The world of podcasts is becoming increasingly trendier and I definitely joined the movement. One of my favorite podcasts is called “Myths and Legends,” and it’s written, hosted, edited, and produced by a married duo named, respectively, Jason and Carissa Weiser.
Jason has covered a variety of multicultural myths that don’t just start with the better-known Greek and Norse mythology, but includes things like Irish, Latin American, Russian, and Japanese myths. He also talks about some better-known stories, like Grimm fairy tales and Arthurian legends. Jason spends a lot of time researching before writing his script and it can really be seen in the quality of these podcasts and some of the episodes also have further reading available on his website if you’re interested in the topic.
One of the first episodes I listened to was about Dracula, covered in episode 50. It covered aspects of the Bram Stoker novel, the historical prince Vlad Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, and the cultural myth of vampires from Eastern Europe. The way he presents this information is funny and engrossing, but also in-depth enough that I actually used it as a starting point for researching a presentation for class about the mystery surrounding the death and burial of Vlad.
I also really like this podcast for the cultural depth it gives by finding fascinating myths that are often overlooked for the more traditional European mythology. Recently, I studied in Ireland, and I was able to listen to episodes about Irish myths while I was there and this summer I will be in Corinth, Greece, so I found episodes that have ties to Corinth as well.
At the end of each episode, Jason highlights creatures of the week, which are strange folklore animals or cryptoid-esque creatures, that don’t have enough of a story to make a full episode about but are very interesting and often unknown. One that has really stuck with me is the Butter Cat, featured in episode 25. I can’t do it justice but, basically, the Butter Cat is a Scandinavian creature that is the protector of butter.
Myths and Legends is a podcast that I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in classical mythology or learning about other cultures through their story telling. It’s witty, informative, and a lot of fun to listen to.
by Sharon Levy