Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Show 60 - The Celtic Holocaust
August 11, 2017 6:13 AM - Subscribe

Julius Caesar is our travel guide as he takes us through his murderous subjugation of the native Celtic tribal peoples of ancient Gaul. It sounds vaguely like other, recent European colonial conquests...until the natives nearly win.
posted by Tevin (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A very worthwhile show, but new listeners should be warned that it's an investment: the episode is nearly six hours long!

I'm on the last hour now, and finding it engrossing, even if the run-length provides Carlin with more than a little room to digress into his Shatner-like monologs.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:23 AM on August 11, 2017

You know, I've tried to get into Dan Carlin before, through his ancient Persian history series. I love ancient Iranian history, and I believe I managed to get about two hours in on King of Kings I before my eyes crossed and I gave up. A three or four or God help me, six hour podcast is just way. way. WAY. too long for my attention span. I wish he would issue shorter podcasts and issue them in a longer series. People keep recommending him to me ("You love history!? Hey, you should try Dan Carlin!") and I can't do it. I can't. It makes me sad.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 5:07 AM on August 12, 2017

beatnik, you might try some of his other shows. Over the years I've listened to some large fraction of Carlin's total output, and mostly liked it, but I bounced off the Persian series too. I think his more modern stuff is easier to come to grips with since you have some previous knowledge to help you get situated and give you an idea of why you should care.
posted by Balna Watya at 12:14 AM on August 13, 2017

I wish he would issue shorter podcasts and issue them in a longer series.

Longer series would mean time wasted in recaps and time spent pleading with people to actually listen to them in the right order. Although some natural stopping points or chapter markers would be make them easier to digest. Some of these series should really be audiobooks instead of podcasts, but I think the informal nature of podcasts reinforce his "not a historian" stance and let him be more of a storyteller.

I'm only an hour into this one but am enjoying it so far. This is a part of history I know next to nothing about so I appreciate the amount of time he spends setting up the story and explaining who all the relevant parties are.
posted by Gary at 1:38 AM on August 13, 2017

Yeah, but I'm actually fairly well versed with ancient middle eastern history (I've read a lot about the Assyrians, for example). My interest in listening to hours about WWI or the Cold War is pretty nugatory. I really liked Carlin's super, super early podcasts that were under an hour, like his Alexander the Great one, but I can't deal with any podcasts (and I mean it) once they get over the two hour mark.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 8:30 PM on August 13, 2017

I listen to all of his stuff in one or two hour chunks. The only time I've ever listened for longer than that was on an 7ish hour car ride (Death Throes of the Republic, probably my favorite of his so far). Pause it when your eyes start to cross and hop back in when you want something to listen to.
posted by Tevin at 5:13 AM on August 14, 2017

I tried to do that with the Persian podcast, but I found it almost impossible to get back into the story again after not listening to it for a week or so. I think smaller podcasts would be ideal for someone like me, but chapter marks like in an audiobook-- as suggested upthread-- would help too.

BTW, I just listened to the two-part Pocahontas historical episodes on the otherwise folk-tale-centric "Myths and Legends" podcast, and it was AMAZING. The guy knows how to spin a yarn like no one else, and it was incredibly informative. He split it up into two one-hour podcasts, which was nice, and there was very little recap. I could listen to Jason Weiser for hours.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 4:41 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm a big fan of absurdly long podcasts and I'm a fan (with significant caveats) of Dan Carlin, but I found this show impossible to care about. The Mongols series was fantastic, the WWI series very engaging and worth listening to, and most of the one-offs have been entertaining. . . but I find it impossible to care about any of the subjects of this one. Perhaps I was burned by terrible school lessons as a kid, but if you ask me the Romans and the Celts are in hot competition for least interesting history ever recorded. "Here are five conflicting, poorly documented accounts of specific acts of military valor that are objectively stupid and pointless, but let's try to understand why the long dead cared about them" isn't a narrative I can bring myself to pay attention to.

In short, it's a fine program to listen to while doing other things, 'cause if you get distracted and stop paying attention for and hour it makes absolutely no difference to the experience.
posted by eotvos at 11:52 AM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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