16th Century

Suleiman the Magnificent and the Siege of Vienna

The Ottoman Empire's Suleiman the Magnificent was a head of state, a poet, a reformer of the military and a goldsmith. His reign had a significant impact on the law, literature and art of the Ottoman Empire.

King Eric XIV of Sweden

A handsome playboy who once courted Queen Elizabeth I, Eric started his time as king with focus and ambition. But his paranoia led him to alienate the aristocracy, fall into violent rages and stab a captive noble to death. Read the show notes here.

Emperor Rudolf II of Austria

He was an art patron. He loved science. He spoke many languages. He was also known for a dark temper and instability, and his poor decisions as a ruler are credited with leading to the Thirty years War.

India's Karni Mata Rat Temple

Though it's most famous for its rats, the story of this temple starts with Hindu goddess Durga and Karni Mata, a 15th-century mystic believed to be her incarnation. The reason for the rats in Karni Mata's temple is a combination of legend and devotion.

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 2

In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother's unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn't her son free her when he came to power?

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 1

Juana of Castile has gone down in history as "Juana la Loca." But Juana's mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana's youth, her marriage and more.

Of all the mysteries we've covered, the lost colony at Roanoke is one of the strangest. In this classic episode, former hosts Candace and Josh recount Roanoke's story -- and there's a new development, one that may finally reveal the fate of the colonists.

The warrior queen Nzinga used wily tactics to maintain her kingdom's independence during colonization. Born in the Ndongo Kingdom, Nzinga staged a coup, harbored runaway slaves, and kept a harem of men. Tune in to learn more about queen Nzinga.

Maximilian, Mexico's Habsburg Prince

For a time, Mexico was ruled by a Habsburg prince: Ferdinand Maximilian. While Maximilian was unwelcome, he upheld liberal reforms and modernized the government. As his support dwindled, Mexico's rightful president worked to take back the country.

When Japan invaded Korea in 1592, the Korean forces were unprepared for Japan's troops. The Korean navy, however, was a different story. Commanding Admiral Yi Sun-sin repeatedly defeated the Japanese. But was it enough to end the war? Tune in to find out.