A History of Europe, Key Battles

A podcast on European conflicts from the perspective of each side to provide an alternative to the traditional national narratives. Going chronologically from the Ancient Greeks onwards I will describe to some extent how each battle was won or lost by particular decisions, tactics, technology or fortune. But the aim of each main narrative will be to place each battle in the context of the overall history of Europe.


  • 47.4 French Wars of Religion - Conclusion

    Apr 19 2019

    Turbulent times in France in a series of conflicts known as the French Wars of Religion. On the death of all four sons of Catherine de Medici the Valois dynasty dies out, leaving a committed Protestant, Henry of Navarre, as heir to the throne

  • 47.3 St Bartholomew's Day Massacre

    Apr 12 2019

    Fighting breaks out in France between Protestants and Catholics in a series of conflicts known as the French Wars of Religion. The most infamous event of all is the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre 1572

  • 47.2 French Wars of Religion - Background

    Apr 04 2019

    The Protestant Faith is spreading fast when Henry II (pictured) ascends to the throne of France in 1574. His early death destabilizes the French Crown

  • 47.1 Martin Luther, the Reformation and the Printing Press

    Mar 29 2019

    Beginnings of the Reformation, triggered in 1517 by Martin Luther, whose ideas spread quickly thanks to the recent invention of the printing press. Also the economy of France flourishes during the reign of Francis I (1515-1547)

  • 46.4 Livonian Wars 1558-1583

    Feb 22 2019

    The final years of Livonia Wars, the struggle for control of the southern Baltic coastline between Sweden, Denmark, Poland-Lithuania and Russia. King Stephan Bathory of Poland leads a campaign into Muscovite territory and besieges the city of Pskov (pictured). Also, the legacy of Ivan IV the Terrible

  • 46.3 Ivan the Terrible and the Oprichnina

    Feb 15 2019

    Ivan the Terrible, convinced of treachery all around him, orders the execution of anyone he suspects of disloyalty. He then creates the Oprichnina, a state within a state in Muscovy, and subjects his people to successive waves of terror, including the massacre of Novogord 1569. Moscow comes under threat in 1571 from an immense army of Crimean Tatars leading to the Battle of Molodi. Meanwhile Denmark and Sweden fight the Seven Years War.

  • 46.2 History of Medieval Scandinavia and Hanseatic League

    Feb 08 2019

    The History of Medieval Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea, and rivalries between the Hanseatic League (a naval merchant alliance), Denmark, Sweden and Poland-Lithuania

  • 46.1 Battle of Ermes 1560, Fall of the Livonian Order

    Feb 01 2019

    The Livonian Order, in decline for years, suffers defeat at the Battle of Ermes 1560 against an army of Ivan the Terrible, triggering a conflict to fill the power vacuum; the Northern Wars

  • 45.5 Battle of Lepanto 1571

    Jan 04 2019

    The Battle of Lepanto - the largest naval battle in Western history since classical antiquity. A clash for supremacy of the Mediterranean between the Ottomans and a Christian Holy League

  • 45.4 Ottoman Invasion of Cyprus

    Dec 21 2018

    Sultan Selim II directs an Ottoman invasion against the Venetian controlled island of Cyprus, leading to the siege of Famagusta which lasted almost a year from September 1570 to August 1571

  • 45.3 Siege of Malta

    Dec 14 2018

    Philip II of Spain suffers a major setback by the failure to capture the port of Tripoli. Then in 1565 the Ottomans, in the ascendancy in the Mediterranean, attempt to capture the island of Malta, leading to one of most epic sieges of all time. Also, the passing away of Suleiman the Magnificent

  • 45.2 Charles V and Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

    Nov 30 2018

    The Ottoman Turks and their Barbary Pirate allies fight against Emperor Charles V and Italians for influence in the Mediterranean but form an alliance of convenience with France which shocks Christendom. Meanwhile there is court intrigue in Constantinople centred around the sultan's harem. And Charles V decides to abdicate after a long reign (pictured: a tapestry of the abdication ceremony)

  • 45.1 Conflict in the Mediterranean

    Nov 23 2018

    Barbary Pirates fill a political vacuum in North Africa in the 1400's. Then in the 1500's, after the capture of Cairo, the Ottomans expand into the Mediterranean. Emperor Charles V captures the strategic city of Tunis in 1535 but Christendom soon after faces numerous setbacks against the Turks, most notably defeat the naval Battle of Preveza 1538 (pictured)

  • Podcast Update, 11 June 2018

    Jun 11 2018

    Unfortunately I must put the podcast on hiatus for 4 months. Having been elected to represent my local village of Eynsham, for a period I will not realistically be able to keep the podcast going at the same rate as before. But when I'm back, there will be lots of great stories to tell of key battles, from the Battle of Lepanto 1571, Spanish Armada, French Religious Wars of Religion, and many more. See you again in the autumn.

  • 44.3 Siege of Kazan 1552

    May 25 2018

    The Siege of Kazan 1552. The conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan by Muscovy can be seen as the birth of a Russian Empire. It had profound consequences for the steppe region and beyond, allowing Russian expansion eastwards, eventually as far as the Pacific. 

  • 44.2 Ivan the Terrible - Early Years

    May 18 2018

    Early years of Ivan IV, the Terrible. On his reaching maturity, Moscow resumes its bid for control of the neighbouring khanate of Kazan, already weakened by decades of instability

  • 44.1 Muscovy and her Asiatic neighbours 1400s-early 1500s

    May 11 2018

    The story of the complex relationship between the Russians and their southern and eastern neighbours in 1400s-early 1500's. Those neighbours were the successor states of the once mighty Mongol-Tatar empire known as the Golden Horde; the khanates of Kazan, Crimea, Siberia, the Great Horde and Nogay Horde. These relationships were at least as important to Muscovy as those with her western neighbours. Pictured: QolSharif Mosque in the city of Kazan, Russia

  • 43.2 Battle of Mohacs 1526

    Apr 06 2018

    Suleiman the Magnificent leads a huge army across the Balkans to confront the leadership of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Battle of Mohacs proved to be a key event in the history of eastern Europewww.historyeurope.net

  • 43.1 Battle of Mohacs 1526 Background

    Mar 30 2018

    Expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1500's. Conquest of the Balkans and Mamluk-controlled Egypt, and rivalry with Shia Persia. Also, the story of the kingdom of Hungary in the same period, leading up to the Battle of Mohacs 1526. Pictured - the coat of arms of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary 1458-1490www.historyeurope.net

  • 42.4 Battle of Diu 1509

    Feb 16 2018

    The fight for naval supremacy of the lucrative spice trade of the Indian Ocean between the Mamluk Sultanate based in Cairo and the Portuguese

  • 42.3 Portuguese Conquests in India

    Feb 09 2018

    The Portuguese begin to seize control of the spice trade of the Indian Ocean, by a mixture of diplomacy and brute force. For King Manuel of Portugal, his new maritime empire becomes not just an end in itself but a possible opportunity to weaken the Mamluk Sultanate, and perhaps even a means to recover the Holy Land for Christianity. Pictured: the Zamorin of Calicut

  • 42.2 Portuguese Discovery of India

    Feb 02 2018

    The epic voyage of Vasco Da Gama 1497-1499, who sailed from Portugal, around the southern tip of Africa, along the eastern coast of Africa and then onto India. The discovery of a sea route from Europe to India began the European age of exploration, with huge consequences for both Europe and the rest of the world

  • 42.1 Portuguese Voyages of Discovery

    Jan 26 2018

    Portugal, having established its position in Iberia, begins to make conquests in Morocco. At the same time the Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator (pictured) sponsors the beginning of a series of discoveries along the west coast of Africa. In 1487-88 Europeans, led by Bartolomeu Dias , circumnavigate the southern tip of Africa for the first time, and reach the Indian Ocean 

  • 41.2 Russo-Lithuanian Wars 1500-1503

    Dec 29 2017

    Russo-Lithuanian Wars 1500-1503. Ivan III the Great (pictured) continues the expansion of Muscovy by the capture of Lithuanian territories

  • 41.1 Conquest of Novgorod by Ivan III of Moscow

    Dec 22 2017

    Russia in the 1400's. The Conquest of Novgorod by Ivan III the Great, Grand Prince of Moscow

  • 40.5 Battle of Fornovo 1495

    Nov 24 2017

    King Charles VIII of France, following his conquest of Naples, heads back through Italy to France but is attacked on his way back by a combined Venetian-Milanese army. The two sides meet near the village of Fornovo, near Parma. Although ultimately a failure, Charles' expeditions had major repercussions for it triggered the decades long Italian Wars, when the Italian peninsula became the battleground between foreign powers

  • 40.4 Charles VIII of France Invades Naples

    Nov 17 2017

    Charles VII leads his army into Italy to invade the Kingdom of Naples. He is invited into the peninsula by Ludovico Il Moro of Milan, concerned about aggression from Naples. Ludovico had expected the French to to travel to Naples largely by sea, and with a smaller force, not the full deployment of the French crown

  • 40.3 Lorenzo the Magnificent, Florence

    Nov 10 2017

    Lorenzo il Magnifico, ruler of Florence 1469-1492. In the so-called Pazzi Conspiracy Pope Sixtus IV organises an assassination attempt on Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano. Lorenzo survives and goes on to help negotiate a peace treaty between the five great powers of Italy. For his influence and diplomatic skills he becomes known as 'the needle of the Italian compass'. Lorenzo also sponsored great artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo da Vinci. However, towards the end of his reign, the peo...more

  • 40.2 Renaissance Florence & Medici

    Nov 04 2017

    Rise of the Medici dynasty in Florence. Renaissance Italy sees a remarkable flourishing of art and literature, with such writers as Dante, Bocaccio and Petrarch, the architects Brunelleschi and Michelozzo, and the artists Giotto and Pisano. Florence creates a republican system of government, although imperfect, democratic for its time. Cosimo de Medici, a skilled diplomat, rises to power in Florence and helps organise the Peace of Lodi, which brings a period of relative peace and stability to th...more

  • 40.1 Italy in 1400's

    Oct 27 2017

    Overview of Italy in the 1400's in the lead-up to the Renaissance and Italian Wars. The 5 main powers were The Papacy, Milan, Florence, Naples and Venice, each with very different characteristics. The Maritime Republic of Venice, its overseas territories threatened by the Ottomans, attempts to expand on the mainland. Also, the turbulent history of Naples in 1300's and 1400's

  • 39.3 Battle of Nancy 1477, Fall of Burgundy

    Sep 29 2017

    The Burgundian Wars 1474-1477. Charles the Bold of Burgundy captures the Duchy of Lorraine. But he faces fierce resistance from his neighbours who form an alliance called the League of Constance, which includes several Swiss towns. The culmination of the wars is the Siege of Nancy 1476-77 Visit the Patreon page at: www.patreon.com/user?u=3521613

  • 39.2 Burgundy in the 1470's

    Sep 22 2017

    Charles the Bold of Burgundy imposes his will on the citizens of Low Countries but, in so doing, creates resentment. Meanwhile, stoked by Louis XI of France, tensions rise between Charles and the Swiss

  • 39.1 Western Europe in late 1400's

    Sep 15 2017

    Survey of Western European powers around 1460's, including England, France, Burgundy, Switzerland, Savoy, and the major antagonists; King Louis XI of France (pictured) and Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy

  • 38.2 The Hussite Wars 1419-1434

    Aug 18 2017

    The Hussite Wars; a series of crusades in the Kingdom of Bohemia (Czech Republic) against religious dissidents, prepared to go to war to protect their religious freedoms against the Catholic Church

  • 38.1 Early History of Bohemia (Czech Republic)

    Aug 11 2017

    Early History of Bohemia (approx modern day Czech Republic). The Golden Age of Prague (pictured) under Emperor Charles IV, and execution of Jan Hus for alleged heresy, which triggered the Hussite Wars

  • 37.4 Battle of Castillon 1453, End of the Hundred Years War

    Jul 21 2017

    Culmination of the Hundred Years War at the Battle of Castillon 1453. The French rapidly advance into English-held territory in Normandy and Aquitaine

  • 37.3 French Recovery Begins (100 Years War)

    Jul 14 2017

    The English fail to capture Orleans, famously defended by Joan of Arc. Charles the Dauphin makes gains against the English and is crowned at the Cathedral of Reims. Philip the Good, meanwhile, concentrates on building up his Duchy of Burgundy. In 1435 the Treaty of Arras is signed between France and Burgundy - a major diplomatic defeat for the English

  • 37.2 The English Kingdom in France

    Jul 07 2017

    After the death of Henry V, the English, under the leadership of John Duke of Burgundy, attempt to consolidate their hold on northern France and push into the south. Resistance forms in France around Charles the Dauphin. Also involved is Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (pictured) although his main focus of attention is in his own lands to the east.

  • 37.1 History of Burgundy, French Civil War in 1400's

    Jun 30 2017

    A History of Burgundy through the centuries. Civil war and the assassination of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy leaves France vulnerable to invasion by King Henry V of England and helps lead to defeat at Agincourt in 1415

  • 36.2 Battle of Agincourt 1415

    May 26 2017

    Agincourt 1415 - the most famous battle of The Hundred Years War. An army led by King Henry V of England achieves a resounding victory over the French

  • 36.1 Hundred Years War, Build-up to Agincourt 1415

    May 19 2017

    Relations between England and France after the Battle of Poitiers 1356 and in the lead-up to the Battle of Agincourt 1415. I briefly cover the reigns of Kings Richard II and Henry IV of England, and Charles V and Charles VI of France

  • 35.4 Battle of Grunwald/Tannenberg 1410

    May 06 2017

    The Battle of Grunwald/Tanneberg 1410 - an important battle in the history of Poland and the Baltic Region. Fought between the Teutonic Knights with guest crusaders on one side and on the other, a combined Polish/Lithuanian army. Also discussed is the battle's aftermath and its relevance today

  • 35.3 Battle of Grunwald 1410 Part 3, Lithuania

    Apr 28 2017

    In the 14th century Lithuania became a major European power under the leadership of Algirdas, his brother Kęstutis, and their respective sons Jogaila and Vytautas (pictured), This episode describes Lithuania and her relations with the Teutonic Knights leading up to the Battle of Grunwald 1410

  • 35.2 Teutonic Knights and Medieval Poland

    Apr 20 2017

    Struggle for Pomerania and Danzig/Gdansk between the native population, Teutonic knights and Kingdom of Poland. Teutonic knights move base to Marienberg. King Casimir the Great of Poland. Dynastic union of Poland and Lithuania in 1390's. Includes quotes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Picture: Marienburg/Malbork fortress (visitmalbork.pl)

  • 35.1 Baltic Region in 13th Century

    Apr 14 2017

    Baltic Region in the 13th Century. Origins of the Teutonic Knights. Expansion of the Duchy of Lithuania as far south as the Black Sea at the expense of the declining Mongol Empire

  • 34.2 Battle of Kulikovo 1380

    Mar 17 2017

    In September 1380 Grand Prince Dmitri of Moscow led an army which confronted an invasion force of Mongols on the banks of the River Don. After his victory he became known to history as Dmitri Donskoi, and a great Russian hero. But to what extent is it justified to portray Dmitri as a symbol of Russian resistance against Tatar repression?

  • 34.1 Rise of Muscovy. Russia under the 'Tatar Yoke'

    Mar 10 2017

    Build up to the Battle of Kulikovo, fought between Russian and Mongol armies in 1380. Covers the rise of Muscovy, and Russia under the 'Tatar Yoke'

  • 33.1 Battle of Poitiers 1356, Hundred Years War

    Feb 17 2017

    Edward the Black Prince, son of King Edward III of England, wins the Battle of Poitiers 1356. The French King, John II, is captured and ransomed, while civil war erupts in his kingdom

  • 32.1 Battle of Crecy 1346, Hundred Years War

    Feb 03 2017

    The Battle of Crecy was the first major land battle of the Hundred Years War - an important victory for the English and a landmark moment in European military history

  • 31.1 Battle of Sluys 1340. Hundred Years War

    Jan 13 2017

    One of the greatest naval battles of the European Middle Ages, the English victory at The Battle of Sluys, fought at the coast of Flanders, was crucial to starting The Hundred Years War www.historyeurope.net

  • 30.2 Hundred Years War Introduction Part 2

    Dec 30 2016

    King Edward III of England declares war on France to begin The Hundred Years War

  • 30.1 Hundred Years War Introduction Part 1

    Dec 23 2016

    Background to The Hundred Years War (1337-1453). Thirteenth century France thrives; King Philip IV the Fair of France; Avignon Papacy begins

  • 29.3 Battle of Rio Salado, Gibraltar Crusades (Rio Salado Part 3)

    Sep 02 2016

    The Battle of Rio Salado 1340 and the subsequent Siege of Algeciras were the key moments in the struggle for the Straits of Gibraltar between Christian Spain, Muslim North Africa and the Sultanate of Granada, the last remaining Muslim state in Iberia

  • 29.2 Gibraltar Crusades, Castile, Granada and Morocco (Rio Salado Part 2)

    Aug 26 2016

    The Gibraltar Crusades is the name given to the struggle for control of the Straits between Spain and Morocco in the 13th and 14th centuries. Castile and the Marinid dynasty of Morocco fought each other and Granada, the last Muslim state in Iberia.

  • 29.1 Thirteenth Century Spain (Rio Salado Part 1)

    Aug 19 2016

    After the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa 1212 the Christians of Iberia, especially the Castillians, are able to conquer much territory from the Muslims. Plus an overview of thirteenth century Spain

  • 28.3 Battle of The Kalka River 1223, Mongols vs Kievan Rus

    Jul 23 2016

    The princes of Kievan Rus gather an army to confront a Mongol force which has invaded the Pontic Steppe. The two sides meet at the Battle of The Kalka River 1223

  • 28.2 The Mongols Invade Eastern Europe

    Jul 15 2016

    After conquering northern China the Mongols of Genghis Khan launch a campaign westwards through Persia and the Caucasus Mountains and into Europe

  • 28.1 Golden Age of Kievan Rus 988-1200. Rise of Vladimir Suzdal and Novgorod

    Jul 08 2016

    For two centuries after Vladimir the Great's conversion to Christianity Kievan Rus enjoyed a golden age. A common culture and sense of identity formed in the lands of the Rus' despite political turmoil. The three main centres of power, each different in character, were Vladimir Suzdal, Novgorod and Volynia-Galicia

  • 27.5 Siege of Cherson 988, Conversion of Russians to Christianity

    Jun 17 2016

    Vladimir the Great is credited with transforming Kievan Rus into a true medieval state with Christianity at the heart of its sense of identity. The story is linked to the siege of the Crimean city of Cherson in 988 and the Byzantine Emperor Basil II The Bulgar Slayer

  • 27.4 Early Kievan Rus. Rurik to Svyatoslav

    Jun 10 2016

    The dynasty of Rurik builds the foundations of a new power in eastern Europe - Kievan Rus. Princess Olga takes vengeance on a rebel town by burning it down, but after converting to Christianity was later sainted. Her son, Syvatoslav defeats the Khazars and then tries to resettle his people in Bulgaria before his early death

  • 27.3 Slavs, Their Origins and Early History

    Jun 04 2016

    The origins of the Slavs are shrouded in uncertainty. We rely on scraps of contemporary writings and later writings such as The Primary Chronicle of Kievan Rus. They tell us of the unification by Vikings of scattered tribes in the region of the Baltic - Black Sea waterways

  • 27.2 Crimea and Black Sea 500BC-800AD

    May 27 2016

    Brief history of Crimea and North Black Sea region 500BC-800 AD, during which time many different peoples having left their mark, including Greeks, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Bulgarians and Khazars

  • 27.1 Early History of The Black Sea, Perspectives on Ukrainian and Russian History

    May 20 2016

    Intro is the Russian Presidential Address of 2014. Then an outline of different perspectives on Ukrainian and Russian History, and next a description of the geography and early history of the Black Sea region from the time of the Ancient Greeks

  • 26.1 Albigensian Crusade, Second Half 1215-1229

    Apr 30 2016

    Simon de Montfort probably hoped to quickly finish off the last pockets of resistance after the Battle of Muret. Instead conflict continued for another one and a half decades. What would happen to Simon, to Count Raymond and the people of Languedoc at this critical period for the region?

  • 25.3 Battle of Muret 1213, Part 3, Simon de Montfort vs King Peter II of Aragon

    Apr 24 2016

    In September 1213 in southwestern France two Christian armies faced each other off. One was led by King Peter II of Aragon, who after his glorious victory against a Muslim army at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa the previous year, was not only one of the most respected monarchs of Christendom but a favoured son of the Church. The other army was composed of crusaders, mainly from northern France, fighting on behalf of the Pope to root out heresy from the French region of Languedoc

  • 25.2 Albigensian Crusade in Languedoc, France Meets Resistance

    Apr 15 2016

    Simon de Montfort becomes leader of the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars of Languedoc. He meets resistance from Count Raymond VI of Toulouse and the general population of the region

  • 25.1 Cathars, Albigensian Crusade in Southern France

    Apr 08 2016

    Background to the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade in Languedoc, southern France

  • 24.3 Battle of Bouvines 1214, Part 3, Decisive Battle in Medieval France

    Mar 18 2016

    A powerful league unites against Philip II Augustus of France, including King John of England, Emperor Otto IV, and numerous counts of France. Historians are pretty unanimous, that this was a decisive battle which helped shape western Europe

  • 24.2 King John of England prepares to Invade France

    Mar 11 2016

    King John prepares to invade France and recover his lost territories. In the meantime King Philip Augustus of France consolidates his gains on the continent, provoking resistance among local rulers, especially in Flanders.

  • 24.1 German Emperors Frederick I, Henry VI, Otto IV Brought into Capetian-Plantagenet Conflict

    Mar 04 2016

    In the year 1204, Philip Augustus of France wrested control of the duchy of Normandy from King John of England. The long Capetian-Plantagenet struggle for power, however, was not yet over and would reach another decisive point a decade later at the Battle of Bouvines, 1214. This time the leaders of the other main power of the western Europe, Germany, would be brought into the conflict, and so also have important consequences for central Europe and Italy. And so for this episode I will get us up ...more

  • 23.5 Las Navas de Tolosa 1212, Part 5

    Feb 12 2016

    Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. Caliph al-Nasir, also known as Miramamolin invades Spain with a huge Muslim army which is met in the Sierra Nevada mountains by a Christian army, including King Alfonso VIII of Castile, Pedro/Peter II of Aragon and Sancho VII of Navarre

  • 23.4 Las Navas de Tolosa 1212, Part 4

    Feb 05 2016

    The Almohads invade Spain from North Africa while the Christian kings bicker among themselves. Alfonso VIII suffers a heavy defeat at the Battle of Alarcos in 1195

  • 23.3 Las Navas de Tolosa 1212, Part 3, Medieval Spain, Rise of the Almohads

    Jan 29 2016

    The Almohads arrive in Spain from North Africa and threaten to overwhelm the peninsula. The greatest resistance comes not from the Christian kingdoms, but from a fellow Muslim known as 'El Rey Lobo' (The Wolf King), head of a kingdom based in Murcia, a city in its golden age

  • 23.2 Las Navas de Tolosa 1212, Part 2

    Jan 22 2016

    The birth of the kingdom of Portugal, the Siege of Lisbon, and the Union of Aragon and Catalonia - the political map of the peninsula begins to form

  • 23.1 Early Muslim Medieval Spain

    Jan 16 2016

    Before 1085 in Spain there was little question that it was the Muslims who had the upper hand in the balance of power. But after King Alfonso VI captured the city of Toledo in 1085, the Christians became much more confident and threatened to rapidly take over the whole peninsula. Why this didn’t happen can be explained for two reasons – firstly, the infighting between Christian rulers, and secondly, the influx of Muslim peoples from north Africa, firstly the Almoravids

  • 22.1 End of The Hundred Years War, Guest Episode on History of England Podcast

    Jan 06 2016

    A recent guest episode for the History of England podcast on the End of the Hundred Years War, in brief the years after Agincourt 1415, but focusing on the last four years from 1449-1453 and the Battles of Formigny and Castillon. In England the victories at Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers are well known, but less so, the events around the end of the war, and how the French eventually drove the English from all the continent, except for Calais. www.historyeurope.net

  • 21.4 Chateau Gaillard 1203-04, Part 4, King John, Philip II Augustus

    Dec 12 2015

    King John of England in his first year or two of rule achieved some successes, but his lack of tact and diplomacy, plus poor decision-making lost him many allies in France. The focus of the escalating conflict between the Plantagenets and Capetians became Chateau Gaillard, a magnificent fortress in the key borderlands between Normandy and the French royal demesne around Paris. www.historyeurope.net

  • 21.3 Sons of King Henry II of England Rebel, Encouraged by Philip II of France

    Dec 03 2015

    The sons of King Henry II of England, impatient for power of their own and encouraged by Louis VII and then Philip II Augustus of France, rebel against their father and end up damaging the cause of their dynasty, the Plantagenets. www.historyeurope.net

  • 21.2 Louis VII of France Builds a Power Base

    Nov 27 2015

    The story of France in the High Middle Ages, the reigns of Louis VI and Louis VII. As the twelfth century opened the kings of France barely controlled much land beyond Paris, but these two monarchs began to build the foundations for the French kings' great rise in power and prestige. www.historyeurope.net

  • 21.1 Chateau Gaillard 1203-04, Part 1, Angevin Empire

    Nov 21 2015

    William the Conqueror's conquest of England in 1066 and the division of his lands between England and Normandy sowed the seeds for centuries of Anglo-French conflict. This episode covers the reigns of Henry I of England, the Anarchy (civil war over Henry's succession) and the formation of the Angevin Empire of France and England under Henry II www.historyeurope.net

  • 20.2 Constantinople 1204, Part 2, Fourth Crusade

    Oct 24 2015

    When crusaders arrived at Constantinople in 1203 they gazed in wonder, having never imagined that there could be so fine a place in the world. The 'Queen of Cities', founded by Constantine The Great in the early fourth century, had become imbued over the centuries with legends and Christian myths that gave the place a spiritual aura to match its physical grandeur. Yet in 1204 the city would be violently sacked and the once mighty Empire brought to its knees. www.historyeurope.net

  • 20.1 Constantinople 1204, Part 1, Fourth Crusade

    Oct 17 2015

    In the year 1204, Constantinople, the largest and most splendid city by far in Europe was sacked, not by Muslims but by fellow Christians - and not only sacked but gutted by fire and indiscriminate violence. Part 1 describes the build-up and first steps of the crusade, including a history of early Venice. www.historyeurope.net

  • 19.1 Third Crusade 1189-1192

    Sep 26 2015

    After the disaster at Hattin in 1187 Saladin appeared on the verge of completely wiping out the Crusader States from the Middle East. Instead he was met by stubborn resistance at Tyre, and the Acre. And when the kings of France and England arrived at Acre the tide began to turn in favour of the Christians, who now set the sights on recapturing Jerusalem. www.historyeurope.net

  • 18.4 Battle of Hattin 1187, Part 4

    Aug 22 2015

    The Battle of Hattin fought on 4th July between Saladin and a considerable Christian army was a major turning point in the history of the Crusader States www.historyeurope.net

  • 18.3 Battle of Hattin 1187, Part 3, Saladin

    Aug 15 2015

    The emergence of Saladin as preeminent Muslim ruler of the Levant, and the struggle for Egypt between Saladin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. www.historyeurope.net

  • 18.2 Battle of Hattin 1187, Part 2, The Second Crusade

    Aug 08 2015

    The Second Crusade (1145-1449), triggered by the Fall of Edessa. Conrad III of Germany and Louis VII of France lead the military campaign to boost the Crusader States in the Levant www.historyeurope.net

  • 18.1 Battle of Hattin 1187, Part 1, Crusader States,

    Aug 01 2015

    The first years of the Crusaders States between the First and Second Crusades. The Fall of Edessa in 1144 www.historyeurope.net

  • 17.4 Siege of Jerusalem 1099, First Crusade, Part 4

    Jul 03 2015

    The army of the First Crusade arrives at the Holy City of Jerusalem www.historyeurope.net

  • 17.3 Siege of Jerusalem 1099, First Crusade, Part 3

    Jun 26 2015

    Christian warriors from around Europe converge on the Holy Land to fight the First Crusade. Despite many challenges the campaign starts well at the siege of Nicaea before reaching Antioch. One group, led by Baldwin of Flanders splits off from the main army and captures Edessa www.historyeurope.net

  • 17.2 Siege of Jerusalem 1099, First Crusade, Part 2

    Jun 19 2015

    Build-up to the First Crusade from the perspective of the Byzantine Empire, the Turks in Asia Minor and the Levant, the area about to be invaded. www.historyeurope.net

  • 17.1 Siege of Jerusalem 1099, First Crusade, Part 1

    Jun 13 2015

    Build-up to the First Crusade. The Investiture Controversy between Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII, plus the growing influence of the Normans under Robert Guiscard, and the reasons behind the call to crusade by Pope Urban II www.historyeurope.net

  • 16.4 Fall of Toledo 1085, Part 4

    May 23 2015

    The capture of Toledo, the capital of the old Visigothic kingdom, by Alfonso VI The Brave from the Muslims. Also the final days of El Cid www.historyeurope.net

  • 16.3 Fall of Toledo 1085, Part 3

    May 15 2015

    The early Medieval Spain of El Cid. The story of King Ferdinand I of Leon and Castile and his sons Sancho and Alfonso, as depicted in the epic Hollywood film. Plus, the conflict between Aragon and Muslim Zaragoza, the arrival of crusaders from across the Pyrenees, and the Siege of Barbastro www.historyeurope.net

  • 16.2 Tenth Century Spain, Almanzor, Collapse of Umayyad Caliphate

    May 10 2015

    The golden age of Muslim Spain, the military dictatorship of Almanzor, the collapse of the caliphate into petty kingdoms (taifas), Sancho III El Mayor of Navarre, and the rise of Castile and Aragon www.historyeurope.net

  • 16.1 Fall of Toledo 1085, Part 1, Medieval Spain

    May 02 2015

    The History of early medieval Spain from the Islamic conquest in 711 to the establishment of the magnificent Caliphate of Cordoba, and the first successful Christian resistance which will ultimately lead to the reconquest, or Reconquista, of the Iberian peninsula www.historyeurope.net

  • 15.1 The Battle of Manzikert 1071

    Mar 29 2015

    In 1071 the Byzantine Empire, weakened by the mismanagement of a series of weak emperors, suffered a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks, newly arrived in the region. www.historyeurope.net

  • 14.2 The Battle of Hastings 1066, Part 2

    Mar 01 2015

    The newly crowned King of England, Harold Godwinson faced two invasions within days, firstly from the viking Harold Hardrada in the north, and then William Duke of Normandy on the south coast. This is the story of probably the most important battle ever fought on English soil. www.historyeurope.net

  • 14.1 The Battle of Hastings 1066, Part 1

    Feb 22 2015

    The most famous battle on English soil in 1066, between the Normans and Anglo-Saxons. Part 1 gives a summary of English and Norman history leading up to that fateful year www.historyeurope.net

  • 13.4 The Battle of Civitate 1053 AD, Part 4

    Jan 25 2015

    In the first half of the eleventh century, the Normans gained much territory in Italy but in so doing had made many enemies. In 1054 Pope Leo IX brought together a force of Lombards, Germans and Byzantines to confront them. The Normans won an overwhelming victory and effectively conquered the southern half of the peninsula www.historyeurope.net

  • 13.3 The Battle of Civitate 1053 AD, Part 3

    Jan 18 2015

    The Normans arrive in Italy first as pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, then as mercenaries. It is not long before they begin to acquire territories and titles on the peninsula in their own right. www.historyeurope.net

  • 13.2 The Battle of Civitate 1053 AD, Part 2

    Jan 11 2015

    The popes of the eleventh and early twelfth century were hardly living by the standards set by their religion. In spite of this this they still enjoyed considerable reverence among the leaders of Christendom. A papal alliance with the German Emperors, which proved highly valuable but sometimes very difficult, became a key element of medieval Italian history. www.historyeurope.net

  • 13.1 The Battle of Civitate 1053 AD, Part 1

    Dec 30 2014

    During the next four podcasts I will tell the history of Italy from between the fall of Rome up until 1053, the year of an important battle between Pope Leo IX and Norman invaders of Italy. These centuries witnessed a long struggle for power between various sides, with many shifts of fortune. The Battle of Civitate marks the point at which the Normans firmly established themselves in Italy and so reshaped the politics of the peninsula. www.historyeurope.net

  • 12.1 The Battle of Kleidion 1014 AD

    Nov 30 2014

    A focus on southeastern Europe. The history of early Bulgaria and its relationship with the Byzantine Empire, often one of peace and cultural exchange, but also involving military conflict including the Battle of Kleidion in 1014 AD www.historyeurope.net

  • 11.2 The Battle of Lechfeld 955 AD, Part 2

    Nov 01 2014

    Concluding part of the Battle of Lechfeld, 955 AD. Otto the Great assembles an army of fellow Germans and Bohemians to defeat a force of Hungarian raiders. His victory proved decisive in the shaping of central Europe www.historyeurope.net

  • 11.1 The Battle of Lechfeld 955 AD, Part 1

    Oct 26 2014

    In the year 955 was fought a crucial battle for central Europe, which proved highly significant for the early histories of Germany and Hungary. Here I describe the build-up to the Battle of Lechfeld www.historyeurope.net

  • 10.3 The Battle of Brunanbuhr 937 AD, Part 3

    Sep 07 2014

    In AD 937 took place 'the Great Battle' of early medieval Britain, a time when the political and cultural map of the isles was forming, which lasts till today. The King of Wessex, Athelstan, grandson of King Alfred the Great, was forced to confront an alliance of Scots, Vikings and northern Britons in his attempt to become King of all Britain www.historyeurope.net

  • 10.2 The Battle of Brunanbuhr 937 AD, Part 2

    Aug 31 2014

    In the ninth century the Vikings repeatedly attacked Britain, overcoming all Anglo-Saxon kingdoms except for Wessex. King Alfred the Great of Wessex, not only managed to defend his kingdom but to turn the tide against the Vikings and build the foundations of the state of England

  • 10.1 The Battle of Brunanbuhr 937 AD

    Aug 25 2014

    On September 18th the people of Scotland will vote to decide whether to stay part of the United Kingdom or whether to form an independent nation. This is the story of the early formation of the kingdoms of Britain after the fall of the Roman Empire, leading to the different regional identities that exist on the isles today.

  • 09.1 The Battle of Tours 732 AD

    Jul 20 2014

    The Franks of Charles Martel vs Islamic Umayyad Caliphate. From the mid seventh century the Muslim armies conquered lands from Spain to Persia forming a powerful new world empire. In 732 AD a large Muslim raiding party in southern France was confronted by the leader of the Franks, a Germanic people who over the previous couple of centuries had take control of the area of modern day France. This is the story of the great battle that ensued. More details at www.historyeurope.net

  • 08.2 The Battle of Yarmouk 636 AD, Part 2

    Jun 22 2014

    The Rise of Islam in the 630’s threatened the existence of two ancient superpowers - the Persian and Roman Empires. In 636 AD the decisive battle took place between the Arabs led by Khalid ibn al-Walid and the Byzantine/Roman Empire of Heraklius- the Battle of Yarmouk. More details at www.historyeurope.net

  • 08.1 The Battle of Yarmouk 636 AD, Part 1

    Jun 15 2014

    In the 620's the Eastern Roman Empire faced several threats, most notably the Persian Empire. Part 1 focuses on the conflict between Constantinople and Persia. This provides the context for the Rise of Islam in the 630's leading to the decisive Battle of Yarmouk in 636 AD between the Roman Emperor Heraclius and the Arab invaders.

  • 07.3 The Battle of The Catalaunian Fields 451 AD, Part 3

    May 18 2014

    Attila and the Huns vs Aetius and the Roman Empire, with their respective allies

  • 07.2 The Battle of The Catalaunian Fields 451 AD, Part 2

    May 11 2014

    The rise of the Roman army commander Aetius who would face Attila and the Huns in the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields in the twilight of Empire

  • 07.1 Goths Invade Roman Empire, Battle of Adrianople 378AD

    May 04 2014

    The western Roman Empire was about to fall. But in 451 AD her soldiers had one last great victory on the battlefield, At the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields the destructive armies of Attila and the Huns were kept at bay and prevented from overrunning Western Europe

  • 06.1 The Battle of The Milvian Bridge 312 AD

    Apr 13 2014

    In the year AD 312, Constantine the Great defeated his main rival for the title of emperor in Western Europe. He is one of the most significant people in history, as the first Christian Emperor, who vigorously promoted the religion

  • 05.2 The Battle of The Teutoburg Forest 9 AD, Part 2

    Mar 23 2014

    The Roman Empire of Augustus vs an alliance of Germanic tribes. Description of the battle, in which Arminius led his German followers on an ambush which destroyed three Roman legions, and contributed to halting Rome’s expansion into northern Europe.

  • 05.1 The Battle of The Teutoburg Forest 9 AD, Part 1

    Mar 16 2014

    The Roman Empire of Augustus vs an alliance of Germanic tribes. In AD 9 Rome was steadily gaining control over the territory of Germania, north of the Rhine. However, they suffered a devastating defeat, and the loss of three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Part 1 describes the build-up to this event. More information at www.historyeurope.net

  • 04.2 The Battle of Zama 202 BC, Part 2

    Mar 02 2014

    Hannibal of Carthage v Scipio Africanus of Rome. Rome fought back against Hannibal's campaign in Italy and the various revolts they faced. They then launched an invasion of Africa, which led to the decisive Battle of Zama, 202 BC

  • 04.1 The Battle of Zama 202 BC, Part 1

    Feb 23 2014

    Hannibal of Carthage v Scipio Africanus of Rome. In the third century BC the Roman faced its biggest challenge to date - The Punic Wars against the Phoenicians of Carthage. The two sides fought for decades. This podcast describes the build up to the Battle of Zama, the culmination of the Second Punic War. More information at www.historyeurope.net

  • 03.2 The Battle of Gaugamela 331 BC, Part 2

    Feb 09 2014

    Part 2 of 2 on the Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BC. In 334 BC Alexander the Great's Greek/Macedonian army of conquest marched into Asia. Here I tell the story of the campaign, and Alexander's plans to forge a new Greco-Persian culture

  • 03.1 The Battle of Gaugamela 331 BC, Part 1

    Feb 02 2014

    Part 1 of 2 on the Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BC. Describes the build up to the invasion of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great, with an army of Greeks and Macedonians

  • 02.2 The Battle of Marathon 490 BC, Part 2

    Jan 19 2014

    Part 2 of 2 on the Battle of Marathon, between the Ancient Greeks and the Persian Empire

  • 02.1 The Battle of Marathon 490 BC, Part 1

    Jan 12 2014

    In 490 BC the Ancient Greeks of Athens fought for their very survival and for their way of life against the Persian Empire. It is important because the Greeks were to help build the foundations of European civilisation

  • 01.1 A History of Europe, Introduction

    Dec 28 2013

    The year 2014 marks a hundred years since the beginning of the First World War- a war which started in Europe and tore the continent apart. It is a time for reflection on its legacy. This podcast acts as an introduction to the series of podcasts telling the history of Europe from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War