Astonishing Legends

Hosted ByScott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess

The world is more mysterious than most people are comfortable imagining. We cross paths with the mystical from time to time and may not even notice it. If we do, we quickly return to our usually mundane daily existence. But what if we not only acknowledged the unknown, we investigated it and spoke with those in the know? That’s what co-hosts Scott & Forrest, and their producer Tess Pfeifle do at Astonishing Legends. Over 85 million downloads and hundreds of thousands of listeners have shown that exploring and embracing the wonders of our world can be not only enlightening but exciting. Welcome to Astonishing Legends!

The Pied Piper of Hamelin Part 2

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As with any mysterious event, it’s often said that we should look to the simplest solution as being most likely the right one.  The idea that when presented with competing hypotheses that make the same predictions, the solution with the fewest assumptions should be chosen is usually attributed to the principle of “Occam’s razor.”  But what happens if we try to apply this cure-all of an axiom to explain a medieval legend that has few clues associated with it?  In Part Two of our series on The Pied Piper of Hamelin, we’ll explore several of the leading hypotheses on this bizarre event such as the plague and Murine Typhus, forced emigration, the “Dancing Madness” and ergotism, slavery, the Crusades and even alien abduction.  And if we return to applying “Occam’s razor” to this mystery from the Middle Ages and accept the contemporary accounts?  Then what remains is the disturbing thought that somehow, a nefarious charmer simply used a flute to tragically persuade a large group of children to follow him into oblivion.  They may be lost and their names are forgotten, but they and their Piper shall be forever remembered as one of the most famous legends of all time.

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