Sebastian Major is a history teacher, committed to showing his students how the past can help us better understand the present.
Throw the name Elizabeth Bathory into your favourite search engine and you will quickly find superlatives like “history’s most prolific female serial killer” and leading questions like “Was Dracula Woman?” She is a figure with a reputation so terrifying that her name has been endorsed by Black Metal bands as a suitably evil band name. In 1611 the Hungarian Countess was imprisoned for allegedly torturing and killing as many as 600 young maidservants. It was not long before a vampire-like legend grew up around Bathory. But did she really bathe in the blood of virgins to remain forever young? Tune-in and find out how medieval dragon slayers, the elixir of life, and a whole lot of inbreeding play into the story.
In episode #125 a historical myth about the origins of karate snuck past Sebastian! In this bonus episode the host does his darndest to set the record straight. Many thanks to listener Philipp Surkov for pointing out the error and recommending sources.
Martial arts myths are have been described as "savvy marketing". But, the most enduring bits of of fake martial arts history also combine Zen tradition, a Confucian veneration of the past, and a healthy dose of nationalism. Schools of martial arts will sometimes bend of backwards to prove that their form is a "pure" expression of their particular national culture. Sebastian is joined by history podcaster, and martial artist, Daniele Bolelli, to help separate the fact from the fiction. Tune-in and find out how Flower Knights, mysterious Buddhist monks, and a violent white crane all play a role in the story.
Asian martial arts are often coated in a thick layer of of legend. Many fighting styles have elaborate origin stories and mystical founding fathers. These stories often help enhance the prestige of a particular school and inspire new students. However, the "histories" of many of these martial arts disciplines are completely made up. The granddaddy of all of these martial arts myths is the tale of the Zen mystic, Bodhidharma, teaching the monks of the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu. Is any of it true? Tune in and find out how Buddhist philosophy, eyelid tea, and the "Crown Prince of Death" all play a role in the story.
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Creator Details

Episode Count
273
Podcast Count
4
Total Airtime
1 week, 3 days
PCID
Podchaser Creator ID logo 086750