Back in the old days (say, before March 2020), my podcast listening tilted heavily toward current events. For my own mental well-being, that isn’t a good listening diet whilst being at home for weeks on end. So, in addition to my usual handful of sermon podcasts, what’s a guy to listen to? How about stories about people far worse off than ourselves?
Enter the Fall of Civilizations Podcast. Hosted by Paul M. M. Cooper, this podcast takes lengthy (90 minutes to 3 hours) looks at ancient civilizations, what drove them to flourish, and then what caused their downfall. Cooper is a British writer and archivist with a PhD focused on the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His podcast isn’t particularly fancy from a production standpoint – mostly him narrating, occasional voice actors reading historical documents, and some background music – but he delves into the history of great civilizations and brings them to life.
Over the last couple weeks I’ve listened with fascination as Cooper described the fall of the Roman Empire in Britain, the Mediterranean Bronze Age, and the Khmer Empire of medieval Cambodia. (I didn’t get that one in college history class!) There are only ten episodes in total right now, so I only have another 8 or 10 hours of listening left ahead of me, but it’s been quite enjoyable.
If you’ve got an interest in ancient history or in hours of narration by a guy with a nice British accent, it’s worth a try. You can find it on YouTube, SoundCloud, or generally wherever you listen to podcasts.