by John

I wont be without my iPhone, ever again.  (see previous post)

I am still amazed at being able to post a problem on the net and to get solutions from kindred spirits in far off countries within minutes.

I really enjoy shopping on the net, and receiving parcels from the postman.  The waiting and anticipation adds to the pleasure.

And I love podcasts.

In no particular order these are my favourites:

History of Rome by Mike Duncan.  One of the originals, and one of the best.  Approximately 150 episodes of 20-30 minutes each.  I have listened to this entire series 3 times, and I there will probably be a fourth.  As well as being very listenable history, Mike has a lovely understated sense of humour.  And I know that he is a top bloke, having gone on his first History of Rome tour of Rome, southern Italy, and Istanbul.  Mike has renewed his podcasting in another series titled “Revolutions”.  Another great series. It covers the English revolution (cavaliers and roundheads),  the American war of independence, the French revolution, and is ongoing at the time of this writing. Although he is American, Mike takes a refreshingly unbiased stance.

History of Byzantium by Robin Pierson.  A more British style of narration about a too little known but fascinating slab of 1000 years of history, continuing the history of Rome-Byzantium.  Robin Pierson is erudite and measured, but no less fascinating.  His website has really great pictures and maps relating to each episode.  Europe would probably be Islamic, but for Byzantium.

Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.  Do not miss these!  Dan Carlin deals with history topics from many eras.  The first world war being the most recent, 6 episodes of up to 4 hours each.  Sounds like a marathon, but it goes in a flash.  In earlier series he deals with the eastern front of WW2, the Mongol invasions, Geronimo, the American slave trade, and many others.  Although Dan Carlin does not title himself a historian, these are very well researched.  They are free, but he asks for a donation of $1 per episode.  This is the best value spend ever!

Europe From Its Origins by Joe Heggarty.  Which covers the history of Europe from the fall of the western Roman empire, to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.  In a lovely soft Irish (I think) accent, Joe Heggarty gives a scholarly and detailed coverage of the  Europe of late antiquity and the mediaeval eras.  Do watch the visuals as you listen to this one.  The maps and pictures are superb.

I am currently listening to The History of the Papacy, but unless you have a particular interest in religious history I cannot recommend this one.  It is not easy to follow.

I have just started on another history of ancient Rome podcast titled “Emperors of Rome” by Dr Rhiannon Evans.   It is nice for me to listen to Australian accents dealing with this period of history.  Dr Evans is clearly expert, and the sources for the information are frequently referenced.   The style is conversational and an easy listen.  The subject material is fascinating (at least to me).  It is exciting to start listening to another great podcast.

To check out any of these podcasts, Google any of the names listed.  Even if you have no interest in history, you should try Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History.