Relevant History

In the waning days of World War II, a castle full of French VIP hostages is surrounded by murderous SS troops. Can a joint relief force of American and German troops reach them in time to prevent the inevitable massacre?

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In 1896, the armies of Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II would prove their mettle against European steel. But after their defeat at the Battle of Adwa, the Italians are looking for revenge. And in Mussolini, they have a leader willing to go to war again. Can the new Emperor, Haile Selassie, withstand the Italian invasion? With no allies, the Lion of Judah stands defiant against a resurgent Rome.

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As the Middle Ages give way to the Age of Exploration and the modern era begins, Ethiopia faces a series of threats. Internal divisions, foreign invasion, and colonization are all on the menu. Will the Ethiopian people survive and flourish? Or will King Solomon’s heirs become nothing more than a historical footnote?
Music courtesy of https://www.bensound.com
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The story of Serbia's entry into World War I is one of intrigue and diplomacy as much as armed force. A series of territorial disputes in the Balkans would cause Serbia and Austria-Hungary to become enemies. Meanwhile, a small faction in the Serbian government is hell-bent on uniting all ethnic Serbs into one nation - whatever the cost.

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Good history requires studying events, ideas, and societies from multiple angles. This requires written sources in your language. Dan talks about what happens when there's a lack of English-language sources.

The history of ancient Ethiopia is a mixture of myth and legend. And yet the Ethiopian people are a central part of modern history. Their royal dynasty, descended from King Solomon, made policy for centuries. But what is the origin of the Solomonic line? And is their mythical claim backed up by history?

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In the mid-400s, the western Roman Empire broke up into a collection of independent barbarian kingdoms, ushering in the European middle ages. Was this an inevitable result of the breakdown of the Roman system? Or did a combination of Roman weakness and strong tribal identity create a perfect storm for nationalism?

When Serbia was founded, it was a tiny nation pinned between three great empires. Soldiers, spies, and savvy politicians ensured its survival into the 20th Century.

Music courtesy of https://www.bensound.com

After reaching its zenith under Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliphate enters into a period of stark decline. Differences of religion and ethnicity threaten to divide the Islamic empire, even as the Caliphs become increasingly reliant on slave armies. Can the Abbasid Caliphate survive, or is it doomed to fail?

Music courtesy of https://www.bensound.com

The Umayyad Caliphate stands as a united Islamic monolith in the midst of an uncertain world. But cracks are forming between different Muslim factions, and national divisions are beginning to rear their head.

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The fall of Rome has left a huge power vacuum in the Mediterranean. In the west, a young warrior-king builds a French kingdom. In the east, a powerful emperor tries to restore the ancient Roman empire. But even if he succeeds, will that empire be the same as the original Rome?

As the fabric of the western Roman Empire continues to unravel, emperors take the back seat to barbarian warlords. Even during this collapse, a new Vandal kingdom arises in North Africa. Without the old imperial military power, how will the last Roman emperors cope?

The First Jewish-Roman War is most famous for the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. But for 960 rebels in a mountain fortress, the fight for Jewish independence continues.

The rising tide of the Umayyad Caliphate threatens to engulf all of Europe. Their only obstacle is a Frankish king named Charles Martel.

In the 6th century, Arabia is a crossroads between different civilizations. In the 7th century, a new nation would be born under the banner of the Islamic faith. That nation would become an empire, and that empire would change not just Mediterranean civilization, but the world.

Dan gives a brief introduction to Relevant History, and explains the theme of the first season.

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Created 7 months ago.

16 videos

Category Arts & Literature

Ideas, innovations, and cultural trends all steer the course of history. That's what makes them relevant.