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Communities all over the ancient world had a problem: their dead wouldn’t stay in the ground. They rose up as shambolic corpses, gusts of wind and evil spirits, draining human life force and devouring flesh and blood. The vampire myth is an ancient one, found on every continent. Join us as we explore the oldest vampire myths we could find from Sume…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
This episode is a whole divided into three parts. In Part 3, Vercingetorix has been in the field for less than a year--fighting Julius Caesar by burning his own towns, fields, and grain supplies to keep them out of Roman hands. And he's managed to hold his proud, independent people together--by any means necessary. But now Vercingetorix will face h…
 
This episode is a whole divided into three parts. In Part 2, Vercingetorix steps onto the stage, and all of Gaul unites behind him against the armies of Caesar. But Vercingetorix faces an enemy that's better organized, better armed, and more cohesive--and his margin of error is razor-thin. To save his people, Vercingetorix must do more than unite t…
 
This episode is a whole divided into three parts. In Part 1, we send Julius Caesar and his army on a collision course toward the people of Gaul. This is an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object; the disciplined might of the Roman Republic coming up against an epic warrior culture that had existed in this place for centuries. Find out how it…
 
What can a story from ancient Ireland tell us about the Gauls before Caesar? Maybe a lot. The Hound of Ulster is synonymous with Irish history. But it also draws back the curtain on a world we see echoed in the archaeology of ancient Gaul: a world of epic feasts, the hero’s portion, cattle raiding, magical cauldrons, and chariot warfare. Think of t…
 
In 58 BC, Julius Caesar set his sights on conquering the Gauls. But who were the Gauls? They didn't write things down—and much of what we know about them comes from Caesar himself. An outsider, and a conqueror. Before we tell you about the Gallic Wars, we want to let the Gauls speak for themselves—or come as close as they can, through archaeology, …
 
After an epic quarter-life crisis, Julius Caesar returned to Rome and started to kick things up a notch—winning honors, elections, and the love of the public. But as his power grew, his enemies multiplied. To fight back, Caesar made an unholy bargain with two very powerful players: Rome’s richest man and its most renowned general. With money in his…
 
Julius Caesar came of age in a Rome where severed heads hung in the Rostra, bodies choked the Tiber, and murderous mobs stalked the streets. Even at 16, this was Caesar's element. And by 30, he'd stood up to a terrifying dictator, got kidnapped by pirates, and made a career out of prosecuting powerful governors for corruption. Not to mention, he ha…
 
Of the six children of Germanicus, Agrippina the Younger is the last woman standing. Both savvier than her siblings and more ruthless, she quickly rises to stratospheric levels of power--using any and all means necessary. But plenty of dangerous people in ancient Rome don't like seeing a woman in control, and they'll do anything to stop her. Agripp…
 
With their brother Caligula dead, the two remaining Germanicus children--Julia Livilla and Agrippina--are called home from exile. The new emperor, their uncle Claudius, welcomes them with open arms. Life is good. Life...is perfect. But in ancient Rome, the knives in the dark are still sharp. The sisters find themselves facing threats from all sides…
 
Wish you had a holiday all about feasting, drinking, the upending of the social order, blood sacrifices, the harvest, pranks, novelty gifts, honouring a god who devoured his kids, and the returning sun? Don’t we all??? Welcome to Saturnalia. Get ad-free episodes here: https://www.patreon.com/ancienthistoryfangirl Learn more about your ad choices. V…
 
With their parents and older brothers dead, the four remaining Germanicus children (Agrippina, Julia Drusilla, Julia Livilla, and Caligula) face an uncertain future. Caligula falls into the clutches of his creepy uncle Tiberius. The sisters are married off in their teens to men more than twice their age—some with violent reputations. But a family’s…
 
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