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Actually Interesting History

Actually Interesting History

By Madeleine Smith
Making history fun, accessible, and interesting by sharing the human story behind the dates we learned about in history class.
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Currently playing episode

S1E15: Maria Theresa Part 2

Actually Interesting History

S1E15: Maria Theresa Part 2

Actually Interesting History

S1E15: Maria Theresa Part 2
In today’s episode we cover Maria Theresa’s childhood, education and marriage. After the death of her father, Maria Theresa assumes her inherited positions and begins work to secure her father’s elected positions for her husband. Did Maria Theresa encounter smooth sailing during this task? Short answer: Nope. Tune in to learn more!
November 18, 2020
S1E14: PerHABS You’ve Heard of Me? The Habsburg Family and Maria Theresa Intro
The next person we are covering on Actually Interesting History is Maria Theresa, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and mother to the famous ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette. To understand her story, we first talk about what the Holy Roman Empire was, who the Habsburg family was, and how they became de facto rulers of an elective monarchy. We also introduce mom and dad!
November 4, 2020
S1E13: A Brief Timeline of Homo Sapiens and the Development of Civilization
When did Homo sapiens develop? How are we related to other great apes? Did aliens change our DNA (you don’t have to listen for that answer, it’s no). Tune in to find out how we went from small groups of hunter-gatherers to building the pyramids in less then 30 minutes!
October 21, 2020
S1E12: A Star Is Born, Hercules Part 3
Did you think the tale of Hercules/Heracles ended with the completion of his 12 tasks?! If you did, you are in for quite the surprise. Our hero’s mortal journey has only just begun. Check out the website for the information we cover in the episode:
October 7, 2020
S1E11: Going the Distance, Hercules Part 2
Tune in for our newest addition to the exciting tale of Hercules/Heracles. After the deaths of his family by his own hands, Hercules is made to serve his cousin for 12 years and complete 12 tasks in order to atone. When you are 8 feet tall and the son slash great grandson of Zeus, how hard could some choirs be? Well, Hera has a few tricks (monsters) up her sleeve. This will be the last episode published on Friday! Our conclusion to Hercules will go live this upcoming Wednesday, thanks for listening!
October 2, 2020
S1E10: Our Favorite Flavor, Hercules
It is finally time to meet Hercules/Heracles!! We start with a little context then dive into the story of how Hercules came to be, why he was extra special, and the reason he gets stuck doing possibly the worst to do list of all time!
September 18, 2020
S1E9: They had Computers in 60BC? Kythera, Anti-Kythera, and the Anti-Kythera Mechanism
This is not Hercules/Heracles. I’m really sorry, but since we introduced Ancient Greece and I briefly mentioned Kythera last episode, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to talk about the islands and a very special archaeological find. The Anti-Kythera Mechanism is an ancient analog computer dating to around 60BC. But how could a computer have existed before electricity? And what does it mean for our understanding of ancient people? To discuss these very important topics, I have a special guest this week. Matt Crum is currently in his 5th year of study for his PhD at UC San Diego. He specialized in studying Roman identity, specifically in the period we would now refer to as the Byzantine Empire. Matt has been working on Kythera with Timothy and Lita Gregory, some of the foremost experts on Kytherian archaeology and historical study, during field seasons since 2014.
September 4, 2020
S1E8: Who Put the Glad in Gladiator? Your Guide to Ancient Greece
This episode, we are setting the stage of the epic tale of Hercules/Heracles! With plentiful obscure Disney references, we cover: Ancient Greece, who that Heracles guy is, the Olympic gods, and so much more!
August 21, 2020
S1E7: So You Dig Up Dinosaurs? Intro Anthropology
Today we are going back to my roots and talking about the theoretical framework that shaped anthropological theory! Sound boring? I was hoping to avoid that, so I brought on a special guest to make the episode a tad more conversational. Further, its impossible to talk about the beginnings of anthropology without acknowledging the problematic views on evolution, culture, and race in the human species that many of the early anthropologists shared. We dig into all of that and more this episode, I hope you learn something interesting!
August 7, 2020
S1E6: Armada Mania and the Irish
Ever wondered why some people in Ireland have Spanish ancestry? Well that can be traced back to events that happened directly following the logistically challenged Spanish Armada! Tune in for a recap of the failed invasion and how it connects to my family history!
July 24, 2020
S1E5: Elizabeth’s Later Reign
Spain, Ireland, personal disappoints, and legacy that lives on to this day. Don’t miss the conclusion of Elizabeth’s life and reign!
July 10, 2020
S1E4: Elizabeth’s Early Reign
Elizabeth’s on throne, now what? We know that she ended up having one of the most successful reigns in English history, but she certainly didn’t know it starting out. This week we cover: bachelors, pirates, and an annoying cousin.
June 26, 2020
S1E3: Elizabeth and Mary
Everyone knows about Elizabeth I, but did you know there was another queen right before her? Mary I was Elizabeth’s older half sister and the first true ruling queen of England. What was Elizabeth’s life like while her sister ruled? Tune in to find out!
June 12, 2020
S1E2: Elizabeth’s Childhood
Four step moms, Flemish, an important life lesson, and an awkward family Christmas dinner. Let’s explore the future Elizabeth I’s early years! Actually Interesting History is a podcast by Madeleine Smith.
May 29, 2020
S1E1: Tudor? But I Already Know It!
Our first season will cover Elizabeth I! But what is a Tudor? And how did they end up on the throne? Tune in the find out!
May 15, 2020
Welcome to Actually Interesting History!
May 13, 2020