Welcome to ‘A History of Europe Podcast – Key Battles’

The year 2014 marks a hundred years since the beginning of the First World War- a war which started in Europe and tore the continent apart. Europe has had its fair share of bloody conflicts, but this so-called Great War probably topped all overs for its brutality and loss of life. Over the next five years the different events of the war will be commemorated from its beginning to end, around the continent. It will be a time for reflection on its legacy.
In this podcast series I will reflect on the whole history of Europe from the Ancient Greeks up until the First World War. Welcome to my podcast: ‘A History of Europe, Key Battles’.

My name is Carl Rylett and I live near Oxford, in England. In this podcast series I aim to explain the shape of modern Europe based on its history.

Why does Europe exist as a separate continent at all? What allowed such a diversity of cultures within this small part of the world? What has determined the borders of and within Europe? I will use a series of key battles to help answer these questions by telling the story of Europe through the ages.

Europe was, of course, defined not only by wars but such things as migration, economics, dynastic accidents and natural events but to a large extent today’s political and cultural maps have been forged by sheer brute force. And for the purposes of this podcast, I have chosen about forty key battles that will act as milestones in this story.

I hope you enjoy!

The story of Europe from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War