The History of Rome

By 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!

Episode Date
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! 



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Jul 27, 2017
Revolutions Launch

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

Sep 16, 2013
Update- One Year Later

Next show coming soon!

May 30, 2013
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.  

May 06, 2012
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. 

Apr 30, 2012
177- The Burning Ships

In 468 the two halves of the Empire combined forces to dislodge the Vandals from North Africa.They failed spectacularly.

Apr 22, 2012
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. 

Apr 16, 2012
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. 

Apr 09, 2012
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. 

Apr 02, 2012
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. 

Mar 25, 2012
172- Showdown

In 451 Atilla the Hun invaded the West. He was repelled by a coalition of forces lead by the General Aetius. 

Mar 19, 2012
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.

Mar 11, 2012
170- Atilla Cometh

In the 440s, the Huns began to direclty attack the Roman Empire. 

Feb 19, 2012
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. 

Feb 12, 2012
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. 

Feb 05, 2012
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. 

Jan 29, 2012
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.

Jan 22, 2012
165- Reviving the Roman Name

Between 412 and 415 relations between the Romans and Goths shifted back and forth between alliance and antagonism. 

Jan 15, 2012
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. 

Jan 09, 2012
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.

Dec 18, 2011
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. 

Dec 12, 2011
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. 

Dec 05, 2011
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. 

Nov 28, 2011
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.

Nov 21, 2011
158- An Imperial Suicide

In 392 Valentinian II was found hanged in his bedchamber, paving the way for another Roman Civil War. 

Nov 14, 2011
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.

Oct 31, 2011
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.

Oct 24, 2011
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.

Oct 16, 2011
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. 

Oct 10, 2011
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.

Oct 02, 2011
152- The Storm Before the Storm

In 375 the Huns exploded into Gothic territory, sending refugees fleeing for the saftey of the Roman Empire.

Sep 25, 2011
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.

Sep 11, 2011
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.

Sep 04, 2011
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.

Aug 29, 2011
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.

Aug 22, 2011
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.

Aug 15, 2011
146- The Spear of Destiny

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

Aug 08, 2011
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.

Jul 31, 2011
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.

Jul 25, 2011
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.

Jul 10, 2011
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.

Jul 04, 2011
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.

Jun 27, 2011
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.

Jun 20, 2011
139- Wash Away Your Sins

Constantine was baptized on his deathbed after arranging a plan for succession.

Jun 13, 2011
138- The New Rome

Live and direct from Old Rome!

May 30, 2011
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.

May 15, 2011
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.

May 01, 2011
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.

Apr 25, 2011
134- And Then There Were Two

In 313 AD, Maximinus Daia and Licinus fought for control of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Apr 18, 2011
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.

Apr 11, 2011
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.

Apr 04, 2011
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.

Mar 28, 2011
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.

Mar 14, 2011
129- Abdication

In 305 AD, Diocletian and Maximian voluntarily abdicated the throne, handing power over to Galerius and Constantius.

Mar 07, 2011
128- The Great Persecution

In 303 AD Diocletian initiated the last and greatest of the Christian persecutions.

Feb 28, 2011
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.

Feb 21, 2011
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.

Feb 14, 2011
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.


Feb 07, 2011
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.

Jan 31, 2011
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.

Jan 24, 2011
122- Jupiter and Hercules

Immediatly after becoming the undisputed Emperor in 285, Diocletian elevated Maximian to serve as his Imperial colleague.

Jan 16, 2011
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.

Jan 10, 2011
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.

Dec 20, 2010
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.

Dec 13, 2010
118- The Palmyrene Wars

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

Dec 06, 2010
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.

Nov 29, 2010
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.

Nov 22, 2010
115- Phase Two Complete

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

Nov 08, 2010
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.


Nov 01, 2010
113- Three Empires
Oct 24, 2010
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.

Oct 18, 2010
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.

Oct 04, 2010
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.


Sep 27, 2010
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.

Sep 20, 2010
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.

Sep 13, 2010
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.

Aug 30, 2010
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.

Aug 23, 2010
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.


Aug 16, 2010
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. 

Aug 09, 2010
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.

Aug 02, 2010
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.

Jul 26, 2010
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.


Jul 19, 2010
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.
Jun 27, 2010
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.
Jun 21, 2010
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.
Jun 14, 2010
097- The Fall of Hercules
Commodus went off the deep end around 190 AD and was finally killed by his inner circle in 192.

Jun 07, 2010
096- The Most Aptly Named Emperor
The reign of Commodus turned on a botched assassination attempt orchestrated by his sister in 182 AD.
May 31, 2010
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.
May 24, 2010
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. 
May 17, 2010
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.

May 10, 2010
092- The Parthian War
After some initial setbacks, Marcus sent Lucius east to deal with a suddenly critical war with Parthia in 162.

Apr 26, 2010
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.

Apr 19, 2010
090- The Hundredth Episode
Big question-time blowout!
Apr 12, 2010
089- Provincial Matters
In which I talk for way too long about where the best tin deposits in the Roman Empire can be found.
Apr 05, 2010
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.  
Mar 22, 2010
087- Thinking and Feeling
With Roman education leaving much to be desired, many citizens found enlightenment in the eastern mystery cults or Greek philosophy.
Mar 15, 2010
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.
Mar 08, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
080- Optimus Trajan

Trajan greatly improved the infrastructure of the Empire and finished his reign by conquering much of the Middle East.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
078- Imperial Stop Gap

Nerva's brief reign was stormy, but his choice of Trajan as heir was inspired.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
073- The Only Man Who Improved

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

Mar 01, 2010
072- Vitellius and Vespasian

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

Mar 01, 2010
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

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
060- No Better Slave, No Worse Master

Caligula was insane. Luckily for the Romans, he wielded absolute power.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.

Mar 01, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
056- The King is Dead, Long Live the King
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
053- Reigning Supreme
After attaining power, Augustus set about reforming the Empire.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
050- The Donations of Alexandria
After Antony failed to conquer Parthia, the Triumvirate partnership broke down, leading to a declaration of war.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.

Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.

Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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).
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
033- Marius and Sulla
Feb 28, 2010
032- The Social War
Feb 28, 2010
031b- Marius
Feb 28, 2010
031a- Marius
Feb 28, 2010
030- Gaius Gracchus
Feb 28, 2010
029- Tiberius Gracchus
Feb 28, 2010
028- Taking Stock
Feb 28, 2010
027- Mopping Up
Feb 28, 2010
026- The Third Macedonian War
Feb 28, 2010
025- The Syrian War
Feb 28, 2010
024- The Second Macedonian War
Feb 28, 2010
023e- The War With Hannibal
Feb 28, 2010
023d- The War With Hannibal
Feb 28, 2010
023c- The War With Hannibal
Feb 28, 2010
023b- The War With Hannibal
Feb 28, 2010
023a- The War With Hannibal
Feb 28, 2010
022- Prelude to the Second Punic War
Feb 28, 2010
021- Interbellum
Feb 28, 2010
020b- The First Punic War
Feb 28, 2010
020a- The First Punic War
Feb 28, 2010
019- Prelude to the First Punic War
It was inevitable that the Romans and Cartheginians would run into each other one day.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 28, 2010
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.
Feb 27, 2010
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.
Feb 27, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.
Feb 25, 2010
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.

Jul 28, 2007