Podcast

History on Fire

Where history and epic collide--"History on Fire" is a podcast by author and university professor Daniele Bolelli. For more, go to LuminaryPodcasts.com

Episodes

  • A Special Announcement from History on Fire

    May 06 2019

  • EPISODE 47 Give Me Back My Legions! (Part 1)

    Apr 27 2019

    “Bits of weapons and horses' limbs lay about, and human heads fixed to tree-trunks. In groves nearby were barbaric altars, where the Germans had laid the tribunes and senior centurions and sacrificed them.” Tacitus “It stands on record that armies already wavering and on the point of collapse have been rallied by the women, pleading heroically with their men, thrusting forward their bared breasts…” Tacitus“They are not so easily convinced to plough the land and wait patiently for harvest as...more

  • EPISODE 46 Enjoying Hell: The Life of Ikkyu Sojun (Part 2)

    Mar 25 2019

    So many History on Fire episodes feature incredibly violent pages from humanity’s past. This is not one of those episodes. The hero of our tale was too busy enjoying life in 15th century Japan to join the civil wars raging around him or to go around killing people. As the illegitimate son of the Emperor of Japan, Ikkyu Sojun experienced the harsh side of life from the moment he was born, but always looked for a way not to let it spoil his good mood. His main passions (in no particular order) wer...more

  • EPISODE 45 Sex, Sake and Zen: The Life of Ikkyu Sojun (Part 1)

    Mar 18 2019

    So many History on Fire episodes feature incredibly violent pages from humanity’s past. This is not one of those episodes. The hero of our tale was too busy enjoying life in 15th century Japan to join the civil wars raging around him or to go around killing people. As the illegitimate son of the Emperor of Japan, Ikkyu Sojun experienced the harsh side of life from the moment he was born, but always looked for a way not to let it spoil his good mood. His main passions (in no particular order) wer...more

  • EPISODE 44 Dan Carlin

    Feb 18 2019

    Dan Carlin is the undisputed king of historical podcasting, and one of my favorite human beings. Today we sit down to chat about the differences between Nazism and Socialism, the right-wing vs. left-wing paradigm, our favorite past U.S. presidents, the feeling you have when witnessing slow moving historical catastrophes, and much more.

  • EPISODE 43 The Melian Dialogue (The Peloponnesian War and Morality in History)

    Jan 21 2019

    In the midst of The Peloponnesian War (431-401 BCE), the Athenians paid a visit to the inhabitants of the island of Melos and tried to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. The dialogue that emerged from their negotiations is a classic in political philosophy, and raises fascinating questions about the nature of morality in history. In this episode, Darryl Cooper (from “The Martyrmade Podcast”) and I tackle them all, and leave no stones unturned.

  • EPISODE 42 Joan of Arc (Part 4)

    Dec 13 2018

    By 1429, the heir to the French throne was about to give up and flee in exile. The English and their Burgundian allies controlled huge parts of the country. With Orleans likely to fall in a not too distant future, the path was open for the English to conquer the rest of France. It looked like the game was up for him. As much as he tried, he couldn’t see any logical path to victory. But little did he know that help was on its way—a kind of help that didn’t seem to be logical, reasonable or likely...more

  • EPISODE 41 Joan of Arc (Part 3)

    Nov 15 2018

    By 1429, the heir to the French throne was about to give up and flee in exile. The English and their Burgundian allies controlled huge parts of the country. With Orleans likely to fall in a not too distant future, the path was open for the English to conquer the rest of France. It looked like the game was up for him. As much as he tried, he couldn’t see any logical path to victory. But little did he know that help was on its way—a kind of help that didn’t seem to be logical, reasonable or likely...more

  • EPISODE 40 Joan of Arc (Part 2)

    Oct 16 2018

    By 1429, the heir to the French throne was about to give up and flee in exile. The English and their Burgundian allies controlled huge parts of the country. With Orleans likely to fall in a not too distant future, the path was open for the English to conquer the rest of France. It looked like the game was up for him. As much as he tried, he couldn’t see any logical path to victory. But little did he know that help was on its way—a kind of help that didn’t seem to be logical, reasonable or likely...more

  • EPISODE 39 Joan of Arc (Part 1)

    Sep 18 2018

    By 1429, the heir to the French throne was about to give up and flee in exile. The English and their Burgundian allies controlled huge parts of the country. With Orleans likely to fall in a not too distant future, the path was open for the English to conquer the rest of France. It looked like the game was up for him. As much as he tried, he couldn’t see any logical path to victory. But little did he know that help was on its way—a kind of help that didn’t seem to be logical, reasonable or likely...more

  • EPISODE 38 Monster in the Darkness

    Aug 23 2018

    What I am going to tell you is one of the craziest serial killer stories that you have never heard of. And there are very good reason why most people have never heard of this. In 1942, Death stalked London. Death came from the sky in the form of German bombs. And on the ground it came in the form of the blackout ripper—this is the name by which the monster came to be known. But publicizing the infamous activities of the Blackout Ripper is not something that was in the best interest of the nation...more

  • EPISODE 37 The 47 Ronin (Part 2)

    Jul 26 2018

    The tale of the 47 Ronin is one of the most renowned revenge tales to ever come out of Japan. It is the subject of countless books, plays, and movies. It is also a story that has ignited never-ending debates. Some people argue that the 47 Ronin were paragons of virtue—perfect embodiments of the loyalty and honor that should be expected from the samurai. They offered the answer to the riddle that was plaguing the samurai at the beginning of the 1700s: what does being a member of a warrior class a...more

  • EPISODE 36 The 47 Ronin (Part 1)

    Jun 28 2018

    The tale of the 47 Ronin is one of the most renowned revenge tales to ever come out of Japan. It is the subject of countless books, plays, and movies. It is also a story that has ignited never-ending debates. Some people argue that the 47 Ronin were paragons of virtue—perfect embodiments of the loyalty and honor that should be expected from the samurai. They offered the answer to the riddle that was plaguing the samurai at the beginning of the 1700s: what does being a member of a warrior class a...more

  • EPISODE 35 The Magliana Gang (Part 2)

    May 30 2018

    This series is about the rise of a street gang that took over Rome in the 1970s and 1980s. The Magliana gang was not just one of many criminal organizations who operated in Italy. Among their business partners, they counted Italy’s most important politicians, bankers, secret services, and possibly the Vatican itself. The gang left an indelible mark on Italian history. The story of their rise to power and of the heyday of their rule truly is stranger than fiction. It’s the kind of story that make...more

  • EPISODE 34 The Magliana Gang (Part 1)

    May 03 2018

    This series is about the rise of a street gang that took over Rome in the 1970s and 1980s. The Magliana gang was not just one of many criminal organizations who operated in Italy.

  • EPISODE 33 On Good and Evil: From My Lai to Sand Creek

    Apr 04 2018

    What makes seemingly normal men commit horrific acts against civilians during war? What allows some people to act heroically in the darkest circumstances and what makes others turn into monsters? How does training and leadership play into this? After discussing the stories of Sand Creek and My Lai in Episodes 32A and 32B, in this episode Darryl Cooper (The Martyrmade Podcast) and I sit down with retired Navy Seal, author and podcaster Jocko Willink (The Jocko Podcast) to tackle these questions.

  • EPISODE 32B Anything That Moves (Part 2): The Parallel Stories of Sand Creek and My Lai

    Mar 08 2018

    In part B, I hand the microphone to my friend and master podcaster Darryl Cooper (from The Martyrmade Podcast.) Darryl explores the context of the Cold War in order to come to terms with what happened at My Lai, in Vietnam, in 1968. Horror abounds, but if you are looking for heroes in the midst of the horror, you can do a lot worse than hear about the story of Hugh Thompson.

  • EPISODE 32A Anything That Moves (Part 1): The Parallel Stories of Sand Creek and My Lai

    Mar 07 2018

    I’m not going to lie. This is one of the darkest episodes of History on Fire. But there are reasons for this journey into the heart of darkness. The stories of Sand Creek and My Lai offer an opportunity to explore human agency, the choices separating good and evil, and how some individuals can choose to become sources of light even in the most horrible circumstances. In this first part, we will explore the events that in Colorado in the late 1850s and early 1860s led to a dramatic clash between ...more

  • EPISODE 31 Gladiators in Ancient Rome (Part 2): The Spirit of the Gladiator

    Feb 14 2018

    In this episode: how gladiators were both superstars and despised outcasts at the same time, gladiators’ groupies, Marcus Aurelius’ wife taking a bath in gladiator’s blood, Commodus and his 620-0 record in the arena, the clash between Christianity and gladiators, the evolution of MMA in the early 1990s, having your violent cake and eating it too, gladiatorial video games, Titus Pullo’s badassery, Conan’s prayer

  • EPISODE 30 Gladiators in Ancient Rome (Part 1): Are You Not Entertained?

    Feb 01 2018

    Ancient Romans were obsessed with gladiatorial combat. In this two-part series, we time-travel back to get a sense of what the Games (of which gladiatorial combat was the main attraction) were like. In this episode: the origins of gladiators, human sacrifice, Achilles and the Iliad, feeding the dead with blood, who were the gladiators, female gladiators, the ludus, the different types of gladiators, the battles among the damnati, the naumachia, executions and ‘snuff plays’, the venatio, crushed ...more

  • EPISODE 29 I Drink and I Know Things (Where History and Game of Thrones Intersect)

    Jan 18 2018

    In this episode, I am joined by Aziz Al-Doory from The History of Westeros Podcast, and together we discuss some (definitely not all) of the ways in which history has influenced Game of Thrones. In this episode we’ll tackle: The Wall & Hadrian’s Wall, flaying, human sacrifice, feeding enemies to dogs, Agamemnon and Stannis Baratheon, parallels with the Bible, the Dothraki and nomadic steppe peoples, execution by molten gold, the real life examples of the High Sparrow, the walk of shame, the inqu...more

  • EPISODE 28 Jack Johnson (Part 3): Nobody’s Slave

    Jan 04 2018

    By 1900, the federal government had long abandoned Reconstruction, and white supremacy was returning to the South with a vengeance. Jim Crow was in full swing. Segregation was the law of the land. And Fifty years before Jackie Robinson challenged segregation in baseball, there was Jack Johnson. Lynching was a weekly event. Any black man in the South not acting subservient could find himself dangling from a tree. Even African American leaders like Booker T. Washington preached that accepting se...more

  • EPISODE 27 Jack Johnson (Part 2): The Fight

    Dec 07 2017

    In this episode: -Public Enemy Number One -At home in the integrated criminal underworld -Ladies and fast cars -Jack Johnson’s intellectual side -The Great White Hope -Knocking out and befriending Stanley “The Assassin” Ketchel -“I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a negro.” Jim Jeffries -Why the Governor of California prohibited the fight -Death threats and attempted poisonings -Jack Johnson’s eerie calm under pressure -A ...more

  • EPISODE 26 Jack Johnson (Part 1): Bad To The Bone

    Nov 09 2017

    By 1900, the federal government had long abandoned Reconstruction, and white supremacy was returning to the South with a vengeance. Jim Crow was in full swing. Segregation was the law of the land. And Fifty years before Jackie Robinson challenged segregation in baseball, there was Jack Johnson. Lynching was a weekly event. Any black man in the South not acting subservient could find himself dangling from a tree. Even African American leaders like Booker T. Washington preached that accepting se...more

  • EPISODE 25 Roman History with Mike Duncan

    Oct 12 2017

    Mike Duncan is one of the pioneers of historical podcasting. His “History of Rome” is iconic. And his current “Revolutions” is equally compelling. In this episode, we sit down to chat about Roman history, Rome in cinema, the inevitable comparisons between Ancient Rome and the United States, the factionalism and corruption that brought down the Republic, the connection between ‘The Walking Dead’ + ‘Game of Thrones’ and Roman history, his upcoming book “The Storm Before the Storm,” and the future ...more

  • EPISODE 24 The Pirate Queen

    Sep 14 2017

    At the very beginning of the 1800s, a Chinese woman went from being employed as a prostitute in the floating brothels close to Canton to becoming the leader of the biggest pirate confederacy in modern history. Despite ending up as one of the most successful pirates ever, little is known about her. Today, we dive into the mystery and explore her story.

  • EPISODE 23 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 4): Tenochtitlan Or Bust

    Aug 17 2017

    In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing.

  • EPISODE 22 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 3): Tenochtitlan Syndrome

    Jul 21 2017

    In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing.

  • EPISODE 21 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 2): The Dogs of War

    Jun 22 2017

    In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing.

  • EPISODE 20 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 1): People Of The Sun

    May 25 2017

    In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing.

  • EPISODE 19 Featuring Dan Carlin

    Apr 28 2017

    My favorite podcaster and one of my favorite humans joins me for an epic chat ranging across topics

  • EPISODE 18 The War for the Black Hills (Part 3): Last Stand

    Mar 31 2017

    To the Lakota people, the Black Hills of South Dakota were—and still are—‘the heart of everything that is.’ To the United States, they were a goldmine, and Manifest Destiny’s next target. It was for the Black Hills that the Lakota went to war against the United States for the last time.

  • EPISODE 17 The War for the Black Hills (Part 2): The Long Defeat

    Mar 02 2017

    To the Lakota people, the Black Hills of South Dakota were—and still are—‘the heart of everything that is.’ To the United States, they were a goldmine, and Manifest Destiny’s next target. It was for the Black Hills that the Lakota went to war against the United States for the last time

  • EPISODE 16 The War for the Black Hills (Part 1): The Heart of Everything That Is

    Jan 19 2017

    To the Lakota people, the Black Hills of South Dakota were—and still are—‘the heart of everything that is.’ To the United States, they were a goldmine, and Manifest Destiny’s next target. It was for the Black Hills that the Lakota went to war against the United States for the last time

  • EPISODE 15 Ted Roosevelt (Part 3): The Man In The Arena

    Dec 18 2016

    He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo.  He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate. 
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech.

  • EPISODE 14 Ted Roosevelt (Part 2): The Strenuous Life

    Nov 29 2016

    He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo.  He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate. 
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech.

  • EPISODE 13 Ted Roosevelt (Part 1): The Rough Rider and His Demons

    Oct 19 2016

    He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo.  He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate. 
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech.

  • EPISODE 12 Caravaggio (Part 2): Folsom Prison Blues

    Sep 20 2016

    EPISODE 12 Caravaggio (Part 2): Folsom Prison Blues

  • EPISODE 11 Caravaggio (Part 1): Light and Darkness

    Aug 18 2016

    EPISODE 11 Caravaggio (Part 1): Light and Darkness

  • EPISODE 10 Crazy Horse (Part 4)

    Jul 10 2016

    EPISODE 10 Crazy Horse (Part 4)

  • EPISODE 9 Crazy Horse (Part 3)

    Jun 15 2016

    EPISODE 9 Crazy Horse (Part 3)

  • EPISODE 8 Crazy Horse (Part 2)

    May 23 2016

    EPISODE 8 Crazy Horse (Part 2)

  • EPISODE 7 Crazy Horse (Part 1)

    May 03 2016

    EPISODE 7 Crazy Horse (Part 1)

  • EPISODE 6 The Duel

    Mar 14 2016

    EPISODE 6 The Duel

  • EPISODE 5 The 10,000 (Part 2)

    Jan 25 2016

    EPISODE 5 The 10,000 (Part 2)

  • EPISODE 4 The 10,000 (Part 1)

    Jan 09 2016

    EPISODE 4 The 10,000 (Part 1)

  • EPISODE 3 The Iceman

    Nov 30 2015

    This episode focuses on one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the late 20th century: the oldest, fully preserved human body ever found. The man emerged from the ice in the Alps over 5,000 years ago after his death. The more archaeologists discovered about him, the more haunting the mystery of his fate became. This is a tale of murder, Neolithic battles, the possibly European origins of acupuncture, the best mountain climber who ever lived, Brad Pitt’s tattoo, and one of the oldest co...more

  • EPISODE 2 The Slave Wars (Part 2: Spartacus)

    Oct 16 2015

    One of the most legendary characters in history comes to visit us in this episode: Spartacus! This episode features mass crucifixions, Dionysian orgies, a master course in guerrilla warfare, walls built with corpses, the most brutal punishment in military history, pirates, and overambitious Romans losing their heads.

  • Episode 1 The Slave Wars (part 1)

    Sep 10 2015

    In the space of a few decades, three major slave wars threatened the Roman Republic. In this episode, we see how the greed of land speculators, tax collectors and slave owners unleashed an orgy of bloodshed as tens of thousands of escaped slaves went to battle against Rome’s armies. Part I of this story covers the first two of the servile wars, and features political intrigues, fire-breathing Syrian prophets, cannibalism, love struck aristocrats arming their slaves, and heroic mass suicides.

  • Episode 0 Introduction to History on Fire Podcast

    Sep 10 2015

    In this quick intro, we explore the guiding philosophy of the podcast, Dan Carlin’s influence, and future plans.