November 16, 2018

#33 Brunelleschi & The Dome IV

So what was the magic solution that Bruno brought to the Dome on August 7, 1420? How do you build a dome out of bricks, that […]
November 9, 2018

#32 Brunelleschi & The Dome III

It’s thought that Bruno returned to Florence probably in 1416 or 1417 Which means he was in Rome for 15 years. How did he earn a […]
November 2, 2018

#31 Brunelleschi & The Dome II

When Bruno – or Pippo was he was known to his friends (short for Filippo) went to Rome, after the embarrassment of the Baptistery doors competition, it […]
October 18, 2018

#30 Brunelleschi & The Dome I

After he finished the first set of doors, he was commissioned to make a huge bronze statue of John The Baptist by the same guild – […]
October 12, 2018

#29 Ghiberti & The Doors II

Anyway – governors of Florence may have had a more immediate reason for selecting this story. The climax of the story emphasizes divine intervention, and we […]
October 6, 2018

#28 Ghiberti & The Doors I

If you’ve ever been to Florence, you’ve no doubt paid a visit to the Duomo, the Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Known as […]
September 23, 2018

#27 – Boccaccio Part Three

So let’s talk about The Decameron. The book’s primary title exemplifies Boccaccio’s fondness for Greek philology: Decameron combines two Greek words, δέκα, déka (“ten”) and ἡμέρα, […]
September 14, 2018

#26 – Boccaccio Part Two

Let’s talk about the Filocolo The title means “the one struck down by love”. It is considered to be the first novel of Italian literature written […]
September 9, 2018

#25 – Boccaccio Part One

Let’s talk about the other, slightly more creepy and rapey father of the Renaissance. For books in the vernacular to appear in considerable quantities, there must […]
August 18, 2018

#24 – The Father Of The Renaissance (part three)

“Africa” became alternately Petrarch’s obsession and his revulsion, and he left it incomplete at his death. Despite Petrarch’s best efforts to conceal his occupation, word of […]
August 10, 2018

#23 – The Father Of The Renaissance (part two)

Now that his parents are dead, Petrarch decides to dump law and become a scholar and a poet. But you couldn’t make a living as a […]
August 5, 2018

#22 – The Father Of The Renaissance (part one)

I want to pick up our story in the year 1302 To talk about a man called Pietro di Parenzo di Garzo. Well actually I want […]
August 4, 2018

#21 – Enter The Lombards

Justin was born near modern Skopje, in the fake Macedonia. He started off life as a peasant and a swineherd. But he rose through the ranks […]
June 28, 2018

#20 – The Ostrogothic Kingdom

In 423, Honorius, the son of Theodosius who ruled the Western part of the empire, died, of natural causes. He had ruled for 30 years. He […]
June 23, 2018

#19 – Burn Them in the Fire

When the Greek author Herodotus, the ‘father of history’, sat down to write the first history he declared that his aim was to make ‘inquiries’ – […]
June 8, 2018

#18 – Pedicabo Et Irrumabo

When did the decline in an interest in the classics start to emerge in the West? It possibly started with Basil. Basil of Caesarea Basil was an […]
June 1, 2018

#17 – Hypatia of Alexandria

* Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, […]
May 26, 2018

#16 – Jesus, Violence, Love

How St Augustine provided the ultimate Christian justification for acts of violence – Jesus did it first and it’s okay as long as you do it […]
May 11, 2018

#15 – City Of God

Augustine said he heard a childlike voice he heard telling him to “take up and read” which he took as a divine command to open the […]
May 4, 2018

#14 – Augustine of Hippo

* Let’s talk more about Augustine of Hippo, aka St Augustine. * He’s one of the most important figures in all of Christianity. * Through his […]
April 28, 2018

#13 – The Blame Game

After three days of pillage, Alaric left Rome. * Instead of heading for Ravenna, he headed for southern Italy. * He took with him lots of […]
April 13, 2018

#12 – The Sack Of Rome

Stilicho and the chief ministers of his party were treacherously slain on Honorius’ orders. * Stilicho had been accused by one of his enemies at court, […]
April 7, 2018

Episode 11 – The Rise Of The Goths

⁃ Theodosius' army rapidly dissolved after his death. ⁃ And as he apparently hadn’t given the Goths the rewards they expected for helping him defeat Eugenius […]
March 31, 2018

Episode 10 – Crushing The Pagans

• Ambrose had Theodosius so whipped that he was able to publicly declare that the emperor had recognised the moral supremacy of the church over the […]
March 16, 2018

Episode 9 – The Whipped Dog

* Theodosius appointed his young children as his co-emperors, but he’s the sole emperor * He died a few months later, leaving the empire in the […]
March 9, 2018

Episode 8 – Theodosius

Vally went to Theodosius in Thessalonica, agreed to marry off his sister Galla to him to cement their alliance, and together they invaded from the east […]
March 3, 2018

Episode 7 – Ambrose of Milan

At the end of episode 6, the Augustii Valens and Gratian were dead. Valens burned alive in a cottage by the Goths. Gratian assassinated by a […]
February 17, 2018

Episode 6 – The Imperial Threesome

So let’s move on to Julian. Julian’s personal religion was both pagan and philosophical; he viewed the traditional myths as allegories, in which the ancient gods […]
February 9, 2018

Episode 5 – A Quarrel Over Unimportant Points

Arianism started in Alexandria. It’s named after Arius, a pretty popular and charismatic priest who believed that Jesus was secondary to God, not equal to God. […]
February 3, 2018

Episode 4 – I Have The Power!

This is the first episode of the premium series! October 28, 312. The Battle of Milvian Bridge. Conny wins and marches into Rome, with the head […]
February 1, 2018

Introducing the Premium Series

From episode 4 onwards, our episodes are for premium subscribers only. We’ll throw one up in the free feed from time to time, but if you […]
January 1, 2018

Episode 3 – Constantine’s Vision

Then On 11 November 308, Gally called a council to put this nonsense to bed. He invited Maximian and Diocletian. Maximian was forced to abdicate again and […]
December 27, 2017

Episode 2 – The Persecution of Diocletian

* They were not only happy to be punished for their beliefs, some of them even welcomed it. * There’s a strong tradition of martyrdom in […]
December 24, 2017

Episode 1 – Constantine The Great

At its peak, the Library of Alexandria was estimated to contain somewhere in the order of 500,000 books on philosophy, science, medicine, history, tragedy, comedy, rhetoric […]

Welcome to our in-depth podcast about the art, politics, wars, philosophies, and religions of the Renaissance.


Starting in Florence in the 14th century, a new era began to emerge in the West. People like Petrarch, who re-discovered Cicero’s lost letters, and the new humanists - who valued the study of classical antiquity - ushered in a rebirth, or as we know it today, a “renaissance" - in the study of the arts, the sciences, philosophy, and the theatre.

They rediscovered what it meant to be human.

Their interests were not only about how to get to heaven but how to live today. It was the beginning of a new age of humanist thought and discovery. It saw the decline of the feudal system, the growth of commerce, the invention or application of such potentially powerful innovations as paper, printing, the compass, and gunpowder.

Perhaps they agreed with the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras, who said...

"Man is the measure of all things.”

The renaissance period saw the rise, not only of a renewed interest in the past, but of a new generation of artists and thinkers who shaped the new world, like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Machiavelli, Copernicus, Galileo, and Francis Bacon, Luther, Calvin and Christopher Columbus. Gutenberg invented the printing press, which meant books were, for the first time, readily available to the lower classes. Huge battles were fought between popes, kings and wealthy merchants, some of whom became popes and kings. We have the Medici, the Borges, the Visconti and the Sforza.

It was a time when the unknown painter became "the artist". When the unknown builder became "the architect".

This is the story we are telling.


"There will follow a better age. This sleep of forgetfulness will not last for ever. When the darkness has been dispersed, our descendants can come again in the former pure radiance.”

Petrarch 1343



Cameron Reilly was a podcasting pioneer. In 2004 he launched G'Day World, the first Australian podcast ever. He was also the co-founder of The Podcast Network, the world's first podcast network, back in early 2005. He likes reading about history and science, playing chess and cheesy B movies. By day he runs Motherlode, a marketing agency in Brisbane, Australia, and is writing & producing a documentary about early Christianity.


Ray Harris has a degree in history from James Madison University. He lives in Virginia with his family and lots of snakes, and made his podcasting bones as host of the very popular WWII Podcast. While technically not a midget, at age 50 Ray is still able to get on the children's rides at Disneyland. He drinks his own limoncello.


We have been working together since 2013 on deep dive history podcasts on Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Alexander the Great, the Cold War and, more recently, our show on the Syrian civil war. Check out The Podcast Network for a list of all of our shows.


As we've done with out other premium series over the last few years, the first few episodes of this series are free but then you'll need a subscription to listen. To listen to the free episodes, either click the iTunes link before to open up the show in iTunes, or copy and past the second link into the podcast app of your liking. Or just search for us in any podcast app.