Description

This podcast is an introduction to Anglophone literature, from ancient times to the present, done by a Ph.D. with lots of books and musical instruments. A typical episode offers a summary of a work, or part of a work of literature, followed by some historical analysis. The episodes include original music, some comedy songs, and goofy jokes. You can listen to the shows in any order, although from time to time, episodes will make brief mention of previous or upcoming ones.

Customer Reviews

Probably the best podcast in existence to date

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Chris (middle Britain)
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2020-11-29
I’ve listened to a lot of history podcasts (as well as uncountable TV documentaries) and I know my way around literature too so I bring some experience to the assessment that this is better than everything else I’ve yet come across by quite a comfortable margin.
This Doug is an amazing intellect who should inspire you with the loathing of envy for being so far superior to anything you could aspire to, but instead you only get admiration and gratitude.
His ability to comprehend and unbelievable capacity to communicate is laced with a warmth and all-embracing humanity that leaves me basking in each instalment
If I seem too ready with the superlatives it is because I trained in sarcasm, but for once they all just seem apt
Please, please keep it up

Phenomenal!

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CharZhao
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2020-11-16
This podcast is a rare find. For what seems to be an independent podcast, the production quality is superb, and Doug's delivery is perfect for a podcast like this. Highly entertaining and educational, and if you don't listen to this, you're missing out. This'll be big one day so don't miss out :)

Brilliant, informative, interesting

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Katyak11
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2020-09-26
One of the best podcasts I’ve ever come across, fascinating and expansive, starting with Sumerian civilisation and then offering a panorama of the ancient world through the literature of each culture. He makes each episode informative but also entertaining- I love his witty remarks and his playful songs at the end of each episode (who could ever have imagined a podcast featuring a song about immortal eyebrows!). I recommend this podcast to people all the time. Quite brilliant.

flipping brilliant

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snib wei
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2020-09-07
I'd mainly like to say a slightly awe-struck 'thank you' for making such amazing podcasts. I studied as an aerospace engineer and have worked in maths and scienec ever since. I stumbled across this podcast series. I think it's flipping brilliant

Sheer brilliance!

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bjane527
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2020-07-27
Can’t thank this historian/literary genius enough for such great entertainment during lockdown and beyond. This new found knowledge about Egyptian, Greek, bible history and beyond has been really embedded by its use of short quizzes and comedic songs. The podcaster is a huge talent. A big thank you Doug!

25 hours in and still loving it...

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hutheringwights
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2020-06-11
This is simply fabulous, detailed, thoughtful, insightful. Strongly recommended. (Doug - thank you, me and my 16 year old son are both slurping up your excellent podcast. Fab to have something substantial to discuss in lockdown - and puts our own 'interesting times' into perspective. )

Absolutely brilliant

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Rbousso
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2020-06-02
I discovered this brilliant podcast looking for a way to pass the lockdown. I discovered a w
wealth and knowledge and entertainment that I only wished I had 20 years ago.

Incredible story-telling (and educational!)

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Mtb2345c
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2020-05-03
Just discovered this and working my way through. Fantastic story telling, love every historical detour and incredible literary span..
Would recommend this to anyone with even a hint of literary interest. This podcast will draw anyone in.

Fantastic podcast

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Anna7716
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2020-03-11
Love listening to these episodes. Their production is so carefully thought through and delivered with gusto

Absolutely Brilliant

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Dar dar 2001
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2020-02-10
Love to listen to this podcast, such a fun an engaging take on ancient literature.
I especially love that I can go to a lecture on say Homer, Aeschylus, Catullus or Cicero and feel as if I already know what’s going on.
As long as episodes are being released I shall be a keen listener ✨

My favourite podcast

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sassqh
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2020-01-20
Makes me laugh and makes my head feel real big. Top lit history podcast

Excellent

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SammyJJJJ
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2019-11-26
Detailed, cogent, full of insight. Also: fun!

Incredibly insightful, entertaining, original and thorough.

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Ulf F
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2019-07-07
The attention to detail and the quality of the production is fantastic. I can’t recommend this podcast highly enough.

Literature and History

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Morgause
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2019-06-13
Covers two of my favourite subjects in an informative but approachable way.

Really, Really Good

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Chester Lady
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2019-05-22
I love this type of “academic” podcast (thank you to whoever invented podcasts) and this is one of the best. The podcast is both broad and deep and I am learning so much.

Brilliant and Addictive

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JCT in UK
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2019-03-30
The only downside is it is so good you will get through the already extensive material and get impatient for more.
If only he tutored on the side.

Fantastic

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Jbarter
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2019-02-24
Two years have passed since I discovered this podcast and two times over I have listened to it from start to finish. (yes, including the bonus content)
Doug has a fresh and intriguing personality which helps unpack the dense history of literature in a fun, user friendly way.
Can’t say enough about this podcast. Highly, highly recommend to anyone with a curiosity for the past.
Thank you Doug!

One of the best podcasts out there

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Sicumera
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2019-01-28
Deep, thorough, fun. I started listening to podcasts because they helped me fall asleep, this is the podcast that made me change that, I cannot miss one word, I am completely hooked. Do yourself a favour and subscribe.

Engaging and detailed

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Caversham heights
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2019-01-24
Discovered this podcast via a friend (both of us museum curators in England, and I have an archaeological background), and am loving it so far. I’ve started at the bible chapters just because, and have found it really even-handed. I enjoy the way Doug draws in sources from all kinds of historical periods and places to illustrate each point, and I enjoy the poetic way he reads the extracts. Also, who doesn’t listen to the (superb and hilarious) songs?!

So interesting and informative

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MonsterFreakxxx
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2018-12-20
Everything a history podcast should be - solid scholarship made even more interesting by excellent presentation, leading to wanting to explore the original sources further. So many excellent translations out there. Thank you, Doug.

One of the best

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ScottishStu101
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2018-11-17
What a fantastic podcast. The breadth of knowledge Doug displays is awe inspiring. His knowledge pales in comparison however to his ability to entertain. From his range of characters voices to his amazing original songs he brings these ancient stories to life and engrains them in the listers mind. A truly fascinating , staggering, wonderful piece of work.

Best history podcast there is

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haggar85
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2018-10-24
Doug strikes the perfect balance between making difficult(but very interesting) topics accessible and fun whilst losing none of the gravitas of the original material. I cannot recommend this highly enough (and the parody songs at the end are great as well)

Brilliant - definitely subscribe

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Psiron
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2018-10-23
My favourite podcast I'm binging. Highly recommended.

Can’t imagine a better podcast

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otakufamitsu
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2018-09-06
I’m walking everywhere just so I can listen. Thank you! Also makes me laugh.

No time to read

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No_to_read
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2018-09-04
Amazing podcast. I have little time to read these days with kids and work but this podcast let’s me enjoy learning again without giving up time. It is such an informative and entertaining podcast, and the format makes it easy to get on with your day while listening. I never leave comments on sites or product reviews but felt so compelled to do so here. Thank you!

Superb!

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PodShireLass
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2018-08-06
This podcast is just great - I have learned so much. The fun songs at the end of the educational stuff make my day!

Astonishing

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Goblinface
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2018-08-01
An absolutely incredible body of work (already - I'm less than 25 episodes in!) that beggars belief at the amount of research that goes into each episode. I only started listening 2 weeks ago (I'm a delivery driver so I'm in an advantageous position as regards podcast consumption), but I'm hooked already. Entertaining, informative, funny, and sometimes profound, Doug Metzger should be incredibly proud of what he has achieved thus far. Can't recommend this enough!

Incredibly good!!

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Lancer C.
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2018-06-17
In the last half year, I have listened to the first 25 episodes, which cover the Sumerian myths, the ancient Egyptian literature, Hesiod, Homer and the Old Testament. As other comments have mentioned, I think this means something in itself.
What I want to emphasize is that I’m a Chinese student doing a degree in English Literature. At first, I referred to this show just for practicing my listening. But after a while of listening, I found the show so fascinating that I began to focus on the content. Though a non-native speaker, the delivery is clear and interesting enough for me to follow, and I choose to listen to each episode twice both for a firmer understanding and for pure enjoyment. The content is not complex, but rich and insightful; it suits beginners and fans perfectly, but I do believe even those who have fairly good knowledge of literature can still get benefits from it. I am also astonished by Metzger’s wide knowledge on literature and ancient civilizations. In general, I think the show is no less good (I’m being moderate as I think it’s even better) than some academic books on literary history I have read. It made me sad when I heard in some 20th episode that the show was at the last page in iTunes ; it certainly deserves more attention and spread, and I hope things are better now. Though I hardly rate or comment shows or programs, this show is incredibly good and I do want to recommend it to my friends and anyone whoever is interested in literature. And also great thanks to Metzger and your efforts!

Thanks

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trishfromoldham
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2018-06-13
Love this podcast....just dipped in for the bible episodes.....now hooked and find myself fascinated on Greek literature. So good that someone like myself...middle aged and not particularly well educated can learn so much! Thanks for sharing your knowledge x

Excellent

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philmids
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2018-04-13
I've now listened to the first 17 episodes. That's about 25 hours of quality podcast entertainment. Doug Metzer takes an irreverent but scholarly look at world literature from the very beginning. He gives us a summary of the narrative followed by analysis and interpretation. Taking a historicist angle, his approach is exactly what I like. I'm looking forward to the next 25 hours!

An absolute Joy

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dr john rendle
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2018-03-23
As someone interested in ancient history, the classics and literature, this is just such a fabulous podcast. Quirky, mildly irritating at times but always intelligent, well researched, fun and hugely educational. Truly amazing! This is the sort of high quality valuable educational show that highlights what the internet should be used for.
Dr John Rendle

Labour of Love

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legatrix
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2018-02-17
Well, this is the first time I have been compelled to review a podcast and I listen to a fair few. I think that speaks for itself. I read that Metzger puts dozens of hours into the reading, and dozens more into preparing the podcast itself. It really shows. Excellent stuff. His techniques of using little jingles, verbal motifs, character voices etc. are not only aesthetically pleasing but they really help to anchor stories, themes and even details in one's mind. He also manages to be consistently funny, usually without overdoing it, and without sounding supercilious either. The learned witticisms are just accessible enough, and the pop-culture witticisms are just learned enough. This must be a very, very tough balance to strike.
One tiny criticism would be that Metzger sometimes gives idiosyncratic pronunciations to names (I noticed this in the Odyssey episodes in particular), but that's no biggie since multiple English pronunciations often exist anyway.
If I could have one addition to the podcast it would be presentations of interesting phenomena in the languages of the older texts, but I'm biased there as a linguist.

Absolutely amazing!

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fellotraveller
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2018-01-16
After 40 episodes and some 80 hours I still can't get my head around what an astonishing piece of work this is.
I am a podcast junkie, but I've never found anything that comes remotely as close to the ideal in terms of breadth of content, research, humor, producion values, and humility mixed with evident passion for the subject. The idea that I'm only(!) up to the Roman Republic and thinking of everything yet to come fills me with glee!
If you like classical literature, subscribe. If you like history, subscribe. If you like literature and history, find a job with longer commute times, you're going to savor them!

Entertaining, Educational, Incredible

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Littlehelyer
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2017-11-30
This is hands-down the VEST podcast series I have listened to—and I stumbled upon entirely by mistake.
The presenter (so humble that I’m 20-hours in and couldn’t tell you his name!) is an inspired educator, entertaining, endearing, and insightful! Never could I imagine ancient history would be so entertaining.
The series covers all the greatest pieces of literature to give you an in-depth knowledge and understanding of them, while keeping your attention with scores of original music and songs.
I could not recommend it highly enough.

Don't skip the songs!

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sarah q h
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2017-11-15
Funny but oh so interesting. It's revitalised my love for ancient lit. Thank you!!

Superb podcast

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GunnarLondon
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2017-11-02
Doug’s podcast clearly stands out. I’m not a literature freak and more interested in the history aspects, but he managed to get me truly interested in the literature side as well. His episodes are so well done that I even ventured outside the time periods I am usually interested in most and instead I simply await eagerly any new episode he publishes.
Doug has real academic depth and uniquely combines it with an ability to narrate and keep the story interesting even for non-experts. Highly recommended.

Fabulous!

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Efg17
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2017-10-01
Wonderfully entertaining - some serious scholarship delivered in a very digestible manner, leavened with humour and music. Thank you Doug!

What a pleasure!

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BrooklynBrighton
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2017-09-24
Literature + History:
The whole is so much greater than sum of its parts.
I’ve always loved both literature and history. Doug uses each to enhance and enrich one’s appreciation of the other.

Really well done

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Athenian-Hoplite
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2017-08-13
The episodes are well structured to keep things interesting and to build up a sort of suspense along a theme. Also the sound effects are pretty cool and can take you to different places such as ancient mesopotamia.

Extremely engaging

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Seamus Spider
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2017-06-23
This is a great podcast. Mr Metzger manages to simultaneously entertain and educate, combining a zany sense of humour with in-depth textual interpretation, and an impressive knowledge of contemporary literature and of the historical significance of a series of canonical literary works.
It doesn't sound like it should be fun, but it is.

Brilliant

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Aaaaabbbbbbbcccccccdddddddd
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2017-05-18
The Odyssey and Iliad podcasts have been a massive help to classical civilisations studying! Thank you!

HA

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BecclesA
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2017-04-05
Informative and funny; what more could you want?

Brilliant and compelling

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AmandaJFrostUK
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2017-02-12
Wow, what an amazing podcast. Scholarly yet accessible and funny, this is a "must listen" for anyone interested in the history of literature. I'm hooked!

Excellent stuff

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Odysseus' Tunic
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2017-02-01
This is a fantastic podcast. Informative, funny and thought provoking. Not only does it describe the work in question, but contextualises using relavent historical settings. Not mention the songs... The Trojan War rap battle especially!

Awesome

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Strongmanjohn
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2017-01-23
By far and away a brilliant and well crafted podcast. A podcast that is so well written it will appeal to anybody who has a interest in the ancient history of the near east.

Loving it

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Zombie the Buffet Slayer
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2016-12-12
I've long been shamefully ignorant about "classical literature", always considering it to be a bit dull and dry. Well, I was wrong, it's not. Doug Metzger makes a fantastic job of bringing the tales of antiquity to life and relating them to the world in which they were created. Plus they are marvelously entertaining, enough to keep a simpleton like me enthralled. I find myself thinking about them for days afterwards. Cheers Doug, keep up the good work!

This could be very big

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StephenJHarrison
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2016-08-16
It is still early days but this podcast has all of the hallmarks of a cult classic in waiting. Good research, thought provoking but easy to listen to, a really individual presentation. Certainly deserves to flourish.

Astonishing but Accessible

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No. 1 SFG Fan
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2016-08-01
This literary podcast takes the beginning of written literature as its starting point and heads off from there - a project massive in scope but impressive in detail.
When I saw that this podcast was going to have TEN hour and a half long episodes devoted solely to the Old Testament I thought to myself "Ok, defs just listen to the Homer episodes and move onto something else", but I'm completely hooked.
Contemporary historical information makes already fascinating texts even more emotive (the watch towers at Lakish! The fires going out! So much emotion!) and LaH Guy (aka Doug Metzger) clearly speaks not only from incredible personal knowledge but an incredible depth of research.
This podcast never takes itself too seriously, but also never underestimates its listeners. I have huge affection for it, and can't wait to follow the texts all the way up to the 21st Century!!

Awesome

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PlatoBanter
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2016-06-25
Plato banter. That's all that needs to be said. This is absolutely awesome stuff! So addictive... Like I won't know what to do with my life if it ever finishes...