Alexander Severus was a very nice young man. His mother was politically astute and determined that her son would be an excellent emperor. If only the times had been different.
Marcus Aurelius had a son who ruined the good work of the dynasty. Septimius Severus had TWO sons. They were no better!
Lucius Septimius Severus was energetic, capable and focussed on running a fair and stable empire. Unfortunately he was also rather too keen on warfare and totally incapable of managing his highly dysfunctional family!
Oct 31st, 2014 by mythandhistory
In the year 193AD five men separately lay claim to the top job in Rome. After the best candidate is treacherously let down by the Praetorian Guard, the next man buys the throne from them. The Praetorians, though, are about to discover that their luck has run out!
Oct 16th, 2014 by mythandhistory
Poor Marcus Aurelius. Having spent most of his reign fighting the barbarians he dies when the job is just about complete... and his primary legacy is his unhinged son!
Oct 3rd, 2014 by mythandhistory
Bridges aqueducts, concrete and a new calendar!
Sep 16th, 2014 by mythandhistory
"Don't waste time wondering what a good man is: be one." Marcus Aurelius's thoughts on how to live virtuously have stood the test of time.
Sep 2nd, 2014 by mythandhistory
Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus bring their very different approaches to being emperors. It is surprisingly successful partnership. And then one of them dies!
Announcing the new 'History of Ancient Greece' eBook
The Golden Age of Rome! Hadrian ensures that the Empire will in safe hands for another forty years.
Trajan's successor could not be more different from the great man. In his own way, though, he turns out to be just as impressive.
The Myths and History of Greece and Rome has achieved a million downloads. Thanks to everyone for listening!
Jun 25th, 2014 by mythandhistory
There is nothing worse than a micromanager, even if his intentions are good... except an increasingly paranoid micromanager.
Jun 10th, 2014 by mythandhistory
Vespasian and his son get to grips with running a huge Empire. Meanwhile Mount Vesuvius gets to grips with the Bay of Naples and a couple of towns which are now very famous indeed.
May 13th, 2014 by mythandhistory
In 69AD four different men held the highest office in the Roman world... and they weren't sharing!!
Power is dangerous in the hands of the very young. The sixteen year-old Nero is given absolute power. Oh dear!
Things get a bit weird as the most unlikely candidate becomes emperor. The strangeness continues as he does a surprisingly good job. Shame about the wife, though!
The seamless transition is exactly that: seamless! The personal foibles of Augustus's successors, though, make for interesting times!
The succession has been on Augustus's mind from early in his tenure as emperor. Death, misfortune and exile intervene repeatedly as he has to modify his thinking over and over again.
Octavian's political skills dovetail beautifully with the practical and organisation skills of Marcus Agrippa. Bye bye Republic; hello Emperor Augustus Caesar!
Who will come out on top? Will it be Caesar's right hand man or Caesar's adopted heir? And what part will the Eastern Queen play?
They're all there: Et tu Brute; I came, I saw I, conquered, etc etc. Julius Caesar rises like a supernova and then disappears with a bang.
The very foundations of the Republic are shaken by three more men: one in particular!
Jan 7th, 2014 by mythandhistory
The Republic worked when Rome was small and manageable. The conquest of vast tracts of territory, glorious though it was, brought with it hidden dangers. Great men rose and the Republic was too constraining... so they broke it!
The Romans come up against their most formidable opponent yet. The Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca proves to be more than a thorn in their side for many years. Being Romans, though, they learn and adapt and eventually destroy the ancient empire of Carthage.
The Roman Republic is founded but its early years are still the stuff of legend. Only after the Gauls sack Rome are we really able to talk about Roman history.
Time to meet Romulus and his successors. The foundation of Rome and the following 250 years are the mythical basis of that great civilisation. The stories may not be true but they say a lot about the character of Rome and of its people.
Nov 23rd, 2013 by mythandhistory
The History Collage is a project produced by a group of history podcasters. Each episode has a theme and is made up of short, no longer than nine minute, articles on the topic. The current theme is 'Unsung Heroes'. You can hear about my unsung hero on part two of the podcast which was released on 20th November 2013. Give it a listen.
Introducing Cupid and Psyche from a Roman perspective. Also we tell two other tales from Roman Mythology in which Venus plays a prominent role.
Not a happy ending in sight as we follow three more tragic tales. Expect plenty of divine interference and a fair amount of drowning!
Three tales from the Roman poet Ovid's unique take on Greek mythology.
A quick look at the similarities and differences between the Greek and Roman pantheons.
An epilogue: How Greece emerged from Roman rule and then fell to the Turks before rebelling and forming the modern country which exists today.
Oct 8th, 2013 by mythandhistory
More Greek philosophers. Introducing the Cynics, the Stoics, and the man who lived in a barrel.
Greek independence comes to an end. The last king of Macedon does his best but when there are Romans around there is only going to be one outcome.
Sep 17th, 2013 by mythandhistory
Philip V of Macedon does his best but he's only delaying the inevitable. The Romans are only getting stronger and the days of independence for the Greeks are numbered.
It's finally time to introduce the people who will finally and Greek independence. The city of Rome has risen from being an unnoticed backwater to a major regional power.
Sep 3rd, 2013 by mythandhistory
A brief look at some famous Greek mathematicians and their groundbreaking discoveries. There are some links on the website to helpful diagrams!
We concentrate now on the Greek and Macedonian part of Alexander's fractured empire. The Antigonids do their best to hold things together while the cities fight amongst themselves (again!)
Hold on tight everyone as this is a bit of a rollercoaster of a chapter. Alexander's generals spend forty years fighting over his legacy!
Aug 6th, 2013 by mythandhistory
Alexander the Great. A man who really lives up to his billing... even if he's a bit crazy too!
The King of Macedon goes about executing his plans but comes up against a bit of an issue: his own death! His successor, though, is just marvellous.
In a quick detour we take a brief look at philosophy in Ancient Greece. We barely scratch the surface but there is plenty of information out there for those who want to dig a bit deeper!
With Greece in disarray, brought to its knees by constant internal warfare, the time is ripe for a confident, clever and determined conqueror to take advantage. Enter Philip II of Macedon.
The title of the chapter says it all. More infighting results in all of the poleis becoming weaker and the city state culture beginning to collapse.
Jul 2nd, 2013 by mythandhistory
Athens and Sparta have knocked the stuffing out of each other for years. Two men from another city, helped by a fair amount of luck, take advantage.
Two men take centre stage in the battles between Athens and Sparta. And everyone gets weaker. Again!