Hanging with History

Episode 26: Henry VIII Part 3; Anne Boleyn Must Die; Reformation in England

Henry’s romantic misadventures. The execution of Cromwell sheds light on the pattern of Royal executions.  Henry’s later advisors make a number of missteps from debasing the currency to getting into wars with both France and Scotland.  Cromwell’s contribution to the Reformation in England.  The English bible, the printing industry, Mary’s threat to the Reformation. Conversations with Camie ranges from literacy levels to divine intervention, the dangers of life at Court to a clarification about Mary’s burnings for Heresy as opposed to normal regime change type political murdering.  We close with a mention of 2 really horrible climate events of the late 16th century.

Read more.

Episode 25: Henry VIII The Reformation in England: Part 2; Too Many Threads

Cromwell’s Act of Supremacy.  A minimally murdery Reformation.  Parliament makes Henry head of the Church of England and the clergy goes along with it.  Cromwell begins dissolving the monasteries through a thorough legal process with pensions for the ex-monks.  Along the way the crown is enriched.   With Camie we look at the 3 main phases of monastery dissolution and emphasize how different Britain was as their Reformation was minimally murdery.

Read more.

Episode 24: Henry VIII The Reformation in England: Part 1

The first of a 5 episode arc.  The Reformation is dominated by Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.  Narrative on Henry’s first marriage, the arguments made to the Pope in his quest for an annulment.  The argument here is that the entire approach was hopeless because the person who decided was really Charles V.  Henry’s minister  Wolsey must have known this and his failure lead to his downfall.   Enter Thomas Cromwell, we hear his fascinating background, his capacities, and the first hint of his plan to solve Henry’s 4 problems.  Power.  Money.  Royal Succession.  His Love for Anne.

Read more: 

Episode 23: Drown the Anabaptists! Reformation in Germany Part 2: Revolting Peasants

The example of astrology as a belief of educated people in the 16th century. Extended coverage of the Peasant’s Revolt, the largest until Bolshevik times.  The Reformation begins to spread but is limited by reaction to the Peasant’s Revolt.  The Anabaptist attempt to create a paradise in Munster.  Their failure is widely misunderstood as a religious failure, but the reaction to it across Europe and the continent has consequences we still feel today.

Read more.

Episode 22: Martin Luther: Reformation in Germany Part 1: They didn't have a prayer

With the help of Kurt Gödel via Scott Aaronson we examine Purgatory and the related prayer industry.  How can we understand a prayer industry?  This leads to indulgences. The great weakness, the great mistake of the church.  The conflict between Martin Luther and Tetzl.  Grace vs Authority.  Roberto Calasso and Augustine.  The Diet of Worms.

Read more.

Episode 21: Introduction to the Reformation: Henry V vs Stirner

Introduction to an introduction to the Reformation. A little about the widespread understanding of corruption in the church.  The P=NP hard problem of history, individual choices or broad social movements.  How much freedom do singular persons like Henry V, Henry VIII and Napoleon have to make the choices that affect history?  Harald presents the theory that Christianity has a built in advantage when it comes to dealing with the truth that successful institutions quickly begin to fail.  Camie hints that we may have a lot of Shakespeare and Milton in our future.

Read more.

Episode 20: Agricultural Revolution Concluded: Crop Rotation

The Agricultural Revolution arc concludes with a discussion of crop rotation.  We take some time to credit the Catholic kingdoms for their contribution to the miracle. Was the rivalry between England and France essential to progress?  The history of crop rotation, the Norfolk four course system (wheat, turnips, barley, clover), Charles Townsend’s role in popularizing.  The dominance of grass based grains on earth might mislead aliens trying to make sense of the earth, or is it we, the domesticated semi-intelligent apes who tend the grasses who are misled?  Conversation with Camie goes a little behind the scenes.

Read more.

Episode 18: The Dreaded Agricultural Revolution and Engineering

The first of a 3 episode arc on the Agricultural Revolution.  Yes, this is the Jethro Tull episode. The focus is on engineering and the early inventions often associated with the Agricultural Revolution – the wrong ones.  Then we turn to the Dutch and their development of efficient water transport which allowed for a much larger hinterland to support growing cities.  This development is as much social as it is engineering and finance, and the social part is still mysterious to historians.

Read more.

Episode 17: Charity and Kindness

Tudor England, the Parish, British and Dutch elites, village life in England. Tensions between freedom and responsibility and predictability within a nuclear family context.

Read more.

Episode 16: The Problem of Evil and the Wizard of San Diego.

Dutch industry and agriculture vs the rest of Europe. Basics of comparative advantage, futures markets, Pareto improvement and protectionism. Coordination problems, Dutch water management and the price mechanism.  Dutch success raises the awkward corollary of the failure of others. Tudor England does not have free markets.  Adam and Eve and hard limits.  Artificial intelligence.

Read more.

Episode 15: The Spanish Armada vs God's Chosen People.

The Spanish Armada was a consequence of the Dutch war with Spain. The importance of the defeat of the Armada to the Battle of Jutland.  Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and William Haller’s Elect Nation. The effect of slave raiding by the Moors.

Read more.

Episode 14: Dutch Independence When Irresistible Force meets Immovable Object

The Dutch are special part 2.  The 80 years war.  Dutch Independence.  Sea Beggars and Maurice of Nassau. The Duke of Alba and his Blood Court, the Inquisition, the Spanish Fury and the sacking of Antwerp all get a look in this background episode. Themes of radicals rising to influence during unsettled times, taxation, money and war and the importance of tolerance to a commercial society and the determination of the Counter Reformation to put a sword through the idea of tolerance.

Read more.

Episode 13: Weaving, Athena and the Norns, Metis

The Dutch are special introduction. Flanders and the Netherlands. Clothing manufacture led to trade.  The Mother Trade and the technological marvels that made it possible broke the Hanseatic monopoly and broke the old Malthusian limits on the Netherlands.  Control of the Netherlands passes from the Burgundian royal house to Hapsburg Spain.

Read more.

Episode 10: Magna Carta, but fun.

Magna Carta, a unique document that is one of England's many great gifts to the world.  Magna Carta is, or is a marker for, one of the greatest innovations in world history.  It, like Modus Tennedi Parliamentum, rests upon a common delusion.  It's great success was based on failure.  Is this a Doctor Who episode or is it history?

Read more.

Episode 9- 1066: Legacy of Forkbeard

We cover the history of Canute the Great and the year 1066.  Was it an Annus Horribilus or something necessary for the Miracle?  William the Bastard should maybe be called William the Beautiful.  We boost linguisteducatorexchange.com and gently tease our Danish friends for their spoken language.  The bonus content with Camie covers the surprising accuracy of the sagas.

Read more.

Episode 8: The Greatness of Forkbeard

England is special, we explore another reason why.  The story of Forkbeard's rapid conquest of England is complete.  And he dies 5 weeks later.  Along the way we cover Thorkell's invasion and his short lived service of the Saxons.  There is a digression on modern Scandinavia and the term "hard socialism" is introduced; we hear the verdict of history.  The relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Princess Mononoke to early 11th century Britain is covered in the proper depth.

Read more.

Episode 7: Tyr is Beren or Rich Vikings- They showed me the money

Exponential growth and how it matters to the development of markets for English manufacturing in the 18th century. The Vikings in the Danelaw are settling down and spreading out. Politics ensue.  The beginning phases of the 2nd Viking conquest of England, and the legendary life of Olav Tryggvason. After Olav's death Forkbeard is secure enough to go for it in England.  His success drives taxation in England.

Read more.

Episode 6: The Sons of Ragnar in England

Vikings conquer 3 English kingdoms and settle down.  They just seem unstoppable, until they decide to stop.  The Danelaw is established with long term consequences for the history of England, the English language and the legal system.  The Challenges of determining exactly how much influence on the development of Middle English came from Old Norse is explored.  What were the viking settlements like and how were they established.

Read more.

Episode 5: Thor's Hammer and Fork

Discussion of the Viking Raids in England, France and Frisia before the Great Heathen Army period.  Charlemagne, Alcuin and and other European reactions, the founding of Normandy.  With digressions on the St. Brice's Day massacre and the great Forkbeard.
The Vikings conquered England?

Read more.

Episode 4: Odin's Eyes

The first of the Britain is special episodes and also the first in a 6 episode arc on Vikings. Pelagius and the Joseph of Arimathia legend.  England catches the worst case of Vikings in the world. A personal look at a young viking.  What's it like at home for him?   Why is he interested in going raiding?  Blood feuds, Tolkien's in depth look at blood feuds in the Finn and Hengst section of the Beowulf poem.  Were vikings just traders?  No.  Norman mercenaries conquering Sicily and southern Italy after being hired on as mercenaries by Lombard lords.

Read more.

Episode 3: The Farmers, no really this time

The good and the bad and the very bad of settled agriculture.  A little Aristotle, the great anthropologists, and their views of family structure and how that interacts with Christianity.  The Greco-Roman legal context of the early AD period. How women and widows powered the early growth of the church,  amd unusual, weird features of Christianity and how those features contributed to early growth. Innovations in monogamy, exogamous families, the end of exposing children, and female consent to marriage.

Read more.

Episode 2: The Farmers, err the Vikings

What made Britain so special?   Why was it the source of the Miracle?  A brief list of what made England special with a digression about Charles I, the Republican period, Cromwell and more Stupidity Smart People Commit.  Another about the Anabaptists and their role in the American Revolution.  Religion and Literacy.  Ending with a discussion of a special cognitive error smart people are particularly vulnerable to, with reference to Sabine Hossenfelder.

Read more.

Episode 1: The Miracle that Happened that One Time.

The Industrial Revolution was a miracle.  We explore the concept of a miracle through Tolkien's made up word eucatastrophe and give an example from the Lord of the Rings.  Was it a mistake to leave the paleolithic hunter gatherer lifestyle?

Read more.


This is the official website for the Hanging with History podcast, created as a way to invite discussions and conversations about the topics explored in the episodes. Keep in mind that this is intended to be genuine discussion; any hateful or troll comments will be deleted. Happy posting.


We’d love to hear from you.