87 – Concubinage and Apartheid in Anglo Saxon England

Ok, so last episode we ended at 597. For those of you who are really into Anglo Saxon history, you might recognize that date as the date that Christianity gets reintroduced to Anglo Saxon Britain. It’s a big deal. A huge deal, in fact. It will bring war, it will bring chaos, and it will bring all manner of changes in the lives of the people in what will eventually become England.

And one of the big changes has to do with sex.

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  1. I have to disagree with your opening comment that sex and, by my own inference as to your meaning, sexuality don’t get covered seriously by historians. I suspect you weren’t trying to make a definitive, all-encompassing statement, but I still want to qualify/contradict you because its important for people to know these histories exist… Somewhere.

    Most sex histories began emerging as a result of the second-wave of feminism and the revisionist movement in history. As a result you’ll be hard pressed to find a sex history published before 1970. Furthermore, most of the early sex histories (1970s) tended to be published in conjunction with women’s studies. These sex histories tend to focus on prostitution, homosexuality, or sexual assault and rape.

    I would agree that these histories don’t necessarily appear as popular history or on the same scale/at the same frequency as say political or military histories (perhaps because popular history tends to cross mediums into film and television and sex as a theme would draw a more limited (18+) audience, although thats just speculation on my part). However, the histories of sex and sexuality are considered serious and important fields in cultural history. You might be limited in terms of region/era but fortunately this kind of history (which really is fascinating and incidentally a great way to integrate women into existing narratives) is becoming increasingly popular with young/new historians. The sex histories are out there!


  2. Has anyone studied the effects of Justinian’s plague in relation to the difference of deaths between Britons in general and Anglo/Saxxon casualties. I’m sure that the Britons suffered greatly more than the Germans due to their difference in trade with the Mediterranean world. It’s hard for us to conceive the magnitude of this disease.

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