• Ben

Episode 14: The Year That Was - 561


Francia at Chlothar's death in 561

Hey, welcome back to Thugs and Miracles. As always, I am Benjamin Bernier, and this week we’re going to change things up a little. I know I normally start out with a story of some sort, but today we’re going to recap our history a little and then take a look around the European world of the year 561. Why are we doing this, you ask? If you remember back to our earliest episodes, we started our history around 451 with the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains between Aetius and the Romans and Attila and his Huns. Well, 110 years later, it’s safe to say that a lot has changed! The Western Roman Empire stopped being a thing, the Franks went from being a small tribe in the north of Gaul to being the hottest new kids on the block, and the Goths went from looking like a sure bet to be the next source of power in the region… until they weren’t. In the midst of all of this we have seen four generations of Frankish kings, a timely conversion to Catholicism on the part of Clovis, the first appearances of the Vikings, the beginnings of cross-Channel troubles between the groups in Brittia and the groups on the Continent (which arguably continues in one form or another to this very day…), and we’ve seen more infighting, backstabbing, double-crossing, sea-bull loving, nephew killing and just general silliness than you see in most “normal” histories. Honestly, if I presented all of this as a script to a movie producer, they would tell me that there’s no way this could have happened. But, with maybe the exception of Neptune’s pagan nymph-loving sea-bull, I think we’ve established that most of these stories are true, or at a minimum, at least based in a cohesive cultural and historical narrative.


So anyway, all of the episodes up to this point have brought us here, to the precipice of a new, fifth generation of Merovingians getting ready to ascend to the Frankish throne. We’ll take a good long look at them starting in the next episode, but for now I want us to turn our attention outward, to those who they were fighting with in this early medieval period for power, influence and control. Some of these players – and in particular, the Armoricans – will be small but fiercely proud, unwilling to fall under the yoke of the Franks despite being cornered, outgunned, and outmanned. Other groups, such as the Angles and Saxons, will compete directly with the Franks, but will seek out new lands to conquer as well when it becomes apparent that they won’t be able to expand any further to the west. In the case of the Goths, we’ll see how this once proud group – a faction who any betting person at the beginning of our history would have gladly laid money on to become the next rulers of Gaul – stumbled, divided and then fell. And finally, we’ll look at the colossus of the sixth century, those members of the Roman Empire who didn’t stop considering themselves Roman simply because they had moved capitals, changed languages, and lost control of, you know, Rome. The Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantines, will play into our history for the better part of the next millennium, and their actions will change the strategic calculus for everyone in play at this time.


So that’s the plan for today. By the time we’re done we’ll know who was in play, how they’ll affect the narrative for the Merovingians in the upcoming episodes, and also have a better idea of where they were located at this time. As always, be sure to go the webpage at thugsandmiracles.com for maps and pictures that can help to augment this narrative. Also, I want to be sure to note that the history I’m giving here is just an overview and a scene setter of how these groups interact with the Franks; any and all of the groups we’ll talk about are incredibly fascinating and have a history of their own that can fill books. And believe me, I’ve checked out plenty of them at the library, bookstores and online; I’m still trying to wrap my mind around Celtic culture and its expansion from the top of Scotland to the shores of Spain. Finally, in addition to groups, I’ll also be looking at a couple of concepts in play in this year of 561. In particular I’ll be touching on plagues and pandemics, the ever-expanding role of the Church, and the ongoing disputes between Arians and Catholics, and how these served to alter the decision-making processes of the Frankish Kings, their allies, and their enemies. Alright, without further ado, let’s get started.


This is Thugs and Miracles. Episode Fourteen: The Year That Was: 561.


Alright, alright, alright, let’s jump into the history – but before we do, allow me to give a quick tip of the hat to Elizabeth Lunday and her podcast, The Year That Was, whose name I gratuitously borrowed for this episode’s title. Fortunately, we’re looking at 561 and she’s focused on 1919, so the odds of too much overlap are pretty minimal. But seriously, she produces a great show and does an awesome job of breaking down all of the narratives that were in play and interacting in that single year; believe me, you’ll never look at 1919, Woodrow Wilson, or the 14 Points the same. So check out The Year That Was after you’re done with this episode. Anyway, on to the Armoricans!


Armorica

Long story short, Armorica – soon to be Brittany – is the northwest peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean from the French mainland. As of 561, the region was an autonomous entity; the Franks, while having had some run-ins with the Bretons, would forego any attempts to overrun and hold the region, leaving it as a political island physically isolated by Francia on one side and the ocean on the other.


If you listened to my recent bonus episode on Procopius, you heard me quote the Byzantine scholar on his impressions of tribal interactions in Brittia – modern-day England. You’ll recall that some of his writings were a tad off in their general concept of geography at this time, but still, these allow a bit of insight into what was potentially happening at this time. Anyway, I offer the following quote as a recap to set the scene for this episode; please remember, when Procopius talks about Brittia he is talking about modern-day England. When he talks about Britain – and this can be a bit confusing – he is actually talking about the French region that we now refer to as Brittany. From Procopius:


“Britain lies to the west about in line with the extreme end of Spain… Brittia is towards the rear of Gaul, that side namely which faces the ocean, being, that is, to the north of both Spain and Britain… The island of Brittia is inhabited by three very numerous nations, each having one king over it. And the names of these nations are Angili, Frissones, and Brittones, the last being named from the island itself. And so great appears to be the population of these nations that every year they emigrate thence in large companies with their women and children and go to the land of the Franks. And the Franks allow them to settle in the part of their land which appears to be more deserted, and by this means they say they are winning over the island.”


Alright, let’s get to unpacking this. First off, as I said a few moments ago, geography wasn’t really Procopius’s strong point. Brittany is clearly a peninsula, not an island; however, given the peninsula’s traditional independent attitude and the fact that it was almost certainly being described to Procopius by Frankish emissaries sent to Constantinople, it’s possible to see how the area could be imagined as being set apart from the rest of France as an island of sorts. In this case it’s a political island, and this serves to reinforce the notion of Armorica/Brittany as a very headstrong and independent area. Anyway, going back to Brittia for a moment, we know that at this point in time that the Angles and the Saxons were moving across the Channel and into Brittia proper. Their encroachment and subsequent spreading seems to have acted as a catalyst for many of the Brittones, or Bretons, to exfil Brittia; having enjoyed traditional trade routes and cultural ties with the Armoricans that went back centuries, it appears that’s one of the places where the Bretons headed – hence the Procopius line of “the Franks allow them to settle in the part of their land which appears to be more deserted.” Before I go too much further here, I want to give another tip of the hat to The History Files website: the project put forth on that site offers some great maps to visualize the Anglo-Saxon encroachment of Britain, and I’ll be sure to include their information in the show notes, the transcript for this episode, and in the my list of sources on the Thugs and Miracles website. They also offer a ton of information on Celtic cultures, which is awesome and wickedly interesting, but beyond the scope of our current history. If you’re a fan and want to know more, you need to check out this site.


Back to Procopius: he’s likely mistaken about Armorica being deserted, simply because the Franks relaying the story never spent much time there and therefore probably thought it was just so much wasteland. Armorica was filled with Bretons and getting more full by the day, to the point that the peninsula would gradually became more associated with their name than the Roman moniker of Armorica; hence, Brittany. Anyway these Bretons, while newly arrived into Francia, were not going to stay quiet long. In the last episode I told you about Chonoober, a count of the Bretons, who joined forces with King Chlothar’s son Chramn in an ill-fated insurrection. Well, a little more research shows that Chonoober didn’t take part in the revolt out of some sort of idealism. Rather, it appears that he had emigrated from Britain in the first half of the sixth century and built a castle at Carhaix, in the newly founded principality of Poher. He eventually developed a rivalry amongst his peers, a rivalry that required him to look for outside military support – hence his teaming up with Childebert and Chramn. This would probably have worked out well for him if Childebert hadn’t died, but, Childebert did; such are the vagaries of armed conflict and short lifespans. Chonoober would eventually die in the same battle that felled Chramn, but the Bretons as a whole remained. As I said, Chonoober was a rival of much of the leadership, and these leaders likely would have had ties to King Chlothar. Because of this, despite the uprising, the Franks either didn’t want to or physically couldn’t subdue the Brittany peninsula, and the area remained independent from direct Frankish control.


This situation of a largely independent Brittany would remain as such for nearly 1,000 years, until 1532, when the Union Treaty of Vannes – known as the 'Everlasting Union' – was signed. This created a permanent union between Brittany and France, although even then the two entities would continue to be regarded as separate countries. It was actually only in 1792, with the French Revolution, that the Duchy of Brittany would be said to have no legal authority (it was a bad time for the French aristocracy in general), and the area was considered to be a part of the larger French Republic. Anyway, returning to 561, Armorica/Brittany will enter into the picture multiple times in our story due to its independent nature and outside influences hoping to gain a beachhead against the Franks through the wooing of their leaders. In this way, Brittany will pose problems for the French monarchy in much the same way that Scotland will pose problems for England. However, as of 561, the region’s influence against the Franks is relatively small and likely not considered worth the blood and treasure the Frankish kings would need to expend to completely overwhelm and subdue it, so for now it will just kind of be there, a potent reminder that the Merovingian Dynasty was strong – but not invincible, and assimilation was not always a foregone conclusion, especially in the near-term.


Saxony

Moving to the east and on to the Saxons; when we last saw this Germanic tribe in 555, they were unafraid to step in, constantly confusing and confounding the Frankish henchmen under the command of King Chlothar. Charles Oman told us of Chlothar that when “he led his host into the unexplored woods and moors of Saxony he suffered such a terrible defeat that he was fain to flee behind the Rhine and cover himself by the walls of Koln.” Sending the Franks, the rising and seemingly inevitable hegemonic power of Western Europe, running for cover is an impressive enough feat, but consider this: The Saxons were doing this while their forces were divided. You see, at this time the area referred to as Saxony was not the same as the area called Saxony today. Today’s Saxony is a state in eastern Germany, sitting on the border alongside the Czech Republic and Poland. In the 6th century, Saxon encampments lied along the North Sea coast of what is nowadays the Netherlands and Germany.


Anyway, starting in the 5th century – and coinciding with the contraction of the Western Roman Empire – Saxons began to migrate from the continent up to Britain. The native Bretons had more or less aligned themselves with the Romans, and excuse me for greatly generalizing here, but they had basically become used to their situation. They were aligned with the Romans, protected by the Romans, and had access to all the markets of Europe because of the Romans. So, when those same Romans decided to up and leave in a relatively short amount of time, well, the Bretons were one of the groups to pay the heaviest toll for this. The tribes of the Picts and Scots – groups the Romans had kept largely at bay; think Hadrian’s Wall – started pushing south, and the Britons needed help to resist. They invited the Saxons in to help them, only to realize that they had just allowed the fox into the hen house (by the way, remember this theme as we go on: Poor choices in alliances resulting in unintended consequences. This will certainly not be the last time this comes up). The Saxons came in, liked what they saw – and realized that the Britons were in pretty poor shape to stop them from taking what they wanted. Word got back to the Continent that there was good farmland to be had – much better than the Scandinavian fields that constantly flooded – and it was only a matter of time before the trickle of immigrants into Britain became a full-on flood. In many ways the remnants of this immigration can still be seen today. The Britons were pushed west, ultimately into the lands we today refer to as Wales and Cornwall. The Scots ended up in – you guessed it – Scotland, and the Angles and Saxons settled down to run the rest of the island.


So let’s bring this back to 561 and the Franks. The Saxons were a strong, militaristic group that had the ability to stand up to, and even at times to defeat, the Franks. But they were compelled, for multiple, sensical reasons, to start moving across the Channel and into an area that provided them with a path of much less resistance than remaining on the Continent. Instead of fighting to get their slice of the pie from a stronger, larger challenger and risking the possibility of, you know, losing, they chose to head north and west to an area that offered a much safer bet. In this way they serve as a sort of placeholder for us to use to represent the many smaller groups on the Continent who were forced, due to the expansion of the Franks, to assimilate with other groups or find different places to live. We obviously know that the Angles joined the Saxons in Britain, and we know from our earlier episodes that groups like the Thuringians and Burgundians had ultimately fallen under the Frankish banner. In 561, the choices facing these groups truly were existential: they could assimilate, move to different areas, or they could try their luck with resistance. Many groups would get largely snuffed out, such as the Heruli, the Frisians and the Alemanni.


Goths:

Alright, we’ve taken a look at the west and the small pocket of resistance in Brittany, and we’ve taken a look at the north and the near east and the decisions facing smaller groups in the face of Frankish growth and hegemony. So, let’s now look to the south and two groups who have already jumped into our history time and again: the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, or collectively, the Goths. These groups, who’s root name essentially tells us their location, have occupied the areas that we now know as Spain and Italy. The Visi (or West) Goths lied to the south of Francia and, with the exception of Septimania in what is today the Narbonne and Montpelier region of France, were behind the Pyrenees, whereas the Ostro (or Eastern) Goths lied behind the Alps.


The last time we really looked at the Visigoths was in 507, the year in which Clovis led a successful military force against them in Vouillé and dislodged the group from their capital in Toulouse. Prior to this, the group had been the preeminent force in Gaul; afterwards, they would never regain a foothold, with the exception of Septimania, north of the Pyrenees. Now, the Visigoths and Franks didn’t stay angry with one another simply because they had fought together in the past. They would of course take shots at one another because, as we know of this time and era, it was seemingly impossible to live next to someone without trying to take their stuff. Childebert and Chlothar made a foray into the Visigothic Kingdom in 542, But as we learned from historian Walter Perry in the last episode, “The object of this invasion was simply predatory, the Franks soon after retired into Gaul with immense booty, and the Goths resumed possession of their devastated country.” But the Franks also intermarried with the Visigoths, such as when Clotilde the Younger, daughter of Clovis and Clotilde the Elder, married King Amalaric in the mid-520s. Their relationship was a mess, what with religious differences between Nicene orthodoxy and Arianism coming between the couple, and an eventual falling out that resulted, unsuccessfully, in Clotilde being rescued from the Visigoths, but there at least was an attempt at a marriage alliance to calm the situation. Clotilde died as she was en route back home – we’re not sure what she died of – and Amalaric is reported by Isadore of Seville to have been murdered by his own men after he retreated to Barcelona; clearly the use of marriage alliances needed a bit of practice, but they did at least try. The Franks and Visigoths would try a dynastic alliance again in 567, when the daughters of King Athanagild – Brunhilda and Galswintha – married Kings Sigebert and Chilperic, respectively. I’ll go so far as to say that these attempts at dynastic alliance turn out differently than the marriage of Clotilde and Amalaric, but as you’ll soon see from our history, I wouldn’t say that the attempts turned out better…


At any rate, this is where we are in 561, insofar at least as it concerns Frankish-Visigothic relations. The two groups had fairly clear boundaries and seemed to accept one another as neighbors. Or perhaps the Visigoths did mind, but simply didn’t have the time to worry about the Franks. You see, the Visigoths were having what was essentially a civil war, with their leaders Agila and Athanagild fighting it out in Hispania for control of the region. This is particularly significant to our history because Athanagild decided to sell his soul, in a manner of speaking, to the Byzantines in order to receive their help in his bid for power (remember how I told you to remember the theme of bad alliances?). The Byzantines, who I promise we’ll get to in just a few moments, were being led at this time by Justinian. Justinian was in the process of trying to reclaim the former glory – and the attendant lands - of the West by pushing his military out from his capital in Constantinople. Well, for Justinian, the chance to be invited onto the Iberian Peninsula and not have to fight his way onto a beachhead was more than he could have ever hoped for, and he took Athanagild up on his offer to fight on his side against Agila. Athanagild would win, but the devil always takes his due. Justinian and the Byzantines didn’t have the good manners to leave after the fighting was over, and by 561 they held a province on the Peninsula which they called Spania. Athanagild would keep trying to push them out right up until his death in 567, but the Byzantines would not ultimately leave their Iberian possessions until 624.


Byzantine Empire

So this Visigoths were suffering their own issues down in Hispania, but the Ostrogoths – they had to be doing better, right? They held Italy, they had Rome and Ravenna, and they had one of the great leaders of the era on their side in the form of Theodoric the Great. Except… Theodoric died in 526, and was replaced by his 10-year-old grandson Athalaric. It would have been hard enough for anyone to take the place of a leader who had truly earned the moniker of “the Great,” but a 10-year-old with competing factions vying for control of his regency definitely was not going to have any chance in this situation. Things went downhill quickly from this point: Athalaric died by before he turned 18, and his mother/regent Amalasuntha looked to strengthen her position by tying herself to – drumroll please – Justinian! She also named her cousin Theodahad as a co-ruler, even though they were on different sides of the political spectrum. She thought this would show how open-minded she was, but as we’ve seen time and time again in our history, progressive political stances almost never worked at this time. Within a year of the elevation, Amalasuntha would be arrested, exiled, and murdered in her bathtub. This faux pas opened the door for Justinian who, as we already noted, was just looking for reasons to expand and re-take the holdings of the former Western Roman Empire. He used the murder of Amalasuntha as an excuse to launch an invasion of Italy and begin what would become known to history as the Gothic Wars.


Long story short, the Gothic Wars saw Justinian’s Byzantine forces almost completely wrap up fighting in Italy in about five years. Except, I said “almost.” A series of unfortunate events happened for the Byzantines at around this same time, to include a distracting war in Persia and an outbreak of plague in Constantinople circa 542 that became so bad that, according to Procopius, it was killing up to 10,000 people a day in the capital. This plague would become known to history as the Plague of Justinian, and while it’s an interesting topic in and of itself, the key takeaways for our story are that the Byzantines, at the exact moment they can least afford it, are hit with a crunch in both hard cash and manpower. Justinian was spending an outrageous amount of money on his military endeavors and cultural hallmarks – he built the Hagia Sophia at around this same time, a wonderful piece of architecture, but also a pricy one – and the plague slowed down his income. It also slowed down the pool of people from whom he could call on to go out and fight for him. With resources dwindling, no reserves on the way, and an army tired from five years of fighting in a distant land, the Byzantines were ripe for a counterattack, and that’s exactly what happened. The Goths rallied and fought back, and it would be another 15 years before the Byzantines were finally able to finish their conquest of Italy.


Of course, if you remember back a few episodes, you’ll also remember that it was during the Gothic Wars that the Franks tried to take advantage of both sides having weakened themselves. Remember what historian Julius von Pflugk-Harttungtold us about the 538 Frankish invasion:


“It was certainly the policy of the Merovingians to prefer the neighborhood of kindred Germans to that of the Byzantines and to prolong the war till both parties weakened themselves, and then to fish in the troubled waters… Theudebert crossed the Alps with a strong force, apparently in alliance with the Goths. No sooner did he feel himself on solid ground than he attacked them and their enemies in common, subdued a large portion of North Italy, and pressed forward into the district of Ravenna.”


Theudebert was able to win a good portion of Northern Italy by playing one side against the other, and it was only disease that kept him from pressing further. He was left struggling to maintain a hold on the peninsula, and after his death it was his son’s advisors that were among those wiped out in 553 by the Byzantine general Narses. This returned the Franks back to their natural borders on the other side of the Alps; the Franks didn’t return to face the Byzantines, and the Byzantines didn’t press further into Gaul. And this is the state of play in our year of focus, 561. The Byzantines, the “winners” of the Gothic Wars, were so depleted and the countryside of Italy so destroyed that they were ripe to get picked off by someone. Enter the Longobards, or as I’ll refer to them from here on in, the Lombards.


Multiple things served to make the Lombards a ready foil to the Byzantines. For one, they were quite literally their next-door neighbors once the Byzantines claimed control of all of Italy. The Lombards were just to the north of this border, and as we’ve noted repeatedly on this show, it’s just impossible to share a border with someone, to see them struggling, and then not immediately pounce on the opportunity presented by another’s ill fortune. Besides the border, the Lombards were an Arian group, while the Byzantines were firmly Nicene Christians. The difference in actual faith and practice between these two groups was relatively minor – Arians believed God the Father was superior to Jesus, whereas the Niceans believed Father and Son were co-equal – but this fairly benign-sounding point of theology was all it took for either side to claim the other as heretical, and set the parties on a murderous path. A third reason, beyond religion and proximity, as to why the Lombards moved south could have been little more than following the path of least resistance. Another group in the area, the Avars, was growing in strength and pushing against the Lombards, uprooting the group. As they looked for places to go, the beat-down territory of Italy, held by the depleted and demoralized Byzantine “winners,” would have appeared to them as mana from heaven. Finally, the Lombards may have come into Italy under much the same circumstances that the Byzantines originally entered into Hispania: they were invited in and then never left. Paul the Deacon wrote that Narses had had a falling out with Justinian, forcing him to seek out military support to secure his own position. Historian Neil Christie notes that this writing is a little suspect, and argues instead that the Lombards may have been invited into Italy simply as a hold force and as a group who could begin to repopulate the depopulated lands. He notes that no historical texts claim the invasion of the Lombards as being exactly that: an invasion. If the group had come across the mountains, screaming and with weapons in hand, it stands to reason that someone would have recorded this callous act, but no one does. No matter which of these reasons, or mix thereof, is ultimately the “correct” answer, Christie gets it right when he notes, “Whatever the cause, the effect was that Italy was submerged once more in bitter warfare.”


CONCLUSION: So there you have it: the year that was 561, Western European edition. Just to recap: the Armoricans/Bretons are forming pockets of resistance on the Brittany Peninsula in the northwest; multiple Germanic tribes to the east are being pulled under the Frankish banner as the group continues to expand out, leading some, such as the Angles and Saxons, to explore and exploit areas such as Britain; the Visigoths are suffering from infighting and can’t get the Byzantines to just go away and leave them alone in Hispania; the Ostrogoths, thanks to those same Byzantines, are completely gone from the scene in Italy in what has to be one of history’s most shocking falls from power; and the Byzantines, the Eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinople, are at the height of their re-conquest of the West, making them look very formidable, where in reality, they’re overstretched, underfunded, and short on manpower, leaving them exposed to external conquests that will begin in earnest with the Lombards in just a few years.


The Franks themselves are undergoing a transfer of power in this year, as Chlothar the Old finally dies and leaves the Kingdom to his four children. That Kingdom is starting to look pretty familiar, as it fills out the natural borders that define France to this day: the Pyrenees in the south along with the Med, the Atlantic Ocean and English Channel defining the west and north, the Rhine River forming a border to the east, and the Alps shaping the southeast. Now mind you, these borders are going to ebb and flow continually over time, as people are loath to give up claims on land based on the idea of a natural border defining a nation-state. The region of Alsace-Lorraine in the northeast of France, for example, was an area of dispute all the way up through the 20th century. At any rate, when we look at a map we can start to see the shape of France as we know it today coming together.


Finally, as we get ready to get back to the history in 561, remember to note the effects of certain concepts that will pop up continually as we go along: the unpredictable notion of diseases, pandemics and plague and how it affected governments and their war fighting capabilities; the ongoing issues between Arians and Catholics, and how the Church continues to consolidate power and respectability, particularly through monasticism; and finally, the relative insularity that Francia enjoys due to those natural borders I mentioned just a moment ago. Typically, the people the Franks are up against are known quantities such as the Goths or Byzantines; soon enough, races and groups that had to have looked and seemed to have been from a different world will enter our story, making indelible impacts on everyone from common farmers and soldiers, right up to the King. Learning how to react to, interact with and, if necessary, fight with invading groups like the Vikings and the Muslims will craft the backbone of many episodes yet to come.


OUTRO: Alright, as always, the music used for the show comes from Josh Woodward and includes his songs “Bully” and “Lafayette.” For a free download of these songs or hundreds of other great tracks, check out his site at joshwoodward.com. Notes on this episode, a list of sources, a monarchy/family tree, and much more is available online at thugsandmiracles.com; check it out and be sure to sign up for the e-mail list. Speaking of email, you can write to me at thugsandmiracles@gmail.com, you can hit me on Twitter at @thugsandmiracle (with no “s” on the end), or you can leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram at @ThugsAndMiracles.


As a final note, I’d like to say thanks to many of the great podcasts that influenced this episode. I’ve already mentioned The Year That Was, but I really can’t say enough about it; I should also mention The History of Rome, Mike Duncan’s initial pre-Revolutions podcast; The Fall of Rome by Patrick Wyman; the History of Byzantium by Robin Pierson; The History of the British Isles by Henry Delap-Smith, and Jamie Jeffers’ British History Podcast. Additionally, Sebastian Major of Our Fake History did some really fun episodes on British and Scottish myth making with his looks at King Arthur and the movie Braveheart. His whole show is awesome and I recommend his entire catalogue, but if you want to start with these episodes they are episodes 85-87 for King Arthur and episode 13 for Braveheart. Finally, our old friend Dan Carlin is masterful, as always, in his Hardcore History episode The Celtic Holocaust. All of these really wonderful podcasts go into much greater depth about their respective subject matter, and I invite you to give any and all of them a listen. Be sure to show support not just toThugs and Miracles, but to all of these great independent podcasts. No matter how you support us – whether its financial, spreading word-of-mouth and leaving reviews, or just by simply tuning in – it makes the endeavor worthwhile for all of us.

Okay, once again, my name is Benjamin Bernier, and I look forward to seeing you in two weeks as we begin a new generation of kings in our next episode of Thugs and Miracles.

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