Category Archives: Podcast

To See the Mongols 1: Giovanni Carpine Goes East



Giovanni Carpine starts off a new series and a new set of travellers in the surprisingly interconnected world of the 13th century. Over the next number of episodes, I’ll be focussing on contacts between Latin Christian Europe and the Mongols, and the travellers who went one way or another in establishing those contacts. Up first, Carpine is sent east in 1245 to find the Mongols, learn everything he can about them, and deliver a letter from Pope Innocent IV.

I would also like to clarify one point here (aside from some questionable pronunciation of Mongol names, I mean). Early in the episode, I say that the Mongol raiding parties reached as far west as Vienna. Actually, they went further west than that in Croatia.

Thanks for listening!

Devon.

Shop: www.redbubble.com/people/HumanCircus

Twitter: @circus_human

Donate to the podcast: https://ko-fi.com/A7071B1K

Email: HumanCircusPod@gmail.com


Thomas Dallam 6 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 6 of my podcast series on Thomas Dallam, the Elizabethan organ builder who sailed to Constantinople with a gift for the Sultan. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.

Welcome back to Human Circus, and welcome back to the journey of Thomas Dallam, carrying to Constantinople Elizabethan England’s gift for the Ottoman Sultan and with it any hopes for strong ongoing Anglo-Ottoman relations. In February 1599, he’d left England, Elizabeth, and the merchants of the Levant Company behind. Ahead of him, waiting anxiously was Henry “the Fog” Lello, anxious for the gift that would allow him to remain in good standing and present himself before Mehmed III and to renegotiate the trade capitulations between the two sides. And Dallam, Dallam when we left him was leaving Algiers after a small taste of adventure on foreign shores. Last episode we saw him depart, saw him get a bit of experience at sea, and saw him quickly come loathe the captain of his ship, The Hector. This episode, sponsored by Luke and Annie, wonderful people both, I’ll be talking about that leg of the journey between Algiers and Constantinople and hopefully along the way getting a little at what Dallam was like, what fascinated, interested, or annoyed this organ builder from Lancashire.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 6 – Transcript


Edward Webbe: His Trials, Travels, and Job Application



Edward Webbe was, maybe, a 16th-Century adventurer who moved in and out of captivity and other forms of trouble. His troubles took him from Elizabethan England to Muscovy, Crimea, Constantinople, Italy, and possibly to Persia and the lands of Prester John. On the way, there will be slavery, warfare, unicorns, and one man’s quest for gainful employment.

Enjoy!

Devon.

Shop: www.redbubble.com/people/HumanCircus

Twitter: @circus_human

Donate to the podcast: https://ko-fi.com/A7071B1K

Email: HumanCircusPod@gmail.com


Thomas Dallam 7: A Concert for the Sultan



Thomas Dallam’s travels conclude, or at least the part of them that I’ll be covering here. There will be comedic chaos on the trip up the Hellespont, awkward interactions with the local ambassador, one incredibly stressful musical performance, and the unwelcome rewards of a job well done. Hope you enjoy it!

Devon.

Shop: www.redbubble.com/people/HumanCircus

Twitter: @circus_human

Donate to the podcast: https://ko-fi.com/A7071B1K

Email: HumanCircusPod@gmail.com


Thomas Dallam 6: From Algiers to the Hellespont



The 1599 voyage continues, and Thomas Dallam draws ever closer to the Ottoman court at Constantinople. There are carrier pigeons, imprisonments, problems with presents, and adventures ashore.

Enjoy,

Devon.

Shop: www.redbubble.com/people/HumanCircus

Twitter: @circus_human

Donate to the podcast: https://ko-fi.com/A7071B1K

Email: HumanCircusPod@gmail.com


Thomas Dallam 5 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 5 of my podcast series on, and leading up to, Thomas Dallam, the Elizabethan organ builder who sailed to Constantinople with a gift for the Sultan. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.

Welcome back to Human Circus, and welcome back to my series on the life and times of Thomas Dallam, with the emphasis thus far squarely on the times and the life aspect rather lacking. Today, in exciting news, Dallam has arrived. At last, he will leave London for the court of the sultan, Mehmed III, and we’ll be talking about it. If this is your first time listening to the podcast, you won’t know why this is so exciting for me, but you see, I initially picked out Dallam’s story as an interesting one to cover back when I was talking about Schiltberger and Timur. I thought this would make a nice one or two parter, a man sails to Constantinople with an organ, quick and easy. Further reading on the subject led to what was basically a six episode prequel, on Elizabethan engagement with the Islamic world and on how those worlds were not so distinct as we might imagine, a story within the story of 16th-century globalization you could say. But now it’s Dallam time; there’ll be sailing and piracy and the sight of new lands. First though, let’s recap.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 5 – Transcript


Thomas Dallam: Dallam Departs



The journey of Thomas Dallam begins in earnest. This episode, our adventurous organ maker finally leaves London for Constantinople, encountering storms, pirates, infinite porpoises, and Algiers along the way. Thanks for Listening!

Devon.

Shop: www.redbubble.com/people/HumanCircus

Twitter: @circus_human

Donate to the podcast: https://ko-fi.com/A7071B1K

Email: HumanCircusPod@gmail.com


Thomas Dallam 4.5 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 4.5 of my podcast series on, and leading up to, Thomas Dallam, the Elizabethan organ builder who sailed to Constantinople with a gift for the Sultan. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.

Welcome to Human Circus, and to my second try at a mini episode. My first didn’t actually manage “mini,” but it did convince me that my other episodes were too long and led to me shortening those up a little, so it did serve a purpose. Today, we’ll see how close to mini I’ve managed. Once again, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please keep listening after the episode to hear how you can help keep it going. Thanks very much to Carol R and Tiny M for their recent donations and helping this episode get out to you.

Today I want to tell a short story, a story of a rise to power, wealth, and influence within the perilous context of the Topkapi Palace in 16th century Constantinople. It’s the story of a Jewish woman named Esperanza Malchi, the world which she flourished in, the heights she reached, and the violence that eventually consumed her. Unfortunately, there is no great wealth of source material on Malchi, but, as always, there are a number of interesting things to talk about along the way. We’ll begin with the time she was born into.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 4.5 – Transcript


Thomas Dallam 4 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 4 of my podcast series on, and leading up to, Thomas Dallam, the Elizabethan organ builder who sailed to Constantinople with a gift for the Sultan. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to my series on English organ-builder Thomas Dallam which has developed into a series on Elizabethan England’s diplomatic engagements with the Islamic world, to be concluded with Dallam’s story. Last episode, we talked about England’s first ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, William Harborne. We saw the evolution of his position from “so called merchant” to official appointee and his struggles with rival diplomatic representatives, particularly the French and Venetians who he described as “subtle, malicious, and dissembling people.” We saw some of the difficulties he faced such as palace infighting and piracy, and how the latter a problem whether it was committed by or against the English. We saw him try to push Walsingham’s program, a united Anglo-Ottoman fleet against the Spanish naval threat. We saw him headed home at the end of his term, in August of 1588, successful enough in his work but worn out and underpaid, a pretty relatable figure really. And I told you he was replaced by his young secretary Edward Barton, a well-liked man who will show himself to be resourceful, bold, and not above a little underhandedness where necessary. Today, we’ll be tracing Edward Barton’s time in the sublime port of Constantinople, a time which saw him struggle due to his unofficial position, navigate the death of a sultan, and eventually go to war alongside the Ottomans in campaign against a Christian foe.

Once again, if you enjoy the episode, please keep listening after it’s done for ways to help me out with it.  

Let’s talk first about the circumstances as Barton stepped up and into his new job. Specifically, let’s talk about at his employers.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 4 – Transcript