I recently listened to this fascinating podcast: Europe from its Origins. It provides a unique in-depth review of the history of the Dark Continent from 312-1414 (so far).
Joseph Hogarty, the author, takes the unique tack of using contemporary names of historical people and places rather than the received historical name.
- Constantinius vs. Constantine
- Antiochea vs. Antioch
- Clodovicius vs. Clovis
- Fracia vs. France
- Carolus Martellus vs. Charles Martel
- Carolus Magnus vs. Charlemagne
Hogarty stresses the strong continuity between Rome and post-476 Western Europe (except poor distant Britannia). He argues that the great discontinuity between Western medieval Europe and the Western empire of antiquity was not the Germanic barbarian invasions of c. 400 onward but the Islamic conquest of half of the Roman empire after 633. In following this narrative thread, Hogarty’s work slants away from recent scholarship that portrays the Islamic conquest as a welcome breath of desert tolerance warmly embraced by the Christians of Roman Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Africa. Hogarty argues instead that the Islamic conquest was a bloody usurpation that, uniquely in world history, retribalized every complex urban civilization it touched.
There’s a trace element of disregard for the English but you might miss it since Hogarty has devoted little time to the proto-Anglosphere so far. However, Europe from its Origins is an excellent example of how to produce a podcast with a professional eye. The script is tight and well researched, Hogarty’s voice narration is smooth and professional. His podcast files are encoded in MPEG 4 format since they come with pictures (!). All in all, I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to throw some light on their knowledge of the development of Western European civilization.
Hogarty’s podcast is available through iTunes but the links are currently broken through iTunes or RSS. The site is apparently in the midst of reorganization so I’ve added the direct links to the individual episode pages and files below:
20. AD 1356-1414: The Great Schism [download video]