The History of Rome

The History of Rome

By Mike Duncan

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

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:
27/07/1755m 41s

Revolutions Launch

Available at, iTunes, or anywhere else fine podcasts can be found.

Update- One Year Later

Next show coming soon!
30/05/131m 40s

179- The End

The history of The History of Rome...Why the Western Empire Fell when it did...Some thoughts on the future...Thank you, goodnight.  
06/05/1231m 19s

178- Not With A Bang But A Whimper

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. 
30/04/1228m 22s

177- The Burning Ships

In 468 the two halves of the Empire combined forces to dislodge the Vandals from North Africa.They failed spectacularly.
22/04/1226m 41s

176- The Quote Unquote Emperor

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. 
16/04/1225m 1s

175- Trying to Take It All Back

From 457-461, Majorian marched around trying to reassert Imperial authority over the provinces while Ricimer remained in Italy. 
09/04/1224m 51s

174- The Sack of Rome Part II

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. 
02/04/1224m 20s

173- The Broken Bow

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 generation of leaders.  Also, an announcment. 
25/03/1228m 55s

172- Showdown

In 451 Atilla the Hun invaded the West. He was repelled by a coalition of forces lead by the General Aetius. 
19/03/1225m 39s

171- The Gathering Storm

After placating Atilla with yet another indemnity, Theodosius II fell from his horse and died in 450, leaving the Eastern throne vacant.
11/03/1218m 7s

170- Atilla Cometh

In the 440s, the Huns began to direclty attack the Roman Empire. 
19/02/1224m 25s

169- Huns and Vandals and Goths, Oh My

In the 430s the Romans dealt with increasingly agressive and confident barbarian tribes living both inside and outside the traditional borders of the Empire. 
12/02/1224m 38s

168- The Rise of Aetius

In the late 420s AD, the Roman General Flavius Aetius connived and backstabbed his way up the chain of command. 
05/02/1224m 57s

167- Exploiting the Opportunity

The Emperor Honorius died in 423, leading to a brief civil war between the Theodosian dynasty and a self-proclaimed Imperial regime in Ravenna. 
29/01/1225m 40s

166- As Long As She's Nice To Look At

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.
22/01/1227m 19s

165- Reviving the Roman Name

Between 412 and 415 relations between the Romans and Goths shifted back and forth between alliance and antagonism. 
15/01/1225m 44s

164- The Sack of Rome

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. 
09/01/1225m 56s

163- Theodosius's Walls

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.
18/12/1126m 27s

162- Opening the Floodgates

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. 
12/12/1128m 12s

161- The Swamps of Ravenna

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. 
05/12/1124m 27s

160- East vs. West

In the late 390s, the generals and ministers who dominated Arcadius and Honorius battled with each other for control of the Empire. 
28/11/1124m 46s

159- The Divine Winds

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.
21/11/1123m 41s

158- An Imperial Suicide

In 392 Valentinian II was found hanged in his bedchamber, paving the way for another Roman Civil War. 
14/11/1122m 11s

157- Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass

After defeating the usurper Maximus in 388 AD, Theodosius found himself facing an even greater opponent in Ambrose of Milan.
31/10/1127m 11s

156- Jockeying for Position

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.
24/10/1127m 47s

155- The New Bishop of Milan

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.
16/10/1127m 5s

154- The Gothic War

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. 
10/10/1129m 58s

153- Adrianople

Operating with faulty intelligence and desperate to defeat the Goths on his own, Valens forced the disasterous Battle of Adrianople in August 378.
02/10/1123m 56s

152- The Storm Before the Storm

In 375 the Huns exploded into Gothic territory, sending refugees fleeing for the saftey of the Roman Empire.
25/09/1125m 36s

151- Bursting a Blood Vessel

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.
11/09/1125m 34s

150- The Perils of Mismanagement

in the late 360s and early 370s AD Roman mismanagment of three different regions in the Western Empire led to armed conflict.
04/09/1124m 40s

149- The Great Conspiracy

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.
29/08/1126m 22s

148- The Cousin's Cousin

Shortly after Valentinian and Valens ascended to the throne, one of Julian the Apostate's maternal cousins seized control of Constantinople.
22/08/1126m 54s

147- Capitulation

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.
15/08/1125m 13s

146- The Spear of Destiny

In 363 Julian launched an invasion of Sassanid Persia. He would die in battle just three months later.
08/08/1125m 39s

145- Julian the Apostate

Julian came to power in late 361 and immediately set about trying to turn back the clock on both Church and State.
31/07/1127m 31s

144- The Road to Constantinople

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.
25/07/1126m 35s

143- Julian the Pre-Apostate

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.
10/07/1126m 0s

142- You've Earned It

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.
04/07/1125m 41s

141- Blood and Water

Constantius and Constans shared the Empire for a decade until Constans was overthrown by a rebel general named Magnetius in 350 AD.
27/06/1127m 25s

140- My Three Sons

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.
20/06/1123m 58s

139- Wash Away Your Sins

Constantine was baptized on his deathbed after arranging a plan for succession.
13/06/1123m 23s

138- The New Rome

Live and direct from Old Rome!
30/05/1127m 23s

137- The Christian Emperor

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.
15/05/1123m 8s

136- Let This Be Our Final Battle

War between Licinius and Constantine flared up again in 324 AD. This time Constantine would finish the job.
01/05/1123m 39s

135- Brothers in Name Only

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.
25/04/1127m 0s

134- And Then There Were Two

In 313 AD, Maximinus Daia and Licinus fought for control of the Eastern Roman Empire.
18/04/1123m 53s

133- The Milvian Bridge

On October 28, 312 AD Constantine and Maxentius fought a battle at Rome's doorstep for control of the Western Empire.
11/04/1125m 17s

132- In This Sign

Prior to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Constantine experienced visions and dreams that promised him victory if he embraced Christianity.
04/04/1126m 47s

131- The New Game in Town

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.
28/03/1126m 59s

130- Lost in Transition

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

129- Abdication

In 305 AD, Diocletian and Maximian voluntarily abdicated the throne, handing power over to Galerius and Constantius.
07/03/1127m 18s

128- The Great Persecution

In 303 AD Diocletian initiated the last and greatest of the Christian persecutions.
28/02/1128m 12s

127- Commanding The Economy

Rome's economy was in disarray when Diocletian came to power and he initiated major overhauls to get the system running again.
21/02/1128m 18s

126- All The King's Men

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

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.  
07/02/1126m 32s

124- The Tetrarchs at War

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.
31/01/1125m 44s

123- The Tertrarchy

In 293 AD Diocletian and Maximian invited Constantius and Galerius to share in their Imperial burdens, forming what we today call the Tetrarchy.
24/01/1124m 30s

122- Jupiter and Hercules

Immediatly after becoming the undisputed Emperor in 285, Diocletian elevated Maximian to serve as his Imperial colleague.
16/01/1125m 50s

121- Phase Three Complete

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.
10/01/1125m 32s

120- Interregnum

After Aurelian's death, an old Senator named Marcus Cluadius Tacitus briefly reigned before the throne fell to Probus, who ruled from 276-282.
20/12/1026m 40s

119- Restitutor Orbis

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.
13/12/1026m 12s

118- The Palmyrene Wars

In 272 Aurelian finally managed to bring the east back under Roman control by defeating Queen Zenobia of Palmyra.
06/12/1029m 10s

117- Aurelian's Walls

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.
29/11/1026m 28s

116- Here Come the Illyrians

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.
22/11/1024m 50s

115- Phase Two Complete

The near simultaneous deaths of Gallienus, Odenathus and Postumus upset the political equilibrium in the late 260s AD.
08/11/1026m 12s

114- The Nadir of Our Fortunes

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.  
01/11/1028m 10s

113- Three Empires

24/10/1026m 32s

112- Captured Alive

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.
18/10/1026m 55s

111- Phase One Complete

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.
04/10/1028m 6s

110- A Gothic Horror

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.  
27/09/1025m 16s

109- The New Millenium

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.
20/09/1025m 39s

108- Gordian's Knot

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.
13/09/1026m 12s

107- The Year of the Six Emperors

In 238, a revolt in Africa sparked a revolution in Rome that would eventually lead to six different men claiming the title of Augustus.
30/08/1024m 44s

106- Barbarian at the Gate

After bungling a campaign in the east, Alexander headed to the Rhine where he was assassinated by Maximinius Thrax in 235 AD.
23/08/1029m 44s

105- The Last Princeps

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.  
16/08/1025m 34s

104- Here Comes the Sun

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. 
09/08/1028m 51s

103- The Equestrian

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.
02/08/1026m 25s

102- The Common Enemy of Mankind

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.
26/07/1023m 48s

101- And All Was of Little Value

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.  
19/07/1025m 17s

100- Black and White and Severus All Over

Septimius Severus became the undisputed Emperor of Rome after defeating Pescennius Niger in 194 and Clodius Albinus in 197.
27/06/1024m 30s

099- What Evil Have I Done?

After buying the Imperial throne, Didius Julianus only remained in power for 66 days before being ousted by Septimius Severus.
21/06/1025m 44s

098- Purchasing Power

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.
14/06/1023m 1s

097- The Fall of Hercules

Commodus went off the deep end around 190 AD and was finally killed by his inner circle in 192.
07/06/1029m 4s

096- The Most Aptly Named Emperor

The reign of Commodus turned on a botched assassination attempt orchestrated by his sister in 182 AD.
31/05/1026m 29s

095- The Beginning of the End

Marcus elevated Commodus to the position of co-Emperor and then died a few years later while campaigning in the north.
24/05/1024m 58s

094- Revolt and Meditations

In 175 Avidius Cassius led a brief revolt in the east that forced Marcus to postpone his final triumph along the Danube. 
17/05/1025m 46s

093- The Marcomannic Wars

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.
10/05/1024m 52s

092- The Parthian War

After some initial setbacks, Marcus sent Lucius east to deal with a suddenly critical war with Parthia in 162.
26/04/1024m 36s

091- Marcus and Lucius and the Parthians

Marcus Aurelius was destined to become Emperor, but his insistence that Lucius Verus share the honor came as a surprise to everyone.  
19/04/1024m 1s

090- The Hundredth Episode

Big question-time blowout!
12/04/1034m 20s

089- Provincial Matters

In which I talk for way too long about where the best tin deposits in the Roman Empire can be found.
05/04/1043m 46s

088- A Day in the Life

Life in Rome began at dawn and lasted until sunset. Work was done in the mornings while the afternoon was reserved for recreation.  
22/03/1024m 36s

087- Thinking and Feeling

With Roman education leaving much to be desired, many citizens found enlightenment in the eastern mystery cults or Greek philosophy.
15/03/1027m 56s

086- Wealth and Class

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.
08/03/1027m 28s

085- Antoninus the Dutiful

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.
01/03/1028m 11s

084- Longing For Death

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.
01/03/1027m 24s

083- May His Bones Be Crushed

Hadrian's relationship with the teenage boy Antinous raised eyebrows even in permissive Ancient Rome. His relationship with the Jews raises eyebrows even today.
01/03/1026m 32s

082- Hadrian's Walls

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.
01/03/1027m 50s

081- The Greekling

Though Hadrian's career had long been guided by Trajan, when the Emperor died in 117 he still had not named Hadrian heir.
01/03/1023m 29s

080- Optimus Trajan

Trajan greatly improved the infrastructure of the Empire and finished his reign by conquering much of the Middle East.
01/03/1021m 47s

079- The Dacian Wars

After Trajan ascended to the throne in 98 AD he fought two wars against the Dacians, finally annexing the country in 106 AD.
01/03/1022m 55s

078- Imperial Stop Gap

Nerva's brief reign was stormy, but his choice of Trajan as heir was inspired.
01/03/1024m 47s

077- What Time is It?

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.
01/03/1023m 10s

076- Mock Triumphs

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.
01/03/1023m 50s

075- The Forgotten Son

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.
01/03/1026m 35s

074- Friends I Have Wasted a Day

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.
01/03/1024m 4s

073- The Only Man Who Improved

Vespasian served as Emperor from 69-79 AD, stabilizing the Empire after a year of Civil War.
01/03/1026m 6s

072- Vitellius and Vespasian

Vitellius's reign was underminned by internal squabbling, allowing Vespasian's army to sieze Rome in December 69 AD.
01/03/1026m 37s

071- Otho and Vitellius

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
01/03/1024m 44s

070- Galba and Otho: The History of Rome

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.
01/03/1027m 10s

069- As History of Rome Wedding

Marriage was one of the key institutions of Roman culture and many of the traditions surrounding weddings persist today.
01/03/1016m 42s

068- Three Emperors

The personalities of each of the men who vied for the throne in 69 AD had a major impact on how events unfolded.
01/03/1021m 56s

067- What an Artist the World is Losing

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.
01/03/1022m 22s

066- 666

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.
01/03/1024m 37s

065- Burn It To The Ground

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.
01/03/1025m 18s

064- Smite My Womb

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.
01/03/1025m 34s

063- A Farewell to Claudius

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.
01/03/1025m 51s

062- Take My Wife...Please

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.
01/03/1025m 35s

061- What, me Claudius?

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.
01/03/1022m 14s

060- No Better Slave, No Worse Master

Caligula was insane. Luckily for the Romans, he wielded absolute power.
01/03/1022m 52s

058- Partner of my Labors

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.
01/03/1027m 22s

059- To the Tiber with Tiberius

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.
01/03/1022m 25s

057- Germanicus

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.
28/02/1025m 11s

055- Teutoburg Nightmares

The Julio-Claudian family was rife with conflict, but nothing compared to the battle fought against the Germans in the Teutoburg Forest.
28/02/1025m 29s

054- All in the Family

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-imposed exile.
28/02/1024m 32s

053- Reigning Supreme

After attaining power, Augustus set about reforming the Empire.
28/02/1023m 52s

052- Caesar Augustus

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.
28/02/1028m 0s

051- Actium

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.
28/02/1024m 26s

050- The Donations of Alexandria

After Antony failed to conquer Parthia, the Triumvirate partnership broke down, leading to a declaration of war.
28/02/1025m 34s

049- Apollo and Dionysus

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.
28/02/1026m 40s

048- The Second Triumvirate

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.
28/02/1024m 23s

047- Octavius-Octavian

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.
28/02/1022m 36s

046- Sic Semper Tyrannis

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.
28/02/1021m 38s

045- The End of the War

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 the Civil War triumphant he returned to Rome and began his ambitious reform programs.
28/02/1023m 55s

044- Caesar Triumphant

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.
28/02/1024m 28s

043- Insert Well Known Idiom Here

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.
28/02/1026m 45s

042- Meanwhile, Back in Rome

While Caesar was fighting the Gallic Wars, events in Rome and beyond exacerbated the political tensions that would eventually lead to Civil War.
28/02/1024m 14s

041b- The Gallic Wars

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.
28/02/1025m 20s

041a- The Gallic Wars

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.
28/02/1020m 2s

040- In the Consulship of Julius and Caesar

In 59 BC Julius Caesar served a controversial year in the consulship. He pressed for land and administrative reforms the conservative Senate opposed.
28/02/1023m 1s

039- The Young Julius Caesar Chronicles

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.
28/02/1022m 52s

038- The Catiline Conspiracy

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.
28/02/1020m 8s

037- Go East Young Man

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.
28/02/1019m 29s

036- I Am Spartacus!

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).
28/02/1019m 48s

035- Crassus and Pompey

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 with Julius Caesar to form the first Triumvirate.
28/02/1019m 28s

034- No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy

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.
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033- Marius and Sulla

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032- The Social War

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031b- Marius

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031a- Marius

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030- Gaius Gracchus

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029- Tiberius Gracchus

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028- Taking Stock

28/02/1013m 14s

027- Mopping Up

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025- The Syrian War

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023d- The War With Hannibal

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023c- The War With Hannibal

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023b- The War With Hannibal

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023a- The War With Hannibal

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021- Interbellum

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020b- The First Punic War

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020a- The First Punic War

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019- Prelude to the First Punic War

It was inevitable that the Romans and Cartheginians would run into each other one day.
28/02/1016m 4s

018- A History of Rome Christmas

Many of the traditions that surround modern Christmas have their roots in Saturnalia and the Feast of Sol Invictus.
28/02/1012m 45s

017- Pyrrhic Victories

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 control of Magna Graecia.
28/02/1017m 50s

016- The Third Samnite War

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.
27/02/1015m 35s

015b- The Second Samnite War

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 works projects that advanced Roman civilization.
27/02/1014m 41s

015a- The Second Samnite War

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.
25/02/1018m 17s

014b- A Phalanx With Joints

The Roman army abandoned the Greek phalanx in favor of a new system based on a three line deployment organized by age and experience.
25/02/1016m 58s

014a- A Phalanx With Joints

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.
25/02/1011m 22s

013- The Latin War

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.
25/02/1014m 12s

012- The First Samnite War

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 between the two peoples.
25/02/1018m 14s

011- The Morning After

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 access to the most powerful office of state: the Consulship.
25/02/1016m 40s

010: Barbarians at the Gates

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.
25/02/1015m 50s

009- A Trojan War

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.
25/02/1013m 52s

008- Decades of Gloom

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.
25/02/1015m 24s

007- The Roman Washington

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.
25/02/1012m 9s

006- The Twelve Tables

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 regardless of wealth or class.
25/02/1015m 56s

005- Trials and Tribunlations

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.
25/02/1015m 50s

004- The Public Thing

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.
25/02/1014m 49s

003b- The Seven Kings of Rome

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 outlawed by the Romans.
25/02/1018m 10s

003a- The Seven Kings of Rome

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.
25/02/1016m 0s

002- Youthful Indiscretions

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 disappearance from the world of men.
25/02/1011m 57s

001- In the Beginning

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 legend? We end this week with the death of Remus and the founding of Rome.
28/07/0711m 49s
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