‘An escape from dark times’: how ancient history podcasts bring comfort and clarity

‘An escape from dark times’: how ancient history podcasts bring comfort and clarity

The Guardian

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I started listening to tales of yore in 2019, when long drives with my infant son became essential. They soothed him to sleep – and transported me to a different world

Fans of Paul Cooper’s podcast Fall of Civilizations will know that it usually begins in a particular way. A traveller, often far from home, encounters a ruin that hints at a vast and forgotten story of the past.

Hiding from bandits in the desert, the Italian nobleman Pietro della Valle takes shelter in the shadow of the crumbling Ziggurat of Ur. Clambering through the rubble of a once magnificent site of Roman Britain, an unknown poet of the eighth or ninth century writes an elegy to the broken “work of giants”.

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