#157 – Salvator Mundi – Leonardo #45

#157 – Salvator Mundi – Leonardo #45

In 2011, the art world was shocked by the rediscovery of a new Leonardo. A painting known as Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) was accepted by most scholars as being an authentic Leonardo. It had been damaged, overpainted and heavily varnished. Personally I think...

#156 – Leda & The Swan- Leonardo #44

#156 – Leda & The Swan- Leonardo #44

Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, rapes Leda. Leonardo’s painting of it no longer exists, but we have copies and drawings. Apparently he had no idea what a woman’s breasts looked like.

#155 – Corn Porn – Leonardo #43

#155 – Corn Porn – Leonardo #43

Around 1501, Leonardo started work on one of his great masterpieces: The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. It’s the most famous painting of an incest lap dance in history. It involves a gay vulture, corn porn and an Egyptian goddess with an erect penis.

#154 – The Yarnwinder  – Leonardo #42

#154 – The Yarnwinder – Leonardo #42

If you’re gonna steal, steal big, that’s what we say. There are dozens of surviving copies of Leonardo’s MADONNA OF THE YARNWINDER. Some done by LDV, others done by his assistants and followers. And there’s been a lot of debate over which one, or which ones, were done by Leonardo. And one of them was even stolen in a brazen daylight heist from a Scottish castle.

#153 – Lady Nutella  – Leonardo #41

#153 – Lady Nutella – Leonardo #41

Leonardo’s lack of interest in finishing Isabella D’este’s portrait tells us a lot about who he was, and what he cared about, on his return to Florence in 1500. Like all good podcasters, he didn’t care about money or fame. He just wanted to work on projects that interested him. And her portrait was not one of those things, despite her fame, power, wealth, beauty, perseverance and love of Nutella.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

By the time Leonardo finally returned to Florence, in late March 1500, not long after the execution of Savonarola, the city was once again a Republic that celebrated the classics and the arts, but its confidence had been shaken. He was the right man to lead the way.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#151 – Ass Salad – Leonardo #39

In the late 1490s, Leo’s life started to unravel. Sforza’s life hits the rocks and Leo’s fortunes are attached to his. So he finds another sugar daddy.

#150 – Grand Canyon Thoughts

#150 – Grand Canyon Thoughts

To mark our 150th episode, we sat outside the North Rim Lodge at the Grand Canyon and talked about what we’ve learned from the series thus far. We were a little bit tired, a little bit high, and the wind was strong. We also gave each other COVID. And I was recording it on my iPad and absent-mindedly tapping it for emphasis at certain points. So apologies in advance for the rough sound and occasional wind. But that’s the great outdoors, baby!

#149 – The Last Supper p4 – Leonardo #38

#149 – The Last Supper p4 – Leonardo #38

Let’s be honest - The Last Supper, Leonardo’s second most famous painting, looks like shit. And it’s all his fault. He experimented with a new painting technique and it was a disaster - as were the many attempts at restoring it over the centuries. But despite that,...

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#146 – The Last Supper – Leonardo #35

When Gian Galeazzo died in 1494, Ludovico Sforza finally became the official Duke of Milan. One of the first things he did was commission Leonardo to paint The Last Supper.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#145 – Boil The Eye – Leonardo #34

One of Leonardo’s tricks was the use of sfumato – using hazy, smoky outlines, instead of using harder lines as boundaries between objects, instead of white lines (which should only go up your nose). Another trick was the use of complex perspective. To understand these ideas in detail, he needed to dissect more than a few brains – and to learn the right way to boil an eye.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#144 – Vincere – Leonardo da Vinci part 33

Of course, Leonardo, among all of his other accomplishments, also gave a good speech, especially when asked to explain why painting was the most noble of the arts, coming just after podcasting.

#143 – La Bella Principessa part 2 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 32

#142 – La Bella Principessa – Leonardo da Vinci Part 31

This is the craziest story we’ve told so far. In 1998 a simple portrait of a girl by an unknown artist went up for auction in NY. It was sold for $20,000. Today it might be worth $150 million. Some of the leading Leonardo scholars in the world think the portrait was done by Leonardo. But other Leonardo scholars vehemently disagree. Who is right? What does the science say? Find out!

#141 –  La Belle Ferronnière – Leonardo da Vinci Part 30

#141 – La Belle Ferronnière – Leonardo da Vinci Part 30

Another portrait from Leonardo’s Milan period is La Belle Ferronnière. In 1920 there was a bit of a scandal involving the painting. The French wife of an American car salesman put a version of it up for auction, claiming it was also by Leonardo’s hand. The greatest art dealer in the world immediately called it a fake, sight unseen – and they sued him for defamation. The case took nine years to resolve.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#140 – Lady With An Ermine – Leonardo da Vinci Part 29

Lady With An Ermine is one of Leonardo’s most famous paintings. Mostly because nobody knows what the fuck an ermine is. Learn why this painting has been called “first modern portrait” – and why a silly Polish aristocrat ruined it.

#139 – DIDILIODODIS – Leonardo da Vinci Part 28

#139 – DIDILIODODIS – Leonardo da Vinci Part 28

One of the very few paintings Leonardo did during his years in Milan is PORTRAIT OF A MUSICIAN. Who it is, and why he painted it or even IF he really painted it (well, half painted it), we don’t know.

#137 – Get Your Rocks Off – Leonardo da Vinci Part 26

#137 – Get Your Rocks Off – Leonardo da Vinci Part 26

During his 20 years in Milan, Leonardo only finished three lousy paintings. Two of them are murals. Only one is in a frame – VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS. He liked it so much, he painted it again, 25 years later. Well…. There’s a little more to the story, actually.

#136 – Julia & The Vatican

#136 – Julia & The Vatican

Taking a short break from Leonardo, our guest today is Julia Charity, an official Vatican tour guide! Julia, who originally hails from the UK, tells us how she ended up as a Vatican tour guide and about some of her favourite art on display in the Pope’s fortress, including “The Last Judgment” by Michelangelo, the “Transfiguration” by her “Renaissance husband”, Raphael, and the Borgia Apartments.

#135 – Senso Comune  – Leonardo da Vinci Part 25

#135 – Senso Comune – Leonardo da Vinci Part 25

Alberti wrote that before you could paint someone naked, you first had to paint their bones. LDV said “hold my beer - I’m going to paint their NERVES.” And he didn’t stop there. He wanted to understand every single aspect of how the human body worked. Most of it had...

#134 – The Lune  – Leonardo da Vinci Part 24

#134 – The Lune – Leonardo da Vinci Part 24

One year of Leonardo! Can you believe it? Leonardo was never short of obsessions. In this episode we talk about his obsessions with the “Lune Of Hippocrates”, and other mathematical puzzles. He wasn’t very good at maths, but watching him try to use his strengths to...

#133 – The Golden Ratio  – Leonardo da Vinci Part 23

#133 – The Golden Ratio – Leonardo da Vinci Part 23

Despite sucking at maths, Leonardo eventually realised mathematics was the language of nature. Luckily, he became close friends with the mathematician Luca Pacioli. When Pacioli wrote a book on the golden ratio, or divine proportion, his friend Leonardo did the art – lots of lovely 3D Platonic solids.

#132 – The Laziest Genius Ever – Leonardo da Vinci Part 22

#132 – The Laziest Genius Ever – Leonardo da Vinci Part 22

Leonardo loved machines, partly because he was fascinated with motion and energy. Other Renaissance artists drew machines, but only Leonardo drew them part by part to demonstrate the analysis of motion. Some of his machines were so innovative they could have made him extremely wealthy, but he was the laziest, most selfish genius of all time.

#131 – You’ll Believe A Man Can Fly – Leonardo da Vinci Part 21

#131 – You’ll Believe A Man Can Fly – Leonardo da Vinci Part 21

For about 20 years, LDV was obsessed with the idea of designing machines that would allow humans to fly. He studied birds and dragonflies, drew hundreds of drawings, and wrote tens of thousands of words on the subject. Was it because he wanted to be the world’s first superhero?

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#130 – Woodpecker Tongue – Leonardo da Vinci Part 20

Leonardo worked out gravity 200 years before Newton, the wave nature of light 200 years before Huygens, developed “da Vinci’s Rule” and understood the nature of time before Einstein. And he was obsessed with the tongue of the woodpecker. 

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#127 – Vitruvian Man – Leonardo da Vinci Part 17

“Man, called a little world, contains in himself all the general perfections of the whole world”, wrote Leonardo’s friend, Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The two of them, and their friend Giacomo Andrea, all took turns at drawing “the guy doing naked jumping jacks” aka Vitruvian Man. One of those drawings became the most famous drawing in the world.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#126 – Vitruvius – Leonardo da Vinci Part 16

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, author of De Architectura (circa 25 BCE), had a massive influence on Leonardo and his contemporaries, including his role in the most famous drawing of all time - Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.   ...

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#125 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 15 – Panties Ray

Leonardo liked to draw beautiful young men alongside craggy older men. Was it personal porn? Or artistic experimentation?
His new friendship with fellow architects and artists Donato Bramante and Francesco di Giorgio lead to his discovery of the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vetruvius, and one of his most famous drawings – Vitruvian Man.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#124 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 14 – The Little Devil

Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t just talented and brilliant. He was also handsome, gentle, a vegetarian, and the nicest guy ever. Okay – so he took in a ten year old boy, Salai, and made him his lover. Who are you to judge?

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#123 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 16 – GOATSE DEMOCRACY

Leonardo had originally come to the Sforza Court to present and play a special lute of his own design which used… a bow. He practically invented the violin. Of course he did. He invented other crazy musical instruments as well. And invited the strangest looking people he could find back to his house for a meal… and so he could draw them.

#120 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 13 – Curtis Wong

Curtis Wong has had an incredible career. He has produced critically acclaimed educational CD-ROMs at Corbis and the Voyager Co., as well as the definitive editions of feature films for the Criterion Collection. He ran the Content Group at Intel, and was granted many patents at Microsoft Research. Today he joins us to tell some stories from his career, including his groundbreaking work with Bill Gates to produce the digital version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester.

#117 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 10 – Depression

#117 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 10 – Depression

Leonardo was fascinated with how brains work. So much so, he decided to cut them open to study them. One reason he might have been obsessed with brains was to help him work out his own depression. Why was he depressed? It might have been how little success he was having in Florence. So in 1482, the year he turned 30, da Vinci left Florence for Milan. He lived there for the next 17 years.

#116 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 9 – Saint Jerry

#116 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 9 – Saint Jerry

The other major painting Leonardo did in this period of his life, around 1480, still in Florence, before he went to Milan, is “Saint Jerome in the Wilderness”. Another unfinished work, it depicts the fourth-century Christian scholar who translated the Bible into Latin (aka the vulgate bible), beating himself on the chest with a rock.

#115 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 8 – Adoration of the Magi

#115 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 8 – Adoration of the Magi

Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi has been called “the most influential unfinished painting in the history of art” and “the most revolutionary and anti-classical picture of the fifteenth century”. Commissioned as a favour to his father when LDV was 29. As payment, he would only get some firewood and some property near Florence – but he had to pay for a girl’s dowry out of it.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#114 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 7 – Young Boys

Leonardo da Vinci liked boys. Young boys were his weakness. He liked to draw them, paint them and have sex with them. He even got arrested twice for sodomy, which was punishable by death in Florence. Fortunately for us, one of his co-accused was tight with the Medici.

#113 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 6 – Ginevra

#113 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 6 – Ginevra

Thirty years before he painted the Mona Lisa, Leonardo’s first non-religious painting was a portrait of another woman – Ginevra de’Benci. He was only 21, but already his genius was showing. This portrait broke new ground in several important ways. Who was Ginevra and why did he paint her portrait?

#112 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 5 – Finger Painting

#112 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 5 – Finger Painting

In addition to working with his old master, Verrocchio, on painting in the 1470s, Leonardo also produced at least four paintings mostly on his own. The Annunciation, two Madonnas and a portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci. In these paintings we can see the young master innovating, experimenting and even making some mistakes.

#152 – One Pink Cape – Leonardo #40

#111 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 4 – Manscaping Jesus

Leonardo’s earliest surviving work of art is a landscape sketch of Vinci in his notebook dating from 1473 when he was 21 years old. The earliest surviving painting is BAPTISM OF CHRIST, a collaboration with his old master, Verrocchio (as seen in Marketing The Messiah). On this episode, we go deep on both works of art, looking at what made Leonardo da Vinci different from his contemporaries.

#109 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 2 – Back And To The Left

#109 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 2 – Back And To The Left

We examine Leonardo’s writing style, and his apprenticeship at age 14 to Andrea del Verrocchio, an Italian painter, sculptor, and goldsmith, because even geniuses need a master to learn from (despite what The Queen’s Gambit will have you believe).

#108 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 1 – A Complete Bastard

#108 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 1 – A Complete Bastard

“Extraordinary power … conjoined with remarkable facility, a mind of regal boldness and magnanimous daring.” That’s how Vasari described Leonardo da Vinci. But how much do we really know about the world’s most famous artist? And how much of what we think we know is myth?

#107 – Savonarola Part 14 – Savonarola Burns

#107 – Savonarola Part 14 – Savonarola Burns

Savonarola was notified that he and his closest colleagues had been condemned to die. His most ardent believers had faith that the Lord would save him at the last minute, but, yet again, God didn’t show up for work. At 1pm, May 23, 1498, they were degraded then burned in the Piazza della Signoria. And now Florence needs to get its shit together. Do they bring back the Medici? Join the Holy League? And what can they learn from the Savonarola episode?

#106 – Savonarola Part 13 – Strappado

#106 – Savonarola Part 13 – Strappado

The trials of Savonarola begin. First he is put on trial by the Signoria of Florence for his political interference. Then he is put on trial by the Pope for his religious accusations and claims of prophecy. This being Catholic Italy, part of the trial involves torture – the strappado. Under torture Savonarola confesses to making everything up and being a big old fake.

#105 – Savonarola Part 12 – Trial By Fire

#105 – Savonarola Part 12 – Trial By Fire

With Charles out of the picture, Piero de Medici figures it’s time for him to return to Florence. He marched into Tuscany with a force of four hundred lancers, light cavalry, and foot soldiers. Unfortunately, nobody shows up to welcome him and he goes back into exile. But his attempt at a return sets off a series of political assassinations in Florence, supported by Savonarola. Civil tensions increase until a Franciscan friar challenges Savonarola to trial by fire. When this doesn’t work out as planned, the people are furious and Savonarola gets thrown into prison.

#103 – Savonarola Part 10

#103 – Savonarola Part 10

Yes, we’re still talking about Savonarola! Deal with it! On this episode, Savonarola refuses the Pope’s summons to go to Rome and to stop preaching. He uses the ol’ Bill Clinton defence. During some of his downtime, one of his colleagues offers to go through a trial by fire to prove how much God loves Savonarola. And when he returns to preaching, Savonarola demands for blood to be spilled by anyone who criticises “his” signoria and decides to build the Hitler Youth to force Florence into being good little Christians. But then the Holy Roman Emperor sets sail for Italy with an armada to kick out the French and Florence yet again needs to choose a side – Savonarola or the Pope?

#102 – Savonarola Part 9

#102 – Savonarola Part 9

By early 1495, Savonarola managed to get control of the Great Council of Florence and has his reforms passed. He may not be gonfaloniere, but he is a political force. He soon gets one of his own followers elected gonfaloniere and then has complete control over the city. Then he started arguing to shut down more fun things. Sodomy, dancing, poetry, prostitution, blasphemy – he’s the anti-Lorenzo. Meanwhile King Charles of France and the Pope go to war and Florence is forced to choose between the King, who Savonarola has said is the agent of God, and the Pope. When they choose the King, Savonarola ends up on the Pope’s naughty list – and his future suddenly looks dim.

#101 – Savonarola Part 8

#101 – Savonarola Part 8

With the Medici and the French both gone from Florence, Savonarola tries to influence the new Signoria to pass significant reforms – but they ignore him. Then another enemy appears – this time, a religious rival. Feeling like he wasn’t appreciated, Savonarola eventually spat the dummy and said he wanted to leave Florence once and for all. Meanwhile, on November 17, the day Charles VIII and his troops entered Florence, Pico della Mirandola died at the age of thirty-two – only two months after his friend and possibly lover, Poliziano, who died aged only 40. They were poisoned – possibly on the orders of the exiled Piero de Medici.

#100 – Savonarola Part 7

#100 – Savonarola Part 7

Savonarola meets with King Charles VIII of France in Pisa, calling himself a prophet of God and telling Charles that he was the instrument of God’s divine plan. Then he returns to Florence where the Medici have been kicked out and he congratulates the Florentines on a bloodless revolution. But, he says – there is still more work to be done to get back into God’s favour. Shortly after, the King arrives in Florence with 9000 troops – and announces he wants them to bring back Piero de Medici.

#99 – Savonarola Part 6

#99 – Savonarola Part 6

Savonarola’s predictions that God was going to punish the Florentines seem to be coming true when, in 1494, King Charles VIII of France invades Italy to take control of Naples. On his way south, he also threatens to attack Florence. When Piero de Medici tries to negotiate a settlement, it’s a complete failure. So the Signoria send Savonarola to meet with the king instead.

#98 – Savonarola Part 5

#98 – Savonarola Part 5

In 1492, Lorenzo The Magnificent died. His heir was his eldest son, 20 year old Piero de’ Medici, a useless turd. The Pope died soon afterwards and was replaced by the corrupt Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI. Savonarola proclaimed that the “Sword of the Lord” would soon descend upon Florence to punish it for its wicked ways. In this case, the sword would soon be carried another 20 year old ruler – King Charles VIII of France.

#97 – Savonarola Part 4

#97 – Savonarola Part 4

In his sermons in early 1491, Savonarola attacked the people and priests who thought of Christianity as a merely ceremonial religion. He also criticised how ignorant the people were of the doctrines of Christianity, ‘thieving priests’ who sold lucrative posts and Church offices to the wealthy, and he claimed the clerics and people were all sodomites and attacked the oppression of the poor, by unjust taxation.

#96 – Savonarola Part 3

#96 – Savonarola Part 3

In 1487 Savonarola left Florence for a new assignment in Bologna, to continue his studies toward a degree of master of sacred theology while teaching juniors. But apparently it didn’t go well. He wasn’t given his masters and his academic career was terminated. For the next few years he was sent around Italy to preach. He finally gets reassigned BACK to San Marco in Florence. Probably at the request of Lorenzo, on the recommendation of Pico della Mirandola, the self-proclaimed smartest motherfucker in the world. Now that he has the blessing and interest of Lorenzo and Pico, he’s in an entirely new situation. People care what he has to say. And he preaches about the coming of the Apocalypse.

#95 – Savonarola Part 2

#95 – Savonarola Part 2

Savonarola starts his preaching career but it doesn’t go very well. One person who *is* impressed though is a young Pico della Mirandola. That would have far-reaching consequences. He also wrote a book – On Politics and Government (De politica et regno) – basically his Mein Kampf. If only Lorenzo read it, Florence may have been spared the things to come. To give his preaching a bit more oompf, Savo starts to throw in an old favourite – The ESCHATON.

#94 – Savonarola Part 1

#94 – Savonarola Part 1

After Lorenzo de Medici’s death in 1492, Botticelli gave up painting, abandoned his humanist studies, and became a hardcore fundamentalist Christian. As did a lot of Florentines. The reason? They all fell under the spell of the original fire and brimstone preacher. He wasn’t rich. He didn’t have an army. He wasn’t of the nobility. He wasn’t sent by the pope. In fact, the Pope hated him. But he managed to do what so many rich men with armies had failed to do for decades. He overturned the government of Florence, kicked out the Medici family, and took control of the city. And… to top it off, he was a precursor of the Reformation. He is famous for the Bonfire Of The Vanities. His name was Girolamo SAVONAROLA.

#93 – Sandro Botticelli 5

#93 – Sandro Botticelli 5

When Giuliano de Medici gets murdered in the Duomo during the Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478, Booty was probably there. What should a Florentine painter paint after the Pope had your best friend killed during a church service in a cathedral? No more Madonnas and Baby Jesuses. It’s time for Booty to paint his ultimate masterpiece – The Birth Of Venus.

#92 – Sandro Botticelli 4

#92 – Sandro Botticelli 4

Botticelli’s first painting of a non-religious subject was FORTITUDE, 1470. It’s considered his first masterpiece. He then explored other stories like The Return of Judith to Bethulia from the Old Testament and St Sebastian, an early Christian saint and martyr, his first truly SEXY painting. He then turned to the stories from Greco-Roman antiquity and the poetry of his friend Poliziano for inspiration, leading his way to painting his own version of Apelles’ ‘Aphrodite Anadyomene’, The Birth Of Venus.

#91 – Sandro Botticelli 3

#91 – Sandro Botticelli 3

We go back to the beginnings of Botticelli’s career as a solo artist to examine his progression from Lippi’s apprentice to becoming the breakthrough Renaissance artist. We start by putting some of his early Madonna and Child paintings under the microscope including the Virgin and Child with an Angel, Madonna of the Rose Garden, Madonna della Loggia and The Virgin and Child with Two Angels.

#90 – Sandro Botticelli 2

#90 – Sandro Botticelli 2

We continue talking about the life and art of Sandro Botticelli. We go deep on his paintings of The Adoration of the Magi, and the first of his pagan masterpieces, the Primavera.

#89 – Sandro Botticelli

#89 – Sandro Botticelli

During Lorenzo de Medici’s life, no fewer than three of the outstanding artists of the Renaissance are thought to have spent at least a brief formative period of their early lives in the Palazzo Medici: Leonardo and Michelangelo and the one we’re going to talk about for the next few episodes – the great Sandro Botticelli.

#88 – Christian Terrorism

#88 – Christian Terrorism

When King Manuel of Portugal evicted the Jews in 1497, he didn’t actually want the Jews to leave. He wanted them to convert to Christianity. When, instead, the chose to leave, he tried to stop them – by seizing their children and converting them. Rather than see their children raised as Christians, many Jews killed their own kids and then committed suicide. The Jews who did convert didn’t get it any easier, either. As in Spain, they were subjected to violence and then, finally, the Inquisition came to Portugal. It’s just your basic Christian terrorism.

#87 – The Alhambra Decree

#87 – The Alhambra Decree

This episode starts with a correction about the skin colour of the Moors, brought to you by our Moroccan listener Mohamed.
Then, to set the scene for this episode, we have a special song – “The Alhambra Decree” by legendary contemporary folk singer-songwriter David Rovics. Crazy coincidence – I’ve been a fan of David’s work for 15 years and have been on his mailing list forever. And the same week I happened to be preparing this episode, I saw his latest email that contained this song. So I reached out and he was nice enough to give me permission to use this track.
So what was the Alhambra Decree? It was the 1492 decision, by Isabella and Ferdinand, after they concluded their war with the last remaining Muslim region of Granada, that all of the Jews were to be banished from Spain. But did they really want to banish them? Or just give them an added incentive to convert to Christianity? And why would anyone want to convert to Christianity after the hell the Inquisition had just put the conversos through?
Some gave in under pressure and converted – some stuck to their guns and migrated to Portugal, whose King promised them refuge. Which was great – until the King of Portugal decided he wanted to marry the daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand.

#86 – Edicts Of Grace

#86 – Edicts Of Grace

When the Inquisition came to your town, they would grant you 30 days to confess to being a heretic. This was known as the “Edicts Of Grace”. If you confessed, you might get a hefty fine, but at least you wouldn’t end up in prison or burned at the stake. Of course, many conversos decided it was the smart move to confess – whether they actually were a crytpo-Jew or not.

#85 – Torquemada

#85 – Torquemada

In 1482, as the Spanish Inquisition started to ramp up in more towns, the Pope appointed seven more inquisitors, including the infamous Tomás de Torquemada. However, critics of the Inquisition claimed that “the Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and the salvation of souls, but by lust for wealth.” The critic who wrote that was none other than the Pope himself.

#84 – The Spanish Inquisition

#84 – The Spanish Inquisition

The papal bull issued by Pope Sixtus IV on 1 November 1478 provided for the appointment of two or three priests over forty years of age as inquisitors. Powers of appointment and dismissal were granted to the Spanish crown. This wasn’t the first time an inquisition into heretics had been established. In 1401 a special new law in England permitted the execution of heretics – De heretico comburendo – a law passed by Parliament under King Henry IV. In Spain, the first auto de fe (‘act of faith’) of the new Inquisition was celebrated on 6 February 1481, when six people, men and women, were burnt at the stake and the sermon at the ceremony was preached by Fray Alonso de Hojeda.

#83 – The Crypto-Jews

#83 – The Crypto-Jews

By the 15th century, Christians, Jews and Muslims had lived side by side in Spain for centuries. The Muslims controlled a large region of modern Spain, as did the Christians. But the Jews continued to get massacred in periodic pogroms. However, there were also many rich Jews, among them the financiers who enjoyed royal favor. Then it all fell apart with Queen Isabella when she became aware of the existence of Crypto-Judaism – Jews pretending to be Christians. Jesus hates a faker.

#82 – The Cathars

#82 – The Cathars

In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued a papal bull, Ad Abolendam, to combat the Albigensian heresy in southern France. They were known as Cathars, or Good Christians. They were going around doing horrible anti-Christian things – like saying killing was bad, being vegetarian and treating women as equals was good, and that the church was too rich. The Pope decided they had to be stopped. How? In the words of the army commander he sent to them: ‘Kill them all. God will recognise his own.’

#81 – Introducing The Gentleman

#81 – Introducing The Gentleman

On this episode we discuss the artists Poliziano, who popularised the new sophistication and learning expected of a gentleman; Mirandola, who at age 23 decided to debate the entire world; and the magnificent breasts of Simonetta Vespucci.

#80 – Lorenzo’s Sacrifice

#80 – Lorenzo’s Sacrifice

As the war with the Pope continues, Lorenzo sacrifices himself to save Florence and surrenders to Naples. He gets on a boat by himself and sails to Naples, putting his own life at great risk. It’s one of the reasons he becomes known as Lorenzo The Magnificent.

#79 – The Papal War

#79 – The Papal War

In the aftermath of the Pazzi Conspiracy, Florence found itself excommunicated en masse by Pope Sixtus IV unless they handed over Lorenzo De Medici. When the city refused, Pope Sixtus went to war.

#78 – The Pazzi Conspiracy

#78 – The Pazzi Conspiracy

Early in his rule, Lorenzo de’ Medici cracked down on the town of Volterra, resulting in rampage, murdering, looting and raping. Meanwhile, in Milan, on the day after Christmas 1476, Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, was stabbed by three noblemen as he entered church. And Larry upsets Pope Sixtus IV over a loan request, which leads to an assassination attempt in 1478 on both Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano, also while attending church. It’s known as The Pazzi Conspiracy.

#77 – The Marriage Of Lorenzo

#77 – The Marriage Of Lorenzo

Lorenzo de’ Medici throws himself a jousting tournament to take Florence’s minds off the fact he’s marrying a Roman girl. The ‘Queen of the Tournament’ was Lucrezia Donati, a Florentine hottie who Lorenzo was writing love poetry about, even thought she was married to someone else. His bride, Clarice Orsini, arrived in Florence a while later, and they were married just before Piero died.

#76 – Larry The Med

#76 – Larry The Med

Two days after the death of Piero de’ Medici in December 1469, his eldest son, Lorenzo de’ Medici, aka Larry The Med, became the new ruler of Florence. He was 20 years old. He was a major patron of the Renaissance and the father of the future Pope Leo X.

#75 – The Artist Who Stole A Nun

#75 – The Artist Who Stole A Nun

Piero de Medici engineers a commercial coup for the Medici family that makes up for all of their recent losses. He takes over the Pope's alum business. Alum was the mineral salts derived from volcanic deposits that were used to make dyes for cloth. Essential for the...

#74 – The Pitti Party

#74 – The Pitti Party

The Pitti faction get Soderini elected gonfaloniere and install an anti-Medici signoria but they can’t get the guilds, who remember the troubles of the pre-Cosimo years, to agree to banishing the Medici. So the Pitti party decide to try an armed revolution, calling in support from Venice and Ferrara. In the middle of all this, Francesco Sforza dies in Milan and his house is taken over by his craaaazy son, Galeazzo Sforza, who liked to rape noblemen’s wives and tear his enemies limb from limb.

#73 – Piero de Medici

#73 – Piero de Medici

In 1464, with the death of Cosimo, his only surviving son, Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici – or Piero the Gouty, ‘il Gottoso’, as he came to be called – took over. He was 48 years old. He would survive – and rule – Florence for just five years. Piero was perceived to be so weak and ineffectual that long-standing friends and allies of the Medici turned against him and the family. It was a decision they would live to regret.

#72.5 – Cosimo Dies

#72.5 – Cosimo Dies

In his later years, Cosimo goes to war with Naples, gets saved by Joan of Arc (kind of) and René of Anjou and Charles VII. Then he joins a Holy League against the Turks and plays “pick the next Pope” a couple of times. Then, in his old age, he retires to his country estate to study philosophy, before finally dying in 1464, at the age of seventy-four.

#72 – Duke Filippo Maria Visconti

#72 – Duke Filippo Maria Visconti

Cosimo de Medici used his network of bank branches across Europe to do more than just make money. They were also used as an intelligence network. Medici cash was spread far and wide to keep him informed about the machinations of Florence’s - and the Medici family’s -...

#71 – The Greek Invasion

#71 – The Greek Invasion

It’s been a while since we have caught up with Cosimo de Medici. Four years after his return to Florence in 1434, he secured a huge opportunity for Florence, that would have far reaching effects on the Renaissance - hosting the Ecumenical Council between the East and...

#70 – Gutenberg Part 6

#70 – Gutenberg Part 6

In 1453, when the Turks took Constantinople, Pope Nicky 5 wanted a crusade and authorized the sale of letters of indulgence—religious documents that released the buyers from penalties for their sins. And guess who printed them? Then he finally got around to working on...

#69 – Gutenberg Part 5

#69 – Gutenberg Part 5

Commercial opportunities for a printing press went beyond books. One of those was the Fall of Constantinople. In 1453, the Ottoman Empire lead by 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II defeated the army of Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last Byzantine Emperor. To tell this...

#68 – Gutenberg Part 4

#68 – Gutenberg Part 4

Hand carving a piece of metal type for a printing press would take a skilled craftsman an entire day. Just setting one page of the Bible would take 2600 pieces of type. So Gutenberg needed to come up with an efficient way to manufacture type – which is a lot harder...

#67 – Gutenberg Part 3

#67 – Gutenberg Part 3

One of Gutenberg’s partners died, and the guy’s brothers wanted in on the secret project. Gutenberg refused, so they took him to court. Then in 1444, Gutenberg left Strasbourg and went… where? We don’t know. He disappeared for three years. Some interesting conspiracy...

#66 – Gutenberg Part 2

#66 – Gutenberg Part 2

In 1428, Gutenberg moved to Strasbourg where he would live for the next 20 years. It was there that he had his first big business venture—making holy healing ray containment devices. He brought on investors who later became suspicious that he was holding out on them....

#65 – Gutenberg Part 1

#65 – Gutenberg Part 1

Today we begin a series about the man without whom our podcasts would not exist because there would be no books. And you know we get all of our knowledge from books. The man who invented movable type and the printing press (or did he?). Johannes Gutenberg.

#64 – Masaccio

#64 – Masaccio

Born 1401 as Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, "Masaccio" (his nickname) was regarded as the first great Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, he was the best painter of his generation. The first painter in the...

#63 – Fra Angelico & Pope Nicholas V

#63 – Fra Angelico & Pope Nicholas V

Born Guido di Pietro but known to us as Fra Angelico which means the "Angelic friar". Despite his early talent for painting, at age 12 he entered the Dominican order and spent the rest of his life in convents, painting their walls. Admired by Cosimo de Medici and...

#62 The First Renaissance Man

#62 The First Renaissance Man

The first written work of art theory, produced during the Renaissance was “De Pictura”, or “On Painting”, written in 1435 by Leon Battista Alberti but not published until 1450, in which he explained the science behind linear perspective. He was a humanist author,...

#61 That New Car Smell

#61 That New Car Smell

After returning to Rome to work for the Vatican, Poggio Bracciolini starting making some serious money of his own. Enough to get married and buy a big house. He served as chancellor of Florence for five years. After he died, Lucretius kept working its magic on the...

#60 The Lie Factory

#60 The Lie Factory

In 1419, a couple of years after he lost his papal secretary job and discovered Lucretius, Poggio did what everyone does when they are shit out luck and scraping the bottom of the barrel. He moved to England. He accepted the post of secretary to Henry Beaufort, bishop...

#59 Niccolo de Niccoli

#59 Niccolo de Niccoli

Nicky the Nickster was one of the most influential people in Florence in the early 1400s. He was the unofficial minister of culture and probably the guy who influenced Cosimo de Medici to support the humanists and artists. Obsessed with antiquity, he spent his entire...

#58 How The Christians Wiped Out Epicureanism

#58 How The Christians Wiped Out Epicureanism

When Christians banned other religions and philosophies in the late 4th century, Plato and Aristotle, pagans who believed in the immortality of the soul, could ultimately be accommodated by Christianity; but Epicureanism could not. The Epicureans believed life was...

#57 Lucretius “On The Nature Of Things”

#57 Lucretius “On The Nature Of Things”

Let’s get deep into some Lucretius, the Roman Epicurean philosopher poet. Today I want to read from "On the Nature of Things". * As our Alexander listeners will know, Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher * 341–270 BCE * established his own school, known as "the...

#56 Poggio Bracciolini Part 4

#56 Poggio Bracciolini Part 4

In 1417, Poggio made the greatest discovery of his career - Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, aka "On The Nature Of Things", the last surviving copy of his five-book epic attempt to explain Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience in poem. Little did Poggio realise the...

#55 Poggio Bracciolini Part 3

#55 Poggio Bracciolini Part 3

So back to January 1417. Poggio made a number of book hunting trips that winter. So he must have had a lot of funding from back home. Here's a short clip from today's episode:   Bruni wrote to him, saying “keep going, don’t worry about the cost, I’ll cover them...

#54 Poggio Bracciolini Part 2

#54 Poggio Bracciolini Part 2

Poggio had to use all of his talents to talk his way into monastery libraries. In some he had to be super serious. In others, he would tell wild stories about stupid peasants, or sexy housewives and rapey priests. Whatever it takes to get his hands on their books.

#53 Poggio Bracciolini

#53 Poggio Bracciolini

In the year 1417, 17 years before Cosimo De Medici took control of Florence, a man called Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini went hunting in the middle of Germany. Hunting for manuscripts. Thanks to Poggio, we have today several masterpieces of Roman literature,...

#52  The Rise Of The Medici (part 14)

#52 The Rise Of The Medici (part 14)

The return of Cosimo de Medici! On 5 October, 1434, Cosimo arrived at his villa outside Florence and stopped for some food. The Signoria sent him a message begging him NOT to arrive that day, because they thought it would cause a riot. So he sneaks in at night and...

#51  The Rise Of The Medici (part 13)

#51 The Rise Of The Medici (part 13)

By April 1434, six months after Cosimo de Medici's banishment, the people were turning against Rinaldo degli Albizzi.  Even the banking families weren’t supporting him, not sure he could be around much longer. According to Cosimo, nobody could be persuaded to fill the...

#50  The Rise Of The Medici (part 12)

#50 The Rise Of The Medici (part 12)

So Cosimo de Medici is sent into exile by his enemies. As is the rest of the family. But at least he’s alive. And the business survived. So he’s still FILTHY rich.  It could have been a lot worse. He ends up living at the San Giorgio Maggiore monastery in Venice....

#49  The Rise Of The Medici (part 11)

#49 The Rise Of The Medici (part 11)

Albizzi tries to get the Signoria to pass the death sentence on Cosimo. Meanwhile, Cosimo waits nervously for his brother Lorenzo, Niccolo da Tolentino and his mercenaries to rescue him from his cell, while expecting his execution to come at any time.  

#48  The Rise Of The Medici (part 10)

#48 The Rise Of The Medici (part 10)

Florence’s war with Lucca was like the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It set off a string of conflicts across northern Italy. When Cosimo gets back to the city, he finds it in chaos and broke. So he bails it out. And then he gets arrested.  

#47  The Rise Of The Medici (part 9)

#47 The Rise Of The Medici (part 9)

When the Florentines attack the town of Lucca in 1430, Milan sends mercenary Francesco Sforza to their defense. The Florentines, outmatched militarily, do what rich people always do when they get in trouble - they bribe their way out of it.

#46  The Rise Of The Medici (part 8)

#46 The Rise Of The Medici (part 8)

While in Rome, Cosimo gets himself a sexy slave girl - Maddalena. And when Papa Joe dies, Cosi took over as head of the family. He decided the Medici should have a genuine palazzo of their own and commissioned old mate Bruno to design something nice. And he...

#45  The Rise Of The Medici (part 7)

#45 The Rise Of The Medici (part 7)

Papa Joe Medici dies, leaving control of the Medici Bank and the family fortune - now the largest in Italy - to his son, Cosimo Di Giovanni de Medici.

#44  The Rise Of The Medici (part 6)

#44 The Rise Of The Medici (part 6)

The Medici continue their rise to power. In 1421, Papa Joe became gonfaloniere. Around the same time, Pope Marty finally appointed the Medici as the papal bankers. And Papa Joe retires and hands over control of the bank to his two sons - Cosimo and Lorenzo. Then in...

#43  The Rise Of The Medici (part 5)

#43 The Rise Of The Medici (part 5)

So Ziggy declared John XXIII was deposed and thrown in jail. The other popes were encouraged - by showing them a stake with wood stacked around it no doubt - to drop their claims to the title. And the Great Schism was finally healed - but electing an entirely NEW pope...

#42  The Rise Of The Medici (part 4)

#42 The Rise Of The Medici (part 4)

In 1414, the future Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund (aka Ziggy Stardust) suggested to Mr Baldy (aka Baldassare Cossa aka Pope John XXIII) that he should get all of the active Popes - John XXIII, Gregory XII and Benedict XIII - together for a big party to work out the...

#41 David & Goliath

#41 David & Goliath

Our guest today is friend of the show, one of our favourite people - artist Alex Kynaston. She was with us in Durham NC while we shot the Jesus film and was also on our inaugural European tour. She and Cameron (and her dad Tony) smoked stogies and caught some jazz in...

#40 The Rise Of The Medici (part 3)

#40 The Rise Of The Medici (part 3)

THE MEDICI FAMILY fortunes eventually passed into the hands of Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, head of the Cafaggiolo branch of the family, so called because it retained property in the Medici’s home village in the Mugello. Things started to really turn around for...

#39 The Rise Of The Medici (part 2)

#39 The Rise Of The Medici (part 2)

The rise of the Medici included a few false starts, due to a failed military campaign and a working class revolution. Meanwhile Florence prospered, in part because of the integrity of their coinage - the florin.

#38 The Rise Of The Medici (part 1)

#38 The Rise Of The Medici (part 1)

One of the one of the most powerful and influential families of the Renaissance - the Medici - took centuries to rise to power. But when they did, they changed the world.  

#37 The Avignon Popes – Part III

#37 The Avignon Popes – Part III

Against complaints about how much they were demanding, the popes said “hey looking this good isn’t easy!” Clement VI had been forced to lend Philip VI of France 592,000 gold florins - $135 million. And 3,517,000 more to King John II, Philip’s son and heir. Roughly...

#36 The Avignon Popes – Part II

#36 The Avignon Popes – Part II

After the death of Clement V, Dante wrote to the Italian cardinals and urged them to hold out for an Italian pope who would return the papacy to Rome. But only six of the 23 cardinals were Italian. And when they met just outside Avignon in their conclave to decide the...

#35 The Avignon Popes – Part I

#35 The Avignon Popes – Part I

We want to go back and discuss the political situation in Italy in the 14th century. We mentioned in an earlier episode that in 1309, Pope Clement V moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon. He was French. The former bishop of Bordeaux. And King Philip IV of France, who...

#34  Brunelleschi & The Dome V

#34 Brunelleschi & The Dome V

BTW - in 1421, Bruno was awarded the world’s first ever patent for invention. The patent describes Bruno as “a man of the most perspicacious intellect, industry and invention,” And this document granted him a patent of monopoly for “some machine or kind of ship, by...

#33  Brunelleschi & The Dome IV

#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 curves upwards, with no support, that won’t fall down? Well he actually invented not one, not two, but a handful of new tricks. And this is...

#32  Brunelleschi & The Dome III

#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 living? Vasari says he didn’t have to at first. Before he left Florence he sold a small farm that he owned. So he lived off that money for...

#31  Brunelleschi & The Dome II

#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 wasn’t the Rome of Augustus. At its height, Rome’s population was one million people. When Bruno arrived there, it...

#30  Brunelleschi & The Dome I

#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 - by the cloth merchant's guild, the Arte di Calimala. -  for the outside wall of Orsanmichele (Orsan-mikele) - (or "Kitchen Garden of St....

#29  Ghiberti & The Doors II

#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 must remember that the Florentines were facing a series of threats from outside forces - we’ll discuss them in...

#28  Ghiberti & The Doors I

#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 the Duomo. Well we’re NOT going to be talking about that today. Instead we’re going to be talking about the...

#27 – Boccaccio Part Three

#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, hēméra ("day"), to form a term that means "ten-day [event]". Ten days is the period in...

#26 – Boccaccio Part Two

#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 in prose. Florio, son of the King of Spain, and Biancifiore, an orphan. They grow up together, get separated, have a lot...

#25 – Boccaccio Part One

#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 be a demand for them. There must exist a class of people who have had enough education to be considered...

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

#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 the Africa spread quickly. It was not long before Petrarch's fame reached the court of King...

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

#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 poet in the early 14th century. So he took minor orders with the church. In the Catholic Church, you have the major holy orders of priest...

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

#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 to talk about his SON. But we’ll get there. And to get there, we’re going to need to duck in and out of the 800 years we’ve skipped since our last...

#21 – Enter The Lombards

#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 of the army and ultimately became Emperor, in spite of the fact he was illiterate and almost 70 years old at the time of...

#20 – The Ostrogothic Kingdom

#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 was only 38 years old. Over the next 50 years, the Western empire had a 11 emperors. Some last for years - others lasted only...

#19 – Burn Them in the Fire

#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’ – historias, in Greek – into the relations between the Greeks and the Persians. He was so even-handed with the way he treated...

#18 – Pedicabo Et Irrumabo

#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 influential bishop from Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Died in the late 4th century. He was born into a wealthy...

#17 – Hypatia of Alexandria

#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, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with...

#16 – Jesus, Violence, Love

#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 with love. * Still talking about Augustine and his “City Of God" * Last time we looked his theory that God knowing certain women...

#15 – City Of God

#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 Bible and read the first thing he saw. He opened the bible at a random page and read from Paul's Epistle to the Romans chapter 13, verses...

#14 – Augustine of Hippo

#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 sheer intellectual power, and enormous output of work , he has come to be seen as the cornerstone of the western Christian...

#13 – The Blame Game

#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 gold and hostages, including Honorius’ sister, the daughter of Theodosius. * They sacked many cities in southern Italy and were...

#12 – The Sack Of Rome

#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, Olympius, of treason and wanting to put his own son on the throne. * So Stilicho went to Ravenna to meet with the...

Episode 11 – The Rise Of The Goths

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 at the Battle of the Frigidus, they decided to just TAKE their rewards - and more. ⁃ As his heir in the East,...

Episode 10 – Crushing The Pagans

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 actions of an emperor. • It's from this point onwards that the church decides it has the power to make and break...

Episode 9 – The Whipped Dog

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 hands of his two young children. * Before we get on to what happened next, we need to talk about “Cunctos populos” * the...

Episode 8 – Theodosius

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 the following year and defeated Maximus in battle. He surrendered, pleaded for mercy as one good Christian to...

Episode 7 – Ambrose of Milan

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 rebel general under Magnus Maximus. One story about that. While he was hunting down Gratian, The general, Andragathius,...

Episode 6 – The Imperial Threesome

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 were aspects of a philosophical divinity. He was tutored by Eusebius of Nicomedia, the same guy who...

Episode 5 – A Quarrel Over Unimportant Points

Episode 5 – A Quarrel Over Unimportant Points

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 of Maxentius carried on a spike. Just like Jesus would have done. Arianism started in Alexandria. It’s named after Arius, a...

Episode 4 – I Have The Power!

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 of Maxentius carried on a spike. Just like Jesus would have done. Another thing Conny does to emulate his lord and saviour,...

Introducing the Premium Series

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 want to hear all of them, you need to register AND make sure you subscribe to the premium feed in your podcast app. If you can't...

#112 – Leonardo da Vinci Part 5 – Finger Painting

Episode 1 – Constantine The Great

Before you can understand the importance of the Renaissance, you first need to understand the Dark Ages. And that starts with Constantine the Great.