Historically Speaking Podcast

Historically Speaking Podcast

Uncommon history with an unconventional pair. Join married hosts Rebecca Robbins (a Broadway actress) and Kim Kimmel (her college history instructor) as they delve into topics that run the historical gambit. A gifted storyteller, Kim taught history at the collegiate level for 29 years while as a student, Rebecca always sat in the front row of his Western Civilizations class soaking up every word he said. For the record, she made an A in his class. She went on to pursue a Broadway career (The Phantom of The Opera, A Tale of Two Cities) while he continued to teach at her alma mater (Curtis Institute of Music). Though you couldn't get more different than these two with their 23-year age difference, together they bring history to life with their unique perspectives, entertaining banter, and shared love of the past. Sometimes quirky, sometimes obscure, this is the kind of history you’ll actually want to remember. Now in our Second Season. New episodes bi-weekly on Wednesday mornings.

Episodes

May 17, 2022 33 min

“Let them hate me, so they but fear me.” ~ Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (aka Caligula)

Caligula, the third Julio-Claudian emperor of the great Roman Empire, was known as a cruel, erratic, sex-crazed and delusional tyrant. Not only did he decree that his horse was a Roman consul, but he also marched his troops all the way to the English Channel only to have them pick up seashells, and he’s also said to have committed incest with ...

Share
Mark as Played

South Africa has a fascinating, complex, and often tragic history. From the migration of the Bantu to the settlements by the Dutch and British; from the Boar Wars to the fight to abolish apartheid, here in Episode 44, we explore the history of this geologically and culturally rich nation - a nation that is still striving to reach its full potential. 

Books:

  • A History of South Africa by Frank Welsh
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandel...
  • Share
    Mark as Played
    April 19, 2022 35 min

    What do Georgetown University, St. Joseph’s University, and Loyola University have in common (besides basketball)? They were all founded by the Jesuits, and the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church was highly instrumental in the phenomenon known as the Counter Reformation. Once Luther, Calvin and others challenged the authority and teachings of the Catholic Church, the Church had no choice but to respond to these accusations and alt...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    The Protestant Reformation was one of the single greatest events in the history of Western Civilization. Led by Martin Luther, this protestation against the Catholic Church altered all of Western history. Here in Episode 42, we take a closer look at this exceptional, though conflicted man, as well as other early protestant reformers like Ulrich Zwingli and the formidable John Calvin, who together rocked the very foundation of weste...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    March 15, 2022 33 min

    "Into the valley of death rode the six hundred." Here in Episode 41, we take a closer look at the events that inspired Lord Alfred Tennyson to write those words in his epic poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade". We also explore both the long-term and short-term causes of the Crimean War and why it was a "first" in many areas of modern warfare, interrupting as it did a largely peaceful 19th century Europe be...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    March 2, 2022 33 min

    Lawrence of Arabia is the stuff of legend. There have been numerous books written and films made about him, but who was T.E. Lawrence actually? What made this man with so many talents, who was also immensely brave and resourceful, act and think as he did? Our 40th Episode explores some of the possible reasons. 

    Books:

  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
  • Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence by Jeremy Wilso...
  • Share
    Mark as Played
    February 9, 2022 27 min

    Many diseases throughout history have wiped out entire families, villages or even towns, but nothing even comes close to the death and destruction that would become known as the Black Death. It made periodic appearances throughout the centuries, dying out for some and reemerging for others. Today, modern medicine can cure this disease, but even so, hundreds of people still die from this disease every year, even in America. So, what...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    January 26, 2022 36 min

    Imagine sitting in a 97-degree court room in the middle of July while you’re being prosecuted for a crime you’re not even sure you committed. This is exactly the situation twenty-four-year-old John T. Scopes found himself in during the summer of 1925. Almost overnight this trial became a national sensation and put the small town of Dayton, Tennessee on the map. It would involve two of the most famous attorneys of the day going head...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    January 5, 2022 41 min

    Napoleon, was he hero or villain? An enlightened genius or supreme egotist? Superb diplomat or an immoral usurper? All of the above? Continuing with Part II of our Napoleon series, we take a closer look into his greatest achievements as well as his greatest mistakes. From his coronation as Emperor at Notre-Dame in 1804 to his loss at Waterloo in 1815, this man’s story is seemingly inexhaustible. Has the world ever seen his equal ei...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    December 22, 2021 36 min

    Are great leaders made or just born that way? It seems that in the case of Napoleon, he truly was born to lead. It is said that his troops would have followed him into the gates of hell. But how good or bad was he and what is his legacy? Here in Episode 36, we explore these questions and take a closer look into the early life of Napoleon from his upbringing on the island of Corsica through his early victories in Italy and elsewhere...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    December 8, 2021 37 min

    “A leader is a dealer in hope.” —Napoleon Bonaparte
    Here in Episode 35, we take a closer look at two perhaps lesser-known great leaders in history. When all hope was lost and the odds were stacked against them, they defied all probability and led their men safely home. These are two of the most fascinating adventure stories ever told. Sir Ernest Shackleton and Xenophon did the extraordinary and both lived to tell their tales.

    Episod...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    November 24, 2021 32 min

    There are a handful of people in history who seem to have had an uncanny ability to escape death. Whether evading a lone assassin, dodging friendly fire during the heat of battle, or simply defying the laws of nature by smoking over 200 cigarettes a day, these four historical figures featured in Episode 34 proved they were all Hard to Kill.

    Books:
    The Reign of Elizabeth by J.B. Black

    Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas ...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    November 2, 2021 45 min

    The Restoration period is known as probably the most bawdy era in English history. And who was it that ushered in this remarkable age? Why, the Merry Monarch himself, Charles II. In addition to having a great fondness for the ladies and the good life, Charles had many remarkable qualities. Here in our first episode of Season 2, we take a closer look at this loveable rogue and the times in which he lived.

    Episode Edits:

  • Charles had a ...
  • Share
    Mark as Played
    October 19, 2021 35 min

    The years 1692-1693 were some of the darkest times in American history. They were the years when mass hysteria ruled the land and young girls were inexplicably stricken with fits of screaming, barking, shaking, and crying. It was a group of roughly 9 girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, who were taken at their fantastical word of being physically tormented by certain members of their own village which eventually led to over 200 p...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    October 5, 2021 39 min

    During the late summer and fall of 1888, a district in East London was being terrorized by an unknown Victorian serial killer. In a September 25th letter addressed to the Central News Agency, the yet to be identified murderer boasted of his recent killings and signed the letter “Jack the Ripper”. That name has endured for over 133 years, and the case remains open to this day. Why are we still fascinated by this case? With over 100 ...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    September 21, 2021 36 min

    Everyone has their favorite holiday, but do you know how your favorite holiday came into being? The answers may surprise you. For instance, in 12th century England, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25th, but the ancient Celts celebrated their New Year (Sumhain) on November 1st. So why do we now celebrate the New Year on January 1st? And why do we now use the Gregorian Calendar as opposed to the Julian Calendar? Also, did the ...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    September 7, 2021 31 min

    Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a fascinating figure- resourceful, brave, insightful, reflective, but it’s his inordinate ambition that leads to his downfall. Can the same be said of Scotland’s real Macbeth? Here in Episode 29, we unpack the characters in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth alongside their historical (or mythical) counterparts including Banquo, Malcolm, McDuff, even the witches. We also let you in on a few theatre traditions invol...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    August 24, 2021 31 min

    Almost six centuries have come and gone and we’re still talking about an illiterate peasant girl who only lived to be nineteen years old. Why? Not only did she inspire her nation by leading thousands of men into battle, but she also ushered in the end of the Hundred’s Year War thus saving her nation of France from English rule. Was she divinely inspired or was she a schizophrenic who heard the voices of martyred saints in her head?...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    August 10, 2021 43 min

    In October of 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the Caribbean Sea and christened it “Juana” in honor of Prince Don Juan, son of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. From there, Cuba would remain under Spanish rule for over 400 years. Eventually, the United States would help the Cuban people overthrow their colonial rulers just as America had done a century before. Thus began a long and contentious relationship between A...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    July 27, 2021 48 min

    Spy: (noun) “A person employed by one nation to secretly convey classified information of strategic importance to another nation.” When someone says the word spy, the image that pops into most people’s minds is James Bond (for us here at Historically Speaking that would be Sean Connery, the original,) but the father of modern-day espionage can be traced all the way back to the court of Queen Elizabeth I. But no matter what century ...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Popular Podcasts

      Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

      The Daily

      This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

      Crime Junkie

      If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

      Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

      It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.

      Stuff You Should Know

      If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    Advertise With Us

    For You

      Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

      Connect

      © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.