Episode 24: Pomerania - Part Two


As we continue in our series on Pomerania, we'll take a look at Poland's relationship to the early Crusades and how these northern lands factor into that equation.

We'll also say a fond farewell to Gallus Anonymous, who has been with us from the beginning. Thanks for the good times Gallus.

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Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Episode 22: A Closer Look at Repentance

Farewell Zbigniew. Yes, in this episode we say goodbye to our old friend Zbigniew. But! Not before he undergoes some brutal treatment at the hands of his half-brother. Eastern European history is never boring!

An illustration of the distances Bolesław traveled.

An illustration of the distances Bolesław traveled.

The Abbey at Somogyvár.

The Abbey at Somogyvár.

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Episode 18: Brother Against Half-Brother

The rift between Zbigniew and Bolesław continues to grow, ultimately leading to open hostilities. But! Not before the two sides dance the dance of diplomacy and the chess match that is foreign entanglements. We'll meet the current king of Hungary, see what happens when you decide to invade Pomerania (again), and the impact that betrayal has on familial relations.

If you're interested in supporting the show or finding out more about the upcoming mini-series visit our Patreon page here: patreon.com/historyofpolandpodcast

Episode 17: Fresh Fish From the Sea (With Music!)


Bolesław and Zbigniew do not get along, that much is clear. We'll follow along as they try to find a way to peacefully coexist and then very quickly thereafter decide that it's not worth the effort.

We've also got a special treat this time: music made especially for this podcast. We've taken one of the songs Gallus records for us, added a melody, and had it performed — by none other than some members of the Gilbert Family. Thanks family!

If you're interested in supporting the show or finding out more about the upcoming mini-series visit our Patreon page here: patreon.com/historyofpolandpodcast

Episode 16: The End of Władysław's Dismal Reign

We'll finally say goodbye to both Władysław and his Count Palatine Sieciech in this episode, which as far as I'm concerned isn't soon enough. Let's just say they weren't the most inspired or capable rulers.

But what of Władysław's sons? Well, we'll see the very earliest signs that while they are capable of cooperating, they are likely more interested in consolidating power and edging out the other.

If you're interested in supporting the show or finding out more about the upcoming mini-series visit our Patreon page here: patreon.com/historyofpolandpodcast

Episode 15: Zbigniew's Many Troubles

The Piast family has had a rough time of it lately. Władysław is an imperfect ruler (to say the least), Sieciech is undermining the entire dynasty, and the issue of succession is really making a mess of things.

Yet, of the entire cast I feel most sorry for Zbigniew. He didn't ask to be shipped off to a convent, put in charge of a rebellion, and cast aside like an unwanted child. Yet he was. 

Episode 14: Władysław's Family Troubles

After meeting Władysław last time, we're going to continue with his life and times and examine what his rule looked like. Spoiler alert! It's not stable, peaceful, or idyllic. We'll meet up with his sons, Zbigniew and Bolesław III, his Count Palatine Sieciech, and his wives, Judith and Judith.

If you're interested in supporting the show or finding out more about the upcoming mini-series visit our Patreon page here: patreon.com/historyofpolandpodcast

Episode 11: The Ascent of Bolesław II the Generous

As part one of our series on the life and tempestuous times of Bolesław II, we'll dive into his ascent to power as the head of the Piast family in its continued rule over the Polish state, explore some Hungarian history, and see yet another Polish leader invade Kiev.

Also, if you're interested in supporting the show or finding out more about the upcoming mini-series on the origins of the Holy Roman Empire, visit our Patreon page here: patreon.com/historyofpolandpodcast

Episode 10: Collapse, Disintegration, and Restoration

It's the 1030s and the Polish realm has collapsed following the death of Mieszko II, with nary a Piast on the throne to keep it knit together. The task of reunification is left to Mieszko's son, Casimir the Restorer. On his list is not only the reunification of a fragmented nation, but the need to crush a pagan uprising, and to take power without offending the foreign rulers that have been riding roughshod over Poland. 

As for the special announcement and request, here are the details:

I’ve been thinking about starting a number of additional podcast mini-series. 

There are two reasons for this.

Reason #1: Financial

While I’ve been trying to release these episodes more regularly, I’m having trouble finding the time what with my other work. Not only does it take quite a bit of time to research the material for this show, but the books and manuscripts are costly on their own. 

Reason #2: Coolness of Other Stories

There are just some cool stories out there to tell that don’t fit in to the normal story we’ve been going through. Things that are related, but not really a driver of events in Poland.

My idea right now is to create a Patreon page, where you can give a small amount of money periodically in support of the podcasts I’ve been creating. You choose the amount.

If enough people join in, I’d not only be able to spend more time on this show and get it published more regularly, but I’d also be able to release more episodes on other topics.

The goal is eventually to have this podcast published weekly, with other series being released in batches.  These would be mini-series of 10 or 15 episodes focused on topics that are related to Poland, but not necessarily about Poland. 

For example, topics like (each would get their own mini-series):

  • The Founding of the Holy Roman Empire
  • The Mongol Invasion of Europe
  • The Investiture Dispute between the Emperor and the Pope
  • The formation of Feudal Europe
  • Ottomans at the Gates
  • Myths of Eastern Europe
  • The Rise of the Kievan Rus

That’s the general idea. If it works, I’d start to roll out way more podcast episodes, each as deeply research as the ones I’ve been doing now, but on a broader range of topics. This podcast would continue to be free for everyone, while the mini-series would be available to those who support the show financially, as a reward for their support.

So my question is this: is this something you’d like to happen? Do you want more episodes, on lots of different topics, in addition to more Polish episodes, and a more regular schedule? 

If so let me know. This isn’t a huge show right now, so I’d love to hear from each and every one of you. Every dollar would count.

So, to let me know your thoughts send an email to historyofpolandpodcast@gmail.com, or tweet at me @historyofpoland, or get in touch some other way. I’m open ears!

Episode 9: The Many Problems of Mieszko II

After a bit of a hiatus, we are back and diving right into some thorny topics. The Holy Roman Empire, the status of the Polish Kingdom, and a little lesson about how even if you share the name of a great ancestor like Mieszko II did, it doesn't mean you're going to share in their success.

For those of you who are curious, one of the ways we know about Conrad II's titles is that he had them emblazoned onto his crown. Which crown is that? Well, it's this one:

Crown of Holy Roman Emperor

Episode 8: What Is a Legacy?

Bolesław is a mixed bag as far as rulers go, so spend some time with us as we take a minute to evaluate his reputation, how "good" of a ruler he was, and what his legacy is. 

PS. As I mentioned, I have a new microphone that's quite nice. But, it's also got a lot of settings I'm still figuring out. At one point in the episode I changed a setting (without realizing it) and started recording more background noise. Fortunately, it wasn't a siren or cars, but there is a gentle noise of birds lightly chirping in the background for about a minute. Hopefully it's nice? Who knows!

And as I mentioned, check out our new website at historyofpolandpodcast.com, get in touch at historyofpolandpodcast@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter @historyofpoland.

Episode 7: We Shall Pierce Your Fat Belly With a Pike

Bolesław takes a break from his on-again, off-again war with the Holy Roman Empire to take up arms and invade the territory of the Kievan Rus. Along with his army, his mercenaries, and his ill-advised son-in-law Sviatapolk, Bolesław conquers the city of Kiev.

His reign doesn’t last for long, but it’s a memorable episode in Bolesław’s life.

As I mentioned in the show, if you’re enjoying the History of Poland podcast I’d love it if you left a nice review on iTunes here.


Episode 6: Will No One Rid Me of This Turbulent Duke?

Bolesław mourns his old friend Emperor Otto III, tries to intervene in the succession crisis in the Empire, picks the losing side, and then ends up in a two-decade war with the Holy Roman Empire that ends with no clear winner.

It’s a long slog for Bolesław, but luckily for us we get to enjoy it from the comfort of our favorite podcast app.

Speaking of podcast apps, if you’re enjoying the History of Poland podcast there are a few things you can do! First, you can leave a review on iTunes here, or you can follow us on Twitter here, or if you’re feeling really adventurous you can send me an email at historyofpolandpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

Episode 5: Adalbert's Demise

Adalbert sets off towards Prussia where he meets some fellows who are not at all enthusiastic to see him or his companions. Not to spoil anything, but by the end of his trip I’m guessing that he wished he had brought along those guards Bolesław had lent him. Silver lining: The Congress of Gniezno is the result of Adalbert’s missionary journey, which we’ll also be covering this week.