Norman Centuries | A Norman History Podcast by Lars Brownworth
By Lars Brownworth
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Lars Brownworth, author of "Lost to the West" and creator of the "12 Byzantine Rulers" podcast presents "Norman Centuries", a podcast on the Normans. While popular Norman history focuses on the regions of France and England, Norman Centuries covers the lesser known Italian Normans as well. Visit us at http://NormanCenturies.com/
||Episode 1 - Rollo and the Viking Age||They were the great success story of the Middle Ages, a footloose band of individual adventurers who appeared out of nowhere to blaze across the face of Dark Age Europe. In the course of two centuries the Normans launched a series of extraordinary conques||9/23/09||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 2 - Richard the Fearless||With the death of Rollo and his son, Normandy seemed poised on the brink of disaster. Its nobles were in open revolt and the King of France had seized the capital of Rouen. The legitimate heir, Richard I, was only nine years old- and a captive of the crow||10/12/09||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 3 - Richard the Good: Inventing the Past||At the start of Richard II's reign northern Europe was once again subjected to a wave of Viking attacks. The young Duke was faced with the question of what to do with his distant Norse brethren. Assist these pagans in their plunder and be labeled a pirate||11/19/09||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 4 - Magnificent Devil||The reign of Robert I began under the dark suspicion of murder and descended into chaos as the young Duke struggled for control. Dogged by rumors of fratricide and a papal excommunication, he carried on a whirlwind romance with the beautiful Herleve and a||1/13/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 5 - William the Conqueror||The young Duke William seemed destined not to survive his childhood. Orphaned before he was ten, he became a plaything of powerful nobles as one by one his guardians were killed off. Normandy descended into chaos as central authority disappeared and ambit||3/26/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 6 - The Two Harolds||England on the eve of the Conquest was torn between the old King Edward the Confessor and the powerful house of Godwin. With no clear heir apparent chosen, a predatory Normandy and the terrifying Harald Hardrada of Norway waited for their chance to seize||4/14/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 7 - After Hastings||King Harold wanted nothing more than a peaceful reign, but was destined to spend his time on the throne preparing for war. He had been crowned under the threat of a foreign invasion and had to fend of a major Viking attack in his first summer as king. Now||5/17/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 8 - William Iron-Arm||In Duke Richard II's Normandy an impoverished knight named Tancred de Hauteville struggled to provide for his twelve sons. The eldest of them - William - declined his inheritance and headed to southern Italy to seek his trade as a mercenary. He was the fi||5/28/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 9 - The Rise of Robert Guiscard||Robert Guiscard arrived in Italy as a simple knight, hoping to benefit from his brother's wealth and power. Instead he found his path blocked at every turn by petty jealousy and was sent off to rot in the most inhospitable place his sibling could think of||7/22/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 10 - The Byzantine Wars||By 1071 Robert Guiscard had risen to the height of power in Italy. The grumbling Lombards had been forced to grovel before him, the proud Norman barons recognized him as their unquestioned lord, and one of the greatest medieval popes depended on him for p||10/15/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 11 - The Great Count||Roger de Hauteville was a strange conqueror. The youngest of twelve sons he was the last to come to Italy and treated as the least capable of the siblings by a jealous Guiscard. His first raid in Sicily was a disaster that seemed to confirm the worst susp||12/18/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 12 - Rise of a King||Roger II was never supposed to inherit his father's possessions. He was the youngest of 18 children, and only five when the Great Count died. The nobility dutifully pledged their allegiance but there seemed little chance that his mother - an Italian forei||5/15/11||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 13 - Rogerios Rex||In the Spring of 1133 the new Norman Kingdom of Sicily seemed about to be shattered. Roger II, its creator and first king had backed the anti-Pope Anacletus II to gain his crown and in the process earned the hostility of most of Europe. Ranged against him||12/7/11||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 14 - William the Bad||If Roger II had been the 'baptized Sultan', his son William forgot the water. Despised by his legendary father and never intended for the throne, William the Bad dedicated his life to the comforts of the palace, stirring only to lead his armies on the bat||6/2/12||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 15 - William the Good||William II presided over a golden age of internal peace and prosperity, and when he died suddenly in the flower of his youth, he was mourned as no other king of Sicily. Yet, while he may have been outwardly splendid, he wasn't a good ruler. If there was p||8/15/12||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 16 - Tancred of Lecce||Tancred of Lecce came to the throne of Sicily in its darkest hour. Mocked by his critics as the 'Monkey King', he was weakened by civil and religious unrest, and faced invasion by the mighty German Empire. But he never gave up, and through a mixture of en||8/29/12||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 17 - Stupor Mundi||Frederick II was the most polarizing figure to rule as king of Sicily. To some he was the antichrist - a heretical monster whose harem and open contempt of Christianity was the scandal of civilized Europe. To others, however, he was Stupor Mundi - the 'wo||2/26/13||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 18 - Bohemond - Part 1||A great father can be both a blessing and a curse, and no one was more aware of that than Bohemond de Hauteville. The first-born son of the adventurer Robert Guiscard, Bohemond spent most of his formative years trying to both prove himself worthy and esca||4/16/13||Free||View In iTunes|
||Episode 19 - Bohemond - Part 2 - Bohemond in the East||The First Crusade fell like a present into Bohemond's lap. Italy wasn't big enough for his ambitions (especially with his uncle blocking him at every turn) and now here was an opportunity to win fame and wealth in the east, and to look pious while doing i||7/10/13||Free||View In iTunes|
Lars Brownworth's triumphant return!
Of all the podcasts I've ever listened to, Lars Brownworth's "12 Byzantine Rulers" was undoubtedly my favorite. I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that he had begun another venture, and the first episode did not disappoint! This is sure to be another gem: give it a listen!
Great new podcast
Just as good as the Byzantine Empire podcast. Lars brings the subject of the Normans to life with an incredible amount of detail. I can't wait for the next one.
Beware!! You won't be able to resist listening to this whole thing, once you start!!
If you are not familiar with Mr. Brownworth's previous spellbinder podcast series on the Byzantine Emperors, you're going to be shocked to discover how enthralling his story-telling powers are upon these subjects, which you may have thought could never interest you so intensely (especially if you think you "don't like history"). Thank you, again Lars. And BRAVO for this encore!!!