The History of the Crusades podcast

This podcast by Tasmanian Sharyn Eastaugh started all the way back in 2012, following the model of Mike Duncan’s History of Rome.   Like Mike Duncan, it’s a minimalist approach – no guests, few sound effects, no dramatisations – but with an occasional dry bit of humour to tie things together.  I like this style, and I think it’s still more or less the standard for history podcasts – although 2012 could be a little more rough and ready.

Capture.PNGSome running jokes about the ever present Peter the Hermit or Crusading knights descended from water fairies add a comforting familiarity.  The material comes largely from classic popular accounts (Steven Runciman, Thomas Asbridge, Jonathan Phillips) which Eastaugh quotes from throughout (there’s also a handy list on her website) but other sources give the story from the Islamic side (Amin Maalouf is a very popular one).

Like many of the Crusades themselves, the early episodes are affected by equipment issues – poor quality recording equipment that leaves the volume lower than one would like.  But stick with it and things do get progressively better.  The content is good from the first episode anyway.  The website is smooth and well presented (though I can see a few older websites out there – so that presumably improved over time too).

I like the podcast as a whole.  I have listened to the 107 episodes (probably about twenty minutes each) on the Middle Eastern Crusades, and I’m looking forward to continuing on to her additional series on the Cathars and the Baltic Crusades.  The latter especially is a topic I don’t know much about.  There’s not too much analysis in the show, but I like the storytelling – combining the accounts of various weightier sources.  The main podcast is free, but she does offer bonus episodes via her Patreon page.  I definitely think this is worth checking out.

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