10th Century

Denmark's Early Royalty and the Jelling Stones

The beginning of Denmark's monarchy more than a thousand years ago is linked to two large rune stones at Jelling. Is it possible that the stones were part of an effort on Harald Bl├ątand's part to revise the history of his parents, Gorm and Thyre?


You may never have heard of him, but Avicenna was one of the first, and probably the most influential, Islamic philosopher-scientists. He's listed among the great philosophers in Dante's Inferno and is mentioned in the prologue to the Canterbury Tales.

The Axman of New Orleans, Part 2

The second half of the Axman story involves his famous letter to the New Orleans Times-Picayune warning that he would descend on the city, but would spare anyone with a live jazz band playing in their house. But had the Axman been murdering before 1918?

The Axman of New Orleans, Part 1

In 1918 and 1919, a rash of attacks had all of New Orleans on edge. While the Axman has turned up in modern storytelling, no fiction could top the real story of late-night break-ins and assaults by a mystery assailant who was never caught.

Sei Shonagon and the Heian Court

Thanks to the pillow book of lady-in-waiting Sei Shonagon, we have a first-person account of court life in Heian Japan. It's part diary, part commonplace book, part essay collection, and thoroughly fascinating.

Russia's Vladimir the Great

Vladimir I is often credited with bringing Christianity to Russia, though he actually embraced paganism first as Grand Prince of Kievan Rus. Wishing to unite Russia under one religion, Vladimir changed the spiritual path of his country forever.

Long before Benedict XVI's resignation, Benedict IX resigned. Benedict IX was one of the youngest (and most notorious) men ever to become pope, and his abuse of power was legendary. He became pope three times and sold the title at one point.

Who was Good King Wenceslas?

King Wenceslas is best known as a Christmas carol, but he was a real 10th-century Bohemian prince. Wenceslas was known for his kindness to children and promotion of Christianity, but he was murdered at only 22. Listen in to learn more about the Good King.

Brian Boru, High King of Ireland

As High King of Ireland, Brian Boru fought against -- and ultimately ended -- the rule of Niall Noigiallach's descendents. Tune in as Katie and Sarah take a closer look at the life of Brian Boru in this podcast.