Middle Eastern History

Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia was one of the earliest female mathematicians and astronomers -- though she wasn't the very first, she was among the greatest. At the time of her murder, she was the foremost mathematician and astronomer in the West - possibly in the world.

Gertrude Bell: The Uncrowned Queen of Iraq, Part 2

Part 2 of this series follows Gertrude Bell on her adventures after World War I begins. The British army asked her to help them retain their influence in the Middle East. But how did she get from there to helping found modern Iraq? Tune in to learn more.

Gertrude Bell: The Uncrowned Queen of Iraq

Gertrude Bell was the first woman to graduate with a First in Modern History from Oxford. Instead of marrying young, she went to Persia. Inspired, she traveled across the Middle East on numerous exploratory treks. But would it last in a time of war?

After a childhood spent roaming Europe, Freya Stark began saving money to take Arabic lessons. Once fluent, she traveled into areas few outsiders had ever been, documenting her travels in best-selling books. Listen in to learn more about Freya of Arabia.

Talk about making an impression: When emperor Mansa Musa went on a pilgramage from Timbuktu to Mecca, he gave away so much gold that he crashed the gold market in Cairo. Tune in and learn more about Musa and Timbuktu in this podcast.

When Egyptologists studied King Tutankhamen's DNA, they learned some surprising things: In addition to being disabled, the king was inbred. And this is just the beginning. Learn more about the real King Tut -- and where he came from -- in this podcast.

In 1798 Napoleon decided to launch an expedition to Egypt instead of leading a direct attack on England -- but why? In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the Battle of the Pyramids (Napoleon himself came up with the title). Tune in and learn more.

Today historians know very little about Nefertiti, but during her time as Egypt's queen she was revered as a goddess. In this episode, Sarah and Katie explore the reign of Nefertiti, and why her controversial husband Akhenaton was considered a heretic.

Born Simon ben Kosiba, Simon bar Kokhba led the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman empire. The revolt succeeded momentarily, and the Romans were expelled from Judea -- but the conflict was far from over. Tune in and learn what happened next.

Some authors have described Zenobia, a queen of Palmyra, as a second Cleopatra. Listen in as Sarah and Katie explore the history of Palmyra and Zenobia in this episode.