Kingdom of Majapahit - Wrath of the Khan - Extra History - #2

Kingdom of Majapahit - Wrath of the Khan - Extra History - #2

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The Mongols came to the island of Java--the King of Singhasari had defied them for too long. But by the time they got there, the king had died, and instead someone claiming to be his stepson, Raden Vijaya, promised to be their vassal. The Mongol forces were in for quite a surprise.

Genghis Khan

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Genghis Khan, Genghis also spelled Chinggis, Chingis, Jenghiz, or Jinghis, original name Temüjin, also spelled Temuchin, (born 1162, near Lake Baikal, Mongolia—died August 18, 1227), Mongolian warrior-ruler, one of the most famous conquerors of history, who consolidated tribes into a unified Mongolia and then extended his empire across Asia to the Adriatic Sea.

What was Genghis Khan’s early life like?

Genghis Khan was born Temüjin to a royal clan of the Mongols. When he was nine, his father Yesügei was poisoned and Temüjin was held captive by his former supporters. He later escaped, killed his half-brother, and began gathering supporters and manpower in his teenage years.

How did Genghis Khan come to power?

After becoming the head of his clan, Genghis Khan forged alliances with other clans, exterminated the existing clan nobility, and overpowered enemy tribes such as the Tatars. In 1206 an assembly of leaders declared him universal emperor (chinggis khān) of the Mongolian steppe.

What was Genghis Khan best known for?

Genghis Khan was best known for unifying the Mongolian steppe under a massive empire that was able to challenge the powerful Jin dynasty in China and capture territory as far west as the Caspian Sea.

When did Genghis Khan die?

Genghis Khan died on August 18, 1227, during a campaign against the Tangut kingdom of Xixia.

Genghis Khan was a warrior and ruler of genius who, starting from obscure and insignificant beginnings, brought all the nomadic tribes of Mongolia under the rule of himself and his family in a rigidly disciplined military state. He then turned his attention toward the settled peoples beyond the borders of his nomadic realm and began the series of campaigns of plunder and conquest that eventually carried the Mongol armies as far as the Adriatic Sea in one direction and the Pacific coast of China in the other, leading to the establishment of the great Mongol Empire.

Discovering Majapahit. Article 2. A brief history of the Kingdom

The official history of Majapahit dates from 1293 until 1478. In the west we like to think of events as progressing in a linear manner, but in fact they were often fluid and swirling. Stories of betrayal and treachery as one rajah usurped another. The centres of power in what we now call Indonesia shifted over centuries from Sumatra to Java, from Central Java to East Java

The Majapahit kingdom was established by the prince Vijaya, also known as Krtarajasa, who overthrew the prince of Kadiri, Jayakatwang who had murdered the then Raja, Krtnagara, Vijaya's father-in-law.

According to Chinese records Raja Krtnagara had insulted a Chinese envoy and Kublai Khan sent an punitive expeditionary force to Java but it arrived to the changed situation. Prince Vijaya convinced the Chinese that he was the rightful king and formed an alliance with them.

This next part of the story I have not from books but from oral history in conversations with people in the area many years ago. I suspect that this is more of a legend than historically factual but the dry history you can read elsewhere.

In 1292, Vijaya, with a small force of his own, perhaps one thousand men, bolstered by the authority of the Chinese force which itself was only three hundred warriors, confronted Jayaktwang. Jayakatwang assembled his army and preparation was made to do battle. Vijaya was outnumbered ten to one and was facing defeat, however he had one extra weapon, adat. Adat in Java is the spiritual force, the force of righteousness.

During the night many of the warriors of Jayaktawang stealthily moved across to the encampment of Prince Vijaya so that when dawn came the majority were now on Vijaya's side. Realising that he had no hope Jayaktawang's surrendered and the battle was won without a fight.

So began the era of the Majapahit in 1293.

Centered in East Java around the place now called Trawullen, the power and influence of the kingdom grew. They claimed influence over most of what we now call Indonesia, extending as far as Sumatra and Malacca in the west and Borneo in the East.

The Nusantara Archipelago during the height of Majapahit Empire in XIV century. The red dot is Trowulan Majapahit capital city. The dark orange area is core realm of Majapahit on eastern part of Java. The light orange area is vassal states of Majapahit mentioned in Nagarakretagama. The pale yellow is outer realm or independent states from Majapahit. The dark cyan is the sea area under influence or effective control of Majapahit. The light cyan is the extent of Majapahit naval expedition.

The kingdom had strong ties with China as evidenced by the many small figurines of Chinese traders we find. There is also evidence of Indian contact, once again seen in the depiction of turbaned travellers.There is very little written about this period and so much of what we know we have to surmise from the many terracotta artefacts that we are still finding in the fields of East Java.

This one is a head of a high official. I am guessing that this may be a portrate of Gajah Madah, the prime minister of Hayam Wuruk. If so, thos dates it to the mid 14th century

Gajah Mada. Catalogue TC 223 Balique Arts of Indonesia

Another artifact that we did collect, now sold to a collector in America is a complete frieze of ten bricks showing a procession of a king.

The only written text that we have from the time is the Nagarakretagama or Nagarakrtagama, also known as Desawarñana or Deshavarñana, is an old Javanese eulogy to Hayam Wuruk, a Javanese king of the Majapahit Empire. It was written on lontar as a kakawin by Mpu Prapanca in 1365 (1287 Saka year). The Nagarakretagama contains detailed descriptions of the Majapahit Empire during its greatest extent. The poem affirms the importance of Hindu-Buddhism in the Majapahit empire by describing temples and palaces and several ceremonial observances.

One of the religious practices of the Majapahit royal family described by Prapanca was the "royal walkabout". They visited cornerstones of the empire and paid homage to the ancestors of the king. Possibly this frieze depicts such an event.

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An action committed in anger is an action doomed to failure.

Resources - Standard
Population - 200
Game Speed - Fast
Reveal Map - Explored

Player 1 - Genghis Khan (Blue, Mongols)
Player 2 - Jin Dynasty (Red, Chinese)
Player 3 - Goryeo (Green, Koreans)
Player 4 - Western Xia (Yellow, Chinese)
Player 5 - Song Dynasty (Teal, Chinese)
Player 6 - Kamakura Shogunate (Purple, Japanese)
Player 7 - Subutai (Grey, Mongols)
Player 8 - Tibetan Empire (Orange, Chinese/Burmese)

Mongols (Blue and Grey) – There is no relic victory for the Mongols. You must defeat your enemies by killing the three emperors of China while also capturing their main cities. Please note that the three castles you must hold have to be in blue’s ownership only (or grey’s ownership only if blue resigns).

Everyone except the Mongols (Red, Green, Yellow, Teal, Purple, and Orange) – When you successfully gather five relics from either killing your enemies or through diplomatic skills, you gain victory immediately.

P1/7 Genghis Khan/Subutai
You receive Elite Tarkan every minute (30 max) as long as your main heroes are alive (Genghis Khan and Subutai).
A group of Kheshig has sworn an oath to protect their leaders (10 max). These imperial guards will continue to spawn even if your main heroes are dead.
At 1 hour, Muslims engineers from Khwarazm will reinforce the Mongol army with powerful siege weapons.
The emperors of Jin, Song, and Western Xia are vile creatures and are never to be trusted. Their rotten heads on a spike will reward you with 2k gold. Slay them all!
In case you are struggling, the Mongolian tribes will send resources to aid you in your battles (stops at 1-hour mark).
By the grace of Tengri, the Mongols will have Spies automatically researched for their convenience.
The Mongol tribes from the steppe will send you reinforcements at 30 minutes.
Every 25 buildings you raze gives you extra resources (up to 100 buildings).
You receive extra resources every 100 kills (up to 300 kills).
At 2-hour mark, the horde of Genghis Khan will arrive.

P2 Jin Dynasty
As long as the glorious city of Zhongdu remains intact, Jurchen Heavy Cavalry will spawn in the northern corner of the map (20 max) to aid you in your battle against the Mongols.
There’s a gunpowder factory deep in the woods where a mad scientist has been conducting experiments to enhance petard’s ability in warfare. Make sure it doesn’t get destroyed as you can train powerful saboteurs for 250 gold (5 max).
You may form a temporary alliance with Western Xia (yellow) by inviting Emperor Xiangzong to your capital. Both heroes must be present near the statue in Zhongdu to cement your alliance. Both players will receive reinforcements along with 3k gold.

P3 Goryeo
As long as you control Kaesong (the capital city of Goryeo), you will receive a steady spawn of Byeolmuban, a group of patriotic soldiers bound together to defend their beloved country (15 max).
Manwoldae is a royal palace of Goryeo. You will receive 500 gold every 10 minutes as long as you control the monument in Kaesong.
At 30 minute mark, send Kim Yun-hu and a relic to the Buddhist temple (The Tower of Flies) to rally the monks and boost their morale. It will also enhance Kim Yun-hu’s combat ability.

P4 Western Xia
The fearsome warriors of the Tangut Empire have assembled to support you against the Mongol invasion. You will receive Tangut Warrior (25 max) as long as you hold the city of Zhongxing.
You have the option to submit to Mongolian rule by sending ten villagers with 3k gold to the area marked by a yellow torch. You will be forced to yield the capital to the Mongols. However, two relics will secretly spawn outside the walls. With Great Risk Comes Great Reward.
Consider sending Emperor Xiangzong to Zhongdu (red’s capital) and Lin’an (teal’s capital) while their emperors are near the statue. You will form a temporary alliance with the Jin and Song Dynasties.

P5 Song Dynasty
The heavy infantry of the Song dynasty will sacrifice their lives to prevent its country from turning into ashes. You will receive Song Heavy Infantry (20 max) as long as you control Lin'an.
The Buddhist Temple in the city of Lin’an generates 500 gold every 10 minutes.
You must recapture the city of Kaifeng (red’s southernmost city) by destroying the castle and rebuilding yours in its place. The city will change ownership while also receiving 2k resources each.
The ancient fortress of Chongqing has never fallen before thanks to their secret weapon, the thunder crash bomb. You will receive Saboteur (5 max) as long as you control Chongqing.
A new relic spawns every 30 minutes in the city of Lin’an.
Cement your alliance with Western Xia by inviting Emperor Xiangzong to the statue in Lin’an.

P6 Kamakura Shogunate
As long as you control Heian-kyō (the capital city of Japan), you will receive a steady spawn of Daimyō, samurai warlords from various regions of Japan gathered together to fight and die for the emperor (15 max).
The imperial palace of Kyoto is a symbol of unity. As long as you hold the monument, you will receive 600 gold every 10 minutes.
At 30 minute mark, you can sacrifice a relic to the Raijin’s Temple to cast a powerful spell that will sink all enemy ships that dare to linger on the Japanese coast while improving your fleet’s ability in naval warfare.
Bring Prince Koreyasu to the site where Daimyō spawns to boost their morale.

P8 Tibetan Empire
The Tibetans are peaceful and generous people. However, the Mongol invasion has led the young men of Tibet to raise their swords and defend their motherland. You receive Tibetan Warriors (15 max) as long as you hold the city of Lhasa.
The scholars of the Tibetan Empire have volunteered to treat the wounds of fellow Tibetans. You will receive Trapa (10 max) as long as you control Lhasa.
Every 30 minutes, a new relic appears near the statue in Lhasa. It’s up to you whether you give it away to your neighboring factions to avoid blood feud or hog them all like a greedy monk.
You have the power to persuade your enemies to drop their swords and join the army of Buddha. Every 20 conversions will give you 20 warrior monks (terminates at 100).

The Mongol invasion has just begun. The ancient dynasties of China tremble in fear as the Mongol horde plunders and ravages the countryside. The petty kingdom of Goryeo moves its capital to an island where they think it’ll be safe and sound while the warlords of Japan assemble their troops for an upcoming battle. The Tibetans, however, are stubborn as an ox and insists on remaining neutral amidst war and terror. Afterall they seek peace and wish to avoid bloodshed. This custom scenario depicts the Mongol conquest of China and its neighboring kingdoms during the 13th century. Every faction starts with a prebuilt city and a small army to defend themselves against the Mongols. Whereas Genghis Khan and his men have nothing but the horde since their main objective is to take and not govern its lands. This scenario has quite a few restrictions to enhance playability. The last thing I want to see is tens of siege units demolishing an entire army within seconds. Anyway, let me know if you find any bugs or have concerns about the map in terms of balance, playability and historical accuracy. I appreciate all your feedback. Lastly, if you enjoyed this map or you find it interesting, please give it a big thumbs up and add me on steam as I need decent players for playtesting.

The Rise of the Wealthy and Powerful Majapahit Empire

Raden Wijaya was crowned as the Majapahit Emperor, and the Empire began to expand slowly. Additionally, due to its strategic position on the spice trade route, the Majapahit Empire grew immensely wealthy by levying duties on goods shipped through its area of control. The golden age of the Majapahit Empire, however, is said to have been during the reign of Hayam Wuruk, the fourth ruler of the empire. Hayam Wuruk, who ruled from 1350 to 1389, was assisted by an equally formidable prime minister, Gajah Mada.

Terracotta head believed to be a representation of Gajah Mada, Trowulan, East Java, Indonesia ( Wikimedia Commons )

During his premiership, Gajah Mada had successfully added Bali, Java and Sumatra to the Majapahit Empire. Although Gajah Mada died around 1364, the expansion of the empire continued. By 1365, the entire Malay Archipelago, with the exception of Sri-Vijaya and two of its colonies, were conquered by the Majapahit Empire. In 1377, Palembang, the capital of Sri-Vijaya, fell to Hayam Wuruk’s troops. The Kingdom of Singapura, an offshoot of Sri-Vijaya, was also later conquered. Nevertheless, this rival was not entirely destroyed, and its descendants would later return to cause trouble to the Majapahit Empire.

All Seasons

Most of the research for these videos comes from: Polybius' The Histories Livy's History of Rome . but if you just want an overview, here's a wikipedia link:

S01E02 Rome: The Punic Wars - The Second Punic War Begins

Most of the research for these videos comes from: Polybius' The Histories Livy's History of Rome . but if you just want an overview, here's a wikipedia link:

S01E03 Rome: The Punic Wars - The Second Punic War Rages On

Most of the research for these videos comes from: Polybius' The Histories Livy's History of Rome . but if you just want an overview, here's a wikipedia link:

S01E04 Rome: The Punic Wars - The Conclusion of the Second Punic War

Most of the research for these videos comes from: Polybius' The Histories Livy's History of Rome . but if you just want an overview, here's a wikipedia link:

Season 2

S02E01 World War I: The Seminal Tragedy - The Concert of Europe

The Concert of Europe held the continent together for years after the Napoleonic Wars, but as the leadership of great nations weakened over time, the stage was set for a colossal tragedy.

S02E02 World War I: The Seminal Tragedy - One Fateful Day in June

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria decided to visit Serbia on a day of national pride, he angered young nationalists like Gavrilo Princip and touched off the series of events that tumbled the world into war.

S02E03 World War I: The Seminal Tragedy - The July Crisis

In the wake of Franz Ferdinand's assassination, the great powers of Europe scramble to find an answer to the looming threat of war. While Germany urges Austria-Hungary to resolve the matter quickly, Russia begins to mobilize its forces to defend the slavic state of Serbia. A handful of people across the nations recognize the danger and do their best to stop it.

S02E04 World War I: The Seminal Tragedy - The Final Act

Serbia responds to Austria-Hungary's ultimatum after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the pretext for war grows thinner and thinner. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold Berchtold makes a desperate decision to declare war. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Czar Nicholas II of Russia call upon their family ties to each other in a last ditch effort to avert the war, but their previous inattention has left their prime ministers Bethmann-Hollweg and Sazonov in impossible positions. With their forces mobilized, unable to back down, Russia must accept Germany's declaration of war from ambassador Pourtalès - and as our series ends, the Seminal Catastrophe begins.

Season 3

S03E01 Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai - Battle of Okehazama

The Onin War tore Japan apart, but also kicked off the Sengoku Jidai or Warring States Period that's a seminal part of Japanese history. The power of the shogun dissolved and regional clan leaders or daimyo fought for control of the country. In the mid 16th century, near Kyoto, a clan called the Matsudaira found itself pinched between two great rivals: the Oda and the Imagawa. Abducted as a hostage by the Oda, the scion of the Matsudaira clan (the young Tokugawa Ieyasu) grew up to fight alongside of the Imagawa when he was released. Their combined forces threatened to destroy the entire Oda clan, but Oda Nobunaga had a different idea. They clashed at the Battle of Okehazama.

S03E02 Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai - The Siege of Inabayama Castle

With his western borders secure, Oda Nobunaga turns his attention east in the direction of the Shogun. When diplomacy fails to subdue the Saito clan that stands between him and Kyoto, Nobunaga enlists the aid of his brilliant diplomat and engineer, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Toyotomi turns the Saito's vassals against them and constructs a fort for Nobunaga's samurai to siege Inabayama Castle. After his crushing victory, Nobunaga allies with the former Shogun's brother and uses him as a political shield to take Kyoto.

S03E03 Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai - Warrior Monks of Hongan-ji and Hiei

Now that he holds Kyoto, Oda Nobunaga finds himself the focus of enemies on all sides. Even the Shogun, who no longer needs his military assistance, turns against him. Oda marches north to quell the Asakura clan, only to be betrayed by the Azai clan leader, his own brother-in-law, who allies with his enemy and embroils Oda and his remaining true ally, Tokugawa Ieyasu, in the Battle of Anegawa. No sooner has he won a narrow victory than Oda launches into in an eleven year siege with the Ikko-ikki warrior monks at their mountain temple of Hongan-ji. Unable at first to turn that siege in his favor, he learns from it when facing a second group of Enryaku-ji warrior monks at Mount Hiei. Oda shows his true brutality by setting fire to the temple and ordering his troops to massacre all 20,000 inhabitants - men, women, and children.

S03E04 Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai - The Death of Oda Nobunaga

Oda Nobunaga's control of Japan grows shakier by the day as more rivals emerge to challenge his hold on Kyoto. Egged on by the puppet shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, the powerful daimyo Takeda Shingen brings his army down upon Oda's closest ally, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and destroys them, Tokugawa escapes with his life and the aid of a ninja, Hattori Hanzo, whose subterfuge succeeds in turning back the Takeda forces. They return under Takeda's heir, however, to besiege Nagashino Castle. Tokugawa's forces hold out until a lowly footman named Torii Suneemon gives his life to bring Oda and Tokugawa reinforcements back to the troops at Nagashino. Oda's innovative strategy with his arquebusiers defeats the famous Takeda cavalry charge and wins the day, but his military victories do nothing for him in the end. His own general, Akechi Mitsuhide, leads his army against him in a surprise attack at the temple of Honno-ji. Rather than be captured, Oda Nobunaga commits seppuku.

S03E05 Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai - How Toyotomi Unified Japan

With Oda Nobunaga dead, Japan hangs in the balance. His old retainer, Tokugawa Ieyasu, must flee for his life from the usurper Akechi Mitsuhide. He narrowly escapes with the help of his ninja ally Hattori Hanzo, but Oda's heir is not so lucky: Akechi assassinates him. With power up for grabs, Toyotomi Hideyoshi sweeps into Kyoto and destroys the usurper, then appoints a puppet heir to replace Oda Nobunaga while he truly rules Japan. Toyotomi, today known as a great unifier whose reign is called the Momoyama Period, enacts three policies to reinstate taxes, eliminate banditry, and instill a rigid social caste system. He succeeds in restoring national civil government to Japan, signalling the beginning of the end for the Sengoku Jidai. But Tokugawa Ieyasu waits in the wings.

S03E06 Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai - The Campaign of Sekigahara

After Toyotomi Hideyoshi passes from old age, control of Japan passes to his young son - or more accurately, to his council of advisors. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the most powerful among them, looks poised to seize power for himself, but a rival named Ishida Mitsunari plots against him. After his first treacherous plot is discovered and foiled, Ishida joins with Uesugi Kagekatsu to mount a campaign against Tokugawa. An old friend, Torii Mototada, gives his life to counter the campaign and buys Tokugawa enough time to defend himself. The defection of the Kobayakawa clan from Ishida broke this opposition once and for all, leaving Tokugawa in uncontested control of Japan. Though he became shogun, Tokugawa ruled for only two years before passing succession to his son, establishing for the first time not only a stable shogun but a stable chain of succession, and bringing Sengoku Jidai period to an end in Japan.

Season 4

S04E01 England: South Sea Bubble - The Sharp Mind of John Blunt

When Robert Harley steps in as England's new Chancellor of the Exchequer, he discovers that not only is the government deeply in debt, but no one knows quite how much debt it owes. Because vicious political infighting between the Tory and Whig politic parties made it difficult to pass new tax laws, Harley turned to a private financier named John Blunt to help find enough money for England to keep up with its expenses for the year. Using Harley's government resources, Blunt instigated a series of get-rich schemes that drove artificial demand for unsustainable land and lottery investments with tremendous short term gains. Before the year was done, Blunt had successfully covered the shortfall for the government that year - albeit at the cost of driving England's already outrageous debt even higher.

S04E02 England: South Sea Bubble - Too Big to Fail

Frustrated at every turn by the Whig-controlled Bank of England, Harley and Blunt decide to start their own instution: a trading company that will exchange government debt for stock shares. This new South Sea Company will have a monopoly on trade in the rich new lands of South America, but all the ports there are controlled by Spain, with whom Britain is at war. So Blunt pushes the country into a premature and unfavorable peace with Spain, enlisting famous authors to write his propaganda and convincing Queen Anne herself to tip the balance of Parliament in his favor. After the queen dies and the government changes hands, Blunt kicks Harley and his Tory leaders out of the company. He manages to bring King George I himself on board as a ceremonial leader, linking the success of the South Sea Company with the reputation of the monarchy. But while his maneuvering inflates the value of his company's stock, it's never produced anything close to the amount of money he's convinced people to invest in it.

S04E03 England: South Sea Bubble - Buying Out Britain

The time has come for Blunt to enact the final act of his scheme: taking on the 31 million pound British debt. When Parliament initially balks at transferring responsibility for that much money to Blunt's insolvent South Sea Company, he bribes them with special deals on his own stock. Despite a legal clause that should have locked the stock price until the company began paying off the debt, Blunt keeps introducing new plans to inflate the stock price and pocket the money for himself. He does everything from selling stocks on layaway to loaning people money so they could buy more stocks from him, creating an artificial demand for South Sea Company stock that drives the company's worth up to 300 million pounds: a staggering ten times the initial value of the already stunning debt it had assumed. His success, founded entirely on speculation with no actual revenue from trade, not only starves out other businesses across Britain but exceeds the total amount of money in the country's entire economy. This bubble can not last.

S04E04 England: South Sea Bubble - The Bubble Pops

With the South Sea Company's value dangerously inflated, Blunt drives one more scheme to raise stock prices - and it finally backfires on him. Early investors (including the famous politician Robert Walpole) seize the opportunity to sell their stock while the value is high, and the general public finally realizes that the South Sea Company has no actual worth. Everyone who didn't sell their stock in the first round finds themselves suddenly bankrupt as the stock value plummets. Even King George, on vacation when disaster strikes, loses a large amount of the royal fortune. Robert Walpole, however, sees this as an opportunity to make himself a hero of the public. Hiding his own involvement in the South Sea Swindle, he cancels all debts owed for the company's stock to help put its public investors back on their feet. Despite this, the public demands an inquiry and Walpole must walk a thin line between his facade as defender of the people and the reality of his, his party, and the King's blatant corruption.

S04E05 England: South Sea Bubble - It Was Walpole

Robert Walpole's attempts to use the South Sea Company scandal to enhance his own ambitions are threatened by the appearance of Robert Knight, a former South Sea employee whose records of corporate bribery implicate Walpole and his friends in Parliament. But faced with threats of retribution if he ever shares these records, Knight flees the country rather than face a public inquiry. Although he gets caught and sent to prison in Antwerp, Walpole deftly engineers his release and escape. With Knight finally gone, Walpole teams up with John Blunt to pin the blame for the South Sea stock bubble on his political opponents, conveniently clearing the way for himself to become essentially the first Prime Minister of England. He also makes sure that all of his own supporters get off easy (if not scot free) for their involvement, and even Blunt walks away from the South Sea Bubble with more money than he started with.

Season 5

S05E01 Zulu Empire - Shaka Zulu Becomes King

With no written records from the Zulus themselves, historians and anthropologists have pieced together their history from a smattering of sources. We first learn of the Zulu as a minor tribe of the Bantu people, living in South Africa. Shaka Zulu, the man who would organize them into an empire, was born the illegitimate son of a Zulu king. He was sent away with his mother Nandi to grow up in her tribe, the Langeni, but he eventually caught the attention of Dingiswayo, the leader of another powerful tribe called the Mtethwa. Appointed as the leader of a squadron called an ibutho, Shaka developed new tactics including a short "iklwa" fighting spear and a simple but effective military maneuever called "the Bull Horn." When his father died, Shaka - now a successful military leader - returned with Dingiswayo's backing to assassinate the rightful heir and assume control of his native tribe. Just a year later, though, the neighboring Ndwandwe tribe murdered Dingiswayo and Shaka vowed revenge on their leader, Zwide. He then launched a bloody war that, combined with the strains created by European colonization, led to the Mefacane, or the Crushing.

S05E02 Zulu Empire - The Wrath Of Shaka Zulu

Shaka sought vengeance for Dingiswayo on Zwide and the Ndwandwe. He expanded his control over the Mtethwa and other tribes, then launched his assault on the Ndwandwe. Shaka scored two crushing victories over the course of an eighteen month war, although Zwide escaped both times. Shaka invaded the main Ndwandwe village, capturing Zwide's mother and burning her to death in place of her son. Shaka had won the war, but the people he pushed out created a ripple of instability across Africa: the Mfecane or the Crushing. Shaka himself became dangerously disturbed when his mother died and he began to take his grief out on his people. His brothers assassinated him to take the throne, leading to a new king: Dingane. Dingane began to treat with the Dutch colonists in South Africa, but what began as a friendly relationship became a betrayal when he turned on them. Dingane attacked their wagon train at the Battle of Bloody River, but the Dutch with their guns held him off. The Dutch then threw their support behind Dingane's last surviving brother, Mpande, who successfully overthrew him and became the new Zulu king.

S05E03 Zulu Empire - Diamonds in South Africa

Europe had a presence in South Africa dating back to 1652, but the colonies and the native tribes really began to clash in the 1800s. The conquest of the Netherlands by Napoleon had left the Dutch colonists in a state of limbo, with the British claiming authority over them despite their homeland being ruled by the French. Many of these settlers, known as the Boers, moved inland to escape British oversight and pushed into land owned by the Zulus. Mpande, the new Zulu leader, attempted to keep the peace between the British and the Boers, but the treaties he negotiated on both sides only led to further conflict. Eventually, his son Cetshwayo peacefully took power over the Zulus around the same time that the Europeans discovered diamonds in South Africa. The government of Great Britain took an even greater interest in South Africa, stepping in to try to bribe or force the relucant natives to work the diamond mines established by European mining firms. Secretary of State Lord Carnarvon, who was responsible for the unification of colonies in Canada, made it his mission to unify the South African colonies and appointed Henry Bartle Frere as his governor and representative. Bartle Frere removed the local Capetown government, who had been largely sympathetic to the native peoples and opposed his harsh unification policies, then issued harsh and intentionally impossible demands against the Zulu. Cetshwayo refused to accept these demands, and thus began the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

S05E04 Zulu Empire - Last Stands and Changing Fortunes

Lord Chelmsford, the British officer who commanded during the Anglo-Zulu War, vastly underestimated the power and aggression of the Zulu people. He split his army into three separate columns and left one of them stationed at Isandlwana while he searched for Zulu armies on the field. Meanwhile 20,000 Zulus were already flanking his force, but because Lord Chelmsford had not even ordered them to fortify the camp, the Zulu force swept through the ranks and destroyed the British army at Isandlwana. A small group of survivors fled to the hospital at Rorke's Drift where officer James Dalton organized a desperate defense. Cetshwayo's half-brother, ignoring orders to halt his pursuit, stormed the hospital with his small force and lost disastrously. Despite this, the main Zulu army continued to hand defeats to the British army until finally the British government stepped in to reinforce them with artillery and extra soldiers. Finally, Great Britain succeeded in capturing both the Zulu capitol at Ulundi and King Cetshwayo himself. They divided Zulu territory into 12 small kingdoms that quickly fell into civil war. Out of desperation, they returned Cetshwayo to the throne, but too late: a rival attacked and killed him. His son Dinuzulu allied with the Boers in an attempt to regain power and independence, but the British seized this excuse to finally annex Zulu land for good in 1887.

Season 6

S06E01 Byzantine Empire - Justinian and Theodora - From Swineherd to Emperor

Justinian arose from humble roots, the nephew of an illiterate pig farmer named Justin. Justin joined the army and rose to become leader of the palace guard, then took his nephew under his wing and made sure that he was well educated. When Emperor Anastasius died, Justin used his position (and his standing army inside Constantinople) to claim the crown for himself. His nephew guided the early years of his reign, helping Justin secure support both in the capitol and abroad. When Justin died, rule of the Byzantine Empire passed to the young Justinian, who had grand ambitions to restore its waning glory. It also freed him to marry Theodora, a famous actress who was far beneath his social station, and who would also rise from her humble beginnings to become a revered empress.

S06E02 Byzantine Empire - Justinian and Theodora - The Reforms of Justinian

Justinian wanted to restore the glory of Rome, but many obstacles stood in his way. He brought on talented advisors to help him reform the tax system, the law code, and the military might of the empire. With them he made great strides, but these advisors had very human flaws. His tax collector, John the Cappadocian, centralized tax collection and crushed corruption in his agents, greatly increasing the revenue to the empire - but he also skimmed money off the top to feed his private corruption. Meanwhile, a lawyer named Tribonian took centuries of confusing and even conflicting legal precedents and resolved them into a single code, the Corpis Juris Civilis, which remains the foundation of modern law today. He even made a textbook for students to learn from. But he was also a practicing pagan during an era when Justinian was trying to crack down on pagan rituals. And last, Justinian's chief military commander Belisarius helped the Empire recover its military glory. He defeated the Sassanid Persians in the Battle of Dara, crushing a force of 50,000 men with only 25,000 of his own through clever strategy: he dug a trench to halt their infantry's advance, then baited the Persian cavalry into overextending and sprang a surprise attack on them with Hun mercenaries. Although Belisarius seems to have been an upstanding person, his personal historian Procopius tainted even his clean record. Procopius wrote glowing official histories of the reign of Justinian, but his long lost secret history depicted Justinian as a literal headless demon and Theodora as a debauched monster.

S06E03 Byzantine Empire - Justinian and Theodora - Purple is the Noblest Shroud

A group of monks declared sanctuary for two hooligans from the demes (Constantinople's fanatical chariot racing factions) who had miraculously survived a hanging. The public wanted them pardoned for their crimes, so when Justinian made his public appearance at the next chariot race, they begged him to have mercy. When Justinian refused, the crowd turned on him and became a rioting mob that tore through the streets of Constantinople. During the Nika Riots, they burned down neighborhoods and even the Hagia Sophia cathedral, rampaging until Justinian agreed to pardon the two men from the demes. Now, however, the mob would not accept that. They demanded that he fire his advisors. Then they decided to appoint their own emperor, a man named Hypatius who was related to the previous emperor Anastasius. Assaulted on all sides, Justinian made plans to flee, only to be confronted by Theodora. She gave a now famous speech asking whether he would rather live a failure or die an emperor, announcing that she would choose the latter. Justinian followed her lead and made new plans to retake his city. He called Belisarius and Mundus, his best generals, to marshal a force. He also sent the eunuch Narses to bribe one faction of the demes and begin dismantling their leadership. Then he ordered his forces to invade the Hippodrome, where they cut down some thirty thousand civilians and executed the false emperor Hypatius. Justinian's reign was once again secure.

S06E04 Byzantine Empire - Justinian and Theodora - Vanquishing the Vandals

Thirty-nine days after the disastrous Nika Riots ended with the slaughter of 30,000 civilians, Justinian directed the city to rebuild the Hagia Sophia. Together, they built an even greater cathedral - but Justinian was not satisfied. He was called a Roman emperor, but he did not rule Rome itself. He resolved to reconquer the west, starting with Carthage in Africa, which had been conquered by Vandal tribes and turned into the seat of their budding empire. When the cousin of the Vandal king overthrew him for being pro-Roman and a follower of Rome's orthodox Christianity, Justinian had his excuse for war. He stirred up rebellion in the Vandal colonies, creating a distraction while he sent his general Belisarius to Carthage with a small army of men. Belisarius landed successfully and moved on Carthage, winning the support of the local people on his way. Gelimer teamed up with his brothers in two separate attempts to crush Belisarius and drive him out of Carthage, but after both of his brothers died, Gelimer lost his will to fight. He broke, and the Vandal resistance broke with him. Justinian awarded Belisarius a triumph, the greatest honor a Roman general could receive, but it would turn out to be the last formal triumph Rome would ever see.

S06E05 Byzantine Empire - Justinian and Theodora - Impossible Burden of Fate

The conquest of Carthage and the North African provinces was just the beginning for Justinian's ambition. He must have Rome. But like Carthage, he must find a reason to attack the Ostrogoths who now hold it. And like Carthage, this reason is given to him when the Ostrogothic Queen Amalsuntha, his ally, is murdered. But unlike Carthage, Belisarius now has only 7500 men, barely half of what he had for North Africa. He sails out anyway, making his first stop at the island of Sicily. All the cities except Panormus surrender to him, and Panormus he takes quickly by seizing their harbor with his ships. Meanwhile, Justinian has bribed the Franks to invade Italy from the north while another his generals marches from the east. But just when the Ostrogothic king is on the verge of surrender, disaster strikes. The other Byzantine general dies, and Belisarius is forced to return to Carthage to quell a revolt. The conquest loses its momentum and the Ostrogothic king imprisons the Roman ambassador. Justinian will not be stopped, and orders Belisarius to return to Italy once North Africa is secure. Alone, Belisarius marches up the coast of Italy until he meets resistance at Neapolis. With his forces too thinned to mount a siege, he engineers a sneak attack by invading through the pipe of a dried, broken aqueduct. Neapolis falls and the way now lies open to Rome.

S06E06 Byzantine Empire - Justinian and Theodora - Fighting for Rome

Belisarius has only just taken Neapolis when the king of the Ostrogoths is overthrown. The new king, Vitiges, withdraws from Rome entirely to consolidate his power, allowing Belisarius to take Rome without a fight. But after Vitiges gathers his troops, he marches to retake Rome. He springs a surprise attack on Belisarius at the Salarian Bridge, which the Roman general barely escapes. Now he must survive in a city under siege, invening ship mills to continue producing the grain that feeds the city and training the civilians as soldiers. He holds off the Ostrogoths until reinforcements from Justinian arrive. After an indecisive battle, he agrees to a truce with Vitiges, which gives him time to position his troops. When the Ostrogoths break the truce, Belisarius is ready for them and crushes their force to drive them finally out of Rome.

S06E07 Justinian & Theodora - The Cracks Begin to Spread

Belisarius had broken the siege around Rome. Now he wanted to push on to the Ostrogothic capital in Ravenna, so Justinian sent fresh troops with new commanders: Narses and John. Belisarius ordered John to take his cavalry north and secure the route the Ravenna, but John bypassed several cities that seemed too difficult until he was offered a willing surrender by the people of Ariminum. When Belisarius ordered him to return to the main army, John refused, and soon found himself surrounded by the same forces he'd declined to fight earlier. Narses insisted that they rescue him, so Belisarius devised a plan and tricked the Ostrogoths into thinking his force was larger than it really was, so they fled without joining battle. John gave all the credit for his rescue to Narses, and a divide grew between the old guard loyal to Belisarius and the new troops loyal to Narses. Even though Belisarius had a letter from Justinian giving him sole control of the army, Narses argued over the semantics of the order and continued to do as he liked. He roped Belisarius into besieging Urbinus, then decided to abandon his own plan and return to Ariminum. Belisarius took Urbinus by a stroke of luck and wanted to send reinforcements to the Ostrogoth-besieged city of Mediolanum, supposedly under Roman protection, but John would only accept orders from Narses and stalled until after the city fell. When Roman troops finally arrived in Mediolanum, they found the entire city butchered and burned to the ground.

S06E08 Justinian & Theodora - Bad Faith

Mediolanum had fallen. Belisarius wrote a furious letter to Justinian explaining what happened, and the emperor immediately recalled Narses and reaffirmed Belisarius's leadership. His army tore through the Ostrogothic territory and soon laid siege to Ravenna, which they brought to the brink of surrender. But the Ostrogothic King Vitiges had written to the Persian Empire urging them to take advantage of Rome's distraction. Sure enough, Justinian found himself faced with a Persian army in the East, and he sent orders to Belisarius to leave Ravenna and return to defend Constantinople. Belisarius hated seeing his victory snatched from him, however, and almost refused to do it. Hearing of his displeasure, the Ostrogoths reached out to him and offered to make him their new king - no surrender necessary. Belisarius accepted their proposal, then immediately turned on them and declared the city for Justinian. Still, his greed cost the empire time. Justinian was furious that Belisarius had disobeyed his orders to return and wasted precious months solidifying control over the Ostrogoths while Persia threatened to overrun the heart of the empire. He could no longer trust his most valued general.

S06E09 Justinian & Theodora - Justinian's Rival

A comet flew over the empire for forty days, heralding bad news to come. Raiders struck from the west, coming within mere miles of Constantinople. But the biggest threat lay in the south, where a border dispute threatened to reignite the war between the Romans and the Persians. Since Belisarius was still in Italy, Justinian had to send other generals to attempt to resolve the matter peacefully. Both failed spectacularly. The Persian king Khosrau seized on this as a pretext for invasion. But instead of laying expensive sieges to the cities, he simply extorted them for tribute in exchange for being left alone by his army. As he advanced north, he took advantage of every opportunity to mock Justinian and remind him how little power he had to push the Persians back. Finally, the city of Antioch refused to surrender to Khosrau and he made quick work of it, convincing Justinian at last of the need to pay his own tribute to the Persians to make them go away. This bought him enough time for Belisarius to return, but even his great general was unable to make much progress. At last, he found himself pinned down in an un-winnable fight. which the Persians mysteriously decided not to engage against him. They did not want to risk contact with the Romans, whom they feared were rife with disease.

S06E10 Theodora - This is My Empire

The first recorded outbreak of the Bubonic Plague occurred in Pelusium, an isolated town in the Egyptian province, but soon it moved on to Alexandria. Alexandria was the breadbasket of the Empire, and ships carrying grain (and plague-bearing rats) spread across the Empire. The Plague reached Constantinople to disastrous effect: 25% of the population died. Justinian set up a burial office but even they couldnt keep up with the demand. When they ran out of burial land, they started piling corpses into ships and setting them afloat they even packed them into the guard towers along the wall. So few people survived that when word got out that Justinian had contracted the plague, hope seemed lost. until Theodora stepped up. She had always been a force within the Empire, Justinian's co-regent, and now she used that power to fight off the plots against him and keep the Empire together. She dealt ruthlessly with anyone who threatened them, and since many people wanted Belisarius installed on the throne as Justinian's heir, she recalled him and pushed him out of power. She managed to keep the Empire from disintegrating into Civil War and became the symbol of hope and perserverance for a sorely demoralized city. And then, miraculously, Justinian pulled through.

S06E11 Justinian & Theodora - The Emperor Who Never Sleeps

Theodora had kept the empire together, but it was deeply scarred. The Plague had killed a quarter of the citizens and imperial revenues were in dire straits. In Italy, the Gothic tribes had rebelled again under the united leadership of Totila, while the disorganized Romans failed to mount an effective defense. Italy quickly fell back into Gothic hands, and even when Justinian sent back Belisarius, he could barely raise an army and didn't have the money to support his few conquests. Eventually he had to be recalled to defend Constantinople, and Rome was lost forever. A similar rebellion occurred in Africa, but was mercifully quelled. And then Theodora died. Justinian wept at her casket. He refused to remarry and designated a nephew-in-law as his successor. Even in mourning, he managed to organize a defense against Persian aggression and reorganize the Empire's tax system to bring revenue back into the coffers he'd drained for grand monuments and expensive wars. As his final tribute to Theodora, he attempted to heal the divide between Monophysite and Orthodox Christians, which had been one of her life goals. He went about it by pressuring the Pope to join him in condemning the Nestorian religious leaders who'd championed monophysite beliefs at the Council of Chalcedon. The Pope reluctantly agreed, but as he feared, it did not heal the divide in the east and only created new controversy in the west.

S06E12 Justinian - Caesar I was, and am Justinian

Faced with a crumbling empire, Justinian remained determined to realize the dreams of his youth - even though he was now over 65 years old and without Theodora by his side. He worked tirelessly to bring revenue back to the empire, and with money in hand he could finally deal with the forces that threatened it. He assembled his last company, an odd selection of leaders for his army, made up of men who were either old, or inexperienced, or even known for failure - yet they succeeded. His instinct for choosing the right person for the job did not fail him, as one by one his last company made peace with Persia, tamed the Balkan threat, and reclaimed Italy from the Ostrogoths. But fate was not yet done with him. A wave of natural disasters and the return of the plague shook the empire while its foundations were still being rebuilt, and left it vulnerable to an invasion by the Bulgars. Justinian turned to his old friend Belisarius, calling him out of retirement for one final campaign. As always, Belisarius succeeded against the odds, but it would be his last fight. One by one, all of Justinian's close friends and advisors died of old age. Increasingly alone, he spent his last years trying to consolidate his empire and struggling to reconcile the Christian church. Finally, after one of the longest reigns in Roman history, Justinian died in 565 CE. His reign was a great "What If:" What if all those disasters hadn't struck? Would his grand amibtions have succeeded? He accomplished so much with the expansion of empire, the construction of the Hagia Sophia, and his overhaul of the legal code. But in the process, he risked - and perhaps lost - everything. He emptied the treasury, overextended the borders, and left the empire vulnerable to the Ottomans years later. Good or bad, his legacy reaches through the centuries to touch our lives today.

Season 7

S07E01 Europe - The First Crusade - The People's Crusade

In 1095CE, Pope Urban gathered the leaders of the Christian community at the Council of Clermont. Urged on by Emperor Alexius Comnenos of Constantinople, he called for a crusade to retake the Holy Land from the Muslims who occupied Jerusalem. Muslims had occupied the Holy Land for over 400 years, but the timing was politically right for the Pope and the Byzantine Emperor. Pope Urban wanted to re-unite Christendom after the anti-Pope kicked him out of Rome, while Alexius Comnenus wanted to retake the territory he had recently lost in Anatolia from the Seljuq Turks. As incentive, the Pope offered crusaders a plenary indulgence: complete forgiveness for past sins in the eyes of God and the church. It worked too well. While the official armies of the Crusade prepared, a charismatic leader named Peter the Hermit began breaching directly to the people, claiming Jesus had sent him to lead them on Crusade. Walter sans Avoir joined him in France, and a man named Count Emicho of Leiningen emulated him in Germany. Both peasant groups met with and created disaster: Walter Sans Avoir's group pillaged Belgrade while Count Emicho's group turned on the local Jewish population as an excuse to slaughter them. Thus the First Crusade began with a disastrous People's Crusade.

S07E02 Europe - The First Crusade - Peter the Hermit

Emicho of Leiningen and Walters sans Avoir certainly made a mark, but the largest group in the People's Crusade was led by Peter the Hermit. To gain passage through Hungary, they swore an oath not to destroy anything, but the lack of real leadership for their group became clear when they very quickly started a market brawl, stormed the local citadel, then fled to Belgrade and immediately repeated their aggression by turning on the Byzantine troops sent to keep them in line. At the city of Niŝ, the Byzantine troops pinned them down and slaughtered a quarter of the entire crusading "army." The remainder fled to Constantinople and secured passage into Turkey, but the group fractured from within and became two separate factions, with Peter leading one and a man named Reinald leading the other. Both factions competed for bragging rights, committing horrible atrocities to outdo each other. One group actually managed to siege a castle, but it had no water supply, so they were easily starved out by the Turks. The Turks, however, spread a rumor that this group had actually gone on to capture the capitol city, and the remaining crusaders set out to join what they thought would be a loot extravaganza. Instead, they ran into a Turkish ambush that left only 3,000 of their 20,000 soldiers alive. Now led by Geoffrey Burel, they retreated to Constantinople.

S07E03 Europe - The First Crusade - A Good Crusade?

Although it finds Peter the Hermit's group from the People's Crusade in shambles, the summer of 1096 finally sees the "official" forces of the First Crusade set out for Jerusalem. This was not one army, however, but five separate armies led by men with very different motivations and sympathies - many of them surprisingly hostile towards the Pope or the Byzantine Empire. Hugh of Vermandois, brother of the King of France, led one army despite his brother having been excommunicated by Pope Urban II. Godfrey de Bouillon from the German territory had actually helped kick the Pope out of Rome and install the anti-Pope. Bohemond of Taranto brought an army whose experience primarily came from fighting the Romans twelve years prior. Raymond of Toulouse led the largest army and believed himself the main leader of the Crusade, despite the fact that he traveled with the Pope's appointed leader, Bishop Adhemar. Only Robert of Flanders could be said to be on good terms with both the Pope and the Eastern Roman Empire. When the five armies arrived in Constantinople, Emperor Alexius Comnenus approached them all privately with bribes and threats to get them to swear an oath that any land they conquered on Crusade would be returned to him. They all took it (except Bohemond's nephew, Tancred) and so the emperor sent them across the Bosphorus to attack the Turks at last.

S07E04 Europe - The First Crusade - Men of Iron

Having sworn their oaths to Emperor Alexius Comnenus, the Crusaders finally sailed across the Bosphorus River to Turkey. When they disembarked, however, there were no Turkish armies waiting for them. Unopposed, they marched to Nicaea, the capitol of the Sultanate of Rum, and laid siege to it. At last word reached the sultan, Kilij Arslan, who rode back to save his city (and his family) only to realize that this army of crusaders was much larger and better organized than the People's Crusade which had come before. They had not yet realized, however, that the city of Nicaea was being secretly resupplied by ships arriving by night from Lake Askania. Once they did, the Byzantines transported their own ships overland to blockade the lake and launch a coordinated assault with the crusaders to force the city to surrender. The crusaders marched towards Jerusalem, but along the way, the Turks launched a surprise assault on Bohemond's army. He ordered his knights to form a shield wall around the priests and civilians traveling with them, and they held for hours under a burning sun until reinforcements from the other crusading armies arrived. They rallied, defeated the Turks, and resumed their march.

S07E05 Europe - The First Crusade - Siege of Antioch

After their victory at the Battle of Dorylaeum, the Crusaders have an open path to Antioch and beyond that, Jerusalem. After the Sultan of Rum, Kilij Arslan, ordered the wells destroyed along their path, the Crusaders struggled through the desert and eventually decided to split their forces. Tancred and Baldwin set off towards Tarsus and Tancred tricked the Turkish garrison into surrendering to him, but Baldwin claimed the city for himself and broke his oath to the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenos. Tensions between the two lead to another confrontation in the next city, after which Baldwin abandoned the Crusade entirely and conned his way into becoming the Count of Edessa. Tancred meanwhile returned to the main force of Crusaders, who were besieging Antioch. When a force led by Bohemond and Robert of Flanders met Antioch's Turkish reinforcements on a foraging mission, they attacked them and scared them away. Then Bohemond tricked the Byzantine general into leaving as well, and threatened to leave himself unless the Crusaders let him keep Antioch. They had no choice but to agree to keep their forces together. With this assurance, Bohemond engineered the capture of Antioch: he bribed a Turkish commander to let them through the gates. The Crusaders massacred the people of Antioch when the city fell, but they had no time to rest after their victory: a huge Turkish army was already bearing down on them.

S07E06 Europe - The First Crusade - On to Jerusalem

The Crusaders now held Antioch, but not securely. The Turks still control the citadel atop the mountain and had a massive army coming to reinforce them. The situation grew worse when Stephen of Blois deserted from the Crusades, and told the Byzantine reinforcements not to bother: he believed Antioch would fall immediately. Now entirely on their own, the Crusaders held the wall in constant vigil until a mystic named Peter Bartholomew claimed to have received a vision from Saint Andrew. Guided by his vision, he discovered metal which he claimed to be the holy lance of Longinus - nevermind that the church already had the holy lance in its possession. Though the Crusade leaders had doubts, the soldiers were inspired so they launched an assault on the Turkish armies. Surprisingly, they won the day: the Turks did not fully support their leader, Kerbogha, and many took the Crusade counter-attack as an excuse to abandon the siege. Bohemond now kept Antioch, while Raymond of Toulouse - after the disastrous Siege of Maarat led the soldiers to commit acts of cannabalism - took the remains of the army south to Jerusalem. His attempt to capture a small city called Arqa along the way almost fractured the crusade army again, and did lead to the death of Peter Bartholomew. They arrived in Jerusalem to find the local wells poisoned, giving them no choice but to attack the city head-on. After days of intense fighting, they won their way inside the walls and began a massive slaughter of the people who still lived inside Jerusalem - the Christian population had been expelled, leaving only Muslims and Jews still in the city. And thus, with Antioch and Jerusalem both in crusader hands, the First Crusade came to an end.

Season 8

S08E01 Korea: Admiral Yi - Keep Beating the Drum

Admiral Yi Sun-sin of Korea began his legendary career with a series of disasters. Fate (and corrupt officials) conspired against him to have him repeatedly knocked down from the success he had earned, often because his insistence on strict military codes and refusal to ignore corruption made enemies of his fellow officers. Even when his superior had him tortured and blamed after a loss to the Jurchen raiders from the north, Yi perservered. Stripped of his rank and now reduced to a common enlisted man, Yi nevertheless served Korea with distinction. Meanwhile his childhood friend, Ryu Seong-ryong, had risen to become the prime minister of Korea. Ryu recognized the threat of war from Japan looming on the horizon, so when Yi asked to retire in 1588, Ryu convinced him to stay.

S08E02 Korea: Admiral Yi - Be Like a Mountain

Japan invaded Korea after a series of long civil wars that had finally culminated in Toyotomi Hideyoshi leading a unified Japanese army. Their martial society had trained extensively with weapons like the arquebus, early guns, and the civil war had given them tremendous experience with siegecraft. By contrast, Korea had not been at war for hundreds of years: they were mostly troubled by raiders from without and corrupt government officials from within. However, their unique situation meant that they had great cannons for fighting off pirates and secure if minimal hill-top forts. As a tributary ally of the Chinese, the Koreans were startled and confused when Japan asked permission to march through their territory and make war on China. Many officials thought the Japanese were only bluffing, but Ryu Seong-ryong recognized the threat and made sure his friend Yi was moved to naval service to help defend the country. Yi trained his men and commissioned a new ironside ship design called the Turtle Ship. Unfortunately, other commanders did not take the threat seriously: even when Japanese ships appeared on the horizon, the southern commander convinced himself it was a trade fleet and took no action while the ships docked, then unloaded their soldiers onto Korean soil. The well-trained Japanese army crushed the Korean army and quickly advanced to Seoul. Meanwhile, Yi organized his small fleet of warships and launched quick strikes against the Japanese navy, catching them off-guard and on-patrol. He destroyed 43 enemy ships without losing a single one of his own, and was promoted accordingly to become the new Southern Commander of the Korean navy.

S08E03 Korea: Admiral Yi - The Bright Moonlight of Hansando

While Yi found success at sea, the Korean land army suffered terrible losses. Yi Il, the man who once accused Yi of negligence, lost one battle after another, until finally the regular forces were annhilated at Chungju. The Joseon court that ruled to Korea fled to Pyongyang, on the verge of being pushed out of their own country. But that same day, Admiral Yi tore through a Japanese fleet at Okpo. He moved on to Sacheon, where he baited the Japanese commander into a trap and debuted his turtle ship. The unstoppable turtle ship carried the day, so he used this tactic again and again he destroyed a Japanese fleet while suffering no losses of his own. Finally, Hideyoshi ordered his naval commanders to take Jeolla, Yi's headquarters. Sadly for him, his general Wakisaka Yasaharu grew too eager and engaged Yi without backup at Gyeonnaeryang Strait, only to find himself lured into an even more sophisticated version of Yi's bait-and-retreat strategy: a "Crane's Wing" of ships that collapsed on the overextended target from all sides. In one of the largest naval battles in history, Yi scored a decisive win and again didn't lose a single ship. He headed to Angolpo to attack Hideyoshi's two remaining generals and seal his victory, but they refused to be baited. He had to settle for a long range exchange of cannon fire, which worked at the cost of many injuries to his own men. In the end, he destroyed all but a few Japanese ships, and those he only spared to give the Japanese some means to escape and stop raiding in Korea. But he had accomplished his goal: Hideyoshi ordered a halt to all naval operations except guarding Busan, and without this control of the sea, Japan could not re-supply their troops nor hope to resume the assault that would have finally pushed Korea's leaders out of Korea.

S08E04 Korea: Admiral Yi - Those Who Seek Death Shall Live

Yi's success had forced the Japanese to give up offensive naval operations, but their huge fleet remained entrenched in Busan harbor. While Yi pinned them down, reinforcements from the Chinese army had finally arrived and helped the Korean army take back the country on land. Yi petitioned for marines to take Busan back from the Japanese, but his requests were ignored. Instead, he focused on making his base on Hansando self-sufficient: he promised protection to refugees in exchange for them working the island, building his equipment, and even researching military technology. But a truce was called with Japan, one that dragged on for years until Hideyoshi broke it by ordering a second invasion. An informant brought word of secret, unprotected Japanese fleet movements, but Yi recognized it as a trap and refused to go. However, his friend Ryu's enemies at court seized on this as an opportunity to put Yi on trial for treason. They demoted him again, and gave his fleet to Won Kyon. Won Kyon fell into the trap Yi had refused, and a coordinated surprise attack from the Japanese resulted in the destruction of all but 12 ships. Yi was quickly re-instated, but ordered to disband the navy. He refused, and planned his counterattack carefully: he would fight at Myeongnyang Strait, where he hoped the natural currents would do what his numbers could not. His plan worked: the reversing tide caught the Japanese by surprise and flung their ships against each other right as he pressed the attack. With 13 ships versus 133, he once again drove back Japan with zero losses to his own navy. Word of his success brought other ships out of hiding and convinced the Chinese navy to ally with him at last.

S08E05 Korea: Admiral Yi - Martial Lord of Loyalty

After his success at Myeongnyang, Yi began rebuilding the Korean navy and strengthening his partnership with the Chinese. But then, Toyotomi Hideyoshi died. Japan's new leaders had no interest in continuing the war, but although they sued for peace, Korea now held the upper hand and was determined to punish the people who had committed so many massacres against their people. Yi and the Chinese fleet bottled up the Japanese at the fort in Suncheon. When the Japanese called for reinforcements, Yi interrupted them in Noryang Strait. Again they were outnumbered, 500 to 150, but the Chinese commander did not yet understand Yi's long range style of warfare and immediately closed for close combat. Yi ordered his flagship to rescue their allies, and as soon as the Japanese recognized him, they focused fire on him. This allowed the Chinese, suddenly forgotten, to fire freely on them. The Japanese realized their error and tried to flee, but Yi would have none of it. Beating the war drum himself, he urged his ships to chase the Japanese - to punish them for all the slaughter they brought to Korea. It was then that he was struck by a fatal gunshot. Before he died, he ordered his son and nephew to command the battle for him. They dressed in his armor to hide his death from the troops and continued beating the dream. Together, they carried the day - only for Yi's tragic death to be revealed at the moment of victory. But although Yi did not live to see it, 300 Japanese ships were captured and destroyed that day and the rest of their invading force was rounded up soon after. For his tireless service, his brilliant leadership, and his unwavering devotion to Korea, Yi was given the posthumous title of Chungmugong, the Martial Lord of Loyalty.

Season 9

S09E01 Middle East: Odenathus - Ghosts of the Desert

In 260 CE, the Roman Empire was falling apart on all sides. Emperor Valerian gathered the legions to push back on the worst incursions from the Sassanid Empire in the east. They not only lost - they were massacred, and the emperor was taken captive. This left the empire in disarray. Into this desperate moment stepped Odenathus from the city-state of Palmyra. Palmyra was a vassal state that owed fealty to Rome and had been decorated with many honors and recognition in the past. If Rome fell, the Sassanid Empire would certainly look to conquer and annex Palmyra, so Odenathus rode to the rescue. He gathered all the soldiers he could find and took the Sassanid army by surprise on their way back from the battle with Valerian. He destroyed them. From there, he rode north to protect the emperor's son, and the next heir to Rome, then south again where he pushed the Sassanids all the way back to their capitol twice. Despite his success and undeniable military power, he never took power for himself or declared himself an emperor. Rome showered him with appreciation and titles. Sadly, he was murdered by his nephew in 267 CE, but his loyalty had bought the Roman Empire enough time to recover and survive for another 200 years.

S09E02 Middle East: Palmyra Today - Afterword

Palmyra is an embodiment of our shared past, but right now it's under the control of ISIS. They have destroyed the antiquities that remind us of our shared past. We would like to take a moment to honor Dr. Khaled al-Assad, the museum director who gave his life rather than reveal the locations of more Palmyrene relics for ISIS to destroy.

Season 10

S10E01 England - The Broad Street Pump - You Know Nothing, John Snow

Thanks to his mother's support, John Snow rose from humble beginnings as a coal miner's son and apprenticed to a doctor in Newcastle. As a young man, he treated many patients during the cholera epidemic that struck Newcastle. He noticed that the traditional explanation for cholera's spread - miasma from graveyards and swamps - could not explain its appearance in Newcastle where he treated patients. He took that knowledge with him to London, where he formally studied medicine and achieved the highest honors in his profession in only a year. His formal study of anesthesia earned him such great recognition that on two occasions he was trusted to work on the Queen. But then cholera broke out in London again. Snow wanted to prove miasma didn't cause it and find the real cause, so he interviewed patients and doctors across the city. He theorized that the diarrhea which came from cholera also helped to spread it. He even wrote up a case study where one street whose well water mixed with sewage had a huge infection rate while across the street their neighbors with pure well water barely suffered at all. Confident that he had found the cause, he published his findings, but the medical community was not thoroughly convinced.

S10E02 England - The Broad Street Pump - Epidemiology Begins!

John Snow's single case study was not enough to convince the medical community that cholera was spread through the water, but he did not give up. He founded the Epidemiological Society of London in 1850, the first organization dedicated to studying not just cures for disease, but also their causes. And so when cholera returned in 1854, John Snow saw a chance to finally prove his theory and set about studying the patterns of disease. The disease appeared to strike randomly, both rich and poor, but he realized that in his district were two different water companies, one of which he theorized might be contaminated. Finding evidence proved more difficult than he anticipated: going to door to door, he was often met by people who didn't even know what water company supplied their building. He tracked down landlords and even developed a water test to help him identify which water source each house had, but before he had the time to compile and analyze his findings, another terrible outbreak struck in Broad Street.

S10E03 England - The Broad Street Pump - Map of the Blue Death

John Snow raced to discover the causes of the cholera epidemic that swept Broad Street. He went door-to-door talking to the locals, then surveyed government records for extra clues. He began to craft a map of deaths, and drew the first Voronoi Diagram to assess the victims' proximity to the pump. All but 8 of the 84 victims were closer to the Broad Street Pump (and hence more likely to use it) than any other pump, and most of the remainder had daily commutes that took them past the pump. He also noticed that a local workhouse and a tavern were conspicuously cholera-free despite their proximity to the pump, and found that they had access to their own drinking supplies which unbeknownst to them had kept them safe. With his evidence in hand, he met with the local health commission and convinced them to deactivate the Broad Street Pump. But his theory was still not widely accepted, and after the epidemic passed everything returned to normal. At last, a local pastor named Henry Whitehead set out to debunk the wild theories about what had caused the epidemic in his parish. He doubted Snow's results, but as he investigated, he found more evidence that backed them up. His relationship with the neighborhood also meant he could get information Snow couldn't, and it was thus that he found Patient Zero: a baby who died two days before the epidemic, and whose mother had been throwing her dirty diapers in a cesspit under the house. The government investigated and found that the poorly-built cesspit had begun leaking into the Broad Street Pump's water supply, infecting all who drank from it with cholera passed along in the baby's diapers. It would take many years before John Snow's theory became accepted fact, but his research paved the way for the modern medical field of epidemiology.

S10E04 The Sanitary Movement - A John Snow Epilogue

John Snow's report on the causes of cholera provided yet more evidence of the dangers of filthy cities. Cities had always been unhealthy places to live, generally with a higher death rate than birth rate, but fixing them just wasn't the focus of an agricultural world economy. The Industrial Revolution in the 1700s brought more people to the cities, and suddenly, cities had to grow in order to maintain the vastly expanded manufacturing and shipping operations of the new era. Edwin Chadwick published a report about the sewage in city streets and clearly explaining the need to remove it. His report led to legislation that created local health boards and drove the construction of complex sewer systems. These sewers were massive, expensive undertakings that, even today, remain the foundation of many large modern cities. They reduced diseases across the board and saved countless human lives, part of a legacy that John Snow would be proud of.

Season 11

S11E01 Mary Seacole - A Bold Front to Fortune

Mary Seacole treated soldiers during the Crimean War - but she took a long path to get there. She grew up in Jamaica, the daughter of a local hotel owner and a Scottish soldier. She admired her doctress mother and wanted to be like her, but she also yearned to travel and see the world. In 1821 she accepted a relative's invitation to visit London, and turned herself from a tourist to a businesswoman by importing Jamaican food preserves. She traveled with her business for several years before returning home to Jamaica, where she married a white man named Edwin Seacole and started a general store. Their venture failed, and disaster struck: fire destroyed most of Kingstown, and both Mary's husband and her mother died in 1843. Mary survived and rebuilt the hotel, but she set out to start a new life in Panama and was immediately greeted by a cholera epidemic. She helped contain it, and earned a reputation that helped her start her own business across the street from her half-brother's. When word reached her that the Crimean War back in Europe needed nurses, she left her business behind and went to sign up. Both the War Office and Florence Nightingale's expedition rejected her, but Mary determined to find her own way there.

S11E02 Mary Seacole - Mother Seacole in the Crimea

Unable to find any official sponsors, Mary Seacole decided to send herself to the Crimea. She recruited her husband's cousin, a fellow business person, and the two of them set off for the war zone. Unlike London, where she'd met a chilly reception, Mary's help was welcomed by the overworked doctors and suffering soldiers. She built a new version of her British Hotel and invited officers to dine or shop there, using their money to buy medical supplies and creature comforts for the poorer soldiers. She had set herself up next to the army camp, and during battles she helped provide emergency care. But when at last the city of Sevastopol fell, Mary's medical services were no longer in much demand. She enjoyed a few months of prosperity as the soldiers celebrated their newfound time off, but in March of 1856, a treaty was signed and troops began returning home. Many of them left unpaid debts, and Mary could no longer sell her supplies, so she and her business partner were forced to return home to London and declare bankruptcy. When that news got out, the soldiers she'd cared for rallied to her aid, donating money to help pay her debts. Although Mary tried to continue serving soldiers in warzones, the government never recognized her and in the end, only her homeland of Jamaica remembered her contributions after her death. In the 2000s, her story came back to light in the United Kingdom and she was recognized in 2004 as the Greatest Black Briton.

Season 12

SPECIAL 0x10 On World War II and Nazi Symbolism - A Note from Extra History

James explains why World War II series on Extra History won't use the swastika of Nazi Germany.

S12E01 World War II - The Battle of Kursk - Operation Barbarossa

In June 1941, Nazi Germany launched an attack upon the Soviet Union. The German Reich had been building up forces along the Eastern Front for a long time, but the sudden aggression caught Soviet forces unprepared. Many troops were captured and the Germans quickly conquered territory from the Soviet states. But the Soviets reorganized, improved their communication structure, and pulled together a defense at Smolensk. Although they lost again, they critically slowed the German advance and halted their race towards Moscow. Instead, the Germans tried to lay siege at Leningrad, only to be struck themselves by insufficient supply lines and a brutal winter that claimed the lives of many soldiers. With that, the Wehrmacht withdrew and redirected its efforts towards Stalingrad. Josef Stalin refused to let them take any land "further than the Volga" in Russia, and mounted a stiff defense. Even when the Luftwaffe, the German air force, reduced the city to rubble, Soviet soldiers continued to wage war from the debris. Meanwhile, the Germans were so focused on their offensive that they let their defensive lines collapse, and in October 1941 the Soviets managed to surround and pin down the German 6th Army. Their commander refused surrender terms because he didn't want to displease Adolf Hitler, but the 6th Army's resistance inevitably collapsed in February 1942.

S12E02 World War II - The Battle of Kursk - Preparations

Richard "the Challenger" Cutland, ex British tankie and military specialist at Wargaming, stops by to talk about the types of tanks involved in the Battle of Kursk! Early in Operation Barbarossa, the Germans didn't expect much from their opponents. They did not know about the T-34 and KV-1 tanks, which turned out to be superior designs. The Germans deployed a special commission to study Soviet tank designs and soon introduced the Tiger, Panther, and Ferdinand tanks which Hitler believed were key to victory. The Panther in particular was now outclassing Soviet tanks, but it had giant mechanical issues and broke down frequently. The Soviets had produced a new T-43 model tank, but it was designed to tackle the old German Panzer IV and didn't measure up well to the new German tanks. So they preferred to focus on the trusty T-34 tanks, which made up in speed and numbers what they lacked in range and firepower. The Kursk region also played to the Soviets' advantage in Russia: the dust storms and mudfields hindered air support from the Luftwaffe and the advance of the Wermacht. Erich von Manstein, the German commander, decided not to advance. Instead he yielded ground to the Soviets in an attempt to lure them into overextending. He successfully caught them out at the First Battle of Kharkov, but even though the Soviets suffered heavy casualties there, it wasn't enough to make a dent in their huge army. Manstein needed to do something more drastic. Both he and the Soviets recognized that the Soviet line had a weakness where it bulged out to defend the city of Kursk, making it an obvious target for the next stage of operations.

S12E03 World War II - The Battle of Kursk - Operation Citadel

On July 5, 1943, the long-awaited German assault began. Despite the arrival of the powerful new German tanks, the Soviets ground their advance down to a crawl thanks to the stiff fortifications they'd had time to lay in place. The Germans planned their assault for July 5, 1943 but a defector warned the Soviets and denied them the element of surprise. Even without the warning, General Zhukov had found plenty of time to fortify Kursk with layer upon layer of pillboxes, minefields, and more. He planned to bloody the Germans with this staunch defense and weaken them for later. The new German tanks, such as the Tiger, arrived only to find themselves outnumbered by numerous Soviet T-34s and ill-supported by maintenance crews who were stretched too thin by the number and variety of new tanks being deployed. General Manstein ordered his strongest tank unit to push through, targeting the small town of Oboyan, but although he made the most progress along the line of the assault, even he had not expected resistance on this scale. By the next day, the Germans had barely reached the second line of Soviet defenses, and while they hadn't been forced to retreat anywhere, they were distinctly behind schedule. Hitler needed them to win. It wouldn't win the war, but he hoped that it would force the Soviets to withdraw, leaving him free to concentrate on the Western front and the threats from the United Kingdom and the United States.

S12E04 World War II - The Battle of Kursk - Control of the Eastern Front

Twelve days of ferocious battle wore both sides down to the bone. Each German push was met with a Soviet counterattack in places like Ponyri and Prokhorovka, until finally the Allied invasion of Sicily forced Hitler to recall his troops. German divisions had not expected the level of resistance they met from the Soviets, and their planned advance was behind schedule. At the same time, the Soviets were concerned by the breaches in their first level of defense and by the Tiger tanks which so decisively outgunned their T-34. Fighting on the north side of the Kursk salient came to focus on the small Russian town of Ponyri, where the Germans saw an opportunity to break through and encircle the Soviet defenders. But every time they took control, the Soviets countered and took it back, until finally it became clear that they would never hold Ponyri and could only hope to divert troops from reinforcing the Soviet line elsewhere. But in the south, General Vatutin of the USSR had come up with a clever strategy: he literally buried his T-34 tanks up to the turrets, making them fortified anti-tank guns whose small profile negated the range advantage of the Tiger. His methods were extremely effective, but the Germans continued to fight forward inch by bloody inch. The Soviets needed to hold until reinforcements arrived. An attempted counterattack failed, but managed to slow the Germans, as did the sudden arrival of rainy weather that bogged down their materiel. In the midst of this, the brutal war criminals in the SS Division fought on with a ferocity best exemplified by Joachim Krüger, who once ripped off his pants to escape a smoke grenade and charged bare-assed at a Russian tank. But this wild back and forth could not continue. On July 12, 1943, the Germans sought a decisive outcome through a hard push at Prokhorovka. They did not get it, and the tides quickly turned against them. The Allies invaded Sicily, pressuring Hitler. He gave the command to withdraw the troops at Kur

Season 13

S13E01 Suleiman the Magnificent - Hero of All That Is

A young Suleiman ascends the throne of the Ottoman Empire. He wants to be a benevolent ruler, but he must prove that he is no pushover. Perhaps it all began when Suleiman's father died. Suleiman's father, Selim I, had pushed the borders of the Ottoman Empire further than any before him. Suleiman and his childhood friend, a Greek named Ibrahim who'd once been his slave, had to race back to Constantinople to claim the throne before news got out. Suleiman immediately bestowed gifts on the janissaries and court officials whose favor he would need for a successful reign, but he also carried out executions against those he suspected of treachery. He could not afford to be too kind. Indeed, his rule was challenged immediately by a revolt in Syria, which Suleiman crushed with overwhelming force to secure his reputation as a powerful leader. He wanted to stretch the empire even more, to bring it into Europe, which brought his attention to Hungary (his gateway to Europe) and Rhodes (a thorn in his side in the Mediterranean). The young prince of Hungary gave him the excuse he needed by executing an Ottoman envoy who'd come to collect tribute. Suleiman prepared his troops for war.

S13E02 Suleiman the Magnificent - Master of the World

Knowing that most of Europe is preoccupied with internal struggles, Suleiman launches his wars against Hungary and Rhodes while they're cut off from outside reinforcements. Suleiman wanted to erase the failures of his predecessor, and extend the Ottoman Empire into Europe. The boy king of Hungary had given Suleiman the perfect pretext for war by killing his envoy, and he'd done it at a time when Hungary was especially isolated from the rest of the continent. The Holy Roman Empire and Papal States were being torn apart by the declarations of Martin Luther. Spain and France were busy fighting each other. Suleiman even ensured that Venice would stay out of the dispute by offering them a lucrative trade treaty with his empire. Though he felt certain of victory, he still studied every route and painstakingly worked out the logistics of moving his army. He would not risk failure through carelessness. Yet the siege from his cannons could not bring down the walls of Belgrade, so he turned to treachery: eventually, the Orthodox Serbian contingent in the city gave him access in order to escape the oppression of the Catholic Hungarians. Suleiman massacred the Hungarians, but honored his agreement with the Serbs and let them leave. Then he turned to Rhodes. He offered them a chance to surrender in advance, but they refused. The Knights of Rhodes were after all a sacred order, equal in discipline to his janissary forces. They fought hard, repulsing several attempts by the Turks to invade through collapsed walls and repeatedly refusing Suleiman's offers to let them surrender. But at last they wore down and agreed to terms of truce. Suleiman allowed them to leave along with any Christian subjects who wished to go with them. It had taken him two years to complete his wars, but he had succeeded.

S13E03 Suleiman the Magnificent - Sultan of Sultans

The victorious Suleiman begins to consolidate his empire and his home. With Ibrahim and his favorite concubine, Roxelana, by his side, he reorganizes the empire and begins his great work: a book of laws. But Hungary still stands untaken, and he must have it. Suleiman had made so many decisions out of earnest love, but now he could only look back with regret. Suleiman returned from his campaigns to find that two of his sons had died of illness that year, but also that his favorite concubine had borne him a new son. Her name was Roxelana, and although she was only a Polish slave, he loved her deeply and soon elevated her to become his legal wife, the Hürrem Sultan. He also promoted his best friend, Ibrahim, up the ranks until he finally appointed him grand vizier. With these two ruling at his side, he felt ready to take on the world. But Ahmed Pasha, his second vizier, was jealous of Ibrahim. He'd expected to get the position of grand vizier for himself, and when he didn't, he asked for a governorship of Egypt instead - which he then used to mount a rebellion against Suleiman. His rebellion triggered a wave of uprisings through the empire. Suleiman sent Ibrahim to quell them all, which he did, and then reorganized the provinces to break up the power blocs that had acted against his sultan. At the same time, Suleiman had begun working on a great work of law, reforming the hodgepodge legal heritage of the Ottmans into a unified code that would guide the empire for the rest of its days. While it was still in progress, he saw an opportunity to reach for Hungary again and he took it. His troops marched through a torrential downpour of rain until they encountered the Hungarian troops on the Field of Mohács. Impetuous nobles had pushed the young King Louis II to take the field and go on the offensive, despite being outnumbered and outgunned by the vast Ottoman force. Their brave but foolhardy charge failed, and the Ottomans surrounded and destroyed them. Although S

S13E04 Suleiman the Magnificent - The Shadow of God

When a dispute arose over the control of Hungary, Suleiman saw an opportunity to extend his empire into Europe and gain allies from those who'd asked for his help. Though he took Buda quickly, Vienna had time to fortify against him and pushed his troops back. Suleiman looked back on those heady days, and wondered how his victories had all turned to ash. After the Battle of Mohács, Suleiman found himself quickly pulled into the politics of western Europe. The Queen Mother of France asked him to intercede for her in a quarrel with the King of Spain, and the Austrian Hapsburgs had claimed Hungary as their own territory despite his recent victory there. The Hungarians, meanwhile, had elected their own king John Zápolya and refused to acknowledge the Austrians. Suleiman decided to settle the matter by marching with his armies again, and found Zápolya a willing ally. Bad weather slowed his advance and cut his numbers, but he nonetheless took Buda by storm and made an example out of the Austrians they found there. When they got to Vienna, however, they found that the city had been fortified and reinforced by several European nations. Though Suleiman offered a king's ransom to the first man over the walls of Vienna, his troops just couldn't push through. The arrival of winter forced him to withdraw the siege, unsuccessful. He pretend to consider it a victory, but he knew that this defeat meant he'd never be able to acquire the European empire he had dreamed about. Besides, he was growing older, and the question of succession weighed heavy on his mind. By tradition, only one of his sons would be allowed to live and inherit the throne, but he couldn't bear the thought of his beloved Roxelana forced to watch her sons die. Especially considering his most likely heir, Mustafa, wasn't a son of Roxelana's at all. The quandary weighed heavy on him.

S13E05 Suleiman the Magnificent - Slave of God

Suleiman's empire stretches across the Mediterranean, but in the midst of his success, he suspects betrayal in his own house. His best friend, Ibrahim, and his most promising son, Mustafa, both seem to have designs upon the throne. Suleiman was alone in his garden, unable to escape the doubts and regrets that shadowed him. Suleiman and Ibrahim marched south upon the Safavid kingdom, where they met no resistance. Faced with an unbeatable Ottoman army, the Safavids simply yielded and scorched the earth behind them so Suleiman would not be able to hold the territory he took. Ibrahim suggested that he take on the role of sultan in this new territory so that he could govern it, but his words enraged Suleiman. Roxelana had been warning him that Ibrahim had grown ambitious and disrespectful, and now he saw it. He had Ibrahim assassinated and appointed a new chief vizier. But now his Western empire was in shambles. He allied with the French against his enemy, Charles of Spain, but they conducted their war in Italy, well beyond his usual sphere of control. The mismanaged war had to be called off after Charles and Ferdinand attacked Hungary in the wake of John Zápolya's death. Suleiman defeated them and annexed it officially. Again war called. This time he sent his troops south without him, only to hear word that they felt Mustafa was a better leader than he was and Mustafa didn't disagree. He joined them in the field and ordered Mustafa to come to him and prove his innocence, but it was a trap. He had Mustafa killed. The consequences rippled out. He killed Mustafa's son, his grandson. One of his own sons died from grief. Roxelana died of old age. His two remaining sons, Selim II and Bayezid, began to quarrel for the throne, and he ordered them both out of the capital. Bayezid hesitated, and Suleiman turned against him. Even after Bayezid fled to the Safavids, Suleiman pressed for his execution and bribed the Safavid sultan to carry it out for him. Now, he had only o

S13E06 Suleiman the Magnificent - Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

Suleiman's decisions came back to haunt him, starting with the Knights of Malta (once Rhodes). He tried to kick them off their island again, but failed. He launched a new campaign to take Vienna and prove the might of his empire. But he was so old. A messenger disrupted Suleiman in his reverie. He brought news from Malta. Suleiman had outlived both his friends and his rivals. Charles V had passed, but his throne had passed to a son who proved just as vexing. An ardent Catholic, Philip II set his ships to harass Ottoman fleets in the Mediterranean and emboldened others to dispute Suleiman's mastery of the sea. The Knights of Malta, whom Suleiman had defeated at Rhodes and allowed to leave peacefully, once again gave safe habor to these Christian ships. Suleiman sent a force to take their island, but his commanders argued with each other and Christian Europe united against him in a way that it could not when he'd been a younger man. The Knights Hospitallier withdrew into their forts. His army struggled for three weeks to take just one of them, and although they succeeded, Suleiman's commander died and the Christian reinforcements had time to join the remaining two forts. At last, faced with yet another fleet of reinforcements, Suleiman's commanders decided to withdraw. Back in his garden, Suleiman knew that this defeat would destroy the invincible image of his empire. He resolved to prove that the Turks were still a force to be feared, and organized a campaign to take Vienna. He would lead them himself. They left in 1566 with great fanfare, but they were immediately greeted by torrential rains that slowed their advance and cost them materiel. Suleiman spent the whole trip confined to a carriage, and when they finally arrived to siege Szeged, he had to retreat a sickbed in his tent. He died while the battle still raged outside, never to know his empire's fate.

Season 14

S14E01 WWII - The Resource War - Arsenal of Democracy

To understand nations at war, you have to look at how their economies function. With World War II on the horizon, Europe and Asia dug themselves in for a fight - and a look at each other's resources told them what to expect. European economies were so closely connected that some people expected they have to avoid another world war or destroy their finances, but in fact World War I had taught them how to prepare for just such a scenario. Germany, France, and Great Britain all invested in their military before war broke out. When evaluating these economies to see how war would affect them, we look at four main factors: GDP, population, territorial extent, and per capita income. Broadly, this helps us determine how resilient, expansive, self-sufficient, and developed a nation is. All of those factors determine how a nation must conduct its war. For example, the vast territorial holdings of the British Empire meant that they had vast resources to draw upon but needed a long time to mobilize them, which helped Germany determine that they needed to strike fast and win big if they hoped to win the war before Britain's full resources came into play. Japan also estimated that they could win a war in the Pacific if they managed to win before the US had been involved for more than 6 months. These calculations drove the early strategies of the Axis powers, but the participation of the US would later prove to be a crucial factor.

S14E02 WWII - The Resource War - Lend-Lease

After Germany's early push, the situation looked dire in Europe. The United States had resources to help out, but initially clung to an isolationist policy. Gradually, measures like Cash and Carry and the Lend-Lease Act expanded their involvement. Germany's blitzkrieg had been largely successful. France fell early, and Great Britain appeared on the verge of collapse. Europe needed more resources to sustain their resistance, but the United States was bound by the Neutrality Act which established a policy of isolationism and forbade the US from supporting foreign wars in any way. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt skirted those restrictions. He lobbied Congress to reinstate a provision in the law called Cash and Carry, which would allow other nations to buy US war materiel with cash and transport it themselves into the warzone. He also established an agreement which allowed him to place American military bases on British colonies in exchange for destroyer ships, thus safeguarding the far reaches of the United Kingdom from possible Axis invasions. When it turned out that the English won the Battle of Britain and successfully staved off the attempted Nazi conquest, America decided to support them in a more substantial, long term way. Thus the Lend-Lease Act was signed: the US would loan equipment to their strategic partners (who were not the Allies yet). Though supposedly the equipment had to be returned, it was pretty obvious that war materiel would not come back in the same shape if at all, so this was really the largest donation of war supplies ever. But it wound up benefiting the US in turn, since the increased production galvanized an economy that had been stagnant since the Great Depression. It also kickstarted the involvement of the US Merchant Marine, who were among the earliest US citizens to give their lives in World War II and suffered the highest casualty percentage of any branch of the service. These unarmed ships navigated U-boat infested waters to bri

S14E03 WWII - The Resource War - The Engines of War

The armies and technology of World War II required a vast supply of resources. A close look at Germany and Japan shows how the need to secure those resources played a significent role in determining strategy throughout the war. The armies of World War II needed a vast supply and variety of resources. The Allies had many of those resources on their side, but the Axis powers did not. Germany imported many of its resources from countries it would soon be fighting, and needed their war strategy to account for the acquisition of those resources. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed with the USSR set up a trade agreement to bring them oil from Russia for a while, in addition to establishing temporary non-aggression with the Soviets. When the war began in earnest, Germany targeted Norway with its supply of aluminum and iron as well as its access to the even more resource-rich Sweden. Conquering France also gave them access to rich farmland to feed the troops. But even though they had gained control of the oil fields in Romania, it wasn't enough to power their war machine. Many Nazi generals wanted to target North Africa for this, but Hitler had his sights set on the Soviet Union and wound up squandering much of Germany's reserves in a fruitless effort there. Meanwhile, Japan's entrance into the war had cost them their primary trading partner: the United States. The Japanese army wanted to pursue the Northern Expansion Doctrine (Hokushin-Ron) and push through China into Siberia, wounding the USSR in the process. They attempted this strategy, but the Soviets met them in Mongolia and pushed them back in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. So they turned to the Southern Expansion Doctrine (Nanshin-Ron) advocated by the navy, and began to sweep up islands in the Pacific. They planned to strip the European colonial powers of their holdings, and they succeeded in capturing 90% of the world's rubber production. But the US responded by synthesizing rubber, and built an industry so large t

S14E04 WWII - The Resource War - Strategic Bombing

A series of missed airstrikes resulting in the death of civilians sparked the no-holds-barred Battle of Britain. Germany launched a Blitz to bomb London into submission, but inadvertantly sparked more resistance and gave British industry a chance to bounce back. On August 25, 1940, a group of German bomber planes got lost on a night-time mission over England. They wound up dropping bombs not on their industrial target, but on the city of London itself. Winston Churchill ordered a retaliatory strike against Germany, but this time it was the RAF who missed their target and hit civilians. Hitler was convinced this was intentional, so he rescinded his prohibition against targeting civilians. The Luftwaffe organized a massive attack against London, intending to break the British people's will to fight. The Blitz backfired in several respects. First, it diverted Germany's attention from strategic targets, which meant they were no longer putting real pressure on the British industrial war efforts. Second, they wound up bringing the British together and strengthening their will to fight on in the names of those who'd been lost to German bombs. Ultimately, the cost in men and material for Germany to wage the Battle of Britain exceeded the cost of damage they inflicted.

Season 15

S15E01 Early Christian Schisms - Before Imperium

Understanding the early theological struggles of the Christian church is vital to understanding history. This series will focus on Rome and the political and religious forces that drove various interpretations of Christ and his teachings - and a push towards orthodoxy. Disclaimer: This series is intended for students, to give them a broad overview of a complicated subject that has driven world history for centuries. Our story begins and focuses on Rome. One of the toughest questions early Christians had to face was Mosaic Law. Did the laws of Moses still apply, or did the teachings of Jesus Christ replace them? The issue of circumcision became a focal point for this conflict. In an era without surgical anaesthetic or procedures, asking grown men to have their foreskins removed was a painful process. Paul the Apostle argued vehemently against the practice because he believed that Christianity needed to be accessible to Romans, the gentiles, and he knew that requirements like circumcision would vastly reduce the number of people willing to convert. Gradually, Judaizing forces were pushed out of mainstream Christianity as the religion began to convert more Romans. But it soon faced another crisis: what was the nature of Christ? This issue would come up time and time again, but one of the earliest conflicts over it came from the Docetists. They believed Christ was a being of pure spirit, and that it would denigrate his godhood to consider him a human man. But in the Epistles, John argued fervently against that idea, saying that Christians must believe in Christ "in the flesh" in order for his sacrifices to be meaningful. A bishop named Ignatius of Antioch embraced that idea when facing a conviction to be thrown to lions in the Colossuem, believing that his martyrdom echoed Christ's and he was proud to give his body to prove his faith. Then the 3rd Century Crisis hit, and the Roman government fell apart. The Church stepped in, and many people believed its prophesie

S15E02 Early Christian Schisms - The Woes of Constantine

Constantine had restored full rights to Christians in the Roman Empire with the Edict of Milan, but he did not expect theological debates to divide the church. Conflict between the orthodox church and both the Donatists and the Arians drew him to intervene. Disclaimer: This series is intended for students, to give them a broad overview of a complicated subject that has driven world history for centuries. Our story begins and focuses on Rome. Constantine had gained control of the Roman Empire, its first Christian emperor, and he restored full rights to people of the Christian faith with the Edict of Milan. But his generosity immediately raised a question: what did the church do with so-called traditors, who had renounced the Christian faith during the days of persecution and now wanted to return? The Roman Church demanded they be restored, because the doctrine of penance declared that anyone could repent for any sin, no matter how grievous. But in North Africa, one group was outraged when a traditor named Caecilian was not only restored to the faith but elected Bishop of Carthage. They refused to accept him and elected their own bishop, Donatus, instead. Donatus performed the role of a bishop without official church authority and he insisted on re-baptizing traditors in contradiction to the doctrine of penance. The church wanted to put him on trial, but since Donatus had rebelled against the people calling for his trial, he didn't believe it would be a fair trial. He wrote Constantine asking for help and the emperor decided to intervene, setting a dangerous precedent for imperial involvement in affairs of the church. Over a series of several trials, church leaders continued to condemn Donatus and he continued to ask Constantine for retrials until the emperor grew fed up and washed his hands of the matter. The unrepentant Donatists went on to become a splinter church that divided North Africa for centuries. Around the same time, a bishop named Arius had begun to

S15E03 Early Christian Schisms - The Council of Nicaea

The Council of Nicaea convened to decide the guiding rules of the church - and to resolve the questions posed by Arian theology. A deacon named Athanasius set himself against Arius and succeeded in getting his teachings declared heresy. Disclaimer: This series is intended for students, to give them a broad overview of a complicated subject that has driven world history for centuries. Our story begins and focuses on Rome. Constantine called the Council of Nicaea not only to address the teachings of Arius, but also to decide basic matters for how the church would go forward. Yet it was the debate over Arian theology which quickly came to dominate the council's time. The bishops effectively split into two factions, one backing Arius and the other led by a deacon named Athanasius. Athanasius vehemently opposed the Arian teachings and would not allow any compromise to be formed with the other group. Yet he played the politics very carefully, adopting in his own arguments the phrase "homoousian" (or "of the same substance") to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son, knowing full well that Arius would never accept an agreement which included this idea. Even when others tried to compromise with the phrase "homoiousian" (or "of similar substance"), Arius would not agree. Athanasius used the extra time to make private deals and assemble a majority coalition, with which he successfully caused Arianism to be declared heresy and forced Arius himself into exile. Emperor Constantine was just happy a decision had been reached, but a bishop in his own court would not let matters rest so easily. This bishop, Eusebius, campaigned tirelessly for the restoration of Arius and managed to get Athanasius exiled instead. Constantine himself wound up being baptized by Eusebius, and his son Emperor Constantius II would be a die-hard Arian in his turn. Eusebius even ordained a Goth named Ulfilas to preach to the Gothic tribes, and his sucess meant that the tribes became

S15E04 Early Christian Schisms - Ephesus, the Robber Council, and Chalcedon

The Council of Ephesus meant to heal a rift between Nestorius of Constantinople and Cyril of Alexandria, but instead it set off a chain of ecumenical councils that disagreed with each other, excommunicated rivals, and ultimately led to more factions within the church. Disclaimer: This series is intended for students, to give them a broad overview of a complicated subject that has driven world history for centuries. Our story begins and focuses on the Romane Empire. A centuary after Constantine, the Emperor Theodosius II found himself wrapped up in yet more theological disputes. His chosen patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Nestorius, had angered many other church leaders with his teachings that Christ had separate human and divine natures. Cyril of Alexandria wrote to the Pope in Rome for support against Nestorius, and received permission to excommunicate him. Nestorius responded by having the emperor call an ecumenical council, at which he intended to excommunicate Cyril. But Cyril acted first, declaring for the excommunication of Nestorius and forming a majority by pushing the council to begin early before the supporters of Nestorius could gather. When they did, they formed their own council and excommunicated Cyril right back, only to be excommunicated in turn by Cyril's Council of Ephesus. Theodosius II attempted to resolve this by calling a second council, but this time none of the Western delegates had time to arrive and in their absence, monophysite leaders from the East excommunicated Nestorius again and declared monophysitism the official doctrine of the church. Those who didn't get to participate called this the Robbers Council and refused to acknowledge it. Then Theodosius II died, and this fight devolved onto his successor, Marcian. Marcian called together the Council of Chalcedon to rule on the previous councils, where it was finally decided that Christ had two unified natures, human and divine, and everyone who'd supported the Robbers Counci

Season 16

S16E01 The History of Writing - Where the Story Begins

How did the ancient civilization of Sumer first develop the concept of the written word? It all began with simple warehouse tallies in the temples, but as the scribes sought more simple ways to record information, those tallies gradually evolved from pictograms into cuneiform text which could be used to convey complex, abstract, or even lyrical ideas.

S16E02 The History of Writing - The Alphabet

Where did the alphabet come from? How did it develop, and why? The writing systems first developed in Sumer provided a basis for the written word, but their system of characters also inspired a shift to single phoneme systems where each letter represents a distinct sound.

Season 17

S17E01 Samuel HaNagid - A Prince of Jews

Forced to flee from his home in Cordoba, Samuel HaNagid made a new name for himself in the kingdom of Granada. He picked his allies carefully and rose to the position of vizier, an unheard of honor for a Jew in a Muslim kingdom. His fame as a poet, a leader, and a patron of Judaic studies spread across the Mediterranean.

Season 18

S18E01 First Opium War - Trade Deficits and the Macartney Embassy

The British Empire's grasp on the Americas was slipping right at the time when they needed those resources most. The massive amounts of tea they imported from China had created a huge trade deficit, but the Chinese were reluctant to let any Europeans trade outside of the Canton port strictly controlled by the Hong. So Britain sent a formal embassy led by Earl George Macartney.

S18E02 First Opium War - The Righteous Minister

Opium was illegal in China, but that didn't stop the East India Company from manufacturing it for the black market. The Chinese emperor appointed an official, Lin Zexu, to stop it. He seized and burned huge opium caches held by British merchants, and ultimately ordered the British out of China entirely. Instead, they set up base on a barren island that would become known as Hong Kong.

S18E03 First Opium War - Gunboat Diplomacy

The British set up a blockade outside Canton, but one of their own private merchant ships tried to run through it. When the Chinese came to its defense, war began in earnest. Since the British had far superior firepower, they easily conquered Chuenpee and Chusan. Elliot and the Emperor's new envoy, Qishan, soon sought a treaty and agreed on generous terms. which their overseers harshly rejected.

S18E04 First Opium War - Conflagration and Surrender

The Chinese attempt to retake Canton by force failed. New British commanders took charge and would accept nothing less than total Chinese capitulation. They captured cities all the way up to Nanking, forcing the Emperor to negotiate. He had no choice but to accept an unequal treaty, kicking off a period of subservience to Europe which China still remembers today as the Century of Humiliation.

Season 19

S19E01 Urbino - The Light of Italy: Federico da Montefeltro

Federico da Montefeltro shone brightly as the "Light of Italy," one of many torches that helped light the flame of Renaissance. He made his name as a wily yet honest mercenary captain, but he also ruled as prince of the small, remote town of Urbino. There, he and his wife built an illustrious court that celebrated creativity, knowledge, and justice.

Season 20

S20E01 Lindisfarne - An Age Borne in Fire

Bishops. Manuscripts. Pilgrimage. Wealth. In 793 CE, the island monastery of Lindisfarne thrived in a state of harmony. Then, everything changed when the Viking raiders attacked. Once they discovered Europe's weakness, not even mighty kings like Charlemagne could stop them. They transformed their power at sea into an avenue for conquest and expansion: the Viking Age had begun.

Season 21

S21E01 The Brothers Gracchi - How Republics Fall

Rome had doubled the size of its empire in a single generation, but such expansion came at great cost. The wars enriched the wealthy and impoverished the soldiers who fought in them. Into these turbulent times came a talented and well-connected young man named Tiberius Gracchus, who soon learned the power of appealing to the populace over the elite.

S21E02 The Brothers Gracchi - Populares

Tiberius Gracchus took up the cause of land reform, determined to restore property rights to the average citizen and curtail the abuses of the rich. But another tribune vetoed his proposed law, so Tiberius began to fight back with his own veto and ground the government to a halt. At last, he held a special vote to remove his opponent from office so that his land reform bill could pass.

S21E03 The Brothers Gracchi - Ochlocracy

To protect himself from retaliation for his populist policies, Tiberius Gracchus ran for tribune a second time. On election day, he sought protection from the crowd among rumors that wealthy elites planned to assassinate him, but accidentally sent a message that he wished to be not elected, but crowned as king. A Senator formed an opposing mob that killed Tiberius and 300 of his supporters on the spot.

S21E04 The Brothers Gracchi - Enter Gaius

Gaius Gracchus took up the mantle of his dead brother, overcoming resistance from the Senate and the elites to win the election for tribune. Although he had a hot temper, he shared his brother's charisma and talent, so he built a powerful base of popularity by creating programs for the poor, the army, and the middle class.

S21E05 The Brothers Gracchi - The Final Fall

The Senate stole credit for all Gaius's proposals, and stole his popular support. Once he failed to win re-election for tribune, the Senate repealed his reforms. Gaius organized a protest, but the Senate brought it down with armed force and killed Gaius. Not a century later, the Republic would fall.

S21E06 Gracchus the Elder - Prequel: In His Footsteps

Before Tiberius and Gracchus got famous, their father led such a break-out political career that it must have seemed impossible to live up to his legacy. Yet, his success set the stage for their falls.

Season 22

S22E01 Hiawatha - The Great Law of Peace

Hiawatha wanted peace, but a more powerful chief named Tadodaho opposed him. So he joined forces with a man called the Peacemaker and a woman named Jigonsaseh, who dreamed of uniting the five Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nations under one Great Law of Peace.

S22E02 Hiawatha - Government for the People

After getting the Seneca to join the Great Law of Peace, Hiawatha came up with a plan to convince Tadodaho. But it took Jigonsaseh to confront him and make him become a true leader. Now united, the Five Nations created a participatory democracy rooted in the Peacemaker's ideals, one that still lives on today.

Season 23

S23E01 The History of Paper Money - Origins of Exchange

Giant stones sunk under the sea? Cows? Cowrie Shells? What do they all have in common? They were all money. Find out how we got from exchanging these things to doing 8 hours of work for a stack of paper that takes 2 seconds to print on The History of Paper Money.

S23E02 The History of Paper Money - Not Just Noodles

How does paper money get introduced? Who has to lose their head to do so? And what does Marco Polo have to do with anything.

S23E03 The History of Paper Money - Barebones Economy

Poor England. First Charles I and civil war, then losing to the French, then the Great Fire of London in 1666. Luckily, Nicholas Barbon comes along to help. And make obscene amounts of money. Who says you can't do both?

S23E04 The History of Paper Money - Lay Down the Law

What happens when you really try to put paper money doctrine into practice? And why would you put a gambler, womanizer, and fugitive criminal like the ironically named John Law in charge of running it?

S23E05 The History of Paper Money - Working out the Kinks

The first question of paper money is not how much you can print, nor even what its value is - but who prints the money? When every bank started to print their own bank notes, it caused confusion and frustration. Enter the Central Bank.

S23E06 The History of Paper Money - The Gold Standard

Even as the use of paper money grew, ties to the gold standard remained. and remained challenging. From the First Opium War to the Great Depression, events around the world stretched the capacity of bullion based economics. So what - and who - finally abandoned it?

Season 24

S24E01 Veterans Day - A Call to Armistice: Fundraising for War Child Charity

Veterans Day, or Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, commemorates the end of World War I: a day the world hoped to bring our soldiers home for good. But the War to End All Wars was failed by a peace that only brought more conflict. Today we honor our troops worldwide and come together with War Child's Armistice Campaign, where gamers can lay down their arms to raise money for children affected by war.

Season 25

S25E01 Simón Bolívar - Reverberations

Born to one of the wealthiest families in Venezuela, Simón Bolívar imbibed the ideals of revolution from a tutor who inspired him to travel to Europe as a young man. What he saw and learned, he would one day bring back to foment revolution in the Spanish colonies of Latin America.

S25E02 Simón Bolívar - Francisco de Miranda

When Napoleon conquered Spain, the Spanish colonies no longer had a clear leader to follow. Bolívar seized on this opportunity to promote his dreams of Venezuelan independence, but he stumbled from lack of experience. A man named Francisco de Miranda took control instead.

S25E03 Simón Bolívar - Leavings and Returns

The failure of his first attempted revolution in Venezuela only fanned the flames of Simón Bolívar's determination to end Spanish reign over South America. Convinced that he needed to unite the entire continent in freedom, he gathered troops and set out with a new purpose. But his ferocity threatened to overwhelm his ideals.

S25E04 Simón Bolívar - Defeat is Not Surrender

Failure had taught Simón Bolívar one important lesson: no single state in Spanish South America could win independence alone. To succeed, he needed to form one great state, united and able to stand up to the might of Spain.

S25E05 Simón Bolívar - Heavy is the Head

After so many failures, Simón Bolívar finally began to find success: Gran Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia all stood free from Spanish rule. He raced to found new governments and consolidate the liberty he'd earned, but resources had been stretched too thin.

S25E06 Simón Bolívar - All Good Things

Simón Bolívar hoped to bring the nations of South America together in one great federation, but he feared that people would think he meant to make himself a king. He tried to step back, but revolution threatened from within his ranks and his body had grown weak with illness.

Season 26

S26E01 Catherine the Great - Not Quite Catherine Yet

Before she became Catherine the Great, legendary empress of Russia, she was a smart but lonely girl named Sophia. Her mother ignored her until family connections proposed a marriage between Sophia and the presumptive heir to the Russian throne - and suddenly she was thrown from her quiet life in a backwoods mansion to the center of a cutthroat political world.

S26E02 Catherine the Great - Not Quite Empress Yet

Sophia's excitement to meet her future husband deflated when she realized Peter III was a boor who cared nothing about Russia. By contrast, she threw herself into learning the culture with such vigor that she earned the love of the people. She was rechristened Catherine and married Peter. but when he became emperor, his mistakes and her popularity began to add up to a crisis situation.

S26E03 Catherine the Great - Empress Catherine at Last

When the conspiracy to seat Catherine on the throne of Russia was exposed, she had to move quickly. While Peter III blundered through a day of miscommunications, Catherine swiftly seized power, secured the loyalty of the army, and demanded his abdication.

S26E04 Catherine the Great - Reforms, Rebellion, and Greatness

Catherine had great ambitions to reform Russia according to her own highest ideals, but she soon found that the reality of governance made those ideals difficult to achieve. She also found herself tangled in war, rebellion, and (scandalously) smallpox.

S26E05 Catherine the Great - Potemkin, Catherine's General, Advisor, and Lover

Catherine had many lovers during her life, but perhaps none meant so much to her as Grigory Potemkin. Although their romance did not last a lifetime, it did form the basis of a working relationship that would change the face (and future) of Europe.

S26E06 Catherine the Great - Succession

The optimism that marked Catherine the Great's early years turned on its head. She oversaw the partition and final dissolution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She also alienated her son in the same way her own mother once did, leaving him ill-equipped to succeed her.

Season 27

S27E01 Ned Kelly - Becoming a Bushranger

When Ned Kelly lost his father at a young age, he became the man of the house but didn't know how to support his family. Swept up by the grandiose tales of a visiting bushranger, young Ned decided to give crime a try.

S27E02 Ned Kelly - Under Suspicion

Ned's second venture as a bushranger brought him to the attention of the local police. He did time in prison, then tried to clean up his act, but became frustrated by the suspicion that continued to dog him.

S27E03 Ned Kelly - Shoot Out at Stringybark Creek

Ned Kelly and his infamous band of horse thieves tormented the police. It seemed they could not be caught. until Ned fired shots at an officer who wanted to arrest his brother. Ned fled into hiding, and when police pursued him, he ambushed them in their camp at Stringybark Creek.

S27E04 Ned Kelly - Kelly Country

Hunted by the police, the Kelly Gang decided to strike back instead of hiding. Since he blamed the rich for all his troubles, Ned took aim at the banks and pulled off a pair of brazen robberies that helped win him renown across the countryside.

S27E05 Ned Kelly - The Iron Outlaw

Ned Kelly sought revenge against the police. He built plate armor and planned to derail their train so he could kill them, but his plan was betrayed and police surrounded him and his hostages. It all came to one final showdown in Glenrowan, Australia.

Season 28

S28E01 Mary Anning - Princess of Paleontology

"She sells seashells by the seashore." Many have heard this old English rhyme, but few know the true story of the woman who inspired it. Her name was Mary Anning, and she did much more than sell seashells: she discovered some of the very first dinosaur fossils and laid the groundwork for the brand new field of paleontology. But she never got credit for her work.

Season 29

S29E01 The Articles of Confederation - Becoming the United States

When the thirteen colonies of North America broke away from Great Britain, they struggled to draft their first constitution. After great debate, they created the Articles of Confederation and formed the United States of America.

S29E02 The Articles of Confederation - Ratification

The Continental Congress sent the Articles of Confederation to the thirteen states for ratification, but Maryland insisted on changes that Virginia rushed to oppose. Meanwhile, the American Revolutionary War raged on.

S29E03 The Articles of Confederation - Finding Finances

With the newly United States on the verge of bankruptcy, Congress reaches out to the most able financier in the nation: Robert Morris. His ambitious plans attract the aid of Alexander Hamilton, but fall to ruins when the states abandon him.

S29E04 The Articles of Confederation - Constitutional Convention

The war finally ended and the United States secured their independence from Great Britain, but immediately their Confederation seemed to be on the verge of falling apart. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison teamed up to organize a new convention where all the states would not just reform the Articles of Confederation, but replace them entirely.

Season 30

S30E01 Hunting the Bismarck - The Pride of Germany

During World War II, the Bismarck was the pride of the German navy - and the nightmare of Great Britain. It was enormous, overpowered, and a constant threat to the seas. So when they got word that the Bismarck had mobilized, the British raced to stop it.

S30E02 Hunting the Bismarck - The Mighty HMS Hood

The Bismarck had been sighted, and the British fleet raced to intercept it with their own flagship: the mighty HMS Hood. As Hood and her escort caught up, a harrowing battle between four giant ships ensued.

S30E03 Hunting the Bismarck - A Chance to Strike

The order went out: Sink the Bismarck. Ships converged from all over the Atlantic to hunt down the pride of the German navy, and Swordfish planes launched from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal raced to harry the great warship.

S30E04 Hunting the Bismarck - Sink the Bismarck

Sink the Bismarck. Churchill's orders were simple, but executing them had proved tricky. Admiral Tovey and his hastily summoned handful of ships and planes had one more opportunity to sink the German juggernaut, and they were determined not to waste this chance.

Season 31

S31E01 Kamehameha the Great - The Lonely One

Kamehameha I of Hawaii sought greatness not only for himself but for his people. He rose up in the face of many setbacks and hunted advantages wherever he could find them with an unstoppable determination to form the Kingdom of Hawaii under his rule.

S31E02 Kamehameha the Great - Law of the Splintered Paddle

Kamehameha brought the islands together and introduced the first human rights code, the Law of the Splintered Paddle. He continued to trade with Western countries, enriching the islands and enhancing his personal status as leader of the new Kingdom of Hawaii.

Season 32

S32E01 D-Day - The Great Crusade

D-Day: June 6, 1944, the day when Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to retake France from the Germans. They hoped to take the Germans by surprise, and their decision to brave rough weather to make their landings certainly accomplished that, but despite these small advantages, the American forces at Utah and Omaha Beach had to overcome monumental challenges to establish a successful beachhead.

S32E02 D-Day - The Secret War

The Germans expected the Allies to invade France to re-open the Western Front, but they did not know when or where the invasion would start - thanks largely to the operations of MI5, British intelligence services, who staged an elaborate deception called Operation Bodyguard designed to make the Germans think they would be invading Pas de Calais instead of their real target: Normandy.

S32E03 D-Day - La Résistance

Although the French government surrendered to the German invasion, French people rose up and formed resistance groups to take their country back. Charles de Gaulle and his Free French took advantage of these independent movements to help organize actions that would greatly aid the Allied landings at Normandy.

S32E04 D-Day - The Atlantic Wall

The Germans had established a secure barrier against the Allied invasion of France - or so they believed, until the D-Day landings in Normandy caught them by surprise and the Atlantic Wall quickly fell apart.

Season 33

S33E01 The Bronze Age Collapse - Before the Storm

Egyptians. Hittites. Assyrians. Myceneans. Long ago, these four Bronze Age civilizations lived together in a healthy system of trade, agriculture, and sometimes warfare. But then, everything changed when the Sea People attacked.

S33E02 The Bronze Age Collapse - The Wheel and the Rod

Bronze Age societies built intricate networks of trade, advanced military infrastructure, and hugely organized central governments. But when crucial parts of those systems began to disappear, the societies built on them began to crumble.

S33E03 The Bronze Age Collapse - Fire and Sword

At last, we have the Sea People: marauders who swept into Bronze Age cities and ground them into dust. But while they're often blamed for the Bronze Age Collapse, were they really its cause? What else must have been going on to cause such illustrious civilizations to crumble?

S33E04 The Bronze Age Collapse - Systems Collapse

It started with famine. and ended with four great civilizations' utter destruction. The Bronze Age Collapse is still a matter of scholarly debate, but our favorite theory rests on an understanding of Systems Collapse and how societies build themselves to survive disaster.

Season 34

S34E01 Saragarhi - The Last Stand

A humble signal station manned by only twenty one Sikh officers of the British Empire finds itself beset by 10,000 attackers. There is no hope for relief, but even knowing it will come at the cost of their lives, the Sikhs refuse to stand down.

Season 35

S35E01 Great Northern War - When Sweden Ruled the World

A young boy king had inherited the crown of the Swedish Empire, and his neighbors saw an opportunity to attack. To their surprise, young Charles XII of Sweden turned out to be a fearsome opponent who quickly repelled their assaults - and then sought revenge.

S35E02 Great Northern War - A Good Plan

Augustus the Strong was determined to prove his might by defeated Charles XII on the battlefield. He gathered his Polish-Lithuanian forces, met the Swedes, and proceded to. lose. And lose. And lose. Then he got deposed and started a civil war which of course he also lost.

S35E03 Great Northern War - Young and Violent

Flush from his victories against Poland-Lithuania, Charles XII of Sweden sets his eyes on an even greater enemy: Russia. But its ruler, Peter the Great, is no pushover: as the Swedish troops advance, he burns down the countryside and leaves them starving and exposed as a ferocious winter sets in.

S35E04 Great Northern War - Clash of Kings

Charles XII had gone to the Ukraine hoping for supplies and reinforcements, especially from the cossacks led by Ivan Mazeppa. But Peter the Great was hot on his trail, and had no intention of letting him off that easy.

S35E05 Great Northern War - Rise and Fall

Charles XII narrowly escaped the Russian pursuit, with help from the Ottoman Empire. But the weak points in his army had been clearly exposed. Northern Europe united against him - but of course, Charles XII responded by launching a fateful counter-offensive into Norway.

Season 36

S36E01 The Collapse of the Carolingian Empire - Echoes of History

The empire built by Charlemagne would end up divided by his grandsons, all of whom wanted to rule their own piece of it. But the division worked poorly, and may have set a precedent that shaped wars in Western Europe for centuries to come.

Season 37

S37E01 Otto von Bismarck - The Wildman Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck became the greatest statesman of a generation, but he began as an intransigent and irresponsible youth. He coasted through college, got himself thrown out of an early political appointment, and caused havoc with his divisive opinions during a meeting of parliament.

S37E02 Otto von Bismarck - A Man of Great Ideas

1848. Revolution swept Europe as the working class rose up to claim their freedoms from an oppressive ruling class. But as a member of that ruling class, Bismarck had some resistance to this movement. He channeled his wild energy into productive avenues, gradually becoming the man of realpolitik that we know today.

S37E03 Otto von Bismarck - Iron and Blood

Bismarck was just starting to get the hang of diplomacy when the throne of Prussia passed to a new Frederick Wilhelm who promptly sent him away to Russia. But then Bismarck got tapped to serve as the Head of Government and began pushing for his great project: the unification of Germany.

S37E04 Otto von Bismarck - The Iron Chancellor

Bismarck turned up the heat on his long-term plan to unite the German Confederation under Prussian leadership. He allied with Austria to seize a piece of disputed land, then maneuvered them into a war that he decisively won. Even an assassination attempt could not stop him.

S37E05 Otto von Bismarck - Prussia Ascendant

The northern German states now looked to Prussia for leadership, but that power brought increased attention from their enemies. Bismarck engineered a war with France by striking at Napoleon III's pride and wound up winning a runaway victory to secure Prussia's diplomatic power.

S37E06 Otto von Bismarck - Germany!

You would think that capturing the Emperor of France would end the war, but. no. Who could Bismarck negotiate with? Eventually he forced an interim government to cave to his demands, and at the same time convinced the rest of the German states to unite with Prussia.

Season 38

S38E01 Berlin Airlift - The Cold War Begins

Tension between the Soviet Union and their former World War 2 Allies escalated into a hostile blockade of Berlin. All sides wanted to avoid another war, but the United States, Great Britain, and France refused to bend to Stalin's pressure. They came up with a daring plan to supply Berlin by air.

Season 39

S39E01 Khosrau Anushirawan - Like Father, Like Son

Khosrau Anushirawan ushered in a golden age of Iran, but only after his father Kavadh suffered through the near collapse of the empire. Once he broke free from a controlling minister and radical religious reformer, Kavadh realized that the empire needed to change.

S39E02 Khosrau Anushirawan - Prince of Persia

Kavadh asked his allies in Eastern Rome for help getting Iran back on its feet. The Romans' replies were not only unhelpful - they were insulting. By the time Khosrau inherited the throne, resentment and war had turned the delicate alliance with Rome into an open rivalry.

S39E03 Khosrau Anushirawan - The Immortal Soul

Once the chaos settled, Khosrau enjoyed an unprecedented era of peace. He brought reform to the army and the economy, invested in a great center of learning, imported knowledge from around the world, and earned his new title of "The Immortal Soul."

S39E04 Khosrau Anushirawan - Trolling Justinian

Iran and Rome had agreed to an Eternal Peace, but tensions between them proved too great and Khosrau decided to invade while Justinian's guard was down. His army swept into Rome practically unopposed, and he made a mockery of Justinian at every opportunity while treating himself to a grand old time pillaging and parading across the Roman border.

S39E05 Khosrau Anushirawan - On Top of the World

Plague had brought an end to Khosrau's war against Justinian, but Justinian's nephew soon reignited the rivalry. Khosrau was at the peak of his political power and eager to crush this young upstart personally. but old age had also crept up on him.

Season 40

S40E01 WW1 Christmas Truce - Silent Night

On Christmas Eve in 1914, soldiers in the trenches sang together across the wastes of No Man's Land. Some were brave enough to step out of their trenches and meet face-to-face, forming an unofficial truce that lasted (with a few blemishes) until the end of Christmas Day.

S40E02 WW1 Christmas Truce - Letters from the Trenches

"Yesterday there was a fierce and terrible onslaught. of Christmas packages into our trenches." So began one soldier's letter home after the Christmas Truce of WWI. These letters give us a peek at the joys and sorrows experienced by troops on deployment, from the pleasure of a surprise holiday truce to the pain of being too long apart from families.

Season 41

S41E01 Cheng I Sao - Pirate Queen

She was the most ferocious pirate China had ever known. She was a powerful fleet commander, a sharp businesswoman, and a consummate strategist. She was Cheng I Sao, leader of the Pirate Confederation, and she lived her life on her terms.

Season 42

S42E01 Cuban Missile Crisis - The Failed Checkmate

An eye for an eye, a missile for a missile--that's how the saying goes, right? So thought the Soviet Union and the United States in the early fall of 1962, kicking off a 13-day staring contest that scared the world.

S42E02 Cuban Missile Crisis - Eyeball to Eyeball

After President Kennedy's television address, tensions are rising. Fidel Castro is getting annoyed at the US and Soviet Union alike, and everyone else has their own ideas on what retaliation looks like.

S42E03 Cuban Missile Crisis - Black Saturday

With simultaneous nuclear tests by both the US and Russia, and tense miscommunications among troops on the ground, in the air, and on the water, the doomsday clock ticked to 11:59 PM for one fateful day.

Season 43

S43E01 Genghis Khan - Temüjin the Child

As a child, Temüjin was afraid of the world, saddened by its cruelty and an outcast from his own tribe. But his mother, Hoelun, passed on her risk-taking personality to him, a boy who would one day become the famed conqueror Genghis Khan.

S43E02 Genghis Khan - The Rivalry of Blood Brothers

When Temüjin needed help to find his kidnapped wife, Börte, his blood brother and friend Jamukha came to his aid, and the two eventually combined their camps and families. But peace would not last long.

S43E03 Genghis Khan - The Debut of Temüjin Khan

Jamukha and Temüjin were officially fighting for control of the Mongolian steppes, appointing themselves the titles of "khan." But each man practiced wildly different strategies to gain prestige--Jamukha showed no mercy, but Temüjin took a more egalitarian route.

S43E04 Genghis Khan - Khan of All Mongols

Temüjin had a plan: a set of strategies to keep amassing wealth and followers for himself while keeping unity between all the disparate Mongol tribes he was collecting. But Jamukha and Ong Khan had other plans.

S43E05 Genghis Khan - Beginnings of the Great Mongol Nation

The man now known as Genghis Khan, leader of all Mongols, was ready to show the world what he was made of. He acted in fairness towards his own people and happily began integrating Chinese citizens and their culture, but showed no mercy to those who opposed him.

S43E06 Genghis Khan - The Final Conquering Years

Genghis Khan wanted to establish a long-lasting legacy of conquering and growth for the Mongols, but at what cost? Even his own sons fought each other for the throne. Would peace truly last in the lands he had conquered?

Season 44

S44E01 The Danelaw - Alfred vs. Guthrum

The Vikings moved from Scandinavia to the coasts of Britain, intent on establishing a new kingdom by any blood necessary. What they probably didn't expect was that one of their own leaders, Guthrum, and the local king, Alfred, would end up cooperating on the creation of a kingdom for the Danes.

S44E02 The Danelaw - The Fall of Eric Bloodaxe

After peace was made between King Alfred and Guthrum, the Danelaw was born--a geographic area in England controlled by the Danes, but also extremely reliant on the cooperation by the Anglo-Saxons and the local Christian population.

Season 45

S45E01 The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire - Horror in Manhattan

A throwaway cigarette landed on a pile of cloth. 146 workers died from the resulting fire. But this tragedy motivated citizens and politicians to take a stand from workers' rights, creating a far safer world that we still live in over a century later.

Season 46

S46E01 The Empire of Mali - The Twang of a Bow

While the old Ghana Empire waxed wealthy due to taxes on trade passing through its lands, the new Empire of Mali born in its stead had expanded borders that included vast lands of gold.

S46E02 The Empire of Mali - An Empire of Trade and Faith

Seeking a meeting with the emperor of the Mali Empire, a man named Ibn Battutah journeyed across the perilous Sahara sands to discover Mali's gold. instead, he found out how Mali blended its Islamic and African cultures.

S46E03 The Empire of Mali - Mansa Musa

Mansa Musa is remembered as the richest person in the entire history of the world, but he also worked hard to establish the empire of Mali as a political and even religious superpower. However, his excessive wealth started creating bigger problems.

S46E04 The Empire of Mali - The Cracks Begin to Show

After Mansa Musa's death, the rivers of gold started drying up, and bitterness snaked out from the fringes of the vast Mali Empire. Wars were coming.

S46E05 The Empire of Mali - The Final Bloody Act

The Mali Empire comes to an end after the rise of rival powers and weakened by colonial influences, but not without leaving a legacy as a place of wealth and splendor.

Season 47

S47E01 The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - Sacred Geometry

Before we get into non-Euclidian geometry, we have to know: what even is geometry? What's up with the Pythagorean math cult? Who was Euclid, for that matter? And what the heck is the 5th Postulate?

S47E02 The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - The Great Quest

For hundreds of years, Euclid's geometry disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire. But in Constantinople, Islamic mathematicians, including Al-Khwarizmi (who gave us the word "algebra") worked long and hard on proving the Fifth Postulate.

S47E03 The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - Squaring the Circle

Euclidean geometry eventually found its way back into Europe, inspiring René Descartes to create the Cartesian coordinate system for maps, and Isaac Newton to invent calculus. Both these tools helped humanity understand the world better.

S47E04 The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - A Most Terrible Possibility

In the early 19th century, people started to wonder if the Fifth Postulate couldn't be proven at all--meaning that it could be right, but it could also be wrong. Bolyai, Lobachevsky, and Riemann started exploring hyperbolic geometry and other strange realms.

S47E05 The History of Non-Euclidian Geometry - The World We Know

Up until the 20th century, people assumed light behaved like a wave, passing through the "aether wind"--a fluid with incomprehensible properties. When the Michelson-Morley experiment disproved the aether's existence, Einstein put out the theory of relativity--that space and time were part of the same package.

Season 48

S48E01 Thermopylae - The Hellenic Alliance

A small handful of Grecian city-states have come together to stand off against the invading Persians at Thermopylae. At this fateful mountain pass, Greece will discover its identity as a nation.

S48E02 Thermopylae - East vs. West

Why does everyone know the Greek defeat at Thermopylae, but victories like Salamis and Plataea remain obscure? Because it helped define Greek, and thus &ldquowestern&rdquo culture. And that&rsquos thanks to one man: Herodotus.

Season 49

S49E01 1918 Flu Pandemic - Emergence

Between 3 and 6 percent of the world's population died in 18 months when the flu first tried to take over the world. In today's episode we explore the flu outbreak's origins from military camps across the United States and Canada.

S49E02 1918 Flu Pandemic - Trench Fever

The flu arrived in France. It found a pleasant home in the crowded wartime trenches, much to the dismay of the Allies who tried to keep the flu a secret. When it made its way to Madrid, not subject to wartime censorship, it picked up the nickname "Spanish flu."

S49E03 1918 Flu Pandemic - Order More Coffins

Dr. Welch, Dr. Avery, Dr. Park, and Dr. Williams are on the hunt now to correctly identify this new pathogen and make a vaccine. But public officials are in denial.

S49E04 1918 Flu Pandemic - Fighting the Ghost

Philadelphia gets hit the hardest. New York fares somewhat better, but everyone is trying to keep hush-hush about a pandemic that still found its way into a children's rhyme: influenza.

S49E05 1918 Flu Pandemic - Leviathan

This is a global pandemic. The flu jumps ship, literally, onto the docks of American Samoa, of South Africa, of Alaska, of India. The 1918 flu infects every human continent.

S49E06 1918 Flu Pandemic - The Forgotten Plague

Why did everyone forget about the flu pandemic so fast? Partly because its effects were intermingled with the death and depression of World War I, and partly because we chose to forget.

Season 50

S50E01 Pellagra - A Medical Mystery

Pellagra can cause depression, dementia, and diarrhea, eventually leading to death. Dr. Joseph Goldberger was put on the case to crack it.

Season 51

S51E01 Kingdom of Majapahit - An Empire of Water

In this series we will explore the history of a short-lived kingdom that united the diverse, 13,000+ islands of Indonesia: Majapahit. Before Majapahit came along, however, the Kingdom of Srivijaya and the Kingdom of Mataram laid the stepping stones.

S51E02 Kingdom of Majapahit - Wrath of the Khan

The Mongols came to the island of Java--the King of Singhasari had defied them for too long. But by the time they got there, the king had died, and instead someone claiming to be his stepson, Raden Vijaya, promised to be their vassal. The Mongol forces were in for quite a surprise.

S51E03 Kingdom of Majapahit - Master of Intrigue

After Raden Vijaya passed away, the crown passed on to his son Jayanagara--along with his reputation to create scandal and vice. Gajah Mada, whose name literally meant "elephant general" stepped up to make sure that the kingdom would run smoothly--maybe a little too smoothly.

S51E04 Kingdom of Majapahit - The Golden Reign

The new sixteen-year-old king, Hayam Wuruk, had inherited an empire. Gajah Mada acted on his behalf, reshaping the way that the throne of Majapahit would be run, but he made a big mistake with the Sundanese princess.

S51E05 Kingdom of Majapahit - Changing Winds

When Islam arrived in Indonesia, life changed--except within Majapahit, where court drama kept them focused on themselves and unaware of the visits and alliances between Admiral Zheng He and the Sultanate of Malacca--forming new powers in the southern seas.

Season 52

S52E01 Battle of Saipan - Steel and Coral

The battle of Saipan would decide the fate of the Pacific War. On a tiny island, just five miles wide, thousands died under advanced artillery and amphibious tanks.

S52E02 Battle of Saipan - Suicide Island

As the ruthless clash of the Saipan invasion drags on into the second week, a unique and unlikely hero emerges. Marine scout Guy Gabaldon can speak Japanese. He deserts his post, not once but twice, to reach out to the enemy soldiers and civilians.

Season 53

S53E01 Quantum Computing - The Foundation of Everything

Is light a particle? Is light a wave? Let's take a look at Thomas Young's famous double-slit experiment--creating those really super funky interference patterns you might remember from your high school physics classes.

S53E02 Quantum Computing - Electron Boogaloo

Today we're exploring one of Albert Einstein's most controversial papers: his ideas on the photoelectric effect, which describes light as quanta (discrete packets of energy) instead of a classical wave. This new understanding of light helped Niels Bohr create a new model of the atom.

S53E03 Quantum Computing - The Einstein-Bohr Debates

To understand the power and the challenges of the quantum computer, we have to spend a little more time watching the intense debates between Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein about the Uncertainty Principle. Can we really know the energy of a photon?

S53E04 Quantum Computing - Spooky Action at a Distance

What happens when we can't link physical cause and effect between two actions? Well, quantum bits (or qubits) do this all the time. Let's look into how quantum entanglement can be used in computing.

S53E05 Quantum Computing - Decoherence

Quantum computing isn't a replacement for classical computing. yet. Quantum decoherence happens when anything gets in the way of a qubit's job, so sterile low-temperature environments are an absolute necessity.

S53E06 Quantum Computing - The World of the Future

What does the quantum revolution mean today? We talk about quantum computing application possibilities in machine learning, cybersecurity, environmental science, and more.

Season 54

S54E01 Julie d'Aubigny - Duelist, Singer, Radical

Julie d'Aubigny lived during an unusual time in 17th-century France when political and cultural norms were shifting. She was allowed to exist openly as a bisexual woman pursuing her swordsmanship and singing talents in the court of King Louis XIV.

Season 55

S55E01 Viking Expansion - The Serpent-Riders

The medieval Scandinavians left an impact not just on Greenland and Iceland, but on France, England, Russia, and even briefly North America. But how did Scandinavian society begin, and what incited its voyage across the seas?

S55E02 Viking Expansion - Rollo the Walker

Rollo the Walker led the Great Heathen Army and had his sights set on sacking Paris, in a time when relations between the Vikings and the Franks had become, essentially, getting paid to raid. Eventually his sights would turn to stability--and he became the founder of Normandy.

S55E03 Viking Expansion - Ireland

When Thorgest arrived on the coasts of Ireland with over a hundred long ships, he was ready to raid--and to establish cities like Dublin and many others that shaped the religion and culture of Ireland, much to the population's excitement.

S55E04 Viking Expansion - The Lands of the Rus

The Rus Vikings headed further inland into eastern Europe, raiding Constantinople (unsuccessfully) at first, and then eventually falling into negotiations with the Byzantines and changing their own culture over time. One of their most famous descending rulers was Olga of Kiev, who was also the grandmother of Vladimir.

S55E05 Viking Expansion - A Song of Ice and Greenland

The Scandinavians stumbled on Iceland, at first on accident--then, gradually exploring it--and finally intentionally migrating there because despite the clash of glaciers and volcanoes, Iceland was full of uninhabited empty land--perfect for settlers and saga-writers.

S55E06 Viking Expansion - Wine Land

From Greenland, explorers like Bjarni, Freydis, and Leif Erikson--aka "Leif the Lucky"--ventured into Vinland, the very first bit of North America sighted by Europeans. It was rich in natural resources, including the grapes (and thus wine) for which it received its title, but this set of expeditions would be very, very short-lived.

Season 56

S56E01 Defense of Poland - The Battle of the Border

Poland is threatened in 1939 not just by the Nazis, but by its own precarious geography between Germany and Soviet Russia. Edward Rydz-Śmigły spreads the Polish cavalry and tanks as thin as he has to around the border.

S56E02 Defense of Poland - Under Siege

Poland, alone, faces off both Soviet Russia armies and the Germans for five long weeks. Foreign reporter Julien Bryan captures footage of the siege of Warsaw to deliver to the outside world. A resistance builds inside.

Season 57

S57E01 Sun Yat-sen - A Killing in Hong Kong

Growing up in Honolulu, Sun Yat-sen had an expansive, exciting education, which would inspire him when he moved to Hong Kong as a young adult ready to change the world as a doctor--and as the leader of the "Revive China Society" interested in overthrowing the Qing government.

S57E02 Sun Yat-sen - A Kidnapping in London

Sun Yat-sen moves to a new city for safety, but it will not last long--a year after the Revive China society is destroyed and scattered, he is unwittingly kidnapped in London. He must rely on the ingenuity of his outside ally, Dr. James Cantlie.

S57E03 Sun Yat-sen - An Army in Exile

Sun Yat-sen spends the next ten years following his London adventures trying to organize the rebellion in Tokyo--and ends up not recruiting just Chinese reformers, but radical fighters from Japan and the Philippines too.

S57E04 Sun Yat-sen - A Bombing in Wuchang

Another group of revolutionaries in China, the Wuchang Uprising, accidentally kicked off their own plans earlier than expected, which lead to Sun starting an international diplomatic mission and then being appointed the head of the new republic. But Yuan Shikai, the current Prime Minister, had plans of his own.

S57E05 Sun Yat-sen - A Dream of China

Sun's attempts to found democracy in China were thwarted by the chaos of the authoritarian warlords who still stayed around. But, inspired by the youth of the New Culture Movement, and (surprisingly) Soviet Russia's aid, he pressed on, and history would remember him as "the Forerunner of the Democratic Revolution."

Season 58

S58E01 Curing Tuberculosis - The Hero Koch

Fascinatingly enough, tuberculosis was actually considered "trendy" in the Victorian era of Europe--but Dr. Robert Koch, hero of the German Empire, was convinced that he could cure it. A British writer named Arthur Conan Doyle, however, was a little skeptical, and for good reason.

S58E02 Tuberculosis - A Ten-Thousand Year Battle

Tuberculosis couldn't be cured and eliminated by just one person like Dr. Robert Koch, but thanks to the collective efforts of the medical community since Koch's time--including public health initiatives and the introduction of randomized clinical trials--TB is steadily being wiped out.

Season 59

S59E01 Jane Austen - Sarcasm and Subversion

Jane Austen wrote in the name of making critical social commentary of the privileges she and others held while the rest of Europe was in political turmoil. Her novels like "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," and "Emma" made waves in their time for how they criticized Victorian-era society.

Season 60

S60E01 Irish Potato Famine - Isle of Blight

The potato blight hit the United States first before it came to Ireland (and other countries). But what made it particularly devastating in Ireland was the factor of human influence--behind-the-scenes bureaucracy that prioritized economics over human lives.

S60E02 Irish Potato Famine - The Corn Laws

Prime Minister Robert Peel was caught between the political pressures of the Whigs and the Tories. He repealed the corn laws in Britain to keep food prices low in Britain, with the secondary goal of famine relief for Ireland, but that bureaucratic multi-tasking would not help the Irish very much.

S60E03 Irish Potato Famine - Black ཫ

Watching the Irish suffer from the view of London, Sir Charles Trevelyan believed that the potato famine was part of God's will. Inspired by the meritocracy-based philosophy of starvation that Thomas Malthus held, Treveylan created a relief plan with the sole goal of protecting the markets, and not the people. Thus the new year of "Black ཫ" brought chaos and horror to the Irish people.

S60E04 Irish Potato Famine - The American Wake

Not all of the 214,000 Irish immigrants in 1847 made it safely to their new homes--and of those who did, many faced classism and xenophobia and even bullying from the "Ulster Irish" or "Scots-Irish" folks who had previously established themselves. In New York City specifically, the Five Points neighborhood became an infamous center of conflict--while local Irish-American John Joseph Hughes became instrumental in restoring Irish Catholicism.

S60E05 Irish Potato Famine - The Young and the Old

Irish leaders entered the picture when the 1847 Poor Laws backfired, leading landowners to mass-evict their starving tenants. Daniel O'Connell tried to maintain an alliance with the Whigs, and failed. The Young Irelanders split off from the Repeal Association, and as a result, both the rebellious and the moderate minds of the country lost significant traction, unable to fight the famine alone.

Season 61

S61E01 The Boston Massacre - Snow and Gunpowder

The Boston Massacre didn&rsquot come out of nowhere--resentment between the early US colonies and the British army had been brewing for some time over the Stamp Act. A propaganda war ensued between the loyalists and the radicals. John Adams would get his revolutionary start as he worked to resolve this injustice.

Season 62

S62E01 Siege of Vienna - Opening Bombardment

Mehmed IV wanted to live up to, and even surpass, the legacy of his forefather Mehmed II, who had secured the Ottomans' inheritance to the Roman Empire through his conquest of Constantinople. So the current Mehmed decided to target Vienna--but Emperor Leopold dismissed these threats.

S62E02 Siege of Vienna - Tunnel War

The siege presses on from its initial active resistance phase to the long, routine drudgery of survival on the inside and elaborate defense building on the outside: earthworks and revelins designed by Georg Rimpler. Meanwhile, the Ottomans prepared to attack via gunpowder prepared inside mining tunnels.

S62E03 Siege of Vienna - Charge of the Winged Hussars

Leopold knew it was time to get the Holy Roman Empire involved if he wanted to keep Vienna, but it wouldn't be as simple as asking for a favor. Charles of Lorraine and Sobieski of Poland would be the ones to lead the charge on the battlefield against the Janissaries.

Season 63

S63E01 Queen Nzinga - Rise of a Legend

Nzinga didn't start out as a queen--but when she saw how incompetently her brother was running affairs in Ndongo (what would become Angola), she took advantage of his decision to send her to negotiate with the Portuguese--much to his grief later. Nzinga established herself against colonial forces and did not budge.

S63E02 Queen Nzinga - The Double Queen

Nzinga was briefly, temporarily supplanted by Ngola Hari who had been installed by the Portuguese, but she was determined to let nothing get in the way of keeping West Africa safe from colonial powers. To achieve this end, she would go on to form--and break, as she pleased--alliances with the Dutch, the Imbangala, and even the Catholic Church!

Season 64

S64E01 U.S. Civil War - Surprising Soldiers

Historians have been learning that the US civil war armies were a lot more diverse than previously accounted for--partly because many soldiers who hailed from other countries and nations used adopted names. Chinese, Hawaiian, Hispanic, and Cherokee soldiers all participated on both sides of the US civil war--suffering even more conflict in some cases.

Season 65

S65E01 The Three Kingdoms - Yellow Turban Rebellion

Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Guan Yu--these were the men who would define the Three Kingdoms period. Even though the actual history of this period is often conflated with the events of the historical novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there was still a lot of compelling drama and intrigue we can explore--let's delve in to the Yellow Turban Rebellion, which really did happen!

S65E02 The Three Kingdoms - The Battle of Guandu

Yuan Shao&rsquos forces cross the Yellow River, assaulting Cao&rsquos fortifications. Yuan has 110,000 soldiers&mdashincluding the runaway warlord Liu Bei&mdashwhile Cao Cao has only twenty thousand. But things are about to go in a very unexpected, brutal twist for the next eight years.

Season 66

S66E01 History of England - The 100 Years War

At stake on the English side was trade, the English role in Christendom, the king&rsquos lands in France held by right for 150 years, and the reputation and honor of the king. On the French side, a unified country, national prestige, and the right of their monarch to his own throne.

S66E02 History of England - Fire and Swords

On the 26th of August,1346, Philip's army drew near the English force. The French were strung out for miles. Phillip's best commanders advised caution: put on those comfy jim-jams the Queen gave you last Christmas, don the royal slippers, get a goodnight's snooze, and let everyone catch up, then drown the English in a river of their own blood after a light breakfast. But Phillip looked upon the current puny size of the English army, and ordered the attack anyway.

S66E03 History of England - The Devastation of France

From the end of the battle of Crecy, Edward charged on to besiege Calais (successfully), and then returned home. Right about then was when the Black Plague hit Europe head-on. But Edward carried on as king establishing order among his subjects, forming the Knights of the Garter. In France, John le Bel, son of Philip, had learned from the French defeats and was making small victories here and there.

S66E04 History of England - Ashes

Bertrand du Guesclin was the hero the French needed. Focused on fortifying defenses and cities, Guesclin rebutted the advances of the Black Prince--who ended up contracting an illness that undid his iconic image of triumph and chivalry. Edward became beset by drama in the royal court, and England started to lose power.

S66E05 History of England - Agincourt

Henry V was formidable and ruthless. Leading an army struck by dysentery, he pressed on to claim more large swaths of France, forming the irresistible Anglo Burgundian alliance.

S66E06 History of England - A New Future

The 116-year struggle helped define and unite the English. In France, the wars forced the kings to tackle the separatist forces, and France would become the undisputed arbiter of Europe.

Season 67

S67E01 Joan of Arc - The Mad King

Before we can really get into Joan of Arc's life, we have to get a bit into the civil war between the Burgundians and the Armagnacs. Time for some royal family drama with King Charles VI's madness and Queen Isabeau's friend Louis.

S67E02 Joan of Arc - Angels and Demons

Joan of Arc was on a mission from God--a mission to guide the Armagnacs into a holy war.

S67E03 Joan of Arc - The Maid of Orleans

When Joan met the army of Orleans, they weren't exactly keen on her idea to just GET 'EM and go completely offensive--thinking she would have more use as a mascot. But both they, and she, would be in for many surprises.

S67E04 Joan of Arc - Thy Kingdom Come

City after city surrendered to Joan of Arc without a fight. Her mission was complete. or was it?

S67E05 Joan of Arc - Heroine or Heretic?

Joan had been sold out to the English. Bishop Pierre Cauchon was determined to prove the inaccuracy of her visions and her motivations so that Charles could have no claim to the throne. But Joan held on till the bitter end.

Season 68

S68E01 The Warsaw Uprising - The Unstoppable Spirit of the Polish Resistance

The Polish are determined to make Poland matter on the world stage, and they will not wait for whatever mercies may come from the Russians. So the Home Army stages their own uprising to liberate Warsaw, and for some 60-odd days, their strongest members, the Grey Ranks, tragically held steadfast.

Season 69

S69E01 Hogs in History - Creator and Destroyer

In 1494, among the colonization forces from Spain, eight pigs arrived in Cuba. With multiple uses in culinary and craft trades, as well as their general top-tier hardiness, pigs would naturally propagate themselves throughout the Caribbean, and then to Central, South, and North America--but they were also incredibly destructive.

Season 70

S70E01 The Inca Empire - Out of Thin Air

There's a lot that we don't know for sure about the Inca Empire, because we have conflicting accounts among Spanish colonizers, as well as the fact that Inca history itself is told non-linearly. But we do know that they used Andean accomplishments, from architecture to knotted quipu, to create a city that ruled the largest Indigenous empire in the Americas, starting with Manco Capac and the successive Sapa Inca rulers.

S70E02 The Inca Empire - Earth-Shaker

Pachacuti, the Earth-Shaker, was the ninth leader of the Inca and the one who took the ambitions of the city of Cusco into an all-out military campaign to expand the empire--alongside bribing and engineering and negotiating their way to expansion.

S70E03 The Inca Empire - Life of a Dead Emperor

To understand daily life in the Inca Empire, we travel from Cusco to Quito (located in modern-day Ecuador), where Thupa Inca wanted to establish a second capital city. From efficiently designed work assignments, to elaborate death rituals, life was neatly organized, masking rising tensions.

S70E04 The Inca Empire - Andean Apocalypse

Disease--likely, smallpox or measles--had arrived in the Inca empire, and it was ruthless. Two of the (now dead) Emperor Huayna Capac's sons, Atahualpa and Huáscar, decided that a civil war over who should be Sapa Inca was perfect to do right now--nevermind the fact that Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadores had just showed up.

S70E05 The Inca Empire - A God Taken Hostage

Atahualpa vs. Francisco Pizarro. The Incas had never seen horses before, and it wasn't long before the Spanish had captured Atahualpa as a hostage for gold and silver. But Atahualpa had a plan. He found a way to use this situation to his own political advantage--and Pizarro eventually destroyed himself through his greed and violent carelessness that appalled the Spanish government, eventually allowing the Incas to thrive again.

Season 71

S71E01 History of Dentistry - Demons and Tooth Worms

We've been ACHING to talk teeth. I think it's time that we got to the ROOT of the matter and explore the early and surprisingly mystical history of dental work.

S71E02 History of Dentistry - An End To Pain

The invention of anesthesia changed dentistry forever, but the implementation was not painless, ironically. Between nitrous oxide, ether, and even cocaine, people tried a lot of different methods to try and make the dentist visit an easier option.

Season 72

S72E01 Charles Darwin - The Voyage of the Beagle

The 1830s were an exciting time for science. All throughout Europe, there was a great movement to explore, map, and classify the world. And it was this expanding world that young Charles Darwin graduated into&hellip albeit with the wrong degree. Because although he would one day be known as &ldquothe Father of Modern Biology,&rdquo Darwin&rsquos father was set on his son following in his footsteps&mdashas a doctor.

Season 73

S73E01 Building Angkor - Monsoon Metropolis

Let's lay down the foundations for one of the architectural marvels of the ancient world: At its height, the city of Angkor was, by several measures, the largest city of the medieval era. With a million people and a footprint larger than modern-day New York, it was arguably the world&rsquos largest pre-industrial city. And at its center lay the magnificent Angkor Wat.

S73E02 Building Angkor - Temple City

Let's take a little tour around Suryavarman II crowning achievement, the temple that took only 33 years to complete, while Europeans were taking centuries to build their cathedrals. With a two mile long wall, gates large enough to allow elephants to pass and steps so steep that the average person needed to climb them like a ladder, Angkor Wat's every feature was made to be impressive. But what lies at the heart might be surprising.

S73E03 Building Angkor - A Clash of Gods

Jayavarman VII, a Buddhist pacifist, was forced to give up his pacifism and rise to the throne at the age of 60. But once seated on the throne, he built Angkor Thom. The architecture was a fusion of buddhist and hindu stylings and included a comprehensive medical system. But will Angkor be able to stand after Jayavarman VII has passed?

S73E04 Building Angkor - A Drowning City

We've talked about the magnificence of Angkor at its peak, but how did this sprawling metropolis become a city of ruins? The city of Angkor depended on the reliability of the seasonal monsoon. Several decades of drought left them with little choice than to modify the whole water system. But when the waters returned, they returned in force. As did enemy forces. Thus begins the death spiral of the city of Angkor.

S73E05 Building Angkor - The "Lost" City

After its decline, Angkor had become the Ancient, Lost City so prominent in our pop culture. Just one problem: Angkor was neither ancient (having declined around the same time as Hundred Years War) nor lost (people still lived there!). That didn't stop the European visitors from trying to invent all kinds of stories for how this city could possibly exist, and stealing parts of the temple to bring back home. But despite all the hardships Angkor faced, it managed to become a national symbol for Cambodia and still remains to this day.

Season 74

S74E01 History of Space Travel - Looking to the Stars

What do Ptolemy and ancient Chinese rockets have in common? Without either of these things, space flight wouldn't be possible! In order to understand how we started traveling amongst the stars, we have to talk about how we started studying stars in the first place. Since the very first civilizations we've always looked at the night sky with wonder & curiosity but also as a way to try and understand the future and time itself.

S74E02 History of Space Travel - Revolutions

As the Renaissance breathes new life into Europe, Copernicus develops mathematical proofs for the sun resting in the center of the universe. And from his works, a new world is born. The scientific world gets faster and faster. Revolutions of all kinds begin to set off chains of events that reshape human history. And as science improves, so do the tools of war. Both will be necessary to propel humanity to the stars. Join us on this race through the scientific works between the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution.

S74E03 History of Space Travel - Kill Devil to V-2

Early flight started as a utopian dream but quickly became the military's top priority: first as reconnaissance vehicles, and then as weapons in their own right. After WW1, the threat of German aircraft led to the Treaty of Versailles banning Germany from having an airforce at all. But the Germans also found a loophole: rockets didn't count as an airforce. Enter Wehrner Von Braun & the V-2 rockets.

S74E04 History of Space Travel - Red Star

While rockets had been proven to be indispensable to the Second World War, the idea to send people up into orbit was still seen as fantasy. Space was important only as a method to further the range of missiles meant to land oceans away from their original launch point. But a man named Korolev will change all of that, with work so secretive, he will be referred to as Chief Designer for nearly his entire life. But we all know the name of his first project into space: Sputnik.

S74E05 History of Space Travel - One Small Step

The United States was losing the space race. A number of unfortunate missteps and mistakes had hindered their progress. But the United States had also structured its space program entirely differently from the USSR. Instead of being helmed by the military, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration was created by Eisenhower with an emphasis on exploration and research. And in the end, the later but more advanced satellites will collect the data required a dream firmly placed in the American consciousness by JFK. A dream to place a man on the moon.

S74E06 History of Space Travel - Guided by Starlight

What happened after we touched down on the moon? And where are we going in the future? While we may have lost the glitz and glamor of the Space Race, we have continued to make incredible progress in reaching the stars. We've come together to build space stations while in space, create the international space station, and started developing new technologies that could take us to Mars and beyond.

Season 75

S75E01 The Berlin Wall - A Street Party With Sledgehammers

The Berlin Wall has become a symbol of the Cold War. It encircled West Berlin, separating it from the Soviet-controlled East Berlin, placed to try and stop the flood of skilled professionals leaving to the West. Multiple US presidents had penned speeches about tearing down the wall, to no effect. But the Wall did fall. As the USSR underwent massive reforms and the Velvet Revolution was underway, East Germany was undergoing its own reform. And one clerical oversight in a press conference will destroy the Wall for good.

Season 76

S76E01 Akhenaten - A Pharaoh Obsessed

A revolutionary dreamer or a tyrannical despot? That is a question at the heart of Akhenaten's rule, a pharaoh so unusual, that his successors tried and almost successfully erased him from the historical records. You may know his more famous wife, Queen Nefertiti but Akhenaten was a fascinating ruler. He went against the grain of almost all of Egyptian traditions including trying to establish a monotheistic religion and unite the kingdom Upper and Lower Kingdoms of Egypt.

Season 77

S77E01 Policing London - The Thief-Taker General

These days we kind of assume that police are a normal part of law and order. But that wasn't always the case. In fact, it wasn't the case for a lot of human history. So how did we start thinking of police as a natural part of a city? It all starts in London with the Thief-Taker General Jonathan Wilde, a man of two faces. Which one is real: valiant crime fighter or the puppet master of London's underbelly?

S77E02 Policing London - The Fall of Jonathan Wild

Jonathan Wild had the whole crime system figured out. A man of justice by day, and leader of a criminal empire by night. But that is when Jack Sheppard came into his life. Jack Sheppard was a talented thief but an even more talented escape artist. And one of the last criminals in London who refused to bend the knee to Jonathan Wild. This was unacceptable. Jonathan Wild became obsessed. But obsessions can be dangerous. Every prison escape causes Sheppard's popularity amongst the people, sick and tired of corruption, to grow. And the consequences may be deadly.

S77E03 Policing London - The Bow Street Runners

Henry Fielding was a dangerous man. with a pen. He had a razor-sharp wit and created the page-turner novel, but that's not what we want to focus on here. Because Henry Fielding is also responsible for assembling London's first organized police force. The Bow Street Runners were inspired by Wilde's operation just. not corrupt. But Fielding quickly found that in London's justice system, corruption was the assumed default, not the exception. He certainly had his work cut out for him!

S77E04 Policing London - His Majesty King Mob

John Fielding, Henry Fielding's brother, took over the Bow Street Runners after his brother's death. He was well known as a man who could identify over 3,000 criminals by voice alone. After all, he was blind. But his real contribution to policing was his organizational skills. He created the first Central Database of stolen goods and suspect descriptions and published papers that included not only London criminals but also descriptions of criminals wanted by other prisons in the country. And while the courts may have loved him, the public was much more skeptical. These were times marked by distrust in authority and having a criminal database seemed like an intrusion on personal liberty. What was required to change public opinion?

S77E05 Policing London - Scotland Yard at Last

Even if you've never studied the history of the police force, chances are good you're familiar with the Scotland Yard as a heavy feature of Sherlock Holmes stories. But how did London take the final steps from the privately funded and highly specialized Bow Street Runners to a police force salaried by the government itself? We talk about the inspirations behind the Scotland Yard and how London walked the fine line between social order and civil liberties, guided by Robert Peel. (We're just as surprised as you are)

Season 78

S78E01 History of Vaccines - Killing Smallpox

Vaccines have been instrumental in our modern view of health and healthcare. But they haven't always been around and there's been more than some misinformation on what they are and how they work. So how did we even discover vaccines in the first place? It started with a disease that had plagued humanity for so long, it seemed like it was just a natural part of living. But thanks to the work of Edward Jenner, soon smallpox would become a disease known only to history. One of two diseases that humanity had managed to completely eradicate and all thanks to vaccines and vaccination.

Season 79

S79E01 Allan Pinkerton - The Knights of Capitalism

The Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. A group synonymous with brutality, corruption, and private policing. But you may be surprised to learn about their founder, Allan Pinkerton, a man who was forced to flee his home country for supporting suffrage. So how did this progressive, working-class, activist become known for founding an agency famous for trading morals for money? It's a much stranger road than you may think.

Season 80

S80E01 The Haitian Revolution - The Slave Society

The Haitian Revolution is a unique historical event in many ways. It was both an offshoot of the French Revolution, but also an anti-colonialist revolution. It was also the second American nation to successfully win its independence. But before we can talk about the Revolution itself, we have to talk about how influential Haiti was to France's economy and how it's complicated social structure primed it for revolt and revolution. Because here, in the colony built upon the countless bodies of the enslaved, sugar is king. But not for long.

S80E02 The Haitian Revolution - The Long Fuse

Across the water, the French National Assembly debate a new document, drafted by Marquis de Lafayette, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Little do they know that this document will ignite the fuse leading to the powder keg in Saint-Domingue. Hold on to your fancy Revolutionary hats because things are going to get absolutely buck wild. Alliances will be formed and break within weeks, laws will last about the same time, and while all this chaos is happening, a revolt is forming.

S80E03 The Haitian Revolution - Fire and Freedom

The revolution kicks off with such strength and ferocity, the French leaders in charge couldn't believe that slaves had planned and executed the revolt. The Big Whites, Little Whites, and Free People of Color all began infighting. Meanwhile, Haiti's plantations and mills were quickly engulfed by flames as the uprising moved across the island. But as the Revolution began to claim lives and leaders, the formerly enslaved people found that they were not immune to infighting either. But amidst the swelling chaos, new leaders rose. Key figures like Toussaint Louverture.

S80E04 The Haitian Revolution - Liberation

Two commissioners sent from France arrive in Saint Domingue. Their goal is not abolition. Their goal is only to enforce the new commission from France, a commission that grants full rights to the free people of color. And yet, their arrival will alter the course of the uprisings and lay the groundwork for the full Revolution. And the Revolution finally decides its end goal: The complete abolition of slavery. But not without a little help. I hope you all kept your flowcharts ready because Spain and England are both joining the war!

S80E05 The Haitian Revolution - The War of Knives

With the end of slavery in French colonies and the withdrawal of Spanish troops from the conflict, it looked like everything was going Toussaint L'Ouverture's way. There was just one little thorn in his side. André Rigaud. There had been a long-standing rivalry between the two men. But as the conflict with external powers seems to come to an end, this internal struggle is about to become explosive. And thus began The War of Knives.

S80E06 The Haitian Revolution - Roots of Liberty

And here we come full circle. After fighting France for their freedom, then uniting against international powers, you would expect that the fighting would be over for Haiti. But Napoleon Bonaparte had different plans. He would send 80,000 men under the command of Charles Leclerc to fight and arrest Louverture. But Louverure's words will prove to be prophetic. And when the diplomatic Louverture is removed from the picture, France will have to reckon with the wrath of Dessalines.

Season 81

S81E01 Ibn Battuta - The Great Traveler

Ibn Battuta set out for the city of Mecca and expected to be gone for a little over two years, maybe three if he took his time. He had no way of knowing that he would not see his home city or town for another 24 years. In that time, he will have traveled almost the entirety of the Islamic world, gone for over 75,000 miles, and write a travelogue that scholars still refer to understand the world of the 15th century. He's also a bit of a narc.

S81E02 Ibn Battuta - Mongols and Mystics

Ibn Battuta had finished the hajj but decided that since he was already in the area. why not take a small trip to India? And since he was going to India, he might as well make some side trips along the way! We recount Battuta's travels along the east coast of Africa, the Mongol conquered lands off the Arabian peninsula and some of the stranger sights that he wrote about in his book!

S81E03 Ibn Battuta - The Mad Sultan

Ibn Battuta meets Uzbeg Khan and finally makes his way to India! And at first, things seem fantastic. Ibn Battuta is showered with gifts and that's even before he has a job. But soon he'll find out why Muhammad Bin Tughlaq is known in some circles as The Mad Sultan.

S81E04 Ibn Battuta - Escape to China

After spending 9 days under house arrest and awaiting execution, Ibn Battuta was sure that his time had come. But fortunately, when he was finally called, the sultan greeted him like an old friend. Ibn Battuta was lucky, but he knew he had to escape Delhi. And so began the ups and downs of Ibn Battuta's fortune.

S81E05 Ibn Battuta - Plague and Homecoming

Having fled India to China, Ibn Battuta found that China's cultures and customs were too different for his comfort. But there was no mad sultan here, and he settled into a small routine for a while. It wouldn't be long before Ibn Battuta was back on the road, fleeing a new foe. This one microscopic in size but larger than anything he has yet to face: the Black Plague.

S81E06 Ibn Fadlan - A Viking Funeral

Ibn Fadlan might not be as popular or as well-traveled as Ibn Battuta, but his travels took him north where he ran into some of the strangest people he had ever met. The Vikings. Ibn Fadlan fawned over the impressive Rus Vikings, but was also disgusted by their habits. But most importantly, he wrote down all of his observations, including a Viking funeral.

Season 82

S82E01 Rasputin - Catalyst for Revolution

Rasputin had built quite a reputation for himself. Originally a peasant, he would become a traveling monk. So great was his charisma, he caught the attention of the tsar and tsarina. And a 70s eurodisco band. Do we really need more research than that?

Season 83

S83E01 The 1929 Stock Market Crash - Black Tuesday

With our current economic climate being. dubious, we thought that it would be a good time to look at another economic disaster in American history. Just six months before Herbert Hoover gave a speech highlighting the economic success The 1929 Stock Market Crash which is closely tied to the Great Depression and felt like it came out of nowhere. But that might be a bit of a misconception. We explore what kicked off the drop, what people did to try and stop/slow it down, and why stock markets and the Economy are NOT the same thing.

Season 84

S84E01 Dividing the Middle East - The Great Loot

Way back in one of our first Extra History series, on the beginning of World War I, we talked about how at the end of the war the victorious powers carved up the Middle East&mdashmen in drawing rooms deciding the fate of peoples they did not understand, and in some cases, lands they had never visited. This is the story of how that came to happen, a tale of revolts, secret treaties, betrayal, a struggle for homelands, and a British counterinsurgency operation in Iraq.

S84E02 Dividing the Middle East - The Arab Revolt

The Allies thought that defeating the Ottoman Empire would be an extremely simple matter but it was, in fact, not simple (this will be a reoccurring theme for the allies). As they try to take Constantinople, the surf will turn red with the amount of blood spilled from the landing parties. Luckily, they're about to get a boost from the internal strife of the Ottoman Empire. So long as the British promise to help establish an Arab kingdom. A promise they definitely intend to keep. Right.

S84E03 Dividing the Middle East - Drawing Lines

Ah good. The war is over and now everyone can get exactly what they wanted in a neat orderly fashion. yeah you all know that's not how it went. The double-dealing of the British finally comes to light and the same people who helped secure victory in the ottoman empire were quickly being pushed out of the negotiations.

S84E04 Dividing the Middle East - Three Kings

Now that the Middle East has been divided and turned into a jumble of new countries and nations by the British and French, we take a look at how the citizens reacted. After all, drawing borders on a map doesn't mean anything if you can't enforce it. Revolts will rise and be violently put down. Infighting with pop up between the shariffian faction and the Saudis. A solution will be found, but that solution will only promise more bloodshed.

S84E05 Dividing the Middle East - Setting the Board

Winston Churchill is convinced that his Cairo Conference has solved all of the problems of the Middle East but he is going to be proven wrong. The British find themselves trapped between two allies who will not stop fighting. The Balfour Declaration makes everything. tricky. Thousands of lives are lost in various uprisings and brutal retaliations. And the kingdom of Saudi Arabia emerges. It's not a conclusion so much as an endpoint for how our modern maps look.

Season 85

S85E01 The Field of the Cloth of Gold - Universal Peace

When people think of the age of knights and kings, there's one image that comes forward as readily as shining armor and that's the tournament! And this particular tournament will go down in history as one of the most lavish and expansive affairs as a way to broker peace between Henry the VIII of England and Francis I of France. The two kings were locked in a bitter rivalry and were determined to outshine (and outspend) the other.

S85E02 The Field of the Cloth of Gold - Royal Frenemies

The tournament kicks off and quickly becomes a very careful balancing act of making sure that both kings are on even ground. This 18-day party is probably one of the most detailed and carefully planned diplomatic events in history. But will it be enough to cement the peace between England and France and to ratify the Universal Peace treaty?

Season 86

S86E01 The Sacred Band - An Alternative 300

Thanks to 300, everyone is familiar with the Spartan troops & Spartan military power. But let's talk about the 300 that served the Theban army. An elite force of shock troops, these 300 men were well trained, fearsome in battle, and were the first to defeat the Spartans while having a smaller force. This was the Sacred Band and they had one very important trick up their sleeve: the literal power of love. Yup. Every member of the Sacred Band fought alongside their partner. It's pride month, baby.

Season 87

S87E01 Exploring the Pacific - The Great Ocean

Welcome to our first episode on the Pacific Ocean and the cultures that explored and settled on the island chains. We'll be talking about the three sections of the Pacific: Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. But before we can talk about the people, we have to talk about the ocean itself. The Pacific Ocean was nicknamed the Peaceful Ocean by Ferdinand Magellan, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Ringed by volcanoes, and resting over several tectonic plates, the Pacific Ocean is vast, deep, and a hotspot for earthquakes and tsunamis.

S87E02 Exploring the Pacific - Wayfinders

So if the Pacific Ocean is so huge and dangerous, how in the world did the Austronesians find their way to land? As it turns out, they had an impressive array of tools at their disposal. Songs & chants to remember particular techniques, feeling currents through the water, memorizing star positions for each time of the year. And the unique design of their boats!

S87E03 Exploring the Pacific - Founders & Lost Cities

We have the Pacific & how the Austronesians navigated from place to place but when did they arrive at the islands? And how are there so many diverse cultures within such a small range of land? Time, distance, and extremely adaptable people.

S87E04 Exploring the Pacific - Magellan's Mistake

Ferdinand Magellan has made a very, very big mistake. Determined to circumnavigate the world, and cross the ocean Balboa had sighted in 1513, he&rsquod just finished a perilous four-month journey&mdashrounding South America and making it all the way to a previously unknown series of islands: the Philippines. He&rsquod gotten involved in local politics, converting a ruler and his kingdom to the Catholic faith. But to keep their new conquest secure, they must crush a rival sub-chieftain, Lapulapu, who would not submit to Catholicism. Magellan tells his local allies to stay on the ship&mdashhe will take forty-nine men and overawe Lapulapu&rsquos men with muskets and crossbows. They wade into knee-deep water, firing muskets, but to little effect. The Mactan warriors are unafraid of their weapons. Magellan has come a long way to die in the surf.

S87E05 Exploring the Pacific - Farther Than Any Man

The attempt to catalog the Pacific was made a little tricky by the nature of European exploration. Everything that was discovered by one country was usually kept a state secret so that other countries couldn't contest the ownership of their colonies. Enter France. With Louis Antoine de Bougainville came the ideas of the Enlightenment and scientific voyages dedicated to exploration rather than setting up colonies or claiming new territory. And that would be exemplified with James Cook, the commander of the HM Bark Endeavour, an explorer that would inspire the Starship Enterprise and James T. Kirk & Tupaia, the incredible navigator & priest mentioned in episode 2.

Season 88

S88E01 The Burning of Black Wall Street - Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, Oklahoma was a bright spot of hope in the middle of segregation. Through hard work, the Black community of Tulsa had created an area that prospered in a time when it was hard enough to just survive. It was so well known for its wealth, it was nicknamed Black Wall Street. And in just a few days, all 36 blocks would be absolutely destroyed.

Season 89

S89E01 The Affair of the Diamond Necklace - Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette is famous for saying "Let them eat cake" (which she may or may not have said) but her bad reputation with the people of France went fairly deep. To the point she was blamed for an intricate heist to steal a diamond necklace. that she didn't actually ever want. That diamond necklace by the way? Worth 14 million dollars. Yeah. That's a lot of cake.

Season 90

S90E01 The Trojan War - History vs. Myth

On Extra Mythology we've been covering the myth of the Trojan War recorded in the Iliad, but that's all it is right? There's no way a massive war like that was actually fought. Well. yes and no. The Trojan War might not have unfolded the way Homer's muses sing with the Trojan Horse, Achilles, Agamemnon or Hector, BUT there was a real, historical Troy! How exactly did we find it? That's a story in and of itself and it all begins with a man named Schliemann.

S90E02 The Trojan War - Battles in the Bronze Age

Extra History is an educational series of Extra Credits about historical moments. From the Punic Wars to the The Brothers Gracchi, the series has endless stories to tell.

Season 91

S91E01 Rome & The Third Century Crisis - Taking A Stab At It

The Third Century Crisis has it all. Assassinations, plotting, uprisings by the people, military, and nobles alike. Burning and looting. And a year where there were 6 emperors all at the same time. We will be covering Aurelian and Diocletian, we promise. But first we need to set up the backstory for how these two managed to staple the Roman empire back together. And we'll cover the 14 emperors leading up to Aurelian. One whose death might seem. familiar.

S91E02 Third Century Crisis - Enter Aurelian

Aurelian came from. well, we don't really know where exactly. But boy did he leave his mark on Roman history. While ancient Rome was being gripped by the Third Century Crisis and most emperors could rarely last for a year, Aurelian became emperor and managed to claim several titles, including Restitutor Orbis, restorer of the world. Quite a hefty title, that. We cover his battles with the German tribes, the Goths, and Zenobia.

S91E03 Third Century Crisis - Not Diocletian

A messy and petty assassination plot kills Aurelian after 5 years of ruling. Would Rome be doomed to start the crisis a new? At first, it seemed like it. Emperors rose and fell and were assassinated, died in accidents, etc. Definitely not by the elite commander Diocletian though. Even if Diocletian benefited greatly from the crisis. Like becoming the new Emperor of Rome. Now the civil war and conga line of assassinations and political plotting might make it sound like Diocletian is just another horse on the merry go round of absolute chaos Rome had become. But this new Emperor had BIG ideas.

S91E04 Third Century Crisis - The Tetrarchy

The Third Century Crisis becomes manageable under Diocletian, but the emperor still faces many problems, and not all of them as exciting as assassination. The rampant devaluing of currency and lack of formal tax system makes it very difficult for the state to accumulate wealth. So Diolcletian will overhaul the tax system and that will become his most long-lasting achievement. But his more famous invention is the tetrarcy, Rome's imperial boy band who will work to stabilize the massive empire.

S91E05 Third Century Crisis - The Great Persecution

Diocletian worked hard to pull together the Roman Empire from the brink of collapse but remember, his strategy was to return the Empire to some mythic past that really never existed in the first place. But that meant something had to be done about this new pesky religion that had shown up, one that centered an executed criminal. Something must be done about Christianity. Thus began The Great Persecution and the Cult of Martyrs that would grow to become the practice of saints. But even without the religious troubles, there was unrest brewing in the empire. Diocletian and Maximius retired, only for their sons to throw the empire back into civil war.


The history of Angkor as the central area of settlement of the historical kingdom of Kambujadesa is also the history of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th to the 13th centuries. [7]

From Kambuja itself—and so also from the Angkor region—no written records have survived other than stone inscriptions. Therefore, the current knowledge of the historical Khmer civilisation is derived primarily from:

  • Archaeological excavation, reconstruction and investigation
  • Stone inscriptions (the most important of which are foundation steles of temples), which report on the political and religious deeds of the kings
  • Reliefs in a series of temple walls with depictions of military marches, life in the palace, market scenes, and the daily life of the population
  • Reports and chronicles of Chinese diplomats, traders and travellers.

Formation and growth Edit

Jayavarman II – the founder of Angkor Edit

According to Sdok Kok Thom inscription, [8] : 97 [9] : 353–354 circa 781 Indrapura was the first capital of Jayavarman II, located in Banteay Prei Nokor, near today's Kompong Cham. [10] After he eventually returned to his home, the former kingdom of Chenla, he quickly built up his influence, conquered a series of competing kings, and in 790 became king of a kingdom called Kambuja by the Khmer. He then moved his court northwest to Mahendraparvata, far inland north from the great lake of Tonle Sap.

Jayavarman II (802–835) [11] : xiii, 59 is widely regarded as a king who set the foundations of the Angkor period in Cambodian history, beginning with a grandiose consecration ritual that he conducted in 802 on the sacred Mount Mahendraparvata, now known as Phnom Kulen, to celebrate the independence of Kambuja from a place inscriptions call "Java" [12] At that ceremony Prince Jayavarman II was proclaimed a universal monarch (Cambodian: Kamraten jagad ta Raja) or God King (Sanskrit: Deva Raja). [13] : 35 or "The Lords of Mountains", hence the concept of Deva Raja or God King was ostensibly imported from Java. [8] : 99–101

He declared himself Chakravartin in a ritual taken from the Hindu tradition, thereby not only becoming the divinely appointed and therefore uncontested ruler, but also simultaneously declaring the independence of his kingdom from Java. According to some sources, Jayavarman II had resided for some time in Java during the reign of Sailendras, [13] : 35 or "The Lords of Mountains", hence the concept of Deva Raja or God King was ostensibly imported from Java. [8] : 99–101 At that time, Sailendras allegedly ruled over Java, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and parts of Cambodia, [14] around the Mekong delta.

The first pieces of information on Jayavarman II came from the K.235 stone inscription on a stele in Sdok Kok Thom temple, Isan region, dating to 1053. It recounts two and a half centuries of service that members of the temple's founding family provided for the Khmer court, mainly as chief chaplains of the Shaivite Hindu religion. [15]

Historians debate whether "Java" means the Indonesian island of Java, Champa or a different location. According to an older established interpretation, Jayavarman II was a prince who lived at the court of Sailendra in Java and brought back to his home the art and culture of the Javanese Sailendran court to Cambodia. [8] : 97 This classical theory was revisited by modern scholars such as Claude Jacques [16] and Michael Vickery, who noted that Khmer used the term chvea to describe the Chams, their close neighbours. [17] Moreover, Jayavarman's political career began at Vyadhapura (probably Banteay Prei Nokor) in eastern Cambodia, which makes the scenario of longtime contacts with the Chams (even through skirmishes, as the inscription suggests) more probable than the scenario of a long stay in distant Java. [18] Finally, many early temples on Phnom Kulen show both Cham (e.g. Prasat Damrei Krap) and Javanese influences (e.g. the primitive "temple-mountain" of Aram Rong Cen and Prasat Thmar Dap), even if their asymmetric distribution seems typically Khmer. [19]

In the following years, he extended his territory and, later in his reign, moved from Mahendraparvata and established his new capital of Hariharalaya near the modern Cambodian town of Rolous. [8] : 98 He thereby laid the foundation of Angkor, which was to arise some 15 km to the northwest. Jayavarman II died in the year 835 [11] : 59 and he was succeeded by his son Jayavarman III. [8] : 103 [20] Jayavarman III died in 877 and was succeeded by Indravarman I. [8] : 110

The successors of Jayavarman II continually extended the territory of Kambuja. Indravarman I (reigned 877–889) managed to expand the kingdom without wars and initiated extensive building projects, which were enabled by the wealth gained through trade and agriculture. Foremost were the temple of Preah Ko and irrigation works. Indravarman I developed Hariharalaya further by constructing Bakong [9] : 354–358 circa 881. [8] : 110–111 Bakong in particular bears striking similarity to the Borobudur temple in Java, which strongly suggests that it served as the prototype for Bakong. There must have been exchanges of travelers, if not missions, between the Khmer kingdom and the Sailendras in Java, transmitting to Cambodia not only ideas, but also technical and architectural details. [21]


The Maratha Empire is also referred to as the Maratha Confederacy. The historian Barbara Ramusack says that the former is a designation preferred by Indian nationalists, while the latter was that used by British historians. She notes, "neither term is fully accurate since one implies a substantial degree of centralisation and the other signifies some surrender of power to a central government and a longstanding core of political administrators". [19]

Although at present, the word Maratha refers to a particular caste of warriors and peasants, in the past the word has been used to describe all Marathi people. [20] [21]

The empire had its head in the Chhatrapati as de jure, but the de facto governance was in the hands of the Peshwas after Chhatrapati Shahu I's reign. [22] After his death and with the death of Peshwa Madhavrao I, various chiefs played the role of the de facto rulers in their own regions. [23]


Shivaji (1627–1680) was a Maratha aristocrat of the Bhosale clan who is the founder of the Maratha empire. [4] Shivaji led a resistance to free the people from the Sultanate of Bijapur in 1645 by winning the fort Torna, followed by many more forts, placing the area under his control and establishing Hindavi Swarajya (self-rule of Hindu people [9] ). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital [24] and successfully fought against the Mughals to defend his kingdom. He was crowned as Chhatrapati (sovereign) of the new Maratha kingdom in 1674.

The Maratha kingdom comprised about 4.1% of the subcontinent, but it was spread over large tracts. At the time of his death, [4] it was reinforced with about 300 forts, and defended by about 40,000 cavalries, and 50,000 soldiers, as well as naval establishments along the west coast. Over time, the kingdom would increase in size and heterogeneity [25] by the time of his grandson's rule, and later under the Peshwas in the early 18th century, it was a full-fledged empire. [26]

Sambhaji (Shambhu Raje)

Shivaji had two sons: Sambhaji and Rajaram, who had different mothers and were half-brothers. In 1681, Sambhaji succeeded to the crown after his father's death and resumed his expansionist policies. Sambhaji had earlier defeated the Portuguese and Chikka Deva Raya of Mysore. To nullify the alliance between his rebel son, Akbar, and the Marathas, [27] Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb headed south in 1681. With his entire imperial court, administration and an army of about 500,000 troops, he proceeded to expand the Mughal empire, gaining territories such as the sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda. During the eight years that followed, Sambhaji led the Marathas.

In early 1689, Sambhaji called his commanders for a strategic meeting at Sangameshwar to consider an onslaught on the Mughal forces. [ citation needed ] In a meticulously planned operation, Ganoji and Aurangzeb's commander, Mukarrab Khan, attacked Sangameshwar when Sambhaji was accompanied by just a few men. Sambhaji was ambushed and captured by the Mughal troops on 1 February 1689. He and his advisor, Kavi Kalash, were taken to Bahadurgad by the imperial army, where they were executed by the Mughals on 21 March 1689. [28] Aurangzeb had charged Sambhaji with attacks by Maratha forces on Burhanpur. [29]

Rajaram and Maharani Tarabai

Upon Sambhaji's death, his half-brother Rajaram ascended the throne. The Mughal siege of Raigad continued, and he had to flee to Vishalgad and then to Gingee for safety. From there, the Marathas raided Mughal territory, and many forts were recaptured by Maratha commanders such as Santaji Ghorpade, Dhanaji Jadhav, Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi, Shankaraji Narayan Sacheev and Melgiri Pandit. In 1697, Rajaram offered a truce but this was rejected by Aurangzeb. Rajaram died in 1700 at Sinhagad. His widow, Tarabai, assumed control in the name of her son, Ramaraja (Shivaji II). [ citation needed ]

Shahu Maharaj

After Aurangzeb's death in 1707, Shahu, the son of Sambhaji (and grandson of Shivaji), was released by Bahadur Shah I, the new Mughal emperor. However, his mother was kept as a hostage of the Mughals, in order to ensure that Shahu adhered to the release conditions. Upon release, Shahu immediately claimed the Maratha throne and challenged his aunt Tarabai and her son. The spluttering Mughal-Maratha war became a three-cornered affair. The states of Satara and Kolhapur were organised in 1707 because of the succession dispute over the Maratha kingship. Shahu appointed Balaji Vishwanath as Peshwa. [30] The Peshwa was instrumental in securing Mughal recognition of Shahu as the rightful heir of Shivaji and the Chatrapati of the Marathas. [30] Balaji also gained the release of Shahu's mother, Yesubai, from Mughal captivity in 1719. [31]

During Shahu's reign, Raghoji Bhosale expanded the empire Eastwards, reaching present-day Bengal. Khanderao Dabhade and later his son, Triambakrao, expanded it Westwards into Gujarat. [32] Peshwa Bajirao and his three chiefs, Pawar (Dhar), Holkar (Indore), and Scindia (Gwalior), expanded it Northwards up to Attock.

During this era, Peshwas belonging to the Bhat family controlled the Maratha Army and later became de facto rulers of the Maratha Empire till 1772. In due course of time, the Maratha Empire dominated most of the Indian subcontinent.

Balaji Vishwanath

Shahu appointed Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath in 1713. From his time, the office of Peshwa became supreme while Shahu became a figurehead. [30]

  • His first major achievement was the conclusion of the Treaty of Lonavala in 1714 with Kanhoji Angre, the most powerful naval chief on the Western Coast. He later accepted Shahu as Chhatrapati.
  • In 1719, an army of Marathas marched to Delhi after defeating Sayyid Hussain Ali, the Mughal governor of Deccan, and deposed the Mughal emperor. The Mughal Emperors became puppets in the hands of their Maratha overlords from this point on. [33]

Baji Rao I

After Balaji Vishwanath's death in April 1720, his son, Baji Rao I, was appointed Peshwa by Shahu. Bajirao is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire tenfold from 3% to 30% of the modern Indian landscape during 1720–1740. He fought over 41 battles before his death in April 1740 and is reputed to have never lost any. [34]

  • The Battle of Palkhed was a land battle that took place on 28 February 1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, India between Baji Rao I and Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I of Hyderabad. The Marathas defeated the Nizam. The battle is considered an example of brilliant execution of military strategy. [33]
  • In 1737, Marathas under Bajirao I raided the suburbs of Delhi in a blitzkrieg in the Battle of Delhi (1737). [35][36]
  • The Nizam set out from the Deccan to rescue the Mughals from the invasion of the Marathas, but was defeated decisively in the Battle of Bhopal. [37][38] The Marathas extracted a large tribute from the Mughals and signed a treaty which ceded Malwa to the Marathas. [39]
  • The Battle of Vasai was fought between the Marathas and the Portuguese rulers of Vasai, a village lying on the northern shore of Vasai creek, 50 km north of Mumbai. The Marathas were led by Chimaji Appa, brother of Baji Rao. The Maratha victory in this war was a major achievement of Baji Rao's time in office. [37]

Balaji Baji Rao

Baji Rao's son, Balaji Bajirao (Nanasaheb), was appointed as the next Peshwa by Shahu despite the opposition of other chiefs.

  • In 1740, the Maratha forces, under Raghoji Bhosale, came down upon Arcot and defeated the Nawab of Arcot, Dost Ali, in the pass at Damalcherry. In the war that followed, Dost Ali, one of his sons Hasan Ali, and a number of other prominent persons lost their lives. This initial success at once enhanced Maratha prestige in the south. From Damalcherry, the Marathas proceeded to Arcot, which surrendered to them without much resistance. Then, Raghuji invaded Trichinopoly in December 1740. Unable to resist, Chanda Sahib surrendered the fort to Raghuji on 14 March 1741. Chanda Saheb and his son were arrested and sent to Nagpur. [40] also came under Maratha domination during this time. [41]
  • In June 1756 Luís Mascarenhas, Count of Alva (Conde de Alva), the Portuguese Viceroy was killed in action by the Maratha Army in Goa.

Invasions in Bengal

After the successful campaign of Karnataka and the Trichinopolly, Raghuji returned from Karnataka. He undertook six expeditions into Bengal from 1741 to 1748. [42] The resurgent Maratha Empire launched brutal raids against the prosperous Bengali state in the 18th century, which further added to the decline of the Nawabs of Bengal. During their invasions and occupation of Bihar [43] and western Bengal up to the Hooghly River, [15] Raghuji was able to annex Odisha to his kingdom permanently as he successfully exploited the chaotic conditions prevailing in Bengal after the death of its governor Murshid Quli Khan in 1727. Constantly harassed by the Bhonsles, Odisha, Bengal and parts of Bihar were economically ruined. Alivardi Khan, the Nawab of Bengal made peace with Raghuji in 1751 ceding Cuttack (Odisha) up to the river Subarnarekha, and agreeing to pay Rs. 1.2 million annually as the Chauth for Bengal and Bihar. [41]

During their occupation of western Bengal, the Marathas perpetrated atrocities against the local population. [15] The Maratha atrocities were recorded by both Bengali and European sources, which reported that the Marathas demanded payments, and tortured and killed anyone who couldn't pay. Dutch sources estimate a total of 400,000 people in Bengal were killed by the Marathas. According to Bengali sources, the atrocities led to much of the local population opposing the Marathas and developing support for the Nawabs. [15]

Maratha's Afghan conquests

  • Balaji Bajirao encouraged agriculture, protected the villagers and brought about a marked improvement in the state of the territory. Raghunath Rao, brother of Nanasaheb, pushed into the wake of the Afghan withdrawal after Ahmed Shah Abdali's plunder of Delhi in 1756. Delhi was captured by the Maratha army under Raghunath Rao in August 1757, defeating the Afghan garrison in the Battle of Delhi. This laid the foundation for the Maratha conquest of North-west India. In Lahore, as in Delhi, the Marathas were now major players. [44] After the Battle of Attock, 1758, the Marathas captured Peshawar defeating the Afghan troops in the Battle of Peshawar on 8 May 1758. [13]

Maratha invasion of Delhi and Rohilkhand

Just prior to the battle of Panipat in 1761, the Marathas looted "Diwan-i-Khas" or Hall of Private Audiences in the Red Fort of Delhi, which was the place where the Mughal emperors used to receive courtiers and state guests, in one of their expeditions to Delhi.

The Marathas who were hard pressed for money stripped the ceiling of Diwan-i-Khas of its silver and looted the shrines dedicated to Muslim maulanas. [45]

During the Maratha invasion of Rohilkhand in the 1750s

The Marathas defeated the Rohillas, forced them to seek shelter in hills and ransacked their country in such a manner that the Rohillas dreaded the Marathas and hated them ever afterwards. [45]

Third battle of Panipat

In 1759, the Marathas under Sadashivrao Bhau (referred to as the Bhau or Bhao in sources) responded to the news of the Afghans' return to North India by sending a large army north. Bhau's force was bolstered by some Maratha forces under Holkar, Scindia, Gaikwad and Govind Pant Bundele. The combined army of over 100,000 regular troops re-captured the former Mughal capital, Delhi, from an Afghan garrison in August 1760. [46] Delhi had been reduced to ashes many times due to previous invasions, and there was an acute shortage of supplies in the Maratha camp. Bhau ordered the sacking of the already depopulated city. [45] [47] He is said to have planned to place his nephew and the Peshwa's son, Vishwasrao, on the Mughal throne. By 1760, with defeat of the Nizam in the Deccan, Maratha power had reached its zenith with a territory of over 2,500,000 square miles (6,500,000 km 2 ). [3]

Ahmad Shah Durrani called on the Rohillas and the Nawab of Oudh to assist him in driving out the Marathas from Delhi. [ citation needed ] Huge armies of Muslim forces and Marathas collided with each other on 14 January 1761 in the Third Battle of Panipat. The Maratha Army lost the battle, which halted their imperial expansion. The Jats and Rajputs did not support the Marathas. Historians have criticised the Maratha treatment of fellow Hindu groups. Kaushik Roy says "The treatment of Marathas with their co-religionist fellows – Jats and Rajputs was definitely unfair and ultimately they had to pay its price in Panipat where Muslim forces had united in the name of religion." [44] The Marathas had antagonised the Jats and Rajputs by taxing them heavily, punishing them after defeating the Mughals and interfering in their internal affairs [ citation needed ] . The Marathas were abandoned by Raja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur and the Rajputs, who quit the Maratha alliance at Agra before the start of the great battle and withdrew their troops as Maratha general Sadashivrao Bhau did not heed the advice to leave soldier's families (women and children) and pilgrims at Agra and not take them to the battle field with the soldiers, rejected their co-operation. Their supply chains (earlier assured by Raja Suraj Mal and Rajputs) did not exist. [ citation needed ]

Peshwa Madhav Rao I

Peshwa Madhavrao I was the fourth Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. It was during his tenure that the Maratha Resurrection took place. He worked as a unifying force in the Maratha Empire and moved to the south to subdue Mysore and the Nizam of Hyderabad to assert Maratha power. He sent generals such as Bhonsle, Scindia and Holkar to the north, where they re-established Maratha authority by the early 1770s. [ citation needed ]

Young though he was, Madhav Rao had a cool and calculating head of a seasoned and experienced man. The diplomacy by which he could win over his uncle Raghoba when he had no strength to fight and the way he could crush his power when he had the means to do so later on proved in him a genius who knows when and how to act. The formidable power of the Nizam was crushed, Hyder Ali, who was a terror even to the British, was effectually humbled and before he died in 1772, the Marathas were almost there in the north where they had been before Panipat. What could not have the Marathas achieved if Madhav had continued living just for a few years more? Destiny was not in favour of the Marathas, the death of Madhav was a greater blow than their defeat of Panipat and from this blow they could never again recover. [48]

Madhav Rao died in 1772, at the age of 27. His death is considered to be a fatal blow to the Maratha Empire and from that time Maratha power started to move on a downward trajectory, less an empire than a confederacy. [ citation needed ]

In a bid to effectively manage the large empire, Madhavrao Peshwa gave semi-autonomy to the strongest of the knights. [ citation needed ] After the death of Peshwa Madhavrao I, various chiefs and statesmen became de facto rulers and regents for the infant Peshwa Madhavrao II. [ citation needed ] Thus, semi-autonomous Maratha states came into being in far-flung regions of the empire: [ citation needed ]

    of Pune of Baroda of Indore (aka Shindes) of Gwalior (Chambal region) and Ujjain (Malwa Region) of Nagpur (no blood relation with Shivaji's or Tarabai's family) (or Pawars) of Dewas and Dhar
  • Even in the original kingdom of Shivaji itself, many knights were given semi-autonomous charges of small districts, which led to princely states like Sangli, Aundh, Bhor, Bawda, Phaltan, Miraj, etc. The Pawars of Udgir were also part of the confederacy.

Major events

  • In 1659, Shivaji killed Afzal Khan at Pratapgad – he had come to demolish the Maratha kingdom. More than 3,000 soldiers of the Bijapur army were killed and one sardar of high rank, two sons of Afzal Khan and two Maratha chiefs were taken prisoner.
  • In the ensuing Battle of Pavan Khind, the small Maratha force of 300 held back the larger enemy to buy time for Shivaji to escape. Baji Prabhu Deshpande was wounded but continued to fight until he heard the sound of cannon fire from Vishalgad, signalling Shivaji had safely reached the fort, on the evening of 13 July 1660.
  • In April 1663, Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Shaista Khan in Pune, along with a small group of men. After gaining access to Khan's compound, the raiders were able to kill some of his wives Shaista Khan escaped, losing a finger in the melee. [49] The Khan took refuge with the Mughal forces outside of Pune, and Aurangzeb punished him for this embarrassment with a transfer to Bengal. [50]
  • In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra and arrested him but Shivaji manage to get escape and safely reached his Kingdom.
  • In 1674, Shivaji was crowned king of the Maratha Empire in a lavish ceremony at Raigad fort.
  • After the 1761 Battle of Panipat, Malhar Rao Holkar attacked the Rajputs and defeated them at the battle of Mangrol. This largely restored Maratha power in Rajasthan. [51]
  • Under the leadership of Mahadji Shinde, the ruler of the state of Gwalior in central India, the Marathas defeated the Jats, the Rohilla Afghans and took Delhi which remained under Maratha control for the next three decades. [52] His forces conquered modern day Haryana. [53] Shinde was instrumental in resurrecting Maratha power after the débâcle of the Third Battle of Panipat, and in this he was assisted by Benoît de Boigne.
  • In 1737 Baji Rao I attacked Delhi, and further weakened the Mughal empire. [54]
  • In 1767 Madhavrao I crossed the Krishna River and defeated Hyder Ali in the battles of Sira and Madgiri. He also rescued the last queen of the Keladi Nayaka Kingdom, who had been kept in confinement by Hyder Ali in the fort of Madgiri. [55]
  • In early 1771, ten years after the collapse of Maratha authority over North India following the Third Battle of Panipat, Mahadji recaptured Delhi and installed Shah Alam II as a puppet ruler on the Mughal throne [56] receiving in return the title of deputy Vakil-ul-Mutlak or vice-regent of the Empire and that of Vakil-ul-Mutlak being at his request conferred on the Peshwa. The Mughals also gave him the title of Amir-ul-Amara (head of the amirs). [57]
  • After taking control of Delhi, the Marathas sent a large army in 1772 to punish Afghan Rohillas for their involvement in Panipat. Their army devastated Rohilkhand by looting and plundering as well as taking members of the royal family as captives. [56]
  • After the growth in power of feudal lords like Malwa sardars, landlords of Bundelkhand and Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan, they refused to pay tribute to Mahadji, so he sent his army to conquer the states such as Bhopal, Datiya, Chanderi, Narwar, Salbai and Gohad. However, he launched an unsuccessful expedition against the Raja of Jaipur, but withdrew after the inconclusive Battle of Lalsot in 1787. [58]
  • The Battle of Gajendragad was fought between the Marathas under the command of Tukojirao Holkar (the adopted son of Malharrao Holkar) and Tipu Sultan from March 1786 to March 1787 in which Tipu Sultan was defeated by the Marathas. By the victory in this battle, the border of the Maratha territory extended till Tungabhadra river. [59]
  • The strong fort of Gwalior was then in the hands of Chhatar Singh, the Jat ruler of Gohad. In 1783, Mahadji besieged the fort of Gwalior and conquered it. He delegated the administration of Gwalior to Khanderao Hari Bhalerao. After celebrating the conquest of Gwalior, Mahadji Shinde turned his attention to Delhi again. [60]
  • In 1788, Mahadji's armies defeated Ismail Beg, a Mughal noble who resisted the Marathas. [61] The Rohilla chief Ghulam Kadir, Ismail Beg's ally, took over Delhi, capital of the Mughal dynasty and deposed and blinded the king Shah Alam II, placing a puppet on the Delhi throne. Mahadji intervened and killed him, taking possession of Delhi on 2 October restoring Shah Alam II to the throne and acting as his protector. [62] and Jodhpur, the two most powerful Rajput states, were still out of direct Maratha domination. So, Mahadji sent his general Benoît de Boigne to crush the forces of Jaipur and Jodhpur at the Battle of Patan. [63] Marwar was also captured on 10 September 1790.
  • Another achievement of the Marathas was their victories over the Nizam of Hyderabad's armies including in the Battle of Kharda. [14][64]

Mysore war, Sringeri sacking, British alliance

The Marathas came into conflict with Tipu Sultan and his Kingdom of Mysore, leading to the Maratha–Mysore War in 1785. The war ended in 1787 with the Marathas being defeated by Tipu Sultan. [65] In 1791–92, large areas of the Maratha Confederacy suffered massive population loss due to the Doji bara famine. [66]

In 1791, irregulars like lamaans and pindaris of the Maratha army raided and looted the temple of Sringeri Shankaracharya, killing and wounding many people including Brahmins, plundering the monastery of all its valuable possessions, and desecrating the temple by displacing the image of goddess Sarada. [ citation needed ] The incumbent Shankaracharya petitioned Tipu Sultan for help. A bunch of about 30 letters written in Kannada, which were exchanged between Tipu Sultan's court and the Sringeri Shankaracharya were discovered in 1916 by the Director of Archaeology in Mysore. Tipu Sultan expressed his indignation and grief at the news of the raid: [67]

People who have sinned against such a holy place are sure to suffer the consequences of their misdeeds at no distant date in this Kali age in accordance with the verse: "Hasadbhih kriyate karma rudadbhir-anubhuyate" (People do [evil] deeds smilingly but suffer the consequences crying). [68]

Tipu Sultan immediately ordered the Asaf of Bednur to supply the Swami with 200 rahatis (fanams) in cash and other gifts and articles. Tipu Sultan's interest in the Sringeri temple continued for many years, and he was still writing to the Swami in the 1790s. [69]

The Maratha Empire soon allied with the British East India Company (based in the Bengal Presidency) against Mysore in the Anglo-Mysore Wars. After the British had suffered defeat against Mysore in the first two Anglo-Mysore War, the Maratha cavalry assisted the British in the last two Anglo-Mysore Wars from 1790 onwards, eventually helping the British conquer Mysore in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799. [70] After the British conquest, however, the Marathas launched frequent raids in Mysore to plunder the region, which they justified as compensation for past losses to Tipu Sultan. [71]

British intervention

In 1775, the British East India Company, from its base in Bombay, intervened in a succession struggle in Pune, on behalf of Raghunathrao (also called Raghobadada), who wanted to become Peshwa of the empire. Marathas forces under Tukojirao Holkar and Mahadaji Shinde defeated a British expeditionary force at the Battle of Wadgaon, but the heavy surrender terms, which included the return of annexed territory and a share of revenues, were disavowed by the British authorities at Bengal and fighting continued. What became known as the First Anglo-Maratha War ended in 1782 with a restoration of the pre-war status quo and the East India Company's abandonment of Raghunathrao's cause. [72]

In 1799, Yashwantrao Holkar was crowned King of the Holkars and he captured Ujjain. He started campaigning towards the north to expand his empire in that region. Yashwant Rao rebelled against the policies of Peshwa Baji Rao II. In May 1802, he marched towards Pune the seat of the Peshwa. This gave rise to the Battle of Poona in which the Peshwa was defeated. After the Battle of Poona, the flight of the Peshwa left the government of the Maratha state in the hands of Yashwantrao Holkar.(Kincaid & Pārasanīsa 1925, p. 194) He appointed Amrutrao as the Peshwa and went to Indore on 13 March 1803. All except Gaikwad, chief of Baroda, who had already accepted British protection by a separate treaty on 26 July 1802, supported the new regime. He made a treaty with the British. Also, Yashwant Rao successfully resolved the disputes with Scindia and the Peshwa. He tried to unite the Maratha Confederacy but to no avail. In 1802, the British intervened in Baroda to support the heir to the throne against rival claimants and they signed a treaty with the new Maharaja recognising his independence from the Maratha Empire in return for his acknowledgment of British paramountcy. Before the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805), the Peshwa Baji Rao II signed a similar treaty. The defeat in Battle of Delhi, 1803 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War resulted in the loss of the city of Delhi for the Marathas. [73]

The Second Anglo-Maratha War represents the military high-water mark of the Marathas who posed the last serious opposition to the formation of the British Raj. The real contest for India was never a single decisive battle for the subcontinent. Rather, it turned on a complex social and political struggle for the control of the South Asian military economy. The victory in 1803 hinged as much on finance, diplomacy, politics and intelligence as it did on battlefield maneuver and war itself. [71]

Ultimately, the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818) resulted in the loss of Maratha independence. It left the British in control of most of the Indian subcontinent. The Peshwa was exiled to Bithoor (Marat, near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh) as a pensioner of the British. The Maratha heartland of Desh, including Pune, came under direct British rule, with the exception of the states of Kolhapur and Satara, which retained local Maratha rulers (descendants of Shivaji and Sambhaji II ruled over Kolhapur). The Maratha-ruled states of Gwalior, Indore, and Nagpur all lost territory and came under subordinate alliances with the British Raj as princely states that retained internal sovereignty under British paramountcy. Other small princely states of Maratha knights were retained under the British Raj as well. [ citation needed ]

The Third Anglo-Maratha War was fought by Maratha warlords separately instead of forming a common front and they surrendered one by one. Shinde and the Pashtun Amir Khan were subdued by the use of diplomacy and pressure, which resulted in the Treaty of Gwalior [74] on 5 November 1817. [ citation needed ] All other Maratha chiefs like Holkars, Bhonsles and the Peshwa gave up arms by 1818. British historian Percival Spear describes 1818 as a watershed year in the history of India, saying that by that year "the British dominion in India became the British dominion of India". [75] [76]

The war left the British, under the auspices of the British East India Company, in control of virtually all of present-day India south of the Sutlej River. The famed Nassak Diamond was looted by the company as part of the spoils of the war. [77] The British acquired large chunks of territory from the Maratha Empire and in effect put an end to their most dynamic opposition. [78] The terms of surrender Major-general John Malcolm offered to the Peshwa were controversial amongst the British for being too liberal: The Peshwa was offered a luxurious life near Kanpur and given a pension of about 80,000 pounds. [ citation needed ]

The Ashtapradhan (The Council of Eight) was a council of eight ministers that administered the Maratha empire. This system was formed by Shivaji. [79] Ministerial designations were drawn from the Sanskrit language and comprised: [ citation needed ]

  • Pantpradhan or Peshwa – Prime Minister, general administration of the Empire
  • Amatya or Mazumdar – Finance Minister, managing accounts of the Empire [80] [unreliable source?]
  • Sachiv – Secretary, preparing royal edicts
  • Mantri – Interior Minister, managing internal affairs especially intelligence and espionage
  • Senapati – Commander-in-Chief, managing the forces and defence of the Empire
  • Sumant – Foreign Minister, to manage relationships with other sovereigns
  • Nyayadhyaksh – Chief Justice, dispensing justice on civil and criminal matters
  • Panditrao – High Priest, managing internal religious matters

With the notable exception of the priestly Panditrao and the judicial Nyayadisha, the other pradhans held full-time military commands and their deputies performed their civil duties in their stead. In the later era of the Maratha Empire, these deputies and their staff constituted the core of the Peshwa's bureaucracy. [ citation needed ]

The Peshwa was the titular equivalent of a modern Prime Minister. Shivaji created the Peshwa designation in order to more effectively delegate administrative duties during the growth of the Maratha Empire. Prior to 1749, Peshwas held office for 8–9 years and controlled the Maratha Army. They later became the de facto hereditary administrators of the Maratha Empire from 1749 till its end in 1818. [ citation needed ]

Under the administration of the Peshwas and with the support of several key generals and diplomats (listed below), the Maratha Empire reached its zenith, ruling most of the Indian subcontinent. It was also under the Peshwas that the Maratha Empire came to its end through its formal annexation into the British Empire by the British East India Company in 1818.

The Marathas used a secular policy of administration and allowed complete freedom of religion. [81]

Shivaji was an able administrator who established a government that included modern concepts such as cabinet, foreign policy and internal intelligence. [82] He established an effective civil and military administration. He believed that there was a close bond between the state and the citizens. He is remembered as a just and welfare-minded king. Cosme da Guarda says of him that: [14]

Such was the good treatment Shivaji accorded to people and such was the honesty with which he observed the capitulations that none looked upon him without a feeling of love and confidence. By his people he was exceedingly loved. Both in matters of reward and punishment he was so impartial that while he lived he made no exception for any person no merit was left unrewarded, no offence went unpunished and this he did with so much care and attention that he specially charged his governors to inform him in writing of the conduct of his soldiers, mentioning in particular those who had distinguished themselves, and he would at once order their promotion, either in rank or in pay, according to their merit. He was naturally loved by all men of valor and good conduct.

English traveller John Fryer found Shivaji's tax-collecting regime oppressive, describing it as poor people having land "imposed upon them at double the former Rates", and if they refused it, being "carried to Prison, there they are famished almost to death". While French physician Dellon reports that Shivaji was "looked upon as one of the most politic princes in those parts."

The Marathas carried out a number of sea raids, such as plundering Mughal pilgrim ships and European trading vessels. European traders described these attacks as piracy, but the Marathas viewed them as legitimate targets because they were trading with, and thus financially supporting, their Mughal and Bijapur enemies. After the representatives of various European powers signed agreements with Shivaji or his successors, the threat of plundering or raids against Europeans began to reduce.

The Maratha Empire, at its peak, encompassed a large area of the Indian sub-continent. Apart from capturing various regions, the Marathas maintained a large number of tributaries who were bounded by agreements to pay a certain amount of regular tax, known as Chauth. The empire defeated the Sultanate of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the Nawab of Oudh, the Nawab of Bengal, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Arcot as well as the Polygar kingdoms of South India. They extracted chauth from the rulers in Delhi, Oudh, Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab, Hyderabad, Mysore, Uttar Pradesh and Rajputana. [83] [84]

The Marathas were requested by Safdarjung, the Nawab of Oudh, in 1752 to help him defeat the Afghani Rohillas. The Maratha force set out from Pune and defeated the Afghan Rohillas in 1752, capturing the whole of Rohilkhand (present-day northwestern Uttar Pradesh). [45] In 1752, the Marathas entered into an agreement with the Mughal emperor, through his wazir, Safdarjung, and the Mughals gave the Marathas the chauth of Punjab, Sindh and Doab in addition to the subedari of Ajmer and Agra. [85] In 1758, Marathas started their north-west conquest and expanded their boundary till Afghanistan. They defeated Afghan forces of Ahmed Shah Abdali, in what is now Pakistan, including Pakistani Punjab Province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Afghans were numbered around 25,000–30,000 and were led by Timur Shah, the son of Ahmad Shah Durrani. The Marathas massacred and looted thousands of Afghan soldiers and captured Lahore, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Attock, Peshawar in the Punjab region and Kashmir. [86]

During the confederacy era, Mahadji Shinde resurrected the Maratha domination on much of North India, which was lost after the Third battle of Panipat including the cis-Sutlej states (south of Sutlej) like Kaithal, Patiala, Jind, Thanesar, Maler Kotla and Faridkot. Delhi and Uttar Pradesh were under the suzerainty of the Scindhias of the Maratha Empire and following the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805, the Marathas lost these territories to the British East India Company. [57] [87]


One in this ten-part miniseries documenting historical events and developments around the world in the individual centuries of the past millennium. This episode focuses on the 14th century. In Egypt, the Black Death took hold in 1347, and poets described how the once-affluent city was reduced to 2/3 of its original population after being ravaged by the plague. The sickness spread along the trade routes and affected many other countries, wiping out hundreds of thousands of people it is speculated that half the population affected by the disease died. Many believed it was a sign of the end of the world and turned to religion, punishing others, usually specific racial groups, as well as themselves for bringing God’s wrath down upon them. Mali, however, flourished: the land was a vast source of gold, and traveler Ibn Battuta observed that the people also had an effective method of transporting salt over great distances. Through trade along the conveniently-placed Niger river, the country became wealthy and gained fame for its Islamic centers, in which the holy texts were decorated with gold. The sultan, known as Mansa Musa, was and still is greatly revered he put together an impressive army, often depicted in small statues in modern day. Battuta observed the extensive marketplaces and use of gold in trading, although the native people kept the source of the gold a secret, and many legends and stories sprang up surrounding its legend. When Musa traveled to Mecca, he left behind in many towns the legend of his great wealth. In Central Asia, in the city of Samarkand, a conqueror called Timur made a name for himself by creating a massive army to rival Genghis Khan’s: he too felt that there should be only one god-like ruler on Earth, and considered himself the “champion of Islam.” He launched a large and violent campaign across several countries, expanding his empire and slaughtering thousands. He also built an elaborate mosque in honor of his mother-in-law, and allied himself with holy men, traveling to many shrines. He was seen as “more than a general” and as a holy leader as well, and his men were the soldiers of Islam. He continued his religious and political work until the very end of his life, and his mausoleum stands to this day. In Indonesia, the Indian Ocean proved itself useful for trade, thanks to the seasonal winds, and the kingdom of Majapahit in the city of Java was a “cultural melting pot” and a center for the trade of spices. The king, Hayam Wuruk, is still remembered in a “propaganda” musical poem written by his court. He too was known for his lavish lifestyle and desire to expand, and was also famed for his hospitality, providing guests with sumptuous banquets. Wuruk was also an artistic performer, and portrayed himself in dramatic productions as “a living god.” The islands, protected from disease by the ocean and active in trade, prospered. Northern Europe, on the other hand, was suffering through “a mini Ice Age” in which floods ravaged the countryside and temperatures plummeted. Many traveled south, and many died, unable to provide for themselves even in the summer seasons due to the famine that destroyed the crops. Meat became too expensive, and rumors of cannibalism spread. The poor looked to their kings for help, but were rewarded with harsh taxes and little assistance. Finally, a priest named John Ball stirred the people into revolution, encouraging them to rebel against the unjust class system, and many were killed in the process. Their demands were largely ignored, however, and many began to look seaward, searching for another home. Commercials deleted.

Bible moralisée (moralized bibles)

Top: Blanche of Castile and King Louis IX of France and below: Priest dictating to a scribe, Bible of Saint Louis (Moralized Bible), France, probably Paris, c. 1230, 14 3/4 x 10 1/4″ / 37.5 x 26.2 cm (The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.240, fol. 8)

Biblical text and commentary

Scenes from the Apocalypse, Paris-Oxford-London Bible moralisée, France, c. 1225-45 (The British Library, Harley MS 1527 fol. 140v)

“And the angel thrust in his sharp sickle into the earth, and gathered the vineyard of the earth, and cast it into the great press of the wrath of God:” (Douay-Rheims translation)

Upper left (detail), Scenes from the Apocalypse, Paris-Oxford-London Bible moralisée, France, c. 1225-45 (The British Library, Harley MS 1527 fol. 140v)

Commentary (detail), Scenes from the Apocalypse, Paris-Oxford-London Bible moralisée, France, c. 1225-45 (The British Library, Harley MS 1527 fol. 140v)

The illustration is a visual interpretation of this text, with some extra details added. A figure on the right harvests grapes from the vines on the right and Christ, with his cruciform (cross-shaped) halo, pours the grapes from the basket on his back into the winepress. God and his angels bless the scene from above.

Upper right (detail), Scenes from the Apocalypse, Paris-Oxford-London Bible moralisée, France, c. 1225-45 (The British Library, Harley MS 1527 fol. 140v)

“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and wonderful: seven angels having the seven last plagues. For in them is filled up the wrath of God.” (Douay-Rheims translation)

Middle right (detail), Scenes from the Apocalypse, Paris-Oxford-London Bible moralisée, France, c. 1225-45 (The British Library, Harley MS 1527 fol. 140v)

Watch the video: Kingdom of Majapahit - The Golden Reign - Extra History - #4 (August 2022).