Censorship in Reformation England
The arrival of the printing press on the scene of early modern Europe helped to spread seditious ideas that became the Protestant Reformation. Monarchs across Europe and beyond had to establish new policies governing regarding the publication and distribution of potentially dangerous ideas. In this episode, Lesley describes a few laws designed to keep information under control and shares what might happen when a printer ignored the law to publish radical, challenging ideas.
The Papal Pornocracy
When popes are elected today, the cardinals of the Catholic Church meet in secret conclave. But it wasn't always so. In the 9th through 11th centuries, control of the Chair of St. Peter was fiercely contested between several Roman families, who put their sons, husbands, and lovers on the papal throne. In this episode, we will look at the murders, depositions, orgies, illicit relationships, trials of papal cadavers, and debauched behavior that allegedly characterized this period, as well as the important role played by two Roman noblewomen--Theodora and Marozia Theophylacti--that led some 19th century historians to label this as a "pornocracy."