Western Civ

A fast-moving history of the western world from the ancient world to the present day. Examine how the emergence of the western world as a global dominant power was not something that should ever have been taken for granted. This podcast traces the development of western civilization starting in the ancient Near East, through Greece and Rome, past the collapse of the Western Roman Empire into the Dark Ages, and then follows European and, ultimately, American history as the western world moved into a dominant world position.

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A History Blog and Podcast
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-09-14 05:54
last episode published
2019-09-13 16:00
publication frequency
12.15 days
Adam Walsh owner   author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Society & Culture History



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Pax Mongolica

In this episode we conclude our brief Mongol storyline. We cover how the Mongol Empire transitions from one global empire to several, massive nation-states. We will also see how the Mongols successfully transition from warriors to managers. Finally, we...
Adam Walsh author

Mongol World War

In this episode, the newly titled, Genghis Khan, sees the Mongol horde explode out of the steppe against China. Then, a chance event leads the Mongols to seek out new plunder from the Middle East as a caravan raid gone bad changes world history. Then, ...
Adam Walsh author

The Great Khan

For the first time on this podcast, we really leave Europe and the Near East. Genghis Khan has had a greater impact on the world than perhaps any other person in world history. His impact and the impact of the Mongol conquests are undeniable. So, in th...
Adam Walsh author

The Hostage King

This episode covers the crusade of King Louis IX of France which started out with a lot of promise and ends... well, I guess the title kind of gives this one away. This is our last episode before we take a HUGE divergence from the narrative to introduc...
Adam Walsh author

Stupor Mundi (Part Two)

This episode covers the second half of Frederick II's reign as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Southern Italy, and King of Sicily. I try to answer the question: why is Frederick II considered to be one of Europe's greatest Medieval Monarchs? 
Adam Walsh author

Stupor Mundi (Part One)

This episode covers roughly the first half of Frederick II's reign from his regency through his crusade to recover Jerusalem. We will also discuss Cardinal Pelagius and his pathetic efforts to invade Egypt. 
Adam Walsh author

A Brothers Tale

In this episode we cover the Norman conquests of Southern Italy and Sicily between roughly 1025 and 1100. A series of brothers from the house Hauteville in Normandy personally begin the expansion as the demand for mercenaries spikes in Apulia. The conq...
Adam Walsh author

The Lionheart and the Devil

In this episode we follow the reigns of King Richard I and King John as they battle to maintain their Plantagenent Empire against King Philip of France. We will see King Richard die after foolishly failing to wear armor one April evening. We will see K...
Adam Walsh author

The Fourth Crusade - A Whole New Low

This episode covers the disaster that was the Fourth Crusade. Pope Innocent III will try and reinvigorate crusading and wind up sacking one of the most Christian cities in the world. Then we will take a quick look at life in the Near East between the T...
Adam Walsh author

Byzantine Update

In this episode we take a look at the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries from the Byzantine perspective. We will go from the death of Basil II through the beginning of the Fourth Crusade. These centuries give us our last look at Byzantium as an "Empire". W...
Adam Walsh author


In this episode we wrap-up the Third Crusade. Richard the Lionheart will battle Saladin to very end for Jerusalem. We will see how Richard's misunderstandings about how a crusade could be run ultimately undermine the Third Crusade. 
Adam Walsh author

Battlefield Acre

Richard the Lionheart, King of England and the Angevin Empire, arrived in the Holy Land in June, 1191. When he arrived he found the crusaders already battering the walls of Acre surrounded on the other side by Saladin's army. The fight for Acre would p...
Adam Walsh author

The Surging Wave

In this episode we set the stage for the Third Crusade. Frederick Barbarossa will make an overland march to Asia Minor while Richard I and Philip Augustus use naval transportation for the first time en masse to start a crusade. Meanwhile, back in the N...
Adam Walsh author

Frederick Barbarossa

In this episode we follow the career and reign of the ruler widely considered to be Germany's greatest medieval Monarch: Frederick Barbarossa. In total Frederick will conduct six Italian campaigns, battle a Pope, and rework Germany's economy. And all t...
Adam Walsh author

Saladin and the Leper King

In this episode Saladin cements his hold over the Near East by subduing Damascus, Aleppo, and Mosul. Then he turns his attention to the Crusader State: the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the death of King Amalric in his early thirties results a child...
Adam Walsh author

The Goodness of the Faith

In this episode we turn back to the Near East as the fortunes of the Crusader States continue to fall. Nur al-Din presses his empire further and further into the declining Latin Kingdoms while both Nur al-Din and the Kingdom of Jerusalem fight over the...
Adam Walsh author

The Perils of Prosperity

When we last left off, Henry of Normandy and Aquitaine had just become King Henry II of England. Now, in this episode, we will follow the reign of one of England's strongest kings as he navigates conflicts with Louis VII of France and his own Archbisho...
Adam Walsh author

A Royal Mess

In this episode we return to our narrative though not to the Crusades. We will head back to the year 1095 when the First Crusade was launched and set about catching the rest of Europe back up to speed. Then, we spend the bulk of the second half of the ...
Adam Walsh author

Supplemental: Early Medieval Music

In this supplemental episode we examine music in the Early Middle Ages. Essentially, this comes down to Gregorian Chanting (Religious) and secular music.
Adam Walsh author

Supplemental: Early Medieval Architecture

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.
Adam Walsh author

Calling All Arms

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.
Adam Walsh author

The Crusader States Part Two

In this episode we take a look at the Counties of Edessa and Tripoli and give a quick overview of life in the Near East during the Crusades. Finally, the Crusader States are dealt a series of crushing blows in the 1140's setting the stage for the Secon...
Adam Walsh author

The Crusader States Part One

In this episode we follow the development of the four key Crusader States after the unexpected success of the First Crusade. King Baldwin I leads the Kingdom of Jerusalem to new heights while Tancred is forced to clean up a royal mess in Antioch. 
Adam Walsh author

The Holy City

In this episode the First Crusade finally reaches Jerusalem. Once again, it turns into a make-or-break for the European invaders.
Adam Walsh author

Fortress Antioch

In this episode, we follow the First Crusader as the crusader army swings south into Asia Minor and approaches the formidable city of Antioch. At Antioch, the First Crusade will nearly meet its premature end as the crusaders quickly go from besiegers t...
Adam Walsh author

Into Asia

In 1095 Pope Urban declared a "pilgrimage" to the Holy Land. In this episode we start with his declaration and then follow the First Crusade as it moves through Byzantine territory and faces its first challenge: Nicaea. 
Adam Walsh author

The Gathering Storm (First Crusade Part One)

In this episode we begin the Crusades. Specifically, we need to catch up on Byzantium a little bit since we left off with Michael IV in the middle of the Eleventh Century. After we get back up to speed in the East we will then turn our attentions towar...
Adam Walsh author

Supplemental: Medieval Art Part Two

In this episode we wrap-up our survey of Early Medieval Art by looking at the changes brought about by the transition to the Middle Ages particularly the advent of Christianity. Like in the last episode, here are a few links to images that I reference:...
Adam Walsh author

Supplemental: Early Medieval Art

In this episode we are going to begin our look at Early Medieval Art by considered Late Classical and specifically Roman influences on artistic expression that outlived the empire itself. For this episode, you might want to view the following images: ...
Adam Walsh author

Early Medieval Italy

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.
Adam Walsh author

Social and Economic Transformation in Medieval Italy

In this episode we take a break from the political narrative to focus on some of the key social and economic changes that are taking shape in Northern Italy between 875 and 1000 AD. During this period, Medieval Italy experiences a number of changes (ur...
Adam Walsh author

Holier Than Thou

In this episode we continue our examination of the Holy Roman Empire between 973 and 1106. We pick up the story with Otto II and then follow Otto III and Henry II as they try desperately to both expand and consolidate German power in medieval Europe. T...
Adam Walsh author

The Holy Roman Empire (Part One)

In this episode we start our in-depth look at the Holy Roman Empire. This episode covers the time period from the collapse of the unified Carolingian Empire to the death of Otto I in 973. In this episode we will also take a larger look at the Empire in...
Adam Walsh author

The Governors of the World

In this episode we conclude our close look at the Papacy by picking up the story at the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 and following the Vicars of Christ through to Gregory VII and his death in 1085. The Popes during this period were often far from mo...
Adam Walsh author

Upon This Rock (A Brief History of the Papacy from 63 - 476 AD)

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.
Adam Walsh author


In this episode, we swing south to the Iberian Peninsula to catch up on Islamic Spain and the small, Christian Kingdoms that surround it. We begin with the quick and total collapse of Visigoth Spain in 711 AD and end with the disintegration of the unit...
Adam Walsh author

Low Tide (Capetian France 976 - 1100)

In this episode we return to what we will loosely be calling "France". The Carolingian Empire is forever gone. In its place are a patchwork of small kingdoms ruled over, nominally, by the new King, Hugh Capet. Over the next roughly one-hundred years, C...
Adam Walsh author

The Norman Conquest Part Four

In this episode William the Conqueror cleans up the last few rebellions in England, only to turn around see his possessions back on the continent under siege. While William fights his son and the King of France, his subordinates in England nearly drive...
Adam Walsh author

The Norman Invasion Part Three: Cleaning Up

Between 1066 and 1074 William the Conqueror fights off a series of rebellions in England to solidify his rule. 
Adam Walsh author

The Norman Invasion Part Two (The Storm Breaks)

In this episode we follow Harold Hardrada and William of Normandy across the seas to England to battle Harold Godwinson for the throne. When the dust settled, William the Bastard would be re-titled, William the Conqueror. 
Adam Walsh author

The Norman Invasion Part One (The Gathering Storm)

We resume our narrative in this episode circa 1000 AD in the Kingdoms of England and Normandy. Things are not going well in England. A series of inept English rulers allow different Scandinavian Kings to seize control over the English throne. Finally, ...
Adam Walsh author

Why 1000?

In this episode, we step back again from the narrative to consider the major demographic changes which swept Europe during the High Middle Ages (1000 - 1300 AD). 
Adam Walsh author

What is the "Dark Ages"?

In this episode we consider the question: what are the Dark Ages? And specifically, when should the Early Middle Ages be said to begin?
Adam Walsh author

The Magyars

Adam Walsh author

The End of the Carolingian Empire

Adam Walsh author

Voices: Norse Mythology

Adam Walsh author

The Fury of the Northmen (Part Three)

Adam Walsh author

Byzantine Apoge

Adam Walsh author

Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf

In this episode we swing back to Ireland and explore the fascinating story of the battle that took place on Good Friday, 1014 AD. 
Adam Walsh author

Alfred the Great

Adam Walsh author