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Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the indigenous islanders call it, may be the most misunderstood place on planet Earth. For centuries outsiders have tried to unravel what they perceived to be the islands many mysteries. How did stone age people manage to get to such a remote island? How did these people build the island’s remarkable statues? What caus…
 
William Shakespeare is easily the best known playwright in the English language. His works are praised as some of the greatest feats of writing and are still required reading throughout the English speaking world. But what if the man from Stratford-upon- Avon was not the true author of the plays? What if the “Bard” was actually an illiterate who bu…
 
In November of 2017 OFH did a series on the birth of Rock 'n Roll. Back then Sebastian was so terrified about getting sued that he did not include any of the music discussed in the episode. He has since been assured that "fair use" provisions in copyright law make it completely cool to use clips for the purposes of education and criticism! Seb has …
 
In November of 2017 OFH did a series on the birth of Rock 'n Roll. Back then Sebastian was so terrified about getting sued that he did not include any of the music discussed in the episode. He has since been assured that "fair use" provisions in copyright law make it completely cool to use clips for the purposes of education and criticism! Seb has …
 
On this OFH Throwback we return to an episode from two summers ago called “Who Invented Your Favourite Sport?” This re-release is being done in honour of the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, which should have started this past Friday. The original episode was recorded in the wake of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Back then the mythology of s…
 
In 1324 the Malian Emperor, Mansa Musa, made a pilgrimage to Mecca that would stun the Islamic world with its magnificence. If the sources are to be believed, the emperor traveled with an entourage 60 000 fellow pilgrims and untold quantities of pure West African gold. While travelling through Egypt his lavish spending flooded the country with so m…
 
One of the most pernicious historical myths to ever circulate is the wrongheaded belief that sub-Saharan Africa was uncivilized and devoid of history before the era of European colonialism. The sophistication and opulence of the Mali Empire during the 13th and 14th centuries completely shreds that idea. Many historians have pointed out that in the …
 
There are few tales of revenge as epic as that of Olga of Kiev. In 945 AD Olga set out on a campaign of vengeance that would make a lasting mark on the history of Eastern Europe. However, there is good reason to believe it never actually happened. The source that contains the tale of Olga's vengeance is among the most unreliable chronicles of the m…
 
In this quick announcement Sebastian lets everyone know that the next Our Fake History will be released on June 23. Sebastian also expresses the podcast's solidarity with all of those protesting for an end to racism. He also points his listeners towards a few resources to learn more about Black history in the USA and Canada. Follow this link to che…
 
After unifying the "Warring States" the first emperor of China turned his attention to an even more lofty goal: becoming an immortal. When describing the first emperor the ancient sources paint a picture of man consumed by narcissism and paranoia. We're told that in his quest to defy death the first emperor put his trust in shady magicians and smoo…
 
In Chinese folklore the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, is never presented as a hero. Instead he is always presented as villain who is undone by his own arrogance and impiety. He is often introduced in folk tales as the "Wicked Emperor Qin Shi Huang". However, historians believe that many of the most salacious stories about China's first emperor may …
 
If you were going to make a list of the most historically influential people to have have ever lived, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, should probably be in the top 10. In the mid 2nd century BC, the ruler of the State of Qin embarked on series of conquests that would unite China after centuries of discord. But despite this impressive ach…
 
The rebellion led by Boudica, the Iceni warrior woman, nearly dislodged the Roman empire from the island of Britain. She had the numbers, the momentum, and a righteous cause. So why was she ultimately not successful? Tune in and find out how Druids casting spells, a mythical train platform, and a badass post-hardcore band name all play a role in th…
 
The ancient rebel leader Boudica has become an icon in her native Britain. She is celebrated as a symbol of resistance and female power. However, getting a sense of her true character is nearly impossible when examining the historical sources. Roman historians wrote elaborate speeches that they claimed she delivered to rapt audiences. But perhaps t…
 
They say that history is written by the winners. While it's a trite cliché, there might be some truth in it. It's especially true when examining a figure like the Celtic-British freedom fighter Boudica. In 60 AD Boudica led her people in a violent revolt against the Roman Empire. Unfortunately everything we know about her was written by Romans. Wha…
 
When did the Renaissance begin? When did it end? Do these questions even have proper answers? In this episode Sebastian frets over the so-called "Renaissance Myth" and tries to draw some conclusions. Should the idea of a "Renaissance" be ditched, or does the period just need some clever re-branding. Tune in and find out how good people in hell, the…
 
The Renaissance has been touted as one of the most important moments in European history. 19th century historians like Jules Michelet and Jakob Burckhardt made the case that a "rebirth" starting in the 1300's laid the ground work for the modern world. This idea has been massively influential, but its not without its critics. Why do some claim that …
 
In the 1890's a team of physicians and scientists discovered the cause of bubonic plague, a bacteria they named Yersinia Pestis. It was assumed for most of the 20th century that Yersinia Pestis also caused the infamous Black death of the 14th century. But starting in the 1980's a number of experts started to question this assumption. Does this theo…
 
When studying the plague of the 14th century it can be easy to focus on the death, but on Our Fake History we are so much more interested in life. The people who lived through the plague dealt with the horror of the disease in a variety of weird and wonderful ways. Some people turned to religion, others to hedonism. Some felt like the only option w…
 
The epidemic known as the Black Death struck Europe in 1347 and completely upended medieval society. It's been estimated that roughly half of the European population was killed by this gruesome disease. Despite huge advances in our understanding of this epidemic debate still remains about the true cause of the plague. The so-called "Great Mortality…
 
In November 2019 Sebastian was asked to perform at the Toronto Hot Docs Podcast festival. Our Fake History was featured on a show called "Sounds of the Six". Sebastian was given 15 minutes to both introduce newcomers to the podcast and tell a story about the city of Toronto. The weird story of Toronto's Phillip Experiment fit the bill perfectly. Tu…
 
The Santa Claus legend may be one of the most sturdy pieces of mythology in modern times. While other magical creatures have faded from our common lore, the legend of Santa Claus has only grown. However, the evolution of this beloved holiday character has been downright strange. How did a lank and serious Bishop from Anatolia become the jolly bring…
 
In celebration of Our Fake History's 100th episode Sebastian runs the podcaster's gauntlet in front of a live crowd. Your host tells tales, plays guitar, and interviews an illustrious guest. But the show is stolen by guest Katie Daubs and the tales from her new book The Missing Millionaire. Tune in and find out how ritual murder, the French revolut…
 
These days it's impossible to speak about the mysteries of the pyramids without saying something about aliens from outer space. Thanks to the writings of authors like Eric Von Danieken and a slew of cheesy cable shows, the ancient astronauts hypothesis has thoroughly infected the popular understanding of the pyramids. Is there anything to these the…
 
The most elaborate theories concerning the pyramids of Giza usually position those monuments as deeply different and distinct from all other Egyptian pyramids. However, to fully understand the pyramids of Giza we need to understand them in the context of the monuments that came both before and after. As soon as we add that context some of the more …
 
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