religious history

3 Reformation Women: Katharina, Marguerite & Jeanne

Katharina von Bora, Marguerite d’Angoulême and Jeanne d’Albret all left their mark on the Reformation, but all in different ways. Each of them has a unique part in the battle over religious affiliation in 16th-century Europe.

Ibn Battuta, the Traveler of Islam

Ibn Battuta's 14th-century travels were extensive. He was away from home for roughly 24 years and during that time traveled through virtually every Muslim nation and territory, becoming the traveler of the age.

Maccabean Revolt

The uprising of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire during the Hellenistic period is an integral part of the Hanukkah story. After the restoration of Jewish religious freedom, the Maccabees started another revolt to obtain total independence.

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles

She's sometimes called the patron saint of cats, and the story of Gertrude's religious devotion starts when she was just a young child. Her family's history is important, because they formed the roots of the Carolingian dynasty.

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.

In 897, Pope Stephen VI had his deceased predecessor Formosus exhumed and put on trial. The corpse was found guilty, but this desecration disgusted Romans and made them rebel. Tune in to learn more about the period known as the Papal Pornocracy.

During the golden age of Caribbean piracy, people from all walks of life set sail in search of gold. Yet you may be surprised to hear that some of the pirates were Sephardic Jews. Tune in and learn more about the lives of Jewish pirates.

La Reconquista and the Alhambra

In the early 8th century, Moors occupied most of the Iberian peninsula. During the Reconquista, Christians rallied to conquer the land. Listen in and learn more about this epic conflict, which spans some of the most formative times in Spanish history.

When Dante wrote The Divine Comedy, he consigned several of his real-life enemies to hell. In this podcast, Katie and Sarah examine Dante's habit of putting his enemies in his fiction, focusing on five people the average Florentine would have known.

During the Middle Ages, thousands of faithful Catholics believed in the story of a female pope named Joan. But is there any evidence for this story -- not to mention the other stories that grew from the original tale? Listen in and learn more.