Dec 12th, 2019
Here's a free trial you definitely don't want to sign up to... This week we're covering arcane laws, from trial by fire and water, to dealing with ancient arsonists.
Tom kicks us off with a look at some of the medieval ordeals - religious trials against adversity involving fire, water, or sometimes just hanging around a murder victim to see if they'd wake up. The idea was that if they were innocent, God would usually save them. Or sometimes let them die so they could enter heaven. It really was pretty much down to whoever was conducting the trial, to be honest.
Meanwhile Sam takes a look at the Nesilim law code - the laws of the ancient Hittite empire in the Middle East - which covered everything from your sex life (be that with relatives, slaves or pigs) to what to do with someone who burns down your house, and how much you should be paying for shoes. And like all good law codes, it shows that the Hittites had some very specific and slightly disgusting problems.
This week we also gave a shout out to The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong - they are a great podcast and you can find them here or on your app of choice: https://www.constantpodcast.com/
Welcome to That Was Genius: Two blokes. A 12-hour time difference. An immature sense of humour. And 10,000 years of human civilisation. A weekly podcast looking at the weirder side of history.
Join Sam Datta-Paulin (he likes history and lives in Britain) and Tom Berry (he also likes history but lives in New Zealand), for a weekly reflection on the bold, the brilliant... And the downright strange.
From bizarre events and stories to equally odd inventions, barely a day goes by without something incredible (or incredibly stupid) happening around the world.
We upload new episodes every Wednesday night/Thursday morning (UK time).
That Was Genius is produced by Glorious Republic Broadcasting.