Tuesday, May 22, 2012

History of Rome podcast

Continuing my historical diversions, I've been listening to The History of Rome podcast and am finding it a fascinating tale ably related by the sometimes witty, but always informative and entertaining, Mike Duncan. He's taken on the ambitious task of relating the whole history from go-to-whoa; the founding of Rome in 700 and something BC (sorry; memory's not that great!), through to the fall of the Western Empire with the dethroning of Romulus Augustus in 476 AD. A mighty task I think you'll agree! He started the podcast in 2007 and has only just reached the end of the story earlier this month.

I'm currently listening to the podcasts covering the period after the Marian Wars and Sulla's death when it seems like Rome is pausing to catch its breath after all the mayhem of the previous years, but looks nervously to the future as such giants as Pompey, Crassus, Cicero and the man himself, Julius Caesar, all circle each other waiting to outdo the others in the attempt to win the prize of ultimate power over the rotting carcase of the Republic.

The parallels with other periods strike me as I listen to to this, not only of the chaos of the French Republic of the mid 1790s, but also of the Soviet Union after Lenin's death: high stakes games where the price of failure is death at the hands of your opponents and the last man standing with the greatest number of followers wins. From the perspective of 21st century western liberal-democratic comfort, I can look back with relief that current day politics is slightly more genteel (but only slightly!).Whatever happens in the future of modern politics, it's all been done before by the Romans!


  1. I really must get myself organised and embrace the pod cast as it sounds like the perfect painting accompaniment. It would also give some much needed academic substance to my rudimentary grasp of the period, mostly coloured by the likes of Conn Iggulden!

  2. I been looking for a new podcast to listen to and this might be it. Thanks for that.

  3. I've enjoyed that series as well. If I may be so bold, try Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast "Death Throes of the Republic I-VI. It's 13 hours of Roman history from the Gracchus brothers, Sulla, Marius and then to Caesar. It's quite simply my all time favorite podcast series http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hharchive

    1. Thanks Monty, but that was the starting point for all this Roman-ness!

  4. Hmm? sounds interesting, I'll give this a go!

  5. Arg!! Yes, you did post about that. So sorry about my derail. It must have been the Vallejo fumes I was inhaling.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Shelfari Bookshelf