High Quality History Podcasts

A curated podcast list by
Profile Owner
Samuel Hume
 August 14th, 2018
 Updated August 24th, 2018
 14 people like this
This is a collection of historical podcasts that I have either personally found to maintain a high standard of accuracy, entertainment, and presentation, or have it on good authority that they do so. If your favourite show is not on this list, it doesn't necessarily mean that it hasn't made the cut. There are a lot of worthwhile shows out there that I haven't listened to yet. Suggestions are welcome!

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Revolutions

A weekly podcast exploring great political revolutions. Now: The July Revolution. Next: 1848

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Samuel Hume

When Mike Duncan finished off the History of Rome, this was the project that he focused his knowledge and experience of podcasting on. This show looks at different revolutions and rebellions, how they came about, and what happened to the participants. The English Civil War, American Revolution, French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, and now the various revolutions of the 19th century are all covered in this show. Man the barricades!
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Tides of History

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.

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Samuel Hume

A highly qualified and entertaining presenter, Dr Patrick Wyman hosts this thematic show. Incredibly well produced and highly informative, you know you're getting accurate info from him. Dr Wyman creates composite characters, individuals that didn't actually exist, but who are based on a range of people that did, to put his listeners into their shoes. It really helps contextualise events and societies that are completely alien to us; what the daily life of a Venetian merchant was like, or how European society kept going after the ravages of the Black Death etc. Backed up by the latest in scholarship, Tides of History is certainly worth a listen.
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When Diplomacy Fails Podcast

Current: Versailles Anniversary Project October 2019: Thirty Years War series Hello and welcome history friends patrons all to When Diplomacy Fails Podcast, or WDF as I like to call it! My name is Zack Twamley, history masters graduate, author and all-round history nerd! For over six years, I have been privileged to examine wars throughout history through a unique lens. I always try to ask what on the surface may seem like very reasonable questions - why, how and WHEN did diplomacy fail? This approach has enabled a loyal base of 'history friends' to grow up around WDF, and thanks to their much appreciated work getting the word out there, we have taken history podcasting to incredible new heights! You should know that my jam at WDF is not the mundane, the tedious or the repetitive - I care little for the logistics of why one general moves his forces to point A, or what impact weapon X had on the war. Instead, I delve into human agency, the story populated by sometimes ingenious, sometimes fatally flawed human beings, who believed or had been led to believe that the time was right for war. Under these circumstances, diplomacy certainly fails, but thanks to our window into the era, you get to find out all about it! From the machinations of Louis XIV, to the complex set of events which led to the outbreak of the First World War, to the most obscure of conflicts besides, WDF has been through it all, and there's so much more to come! So why not stop by, give us a listen, and do your bit to help make history THRIVE! If you want to lend a hand to what I do here then please subscribe/rate/review the podcast here, like the Facebook page, follow on Twitter @wdfpodcast visit the website www.wdfpodcast.com become a Patron at www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails and contact Zack directly at his email address: wdfpodcast@hotmail.com Thanksss!

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Samuel Hume

As you might expect from the name, Zack Twamley's podcast is all about war, and particularly why wars happen, and it's great. He does an amazing job of looking at the build up to wars, key battles, and important personalities. His, frankly ridiculous, work ethic means that you will probably never run out of content, which is always positive when you find a show as good as this!
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Second Decade

This is a historical show examining the momentous events and interesting people of the second decade of the 19th century, the 1810s. From Jefferson to Napoleon, from Iceland to Antarctica, historian Sean Munger will give you a tour of the decade's most fascinating highlights.

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Samuel Hume

Dr Sean Munger has chosen a single decade, the 1810s, for the topic of his show. This might seem like a very short time frame to dedicate a podcast to, but not at all. After all, this is the time of Napoleon, Bolivar, Frankenstein, and Madison, and one of those is not like the other.
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Stuff What You Tell Me! || Rebellion and Resistance in History, Art and Culture

Stuff What You Tell Me! is a podcast telling stories of rebellion and resistance in history, art and culture. Created by two contrary Australians living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we explore the wider role of rebellion in history, by delving into the experiences of people whose lives and actions were defined by defiance. Release schedule: In keeping with our theme, we resent the imposition of scheduling agendas, so we release episodes whenever we feel like it. We aim for at least one a month, and if you don't like that then hey, stuff you.

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Samuel Hume

A show all about the injustices of history, and the attempts by ordinary people to fight them. There are few podcasts that I've listened to that have made me angry, but this is one of them. Not at the show itself, of course, but at what people have suffered, and how often it keeps happening. This is all tempered by the thoroughly enjoyable presentation. Imagine a more erudite, reasonable, and less-shouty Jim Jefferies, and you have the right idea.
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80 Days: An Exploration Podcast

80 Days is a podcast dedicated to exploring little-known countries, territories settlements and cities around the world. We're part history podcast, part geography podcast and part ramble. Each episode, we'll land in a new locale and spend some time discussing the history, geography, culture, sport, religion, industry, pastimes and music of our new location. More details on www.80dayspodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @80dayspodcast | Support us on www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

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Samuel Hume

Three Irish history and geography nerds in an internet-powered balloon talk about unusual, unknown, and unique places in the world. If you read their episode list and haven't heard of the locations they cover, give it a download and listen. Every episode is devoted to a small, out of the way, unknown or just unique part of the world; it could be the Walled City of Howloon, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in eastern Siberia, Liechtenstein or the Isle of Man.
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History Of The Great War

History of the Great War is a weekly podcast that will cover the First World War that occurred from 1914 and 1918. Every week we will be discussing the events that occurred exactly 100 years ago. We will journey from the borders of France in the blistering heat of 1914, to the shores of Gallipoli, to the banks of Somme, to the final knockout attempt by the German army in the spring of 1918.

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Samuel Hume

We are just a few months away from the centenary of the Armistice. Now is the time to learn more about such a critical war, a conflict that is often overshadowed by its more destructive younger brother. This show is definitely worth your time, and if it strikes you fancy there are over a hundred and fifty episodes to binge through!
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The History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr

A biweekly podcast covering the last great war. Join Ray Harris Jr as he explores World War Two in intimate detail.

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Samuel Hume

I don't think any podcaster in this list has a topic as famous as Ray Harris has, and he does it great justice. If you have any interest in the Second World War, and who doesn't, give this a try. With over 200 episodes to choose from, you may very well be spoilt for choice.
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Why Is That Podcast

The Why Is That Podcast is a podcast that explores the origins of today's common occurrences from word etymology to holiday traditions and everywhere in between.

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Samuel Hume

Your one-stop-shop for random chunks of knowledge. Travis answers questions you didn't even realise you had; do you give a damn about the origins of 'I don't give a damn!'? Why do different countries drive on different sides of the road? What makes flags so ubiquitous, and why is the middle finger the black sheep of the hand family?
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The History of Witchcraft

The belief in magic and witchcraft has existed in every recorded human culture; this podcast looks at how people explained the inexplicable, turned random acts of nature into conscious acts of mortal or supernatural beings, and how desperate communities took revenge against the suspected perpetrators. While this might sound like a particularly morbid subject, I aim to present it in an entertaining, but informative, way. Of course, there are cases of genuine tragedy in this history of witchcraft, but with a gap of several hundred years, it's ok for us to find humour in the image of, for example, an Anglo-Saxon witch attempting to ward off the Norman invasion of England by exposing her buttocks. That didn't work very well, if you're wondering...

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Samuel Hume

Full disclosure: This is my own show. Over thirty episodes, I’ve covered topics as varied as the destruction of the Knights Templar, how Zoroastrian Persia warded off baby-eating demons, what the Romans used carved stone penises for, and why Pythagoras should be associated with much more than triangles. The bulk of the podcast has been on the European witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries, and trying to explain the context in which they happened. I'm currently looking at the career of the Witch-Finder General, Matthew Hopkins, as he takes part in the single deadliest witch panic in English history.
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The Dangerous History Podcast

The Dangerous History Podcast covers the history that the Establishment would rather you NOT know, helping you learn the past so you can understand the present and prepare for the future.

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Samuel Hume

With a voice and style that is incredibly enjoyable to listen to, CJ will take you through some of the most controversial and fascinating subjects in all of history. Willing and eager to go against the grain when needed, Dangerous History is well worth a listen.
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Dead Ideas: The History of Extinct Thoughts and Practices

We explore ideas and practices once believed to be true but no longer. Each dead idea is explored in all its glorious eccentricity. For example, discover miasma, the theory that plague comes from stinky air. Or the medical diagnosis of hysteria, which holds that women's wombs wander around their bodies causing trouble. Join us on a fun romp through the history of ideas that didn’t quite stand the test of time.

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Samuel Hume

The past is a foreign country, and this show epitomises that. Everything from serfdom to self-mummification, witchcraft to Josep Tito, Dead Ideas handles the bizarre, unusual, and fascinating. Hosted by B. T. Newburg and supported by a range of co-hosts, listen to this if you're interested in all the weird and wonderful things that humans have been up to.
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Human Circus: Journeys in the Medieval World

A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.

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Samuel Hume

Devon Field's show is all about creating tales of subjects that are often forgotten in today's world. He has a talent at making the listener feel like they know the individuals in each of his stories, with details and perspectives that help bring the people he talks about alive, while also setting them firmly in their surroundings and societies.
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History on Fire

Where history and epic collide--"History on Fire" is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli.

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Samuel Hume

Two things tend to said when History on Fire is brought up. The first is that Bolelli is Italian, which is quite a rare accent in history podcasting, and notable because of it. The second thing is that History on Fire is INCREDIBLE. The depth and detail Professor Bolelli brings to the table is a good thing on its own, but the entertainment value he brings is on another level.
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Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

In "Hardcore History" journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? This isn't academic history (and Carlin isn't a historian) but the podcast's unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.

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Samuel Hume

If your hypothetical one-podcast listener hadn't heard of the History of Rome, they'll have heard of Hardcore History. What can I say about this podcast that hasn't been said a thousand times before? Dan Carlin may not keep to the same level of detail and accuracy as most of the other podcasters in this list, but he makes up for it tenfold in entertainment. Also, if I didn't include him in this list, I'd get yelled at!
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European History

The History of Rome

A weekly podcast tracing the history of the Roman Empire, beginning with Aeneas's arrival in Italy and ending with the exile of Romulus Augustulus, last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Now complete!

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Samuel Hume

THE classic history podcast by Mike Duncan. If someone has only ever listened to one history podcast in their entire life, chances are good that it was this. From the legendary foundation of the Eternal City, to the last western Emperor, this is a monumental undertaking, and every second is worth it.
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The History of England

This is my retelling of the story of England, in a regular, chronological podcast, from the cataclysmic end of Roman Britain, all the way through to the present day. I’m a bloke in a shed, so this is not a dry retelling of events; I make sure this is good, properly prepared history, but I fill it with my love and enthusiasm, and some of the things that make me laugh. You’ll find the great events and people for sure – but also some of the byways, of how people lived, their language, and the forces that shaped their lives and destinies.

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Samuel Hume

Brilliant, funny, entertaining look at every aspect of English history. David Crowther is a self-described 'man-in-a-shed', a stereotypical 'dad' with all the awful jokes, cliché accents, and personal injections you'd expect. As of writing, Henry VIII has just died, and we are entering the era of Regency, Bloody Mary, and Gloriana!
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The Things That Made England

An affectionate meandering though the things that make England the way she is. With Roifield Brown and David Crowther trying to make some sense of it all, though rarely succeeding it might be said. Join us on Facebook, vote, and tell us what you think. 

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Samuel Hume

A series of discussions between the creator of the History of England, and the creator of 10 American Presidents, two proud Englishmen who hate the way English patriotism has been co-opted by ugly racism and xenophobia. Each episode one of them brings up an institution or event that they believe 'made England'; some you might expect, like 1066 and Dunkirk, but others might take you by surprise, such as the discussions on Ska and Brown Sauce. Together they decide where it can go on display in 'The Cabinet' as one of the things that made England. Very relaxed, often quite thought-provoking, and highly entertaining.
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The British History Podcast

iTunes is restricting our list to 300 episodes for some reason. To access all episodes, click subscribe. The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won't find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you'll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the histories of England, Scotland, and Wales. Support the Show

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Samuel Hume

I don't think there's a show on this list that goes into greater depth than BHP. After 300 regular episodes, not counting all the bonus and premium episodes, Jamie is on Æthelstan, first King of the English. Astonishingly good podcast, and well worth your time.
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AGE OF VICTORIA PODCAST

The Victorians were the first truly world wide, high speed, high tech civilisation, but they are often misunderstood. Your host, Chris Fernandez-Packham, will bust popular myths, cover events around the world, and focus on a people centric history. You will see how the Victorians shaped the world, changing it from the age of horse, musket, cannon and sail to the age of steam, rifle and iron in this monthly podcast with regular special episodes and bonus content. You will learn about Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Volcanoes, Famines, great art, geography and so much more. You will discover how the Victorians changed our landscapes, and mastered new energy forms that have led us to move from being a part of the natural world to shapers of it. You will learn how the modern world was created by the actions of the Victorians. You will learn how the Victorians gave birth to our modern understanding of weather, climate, history and even time and space.

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Samuel Hume

Chris' passionate interest in the Victorians shines through in this monthly show. So far, he has examined the foundation of the Victorian era in the ashes of the Napoleonic Wars, as Britain finally triumphs over its continental rival, ushering in the Pax Britannica.
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The Age of Napoleon Podcast

The Age of Napoleon is a history podcast about the life and career of Napoleon Bonaparte as well as the general context of Europe between the early eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It is about big trends and the grand sweep of history, as well as the smaller, individual stories that bring them to life.

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Samuel Hume

This may come as a shock, but the topic of this podcast involves Napoleon Bonaparte. However, it also involves a highly engaging narrative of the context of 18th and 19th century Europe, how and why the French Revolution broke out, and the rise to power of the man himself. An incredible look at an incredible topic.
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The Bulgarian History Podcast

Podcast by Bulgarian History Podcast

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Samuel Hume

The history of Bulgaria is often criminally overlooked. If you don't believe me, give this show a listen. Think of this like the more relaxed cousin to the History of Byzantium, due to how often their stories coincide.
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The Fall of Rome Podcast

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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Samuel Hume

Dr Patrick Wyman's earlier work, and just as premium quality as Tides. Rome is his specialty, you can tell that this is a topic that he is passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about.
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The History of Byzantium

A podcast telling the story of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire from 476 AD to 1453

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Samuel Hume

A spiritual successor to the History of Rome. Robin Peirson's History of Byzantium continues from there, breathing incredible life into the medieval Roman Empire that is often overlooked. Hear about the reigns of emperors you've heard of, like Justinian and Nikephoros Phokas, and those you might not have, like Heraclius or Michael the Amorian. The political scheming may be appropriately Byzantine (heh) but Robin steers you through it like an expert.
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The History of Ancient Greece

The History of Ancient Greece Podcast is a weekly deep-dive into one of the most influential and fundamental peoples in Western Civilization. Hosted by philhellene Ryan Stitt, THOAG spans over two millennia. From the Bronze Age to Homer, to classical Greek democracy to the Roman conquest, this podcast will tell the history of a fundamental civilization by bringing to life the fascinating stories of all the ancient sources and archaeological discoveries. And not just military and political history, but their society, how the Greeks lived day-to-day, as well as their culture—their art, architecture, philosophy, literature, religion, science, and all the other incredible aspects of the Greek achievement.

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Samuel Hume

Ryan Stitt's show covers every possible aspect of the Greek civilisation, from the set piece battles that have echoed down the millennia, to the philosophers and playwrights whose works have played an immeasurable role in the development of 'Western Civilisation'. Also, there's the Bacchanalia.
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History of Germany Podcast

A podcast on the history of Germans.

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Samuel Hume

From the barbarian tribes that plagued Rome to the Kaiser of the German Empire, Travis Dow is covering the history of the Germanic peoples who have played a central role in not just European, but global, history. As an added bonus, you can listen to it in a choice of English, Germany, or Arabic!
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The History of Vikings

A podcast dedicated to retelling the history of the Vikings and the gods they worshiped. Join host Noah Tetzner, in exploring every aspect of the people we know today as Vikings! From Norse Mythology, and monastery raids, to Viking longships and the humble farmstead, discover everything you've ever wanted to know about the Vikings! Follow The History of Vikings on Twitter: @HistoryofViking Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, suggestions or inquiries that you might have: noah@thehistoryofvikings.com

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Samuel Hume

Vikings are fun. This is an incontrovertible fact. I say this with a millennium or more to keep them away from me, since they're still the baddies. I certainly wouldn't want to be resident along any stretch of European water for roughly three centuries. Still, they're fun to learn about, and Noah backs up his own knowledge and expertise with guest appearances from a variety of experts, from re-enactors to leading academics.
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The History of Poland Podcast

For many episodes to come, we'll be exploring the rich history of Poland. From it's humble beginnings, we'll follow the people of Poland as they form their own unique cultural identity, rise into a great European power, cross paths with the Mongol Horde, save Europe from an Ottoman invasion, and do their best to keep their independence firm from one generation to the next.

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Samuel Hume

It seems to me that Poland is one of those countries that tends to get overlooked, except when it falls victim to one of its neighbours. Trevor does an amazing job at fixing that. Currently in the medieval era, Trevor has shown Poland unite, fall apart, reunite, adopt Christianity, reject Christianity, play kingmaker in Russia and play the diplomatic game with the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary. It is a genuine treat to see a new episode appear in my feed, and it will be the same for you.
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PONTIFACTS

Welcome to Pontifacts; ranking all the Popes from Peter to Francis! In this light-hearted, only slightly blasphemous podcast, Bry and Fry go through the lives of the Pontiffs, and rate them based on our very valid and not subjective at all categories, to determine which Pope was the popiest Pope that ever Poped.

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Samuel Hume

Possibly the youngest podcast in this list, Pontifacts has come rushing out of the gate. Bry and Fry are devoting an episode to each Pope, and most anti-popes; this means that some of the episodes will be incredibly short (how much can you really talk about Urban VII's 13 day reign?) and others will be incredibly long (John Paul II for example, but that will be a while away in show-time). One of the few collaborative shows to make this list, and well deserved.
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American History

Early and Often: The History of Elections in America

Follow the history of voting in the United States all the way from the earliest colonial days to the present.

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Samuel Hume

A podcast that uses the political institutions of the American Colonies as a framework for a history of the continent. How did the English settlements react to the turbulent religious and political upheavals back home? Did they really have to listen to a parliament that was half a world away?
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American Revolution Podcast

American Revolution Podcast explores the events of the American Revolution, from beginning to end. It publishes weekly. Be sure to check out the related blog for access to pictures, maps, and links to more useful information on each week's episode. https://blog.amrevpodcast.com

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Samuel Hume

A narrative of the events leading up to and during the Great Rebellion of Ungrateful Colonials.... I mean, the American War of Independence. Sorry, that just slipped out. Michael Troy takes an incredibly detailed and insightful look at the context of the war, the growing discontent with the political situation, and how the conflict was actually fought.
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The Age of Jackson Podcast

A Podcast on Antebellum America (ca.1815 - ca.1845) hosted by Daniel N. Gullotta.

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Samuel Hume

Hosted by a Stanford PhD student, Daniel speaks to some of the leading scholars on Antebellum America, the crème de la crème of academia, and so presents his listeners with high quality information. That's important for a subject as controversial as Jacksonian America, with topics like slavery, relations with Indians, piracy, and banking. I have enjoyed every interview I've listened to, and come away knowing a lot more than I did about this era.
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Portraits of Blue & Grey: The Biographical Civil War Podcast

Portraits of Blue & Grey, hosted by Christopher Moore, is a biographical Civil War podcast that examines the lives of the most prominent, interesting, and influential figures of the United States Civil War Era.

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Samuel Hume

Telling the story of the US Civil War through the lens of the individuals involved, ranging from the generals and politicians you might have heard of, and the less famous but just as fascinating people among the millions the conflict effected, Christopher Moore does a fantastic job of teaching the subject. As someone who didn't know much about it, as a non-American, Portraits has greatly helped fix my lackluster knowledge!
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10 American Presidents Podcast

From Washington to Obama, 10 American Presidents a podcast narrated by guest hosts. The life and legacy of an American President. Each show is intercut with music and where possible archive news clips or dramatisations to set a feeling of place and time.

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Samuel Hume

Created by Roifield Brown, this show brings on a variety of quality podcasters to talk about... American Presidents. Dan Carlin talked about Nixon, Mike Duncan about George Washington etc. They're engrossing to listen to, and each host brings their own style to the episodes.
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Asian History

The History of China

A journey through the 5000 years of history documented by one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations. For all the episodes for free, as well as additional content, please subscribe and/or visit http://thehistoryofchina.wordpress.com .

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Samuel Hume

Chris Stewart does an amazing job at making a several thousand year old civilisation consumable for ordinary people. I wouldn't have a chance of either remember or pronouncing the various Chinese names, dynasties, and regions without him. Absolutely incredible history with so much brutal slaughter and machiavellian politics it's like if A Song of Ice and Fire had a baby with Warhammer 40k, and the baby had the Mandate of Heaven to do whatever it wanted, including wipe out entire family trees based on a whiff of treason, or sacrifice thousands of lives to build a monument to their own divinity, before drinking mercury to try and reach immortality.
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The China History Podcast

Since 2010, The China History Podcast, presented by Laszlo Montgomery presents over two hundred episodes of curated topics from China's antiquity to modern times.

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Samuel Hume

A topical podcast, rather than a narrative history, Laszlo's China History Podcast covers subjects as varied as they are informative. How did the Middle Kingdom develop its martial arts? What happened when Nixon visited the PRC? Why is tea so important? Seriously. There is a ten-part series on tea. It's a big deal.
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History of Japan

This podcast, assembled by a former PhD student in History at the University of Washington, covers the entire span of Japanese history. Each week we'll tackle a new topic, ranging from prehistoric Japan to the modern day.

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Samuel Hume

A former-PhD student at the University of Washington, Isaac Meyer proves his credentials not only by having one of the best logos in all of podcasting, but also because his doctorate was on... the History of Japan! With almost 250 episodes so far, set aside some time for this incredibly thorough and fascinating show.
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