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The French History Podcast

The French History Podcast

Author: Gary Girod

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A weekly history podcast that will cover France from 3 million years ago to present. Presented by Gary Girod, with contributions by numerous scholars.
76 Episodes
In the first episode of this podcast I talked about how the words ‘France’ and ‘French’ are not set, but are ever-evolving concepts. Related to this is the question: when did ‘France’ begin? There are certainly precursors to France, going all the way back to the first humans. In the 19th and 20th centuries French […]
It took the podcast quite a while but we finally have an episode with pirates. Today’s special episode is by Mike LaMonica, a PhD student at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. “French ‘Corsairing’ in the Americas during the War of the Spanish Succession” tells the story of French pirates who acquired the right to legally […]
Episode 45: The End of the Merovingian Dynasty For roughly 120 years from the ascension of Clovis I to Dagobert the scions of the House of Merovech were the undisputed rulers of the Franks. The long-haired kings controlled incredible wealth, numerous holy places and were accomplished generals. For a long time it seemed the only […]
Gary: Today’s special episode is by David A. Foulk. David is a student at Oxford University currently completing his dissertation on the economic aspect of the French Resistance during WW2. He has won multiple awards and been published for his work on the economics of war. In line with his research, today’s topic deals with […]
Script Forthcoming
Episode 44: The Last Great Merovingian Kings In 584 Queen Fredegund gave birth to her fifth male child. Her four previous sons died at the ages of 8, 4, 1 and 1, due to disease and possible assassination so this new child’s fate looked bleak. The boy’s outlook became even darker after his father was […]
Today’s episode is a little short and because of that I will be releasing a full one this Saturday, so consider this a bonus. I just didn’t want to gloss over some last things about Merovingian society before it ends. Medicine was a difficult practice in the early medieval period. Physicians worked on incomplete information […]
Gary: Today’s special episode is by Middle Eastern scholar Patrick Higgins, who gives an account of the French Empire in Syria from its earliest days until the present conflict. Patrick Higgins received his BA from Wayne State University, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and served as a […]
Today’s episode begins with a cliché that keeps hanging over people’s collective imagining of the post-Roman world: ‘the Dark Ages.’ In the early 14th century the Italian writer Petrarch claimed that after the Roman Empire fell Europe entered into a dark period. Later writers building off of his work claimed that this period ended with […]
Gary: Today’s special episode is an interview with Dr. Rachel Mesch. She received her BA from Yale College, her M.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. A specialist in 19th century French Literature, Dr. Mesch is the author of Having It All in the Belle Epoque: How French Women’s Magazines […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
[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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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