Gone Medieval


Brunhild and Fredegund: The Queens Who Fought for 40 Years

Ep. 84

We've all heard epic tales of early medieval kings, but what about the queens? It doesn't get much more spectacularly brutal than Brunhild and Fredegund, two sixth century queens who fought a bloody civil war against one another that lasted no less than four decades.

The rival matriarchs commanded armies, developed taxation policies, established infrastructure and negotiated with emperors and popes... yet their story has been largely forgotten, until now. In this episode for International Women's Day, host, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by award-winning poet and writer Shelley Puhak, whose new book The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World tells this gripping tale of power, ambition and murderous rivalry in early medieval France.

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How Norse Myths Shape The Way We Think

Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the legends of Thor, Odin and Asgard are familiar to millions today. Yet the histories of these myths are far richer than modern popular culture often implies. From Yggdrasil to Ragnarok, the seemingly unending tales of heroism, betrayal and intrigue found within the Norse Sagas have captivated audiences for centuries.In today’s episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman talks to Prof Carolyne Larrington to dig into these histories and explore how Norse Myths have shaped the way we think. Together they discuss why Norse mythology seems to be having a ‘moment’, how it has been used to legitimise political violence, and most importantly, why everyone loves Loki?This episode was edited by Joseph Knight and produced by Elena Guthrie and Rob Weinberg.If you’re enjoying this podcast and are looking for more fascinating Medieval content then subscribe to our Medieval Monday newsletter here.If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple storeWe've teamed up with Tripsmiths to provide our History Hit subscribers the opportunity to join Matt Lewis, on a two-night break to delve into the story of King Richard III. You'll be travelling through 500 years of history to explore his life, death, and rediscovery. Go to historyhit.com/leicester to book now