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Everywhere around us are echoes of the past. Those echoes define the boundaries of states and countries, how we pray and how we fight. They determine what money we spend and how we earn it at work, what language we speak and how we raise our children. From Wondery, host Patrick Wyman, PhD (“Fall Of Rome”) helps us understand our world and how it got to be the way it is.
 
Barbarians, political breakdown, economic collapse, mass migration, pillaging and plunder. The fall of the Roman Empire has been studied for years, but genetics, climate science, forensic science, network models, and globalization studies have reshaped our understanding of one of the most important events in human history. PhD historian and specialist Patrick Wyman brings the cutting edge of history to listeners in plain, relatable English.
 
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show series
 
The Late Bronze Age was a remarkable time in the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. An interconnected world sprang up, tying together the lands from Greece and Crete in the west all the way to Mesopotamia in the east and the Nile cataracts in the south. Let’s explore the Aegean during this time, looking at how palaces on Crete continued to gr…
 
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the whole of human history can be divided into two parts: before the Industrial Revolution, and after. Economist Duncan Weldon joins me to talk about the Industrial Revolution, why it started in Britain, and the trajectory of the British economy over the past two centuries. Get Duncan’s book, Two Hundred Years o…
 
From mainland Greece to Minoan Crete and the famous city of Troy, what made the Aegean Sea one of the constituent pieces of the Bronze Age world? All of these cities are linked, not just by their proximity, but by much bigger things: trade, the emergence of cities and elite classes, the development of state structures and the written word. Patrick'…
 
Bestselling author and history podcaster extraordinaire Mike Duncan returns to Tides to talk about his new book, Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution. It’s a wonderful book about a fascinating character who lived through and shaped impossibly eventful times, and I highly recommend both it and Mike’s other work. Get …
 
More than 4,000 years ago, a ruler came to power in the fractious, war-torn lands of Mesopotamia. He ruled a small state north of the region's ancient heartland, a place called Akkad, but over the course of his life, Sargon built something sprawling and unique: the world's first empire, the Akkadian Empire. Listen to new episodes 1 week early, to e…
 
To mark the release of Patrick's book The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years That Shook the World, he did a virtual event with Powell's Bookstore in Portland, hosted by history podcaster extraordinaire and bestselling author Mike Duncan. Mike and Patrick discussed the book, but also the art of doing popular history, key periods in his…
 
Friend of the Show Dr. Keith Pluymers returns to tell us about how people thought about and fought over resources, especially wood, in early modern England. Scarcity, Keith argues, is more about perception than an actual lack of resources. Different groups within society had different perceptions, and they fought constantly about what to do about t…
 
We're often told that ancient Mesopotamia was the "Cradle of Civilization," but what made the region stand out in comparison to its neighbors and contemporaries? More than anything else, it was living in cities and working in a hyper-specialized economic role as subjects of kings that defined life in Mesopotamia. Patrick's book is now available! Ge…
 
Listen to an exclusive sneak peak of Patrick's book, The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World, which comes out today, July 20th! This chapter looks at the one-armed German mercenary knight Goetz von Berlichingen, and the emergence of large-scale gunpowder warfare in the 16th century. Listen to the rest of The Verge …
 
Patrick's book, The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World, comes out next Tuesday, July 20th! He worked really hard on it, people like Mike Duncan and Dan Jones say it's good, and you should read it if you liked the seasons of Tides of History on the late Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. But what's it about? And…
 
While Mesopotamia and even the Indus Valley get the lion's share of the attention, sophisticated and long-lasting societies inhabited the lands fringing the Caspian Sea for thousands of years. The people of the Kura-Araxes Culture, the Oxus Civilization, and Elam left their mark everywhere from Anatolia to Mesopotamia to South Asia, shaping future …
 
When we think of the open grasslands of the Eurasian steppes, we usually imagine nomadic herders taking their livestock from place to place on horseback. But the steppes are a vast and varied place, and so too were the ways of life that ancient people developed to live there. Professor Alicia Ventresca Miller of the University of Michigan joins me …
 
Things didn't stop happening on the vast grasslands of the Eurasian steppes once the first waves of migrants had departed to make their mark on Europe and beyond. New societies, languages, and ethnic groups emerged. The chariot was invented, and bronze metallurgy spread far and wide. One of those innovative societies on the steppe gave rise to the …
 
Professor David Anthony is one of the world's foremost experts on the archaeology of the ancient Eurasian steppes and sits at the cutting edge of Indo-European studies. We discuss the unique nature of the Yamnaya and the prehistoric steppe, the people who lived there, what ancient DNA can tell us about these past societies, and why they matter even…
 
Human bones are one of our most valuable and illuminating sources of information about the past, but how do we use them, and what can they tell us about prehistory? I talked to Dr. Jess Beck, a bioarchaeologist and expert on later European prehistory, about the incredible insights we can glean from the study of human remains and about her specialty…
 
Around 4,500 years ago, bell-shaped ceramic drinking vessels called "beakers" begin showing up with the dead in tombs all over western Europe. Everywhere from Portugal to Sicily to Scotland to Slovakia, these distinctive containers show up, often accompanied by archery equipment and upheaval in the societies established in these places. The Bronze …
 
Five thousand years ago, small groups of herders began making their way from the open grasslands of the Eurasian steppe into the hills and forests of northern Europe. They moved west, intermarrying with the local farmers and sometimes fighting them, eventually reaching as far as present-day Belgium. These were the people of the Corded Ware Culture,…
 
At the heart of the ancient Middle East, a sophisticated, urbanized, and long-lived world, was a writing system: cuneiform, used for everything from heroic epic to receipts and medical texts, and first developed in Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago. Dr. Moudhy Al-Rashid of Oxford joins me to talk about cuneiform literature, medicine, and mental…
 
More than 5,000 years ago, a group of wandering herders on the Eurasian steppes - the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European - began to move outward from their homeland. With their wagons, horses, and livestock, they traveled hundreds of miles through the Danube Valley and into Central Europe, forever shaping the linguistic, cultural, and genetic…
 
What do Achilles and Gilgamesh, two of the most renowned literary figures of the ancient world, have in common? A great deal more than you might expect. I talked to Professor Michael Clarke of the National University of Ireland, Galway, one of my favorite people in the world and an enormously creative and thoughtful scholar, about his recent book -…
 
Egypt and Mesopotamia are the most famous civilizations of the ancient world, but at the same time in South Asia - today's Pakistan and India - an even larger and more populous society came into being: the Indus Valley Civilization, whose peak lasted from 2600 to 1900 BC. But the Indus Valley Civilization challenges much of what we think we know ab…
 
Professor Tim Denham is one of the world's leading experts on Kuk Swamp, the most important archaeological site for understanding the origins of agriculture in New Guinea. He explains how we can use cutting-edge techniques in the study of ancient soils and tiny bits of plant to understand these fascinating past developments. We also talk about "civ…
 
The Highlands of New Guinea are one of the most remote places on the planet, a maze of crosscutting valleys and enormous mountains that weren't reached by outsiders until the 1930s. Yet they're also one of the world's original centers of agriculture, a place responsible for domesticating crops like taro and the omnipresent banana. Crops on which mi…
 
Professor David Wengrow is one of the world's leading experts on Egypt before the pharaohs. He's also one of the most creative and wide-ranging archaeologists working right now, and he has fascinating insights into the primordial emergence of inequality, hierarchies, states, and all of the other things. Check out his new book, co-authored with the …
 
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