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The History of Rome

Mike Duncan

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A weekly podcast tracing the history of the Roman Empire, beginning with Aeneas's arrival in Italy and ending with the exile of Romulus Augustulus, last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Now complete!
The Storm Before The Storm: Chapter 1- The Beasts of Italy

55:41 | Jul 27th, 2017

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!  Amazon Powells Barnes & Noble Indibound Books-a-Million Or visit us at: revolutionsp...Show More
Revolutions Launch

00:16 | Sep 16th, 2013

Available at revolutionspodcast.com, iTunes, or anywhere else fine podcasts can be found.
179- The End

31:19 | May 6th, 2012

The history of The History of Rome...Why the Western Empire Fell when it did...Some thoughts on the future...Thank you, goodnight.
178- Not With A Bang But A Whimper

28:22 | Apr 30th, 2012

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.
177- The Burning Ships

26:41 | Apr 22nd, 2012

In 468 the two halves of the Empire combined forces to dislodge the Vandals from North Africa.They failed spectacularly.
176- The Quote Unquote Emperor

25:01 | Apr 16th, 2012

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.
175- Trying to Take It All Back

24:51 | Apr 9th, 2012

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

24:20 | Apr 2nd, 2012

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.
173- The Broken Bow

28:55 | Mar 25th, 2012

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 generat...Show More
172- Showdown

25:39 | Mar 19th, 2012

In 451 Atilla the Hun invaded the West. He was repelled by a coalition of forces lead by the General Aetius.
171- The Gathering Storm

18:07 | Mar 11th, 2012

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

24:25 | Feb 19th, 2012

In the 440s, the Huns began to direclty attack the Roman Empire.
169- Huns and Vandals and Goths, Oh My

24:38 | Feb 12th, 2012

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

24:57 | Feb 5th, 2012

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

25:40 | Jan 29th, 2012

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

27:19 | Jan 22nd, 2012

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.
165- Reviving the Roman Name

25:44 | Jan 15th, 2012

Between 412 and 415 relations between the Romans and Goths shifted back and forth between alliance and antagonism.
164- The Sack of Rome

25:56 | Jan 9th, 2012

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.
163- Theodosius's Walls

26:27 | Dec 18th, 2011

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.
162- Opening the Floodgates

28:12 | Dec 12th, 2011

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.
161- The Swamps of Ravenna

24:27 | Dec 5th, 2011

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.
160- East vs. West

24:46 | Nov 28th, 2011

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

23:41 | Nov 21st, 2011

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.
158- An Imperial Suicide

22:11 | Nov 14th, 2011

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

27:11 | Oct 31st, 2011

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

27:47 | Oct 24th, 2011

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.
155- The New Bishop of Milan

27:05 | Oct 16th, 2011

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.
154- The Gothic War

29:58 | Oct 10th, 2011

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.
153- Adrianople

23:56 | Oct 2nd, 2011

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

25:36 | Sep 25th, 2011

In 375 the Huns exploded into Gothic territory, sending refugees fleeing for the saftey of the Roman Empire.
151- Bursting a Blood Vessel

25:34 | Sep 11th, 2011

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.
150- The Perils of Mismanagement

24:40 | Sep 4th, 2011

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

26:22 | Aug 29th, 2011

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.
148- The Cousin's Cousin

26:54 | Aug 22nd, 2011

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

25:13 | Aug 15th, 2011

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.
146- The Spear of Destiny

25:39 | Aug 8th, 2011

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

27:31 | Jul 31st, 2011

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

26:35 | Jul 25th, 2011

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.
143- Julian the Pre-Apostate

26:00 | Jul 10th, 2011

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.
142- You've Earned It

25:41 | Jul 4th, 2011

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.
141- Blood and Water

27:25 | Jun 27th, 2011

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

23:58 | Jun 20th, 2011

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.
139- Wash Away Your Sins

23:23 | Jun 13th, 2011

Constantine was baptized on his deathbed after arranging a plan for succession.
137- The Christian Emperor

23:08 | May 15th, 2011

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.
136- Let This Be Our Final Battle

23:39 | May 1st, 2011

War between Licinius and Constantine flared up again in 324 AD. This time Constantine would finish the job.
135- Brothers in Name Only

27:00 | Apr 25th, 2011

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.
134- And Then There Were Two

23:53 | Apr 18th, 2011

In 313 AD, Maximinus Daia and Licinus fought for control of the Eastern Roman Empire.
133- The Milvian Bridge

25:17 | Apr 11th, 2011

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

26:47 | Apr 4th, 2011

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

26:59 | Mar 28th, 2011

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.
130- Lost in Transition

0:00 | Mar 14th, 2011

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

27:18 | Mar 7th, 2011

In 305 AD, Diocletian and Maximian voluntarily abdicated the throne, handing power over to Galerius and Constantius.
128- The Great Persecution

28:12 | Feb 28th, 2011

In 303 AD Diocletian initiated the last and greatest of the Christian persecutions.
127- Commanding The Economy

28:18 | Feb 21st, 2011

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

0:00 | Feb 14th, 2011

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

26:32 | Feb 7th, 2011

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.
124- The Tetrarchs at War

25:44 | Jan 31st, 2011

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.
123- The Tertrarchy

24:30 | Jan 24th, 2011

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

25:50 | Jan 16th, 2011

Immediatly after becoming the undisputed Emperor in 285, Diocletian elevated Maximian to serve as his Imperial colleague.
121- Phase Three Complete

25:32 | Jan 10th, 2011

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.
120- Interregnum

26:40 | Dec 20th, 2010

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

26:12 | Dec 13th, 2010

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.
118- The Palmyrene Wars

29:10 | Dec 6th, 2010

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

26:28 | Nov 29th, 2010

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.
116- Here Come the Illyrians

24:50 | Nov 22nd, 2010

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.
115- Phase Two Complete

26:12 | Nov 8th, 2010

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

28:10 | Nov 1st, 2010

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.
112- Captured Alive

26:55 | Oct 18th, 2010

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.
111- Phase One Complete

28:06 | Oct 4th, 2010

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.
110- A Gothic Horror

25:16 | Sep 27th, 2010

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.
109- The New Millenium

25:39 | Sep 20th, 2010

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.
108- Gordian's Knot

26:12 | Sep 13th, 2010

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.
107- The Year of the Six Emperors

24:44 | Aug 30th, 2010

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

29:44 | Aug 23rd, 2010

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

25:34 | Aug 16th, 2010

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.
104- Here Comes the Sun

28:51 | Aug 9th, 2010

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.
103- The Equestrian

26:25 | Aug 2nd, 2010

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.
102- The Common Enemy of Mankind

23:48 | Jul 26th, 2010

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.
101- And All Was of Little Value

25:17 | Jul 19th, 2010

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.
100- Black and White and Severus All Over

24:30 | Jun 27th, 2010

Septimius Severus became the undisputed Emperor of Rome after defeating Pescennius Niger in 194 and Clodius Albinus in 197.
099- What Evil Have I Done?

25:44 | Jun 21st, 2010

After buying the Imperial throne, Didius Julianus only remained in power for 66 days before being ousted by Septimius Severus.
098- Purchasing Power

23:01 | Jun 14th, 2010

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.
097- The Fall of Hercules

29:04 | Jun 7th, 2010

Commodus went off the deep end around 190 AD and was finally killed by his inner circle in 192.
096- The Most Aptly Named Emperor

26:29 | May 31st, 2010

The reign of Commodus turned on a botched assassination attempt orchestrated by his sister in 182 AD.
095- The Beginning of the End

24:58 | May 24th, 2010

Marcus elevated Commodus to the position of co-Emperor and then died a few years later while campaigning in the north.
094- Revolt and Meditations

25:46 | May 17th, 2010

In 175 Avidius Cassius led a brief revolt in the east that forced Marcus to postpone his final triumph along the Danube.
093- The Marcomannic Wars

24:52 | May 10th, 2010

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.
092- The Parthian War

24:36 | Apr 26th, 2010

After some initial setbacks, Marcus sent Lucius east to deal with a suddenly critical war with Parthia in 162.
091- Marcus and Lucius and the Parthians

24:01 | Apr 19th, 2010

Marcus Aurelius was destined to become Emperor, but his insistence that Lucius Verus share the honor came as a surprise to everyone.
089- Provincial Matters

43:46 | Apr 5th, 2010

In which I talk for way too long about where the best tin deposits in the Roman Empire can be found.
088- A Day in the Life

24:36 | Mar 22nd, 2010

Life in Rome began at dawn and lasted until sunset. Work was done in the mornings while the afternoon was reserved for recreation.
087- Thinking and Feeling

27:56 | Mar 15th, 2010

With Roman education leaving much to be desired, many citizens found enlightenment in the eastern mystery cults or Greek philosophy.
086- Wealth and Class

27:28 | Mar 8th, 2010

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.
085- Antoninus the Dutiful

28:11 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
084- Longing For Death

27:24 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
083- May His Bones Be Crushed

26:32 | Mar 1st, 2010

Hadrian's relationship with the teenage boy Antinous raised eyebrows even in permissive Ancient Rome. His relationship with the Jews raises eyebrows even today.
082- Hadrian's Walls

27:50 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
081- The Greekling

23:29 | Mar 1st, 2010

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

21:47 | Mar 1st, 2010

Trajan greatly improved the infrastructure of the Empire and finished his reign by conquering much of the Middle East.
079- The Dacian Wars

22:55 | Mar 1st, 2010

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

24:47 | Mar 1st, 2010

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

23:10 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
076- Mock Triumphs

23:50 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
075- The Forgotten Son

26:35 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
074- Friends I Have Wasted a Day

24:04 | Mar 1st, 2010

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.
073- The Only Man Who Improved

26:06 | Mar 1st, 2010

Vespasian served as Emperor from 69-79 AD, stabilizing the Empire after a year of Civil War.
072- Vitellius and Vespasian

26:37 | Mar 1st, 2010

Vitellius's reign was underminned by internal squabbling, allowing Vespasian's army to sieze Rome in December 69 AD.
071- Otho and Vitellius

24:44 | Mar 1st, 2010

After murdering Galba, Otho ascended to the throne in January 69 AD. He immediately had to deal with Vitellius revolt and after suffering a defeat at Bedriacum in April, Otho committed suicide having served as Emperor for just three months
070- Galba and Otho: The History of Rome

27:10 | Mar 1st, 2010

Galba's refusal to pay off the Praetorian Guard came back to haunt him when Otho looked for accomplices to aid in his assassination plot early in 69 AD.
069- As History of Rome Wedding

16:42 | Mar 1st, 2010

Marriage was one of the key institutions of Roman culture and many of the traditions surrounding weddings persist today.
068- Three Emperors

21:56 | Mar 1st, 2010

The personalities of each of the men who vied for the throne in 69 AD had a major impact on how events unfolded.
067- What an Artist the World is Losing

22:22 | Mar 1st, 2010

In 66 AD the Great Revolt broke out in Judaea, leading Nero to appoint Vespasian to crush the uprising. But the Emperor did not live to see the end of the conflict- in 68 AD he committed suicide after a palace coup.
066- 666

24:37 | Mar 1st, 2010

Nero's popularity with the people began to wane in the early 60s AD. Things got so bad that after the Great Fire of Rome swept through the city, many held Nero responsible.
065- Burn It To The Ground

25:18 | Mar 1st, 2010

Between 58 and 63 AD Rome dealt with a major conflict over the Kingdom of Armenia and a revolt in Britain led by the warrior Queen Boudica.
064- Smite My Womb

25:34 | Mar 1st, 2010

After Nero came to power he was dominated by Agrippina. But it didn't take long before the 16-year-old Emperor got tired of his mother telling him what to do.
063- A Farewell to Claudius

25:51 | Mar 1st, 2010

Claudius turned out to be one of the more successful Emperors in Roman history, but unfortunately in 54 AD he was assassinated to make way for one of the worst.
062- Take My Wife...Please

25:35 | Mar 1st, 2010

Though Claudius had great success in his public life, his private life was a different story. Each of his marriages ended in either divorce or execution.
061- What, me Claudius?

22:14 | Mar 1st, 2010

Claudius became Emperor after the assassination of Caligula in 41 AD. Far from a bumbling fool, Claudius turned out to be capable and dedicated ruler.
060- No Better Slave, No Worse Master

22:52 | Mar 1st, 2010

Caligula was insane. Luckily for the Romans, he wielded absolute power.
058- Partner of my Labors

27:22 | Mar 1st, 2010

After the death of Tiberius's son Drusus, Praetorian Prefect Lucius Sejanus's influence grew exponentially. Sejanus was the defacto ruler of Rome from 26 AD until his fall from power 5 years later.
059- To the Tiber with Tiberius

22:25 | Mar 1st, 2010

Tiberius's final years were consumed with treason trials and private licentiousness. After he died in 37 AD, the infamous Caligula ascended to the throne.
057- Germanicus

25:11 | Feb 28th, 2010

The early years of Tiberius's reign were defined by his growing jealousy of his nephew/adopted son Germanicus. After winning victories on the far side of the Rhine, Germanicus was sent east, where in 19 AD he died under mysterious circumstances.
055- Teutoburg Nightmares

25:29 | Feb 28th, 2010

The Julio-Claudian family was rife with conflict, but nothing compared to the battle fought against the Germans in the Teutoburg Forest.
054- All in the Family

24:32 | Feb 28th, 2010

Augustus promoted his steps sons Tiberius and Drusus to high office long before they were technically eligible. He hoped they would share power with him until Gaius and Lucius Caesar came of age, but Drusus died young and Tiberius went into self-impo...Show More
053- Reigning Supreme

23:52 | Feb 28th, 2010

After attaining power, Augustus set about reforming the Empire.
052- Caesar Augustus

28:00 | Feb 28th, 2010

The Senate bestowed upon Octavian the title Caesar Augustus during the constitutional settlement of 27 BC. Four years later Augustus and the Senate altered their power sharing agreement.
051- Actium

24:26 | Feb 28th, 2010

On Sept 2, 31 BC Octavian defeated Antony at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled back to Alexandria where they committed suicide the next year, following Octavian's invasion of Egypt.
050- The Donations of Alexandria

25:34 | Feb 28th, 2010

After Antony failed to conquer Parthia, the Triumvirate partnership broke down, leading to a declaration of war.
049- Apollo and Dionysus

26:40 | Feb 28th, 2010

After winning the Battle of Philippi Antony and Octavian divided the empire into two halves. Antony took control of the east where he formed an alliance with Cleopatra, while Octavian commanded the west.
048- The Second Triumvirate

24:23 | Feb 28th, 2010

In 43 BC Marc Antony, Octavian and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate. After initiating proscriptions to raise funds and purge their enemies, the Triumvirs headed east, where they defeated Brutus and Cassius at Philippi.
047- Octavius-Octavian

22:36 | Feb 28th, 2010

Caesar posthumously adopted his great nephew Gaius Octavius and the 19-year-old was thrust into the center of Roman politics. In the months following the assassination Octavian and Mark Antony vied for the support of the legions.
046- Sic Semper Tyrannis

21:38 | Feb 28th, 2010

In the last months of his life, rumors swirled about Caesar's monarchical ambitions. On the Ides of March 44 BC, a group of Senators put the issue to rest by assassinating Caesar during a session of the Senate.
045- The End of the War

23:55 | Feb 28th, 2010

Caesar took the overland route back from Egypt back to Rome and along the way pacified what little resistance he came across. After a brief stay in Italy he sailed for North Africa where he defeated the regrouped Republican army. Having emerged from ...Show More
044- Caesar Triumphant

24:28 | Feb 28th, 2010

Following a setback at Dyrrachium, Caesar decisively won the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. After defeating Pompey, Caesar sailed for Alexandria, where settled a civil war by placing Cleopatra on the throne.
043- Insert Well Known Idiom Here

26:45 | Feb 28th, 2010

In 49 BC Caesar led a single legion across the Rubicon River, sparking a civil war that would lead to the death of the Roman Republic.
042- Meanwhile, Back in Rome

24:14 | Feb 28th, 2010

While Caesar was fighting the Gallic Wars, events in Rome and beyond exacerbated the political tensions that would eventually lead to Civil War.
041b- The Gallic Wars

25:20 | Feb 28th, 2010

From 57-52 BC Caesar slowly conquered Gaul. Along the way he crossed into Germania twice and led the first Roman expedition to Britain. Finally, the last Gallic army was forced to surrender at Alesia.
041a- The Gallic Wars

20:02 | Feb 28th, 2010

After beginning his proconsulship of Cisalpine Gaul in 58 BC Caesar was asked to halt the advance of a migrating Celtic tribe. He managed to turn them around, but was immediately called to face an even deadlier threat at the banks of the Rhine River.
040- In the Consulship of Julius and Caesar

23:01 | Feb 28th, 2010

In 59 BC Julius Caesar served a controversial year in the consulship. He pressed for land and administrative reforms the conservative Senate opposed.
039- The Young Julius Caesar Chronicles

22:52 | Feb 28th, 2010

Julius Caesar had an eventful career on his way up the Cursus Honorum. He won the Civic Crown in Asia, was captured by pirates on his way to Rhodes, and served as Governor of Hispania Ulterior.
038- The Catiline Conspiracy

20:08 | Feb 28th, 2010

In 63 BC an embittered two-time consular candidate named Catiline conspired to overthrow the Roman government. He was stopped by Rome's greatest politician and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero.
037- Go East Young Man

19:29 | Feb 28th, 2010

After clearing the Mediterranean of pirates in 67 BC Pompey was put in charge of the war with Mithridates. He promptly conquered his way to Jerusalem.
036- I Am Spartacus!

19:48 | Feb 28th, 2010

From 73-71 BC a gladiator named Spartacus led a slave revolt in southern Italy. Despite defeating the Romans on numerous occasions, the slave army was eventually defeated by Marcus Crassus (with an unsolicited assist from Pompey).
035- Crassus and Pompey

19:28 | Feb 28th, 2010

After Sulla's death two men emerged as the vanguard of Rome's new political generation: Marcus Crassus who would become Rome's richest man and Pompey the Great, who would become Rome's greatest general. In a few years these two men would join forces ...Show More
034- No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy

20:08 | Feb 28th, 2010

Sulla returned from the east and after winning a short Civil War was made Dictator for Life. After purging his enemies and reorganizing the consitution he inexplicably stepped down in 80 BC.
019- Prelude to the First Punic War

16:04 | Feb 28th, 2010

It was inevitable that the Romans and Cartheginians would run into each other one day.
018- A History of Rome Christmas

12:45 | Feb 28th, 2010

Many of the traditions that surround modern Christmas have their roots in Saturnalia and the Feast of Sol Invictus.
017- Pyrrhic Victories

17:50 | Feb 28th, 2010

The Greek cities of southern Italy called on King Pyrrhus of Epirus to protect them from Roman encroachment. Though Pyrrhus was undefeated in battle, his victories were so costly that he was forced to withdraw from Italy in 275 BC, leaving Rome in co...Show More
016- The Third Samnite War

15:35 | Feb 27th, 2010

Rome battled a combined army of Samnites, Etruscans, Umbrians and Gauls for control of Italy. At Sentinum, the two sides fought the largest battle in Italian history up to that point.
015b- The Second Samnite War

14:41 | Feb 27th, 2010

After a five year break, hostilities resumed between the Romans and Samnites. Despite early setbacks, Rome eventually emerged victorious in 304 BC. During these years a controversial politician, Appius Claudius, initiated a series of ambitious public...Show More
015a- The Second Samnite War

18:17 | Feb 25th, 2010

After a decade of peace, the Romans and Samnites returned to war. The early years of fighting went well for Rome, but in 321 BC they were handed a humiliating defeat at Caudine Forks.
014b- A Phalanx With Joints

16:58 | Feb 25th, 2010

The Roman army abandoned the Greek phalanx in favor of a new system based on a three line deployment organized by age and experience.
014a- A Phalanx With Joints

11:22 | Feb 25th, 2010

For hundreds of years the Roman Army used the Greek phalanx, but during the Samnite Wars they were forced to develop a new distinctly Roman system.
013- The Latin War

14:12 | Feb 25th, 2010

The Romans fought a final war against their Latin neighbors from 340-338 BC. The Romans won a decisive victory and the Latin League was abolished once and for all.
012- The First Samnite War

18:14 | Feb 25th, 2010

From 343-341 BC Rome fought a brief war against the Samnites, a powerful hill tribe who would plague the Romans for the rest of the century. The Romans won an inconclusive victory, but the war was only the opening salvo in a long running struggle bet...Show More
011- The Morning After

16:40 | Feb 25th, 2010

In the decades after the Gauls abandoned Rome to its fate, the Romans were forced to battle both external threats and internal sedition. The Plebes, saddled with debt from the reconstruction, forced through reforms in 367 BC that finally gave them ac...Show More
010: Barbarians at the Gates

15:50 | Feb 25th, 2010

Soon after the war with Veii, Rome was sacked by invading Gauls. The event traumatized the Romans and left their city in ruins. It would be the last time a foreign army breached the walls until the fall of the empire 850 years later.
009- A Trojan War

13:52 | Feb 25th, 2010

Economic necessity forced a final conflict with Veii, Rome's Etruscan rival to the north. After years of inconclusive fighting, Marcus Furius Camillus was appointed dictator and lead the Romans to victory.
008- Decades of Gloom

15:24 | Feb 25th, 2010

The years after the creation of the Twelve Tables were hard. Political discord, grain shortages and famine all conspired to weaken the city, but the Romans soldiered on in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.
007- The Roman Washington

12:09 | Feb 25th, 2010

Cincinnatus was famously appointed dictator of Rome in 458 BC and then resigned soon after, securing his place in history as a paradigm of republican virtue.
006- The Twelve Tables

15:56 | Feb 25th, 2010

In 451 BC a committee was ordered to compile and then condense Roman law into a single text called the Twelve Tables of Law. Despite tyrannical machinations by the committee, the Twelve Tables secured an objective rule of law for all Roman citizens r...Show More
005- Trials and Tribunlations

15:50 | Feb 25th, 2010

The infant Roman Republic faced many challenges as it grew into adolescence, both internally and externally. Most significantly class divisions led to a confrontation between patricians and plebs that resulted in the creation of the office of Tribune...Show More
004- The Public Thing

14:49 | Feb 25th, 2010

The monarchy had been overthrown and the Roman Republic was now established. Despite the appearance of a free democratic republic, the Romans were beset with economic and political divisions that threatened the unity of the young State.
003b- The Seven Kings of Rome

18:10 | Feb 25th, 2010

The last days of the Roman Kingdom were ruled over by the three members of the so-called Tarquin Dynasty: Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus. The last proved to be such a tyrant that he was overthrown and monarchy was forever...Show More
003a- The Seven Kings of Rome

16:00 | Feb 25th, 2010

This week we cover the first three of Romulus's successors to the throne: Numa Pompulius, Tullus Hostilius and Ancus Marcius, who they were and what affect they had on the evolution Roman law and culture.
002- Youthful Indiscretions

11:57 | Feb 25th, 2010

Last time we discussed the events that lead to the birth of Rome, covering the arrival of Aeneas in Italy and the story of the twins Romulus and Remus. Today we will cover the remainder of Romulus's life, his questionable morality and ultimate disapp...Show More
001- In the Beginning

11:49 | Jul 28th, 2007

Welcome to The History of Rome, a weekly series tracing the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Today we will hear the mythical origin story of Rome and compare it with modern historical and archaeological evidence. How much truth is wrapped up in the...Show More