Episode 45: Hatshepsut

Posted 21 March 2014 by
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Shownotes Episode 45: Hatshepsut

Posted 21 March 2014 by
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Hatshepsut statue

 

Go back in time. No, farther. Farther! We are talking about a woman who only missed sharing the planet with the last of the woolly mammoths by a couple hundred years. A woman who was born an Egyptian princess, and grew to become a king: Hatshepsut. 

We begin this episode with not only a disclaimer that scholars can’t agree on a lot of things that happened back in the days of Pharaohs but of Ancient Egyptian life itself. While people may, essentially, want similar things from life now as then- the culture of the times was a weeee bit different. We don’t go into too deep of an explanation- just the basics to better understand Hatshepsut’s life.

Looking at the waaay past from the present is often confusing. The Great pyramid of Giza, built about a thousand years before Hatshepsut was born.

Looking at the waaay past from the present is often confusing. The Great pyramid of Giza, built about a thousand years before Hatshepsut was born, as viewed recently. (Courtesy Tripadvisor)

 

Born about 1508 BC, Hatshepsut was a daughter of King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose, he a military man given a royal wife (and likely his half-sister) and the crown of a Pharaoh. Children followed from Ahmose (his Great Wife) and various lesser wives. The boys were raised as potential heirs to the throne, and the girls were raised for their future as queens. As always, we go into a lot more detail on the podcast, but the nickel tour says this: Hatshepsut and her father were close. By all accounts he closely supervised her education and took her places that a typical Queen-in-Training wouldn’t need to know or see, only a future ruler would.

At a young age Hatshepsut was married to her brother (common at the time, don’t freak out- it ensured a royal bloodline and kept out pesky in-laws) Thutmose II. When her father died, she became queen. King Thutmose II was a perfect partner for her because he let her do as much as she wanted. And she wanted. She had a daughter by him, and he had children (with concubines) including Thutmose III (creative with the names, right?). When her husband/brother died this son became king and Hatshepsut his regent.

Thutmose III and Hatshepsut- she is the taller figure decked out in Pharaoh garb.

Thutmose III and Hatshepsut- she is the taller figure decked out in Pharaoh garb.

But, ahh, Hatshepsut claimed that her father had said SHE was to be Pharaoh and the god Amun had visited her mother while she was pregnant with Hatshepsut and insisted the same. Hatshepsut, who had been doing the work, took on the uniform. There was precedent for a female Pharaoh, although the couple of times that it had happened before weren’t reigns of great success.

Hatshepsut dressed in Pharaoh-wear.  (Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Hatshepsut dressed in Pharaoh-wear.
(Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)

But none had the successes of this one. During her approximately 22 year long reign, Hatshepsut led a very prosperous Egypt to even greater power. Not necessarily by military action, but by diplomacy. She filled the fiscal coffers, engaged in trade with neighboring countries, and set out on expeditions to faraway lands. Her most successful expedition was to the Land of Punt. No one is sure exactly where this fabulous place is now, but the ships had to travel and someone knew the route.

Voyage to Punt

Voyage to Punt

Images depicting those from Punt. Puntians? Puntalicious? Punts?

Images depicting those from Punt. Puntians? Puntalicious? Punts?

 

With her longtime, er, compadre Senemut at her side (he had various roles in her life from servant to advisor to companion) she went on a building bender, including  her temple, Djeser-Djseru which is fabulously sleek and contemporary looking even by today’s standards.

 

Senenmut and Princess Neferune (on display at the British Museum)

Senenmut and Princess Neferune (on display at the British Museum)

Hatshepsut's temple

Hatshepsut’s temple

 

When she died (and oh, do we speculate how that happened) something strange happened to the long list of accomplishments and life led by this remarkable woman: she began to be chiseled out of history. Pharoah Thutmose III (you remember him, the guy who was passed over for the role 22 years ago?) may have been a little miffed at his step-mom. By the time the rest of the world uncovers (literally, it was buried in sand) her life when hieroglyphics on her temple wall can be read, her image has been chipped off of artifacts, her sarcophagus had been moved, and the obelisks that she had erected to commemorate her life are hidden.

Was it an evil plot by men to wipe her out of history because of her gender? Was it mere revenge by Thutmose III who believed that by erasing her memory in this life, she was doomed in the afterlife? Or was he trying to make HIS OWN bloodline appear deeper royal than it was to insure the succession of his son, Amenhotep II to the throne?

Her body wasn’t discovered until the early 2000′s, in Tomb KV60 . Modern technology aided in identifying her.

An x-ray of the mystery mummy who was being identified as Hatshepsut because of missing tooth.

An x-ray of the mystery mummy who was identified as Hatshepsut because of missing tooth.

Everything that is known about Hatshepsut has been put together like the most difficult of puzzles because a great deal of the information about her reign was destroyed. Even now, Hatshepsut’s legacy is confused with others….

A story of some obelisks- found in Egypt and now residing in New York, London and Paris. Entitled Cleopatra's Needles, they all pre-date Cleo and the one in New York was erected by Hatshepsut

A story of some obelisks: found in Egypt and now residing in New York, London and Paris. Entitled Cleopatra’s Needles, they all pre-date Cleopatra. The pair in NYC and London are the ones Thutmose III erected as copies of Hatshepsut’s great triumphs.

Come back for our next episode where we travel forward in time over 1400 years…and find ourselves still in ancient Egypt.

 

Time Travel With The History Chicks

We will list any media with the next episode in our series, Cleopatra. But we wanted to leave you with two contemporary media images of Hatshepsut.

 

Horrible Histories as a whole Awful Egytians series!

 

pennyframed

From 2014′s Mr Peabody and Sherman movie, Penny is dressed as Hatshepsut ready to marry King Tut…who wouldn’t be around for another 100 years or so after her death. Don’t get your history from Hollywood, kids.

As always, music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at music.mevio.com

Elizabethan Life (minicast)

Posted 25 February 2014 by
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Elizabethan Life (minicast) – shownotes

Posted 25 February 2014 by
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“The Four Conditions of Society” – Jean Bourdichon. (Nobility, Work, Poverty, and The Wild State.)

In this flying solo episode Beckett talks about life in Elizabethan England for all the different classes. Give a listen for the details but here are some things that she referenced.

Elizabethan Theaters, flying flags to signal that a Play is in progress– The Rose (1587), Swan (1595), Globe (1599) and Hope (1614) were all built on London’s Southbank.

“Take your hearbes and picke them very fine onto faire water, and picke your flowers by themselves, and wash them al cleane, and swing them in a strainer, and when you put them into a dish, mingle them with Cowcumbers or Lemmons payred and sliced, and scrape suger, and put in vineger and Oyle, and throwe the flowers on the toppe of the sallet, and of every sorte of the aforesaide things and garnish the dish about with the foresaid things, and harde Egges boyled and laid about the dish and upon the sallet.”

Sallet – not exactly like salad.

Plas Mawr(Great Hall, in Welsh) is an Elizabethan townhouse in Conwy, north Wales, built by wealthy merchant Robert Wynn, between 1575 and 1586.

Follow this handy chart if you do not want to get into trouble. Good luck with that!

The two books Beckett recommended for this subject:

At Home by Bill Bryson

Daily Life in Elizabethan England by Jeffrey Singman

If you haven’t seen this show yet, you haven’t been paying attention to our recommendations! Go! Now! Supersizers Go….Elizabethan.

There is a link to Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England with Dr. Ian Mortimer.

As always music provided by Music Alley, visit them at music.mevio.com

Episode 44: Queen Elizabeth I, Part 2

Posted 10 February 2014 by
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Shownotes Episode 44: Queen Elizabeth 1, Part Two

Posted 10 February 2014 by
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Welcome to part two of our chat about Elizabeth I. When we left, our fair princess had overcome 25 years of uncertainty. During her youth, Elizabeth’s future had been uncertain, her place in court uncertain, even her ability to keep her head was, at times *coughmarycough* uncertain. She had outlived the rules of her father, her half brother and her half sister. She had even been used to assist in getting a cousin who really had no reason to wear a crown, off the throne.

And now that she had outwitted, outlasted and outplayed these people-Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England.

*cue trumpets*

Elizabeth, Armada Portrait

The country that she stepped up to lead is kind of a mess, and the big elephant in the room making the biggest piles of mess: the aftermath of the religious turmoil created by her father and perpetuated by her half-sister.

We spent a nice chunk of the first episode talking about the early stages and some long lasting issues of her reign including many years of playing Tudor Suitor, a game where she juggled contenders for her hand brilliantly…but none would win it.

One major contender: Francis, Duke of Anjou (by Nicholas Hilliard)

Elizabeth and Robert DudleyRelationship Status: It's Complicated

We spend a bit of time talking about three things that defined the Elizabethan age: Gunpowder, Printing and Compass, and we give you a nice thumbnail sketch of the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots and cousin Elizabeth (talk about complicated!) We also rant on about the CW show Reign and how any historical fiction should be taken with a grain of salt yet can be an excellent gateway to learning what really happened. It’s a good lesson, bring the kids.

We tend to stay away from talk of war, battles and such aren’t something that usually affects the women we discuss- but oh! Elizabeth was the head of navy and LO! There is a mighty famous battle that she was a part of, the Spanish Armada. We give you our spin on this historic event (spoiler: The English are triumphant but it may not have been because anything they did.)

Battle of the Spanish Armada- England and Spain (Henrick Cornelisz Vroom)

Most of Elizabeth’s reign was very successful. She created an environment where her people were able to relax a bit, she encouraged the arts and those who created it. She was a powerful and masterful ruler who was extremely devoted to her subjects. The end of her rule wasn’t quite as successful. Events within as well as beyond her power worked together and there was that pesky issue of her never marrying, therefore never bearing an heir to take over when she died. Towards the end of her life this was great concern to many. We do talk about why and what she said in her famous Golden Speech, as well as what we thought she was like. Yes, speculating. It’s fun, you should try it.

On March 24, 1603 at the age of 69 and after 44 years as queen Elizabeth, surrounded by those who had been loyal to her, took her last breath.

The Death of Queen Elizabeth (Paul Delaroche maaaaany years after her death- we talked about this painting in the episode)

But we don’t want to remember that Elizabeth. We would like this image to linger instead. A woman who remembered and learned from her past,  lived wise in her present, whose legacy lives on in her future (and took some secrets with her to the grave).

This ring was on her finger for many years, inside a portrait of herself and of her mother

Elizabeth's tomb (courtesy Westminster Abbey)

TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS

For all media recommendations and links, please see Shownotes Episode 44, as well as any other Tudor episodes that we have done in the past. There is a feast of information in there worthy of an inquiring mind as great as Elizabeth’s.

As always, music provided by Music Alley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com

End song for this episode: Introit” by Hazlitt

Episode 43: Elizabeth I, Part One

Posted 20 December 2013 by
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Shownotes Episode 43: Elizabeth I, Part One

Posted 20 December 2013 by
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She was called many things: Princess, Bastard, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess, and the Virgin Queen. We add to our Tudor series this chat about the extraordinary life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Queen Elizabeth I in her coronation robes

So long was our talk, that we have broken Elizabeth’s story up into two episodes. This first one will cover her life until she is crowned, and the next until her death and beyond.

Some of you are thinking, “Wait, Chicks, didn’t you talk about Elizabeth before?”

Yes, we did, but only her life as it related to others: her parents, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, her stepmothers including Catherine of Aragon, cousin Lady Jane Gray and her half sister- Queen Mary I. If you have not listened to those episodes, you might like to and gain a fuller view of how her life intertwined into those stories.

Henry VIII was married for 24 years to one wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon. This marriage produced only one child- Elizabeth’s half sister, Mary. Henry, desperate for a son to carry on his bloodline, pulled some serious political and religious chess moves to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn who was- at the time of their secret wedding- pregnant with Elizabeth. She was born on September 7, 1533.

So, okay, Hank wanted a boy. But Anne could get pregnant, let’s try again.

And again.

And again.

When Elizabeth was two years old, her father figured out a way to get a male heir: be rid of Anne on trumped up charges and marry someone else.

Hey, it was a plan. And it worked…maybe not so well for Anne or Elizabeth but they were never Henry’s primary priority.  Wife #3, Stepmother #1- Jane Seymour had the good fortune to give birth to a male heir, Prince Edward- and then she died of complications from childbirth. Okay, maybe that wasn’t entirely good fortune- but Henry is on to his next wife…and his next until  Stepmom #4-Katherine Parr, who is the only one of the six to add “widow” to her title. Henry VIII died.

A young Elizabeth by William Scrots

We do go into all the details of Elizabeth’s upbringing in the episode. She was raised to live at court, and she did have moments of happiness in her childhood. She was bright, inquisitive, educated and well liked from a very early age. She also was pretty much ignored by her father except for a modest to small allowance during his life.

In his death, she became third in line for the throne and was a very valuable commodity. This was realized by her then stepfather-ish, Thomas Seymour. Oh, we had a great deal of fun at ol’ Tom’s benefit. He doesn’t make it very long into the story- he is executed for charges that were not trumped up. As Elizabeth herself said, “Today died a man of much wit and very little judgement.”

First to rule after her father: King Edward, her half brother. Elizabeth and Edward were fairly close in age and raised togetherish (as much as the royal dysfunction allowed). Edward died about 6 years after becoming King- he was only 16.

For a very brief time, Lady Jane Gray was put up as his replacement (oh, that was a doozie of a story- we cover it in the Lady Jane Gray minicast) and Elizabeth’s older half-sister Mary needed Elizabeth to help her get her to her rightful place. After Queen Mary succeeded in getting crowned, she had very little use and a big dose of mistrust for Elizabeth. After a term in the Tower, Elizabeth is sent off to life at Hatfield House for the majority of Mary’s reign (of terror, we are talking Bloody Mary here. Okay, if you want the real details, go listen to the Queen Mary I podcast).

The Tower of London from the River Thames...not Elizabeth's favorite residence.

Hatfield House. She spent a great deal of time here as a child and during Mary's reign.

Finally, at the age of 25 after her mother died at the hands of her father, her father handed her over to others to raise her, many men attempted to win her hand in marriage Elizabeth is handed the crown and becomes Queen Elizabeth.

Did you catch the part where we said that Elizabeth was smart and cunning and well liked? These are all traits that help her as soon as she gets that crown on her gingerhead. She reinstates her father’s Act of Supremacy which puts her at the head of the church- but she makes some significant changes. She gives nods to Roman Catholicism, gives a generous hand to Protestantism and creates a religious environment that allows people to breath and only ticks off the extremists.

She appoints advisers who not only can be trusted by her but will tell it to her like it is. They are are smart and respect her although she is (think like it’s 1560) a woman. These advisers agree on one key item: Elizabeth must marry.

We banter about playing Tudor Suitors for awhile, outlining the relationships with the men most likely to walk off with the final Tudor Rose.

There were some who she simply played for political reasons (Prince Phillip of Spain? Mary’s Sloppy Seconds? We don’t think so), and some who really had a shot including her “Frog” and “Bonny Sweet Robin”. As always there is far more information in the podcast than in these notes, but the result is the same: none would ever win her hand.

That’s where this episode ends- but oh, it is not the end of Elizabeth’s story, not by a long shot.

TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS

In Part Two we referenced two sources for more detailed information on the Irish Rebellion as well as the relationship between Ireland and the Tudors in general.  If you are looking for more information on this aspect of Elizabeth’s life we recommend you start with this BBC post, Turning Ireland English but Steven Ellis as well as his book, Ireland in the Age of the Tudors.

Ah, the great Who’s the best Elizabeth Debate- we pick our favorites during the episode and here are the top contenders (but not the only ones- this is a story that has been made and remade- and many versions are excellent, just remember that they are mostly historical fiction not necessarily a documentary, and all will be well.)

Glenda Jackson, 1971 540 minute long BBC version

Cate Blanchett, 1998/ 2005 theatrical release versions

Helen Mirren 2005 HBO miniseries

We had the opportunity to be a part of several min-biographies for the Biography Channel. Here is one on Elizabeth that you might enjoy.

If you happen to be in the UK, missing Elizabeth I places would be the trick, not finding them- there are quite a few. Like, Hatfield House and the Tower of London, and The Globe Theater.

Books: Okay here is the deal. Elizabeth I is QUITE a popular literary subject, there are a lot of books about her out there and most of them are really informative. We’ve read so many that listing them all would bore you. You really can’t go wrong with anything written by David Starkey or Alison Weir.

In Public and in Private; Elizabeth and Her World by Susan Watkins (Book Beckett highly recommended)

For kids- while not Tudor centered, Anne Boleyn is profiled in this first of a series by Author/Illustrator Lisa Graves (Our friend, the History Witch who we can't talk about enough because she is pretty fabulous) HistoryWitch.com

The Tudor Tutor has a list of source material she uses (as well as A LOT of information that you might enjoy spending time with).

Since we are sharing websites, here are the ones that  we talked about: (excellent for kids) Tudorhistory.org , (sistersite to Anne Boleyn files) Elizabeth Files , and Being Bess, another really terrific site, On the Tudor Trail (this link will take you to a post on Hatfield house)

So, you’re visual. Here is a link to a particularly terrific documentary- The Virgin Queen David Starkey (We told you you really can’t go wrong with Starkey)

And after that highbrow educatin’ you earned yourself a nice Horrible Histories bender.

Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England – follow this video (and book) along as historian Ian Mortimer shows what life is like for the non-regal set during this era.

This American Life Fiasco Episode!

Pottage recipe from the Elizabethan era, just like Beckett promised. (And a really interesting site for people who like to eat their way through history!)

Keen eared listeners might remember a very clever letter that we read a few seasons ago from long-time friend, Tom.  He is currently living in Scotland, and offers this interesting addition to the legacy portion of Elizabeth’s story. (We didn’t talk about this during the episode, but link it nonetheless because Tom is a very loyal listener and History Nerd of the highest caliber.) Operation Highlander

And because we like to make Doctor Who references as much as we like to make Harry Potter references…the 1st Doctor visited her, the 10th visited TWICE: once with companion Martha in the Shakespeare Code…and then there was much jubilation when this happened on the 5oth Anniversary special:

I do...what?

End song: “Leaf in the Tree”, by Frozen Ocean Wave

As always, music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com

News!

Posted 1 November 2013 by
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News!!

Posted 1 November 2013 by
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We have received our third Podcast Award Nomination in as many years! Voting starts now and the window is very short- November 1st-15th.

HOW TO VOTE

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PODCAST AWARDS!

Voting is easy and very self explanatory. You get one vote per IP address a day, and a lot of the time you will have to verify your vote ( there was some shenanigans in years past). Check off your favorite shows, add your name, click submit and done.

We will be happily giving our votes to The Satellite Sisters in both the General and People’s Choice categories. If you’ve never listened, you should, it’s a fun podcast by a group of real life sisters who talk about eeeeverything!

And of course, The Bowery Boys, a history podcast so wonderful you don’t have to be in New York to enjoy it. The fellows are in the Travel category and up against a ballot FULL of Disney themed podcasts.

We will be showing our love for these two shows and ask you to vote with us. We not only listen to the podcasts, but the hosts have been very supportive of us behind the scenes since we began.

Suffragists marching costume 1916, which has very little to do with what we are talking about, but it's still cool to see.

From November 1st through the 15, please vote once a day and fill out the ballot carefully!

We won’t nag you, although we will remind you when voting is closing. This is a pretty big deal in our world and getting nominated THREE times has been really amazing to us, But we are wondering… is is third time is the charm? We’re up against some pretty heavy hitters so every vote counts. (when doesn’t it?)

Thank you for the nominations, for voting, for spreading the word to vote, but mostly thank you all for listening.

Beckett and Susan

ONE MORE LINK TO THE PODCAST AWARDS!