History isn’t just stories from the past, it’s also about things that humanity has been through that might be more relevant now than ever. Take great plagues for example: Humankind has faced some truly horrible diseases and pandemics in the past… and as awful as coronavirus is, it’s not nearly as scary as some of those that wiped out millions of us before – or the truly terrifying treatments they used to apply.

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Perhaps no other single human has had such a lasting and powerful effect on the idea of civilisation. For his long reign, Augustus mostly wanted to be called ‘First Citizen’, but in effect he was one of the most powerful men to ever walk the Earth. He instituted a period of peace called the Pax Romana, something that was unknown in the brutal ancient world. He made laws, elevated culture, commissioned public works and vanquished all his enemies. By the time he died, he had brought about the creation of the greatest empire known to man.

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Anyone who has ever heard of King Henry VIII knows he had many wives. Some even know their names. Their individual stories are complex, beautiful, sad, poignant and remarkable. In an age where women are finally being given their due, these six Queens deserve to be known for more than just the man they married…

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There are some names that send a shudder through the air. Some names that have changed whole countries. Names that hang like a dark cloud over history. Idi Amin is such a name. The whole of East Africa – even the world – is still flabbergasted that as recently as 40 years ago, this evil man was able to murder thousands and get away with it. Did he deserve such fear and ignominy? Find out in this episode of Blind History…

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Socrates, Aristotle and Plato are the fathers of Western (if not world) philosophy. Despite us knowing so little about their lives, they have an enduring influence on every aspect of our thinking and understanding. The university, the academy, the school… these things all come from the three great philosophers – men who actually lived, and knew each other. It’s time we got to know them.

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GinCast is the story of one of the world’s favourite drinks – this podcast explores how it started as a public health hazard, then came of age in colonial India before taking its place in modern society. Find out how it’s made, how best to enjoy it, and other interesting facts you can chuck into the conversation next time you’re enjoying a G&T with a slice & ice.

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Are you ready for the best decade in humanity’s history? No matter how much the news media, politicians, celebrities and climate change activists tell you we’re about to enter the gates of hell, we’re not. Things are pretty fantastic for humans…

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Not many people have a life story quite like this… at the age of 21 he gives up a life of privilege for one of danger and sacrifice, including 27 years living in exile while working for the ANC. He was also one of the founding members of Umkhonto we Sizwe in Natal in 1961. Ronnie Kasrils is a former SA government minister, and was a leading member of the African National Congress during the apartheid era. In his post-activism life, he’s written another book – ‘Catching Tadpoles: The Shaping of a Young Rebel’. Gareth Cliff chats to him about the pages of his latest read that are bursting with anecdotal stories that are not only enjoyable to read and connect together like a racy novel, but can teach old and young, black and white much about inclusiveness and bringing hope for all South Africans.

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We end season two of Blind History in Ancient Rome… the place that gave us Hadrian, Augustus, Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. But this time we investigate the bad emperors – the ones who murdered, ruined, destroyed and perverted the greatest empire of antiquity. Caligula, Nero, Commodus and Elagabalus were some the most depraved men to exercise absolute power – and their lives were brutal and merciless.

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Who is the most powerful Kim in the world? No, it isn’t Kim Kardashian – it’s a small Korean man with a bad haircut. He also has his finger on the button of a dangerous nuclear arsenal and the command of the third largest standing army on earth. Kim Jong-Un is the latest in a succession of Kims who rule North Korea – and their private lives are wilder than their public personas. Find out about them in this episode of Blind History.

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