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The Goths are leaving Roman territory, and while they successfully sacked some cities there has been no lasting damage to the provinces - but the same can’t be said for the reputation of the Emperor, Decius. He rides with his troops to confront them in battle, becoming the first Roman emperor to die at the hands of a foreign enemy. Guest: Associate…
 
This is the era of Roman history where the Goths from the north begin to pose a serious threat to the stability of the faltering Roman empire. When they begin to lay siege to Roman cities Decius rides to confront them, not realising the challenging battles that await him. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History,…
 
During the early days of his reign, Emperor Decius issued an edict commanding that all Romans should make a sacrifice for the good of the empire. While some happily went along with it, for others it went against what they believed in, and not everyone living within the borders of Rome were happy with the Emperor's wishes. Guest: Associate Professor…
 
When Phillip became Emperor in 244CE, Rome was cracking at the edges. Enemies were at the border, the economy was straining, and the Emperor was an easy target for a disgruntled military. Who wants to rule Rome at this time? Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, …
 
Rome dates its beginning to the 21st April 753BCE, when legend has it that it was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus. While not the only myth connected to this event, it has been the most enduring, and commemorating it became an important event in the Roman calendar. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Head of Department of Languages and…
 
Rhiannon Evans, Caillan Davenport, Gillian Shepherd and Matt Smith each share three items of Roman interest for three minutes! You will hear: - Silius Italicus and his unbearable bunion - Pomponius Mela and the wonders of the Nile - Snarky soldiers at the Vindolanda fort - Legacy hunters and the jewels of Matidia - Unusual dedications to the gods -…
 
The Severan dynasty was founded in 193CE by Septimius Severus, but in many ways it was his wife Julia Domna and her sister Julia Maesa who would guide the family, both powerful augustae and instrumental in securing their family’s imperial position. Part X of 'Empresses of Rome' Guest: Dr Emma Southon (Historian and author of 'A Fatal Thing Happened…
 
As the daughter of the previous Emperor, Faustina provided her husband, Marcus Aurelius, with a solid link to the imperial throne. Besides continuity she came to embody motherhood, not just to the next Emperor, but to the empire as a whole. Part IX of 'Empresses of Rome' Guest: Assoc. Professor Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Mac…
 
When Trajan came to the big city he bought his provincial wife with him. Plotina stood on the steps of Domitian’s palace and promised the people of Rome that she’d keep it real. And from what we can tell from our ancient sources, that’s exactly what she did. Part VII of 'Empresses of Rome' Guest: Professor T. Corey Brennan (Classics, Rutgers Univer…
 
As the wife to the Emperor and daughter of Germanicus, Agrippina had grown accustomed to being a voice of influence in Rome. When her son Nero takes the title this changes, and she struggles to have her voice heard. Part V of 'Empresses of Rome' Guest: Dr Emma Southon (Historian and author of Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore).…
 
In many ways Agrippina can be associated with the worst qualities of Livia – a scheming, deceiving and manipulating. But in her marriage to Claudius you can see a different side of her: an ambitious, capable Empress who made Claudius look good. Part IV of 'Empresses of Rome' Guest: Dr Emma Southon (Historian and author of Agrippina: Empress, Exile,…
 
Messalina, third wife of Claudius, is likely one of the Roman Empresses with the worst reputation. The historians accuse her of adultery and prostitution, avarice and greed, and her name becomes synonymous with a woman of loose morals and licentiousness. Part III of 'Empresses of Rome' Guests: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Head of Department …
 
Livia is often known by association - the wife of Augustus and the mother of Tiberius - but she becomes a figure of power and influence in Rome in her own right. This episode is a redux of Episode XXV (from 2016), followed by an all new interview with Sian Phillips who played Livia in The BBC’s ‘I Claudius’ in 1976. Part II of 'Empresses of Rome' G…
 
A Roman Empress could often be one of the influential individuals in Rome. Always close to the seat of power, they have been recorded as dutiful, scheming, seductive and conniving - as interesting individuals as the Emperors themselves. Part I of 'Empresses of Rome' Guests: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Head of Department of Languages and Lin…
 
The Fasti is a poem about the Roman calendar, written by the poet Ovid during the reign of the Emperor Augustus. Writing the poem gave Ovid the chance to think about contemporary Rome through the medium of some of the best known Roman stories, like the City's foundation by Romulus and Remus, and the creation of the republic by Brutus. This is the f…
 
For the sixth time, listeners provide questions and Rhiannon and Matt answer! In this episode: - Which Roman Emperor would our guests like to interview? - Did Romans have pets? - How did Romans organise construction? - How did we decided when the Roman Empire ‘ended’? - Are the ancient sources reliable? - Did women and men in Rome share bath houses…
 
Herodian was a Roman historian living and writing during the reign of the Severan dynasty. He is a valuable record of events for some of the most turbulent days of Roman history, and while at times lacking details, he knows what he’s doing with an exciting narrative. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/…
 
During the civil war of 238CE no less than six Emperors were vying for the purple. When the dust finally settled on the child Gordian III remained in power, not because he was the best person for the job, but because he was the most convenient. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fello…
 
Maximinus Thrax was an unorthodox Emperor, a man of lowborn status who kept to the frontlines with the military. It was only a matter of time before the Senate threw in with someone more on their level, but their choice, Gordian, would have the shortest rule of any Emperor. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie Univ…
 
The Roman Empire was unprepared for the rule of the Emperor Maximinus. Regarded by many as a savage barbarian, he came to the purple by blood, would rule by blood, and would leave it the same way. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt)…
 
In 9CE three Roman legions were walking through Germany when they were ambushed in what would become one of the most notorious defeats throughout Rome’s history. The loss of the legions were a crippling blow to Rome’s plans of expansion, and redrew the borders in the province. Guest: Barry Strauss (Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic …
 
If an emperor has been disappointing, cruel, tyrannical, or just related to the wrong person he is at risk of being damned, erased, have his likenesses destroyed and his name stricken from the records. The process of danmatio memoraie was intended to be a permanent judgement, and the final vengeance of an angry Rome. Guest: Associate Professor Rhia…
 
The last Penguin edition of The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius was translated by Robert Graves in 1957. Historian Tom Holland is now working on a new translation, and took time away from the manuscript to talk to me about his process. Guest: Tom Holland (author of Rubicon, Dynasty, and an upcoming translation of Suetonius' 'The Twelve Caesars')…
 
Severus Alexander comes from a strong military dynasty with a string of victories against Rome’s enemies, and it’s fair to say the Roman army was less than impressed with his performance against Sassanian and Germanic tribes. The empire needs a leader! Should they turn to a fighter, or to a weakling and his mother? Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Seni…
 
When Severus Alexander leads the Roman armies east, he meets Artaxerxes and the Sasanians in battle but his tactics are unprepared. Artaxerxes attacked unexpectedly with his entire force and trapped the Romans like fish in a net; firing their arrows from all sides at the encircled soldiers, the Persians massacred the whole army. Guest: Dr Caillan D…
 
Severus Alexander was an emperor who spent much of his reign at war, but he was ill-suited to it and would likely have preferred to be elsewhere. His main enemy was the Sasanians, an empire that rose out of the ashes of the Parthians, and would be a leading regional power for the next 400 years. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman H…
 
Severus Alexander was a young boy when he came to power in Rome in 222CE, in the wake of the death of his unpopular cousin, Elagabalus. He would reign for 13 years but struggle to assert authority, bringing the once proud Severan dynasty to a chaotic ending. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt …
 
Spartacus is an epic historical film based on the life of a Roman gladiator who led a slave rebellion against Rome in the 1st C BCE. In this episode we’ll take a fond look at this cinematic classic, in memory of its leading man, Kirk Douglas. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)…
 
Lupercalia was a Roman festival which took place in the middle of February, and had the effects of purifying and cleansing the city. Participants would take part in a blood sacrifice, strip off their togas, and run naked through the streets of Rome. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)…
 
The Romans had some strange ideas when it came to medical practice, but you have to give them some leeway, and a lot has changed in 2000 years. Some of the thoughts and techniques showed forward thinking, but you might have to ignore the cabbages. Guest: Dr Leanne McNamara (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)…
 
Rhiannon Evans, Caillan Davenport and Matt Smith each share three Roman topics of interest for three minutes! You will hear: - Scaurus and the marble columns - The 206 fragments of the Portland Vase - The paranoia of Emperor Claudius - The Roman perception of Ireland (featuring exploding sheep) - The vanity of the Alexander the Sophist - An early e…
 
For the fifth time, listeners provide questions and Rhiannon and Matt answer! In this episode: - How the orders of Roman society worked - The materials Romans used in clothing - How Romans marked years by Consul - Augustus adopting his wife, Livia - The truth about the Cantabrian warrior Cococotta - How to actually pronounce ‘Pompey’ - Is the Roman…
 
Gaius Gracchus - awe-inspiring and passionate to exaggeration, a demagogue pure and simple, seemingly shunned the family business, at least to begin with. But however much you may try to defer your fate, sometimes decisions are made for you. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)…
 
Tiberius Gracchus had introduced property laws that, while unpopular with the ruling elite, went down well with the people of Rome. You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But that’s just politics, isn’t it? Nothing to lose your head over. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Anci…
 
Any system of government that has been around for long enough is going to develop its problems, and that is definitely the case with the Roman republic. There was inequality between the ruling class and the common people, and if young Tiberius Gracchus decides to take up the cause, what’s the worst that could happen? Guest: Associate Professor Rhia…
 
What we do know about Cornelia is mostly through the lens of her famous sons, but to the Romans she was much more than that. She was put on a pedestal, in bronze, no less, as the ideal mother for Romans to aspire to, and may have been quite influential in politics at the time. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History,…
 
Octavian was barely an adult when he arrived in Rome in 44BCE. Two months had passed since his adopted father, Julius Caesar, was murdered by members of the senate who resented his control as dictator. Octavian stood to inherit Caesar’s fortunes, but few could have imagined that he would inherit Caesar’s power. He would become emperor in 27BCE, rei…
 
The Vestals were an order of priestesses who were sacred to Rome, and were respected and referred as symbols of a safe and stable empire. They had the all-important duty of maintaining the sacred flame, and if it were extinguished, it would be a sign of impending disaster. Guest: Dr Peta Greenfield (Public Historian, co-host of 'The Partial Histori…
 
Elagabalus has long been remembered as deviant and sexually depraved. His behaviour was shocking for a Roman citizen, let alone the leader of the empire, and Rome was relieved to see the end of him. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt)…
 
When Elagabalus finally reached Rome, the city seemed to hold its breath. The young Emperor embraced both the roles of ruler and high priest of a foreign religion, and there were many that questioned where his priorities lie. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe Universit…
 
Macrinus has made a treaty with the Parthians and at long last, the two mighty empires are at peace. It likely won’t last, but at this point it matters little: now he can finally get down to the business of ruling the empire. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe Universit…
 
Assassination was a regular occurrence in the right Roman circles, and the gossip around the senate floor must have frequently turned to who's knifing who. An emperor would need to keep the senate, the army, and the people on side, or risk a well-placed dagger. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe Univer…
 
By modern standards the Romans had some fairly unusual ideas, which could be putting it mildly when it comes to the subject of adultery. For the most part the Romans were lack lax in repercussions, unless of course you were embarrassing a man of high status. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe Universit…
 
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