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 adjust 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.
I plan a Q&A session for the 50th episode; details in this announcement. Also scheduling in September will be affected by a couple of business trips I have to take.
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!
Sorry; this one has the correct dates!
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!
Athens and Sparta fight to a standstill. One of them comes out on top but they are both weakened. Neither learns the lesson they so need to learn!
I have been informed of a slight problem with the sound quality on some recent episodes. I have found the cause and will be re-recording the affected ones.
With the Persians defeated it is time for the Greeks to band together to increase their power. Unfortunately they don't. Both Athens and Sparta form alliances with other local cities but exclude each other. Athens particularly goes a bit too far!
At last, the Greeks band together to defeat an external enemy. The Persians are coming!
The last minute and a half of Chapter Thirty Two were missing from the published podcast. Many apologies for this; it is now fixed.
We've done Sparta. Now Athens takes centre stage. The largest and most cultured of the Greek poleis became the centre of the Greek world and, a few detours excepted, remains so today.
Sparta was a very important city in Archaic Greece. Not only that it was a very strange one. In this chapter we find out why!
As Greece drags itself from the Dark Ages an entirely new kind of society emerges. The city states which would dominate the Greek world for the next few hundred years rise and the citizen populations try to work out how to govern themselves. A few interesting characters get a taste of power!
The Mycenaean civilisation fell and nothing much rose to replace it. In this chapter we look at why it fell and why the following few hundred years are known as the Greek Dark Ages.
Did the Trojan War actually happen? Was it a real event or just mythological? In this chapter we assess the evidence from archaeology, from Homer and from the records of other civilisations.
Ancient Greek history began a very long time ago! In this first history chapter we look at the pre-history of Greece and at the bronze age peoples that populated the area. Step forward the Minoans and the Mycenaeans!
A brief introduction to our journey through Ancient Greek history.
The adventures of Odysseus and Aeneas come to an end. We see what happens when Odysseus finally arrives home and find out whether Aeneas's city ever gets built! The age of heroes is over.
Poor old Odysseus. The creator of the Wooden Horse knew he wasn't destined to get home for ten years but he never imagined quite how horrible the journey would be. On the way he loses ships and men, meets a scary one-eyed giant and has to choose between Scylla and Charybdis. Will he ever see his beloved Ithaca again?
Apr 18th, 2013 by mythandhistory
The Trojan War is over. Troy is gone, destroyed by the marauding Greek army and all of its leaders, except one, are dead. The weary Greek heroes make their various ways home. Some of them don't get the welcome they expected!