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During the civil war of 238CE no less than six Emperors were vying for the purple. When the dust finally settled on the child Gordian III remained in power, not because he was the best person for the job, but because he was the most convenient. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fello…
 
Maximinus Thrax was an unorthodox Emperor, a man of lowborn status who kept to the frontlines with the military. It was only a matter of time before the Senate threw in with someone more on their level, but their choice, Gordian, would have the shortest rule of any Emperor. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie Univ…
 
The Roman Empire was unprepared for the rule of the Emperor Maximinus. Regarded by many as a savage barbarian, he came to the purple by blood, would rule by blood, and would leave it the same way. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt)…
 
In 9CE three Roman legions were walking through Germany when they were ambushed in what would become one of the most notorious defeats throughout Rome’s history. The loss of the legions were a crippling blow to Rome’s plans of expansion, and redrew the borders in the province. Guest: Barry Strauss (Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic …
 
If an emperor has been disappointing, cruel, tyrannical, or just related to the wrong person he is at risk of being damned, erased, have his likenesses destroyed and his name stricken from the records. The process of danmatio memoraie was intended to be a permanent judgement, and the final vengeance of an angry Rome. Guest: Associate Professor Rhia…
 
Severus Alexander comes from a strong military dynasty with a string of victories against Rome’s enemies, and it’s fair to say the Roman army was less than impressed with his performance against Sassanian and Germanic tribes. The empire needs a leader! Should they turn to a fighter, or to a weakling and his mother? Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Seni…
 
When Severus Alexander leads the Roman armies east, he meets Artaxerxes and the Sasanians in battle but his tactics are unprepared. Artaxerxes attacked unexpectedly with his entire force and trapped the Romans like fish in a net; firing their arrows from all sides at the encircled soldiers, the Persians massacred the whole army. Guest: Dr Caillan D…
 
Severus Alexander was an emperor who spent much of his reign at war, but he was ill-suited to it and would likely have preferred to be elsewhere. His main enemy was the Sasanians, an empire that rose out of the ashes of the Parthians, and would be a leading regional power for the next 400 years. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman H…
 
Severus Alexander was a young boy when he came to power in Rome in 222CE, in the wake of the death of his unpopular cousin, Elagabalus. He would reign for 13 years but struggle to assert authority, bringing the once proud Severan dynasty to a chaotic ending. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt …
 
Rhiannon Evans, Caillan Davenport and Matt Smith each share three Roman topics of interest for three minutes! You will hear: - Scaurus and the marble columns - The 206 fragments of the Portland Vase - The paranoia of Emperor Claudius - The Roman perception of Ireland (featuring exploding sheep) - The vanity of the Alexander the Sophist - An early e…
 
For the fifth time, listeners provide questions and Rhiannon and Matt answer! In this episode: - How the orders of Roman society worked - The materials Romans used in clothing - How Romans marked years by Consul - Augustus adopting his wife, Livia - The truth about the Cantabrian warrior Cococotta - How to actually pronounce ‘Pompey’ - Is the Roman…
 
Gaius Gracchus - awe-inspiring and passionate to exaggeration, a demagogue pure and simple, seemingly shunned the family business, at least to begin with. But however much you may try to defer your fate, sometimes decisions are made for you. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)…
 
Tiberius Gracchus had introduced property laws that, while unpopular with the ruling elite, went down well with the people of Rome. You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But that’s just politics, isn’t it? Nothing to lose your head over. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Anci…
 
Any system of government that has been around for long enough is going to develop its problems, and that is definitely the case with the Roman republic. There was inequality between the ruling class and the common people, and if young Tiberius Gracchus decides to take up the cause, what’s the worst that could happen? Guest: Associate Professor Rhia…
 
What we do know about Cornelia is mostly through the lens of her famous sons, but to the Romans she was much more than that. She was put on a pedestal, in bronze, no less, as the ideal mother for Romans to aspire to, and may have been quite influential in politics at the time. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History,…
 
Octavian was barely an adult when he arrived in Rome in 44BCE. Two months had passed since his adopted father, Julius Caesar, was murdered by members of the senate who resented his control as dictator. Octavian stood to inherit Caesar’s fortunes, but few could have imagined that he would inherit Caesar’s power. He would become emperor in 27BCE, rei…
 
The Vestals were an order of priestesses who were sacred to Rome, and were respected and referred as symbols of a safe and stable empire. They had the all-important duty of maintaining the sacred flame, and if it were extinguished, it would be a sign of impending disaster. Guest: Dr Peta Greenfield (Public Historian, co-host of 'The Partial Histori…
 
Elagabalus has long been remembered as deviant and sexually depraved. His behaviour was shocking for a Roman citizen, let alone the leader of the empire, and Rome was relieved to see the end of him. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt)…
 
When Elagabalus finally reached Rome, the city seemed to hold its breath. The young Emperor embraced both the roles of ruler and high priest of a foreign religion, and there were many that questioned where his priorities lie. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe Universit…
 
Macrinus has made a treaty with the Parthians and at long last, the two mighty empires are at peace. It likely won’t last, but at this point it matters little: now he can finally get down to the business of ruling the empire. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe Universit…
 
While we are lucky that much Roman literature from the late republic and the imperial period comes down to us complete or almost complete, most of the historical and poetic works from the mid-republic have been lost and only survive in fragments. Guest: Dr Hannah Čulík-Baird (Assistant Professor, Classical Studies, Boston University)…
 
The Roman calendar was important to the civic management of Rome - it told when to plant and harvest crops, when to celebrate festivals and when to go to war. The calendar designed by the Romans is used today, more or less unchanged for 2000 years - including paying homage to both Julius Caesar and Augustus. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecture…
 
The historian Edward Gibbon perhaps summed up Caracalla quite succinctly, when he used this phrase to describe his demise while answering a call of nature on the side of the road: "Such was the end of a monster whose life disgraced human nature, and whose reign accused the patience of the Romans." Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman…
 
The Roman Empire had engaged in Parthian wars for generations, stretching back, off and on, to the days of Pompey the Great. Caracalla makes his foray into this arena, but as always, he’s going to do things a little differently. He shall have a wedding. Or a hanging. Either way he’s going to have a lot of fun. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Le…
 
The Roman poet Ovid penned The Book of Love in three volumes as a manual for how to deal with the art of love and seduction during the slightly austere days of the reign of Augustus. This isn't exactly 'Men are From the Temple of Mars, Women are From the Temple of Venus', but happy Lupercalia everyone! Guest: Assoc Professor Peter Davis (Visiting R…
 
The ultimate triumvirate! Three people present three Roman history topics each for three minutes. In this episode you will hear: - The unfortunate demise of Cinna the poet - Cicero's reluctance to send panthers to those in need - The sensitive subject of baldness - PTSD bought on by the Carthaginian War - Women donning a toga - Claudius' edicts and…
 
When Spartacus escaped the gladiator training school he may not have realised what he had started. What began as a simple bid for freedom soon became a cause for slaves around Italy, and he attracted thousands of followers. The Romans were forced to pay attention to this enemy from within, despite the fact that there was little glory to be found fi…
 
The Roman empire was made mighty through the hard work of slaves, but occasionally they escaped, banded together and fought back. The last and greatest slave rebellion was lead by Spartacus, a man who has come to symbolise the oppressed and resistance against tyranny. We begin the story of his life by looking at his time as a gladiator. Guest: Dr R…
 
Classical authors such as Cicero and Plutarch would have us believe that the elderly were revered, active citizens of ancient Rome. But on closer inspection that may not be the case, and older people mightn’t have the power and respect in society that we first supposed. Guest: Professor Tim Parkin (Elizabeth and James Tatoulis Chair of Classics, Un…
 
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