Epirus (he of the Pyrrhic victory), Julius Caesar, Hannibal Barca, and Lady Trieu of Vietnam as they stomp their enemies in…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. Forget what you thought you knew about Dionysus and his cozy wine-drinking image. This is the Dionysus of Thrace. The Dionysus of Mithradates. Of Spartacus. Of revolutionaries across the classical world. This is the story of how one wand…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. Think the Amazons of Greek myth were mythical? Think again. The Greeks based their Amazons on the real-life warrior women next door. Centuries ago, ancient writers claimed that Scythian women of the Eurasian Steppe fought in battle along…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog. Ancient Rome was full of rich, ambitious social climbers in a cutthroat political environment—people who had enemies to get rid of, and deep pockets to pay for the service. Poison assassins were in high demand—and one of the most notorio…
 
We're on hiatus until September 2. Until then, please enjoy some of our favorite issues from the back catalog. On August 24, 410 AD, Alaric and the Visigoths sacked the city of Rome. Before he sacked it, he starved it. Before that, he went toe to toe with the Roman Empire for fifteen years—uniting disparate tribes, holding a people together, and ac…
 
We're going on hiatus! We'll be back September 2. Thank you so much for joining us on the wild ride that was Season 6. Listen in as we discuss some highlights and behind-the-scenes goings on, and find out what we've got planned for our upcoming season. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/ancienthistoryfangirl Learn more about your ad…
 
London began its life as Old Londinium—an informal trading community that sprang up around the narrowest point in the Thames, and was burned to the ground by Boudicca’s army just decades after its founding. This week, we asked bestselling urban fantasy author Ben Aaronovitch to take us on a tour of Old Londinium—say, the day before Boudicca’s arriv…
 
The people of Camulodunum had found out the hard way that Rome’s promises of protection weren’t enough to save them from Boudicca’s rampaging army—and so did the people of London and Verulamium. Boudicca burned these cities to the ground, unleashing a cleansing fire that was seared into the British landscape. From there, Boudicca and her army set o…
 
When Boudicca rebelled against the Romans, she knew exactly who to turn to for allies: the Trinovantes. Years ago, the Romans had taken over their town, Camulodunum—and made it over into a veterans’ retirement colony, subjugating the Trinovantes in the process. When the opportunity came to drive the Romans out, they seized the opportunity. But many…
 
The story of Boudicca’s revolt is as epic as you can get. It’s got murder and pillage, Romans behaving badly, cities on fire, and a layer of destruction that was scorched into the earth. But it's also the story of a people on a precipice of great change. Who was Boudicca? Who was this iron-age warrior queen who stood up to the Romans—and whose name…
 
Our dear friend Liv (from Let's Talk About Myths, Baby!) wrote a book, Greek Mythology: the Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook. And it’s already a bestseller in Canada and a #1 new release on Amazon!! We just had to celebrate by dropping an extra bonus episode where we interview Liv about her book like super serious professionals. At least, that’…
 
Hadrian was the Roman emperor who commissioned Hadrian’s Wall--and he probably had a hand in designing it. But the Wall was only a very small part of Hadrian's life, and it’s not the only massive building project that comes down to us today from his reign. This week, Liv Albert from Let's Talk About Myths, Baby! joins us to talk about how Hadrian c…
 
The Pictish Beast is a mysterious animal carved on Pictish standing stones. Nobody knows what kind of animal it is. But it must have been really important to the Picts, as over 40% of animals carved into their stones are the Pictish Beast. Is it an elephant? Is it a kelpie? Is it an ancient prehistoric monster the likes of which no living person ha…
 
The Picts burst onto the Romano-British scene as terrifying Celtic pirates, overwhelming Hadrian’s Wall from the north, sweeping in from the sea to ravage and burn Romano-British settlements as the power of the Roman Empire slowly receded. In the centuries after Rome faded, they were the true Kings in the North—building a powerful kingdom in the no…
 
By the end of the 300s, the soldiers on Hadrian's Wall were hungry, they were under-equipped, and they hadn't been paid in years. Even so, many stayed at their posts--even as the Roman Empire lost its grip on Britain entirely. Find out how the fall of Rome looked from the view of Hadrian's Wall--and what became of those stationed there, holding the…
 
The living at Hadrian's Wall wasn't as austere as you might think for those stationed there--especially in the beginning. Merchants flocked from all over the Empire to sell their wares to soldiers with regular paychecks. But conditions changed drastically in the decades and centuries after Hadrian died. New Emperors--Antoninus Pius, Diocletian, Sep…
 
What was life like on Hadrian's Wall? This week, we're going to explore the living conditions along the Wall--at the forts and the milecastles, in the officers' quarters and soldiers' barracks, and in the bustling civilian towns that sprang up around the military encampments. There's a treasure trove of archaeology at forts along the Wall--especial…
 
Hadrian’s Wall is a jaw-dropping engineering achievement stretching 73 miles across hundred-foot-high escarpments and rushing rivers, its earthworks dug deep into unforgiving igneous bedrock. It’s the largest Roman artifact in existence, and yet we still have no idea why it was built. It’s barely mentioned in the ancient sources, but in its rise an…
 
This week, we’re taking a deep dive into Welsh mythology from a queer, feminist perspective with the phenomenally talented Welsh artist Mari Catrin Phillips of MythsnTits. Join us as we get acquainted with the women of the Mabinogion. Check out MythsnTits: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MariCatrinPhillips Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.c…
 
If you know anything about Mithras, you might have the impression that he was kind of a proto-Jesus. Turns out that’s wrong. Think of this as less of a seasonal episode, and more of a seasonal myth-busting episode. Get ready for the epic story of a bull-slaughtering, mushroom-tripping, light-bringing, Emperor-pee-drinking, hierarchy-maintaining, Sm…
 
The Morrigan has many names: Badb, the scald-crow. Red-haired Macha. Nevin of the battle-frenzy. Fea; the deathly. Be Neit; the Woman of Battle. But first and foremost, the Morrigan was a goddess of war. And to understand her, you have to understand her battlefield. Join us as we get to know the Morrigan—and explore the bloody waters in which she s…
 
In our last episode, we alluded to the fact that there were female as well as male Druids in the Celtic iron age. But if the picture of male Druids is spotty, the picture of female Druids is more mysterious still. We decided to delve into Celtic culture, myth, and archaeology to see what we could uncover about female Druids in the ancient world. Ge…
 
When Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, the Druids suffered a swift and catastrophic loss of status and position. Persecuted and demonized by later Emperors, many fled to Britain, where Roman influence didn’t reach. But eventually, the Romans followed. The Druids were driven to the island of Anglesey— the last stronghold of Druidic life and learning. Fr…
 
What tales kept people from thousands of years ago up at night? This Halloween, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to delve into spooky stories from the ancient world that will send a shiver up your spine—tales of shrieking Banshees, deathly Furies, and the terrors of Samhain. So spread some salt ove…
 
Ancient History Fangirl is taking a break. We'll be busy getting ready for Season 6--which we're really psyched about. Listen in as we discuss highlights of the previous season, our big plans for Season 6, and some other important developments. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/ancienthistoryfangirl Learn more about your ad choices…
 
More than 1,800 years after Spartacus fought for his freedom, another rebel leader spearheaded the most successful slave revolt in history: the Haitian Revolution. That leader was a man named Toussaint L’Ouverture. This week, we invited Mike Duncan of The History of Rome and Revolutions to help us compare these two revolutionaries and discuss what …
 
Crixus is dead. Spartacus has given up on crossing the Alps. And he has a new enemy: a man with endless money, endless resources, and a lot to prove. Nobody asked for more Crassus. Not Spartacus, not the Roman Senate, and not the hundred thousand people following Spartacus to a better life. But in this episode, that’s exactly what everyone is going…
 
After defeating Glaber on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, Spartacus and his rebels enjoyed a glorious Italian summer—taming wild ponies for their infantry, attracting new recruits, and raiding in the rich Italian farmlands. But all good summers come to an end. The Roman Senate continued to send more experienced generals against Spartacus--even as he st…
 
In our last episode, Spartacus and his compatriots broke out of the ludus and began their rebellion. Spurred on by the Dionysian prophecies of his lover, the Thracian Lady, Spartacus’ legend grew. But the Roman Senate was not going to let his army rampage unchecked—and soon Spartacus would face troubles without and tribal conflicts within. It all c…
 
The story of Spartacus is the story of the Roman Republic at a crossroads. In the 70s BC, the city of Rome was a powderkeg, the peninsula was wracked with starvation and violence, the Mediterranean was crawling with pirates, and two major wars raged overseas. This was the state of affairs when Spartacus rebelled. Join us as we explore the volatile …
 
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