This Week in History recalls memorable and decisive events and personalities of the past.
The golden age of casual historical exploration
Today’s This Week in History is a little different. Rather than dwelling on one or another episode of the past, it celebrates the fact that we are living in a golden age of casual historical exploration. Over the past decade a host of new, high-quality and easily accessible history resources have become available to the casual history enthusiast.
Fans of history can now access hundreds of podcasts and YouTube videos of exceptional quality and extraordinary depth and accuracy like never before. Even better, all of these products are free.
Here is a sample of the channels and podcasts that I enjoy.
The Jabzy channel on YouTube gives in-depth narrative histories of various regions and time periods across the world.
Of particular interest is this one on the history of the Middle East:
Cambrian Chronicles is a channel focusing on Welsh history and does deep dives into various historical mysteries in the region.
Check out this video on a strange error on Wikipedia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mlGDZ1ZDFI
For those more interested in military history, there is the excellent Kings and Generals Channel, which illustrates various military campaigns across history.
Military History Visualised focuses on the Second World War and many of the less glamorous aspects of warfare, such as logistics, technical skill and design. The creator is extremely meticulous and is rigorous with his historical sourcing.
In this video he explores defensive tactics used by the Soviets in the Battle of Kursk
Historigraph covers many topics but focuses especially on naval history, particularly of the Second World War.
Here is his video on the Allied submarine campaign against Japan
For those who love both history and cooking there is the Tasting History channel where the host recreates historical recipes and tries them out
Here is his most recent video … on the Roman fish sauce, Garum
Highlight History is a channel that explores a huge range of historical topics in relatively short, well-produced videos.
Here is one on the infamous ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’
The Tank Museum at Bovington not only ranks as one of the best museums – if not the best – for tank history in the world, it also has a great YouTube channel with a variety of quirky and very English hosts.
Here is now-retired former Tank Museum curator David Fletcher talking about some of his least favourite tanks in the museum’s collection.
History with Hilbert is a channel which focuses on Dutch History and, occasionally, South African history.
Here is his video on the first example of written Afrikaans.
The channel Odd Compass explores mostly Indian history and has well-animated short videos introducing an understudied area of world history.
SandRhoman History looks at military tactics with a special focus on the Early Modern period of warfare, from the 1400s to the 1700s, and especially sieges.
Here is his video on the siege of Vienna of 1683.
Imperium Romanum are a group of reenactors who recreate life in the world of ancient Rome.
In this video they explore Iron Age Germanic society
Historia Civilis explores the politics and personalities of various historical moments. His videos are simply animated and clearly explained.
Here is his video on the Bronze Age Collapse
If you prefer podcasts, there are also many excellent options.
The History of England is hosted by the charming David Crowther and covers the history of the English from the Anglo-Saxons to the Victorian era.
The History of Rome podcast is the parent of the majority of the history podcast world. The host, the great Mike Duncan – who at the time of the podcast was working as a fishmonger –has since gone on to write two books on Roman history, and inspired many other history podcasts.
The History of Byzantium podcast is one of those inspired by the History of Rome and picks up where Mike Duncan left off. It is in-depth, relies on the modern research of excellent historians, and traces the history of the Eastern Roman Empire.
All of these podcasts are available on iTunes and Spotify.
I hope that this list will inspire readers, especially older readers who may not use YouTube or podcasts regularly, to dive into the rich world of history that is available on the web today.
If you like what you have just read, support the Daily Friend