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The French History Podcast
A weekly history podcast that will cover France from 3 million years ago to present. Presented by Gary Girod, with contributions by numerous scholars.
5 days ago
Before Trans: Three Incredible Lives with Dr. Rachel Mesch
Sep 18, 2020
41 – The Medieval Transformation Part 3: Daily Life
This episode and the next one or two will complete the Medieval Transformation series, as I talk about how life changed from late-Antiquity under the crumbling Roman Empire to the medieval period under the Merovingians. After that, we’re going to get right back onto the political narrative with Clothar II and Dagobert, until we reach […]
Sep 11, 2020
Four Royal Women’s Entangled Lives by Keira Morgan
Gary: Today’s special episode is by Keira Morgan. When Keira was five, her grandmother gave her a book about England’s queens, which started a lifelong fascination. She went on to complete her B.A. in History and English and an M.A. in History, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. She spent the next […]
1 hr 1 min
Sep 4, 2020
40 – Great Merovingian Women
There are very few still-existing histories dating to the Merovingian period. Gregory of Tours’ Histories and The Chronicle of Fredegar are the only long-form histories, and both were written by men and were mostly about men. Theirs were histories of great kings and saints, which largely excluded women. When women do emerge in the histories […]
Aug 28, 2020
Cistercian Monks, the Albigensian Crusade, and the French Conquest of Occitania by Leland Renato Grigoli
[Gary] And we’re back! Thanks for your patience as I did some moving and researching this past month. Episode 40 will be out next Saturday, and I will be back on my regular schedule of main series episodes every other week, with guest episodes when possible. Today’s special episode is by Ph.D candidate Leland Renato […]
Aug 7, 2020
Navigating Paris: What’s the flâneur got to do with it?
Gary: Today’s special episode is by Lauren Quigley who is a PhD candidate in French Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland. Her dissertation ‘Parisian Poiesis: Architecture and the Aesthetics of Contemporary French Poetry’ explores the relationship between aesthetics, architecture, and form in the poetry of Jacques Réda, Jacques Roubaud and Michel Houellebecq. Today, Ms. Quigley […]
Jul 31, 2020
Napoleon, Egypt and the Birth of Modern Egyptology with Dr. Tara Sewell-Lasater
Intro (Gary speaking): Today’s special episode is by Dr. Tara Sewell-Lasater Dr. Sewell-Lasater received her Ph.D in history from the University of Houston in 2020. Her research focuses on Hellenistic Egypt, numismatics, and gender, specifically exploring the roles open to royal women in Ptolemaic Egypt and the expressions of female power on coinage. Her dissertation […]
Jul 28, 2020
39 – The Epic of Brunhilda
Episode 39: The Epic of Brunhilda Francia in 561 and 587 Prologue: The early reigns of the sons of Clothar Before we launch into today’s episode I want to make a few quick notes. First, not all dates are entirely accurate, as different accounts provide different dates. Generally speaking the dates I offer […]
1 hr 1 min
Jul 17, 2020
French History Myths with the Fake History Hunter, Jo Teeuwisse
Gary: Today’s special episode is an interview with Dutch historian Jo Teeuwisse, better known as the Fake History Hunter, for her work online debunking numerous popular fake history posts. For over a decade. Jo has specialized in daily life of early 20th century Europeans. She has worked as a historical consultant for museums, documentaries, films, […]
1 hr 22 min
Jul 10, 2020
38 – The Long-haired Kings
Announcements: Hello everyone. Before I begin today’s episode I have three quick announcements. First, I was a guest on the French Embassy to the United States’ official podcast ‘Francofiles’ where I discussed the history behind Juillet Quatorze, known as Bastille Day in the Anglo-Phone world. It’s coming up this Tuesday so there’s no better time […]
Jun 27, 2020
Intelligent Speech 2020 (audio only)
Intentional Wandering: How to find Hidden History Hello everyone, this is Gary Girod from the French History Podcast. The theme of this year’s conference is Hidden Histories & I’m sure by now you’ve heard quite a bit about little-known historical stories. In the short time I have I want to explain how you can uncover […]
Jun 19, 2020
France in Occupied Berlin with Iain MacGregor
Gary: Hello, everyone. Quick reminder, June 27 at 145. I will be presenting a talk at the Intelligence Speech Conference 2020, which is all online this year. Tickets are online at their Web site. And you can listen to me and dozens of other top podcasters talking about hidden history. My talk is how you […]
1 hr 10 min
Jun 12, 2020
37 – The Medieval Transformation Part 2: The Birth and Spread of Monasteries
Episode 37: The Medieval Transformation Part 2: The Birth and Spread of Monasteries During the first four centuries of Christianity’s history, believers were frequently tortured and killed. If they remained true to their beliefs they became martyrs. Martyrdom was the greatest spiritual act, and most early saints were martyrs, including Saint Peter and many of […]
Jun 5, 2020
Louise Michel & the Radical Women of the 19th Century with Dr. Steve Shone
Louise Michel & the Radical Women of the 19th Century with Dr. Steve Shone Gary: Today’s episode is an interview I conducted with Dr. Steve Shone on his new book, Women of Liberty. Dr. Shone received his Ph.D from the University of California, Riverside, in 1992. He has taught at a number of colleges, including […]
May 29, 2020
36 – The Medieval Transformation Part 1: Cults, Miracles and Saints
Hello everyone. Quick reminder my debut novel The Maiden Voyage of New York City is out through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you are looking for a character-driven, speculative science-fiction story, please check it out and support yours truly. Second, the Intelligent Speech Conference is happening this June 27th. I and other top podcasters […]
May 19, 2020
35 – The Last Saints of Gaul
Episode 35: The Last Saints of Gaul A few quick announcements before we get started. First, I did a 90-minute-long episode with History’s Most about what caused the French Revolution. It is a fascinating conversation wherein we talked about the many possible causes of one of the world’s most important political and social upheavals. […]
May 1, 2020
34 – Gaul No More
The Western Roman Empire falls. Gaul is no more, & three kingdoms vie to replace it. Antiquity ends & Clovis turns the land into the first great medieval kingdom: Francia. [Pre-show announcement]: Hello everyone, before we begin I want to make a quick announcement. First of all, life has been hard with the quarantine […]
Apr 12, 2020
33 – The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains
The Scourge of God descends upon Gaul. Aetius must rally what remains of Western Rome and unite with his nemesis Theodoric of the Visigoths. Together, they will fight Western Rome’s last great battle against Attila and his Huns. When I started this podcast in January 2019 I decided that I wanted to tell the […]
Mar 27, 2020
32 – Barbaria
Gaul is a battleground & Rome is on the retreat. The Visigoths, Burgundians and Franks vie for supremacy while Gauls are trapped in between them...yet maybe 'Barbaria' isn't as bad as it seems.
Mar 17, 2020
31 – The Long War: Rome and Francia
The Huns march westward, pushing uncountable numbers of Germans towards Rome. The Romanized Franks have to defend Gaul while the empire crumbles. But the more successful the Franks are the more they realize Rome needs them more than they need it.
Feb 21, 2020
Revolutionary Brothers: Lafayette & Jefferson with Dr. Tom Chaffin
In this interview with Dr. Tom Chaffin, we discuss his new book Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations. We talk about Lafayette and Jefferson's work in founding America, writing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, and their long friendship.
Feb 14, 2020
30 – God and the Gauls
Christianity finally comes center-stage! During the 2nd-3rd centuries Gaul gets a host of saints and miracles and becomes an important part of the Christian world. But state persecutions and heresy threaten the faithful.
Jan 31, 2020
29 – Life in a Crumbling Empire
What was life like for ordinary people in 4th century Gallia? In this episode we're covering men, women, children, the family, culture, entertainment, language, medicine, the environment, food, barbarians & everything else that made up the lives of the Gauls during the Late Roman Empire.
Jan 24, 2020
Black Venus: African Women in 19th Century France with Dr. Robin Mitchell
In this special episode, I interview Dr. Robin Mitchell on her new book Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France. We talk about three African women, Ourika, Sarah Baartmann and Jeanne Duval, and how each women reflected and embodied different anxieties felt by France in its tumultuous 19th century.
Jan 16, 2020
28 – In This Sign You Shall Conquer
Galerius rules from the East and Constantine fears for his life. One night the young man flees to Gaul to rejoin his father in the west. When Constantius dies his son becomes emperor. In the chaos that follows the ambitious man looks to the heavens and receives divine revelation.
Jan 3, 2020
27 – The Empire Strikes Back
The year is 285. Diocletian is the undisputed master of a Roman world in tatters. Gaul has fallen completely apart as its own people ravage the land looking for food while German hordes poor in. Diocleatian sends two emperors to save Gaul, but even if they can bring peace it will never be the same as Celtic Gaul declines and the Franks rise.
Nov 30, 2019
26 – The Gallic Empire
Rome is falling apart. It's being invaded along its entire northern and eastern borders. Emperors are assassinated. Usurper generals rise up every year to seize power. Plague devastates the empire. Out of this chaos a Gallic military commander decides to create a new Celtic empire and revive a free Gaul.
Nov 16, 2019
25 -The Ancient Superpower and its Decline
Rome ascends to unprecedented glory by the time of Antoninus Pius. Then the unthinkable happens and the ancient superpower is hit with one disaster after another. Plague, civil war and invasion bring the glorious empire to its knees.
Oct 26, 2019
The Phoney War with Cameron Zinsou
Ph.D candidate Cameron Zinsou talks about the tense waiting period known as 'The Phoney War.' Zinsou argues that despite no large-scale military engagements occuring a whole lot happened. French society had to reorganize for total war and that the political, social and military changes presaged the occupation.
Oct 19, 2019
24 -The Two Lost Centuries
Nearly two centuries of Gallia's history go missing. What happened to the records and what happened in Gallia?
Oct 12, 2019
France, Haiti and the American Civil War with Dr. Matthew Clavin
The Haitian Revolution has often been described as an oddity that had little impact on the world. Since then, historians have challenged this narrative and argue that Haiti's victory over France had a huge impact on the Atlantic World. Dr. Matthew Clavin of the University of Houston argues that the Haitian Revolution had an enormous impact on the world.
Oct 5, 2019
23 – Three Gods, Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors in the Roman Empire brings chaos and war. In Gallia, three people claim divinity as they revolt against the empire.
Sep 28, 2019
The Merchant of Revolution with Sarah K. Miles
Guest host Sarah K. Miles tells the fascinating story of how radical bookseller François Maspero spread revolutionary anti-colonial ideas from the left bank of the Seine. Listen as Ms. Miles recounts how Maspero evaded government sensors, created networks of subversives across the world.
Sep 21, 2019
22 – Twilight of the Druids, Madness of Emperors
Another revolt convinces Tiberius and later Claudius that the only way to civilize Gallia is to rid it of its druids. Gallia survives the madness of Caligula and then unites with Hispania to overthrow Nero.
Sep 14, 2019
Disability and Disease in 19th Cent. Paris with Dr. Catherine Kudlick
Dr. Catherine Kudlick of San Francisco State University talks about a blind community in 19th century Paris. Furthermore, she talks about disability, disease and what those meant in French history.
Sep 7, 2019
21 – The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Augustus decides to invade Germania and Romanize it as he did with Gallia. Family drama and an insurrection give the Germans a chance to revolt. What follows is one of Rome's greatest tragedies and a history-defining moment for Gallia, Rome and Europe.
Aug 31, 2019
Jews and Jewish-Muslim relations in France, 1940-2019 with Dr. Ethan Katz
UC Berkeley's Dr. Ethan Katz talks about how Jewish Resistance Fighters captured Algiers for the Allies in 1942. Then we discuss the history and importance of Jewish-Muslim relations in France, which has the largest population of both in the EU.
Aug 24, 2019
20 – The Tragedy of Drusus the Good Son
Gallia wasn't as peaceful as Augustus' propaganda would have you believe. Meanwhile, Germania's shadow stretched across the Rhine. Until the bold leader Drusus decides to march to the ends of the Earth for the glory of Rome and his place as Augustus' successor.
Aug 10, 2019
Post-WW2 French Science Fiction with Prof. Annabelle Dolidon
Prof. Annabelle Dolidon talks about the history of French science-fiction and how it deals with questions of transhumanism, artificial intelligence, climate change, and other potential futures.
1 hr 15 min
Aug 10, 2019
19 – New Gods, New Rulers and Togas: Augustan Gallia
How much of Celtic religion and culture remained during the Augustan reforms? Did the Romans wipe away the old Gaul? And how much did the Gauls influence Rome? All of these and more are answered in today's episode.
Aug 3, 2019
Energy and Power with Dr. Joseph Bohling
Dr. Bohling of Portland State University explains how France, a country with very limited fossil fuels, became an energy leader. Along the way he dispels myths about France falling in love with nuclear power and their position as a green country.
1 hr 10 min
Jul 27, 2019
18 – Pax Gallia: Rebuilding a Roman Gaul
Caesar launches a civil war, then Octavian and Mark Antony launch another, and finally Octavian turns on Mark Antony. All the while the Roman wars leave Gaul in relative peace as the country heals. Octavian becomes the first Roman Emperor 'Augustus' and inaugurates a program of Romanization on the Gauls, starting with the resettling of veterans and the building of massive new cities.
Jul 20, 2019
African American Soldiers in France with Taylor Marrow
In this very special episode I interview the man who inspired me to become a historian, Taylor Marrow. Marrow talks about African-American service in World War I and II France, how this impacted the United States, and what France means to African Americans today.
1 hr 19 min
Jul 13, 2019
17 – A Bitter Peace
The Gallic Wars finally ends as most of Gaul submits to Caesar in a desperate attempt to bring peace to war-torn Gaul. Yet, a few tribes have hatched one final scheme to repulse the Roman invaders that may be even more painful than Caesar's brutal tactics.
Jun 29, 2019
16 – The Gallo-Roman Apocalypse
52 BCE and Prince Vercingetorix unites Gaul in a war to the death with Caesar that will decide Rome and Gaul's fates.
Jun 15, 2019
15 – Fate Meets Folly
It's 53 BCE and Marcus Licinius Crassus is tired of watching Pompey and Caesar take all the glory. Crassus raises an army to invade Persia, a gambit which determines Rome's fate. Meanwhile, Caesar's divide and conquer tactics reach new heights as he turns the Gauls against themselves.
Jun 1, 2019
14 – A Year of Heroes: Lucius Vorenus, Titus Pullo and Vertico the Gaul
Caesar begins the year by invading Britannia and harassing Belgica. Meanwhile Celtica rises up and the Gauls surround two Roman armies. With doom approaching heroes are born as Vorenus and Pullo make an epic last stand.
May 25, 2019
Between Throne and Altar: French Kings Versus the Papacy with Quentin Adams
The fall of Rome meant the rise of the Vatican as Europe broke up into small feudal states. But when France emerged as a major nation its kings were done taking orders from the Papacy. What followed was centuries of on-and-off conflict to decide whether God's Chosen Ruler or Christ's Vicar on Earth ruled Europe.
May 18, 2019
13 – The End of the World and Beyond: Caesar’s Invasions of Germania and Britannia
Caesar's devastation of the Belgae opens up Gaul to a German invasion to the east. To the north, Britannia unsettles Gaul. To solve both problems Caesar will have to go where no Roman ever has and become more than a mere man.
May 4, 2019
12 – Belgica: Between Caesar and Germania
After conquering Celtica, Caesar engages in two years of brutal war against the Belgae who are determined to maintain their freedom.
Apr 27, 2019
France and America’s Cold War with Dr. Robert Buzzanco
One of America's leading scholars on the Vietnam War talks about how France and the US clashed during the Cold War, largely over Indochina.
1 hr 7 min
Apr 20, 2019
11 – The War Begins
A migrating wave of Celts from Switzerland gives Caesar the opportunity to invade Gaul. But things aren't so simple; to conquer Gaul he'll have to defeat a German king before he can bring over an overwhelming number of warriors.
Apr 20, 2019
Notre Dame de Paris
Ph.D candidate Gary Girod tells Notre Dame's fascinating history from the first stones laid for the Roman temple to Jupiter, up until present and explains why there's hope for a complete restoration after the April 15, 2019 fire.
Apr 6, 2019
10 – Destiny Meets Opportunity
A crisis in Gaul sparks a war between civilizations a millenia in the making.
Mar 23, 2019
From Vichy to Alizée: Making The Modern French Woman with Dr. Sarah Fishman
A conversation with renowned scholar Dr. Sarah Fishman on how French women under Vichy, who were among the most oppressed in the developed world, turned France into the most egalitarian major country on Earth.
1 hr 6 min
Mar 9, 2019
The Munitionettes of World War I
In this special episode, we examine the hardships, triumphs and transformation that women underwent in WWI while exploring why French women didn't receive the same rights as their British counterparts.
Mar 2, 2019
#MeToo and Roman Rape Culture with Darah Vann Orr
Ancient historian Darah Vann Orr explains how modern feminist historians are re-evaluating Roman culture in the wake of the #MeToo era.
1 hr 4 min
Feb 23, 2019
9 – Gaul Before the Fall
Where we tell the story of the Gallic kingdoms before the Roman conquest.
Feb 16, 2019
8 – The Greek Empire in Gaul
Anatolian Greeks establish an empire in Southern Gaul around Masallia, or modern-day Marseille.
Feb 9, 2019
7 – Celts on the Warpath: The Sack of Rome
A lover's quarrel spirals out of control and leads to a war between Rome and the Gauls.
Feb 2, 2019
6 – The Celts
The Celts are moving westward and bringing with them their culture, religion and art to France.
Jan 26, 2019
5 – The Metals Revolution and the Revolution of Ideas
The tools and minds of the early French undergo a tremendous leap forward.
Jan 19, 2019
4 – The Indo-European Migration
The Indo-Europeans are on the move and heading to Western Europe, bringing with them war, horses and apocalypse.
Jan 14, 2019
France and the Silver Screen Part 1 with Lyz Renshaw
Film studies expert Lyz Renshaw takes us through the first forty years of French cinema history and gives us a list of titles to add to our Netflix queues.
Dec 8, 2018
3 – Civilization Before Civilization
In this episode we will examine the megalithic structures of France, which are among the oldest still-standing buildings in the world.
Dec 8, 2018
2 – In the Beginning There Was France
Long before there were people, France was a frozen tundra. This episode looks at France from 3 million years ago until the first humans arrived.
Dec 8, 2018
1 – The Journey Begins
In this first episode I introduce myself, the podcast and the fascinating journey we're about to take.