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By the end of the 300s, the soldiers on Hadrian's Wall were hungry, they were under-equipped, and they hadn't been paid in years. Even so, many stayed at their posts--even as the Roman Empire lost its grip on Britain entirely. Find out how the fall of Rome looked from the view of Hadrian's Wall--and what became of those stationed there, holding the…
 
In this episode, it's Roman Emperors behaving badly--and Praetorian Prefects behaving even worse. Beginning with Caligula, Emperors were assaulted in their homes, killed with their families, dragged through the streets, and mutilated by angry mobs. At one point, the Praetorians even assassinated an Emperor, then auctioned off the Empire to the high…
 
The living at Hadrian's Wall wasn't as austere as you might think for those stationed there--especially in the beginning. Merchants flocked from all over the Empire to sell their wares to soldiers with regular paychecks. But conditions changed drastically in the decades and centuries after Hadrian died. New Emperors--Antoninus Pius, Diocletian, Sep…
 
The Praetorian Guard was the elite military unit tasked with protecting the Emperors of Rome. Except when they held the assassin's blade themselves. The Praetorians brought emperors low and raised them up; shaped the fate of the Empire and were eventually destroyed by it. This is their story. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/ancie…
 
What was life like on Hadrian's Wall? This week, we're going to explore the living conditions along the Wall--at the forts and the milecastles, in the officers' quarters and soldiers' barracks, and in the bustling civilian towns that sprang up around the military encampments. There's a treasure trove of archaeology at forts along the Wall--especial…
 
Some child emperors became tyrants. Others were taken advantage of by stronger regents and family members--frequently with tragic results. In this episode, we'll take a look at weaker child emperors who struggled to overcome the influence of power-hungry adults around them. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/ancienthistoryfangirl Le…
 
Hadrian’s Wall is a jaw-dropping engineering achievement stretching 73 miles across hundred-foot-high escarpments and rushing rivers, its earthworks dug deep into unforgiving igneous bedrock. It’s the largest Roman artifact in existence, and yet we still have no idea why it was built. It’s barely mentioned in the ancient sources, but in its rise an…
 
In ancient Rome, being made Emperor could be a death sentence. Experienced generals and statesmen lasted weeks or months sometimes. In some cases, children were raised to the role. What became of them? Part 1 of our series looks at two very different kinds of child tyrant: Elagabalus and Caracalla. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com…
 
This week, we’re taking a deep dive into Welsh mythology from a queer, feminist perspective with the phenomenally talented Welsh artist Mari Catrin Phillips of MythsnTits. Join us as we get acquainted with the women of the Mabinogion. Check out MythsnTits: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MariCatrinPhillips Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.c…
 
If you know anything about Mithras, you might have the impression that he was kind of a proto-Jesus. Turns out that’s wrong. Think of this as less of a seasonal episode, and more of a seasonal myth-busting episode. Get ready for the epic story of a bull-slaughtering, mushroom-tripping, light-bringing, Emperor-pee-drinking, hierarchy-maintaining, Sm…
 
The Morrigan has many names: Badb, the scald-crow. Red-haired Macha. Nevin of the battle-frenzy. Fea; the deathly. Be Neit; the Woman of Battle. But first and foremost, the Morrigan was a goddess of war. And to understand her, you have to understand her battlefield. Join us as we get to know the Morrigan—and explore the bloody waters in which she s…
 
In our last episode, we alluded to the fact that there were female as well as male Druids in the Celtic iron age. But if the picture of male Druids is spotty, the picture of female Druids is more mysterious still. We decided to delve into Celtic culture, myth, and archaeology to see what we could uncover about female Druids in the ancient world. Ge…
 
When Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, the Druids suffered a swift and catastrophic loss of status and position. Persecuted and demonized by later Emperors, many fled to Britain, where Roman influence didn’t reach. But eventually, the Romans followed. The Druids were driven to the island of Anglesey— the last stronghold of Druidic life and learning. Fr…
 
What tales kept people from thousands of years ago up at night? This Halloween, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to delve into spooky stories from the ancient world that will send a shiver up your spine—tales of shrieking Banshees, deathly Furies, and the terrors of Samhain. So spread some salt ove…
 
Ancient History Fangirl is taking a break. We'll be busy getting ready for Season 6--which we're really psyched about. Listen in as we discuss highlights of the previous season, our big plans for Season 6, and some other important developments. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/ancienthistoryfangirl Learn more about your ad choices…
 
More than 1,800 years after Spartacus fought for his freedom, another rebel leader spearheaded the most successful slave revolt in history: the Haitian Revolution. That leader was a man named Toussaint L’Ouverture. This week, we invited Mike Duncan of The History of Rome and Revolutions to help us compare these two revolutionaries and discuss what …
 
Crixus is dead. Spartacus has given up on crossing the Alps. And he has a new enemy: a man with endless money, endless resources, and a lot to prove. Nobody asked for more Crassus. Not Spartacus, not the Roman Senate, and not the hundred thousand people following Spartacus to a better life. But in this episode, that’s exactly what everyone is going…
 
After defeating Glaber on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, Spartacus and his rebels enjoyed a glorious Italian summer—taming wild ponies for their infantry, attracting new recruits, and raiding in the rich Italian farmlands. But all good summers come to an end. The Roman Senate continued to send more experienced generals against Spartacus--even as he st…
 
In our last episode, Spartacus and his compatriots broke out of the ludus and began their rebellion. Spurred on by the Dionysian prophecies of his lover, the Thracian Lady, Spartacus’ legend grew. But the Roman Senate was not going to let his army rampage unchecked—and soon Spartacus would face troubles without and tribal conflicts within. It all c…
 
The story of Spartacus is the story of the Roman Republic at a crossroads. In the 70s BC, the city of Rome was a powderkeg, the peninsula was wracked with starvation and violence, the Mediterranean was crawling with pirates, and two major wars raged overseas. This was the state of affairs when Spartacus rebelled. Join us as we explore the volatile …
 
Join us as we travel back in time to the amphitheatre of Capua—mainland Italy's largest amphitheatre in its day—and experience a day at the gladiatorial games during the time of Spartacus. This episode was sponsored by Oneshi Press. Sound sculpting by Lens Group Media. Get ad-free episodes here. Mr. Guy Lens Group Media Learn more about your ad cho…
 
What did it take to be a gladiator? Who ended up in the arena, and why? And how did the gladiatorial games—one of the bloodiest sporting events known in the ancient world—come to be? From the ancient roots of Etruscan funeral games to the height of Roman spectacle, we examine the history of gladiatorial combat—and explore what life was like for gla…
 
We're thrilled to announce we'll both be participating in Intelligent Speech 2020 this year! This year, the conference will be held entirely online, from 10 AM to 6 PM on June 27. Tickets are $10 (early) and $15 (starting June 19). We had the pleasure of sitting down to talk podcasting, history, and our upcoming presentation with Roifield Brown, pr…
 
We invited the Partial Historians onto our show to discuss one of their favorite topics and ours: Spartacus in film and pop culture. Join us in a no-holds-barred conversation in which Dr. Rad unleashes the beast, Dr. G stages a rebellion-within-the-rebellion, and Dr. Rad's cat has a LOT to say. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/anc…
 
The Thracians were the most feared professional killers of the ancient world—serving as hired assassins, enforcers, and mercenaries in famous battles from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. They were the ones the Romans and Greeks hired for their really dirty work. But there was more to the Thracians than violence. In this episode, we use a…
 
Who was Spartacus, really? It’s not an easy question to answer. The ancient sources agree that he was Thracian, but even this is up for debate. Still, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that to know Spartacus, you have to know the Thracians. The Thracians were a fierce warrior people, consummate mercenaries who fought in every major Greek and …
 
During the First Servile War, the epic prophet and fire-breather named Eunus led a rebellion that threatened the Republic to its foundations. For a time, Eunus controlled all of Sicily. But he ended his life devoured by lice in a jail cell. After Eunus’ death, the great Sicilian latifundia recovered. Within a few years, they were up and running aga…
 
The First Servile War started in 135 BC—about 62 years before Spartacus led his rebellion. It lasted about twice as long as the Spartacus war, and involved hundreds of thousands of people. The Spartacus of this rebellion was a man named Eunus—a fire-breather and miracle worker whose courage inspired additional revolts throughout the Italian peninsu…
 
This week, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to drink wine, drop some f-bombs, and dish about everyone’s favorite god of theatre, orgies, booze and madness. Join us as we explore all the ways Dionysus subverted the Roman patriarchy, theatre practices of the ancient Greeks, woman-centric retellings o…
 
So, up until this point all the episodes we've put out recently were recorded before the coronavirus hit us where we lived. But the world has drastically changed since then. We wanted to give our audience an update about what we're up to, how we're coping, and the direction for the podcast in the coming weeks and months. Get ad-free episodes here: …
 
In our last episode we talked about the journey Dionysus took to become a god. We followed his travels across the Mediterranean as he went on an epic quest to spread the cultivation of wine. In this episode, we'll focus on what happened after Dionysus won his place as a god on Mount Olympus--how people worshiped him on earth, and what made him so d…
 
Forget what you thought you knew about Dionysus and his cozy wine-drinking image. This is the Dionysus of Thrace. The Dionysus of Mithradates. Of Spartacus. Of revolutionaries across the classical world. This is the story of how one wandering god inspired people to rise up against injustice. In this episode, we look at Dio's origin story, his mytho…
 
Our only explanation for this episode is that it was Jenny's birthday and she wanted to have some friends over. So we invited Katy and Nathan from Queens Podcast to come on our podcast and drink us under the table. Join us on a drunken ramble through the Julio-Claudian dynasty, where we go on and ON about our favorite topics: Agrippina (Elder and Y…
 
After the disaster at Actium, Marc Antony's entire army--100,000 strong--surrendered to Octavian. Marc Antony and Cleopatra fled to Alexandria to negotiate the terms of their defeat. Those were dark, foreboding days. Friends and allies fled the palace. Marc Antony fell into a deep depression, while Cleopatra searched desperately for a way out--one …
 
As Marc Antony and Cleopatra lived and loved in Alexandria, Octavian whipped up a toxic garbage fire of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia in Rome--and then declared war. Not against Marc Antony, but against Cleopatra. Soon, the lovers would be forced to defend their home, their family, and their life together on the shores of the Ambracian Gulf. Fin…
 
Why were Civil War-era female spies so successful in smuggling guns across enemy lines? What secret superpower gave Scythian women an edge in battle? In heavily patriarchal ancient Greece, what made athletic, confident Spartan women so exceptional? Badass women have existed throughout ancient history. In this bonus AHFG episode, Kate from the Explo…
 
What do you know about Yule? Maybe a lot. The holiday is widely celebrated in Scandinavian countries, and it's an important part of Wiccan and Pagan tradition. But for many of us, the version that's come down through history is strongly associated with Christmas--and heavily sanitized. When we scratched the surface, however, we found that the origi…
 
After four years of marriage with Octavia, Marc Antony followed Cleopatra to Alexandria—and settled into life there. He oversaw festivals and athletic contests, cheered Cleopatra on as she ruled Egypt, and showered her and their children with honors and territories. For all intents and purposes, he was the consort of Egypt’s beloved Pharaoh, the fa…
 
When Cleopatra and Marc Antony met by the River Tarsus, Antony was smitten. And when Cleopatra went back to Alexandria, he forgot about invading Parthia and followed her home. The two then spent a magical few months in Alexandria, where they threw each other lavish banquets, made bets and compacts, played ridiculous practical jokes on each other an…
 
Last time we covered vampires, we were struck by the haunting connection between vampire myths and real disease. Between that and the many vampire myths from around the world that we didn’t have time to cover, you might say we had unfinished business with vampires. This Halloween, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Raven Forrest Fruscalzo from t…
 
Shakespeare wrote about them. Hollywood glamorized them. For thousands of years, they've come down to us as the ultimate star-crossed lovers: the Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra, and the Roman commander Marc Antony. In the wake of Caesar's death, Cleopatra fled to Egypt--and began picking up the pieces. Meanwhile, Marc Antony defeated Caesar's assassins …
 
The romance between Mark Antony and Cleopatra has beguiled us for centuries. What most people don’t realize is that when Mark Antony met Cleopatra, he was already married—to someone just as epic. Her name was Fulvia. Cleopatra had glamour and divinity and lots of money. But Fulvia had the gangs. She was a populist firebrand, military leader, and fo…
 
Season III is over, and we're gearing up for Season IV! We'll be back on October 3. Listen up to find out what we've got coming up! Also, if you want to get more of us during our break, subscribe to our Patreon! We've got exclusive episodes up just for Patreon subscribers. For just $2 a month you can get more Fangirl episodes and support the podcas…
 
When Julius Caesar returned to Rome after his last military campaign, he had big plans. Plans like remaking Rome in the image of Alexandria—as a beacon of light and learning. Transforming the Roman calendar and enacting sweeping government reforms. Invading Parthia for some reason. And making himself Dictator for Life—and the next best thing to a k…
 
After winning the Alexandrian War and restoring Cleopatra to her throne, Julius Caesar returned to Rome. And then—he kept busy. Settling an insurrection among his troops, getting himself declared dictator for another 10 years, cleaning up the resistance, packing the Senate with his friends, and throwing himself not one, not two, not three—but four …
 
When Cleopatra met Julius Caesar, sparks flew. The daring Egyptian queen beguiled the conquering Roman general—and then enlisted him to fight her battles. Outnumbered five to one in a city full of ancient wonders, Cleopatra and Caesar spent the next ten months barricaded in a luxurious palace while outside, the enemy howled for their blood--fightin…
 
When Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, he walked into a civil war between the country’s new co-rulers: Ptolemy XIII and his sister Cleopatra. The romance between Caesar and Cleopatra is one of the most epic of ancient times. But we can’t tell you that story until you understand who Cleopatra was. And to understand Cleopatra, you have to understand th…
 
Within sixty days of crossing the Rubicon, Julius Caesar took control of the entire Italian peninsula—almost without bloodshed. But until he defeated Pompey, Caesar’s victories were temporary. Now Caesar would face Rome's greatest general and his own greatest rival. Pompey had more experience, more troops, and more supplies, and he knew every move …
 
Julius Caesar was in Gaul for eight years—and while he was gone, things in Rome didn’t just stop. His enemies were sharpening their knives, just salivating for him to come back so they could prosecute him. If they got their way, Caesar could lose his legions, his fortune, and his position—and see all his achievements undone. Caesar was backed into …
 
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