During the next four podcasts I will tell the history of Italy from between the fall of Rome up until 1053, the year of an important battle between Pope Leo IX and Norman invaders of Italy. These centuries witnessed a long struggle for power between various sides, with many shifts of fortune. The Battle of Civitate marks the point at which the Normans firmly established themselves in Italy and so reshaped the politics of the peninsula
A focus on southeastern Europe. The history of early Bulgaria and its relationship with the Byzantine Empire, often one of peace and cultural exchange, but also involving military conflict including the Battle of Kleidion, 1014
Concluding part of the Battle of Lechfeld, 955 AD. Otto the Great assembles an army of fellow Germans and Bohemians to defeat a force of Hungarian raiders. His victory proved decisive in the shaping of central Europe
In the year 955 was fought a crucial battle for central Europe, which proved highly significant for the early histories of Germany and Hungary. Here I describe the build-up to the Battle of Lechfeld
In AD 937 took place ‘the Great Battle’ of early medieval Britain, a time when the political and cultural map of the isles was forming, which still exists today. The King of Wessex, Athelstan, grandson of Kin g Alfred the Great, was forced to confront an alliance of Scots, Vikings and northern Britons in his attempt to become King of all Britain (also see maps page)
In the ninth century the Vikings repeatedly attacked Britain, overcoming all Anglo-Saxon kingdoms except for Wessex. King Alfred of Wessex, not only managed to defend his kingdom but to turn the tide against the Vikings and build the foundations of the state of England
The story of the formation of the kingdoms of Britain after the fall of the Roman Empire, leading to the different regional identities that exist on the isles today.
The Franks of Charles Martel vs Islamic Umayyad Caliphate.
From the mid seventh century the Muslim armies conquered lands from Spain to Persia forming a powerful new world empire. In 732 AD a large Muslim raiding party in southern France was confronted by the leader of the Franks, a Germanic people who over the previous couple of centuries had take control of the area of modern day France. This is the story of the great battle that ensued.
The Rise of Islam in the 630’s threatened the existence of two ancient superpowers – the Persian and Roman Empires. In 636 AD the decisive battle took place between the Arabs led by Khalid ibn al-Walid and the Byzantine/Roman Empire of Heraklius- the Battle of Yarmouk.