History of the Germans

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Date Title & Description Contributors


This week we are back to action stations. We resume our narrative in 1235 when Frederick II gathered his vassals in Mainz to implement his grand plan to regain the imperial rights in Northern Italy. He picks up where his grandfather Barbarossa and his ...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  The Art of Hunting with Birds

This is a whole episode about a book, a book called "De Arte Veneri cum Avibus" the Art of Hunting with Birds. Hunting books are similar to books about fishing, riveting for those who do it, crushingly boring to those who do not.But this book is not ab...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  The Court of Frederick II

Near the town of Andria in Puglia rising from a rock that makes it visible for miles stands entirely on its own a stone  structure we call the Castel del Monte. Its ground plan is unique, and like many other of the Emperor's buildings it was probably s...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  The Constitution of the Realm

What do you do once you have condemned your eldest son and heir to life imprisonment? Exactly, you have a party, or more precisely you have two parties. But as always with Frederick II, these are not just knees-up for entertainment, but elaborately sta...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  The King in Brackets

If you have only listened to the last 5 episodes or so, you may be wondering whether this is really the History of the Germans or whether you have accidentally stumbled into A History of Italy minus the eloquence and humour of Mike Corradi. So today we...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  A different kind of Emperor

A medieval ruler that has a Muslim fighting force at his back and call and who negotiates Jerusalem out of the hands of the Sultan of Egypt is not what you expected when you began listening to the History of the Germans Podcast. I am afraid you aint se...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  Return to Sicily

This week we look in a bit more detail how Frederick II regained his beloved kingdom of Sicily. For 30 years after the death of the last Hauteville king in 1190 the institutions of that kingdom had been eroded, the crown estate squandered, and powerful...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  A Crusade without Crusaders

This is a story I was looking forward to telling for quite some time. It has everything – crossed wires, stubbornness and vitriol as well as diplomacy, cultural awareness and stunning success. It is the story of the crusade of Frederick II, that has no...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  A Nail in the Coffin

This week we take a look at the reign of Frederick II in Germany from 1212 to 1220. Most of what he did was putting a nail in an actual coffin whilst also putting the metaphorical nail into the carcass of imperial rule in Germany. And was that such a ...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  From Urchin to Emperor

This week we will go back 20 years and pick up the other strain of our history of the Hohenstaufen. The last three episodes we focused on events in Germany and the struggle between Philipp of Swabia and Otto IV. Today we take a closer look at the earl...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author