Show cover of Empire

Empire

How do empires rise? Why do they fall? And how have they shaped the world around us today? William Dalrymple and Anita Anand explore the stories, personalities and events of empire over the course of history.

Titel

139. Mrs Genghis Khan
Börte came from a powerful nomadic tribe and in many ways her marriage to Genghis Khan set him up to become the great conqueror we know. They married young and when they were twenty, he brought his new bride back to his camp. But their newlywed life was turned upside down when Börte was kidnapped. He formed important alliances to retrieve her and seek revenge. Once reunited, Börte became a key advisor to her husband as he laid the foundation of the Mongol Empire, establishing a dynasty that lasted for centuries. Listen as Anita and William are joined by Marie Favereau to discuss the life of Börte. **Empire Live** Empire live show tickets are ON SALE TODAY from 9am UK time!! Join Anita and William at the London Barbican 8 July 2024! Buy your tickets here or here. Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
47:10 10.04.24
138. The Graceful Reed: Ruling the Islamic Empire
Sold as a slave to the great Abbasid Caliph, al-Khayzuran quickly rose to the very top of the pyramid. Through marriage and motherhood, she became wife of the caliph and then Queen Mother and in both instances she wielded extraordinary power. In the court at Baghdad - the very heart of the civilised world - al-Khayzuran had major influence and it is possible that during her lifetime, she was the most powerful woman in the world, determining politics from Morocco to Afghanistan. Some even say she assassinated one of her sons, and put a second on the throne. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Hugh Kennedy to discuss the extraordinary life of al-Khayzuran. **Empire Live** Tickets for our live show go on sale on THIS Thursday, but for members of the Empire Club tickets are available in the pre-sale as of 9am GMT TODAY! If you want to sign up to the Empire Club, simply go to https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
43:18 08.04.24
137. Empress Theodora: Making Heaven on Earth
The Empress Theodora is often unfairly remembered for the salacious stories that have been told about her when she was forced to work in a brothel. She was far more than that. She used her power to improve the fortunes of women who were unfortunate enough to go through the same shocking situation as her. She helped rebuild the Hagia Sophia and turn it into the largest and most beautiful building in the 6th century world. She assisted Justinian’s foreign campaigns that sought to restore the glory of the Roman Empire. In short, she was remarkable. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Peter Sarris for the final time, as they discuss the extraordinary story of Theodora as Empress of the Roman Empire. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
55:37 03.04.24
136. Empress Theodora: From the Brothel to the Throne
Placed by her mother into a brothel when she was just a child, Theodora was born into the most brutal of worlds. It was a Constantinople riven with division, whether due to theology or circus factions it was always ready to boil over. As befitting a Christian saint, Theodora managed to rise above all of this; she escaped working in a brothel, became the model of a reformed woman, and married the future emperor, Justinian. Then, in 527, when he was declared Emperor, Theodora was brought forward and revealed as Empress of the Roman Empire. Listen as William and Anita are once again joined by Peter Sarris to discuss this tale of star-crossed lovers and how it facilitated the improbable rise of Theodora. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
41:32 01.04.24
135. Helena: Queen of the World and Finder of the One True Cross
Born in poverty at a time when the Roman Empire was in danger of cracking up and disintegrating, Helena was set for a life of obscurity as a stable hand, bar maid, and, according to some, a prostitute. Yet, in the most improbable tale she rose through the social hierarchy to be proclaimed Empress, then later canonised, and declared by some as queen of the world. Not only was she mother and most trusted advisor to the Emperor Constantine, but she played a pivotal role in the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. Whilst on pilgrimage in the Middle-East she was said to have discovered the one true cross and helped to set a template for Christian pilgrimages that would last for centuries. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Peter Sarris to discuss St Helena and her unprecedented rise through Roman society to the position of supreme power. A key source for St Helena's life is Helena Augusta: Mother of the Empire, by Julia Hillner. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:51 28.03.24
134. Cleopatra: The Would-Be Empress of Rome
With Julius Caesar dead, Cleopatra turned to another of Rome’s dominant figures. She became entwined with Mark Antony, the ruler of the eastern half of the Roman Empire, but even with their enormous combined power the destructive tendrils of Roman politics were inescapable. Just like all of the Mediterranean, Alexandria dwelt in the shadow of Rome and so when Octavian, Julius Caesar’s chosen heir, turns on the couple in an attempt to become the sole emperor of Rome, their future looks uncertain. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Stacy Schiff to discuss Cleopatra as she reaches the peak of her powers and then, not long after, her doom. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
41:53 26.03.24
133. Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile
Born in the romantic splendour of Ptolemaic Egypt, not far from the Library of Alexandria, Cleopatra was destined for greatness. She ascended to the throne at 18 and very quickly asserted her authority across Egypt as her extraordinary mind and legendary charisma captivated all. To some she was even a goddess, a living embodiment of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Such was her magnetism that not even the most powerful men of the age were able to resist her. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Stacy Schiff to discuss Cleopatra, her rise to power, and her relationship with the ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
47:01 21.03.24
132. Journey to Nalanda and the Library of Jewels
In late autumn, 629 AD, Xuanzang set out for the great university of Nalanda from Chang’an. Across the desert, over the Pamirs, and through multiple robberies, it was an epic journey. As he neared the Buddhist heartlands, he saw Buddhism in decline with its monasteries increasingly dilapidated, and he feared disappointment. However, after 6 years on the road he arrived at Nalanda and was awestruck by its splendour. In particular, he was blown away by the library. Nine storeys high, split into the Sea of Jewels, the Ocean of Jewels, and the Jewel-Adorned. It was a haven of scholarship. Through years more of work, he would transcribe the ancient scripts to be taken back to China and lay the groundwork for a moment of great civilisational collaboration. Listen to William and Anita in the final instalment of this miniseries as they discuss Xuanzang and the mark he left on history. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
46:38 19.03.24
131. Buddhism Goes to China
Buddhism reached China in the 1st century AD, yet it remained a minor, foreign religion for the next 100 years. It was not until the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 AD and the cracking of the classical Confucian order that Buddhism began to make headway in the Middle Kingdom. Over the following centuries, the religion took hold and so China both transformed Buddhism and was transformed by it. Yet, a monk named Xuanzang, born in 600 AD, was worried about Chinese Buddhism. He feared it had strayed too far from its origin and so he undertook a journey to the Buddhist heartlands of North India and the great university of Nalanda. Listen as William and Anita discuss the early stages of Buddhism in China. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
36:12 14.03.24
130. India meets Rome: Making the Image of the Buddha
In the 1st century AD, the nomadic Kushans settled in what is now Afghanistan and established settlements and trade. From here, they moved down over the Hindu Kush and took large sections of Northern India. Within their new kingdom, Buddhism flourished under the patronage of the ruling class. Before Kushan rule, the Buddha had never been represented as a human, only as a tree or an empty throne. Yet through the empire’s trade connections with Rome, Buddhist symbols took on a more classically western form, and so the Buddha began to be depicted in Apollo-like statues. By the 3rd century AD, the Kushan Empire was dwindling, but Buddhism would not be stopped. It began to spread even further along the Golden Road, right to the borders of China. Listen as Anita and William explore the Kushan Empire and its role in the spread of Buddhism. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Pre-order William's book below: UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Road-Ancient-India-Transformed/dp/140886441X India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/140886441X/ Australia: Available 17th September 2024 US: Available Spring 2025 Waterstones edition: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-golden-road/william-dalrymple/9781526681256 Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
46:25 12.03.24
129. Ashoka: The Great Buddhist Emperor of India
Ruling in the 3rd century BC, Ashoka was one of India’s greatest ever rulers. Under his rule, the Mauryan Empire grew into the largest empire India had ever seen. Its capital, Pataliputra was a dazzling, glorious, cosmopolitan city that was eleven times larger than Athens. After a brutal conquest of the Kalinga kingdom, Ashoka suffered from intense guilt and turned to Buddhism as he now coveted peace. From then on, he was committed to spreading Buddhism not just throughout his kingdom, but across the world. Listen as William and Anita discuss Buddhism’s transformation from a regional religion to one that spans nations. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Pre-order William's book below: UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Road-Ancient-India-Transformed/dp/140886441X India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/140886441X/ Australia: Available 17th September 2024 US: Available Spring 2025 Waterstones edition: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-golden-road/william-dalrymple/9781526681256 Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
50:47 07.03.24
128. The Buddha & The Golden Road
India was the forgotten heart of the ancient world. For a millennium and a half, from about 250 BC to 1200 AD, India was a confident exporter of its diverse civilisation, creating around it a vast empire of ideas, an ‘Indosphere’ where its influence was predominant. During this period, the rest of Asia was the willing recipient of a mass-transfer of Indian soft power. Indian art, religions, technology, astronomy, music, dance, literature, mathematics, and mythology blazed a trail across the world, along a Golden Road that stretched from the Red Sea to the Pacific, connecting different places and ideas to one another. Listen over the next five episodes as William and Anita tell the story of Buddhism and how it travelled along the Golden Road, starting today with the life of Siddharta Gautama, an aristocrat born in the 5th century BC. At the age of 29, he left behind his life of luxury and sought to understand the real world. In so doing, he changed the course of history. At the age of 35 he meditated for 49 days under a sacred pipal tree and eventually he reached enlightenment. We know him as the Buddha. Pre-order William's book below: UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Road-Ancient-India-Transformed/dp/140886441X India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/140886441X/ Australia: Available 17th September 2024 US: Available Spring 2025 For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
55:19 05.03.24
127. Inventing Curry: The British Taste for India
From the beginning of the Raj, British tastes began to turn away from Indian cuisine towards a European palate. The colonial classes sneered at Indian food, instead seeing French food as the height of sophistication. Meanwhile, people in Britain – including Queen Victoria – sought out Indian flavours and so began the Indianisation of British cuisine. Imports of curry powders rapidly increased and the earliest Indian restaurants popped up in British cities. With this came the introduction of renowned dishes such as chicken tikka masala and coronation chicken. Listen as Anita and William dive into the historical origins of the British obsession with curry. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
42:47 29.02.24
126. Punch & Chilli: The East India Company at the Table
When the East India Company first arrived on the shores of India, the food they ate in their first factories was not so different from that of Britain. It was all stews, heavy with butter and stuffed with spices, almonds, cinnamon, fruit and raisins, scooped up by bread. Although the Portuguese introduced the chilli to Goa at the start of the 16th century, it had not yet travelled into North India. Over the course of the next 200 years the cuisines of the British and the Indians diverged, in no small part due to the chilli. Listen as William and Anita explore the wonderful history of the East Indian Company at Table. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:50 27.02.24
125. The Origin of the Houthis
Since November 2023, the Houthis have been attacking international shipping lanes in the Red Sea. They set off from the Yemeni coastline on speedboats, armed with guns and unmanned drones, often supplied by Iran, and cause havoc. Such has been the chaos of these attacks that Britain, the USA, and other western nations have launched retaliatory airstrikes. But where did this group come from and what do they want? Emerging in the 1990s as a Shia religious movement that rejected the repressive and corrupt rule Yemen faced at the time, the Houthis grew in power and influence. This culminated in a coup in 2014 that made them the de facto ruler of Yemen and started a civil war that has since drawn in Sunni Saudi Arabia, Iran, and many other powers in the region. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Orwell Prize-winning journalist and Yemen specialist Iona Craig to discuss the rise of the Houthis. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Assistant Producer: Anouska Lewis Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:38 22.02.24
124. Saddam Hussein vs The Ayatollah
In September 1980, Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded neighbouring Iran and so began the longest conventional war in modern history. After initial Iraqi successes, a brutal stalemate set in that was reminiscent of the horrors of the First World War. The Iraq-Iran War saw the use of chemical warfare, in 1984 Saddam’s forces unleashed the first recorded use of nerve gas in battle, and there was grinding trench warfare. Iran also pioneered human wave attacks, which merely added to the extreme human toll this war took. After eight long years a ceasefire was reached but both nations were left financially and militarily exhausted. Listen as Anita and William explore this horrific and often forgotten conflict. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:17 20.02.24
123. Hezbollah: The Party of God
In June 1982, Israeli tanks rolled over the Lebanese border. Soon after, Iran sent 1,500 Revolutionary Guards into Lebanon to help fight them. Thereafter, funded by Iran but largely manned by Lebanese Shi’ites, Hezbollah established itself as the most powerful militia in Lebanon and the Ayatollah’s most influential proxy. They were among the first Islamic groups in the Middle East to use suicide bombing, assassination and kidnapping. But it did not stop there. In the 1990s, Hezbollah began to morph into a political party too and set itself on the road to being the dominant force in Southern Lebanon it is today. Listen as William and Anita talk to Kim Ghattas about the history of one of the most feared Islamic groups in the Middle East. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
47:59 15.02.24
122. Iran & Saudi Arabia: The Rivalry that Split the Islamic World
1979 was the year that set the Islamic world on the path to today. In Iran, the revolution established the nation as a theocracy that sought to defend Shi'ism across the world. In Saudi Arabia, the siege of the Holy Mosque led to the nation embracing a more radical Sunni Islam that it began to export around the world. Almost immediately they began to clash, with great impact across the globe. Listen to William and Anita as they speak with Kim Ghattas about the birth of this rivalry. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
50:55 13.02.24
121. The Fall of the Shah of Shahs
The Shah cracks down on dissent, to the point even his great ally Jimmy Carter begins to cool on the relationship. The economy continues to overheat and the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini has never been more popular. In early 1978 people take to the streets in protest. This quickly escalates until the Shah believes he has no choice but to abdicate. But will Khomeini bring respite to the country, or will things just keeping get worse? Join William and Anita as they are joined by Ali Ansari for the last time to discuss the climax of our story, the Iranian Revolution, and the terrible bloodshed that accompanies Iran's mullahs rise to power. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:25 08.02.24
120. The Iranian Revolution: The Rise of Ayatollah Khomeini
With the Last Shah’s reforms - known as the White Revolution - starting to take effect, Iran looked to be in a healthy position. Economic growth is strong, Tehran is a thriving cultural centre, and women now had the vote. Before long, however, the economy began to overheat and inflation soars. Criticism of the Shah grows and the man who articulates the discontent of the nation best is an exiled ayatollah, Ruhollah Khomeini. He desires a theocratic future for Iran that has no room for the Shah, and his support is growing. Listen as William and Anita are once again joined by Ali Ansari to discuss Iran as it slides towards revolution. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
41:27 06.02.24
119. The Last Shah
Reza Pahlavi rules but he is still bedevilled by the interference of the great powers. Britain has its claws in deep with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (the future BP) which makes more money from Iranian oil than Iran does. But it is the Second World War that lays this foreign meddling bare when Reza is forced to abdicate after a British invasion. Will his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, known to many as the Last Shah, be able to resist the foreign powers better? Join William and Anita as they are once again joined by Ali Ansari to discuss foreign interference in Pahlavi Iran in the middle of the 20th century. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:50 01.02.24
118. Iran's First Revolution
Throughout the 19th century, Iran was a pawn of the great colonial powers. It failed to industrialise, its economy stagnated, and resentment at foreign interference grew. This came to a head in 1906 with the Constitutional Revolution - a liberal movement that aimed to reform Iran and turn it into a modern nation. But it was not to be, chaos and war ensued. Out of that chaos emerged Reza Shah; a tough, dour, military man who would establish the next Iranian dynasty, the Pahlavis. Join William and Anita as they are joined by Ali Ansari for the first in their four-part series on the Iranian Revolution. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:40 30.01.24
117. Nader Shah: The Sword of Persia
Nader Shah was not born to rule. He was poor, the son of a shepherd in a semi-nomadic tribe, and had no connection to the throne. But he was physically impressive; he stood over six feet tall, had dark piercing eyes, and a voice so loud that it is said to have caused his enemies to flee. He also innately understood warfare and it was in the military where he started to make a name for himself. Step-by-step, this poor shepherd from Khorasan accumulated power and influence. Before long he overthrew the last of the Safavids and ruled over all of Persia, but he did not stop there. He went on to push back the Ottomans, win many victories in Central Asia, and, most notoriously, sack Delhi, carting off the Peacock Throne, the Koh-i-Noor and eight thousand wagons of bejeweled loot. Listen as William and Anita discuss the life of Nader Shah, dubbed by some as the Napoleon of Persia. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
55:29 25.01.24
116. Isfahan: The City of Dreams
Isfahan, half of the world. It had been a city for years, but at the end of the 16th century Shah Abbas made it his capital and totally transformed it. With the immense wealth he brought to the city, Isfahan became home to some of the most beautiful architecture the world has ever seen. But it was also a place of pleasure, full of delicious food and exciting parties. In many ways the city encapsulated the golden age of the Safavids. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Sussan Babaie to discuss Isfahan. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
52:21 23.01.24
115. The Great Conversion: How Iran became Shia
How did the great divide within Islam, the split between Sunni and Shia, develop? We trace how the great 16th century confrontation between the Ottomans of Turkey and the Safavids of Iran cemented what had previously been a much more porous division. Iran has been a Shia country ever since and this has shaped much of the modern Middle-East. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Barnaby Rogerson to discuss one of the crucial turning points of Persian history. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
53:08 18.01.24
114. The Persian Renaissance
After conquering much of Eurasia, Timur showed no interest in building institutions and so after his death, like the Mongol Empire before it, the Timurid Empire soon fragmented and collapsed. However, some of Timur’s grandchildren took over parts of the Empire and ushered in eras of cultural advancement that matched that of the renaissance in Italy. Under the tutelage of Ulugh Begh, great developments in maths and science were made in Samarkand. Under the watch of Shah Rukh, beautiful artistic endeavours were undertaken in Herat. Some of the greatest artists of the Islamic world, such as Bihzad, came from this period. Listen as William and Anita discuss one of the golden ages of Persian culture. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
44:27 16.01.24
113. Timur: Scourge of God
Timur, known to many as Tamburlaine the Great from the iconic Marlowe play. Despite having a limp and struggling to get onto a horse, he erupted from what is now Uzbekistan at the head of a mounted army to conquer Persia and much of Eurasia. He delved deep into Russia, reached the shores of the Mediterranean after taking much of Anatolia, and conquered much of the Levant. He even sacked Delhi, in so doing surpassing Genghis Khan. His conquests were legendary, as was his brutality. Listen to William and Anita as they delve into the life of this cruel, bloody, and heartless man. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
42:27 11.01.24
112. Ferdowsi: How One Poet Saved Persian Civilisation
After the Arab conquest, Persia was turned upside down. Patronage went to Islam as opposed to Zoroastrianism. The official language of state was now Arabic. Even the very nature of the state changed; for 1,000 years Persia had been the centre of imperial power, dominating those around it. Now it was ruled by others. But, what it was to be Persian was not lost. The language, the art, the civilisation survived. And then the turn of the 10th century Ferdowsi revived it with his mighty epic poem, the Shahnameh. Listen as William and Anita are once again joined by Vesta Sarkosh Curtis to discuss Ferdowsi and the Shahnameh. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Jack Davenport + Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:41 09.01.24
111. Shackleton: The Hero of Antarctica
As the timber creaked under the pressure of the Antarctic ice, Shackleton knew his voyage aboard the Endurance was doomed. What the ice gets, the ice keeps. And so followed one of the most obscenely daring - to the point stupidity - and heroic rescue attempts. Shackleton was determined to leave no man behind, so he set off on the high seas on a tiny lifeboat, with a few men, and no navigational equipment, in the hope he could bring back a bigger ship to save his men. But did he succeed? Listen as William and Anita are once again joined by Gabrielle Walker to finish the story of Shackleton and his absurd bravery in the Endurance expedition. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Jack Davenport + Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
38:56 04.01.24
110. Antarctica: The Continent that wouldn’t be Conquered
Antarctica, the great land of ice. It was first spotted in the early years of the 19th century but it wasn't until 1895 that humans, in the form of a Norwegian expedition, actually landed on one of the world's most inhospitable places. With that expedition the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration begun. Over the next 20 years some of history's great adventurers attempted to tame the continent. Scott of the Antarctic, Roald Amundsen, and the protagonist of this week's story, Ernest Shackleton. A true hero who has been immortalised due to his legendary leadership of his expedition aboard the Endurance. Listen as William and Anita are joined by Gabrielle Walker to discuss Shackleton's voyage on the Endurance. For bonus episodes, ad-free listening, reading lists, book discounts, a weekly newsletter, and a chat community. Sign up at https://empirepod.supportingcast.fm/ Twitter: @Empirepoduk Email: empirepoduk@gmail.com Goalhangerpodcasts.com Producer: Callum Hill Exec Producer: Jack Davenport + Neil Fearn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
43:28 02.01.24

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