11th Century

Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe was a massive stone city in southeastern Africa that was a thriving trade center from the 11th to 15th centuries. But when Europeans first learned of it in the 16th century, they were certain it wasn't African at all.

Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard was a Christian mystic of medieval Europe who was way, way ahead of her time. If she had lived a few hundred years later, and been male, people probably would have called her a renaissance man.

Abelard and Heloise

Abelard was a poet, philosopher and theologian; Heloise was one of his students. This is a tragic love story, complete with lovers forced apart, a secret marriage, a castration and repeated exhumations. Happy Valentine's Day!

Avicenna

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 Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings is often boiled it down to a sentence: The Normans invaded Britain in 1066, and their victory ended the Anglo-Saxon phase of English history. But of course, that brief description really doesn't do the event justice.

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.

The Bayeux Tapestry is considered the one of the most important images of the Medieval Age. It's a stunning piece of art, and it covers a crucial event in Western history: The Norman Conquest of Britain. Tune in to learn more about the Bayeux Tapestry.

Some actors believe it's bad luck to say 'Macbeth' in the theater unless the play is being performed -- but why? In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the origins of the Macbeth curse and the life of the historical Macbeth. (And, an important note: The error regarding "Our American Cousin" and Abraham Lincoln has already been corrected in the episode He Was Killed By Mesmerism.)

In an argument over taxing peasants, Lady Godiva -- whose real name was actually Godgifu -- called her husband's bluff and rode naked through the marketplace. Or did she? learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding Lady Godiva in this podcast.