In Our Time Archive: History

In Our Time Archive: History

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the people, conflicts and events that have shaped the world.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • The Minoans

    Thu, 7 Jul 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ancient civilisation of the Minoans. The Minoans flourished for around two thousand years, long before Ancient Greek civilisation had begun. The most famous Minoan site is the Palace of Knossos on Crete which was famously excavated by Arthur Evans in 1900 and controversially reconstructed by him. But what do we really know about the Minoans and why did they eventually disappear? Melvyn is joined by John Bennet, Professor of Aegean Archaeology at Sheffield University; Ellen Adams, Lecturer in Classical Art & Archaeology at King’s College London; and Yannis Hamilakis, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

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  • The Battle of Stamford Bridge

    Thu, 2 Jun 11

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Battle of Stamford Bridge. In the first week of 1066 the English king, Edward the Confessor, died. A young nobleman, Harold Godwinson, claimed that Edward had nominated him his successor, and seized the throne. But he was not the only claimant: in France the powerful Duke of Normandy, William, believed that he was the rightful king, and prepared to invade England. As William amassed his forces on the other side of the Channel, however, an army led by the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada invaded from the North Sea. Harold quickly marched north and confronted the Norsemen, whose leaders included his own brother Tostig. The English won an emphatic victory; but barely three weeks later Harold was dead, killed at Hastings, and the Norman Conquest had begun.

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  • Xenophon

    Thu, 26 May 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of Xenophon. With Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and Simon Goldhill.

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  • Custer's Last Stand

    Thu, 19 May 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer's Last Stand.

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  • Octavia Hill

    Thu, 7 Apr 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    From the 1850s until her death in 1912, Octavia Hill was an energetic campaigner who did much to improve the lot of impoverished city dwellers. She was a pioneer of social housing who believed there were better and more humane ways of arranging accommodation for the poor than through the state. Aided at first by her friend John Ruskin, the essayist and art critic, she bought houses and let them to the urban dispossessed. Octavia Hill provided an early model of social work, did much to preserve urban open spaces. She was also one of the founders of the National Trust. Yet her vision of social reform, involving volunteers and private enterprise rather than central government, was often at odds with that of her contemporaries. With: Dinah Birch, Professor of English Literature and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at Liverpool University; Lawrence Goldman, Fellow in Modern History at St Peter's College, Oxford; and Gillian Darley, Historian and biographer of Octavia Hill

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  • The Dawn of the Iron Age

    Thu, 24 Mar 11

    Duration:
    42 mins

    In around 3000 BC European metalworkers started to make tools and weapons out of bronze. A complex trading network evolved to convey this valuable metal and other goods around the continent. But two millennia later, a new skill arrived from the Middle East: iron smelting. This harder, more versatile metal represented a huge technological breakthrough. The arrival of the European Iron Age, in around 1000 BC, was a time of huge social as well as technological change. New civilisations arose, the landscape was transformed, and societies developed new cultures and lifestyles. Whether this was the direct result of the arrival of iron is one of the most intriguing questions in archaeology. With: Sir Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford; Sue Hamilton, Professor of Prehistory at University College London; Timothy Champion, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton Producer: Thomas Morris.

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  • The Taiping Rebellion

    Thu, 24 Feb 11

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Taiping Rebellion, the momentous 19th century Chinese revolt led by a disillusioned young man who imagined himself the brother of Jesus Christ, come to save his Chinese brothers and sisters from the clutches of the Imperial Qing dynasty. Almost fourteen years later with over twenty million people dead, the Taiping Rebellion was quashed. But what did the rebels truly believe in and what did it achieve? Melvyn is joined by Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford; Frances Wood, Head of the Chinese Section at the British Library; and Julia Lovell, Lecturer in Chinese History at Birkbeck, University of London.

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  • The Battle of Bannockburn

    Wed, 2 Feb 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Battle of Bannockburn of 1314. The culmination of a war of independence which had rumbled on for eighteen years, it paved the way for the restoration of full Scottish independence. Melvyn is joined by Matthew Strickland, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow; Fiona Watson, Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Dundee; and Michael Brown, Reader in History at the University of St Andrews.

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  • The Mexican Revolution

    Thu, 20 Jan 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The revolution last for the next ten years and included the radical peasants’ revolt of Zapata in the south, the warlord banditry of Villa in the north, and a succession of presidents who often tried to put in place remarkably modern constitutions, but usually failed. But was the revolution ultimately successful and how did it actually change things for the people? Melvyn is joined by Alan Knight, Professor of the History of Latin America at the University of Oxford; Paul Garner, Cowdray Professor of Spanish at the University of Leeds; and Patience Schell, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Manchester.

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  • Industrial Revolution Part II

    Thu, 30 Dec 10

    Duration:
    43 mins

    In the second part of this two-part series on The Industrial Revolution, Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the consequences of the revolution and how the economy, social structures, housing, education and public health were all affected. Melvyn is joined by Jane Humphries, Professor of Economic History and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford; Emma Griffin, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of East Anglia; and Lawrence Goldman, Fellow and Tutor in History at St. Peter’s College, Oxford.

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