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The History of Rome

  1. The Storm Before The Storm: Chapter 1- The Beasts of Italy2017/07/27

    Audio excerpt from The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Mike Duncan. Forthcoming Oct. 24, 2017. Pre-order a copy today!

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  2. Revolutions Launch2013/09/16

    Available at revolutionspodcast.com, iTunes, or anywhere else fine podcasts can be found.
  3. Update- One Year Later2013/05/30

    Next show coming soon!
  4. 179- The End2012/05/06

    The history of The History of Rome...Why the Western Empire Fell when it did...Some thoughts on the future...Thank you, goodnight.

  5. 178- Not With A Bang But A Whimper2012/04/30

    In the last few years of the Western Empire a series of Emperors came and went. The cycle finally ended in 476 with the exile of Romulus Augustulus.

  6. 177- The Burning Ships2012/04/22

    In 468 the two halves of the Empire combined forces to dislodge the Vandals from North Africa.They failed spectacularly.

  7. 176- The Quote Unquote Emperor2012/04/16

    From 461-465 the Western Empire was ruled by Ricimer through a puppet Emperor named Libius Severus. Not everyone in the west was supportive of the new regime.
  8. 175- Trying to Take It All Back2012/04/09

    From 457-461, Majorian marched around trying to reassert Imperial authority over the provinces while Ricimer remained in Italy.
  9. 174- The Sack of Rome Part II2012/04/02

    Following the death of Valentinian III there was an Imperial power struggle in the West. In the midst of this struggle, the Vandals sacked Rome in 455 AD.
  10. 173- The Broken Bow2012/03/25

    In the early 450s a string of deaths changed the political dynamic of Roman world. Between 450 and 455 Galla Placidia, Aelia Pulcheria, Atilla the Hun, Flavius Aetius and Valentinian III would all die- leaving the stage wide open for the next generation of leaders.

    Also, an announcment.
  11. 172- Showdown2012/03/19

    In 451 Atilla the Hun invaded the West. He was repelled by a coalition of forces lead by the General Aetius.
  12. 171- The Gathering Storm2012/03/11

    After placating Atilla with yet another indemnity, Theodosius II fell from his horse and died in 450, leaving the Eastern throne vacant.
  13. 170- Atilla Cometh2012/02/19

    In the 440s, the Huns began to direclty attack the Roman Empire.
  14. 169- Huns and Vandals and Goths, Oh My2012/02/12

    In the 430s the Romans dealt with increasingly agressive and confident barbarian tribes living both inside and outside the traditional borders of the Empire.

  15. 168- The Rise of Aetius2012/02/05

    In the late 420s AD, the Roman General Flavius Aetius connived and backstabbed his way up the chain of command.

  16. 167- Exploiting the Opportunity2012/01/29

    The Emperor Honorius died in 423, leading to a brief civil war between the Theodosian dynasty and a self-proclaimed Imperial regime in Ravenna.
  17. 166- As Long As She's Nice To Look At2012/01/22

    Constantius III continued to lead the Western Empire as its defacto Emperor until 421, when he was officially elevated to the rank of Augustus. Unfortunately, this elevation was not recognized by Cosntantinople.
  18. 165- Reviving the Roman Name2012/01/15

    Between 412 and 415 relations between the Romans and Goths shifted back and forth between alliance and antagonism.
  19. 164- The Sack of Rome2012/01/09

    After failing to secure a deal with Honorius, Alaric sacked Rome in August of 410. It was the first time the Eternal City had been sacked in 800 years.
  20. 163- Theodosius's Walls2011/12/18

    Following the death of Eudoxia, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius took control of the Eastern Empire and ran it wisely for the next decade. Meanwhile in the West, anti-barbarian policies will lead to the invasion of Italy by Alaric.
  21. 162- Opening the Floodgates2011/12/12

    On New Year's Eve 406 a horde of barbarians crossed the lower Rhine into Gaul. Their arrival would have severe consequences for the Western Empire.
  22. 161- The Swamps of Ravenna2011/12/05

    Alaric and his Goths invaded Italy in 402. After they were pushed out, Stilicho moved the seat of the Western Imperial Court to the city of Ravenna.
  23. 160- East vs. West2011/11/28

    In the late 390s, the generals and ministers who dominated Arcadius and Honorius battled with each other for control of the Empire.
  24. 159- The Divine Winds2011/11/21

    After winning the Battle of the Frigidus River, Theodosius stood alone as the last sole ruler of the Roman Empire. He would be die just four months later.
  25. 158- An Imperial Suicide2011/11/14

    In 392 Valentinian II was found hanged in his bedchamber, paving the way for another Roman Civil War.
  26. 157- Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass2011/10/31

    After defeating the usurper Maximus in 388 AD, Theodosius found himself facing an even greater opponent in Ambrose of Milan.
  27. 156- Jockeying for Position2011/10/24

    From 383-387 the tense quasi-partnership of Maximus, Valentinian II and Theodosius ruled the Roman Empire. During those years Bishop Ambrose and Nicean Christianity pushed themselves to dominance over their Arians rivals.
  28. 155- The New Bishop of Milan2011/10/16

    In 383 the General Magnus Maximus rose up in revolt against Gratian. The power sharing agreement that followed Maximus's victory would be negotiated in part by St. Ambrose, the influencial new Bishop of Milan.
  29. 154- The Gothic War2011/10/10

    Following Adrianople, Theodosius was brought in to salvage the situation. After determining that he could not beat the Goths in battle, the new Emperor was forced to sign a peace with the barbarians that treated them as, gasp, equals.

  30. 153- Adrianople2011/10/02

    Operating with faulty intelligence and desperate to defeat the Goths on his own, Valens forced the disasterous Battle of Adrianople in August 378.
  31. 152- The Storm Before the Storm2011/09/25

    In 375 the Huns exploded into Gothic territory, sending refugees fleeing for the saftey of the Roman Empire.
  32. 151- Bursting a Blood Vessel2011/09/11

    Valens spent the late 360s and early 370s dealing with hostile Goths in the north and hostile Persians in the east. In 375 he would be left to face these threats alone when Valentinian suddenly died.
  33. 150- The Perils of Mismanagement2011/09/04

    in the late 360s and early 370s AD Roman mismanagment of three different regions in the Western Empire led to armed conflict.
  34. 149- The Great Conspiracy2011/08/29

    In the winter of 367 Britannia was hit from all sides by a coordinated barbarian invasion. It would be more than a year before the Romans were able to reassert control over the island.
  35. 148- The Cousin's Cousin2011/08/22

    Shortly after Valentinian and Valens ascended to the throne, one of Julian the Apostate's maternal cousins seized control of Constantinople.
  36. 147- Capitulation2011/08/15

    Jovian extracted the Roman legions from the east at a heavy price. He then ruled the Empire for eight months before suddenly dying on his way to Constantinople in early 364.
  37. 146- The Spear of Destiny2011/08/08

    In 363 Julian launched an invasion of Sassanid Persia. He would die in battle just three months later.

  38. 145- Julian the Apostate2011/07/31

    Julian came to power in late 361 and immediately set about trying to turn back the clock on both Church and State.
  39. 144- The Road to Constantinople 2011/07/25

    Once he was established as a force to be reckoned with in the west, Julian revolted against Constantius II in 360 after the Emperor ordered half the Gallic army redeployed to the eastern frontier.

  40. 143- Julian the Pre-Apostate2011/07/10

    After a childhood spent mostly in exile, Juian was elevated to the rank of Caesar in 355. His first assignment was to clear Gaul of Germanic invaders.
  41. 142- You've Earned It2011/07/04

    After two years of sporadic war, Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius in 353. Following his victory the Emperor let his advisors talk him into executing first Gallus in 354 and then Claudius Silvanus in 355.
  42. 141- Blood and Water2011/06/27

    Constantius and Constans shared the Empire for a decade until Constans was overthrown by a rebel general named Magnetius in 350 AD.
  43. 140- My Three Sons2011/06/20

    The three sons of Constantine took control of the Empire following the death of their father and the murder of most of their extended family.
  44. 139- Wash Away Your Sins2011/06/13

    Constantine was baptized on his deathbed after arranging a plan for succession.
  45. 138- The New Rome2011/05/30

    Live and direct from Old Rome!
  46. 137- The Christian Emperor2011/05/15

    This episode brought to you live and direct from Constantinople! After defeating Licinius, Constantine found his dream of a united Christian Empire foiled by a very disunited Christian Church.
  47. 136- Let This Be Our Final Battle2011/05/01

    War between Licinius and Constantine flared up again in 324 AD. This time Constantine would finish the job.
  48. 135- Brothers in Name Only2011/04/25

    Constantine and Licinius split up the Empire following the death of Maximinus Daia in 313. It did not take long for relations betweent the two Emperors to turn sour.
  49. 134- And Then There Were Two2011/04/18

    In 313 AD, Maximinus Daia and Licinus fought for control of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  50. 133- The Milvian Bridge2011/04/11

    On October 28, 312 AD Constantine and Maxentius fought a battle at Rome's doorstep for control of the Western Empire.
  51. 132- In This Sign2011/04/04

    Prior to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Constantine experienced visions and dreams that promised him victory if he embraced Christianity.
  52. 131- The New Game in Town2011/03/28

    With the Tetrarchy in shambles, Diocletian will be called out of retirement in 308 AD to help broker a settlement. But the new new order will prove as bad as the old new order.
  53. 130- Lost in Transition2011/03/14

    Less than two years after Diocletian's abdication, the Tetrarchy was left in shambles following the power plays of Constantine and Maxentius.
  54. 129- Abdication2011/03/07

    In 305 AD, Diocletian and Maximian voluntarily abdicated the throne, handing power over to Galerius and Constantius.
  55. 128- The Great Persecution2011/02/28

    In 303 AD Diocletian initiated the last and greatest of the Christian persecutions.
  56. 127- Commanding The Economy2011/02/21

    Rome's economy was in disarray when Diocletian came to power and he initiated major overhauls to get the system running again.
  57. 126- All The King's Men2011/02/14

    Over the course of his reign Diocletian overhauled the government, transforming it into a centralized bureaucracy run by career civil servants.
  58. 125- The Best Defence is a Good Defence2011/02/07

    Over the course of his reign Diocletian instituted a number of reforms to the military structure that helped transform the legions into a new kind of army.

  59. 124- The Tetrarchs at War2011/01/31

    In the mid-to-late 290s the Imperial Tetrarchy was at war on multiple fronts. In the west Constantius undertook the reconquest of Britain, while in the east, Galerius fought a newly hostile Sassanid Empire.
  60. 123- The Tertrarchy2011/01/24

    In 293 AD Diocletian and Maximian invited Constantius and Galerius to share in their Imperial burdens, forming what we today call the Tetrarchy.
  61. 122- Jupiter and Hercules2011/01/16

    Immediatly after becoming the undisputed Emperor in 285, Diocletian elevated Maximian to serve as his Imperial colleague.
  62. 121- Phase Three Complete2011/01/10

    The Crisis of the Third Century finally ended with the mini dynasty of Carus and his two sons. In 284 Diocletian rose to power, ushering in a new age in Roman history.
  63. 120- Interregnum2010/12/20

    After Aurelian's death, an old Senator named Marcus Cluadius Tacitus briefly reigned before the throne fell to Probus, who ruled from 276-282.
  64. 119- Restitutor Orbis2010/12/13

    Aurelian defeated the breakaway western provinces and reunified the Empire in 274 AD. The next year he was assassinated by officers who had been tricked into committing murder.
  65. 118- The Palmyrene Wars2010/12/06

    In 272 Aurelian finally managed to bring the east back under Roman control by defeating Queen Zenobia of Palmyra.
  66. 117- Aurelian's Walls2010/11/29

    Aurelian became Emperor in 270 and immediatly faced an invasion of Italy by the Juthungi. After succesfully driving the Germans off, Aurelian turned his attention to building a new wall circuit around Rome to protect the capital in the future.
  67. 116- Here Come the Illyrians2010/11/22

    Claudius Gothicus became Emperor in 268 and promptly lead the legions to victories against the Goths and the Alamanni. Unfortunately he died before he was able to reunify the Empire.
  68. 115- Phase Two Complete2010/11/08

    The near simultaneous deaths of Gallienus, Odenathus and Postumus upset the political equilibrium in the late 260s AD.
  69. 114- The Nadir of Our Fortunes2010/11/01

    The 260s AD were bad for the Romans, but they could have been a whole lot worse had not Gallienus, Postumus and Odenathus each done their part to defend their respective corners of the Empire.

  70. 113- Three Empires2010/10/24
  71. 112- Captured Alive2010/10/18

    Valerian and his son Gallienus did their best to hold the Empire together through the 250s AD, but after Valerian was captured by the Sassanids things quickly spiraled out of control.
  72. 111- Phase One Complete2010/10/04

    After the Battle of Abrittus, Trebonianus Gallus was proclaimed Emperor. After reigning for two years he was ousted by Aemilianus, who lasted less than a month on the throne before being ousted by Valerian.
  73. 110- A Gothic Horror2010/09/27

    In 249 AD Decius ousted Philip the Arab and ascended to the Imperial throne. Two years later though, Decius was dead after leading the legions to a massive defeat at the hands of the Goths.

  74. 109- The New Millenium2010/09/20

    Gordian III died in 244 AD and was succeeded by his Praetorian Prefect Philip the Arab. While Philip dealt with internal revolts and external invasion, he found time to celebrate Rome's 1000th birthday in 248 AD.
  75. 108- Gordian's Knot2010/09/13

    By August of 238, the other five men who had claimed a share of the purple were dead, leaving 13-year-old Gordian III as the last man standing.
  76. 107- The Year of the Six Emperors2010/08/30

    In 238, a revolt in Africa sparked a revolution in Rome that would eventually lead to six different men claiming the title of Augustus.
  77. 106- Barbarian at the Gate2010/08/23

    After bungling a campaign in the east, Alexander headed to the Rhine where he was assassinated by Maximinius Thrax in 235 AD.
  78. 105- The Last Princeps2010/08/16

    Alexander was only 13 when he ascended to the throne in 222. With the help of his mother and a few key advisers, he managed to avoid being the kind of disaster that previous teenage Emperors had been.

  79. 104- Here Comes the Sun2010/08/09

    Elagabalus became Emperor in 218 AD at the tender age of 14. His short reign was defined by a scandalous private life and an obsession with the eastern sun god El-Gabal.
  80. 103- The Equestrian2010/08/02

    Carcalla was killed by his Praetorian Prefect Macrinus in 217 AD. Macrinus then spent a troubled year as Emperor before the House of Severus came back to challenge his rule.
  81. 102- The Common Enemy of Mankind2010/07/26

    Septimius Severus died in 211 while campaigning in Britain. He left the Empire to his sons, but their mutual hatred for one another meant that one of them was going to wind up dead.
  82. 101- And All Was of Little Value2010/07/19

    After defeating Clodius Albinus, Septimius Severus turned over daily administration of the Empire to his Praetorian Prefect Gaius Plautianus, while the Emperor himself went looking for further military vicotries in Parthia.

  83. 100- Black and White and Severus All Over2010/06/27


    Septimius Severus became the undisputed Emperor of Rome after defeating Pescennius Niger in 194 and Clodius Albinus in 197.
  84. 099- What Evil Have I Done?2010/06/21
    After buying the Imperial throne, Didius Julianus only remained in power for 66 days before being ousted by Septimius Severus.
  85. 098- Purchasing Power2010/06/14
    After Commodus was assassinated, Pertinax reigned for 86 days. He was murdered by the Praetorian Guard in March 193 and the Imperial throne was auctioned off the highest bidder.
  86. 097- The Fall of Hercules2010/06/07
    Commodus went off the deep end around 190 AD and was finally killed by his inner circle in 192.

  87. 096- The Most Aptly Named Emperor2010/05/31
    The reign of Commodus turned on a botched assassination attempt orchestrated by his sister in 182 AD.
  88. 095- The Beginning of the End2010/05/24
    Marcus elevated Commodus to the position of co-Emperor and then died a few years later while campaigning in the north.
  89. 094- Revolt and Meditations2010/05/17
    In 175 Avidius Cassius led a brief revolt in the east that forced Marcus to postpone his final triumph along the Danube.
  90. 093- The Marcomannic Wars2010/05/10

    The Romans fought a series of campaigns against a coalition of German tribes from 167-175. They were on the verge of total victory when news arrived of a rebellion in the east.
  91. 092- The Parthian War2010/04/26
    After some initial setbacks, Marcus sent Lucius east to deal with a suddenly critical war with Parthia in 162.

  92. 091- Marcus and Lucius and the Parthians2010/04/19
    Marcus Aurelius was destined to become Emperor, but his insistence that Lucius Verus share the honor came as a surprise to everyone.

  93. 090- The Hundredth Episode2010/04/12
    Big question-time blowout!
  94. 089- Provincial Matters2010/04/05
    In which I talk for way too long about where the best tin deposits in the Roman Empire can be found.
  95. 088- A Day in the Life2010/03/22
    Life in Rome began at dawn and lasted until sunset. Work was done in the mornings while the afternoon was reserved for recreation.
  96. 087- Thinking and Feeling2010/03/15
    With Roman education leaving much to be desired, many citizens found
    enlightenment in the eastern mystery cults or Greek philosophy.
  97. 086- Wealth and Class2010/03/08
    The Roman world was divided between slaves, freedmen, and free citizens of every economic class. Gross inequality though was the order of the day, with the Emperor himself controlling the lion's share of the Empire's wealth.
  98. 085- Antoninus the Dutiful2010/03/01

    Antoninus's reign is often pointed to as the golden age of the Roman Empire. In many ways the assessment is correct, though unresolved issues would come back to haunt his successors.
  99. 084- Longing For Death2010/03/01

    After returning to Italy in 134 Hadrian spent a final few miserable years trying to plan the long term future of the Imperial dynasty before dying in 138.
  100. 083- May His Bones Be Crushed2010/03/01

    Hadrian's relationship with the teenage boy Antinous raised eyebrows even in permissive Ancient Rome. His relationship with the Jews raises eyebrows even today.
  101. 082- Hadrian's Walls2010/03/01

    Hadrian's reign got off to a rough start following the political murders of four ex-consuls. The new Emperor would eventually settle in though and set out on his first grand tour of the Empire in 121.
  102. 081- The Greekling2010/03/01

    Though Hadrian's career had long been guided by Trajan, when the Emperor died in 117 he still had not named Hadrian heir.
  103. 080- Optimus Trajan2010/03/01

    Trajan greatly improved the infrastructure of the Empire and finished his reign by conquering much of the Middle East.
  104. 079- The Dacian Wars2010/03/01


    After Trajan ascended to the throne in 98 AD he fought two wars against the Dacians, finally annexing the country in 106 AD.

  105. 078- Imperial Stop Gap2010/03/01

    Nerva's brief reign was stormy, but his choice of Trajan as heir was inspired.
  106. 077- What Time is It?2010/03/01

    After Saturninus's revolt in 89 AD, Domitian's paranoia increased. In 96 AD court officials afraid for their lives conspired to have the Emperor killed.
  107. 076- Mock Triumphs2010/03/01

    Domitian attempted to emulate Augustus, but his heavy-handed treatment of the Senate earned him many enemies. Meanwhile, his focus on frontier defense brought charges of cowardice and his treaty with the Dacians was seen as a humiliation.
  108. 075- The Forgotten Son2010/03/01

    Domitian had spent his life in the background, but in 81 AD he found himself Emperor and soon demonstrated that he had very strong ideas about how to wield power.
  109. 074- Friends I Have Wasted a Day2010/03/01

    Titus succeeded his father to the throne in 79 AD, but ruled for only two years before dying of a sudden infection in 81. Throughout the reign of the Flavians, Agricola campaigned in Britain to Romanize the island.
  110. 073- The Only Man Who Improved2010/03/01

    Vespasian served as Emperor from 69-79 AD, stabilizing the Empire after a year of Civil War.
  111. 072- Vitellius and Vespasian2010/03/01
  112. 071- Otho and Vitellius2010/03/01
  113. 070- Galba and Otho: The History of Rome2010/03/01
  114. 069- As History of Rome Wedding2010/03/01
  115. 068- Three Emperors2010/03/01
  116. 067- What an Artist the World is Losing2010/03/01
  117. 066- 6662010/03/01
  118. 065- Burn It To The Ground2010/03/01
  119. 064- Smite My Womb2010/03/01
  120. 063- A Farewell to Claudius2010/03/01
  121. 062- Take My Wife...Please2010/03/01
  122. 061- What, me Claudius?2010/03/01
  123. 060- No Better Slave, No Worse Master2010/03/01
  124. 058- Partner of my Labors2010/03/01
  125. 059- To the Tiber with Tiberius2010/03/01
  126. 057- Germanicus2010/02/28
  127. 056- The King is Dead, Long Live the King2010/02/28
  128. 055- Teutoburg Nightmares2010/02/28
  129. 054- All in the Family2010/02/28
  130. 053- Reigning Supreme2010/02/28
  131. 052- Caesar Augustus2010/02/28
  132. 051- Actium2010/02/28
  133. 050- The Donations of Alexandria2010/02/28
  134. 049- Apollo and Dionysus2010/02/28
  135. 048- The Second Triumvirate2010/02/28
  136. 047- Octavius-Octavian2010/02/28
  137. 046- Sic Semper Tyrannis2010/02/28
  138. 045- The End of the War2010/02/28
  139. 044- Caesar Triumphant2010/02/28
  140. 043- Insert Well Known Idiom Here2010/02/28
  141. 042- Meanwhile, Back in Rome2010/02/28
  142. 041b- The Gallic Wars2010/02/28
  143. 041a- The Gallic Wars2010/02/28
  144. 040- In the Consulship of Julius and Caesar2010/02/28
  145. 039- The Young Julius Caesar Chronicles2010/02/28
  146. 038- The Catiline Conspiracy2010/02/28
  147. 037- Go East Young Man2010/02/28
  148. 036- I Am Spartacus!2010/02/28
  149. 035- Crassus and Pompey2010/02/28
  150. 034- No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy2010/02/28
  151. 033- Marius and Sulla2010/02/28
  152. 032- The Social War2010/02/28
  153. 031b- Marius2010/02/28
  154. 031a- Marius2010/02/28
  155. 030- Gaius Gracchus2010/02/28
  156. 029- Tiberius Gracchus2010/02/28
  157. 028- Taking Stock2010/02/28
  158. 027- Mopping Up2010/02/28
  159. 026- The Third Macedonian War2010/02/28
  160. 025- The Syrian War2010/02/28
  161. 024- The Second Macedonian War2010/02/28
  162. 023e- The War With Hannibal2010/02/28
  163. 023d- The War With Hannibal2010/02/28
  164. 023c- The War With Hannibal2010/02/28
  165. 023b- The War With Hannibal2010/02/28
  166. 023a- The War With Hannibal2010/02/28
  167. 022- Prelude to the Second Punic War2010/02/28
  168. 021- Interbellum2010/02/28
  169. 020b- The First Punic War2010/02/28
  170. 020a- The First Punic War2010/02/28
  171. 019- Prelude to the First Punic War2010/02/28
  172. 018- A History of Rome Christmas2010/02/28
  173. 017- Pyrrhic Victories2010/02/28
  174. 016- The Third Samnite War2010/02/27
  175. 015b- The Second Samnite War2010/02/27
  176. 015a- The Second Samnite War2010/02/25
  177. 014b- A Phalanx With Joints2010/02/25
  178. 014a- A Phalanx With Joints2010/02/25
  179. 013- The Latin War2010/02/25
  180. 012- The First Samnite War2010/02/25
  181. 011- The Morning After2010/02/25
  182. 010: Barbarians at the Gates2010/02/25
  183. 009- A Trojan War2010/02/25
  184. 008- Decades of Gloom2010/02/25
  185. 007- The Roman Washington2010/02/25
  186. 006- The Twelve Tables2010/02/25
  187. 005- Trials and Tribunlations2010/02/25
  188. 004- The Public Thing2010/02/25
  189. 003b- The Seven Kings of Rome2010/02/25
  190. 003a- The Seven Kings of Rome2010/02/25
  191. 002- Youthful Indiscretions2010/02/25
  192. 001- In the Beginning2007/07/28
The History of Rome
http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/the_history_of_rome/
A weekly podcast tracing the rise, decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Now complete!

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