A Loving Criticism

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  ScottFM 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #16172

    Pyndare
    Participant

    I didn't come here to bitch about the podcast, when I could have just simply sent Jamie an email, but I've come here to make this comment in the hopes that there are other people who feel the way that I do.We are currently on episode 143, King Penda. The last couple of months have been a dizzying array of similarly-named rulers and kings all of whom seem to be in too many ways interchangeable to my mind, and I find myself getting a bit bored of this recent, kings-only examination of history. I recognize that many of you love this sort of thing. Sorry if you can't relate. I find myself really missing some of the qualities of the earlier episodes, when we were examining the lives of ordinary people. I'm particularly fond of the food, drink, medicine and other episodes that looked at daily existence. For me, kings and rulers can be interesting providing we are not just simply laying out a list of people they fought, killed, married and conquered, which is how it's feeling to me at present. I'm feeling a sense of my own stagnation for the first time since becoming a member a year ago and I'm hoping for the topics to become more varying and broad again in the near future. How about a language episode? Anglo-Saxon jobs? Class struggle, farming, money, music?As I type this, I realize it's a bit unfair on Jamie, who has done a really superb job up until this point of keeping everything he's presented fresh, and with a compelling narrative, but for some reason this period of history just seems to go on and on and I don't have any sense of Britain any more than I would know America simply by studying the conflicts of the last 10-20 presidents. I feel as though I'm studying for a test and my eyes are glazing over. Yours, devotedly, P

  • #19959

    ScottFM
    Participant

    I too have been feeling very overwhelmed by all the focus of late on the great men aka king of the era. I posted a little while back that it would be nice to have some focus on what has happened to trade since the fall of Rome in Britain. SO I agree, it would be nice to focus on a few more things than just all the kings. I think that the lack of information is what is causing this. Jamie has said that we really do not have a lot of primary sources. It could just be that there isn't information to present. I hope that is not the case.

  • #19960

    Pyndare
    Participant

    I agree, there are few primary sources to go on, so I'm sympathetic. Chalk it up to my inability to keep these damned Anglo-Saxon names straight!

  • #19961

    ScottFM
    Participant

    It is starting to be a blur. The names are dizzying!!!! This is a new era of history for me. I had known Rome pretty well and from the Norman Conquest I am also pretty well educated. But I never bothered to really try and understand the Anglo-Saxon era. Other than a few of the stories, all of the information is new. The names are very foreign and similar this confusing. You almost need a program written down to look at to figure it all out. That and it seems that about half are all sons of Ida! But still, it would be neat to also cover everyday life of the Ango-Saxons and how they were dealing with the rest of the known world. We know for instance that there was trade across the channel. We know also that Britain may not have been as well known as it was 600 years earlier thanks to the fall of Rome, so some interesting changes! I know when I see artifacts from the Roman era and compare them to the Anglo-Saxon era I really see a backwards movement of technology. I wonder if society and trade also went backwards as far too! To some extent I know the answer is yes, but how far?

  • #19962

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    I don't know how I missed this topic, but I really do appreciate it.  Also, as I signaled at the end of the most recent episode, I'm pivoting to some cultural matters for the next few weeks (which will certainly gain me some grouchy listeners who only want Kings).To give you a little bit of an insider's view, what I'm trying to do is balance Kings and culture.  When I spent ages talking about food, dining, travel, and the like I had an absolute blast.  However, I was getting a lot of emails and reviews complaining that some people didn't feel like we were moving forward in history and they wanted to know the politics of the time.  With the drama of Northumbria, I had something that I could really frontline and give you a story that really belongs in Homer or Shakespeare.  But with the death of Penda, that is largely over... Oswiu and Wulfhere are still out there, but the real craziness has subsided for a little bit.  So I thought I'd talk about how society is changing.  Going forward, what I'm trying to do is cover some Kings and some story line, and then cover some culture, and go back and forth to try to keep everyone happy.  Or at least, keep everyone mildly annoyed that their favorite aspect isn't covered exclusively but not so annoyed they turn it off.  ;)And I absolutely understand you feel lost with the names... there's a ton of Os names and AEthel names.  So let me see if I can help with some of the Northern characters.AEthelberht was the king of Kent who worked with Augustine to convert the SouthRaedwald was the Pagan king of East Anglia who replaced him as Bretwalda.AEthelfrith was the king of Bernicia who became the King of Northumbria and was killed by Raedwald.Edwin was the exile of Deira who was saved by Raedwald and made the King of Northumbria.Cadwallon was the King of Gwynedd who was exiled by Edwin and later came back to defeat him.Penda was a warleader of Mercia who became King after killing Edwin in battle.Oswald was the son of AEthelfrith of Northumbria who returned from exile and killed Cadwallon.Aidan was the bishop of Lindisfarne and friend of Oswald.Oswiu was Oswalds brother who was a bit of a brutal king of Bernicia.Oswine was Oswiu's cousin and king of Deira until Oswiu had him killed.AEthelwald was Oswiu's nephew (Oswald's son) and king of deira until Oswiu at least had him dethroned and quite possibly killed.Alhfrith was Oswiu's son and king of Deira... and he better watch the hell out.  Oswiu has started to develop a pattern.Paeda was the son of Penda who ruled the southern Mercians before dying due to his wife's trechery (who was also Oswiu's daughter)Wulfhere was the son of Penda who lead a rebellion against Northumbria.  Also, his name means... WOLF ARMY!!!!!!  Do you realize how nutty that is?  Once upon a time we were naming our kids Wolf Army, and now the only time names like that are used is when a 12 year old sets up his first Xbox live account.  ;)Does that help?

  • #19963

    ScottFM
    Participant

    Thanks for explaining Jamie. Just to be clear I was not complaining. I was just expressing a viewpoint and letting you know that for, I was beginning to be overwhelmed. So please do not take my comments as anything more than that. I was also offering some suggestions for you that I would be interested in. not knowing your plans, you may have already had those in the outline. If so great, I look forward to those subjects. If not, well, you have my suggestion. As they say it is your show and I love it! CheersScott

  • #19964

    anonymous
    Participant

    Names are just one of those things in all periods of history I think. When we familiarise ourselves with a particular period it can be easy to forget the work involved in first learning the names of the personalities involved.I'm not yet a member, is there a glossary of names made available to members in A Song of Ice and Fire appendices sort of way? That would become one hell of a resource for history students if maintained along with the podcast.Garry

  • #19965

    ScottFM
    Participant

    It is starting to be a blur. The names are dizzying!!!! This is a new era of history for me. I had known Rome pretty well and from the Norman Conquest I am also pretty well educated. But I never bothered to really try and understand the Anglo-Saxon era. Other than a few of the stories, all of the information is new. The names are very foreign and similar this confusing. You almost need a program written down to look at to figure it all out. That and it seems that about half are all sons of Ida! But still, it would be neat to also cover everyday life of the Ango-Saxons and how they were dealing with the rest of the known world. We know for instance that there was trade across the channel. We know also that Britain may not have been as well known as it was 600 years earlier thanks to the fall of Rome, so some interesting changes! I know when I see artifacts from the Roman era and compare them to the Anglo-Saxon era I really see a backwards movement of technology. I wonder if society and trade also went backwards as far too! To some extent I know the answer is yes, but how far?

    Thank you Jamie!!!The last couple of episodes were really helpful and enjoyable. I was starting to become overwhelmed with all the king talk. I know it is a lot to cover. But I was really working at trying to stay up with all the names and places. These last few episodes are a needed break. I know this fits with what your plans were and I am always happy that you give such a thoughtful and complete view of a period!!! FWIW you have really sparked an interest in the era for me. I will continue to explore it even after we move on to the next period.

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