Thursday, December 11, 2008

Charlemagne - history podcast review

Suppose you want to know about Charlemagne. If you are looking for a podcast, there are quite a few options. A good, but old and podfaded podcast is the Ancient and Medieval History Podcast. Another place to go is History according to Bob, but he has spread his episodes so wide, the preceding series about the Franks and the eventual Charlemagne are no longer in the feed and you will have to buy them on CD. A splendid new podcast is Hoor! Geschiedenis which very effectively addresses the build up and Charlemagne in several episodes worth over an hour and a half in listening, but it is in Dutch - which may not all of you master.

So, I reserved the best for last: TPN's Biography Show which has dedicated its 8th episode to Charlemagne. All aspects are explained: how Charles comes to power, where his roots lie, why he becomes emperor (and hates that), what the renaissance is he brings about, and more. Additional strength of the show is that it is a conversation. Host Cameron Reilly is well prepared and asks excellent questions. Historian David Markham is at his best and is informative and instructive with the best. Last but not least, these veterans of the Napoleon 1O1 podcast, do not miss the opportunity to put Charlemagne in the wider time frame with the Roman emperors, the Holy Roman Empire, the power of the popes and the culmination in the figure of Napoleon.

An interesting side note is to be made about an additional episode in the TPN podcasts: Cameron Reilly's pledge drive. TPN, the Podcasting Network (in Australia) is asking for your money and in doing so positions itself in the tradition of public television and radio networks in America, that also live from the donations of their listeners. It gives one answer to the question how podcasts can survive into the future: they can be packaged together and as a whole offer a service to the listeners for a small fee, that by virtue of the vast audience amounts to a fair income - we hope.

More Cameron Reilly:
Cameron Reilly: Is podcasting dead?,
Biography podcasts,
Sargon of Akkad and Ramses II,
Helen of Troy,
Alexander the Great - Biography Show,
TPN Napoleon 1O1.

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