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Catiline’s name is often used as a byword for villainy, and over the years has been told and retold by different authors with different agendas. To some he is a villain, a traitor to the state. To others he’s a hero, standing up for the little guy. Part VII of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient H…
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Cicero may have won the battle against Catiline but he wouldn’t win the war. With too many enemies in the senate he makes a tactical retreat, leaving his beloved Rome for the safety of the coast of Greece. Part VI of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).…
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Catiline and Cicero now wage very different wars. Cicero on the floor of the senate, arguing for the protection of the legacy of Rome. Catiline on the battlefield, fighting with a bravery that would make any hero proud. Part V of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).…
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Catiline and Cicero draw their lines of battle in the senate, with Catiline claiming to represent the will of the wretched and destitute. But his attacks on Cicero, directly or indirectly, earn him many enemies, and he is forced to flee the city of Rome. Part IV of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Anci…
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Catiline attempted to become consul of Rome more than once, and its a position he believes he deserves. When he fails in his efforts and Cicero is elected he attempts to force the issue, conspiring with all those who have a grudge against the state. Part III of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient …
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Catiline doesn't have the best reputation in Rome, and in the years after his failed conspiracy he has been implicated in every failed plot of that time. Was he involved in them? Possibly. Part II of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).…
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Catiline is a notorious figure of the Roman republic, a longtime rival of Cicero who, after repeated attempts at the consulship decided to push the matter by force. In this episode we look at his character, his role in the social wars of Rome and his early attempts at office. Part I of The Catiline Conspiracy Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Eva…
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Hispala Faecena was instrumental in bringing the cult of Bacchus to the attention of Roman authorities, ending a conspiracy that was threatening lives and the rule of law. Guest: Dr Emma Southon (Author of 'A History of the Roman Empire in 21 Women') Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).…
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Martial was a Roman poet primarily writing during the reign of Domitian, and while primarily known for his commentary on Roman life, his takedowns, his insults and vulgarity, in this episode we look at how he toes the careful line of praising the Emperor. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).…
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Aurelian is known as a conqueror, a general and a restorer, and his reputation is based on those achievements. But in his short rule of five years, he was also an Emperor, and made efforts to leave his mark on Rome. Part IV of 'Aurelian' Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian Nationa…
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Aurelian has seen off vandals, goths, and conquered the forces of Zenobia to reclaim the east. But to the west lies the Gallic Empire, once firm territory of Rome, awaiting his attention. Part III of 'Aurelian' Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University).…
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The weakness of Rome was the strength of Palmyra, and the east came to be be ruled by the Queen Zenobia. Cultured and ambitious, her empire stretched from Egypt to Turkey, which made her a formidable challenge for Aurelian. Part II of 'Aurelian' Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian…
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Aurelian became Emperor of a fractured empire. To the west the Gallic Empire had been established ten years earlier, the eastern provinces were now controlled by Zenobia, and there were threats from the vandals in the North. To unite an empire, this will be his first priority. Part I of ‘Aurelian’ Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head …
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The treacherous death of Gallienus saw the rise of a man of war. Claudius Gothicus definitely earned his title, but with a reign of only two years perhaps he made the right kind of impact without the time to leave a bad impression. For an emperor in the third century that was more than enough, and he left an example for all who followed after. Gues…
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While much of the Roman Empire was lost during the rule of Gallienus, We don't really know how much of that is his fault, or really get a sense of his reign. Was he responsible for the loss of territory, or was he just a victim of the time? Part IV of 'Gallienus' Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies…
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As the Roman empire lost the western provinces something very different was happening in the east. Odaenathus remained on the side of Rome, but assumed the title of King, building his influence throughout the region, to the point where it became a problem for Gallienus. Part III of 'Gallienus' Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of t…
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A challenge to the imperial authority was hardly unusual in the third century, but for whatever reason, Postumus decides to do things differently. Rather than marching an army on Rome he shaves off the western provinces, declaring Gaul, Germania, Hispania and Britannia the independent, but still very Roman, Gallic Empire. Part II of 'Gallienus' Gue…
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When the Emperor Valerian was captured by the enemy what the empire needed was a trusted, capable, firm set of hands to take on the imperial mantle. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t his son Gallienus. For the next eight years Gallienus would rule as sole emperor and proceed to lose two thirds of the empire, leaving Rome at its weakest position i…
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Cleopatra Selene was the daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and was destined for greatness. Following the death of her parents she became a prisoner of Rome, survived into adulthood, and became a queen of the ancient world. Dr Draycott is the author of ''Cleopatra’s Daughter: Egyptian Princess, Roman Prisoner, African Queen'. Guest: Dr Jane Dra…
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Part of the making of Octavian was the victories he had early in his career. He defeated his rivals, conquered territory, and united the senate behind him whether they liked it or not. One of those territories was Illyria, in which he conducted campaigns during the quiet years before his final battles against Egypt and Antony. It’s perhaps in Illyr…
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Egypt was a valuable province to Rome, with natural wealth and successful agriculture. Thanks to an arid climate there’s also a number of preserved papyri from that era, providing modern scholarship with an invaluable paper-trail on the administration at the time. One papyri has led to the belief that Augustus confiscated lands of the Egyptian temp…
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With Octavian triumphant at the Battle of Actium the scene is finally set for a dramatic showdown in Alexandria. Cleopatra and Antony, a couple famous for their strategy and volatility will pay the ultimate price for resisting Rome, leaving Octavian free to assume a role of undisputed power. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics…
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In 31 BCE one of the largest naval battles in the ancient world took place—more than 600 ships, almost 200,000 men, and one woman. The forces of Octavian, Antony and Cleopatra would square off for control of the mediterranean, and ultimately the Roman empire. Guest: Barry Strauss (Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell…
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When Cleopatra and Antony stood side by side they were at the pinnacle of power. Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was the queen of an ancient civilisation, and heir to the unmatched cultural achievements of Greece. Marcus Antonius of Rome contended for control of the empire. Together they fought against Octavian and would bring about the end of the re…
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Sextus Pompeius was the youngest son of Pompey the Great, and was responsible for leading the last great resistance of the Roman republic against Octavian and Mark Antony. While he made the most of his late father’s reputation, Sextus was a leader in his own right, and to many a forgotten aspect of this period of Roman history. Guest: Dr Kathryn We…
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Octavia was, in many ways, the very model of a modern Roman matron. As the older sister to Octavian, later Augustus, and a wife of the powerful figure Antony, she was respected and admired by her contemporaries for her loyalty, nobility and humanity, as well as for maintaining traditional Roman feminine virtues. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate …
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With Antony distracted with developments in the east, Fulvia finds herself in the familiar position of advocating for her husband’s interests. This escalated to a war with Octavian, the outcome of which would leave Fulvia isolated. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University). Content warning…
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Fulvia came from a Roman noble family and is strongly associated with a string of influential husbands, most notably Mark Antony. She was influential and powerful in her own way, and would go on to play an important role in the Perusine War against Octavian. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe U…
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For the eighth time, listeners provide questions and Rhiannon and Matt answer! In this episode: - Was Antony rehabilitated? - Did Classical Latin have regional dialects? - How did Romans celebrate their birthday? - Who was the first true Roman emperor? - How much of the Roman Empire remains in the modern world? - What were some of the Roman’s most …
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With enemies to confront in every direction, Valerian heads back to the east where Shapur and the Parthians are once again threatening the borders of the Roman empire. While Valerian anticipates a victory, what is to come is the greatest defeat of a Roman emperor. Episode III of 'Valerian'. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the …
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Religious persecution wasn’t a new thing for Rome, but under the rule of Valerian they intensified. Christians were now the specified target, but the executions and confiscation of property did little to help the stability of the empire. Episode II of 'Valerian'. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies…
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When Valerian became emperor in 253CE Rome was fighting on all fronts. With Shapur and the Syrians taking territory in the east, and Germanic tribes to the west and the north, the empire was going to get messy for Valerian and his newly established dynasty. Episode I of 'Valerian'. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre fo…
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Brian Blessed is a treasured British actor who for our purposes will fondly be remembered for his iconic role as Emperor Augustus in the 1976 BBC television series I, Claudius. Brian dominated the screen with his performance and we were very lucky to get the chance to speak to him. Now funding on Kickstarter: Agricola (the podcast miniseries). Gues…
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On the night of 18 July, 64 CE, a fire broke out in the Circus Maximus at Rome. It raged for nine days, destroying or damaging ten of the city’s fourteen regions. Was the fire just a terrible accident? Or was it deliberately lit, either by dissident Christians or by the emperor Nero, who allegedly sang while Rome burned? Recorded on 12th April 2022…
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Every year Rome held an election in which two senators were chosen for the role of consul. Being elected consul was a great honour, and the position was hotly contested, and a successful campaign depended upon the candidate’s military achievements, rhetorical skills and their willingness to be corrupt. Now funding on Kickstarter: Agricola (the podc…
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More than two years have passed since the death of Caesar, and we now find our story at the final battle of the Liberator’s war. Octavian and Mark Antony lead their forces west to confront Cassius and Brutus, who have amassed quite the army in the meantime. Part VI of 'The Liberator's War' Guest: Assistant Professor Steele Brand (History, The King’…
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Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus have secured their alliance against Caesar's assassins, and since they have control of Rome, it's time for them to get rid of any competition. Proscribing an enemy means they will likely be executed, and their personal fortunes can be confiscated and put towards paying soldiers - and the second triumvirate make ful…
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After his victory in at Mutina, Octavian desired honours that the senate declined to award him. This led him to re-evaluate who his enemy truly was, and make an alliance with the recently defeated Mark Antony. Part IV of 'The Liberator's War' Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).…
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As the power struggle in Rome continued and generals waged their war on the battlefield, Cicero took to the floors of the senate, confronting Antony with the greatest weapon in his arsenal: the spoken word. He called his speeches the Philippics, and they were influential in turning the senate against Antony. Part II of 'The Liberator's War' Guest: …
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Caesar’s death created a power vacuum in the city of Rome. While Antony struggled against the senate to make a deal and assert his dominance, Octavian’s imminent arrival presented a rival he couldn’t anticipate. Part I of 'The Liberator's War' Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).…
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For the seventh time, listeners provide questions and Rhiannon and Matt answer! In this episode: - What happened to the original sources - Did the Romans have dogs, and how did they use them? - What types of jobs did the Romans have that don’t exist today? - Did far-flung provinces retain their own languages? - What kind of libraries did the Romans…
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Romans had the reality of witches, those who made the brews and prepared the curses, but also the witches of fiction. In their poems and stories, a witch took on a horrific persona, one that skews much more closely to the modern idea of a witch. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Head of Department of Languages and Linguistics, La Trobe Uni…
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A witch occupied a strange niche in the Roman world. Distrusted but respected, persecuted but employed by the most elite, a witch in Rome existed on the sidelines and spoken of in hushed terms, and to many of the powerful, a weapon that could be employed. Guest: Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Head of Department of Languages and Linguistics, La…
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