Blind History has spanned centuries of incredible people and events. We’ve marvelled at the heroic efforts of titans, and could scarcely believe the evil of some of history’s villains. But, good or bad, they’ve all helped shape the world in which we live. And someone who helped to bring these stories to life is Simon Sebag Montefiore: an award-winning author, academic and historian whose writings not only provided research material for some of the episodes, but whose love of history is an inspiration to Blind History hosts, Gareth Cliff and Anthony Mederer.

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The Terror! That’s what they called it. Nobody was safe from the depraved madness of the peak of the French Revolution… and the fearsome man who became virtual dictator - Maximilien Robespierre. He came from humble origins, but bore the scars of a life of rejection - and he took it out on the people of France. Join us on this journey into the mind and life of one of the real revolutionaries of history.

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Torquemada! The name that struck fear into Spanish conversos and just about everyone else in Spain in the 15th Century. Torquemada! Grand Inquisitor and the all-powerful religious zealot who burned thousands and tortured many more thousands in his quest to rid Spain of sin. Torquemada - who had the ear of the Queen of Spain and extracted confessions out of the guilty and the innocent with equal zest. Today we’re the ones judging him... and history will be as unkind as he was then.

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In this episode of Blind History, we take you on a rollercoaster ride featuring some of the terrifying men (and women) who ruled the seas. Were the most famous pirates of history one-eyed, one-legged, parrot-on-the-shoulder caricatures, or were they - like so many of the greatest characters from our past - complex and flawed people, with a certain set of maritime skills they used to their advantage and everyone else’s disadvantage? Find out as we board the ship...

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The dirty, smelly Siberian peasant was a bizarre fixture at the richest, most extravagant court in the world, and for a time, he might have been the most powerful man in the Empire. Grigori Rasputin was a celebrity, a priest, a seducer of women and a healer. He was also impossible to kill...

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There was once a great emperor, who ruled over the most cosmopolitan and rich empire. This emperor built skyscrapers, palaces, giant statues and ruled for half a century. This isn’t the start of a fairytale, and it isn’t the story you might expect. This emperor was a woman... and she ruled a millennium and a half ago - in China.

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The modern Englishman can only dream of a life of adventure, exploration, excitement and provenance. Sadly, those days may be gone. For the enduring spirit of T.E. Lawrence, his influence on the Middle East is still being felt. Lawrence of Arabia may only be familiar to you because of the movie, but his real life was perhaps even more epic.

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The name Lucrezia Borgia is synonymous with poison. The name Cesare Borgia with murder, and the name Rodrigo Borgia with orgies, incest and nepotism. Maybe that’s why he changed his name to Pope Alexander VI when he was elected by the college of cardinals. Were the Borgias really the worst family in Rome? Find out in this episode of Blind History...

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Simón Bolívar was the Napoleon of South America - although if you called him that, he might have cut your head off. He could have had the easy life of a rich landowner in Venezuela, but chose instead to create a new Europe in South America. Bolívar made a mark on South America that endures to this day... and is one of the few men in history to have a country named after him.

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Pol Pot sounds like the kind of dish you’d order at a Cambodian restaurant - but it’s actually the name of one of the most horrific people ever to walk the Earth. For some reason he never makes it to the first division of truly maniacal, genocidal monsters of history... he’s always in the second tier, despite his own murderous efforts to make his mark. In his effort to socially engineer Cambodia, he killed more than a third of his people - and millions of bodies in mass graves are his grisly monument.

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