EPISODE 25 Roman History with Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan is one of the pioneers of historical podcasting. His “History of Rome” is iconic. And his current “Revolutions” is equally compelling. In this episode, we sit down to chat about Roman history, Rome in cinema, the inevitable comparisons between Ancient Rome and the United States, the factionalism and corruption that brought down the Republic, the connection between ‘The Walking Dead’ + ‘Game of Thrones’ and Roman history, his upcoming book “The Storm Before the Storm,” and the future of his “Revolutions” podcast. 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

Thank you for www.23andme.com/HOF for sponsoring this episode. With twenty three and me’s genetic service, you can learn what percentage of your DNA comes from places like Italy, Finland, East Asia or Africa! Check them out at www.23andme.com/HOF 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 24 The Pirate Queen

HOF-Episode-24-ThePirateQueen.jpg

“I never planted wheat and never will, so long as there are other harvests to be reaped with the sword.” —Robert E. Howard (from ‘Beyond the Black River’) 

“In the rough and violent world of seafaring, mariners could not afford to always abide by the niceties of the law or proper etiquette.” —Robert J Anthony

“There is no greater calamity than not knowing what is enough”. —Tao Te Ching

At the very beginning of the 1800s, a Chinese woman went from being employed as a prostitute in the floating brothels close to Canton to becoming the leader of the biggest pirate confederacy in modern history. Despite ending up as one of the most successful pirates ever, little is known about her. Today, we dive into the mystery and explore her story. 

In this episode:

  • The three waves of piracy 
  • Piracy as a family business 
  • The boat people 
  • “People are not born sea bandits, but drift into brigandage because they can no longer support themselves.” Wang Zhiyin governor of Fujian
  • The Tay-Son rebellion 
  • Death by a thousand cuts
  • The seven pirate bosses and the creation of the biggest pirate confederacy in modern history
  • When pirates invite you to join their crew, saying ‘no’ is not an option
  • A pirate’s life for me: opium, prostitutes, gambling, fights
  • The rise of Cheng I Sao, and her saving the Confederacy 
  • Chang Pao 
  • Cheng I Sao’s law: “Off with his head!” 
  • Former prostitute, full time pirate leader and part time shaman
  • Straight out of Game of Thrones: fireboats 
  • Cheng I Sao and the Taoist talent of knowing when to stop

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

This episode is also brought to you by Erik Magraken, a personal injury lawyer and combat sports regulatory lawyer. Please check out his websites at https://combatsportslaw.com/ and http://bc-injury-law.com/ 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 23 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 4): Tenochtitlan Or Bust

“After getting this information, he had the arms, feet, and heads of our unfortunate companions cut off, and sent them round to various towns of our allies and those who had made peace with us, with the message that he did not think one of us would be left alive to return to Texcoco. Then he offered their hearts and blood to his idols.” — Bernal Diaz

Eat the flesh of your brothers, for we are full. You can stuff yourselves with our leftovers.” —Mexica warriors addressing the Spaniards 

“It is better that we should all die fighting in the city than see ourselves in the power of those who would enslave us and torture us for gold.” — From a speech attributed to a Mexica captain 

“The people of the city had to walk upon their dead while others swam or drowned in the waters of that wide lake… so great was their suffering that it was beyond our understanding how they could endure it.” — Hernan Cortes

In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing. 

In this fourth episode:

  • Cortes’ charge at the battle of Otumba 
  • The Tlaxcalan fateful choice
  • Branding POWs in the face with the letter G for Guerra
  • Smallpox was better than any army for the Spaniards
  • Cortes holds a rape auction 
  • The master carpenter Martin Lopez, and his ships sealed with boiling human fat taken from dead Mexica warriors
  • A plot against Cortes ends with a hanging
  • Cortes on top of the pyramid at Xochimilco sees 2,000 canoes coming to kill him 
  • Xicotenga and Led Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole 
  • The siege of Tenochtitlan 
  • Cortes flirting with death 
  • The human sacrifice that gave Bernal Diaz permanent PTSD
  • Eating the plaster off your walls and still fighting on 
  • The city of the dead
  • The Mexica emperor being introduced to the expression “holding the feet to the fire”
  • Ramsay Bolton would have loved both Mexica and Spaniards
  • The aftermath of the Conquest

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

This episode is also brought to you by Skillshare, an online learning community with over fifteen thousand classes in design, business, and more. Skillshare is giving my listeners a month of unlimited access -- absolutely FREE! Go to www.skillshare.com/history to redeem your free month. 

Thank you to Geek Nation Tours, a vacation company which creates tours focusing on geek culture including conventions, movie locations and historical battlefields.
This October, they will be time-traveling to Feudal Japan and the battlefields of Sekigahara…. Join them as they watch Kendo, Kyudo, Iaido, and sword making demonstrations at the Seki Cutlery Festival, visit the most famous Japanese medieval castles, hike through spectacular natural landscapes and of course visit the Sekigahara re-enactment festival where you will see samurai walking the streets in full armor and battling in a commemoration of that singular battle of 1600.

http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-feudal-japan-and-the-battlefields-of-sekigahara-2017/

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

Please check out www.alphadynamicshealth.com for their line of medicinal mushrooms

Master podcaster Darryl Cooper has created a companion series to go with this particular History on Fire series. Check out his episodes exploring themes of human sacrifice, religion, psychology and much more at http://www.martyrmade.com/ 


My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 22 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 3): Tenochtitlan Syndrome

“And when we saw all those cities and villages built in the water, and other great towns on dry land, and that straight and level causeway leading to Mexico, we were astounded. These great towns and cues and buildings rising from the water, all made of stone, seemed like an enchanted vision from the tale of Amadis. Indeed, some of our soldiers asked whether it was not all a dream. It is not surprising therefore that I should write in this vein. It was all so wonderful that I do not know how to describe the first glimpse of things never heard of, seen or dreamed of before… But today all that I then saw is overthrown and destroyed; nothing is left standing.” — Bernal Diaz

“Have confidence, Montezuma. Fear nothing. We love you greatly.” — Hernan Cortes

“What is the use of all these words? Either we take him or we knife him.” — Juan Velazquez de Leon

“They ran in among the dancers, forcing their way to the place where the drums were played. They attacked the man who was drumming and cut off his arms… Some attempted to run away, but their intestines dragged as they ran; they seemed to tangle their feet in their own entrails… So great was the bloodshed that blood ran through the courtyard like water in a heavy rain.”

In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing.  

In this third episode:

  • The massacre at Cholula
  • The drunken man’s vision
  • The splendor of Tenochtitlan 
  • Kidnapping an emperor 
  • Burning people at the stake in front of the Great Pyramid 
  • Why the Stockholm Syndrome should be renamed Tenochtitlan Syndrome
  • A battle between Spaniards and Spaniards
  • Alvarado’s bloody choices
  • La Noche Triste: the end of the Spaniards?

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

This episode is also brought to you by Skillshare, an online learning community with over fifteen thousand classes in design, business, and more. Skillshare is giving my listeners a month of unlimited access -- absolutely FREE! Go to www.skillshare.com/history to redeem your free month. 

Thank you to Geek Nation Tours, a vacation company which creates tours focusing on geek culture including conventions, movie locations and historical battlefields.
This October, they will be time-traveling to Feudal Japan and the battlefields of Sekigahara…. Join them as they watch Kendo, Kyudo, Iaido, and sword making demonstrations at the Seki Cutlery Festival, visit the most famous Japanese medieval castles, hike through spectacular natural landscapes and of course visit the Sekigahara re-enactment festival where you will see samurai walking the streets in full armor and battling in a commemoration of that singular battle of 1600.

http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-feudal-japan-and-the-battlefields-of-sekigahara-2017/

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

Please check out www.alphadynamicshealth.com for their line of medicinal mushrooms

Master podcaster Darryl Cooper has created a companion series to go with this particular History on Fire series. Check out his episodes exploring themes of human sacrifice, religion, psychology and much more at http://www.martyrmade.com/ 


My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 21 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 2): The Dogs of War

“My advice is not to allow into your house someone who will put you out of it.” —Cuitlahuac

“He added that we could look for no help or assistance except from God, for now we had no ships in which to return to Cuba. Therefore we must rely on our own good swords and stout hearts.” — Bernal Diaz 

“We knew that they had come determined to leave none of us alive except those who were to be sacrificed to their idols.” — Bernal Diaz 

In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing.  

In this second episode:

  • The first battle ever featuring horses in Mexico
  • Enormous, angry dogs wearing armor and trained to eat human flesh
  • Malintzin and her choices
  • From slavery to becoming one of the most important women in Mexico 
  • The tale of Quetzalcoatl
  • “If the Spaniards want to eat you, let them”
  • Apparently, the Spaniards don’t appreciate food sprinkled with a sauce of human blood
  • Rescuing five sacrificial victims before returning them to be sacrificed
  • Cortes deserved an Academy Award for best political theater 
  • The Fat Chief 
  • Cortes and his ships
  • Moctezuma and his Blues Brothers excuses 
  • War and peace in Tlaxcala

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Thank you to Geek Nation Tours, a vacation company which creates tours focusing on geek culture including conventions, movie locations and historical battlefields.
This October, they will be time-traveling to Feudal Japan and the battlefields of Sekigahara…. Join them as they watch Kendo, Kyudo, Iaido, and sword making demonstrations at the Seki Cutlery Festival, visit the most famous Japanese medieval castles, hike through spectacular natural landscapes and of course visit the Sekigahara re-enactment festival where you will see samurai walking the streets in full armor and battling in a commemoration of that singular battle of 1600.

http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-feudal-japan-and-the-battlefields-of-sekigahara-2017/

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

Please check out www.alphadynamicshealth.com for their line of medicinal mushrooms

Master podcaster Darryl Cooper has created a companion series to go with this particular History on Fire series. Check out his episodes exploring themes of human sacrifice, religion, psychology and much more at http://www.martyrmade.com/ 


My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/