show episodes
 
On this podcast you will find full session recordings from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and festival author interviews with Emirates ICE, as well as some special features. The Festival is the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, connecting readers with authors and books. The Festival is organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation, a non-profit NGO established to spread the love of literature.
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From Russian tragedies to Australian comedies, via Emirati slam poetry and Saudi science fiction, our appetite for words knows no bounds. In our day jobs at the Emirates Literature Foundation, you'd normally find us planning the next Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, but the rest of the time we're guessing whodunnit, debating the ultimate feel-good novel, or reading the stacks of books that line our office walls. As we are here in Dubai, one of the best connected cities in the world, ...
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show series
 
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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Rome has always been a sea-faring power, relying on the Mediterranean for food and trade. But what lies beneath the waves can chill the hearts of mortal men, and tales of aquatic horrors were common in antiquity. Guest: Dr Gillian Shepherd (Director, Trendall Centre, La Trobe University)By Dr Gillian Shepherd
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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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In this episode, Annabelle and Andrea team up with Nivea Serrao to take on some of the buzziest books from social media. They are also joined by the YA superstar, social media sensation and one of the New York Times youngest bestselling authors, the one and only Chloe Gong. (TikTok: @thechloegong) To find out more about the impact social media is h…
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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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Dipping into the cool pond of myths and magical make believe, Ahlam and Andrea share their top tips before speaking with actor, director, comedian and author of wonderful children's books, Ben Miller! Books and authors mentioned include: Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, by Ferdowsi Part myth, part history, these epic tales contain magical …
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On this episode the team talk about some smashing debut novels, before they are joined by the critics' favourite debut writer of 2022, Jo Browning Wroe, author of A Terrible Kindness, who shares some of the background to her debut novel as well as some great writing tips. Books and authors: Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus Set in the 1960s, t…
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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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In this episode Andrea and Annabelle investigate modern love with psychologist, relationship expert, and author, Ty Tashiro. As always, there are two fantastic novels to consider when you explore the evolution of love and relationships. Books and authors mentioned: Love Marriage, by Monica Ali Two families come together and unravel ahead of their c…
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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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For many years, people have been talking about the decline of the book, with shorter attention spans and a general thirst for instant gratification. But we have seen reading and books make a major mainstream come-back since the start of the pandemic. So instead of interviewing an author or recommending books, today, we dive into the results of a st…
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For many years, people have been talking about the decline of the book, with shorter attention spans and a general thirst for instant gratification. But we have seen reading and books make a major mainstream come-back since the start of the pandemic. So instead of interviewing an author or recommending books, today, we dive into the results of a st…
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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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It is a gorgeous sunny morning in Dubai, but readers know there is always darkness lurking beneath the surface. In this episode the Emirates Literature Foundation team talk about sneaky, manipulative, and secretive behaviours. Andrea and Annabelle are joined by Maham for a quick book recommendation, before internationally bestselling writer of crim…
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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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Back for season four, Annabelle and Andrea talk about the new releases that tick all their boxes, as well as upcoming heavyweight books to which you need to be paying attention. Books and authors mentioned: Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel Moon colonies and a haunting violin. Annabelle recommends this epic Sci-Fi with a 270 page count t…
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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 Antony heads north he finds the city of Mutina defended by Decimus Brutus. Antony lays siege, but he doesn't count on a young Octavian leading the army to confront him. Part III 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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It's the end of January. We don't know how it came around so soon, but it did, and the pressure is on for that fresh slate feeling - and books are here to help. On this episode of The Boundless Book Club Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle are joined by the Emirates Literature Foundation's very own Maham Uzair to recommend four books to help you live your …
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Crucifixion was a Roman practise or torture and execution that proved a popular punishment for slaves and enemies of Rome When crucified an individual was nailed to a cross or a piece of wood and left in the elements to asphyxiate. Obvious content warning! Guest: Dr Gillian Shepherd (Director, Trendall Centre, La Trobe University)…
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On this episode the LitFest team are talking about the books that might not get the full page erudite book reviews by venerated critics, but what they do get is a 5/5 for unputdownability. And luckily, these authors are all coming to the Emirates LItFest is February. Authors and books include: My Heart is a Chainsaw, by Stephen Graham Jones Nivea S…
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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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Toxic friendships, septuagenarian sleuths, solar powered robots, and talking religious cats are just a few of the topics addressed on this episode of the Boundless Book Club as Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle are joined by author Annabel Kantaria to discuss the best books published this year, before moving on to discuss Annabel's own 2021 publication u…
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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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'My country is younger than my father' - Eman Al Yousuf In this UAE National Day special, Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle are joined by Eman Al Yousuf, author and Arabic Literature Events Executive at the Emirates Literature Foundation, and diplomat HE Omar Saif Ghobash, author of Letters to a Young Muslim. We talk about the UAE's literary scene - wher…
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On this episode, Annabelle and Andrea talk about three books that have made them laugh, and then they are joined by the fabulous Woodhouse Prize 2021 nominee Naji Bakhti, author of Between Beirut And The Moon. Books and authors mentioned: Something I Said, by Ben Bailey Smith Hilarious middle grade caper following 13 year old Carmichael Taylor as h…
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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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In this episode, the Boundless Book Club celebrates Diwali with Tamreez Inam, the Emirates LitFest's head of programming, joining Andrea to talk about a few books by Indian authors. Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist, joins the conversation to talk about her book coming to Netflix, the importance of representation in the writer's room, and how …
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When Apuleius married his friend’s mother, little did he realise that it would lead to a charge of sorcery, with a raft of seemingly innocent actions from buying a mirror to writing bad poetry bought up in front of the courts to prove his wicked intentions. Unfortunately for his accusers, Apuleius was a skilled orator, educated in the art of philos…
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In this episode, Annabelle tells us all about her love of the creepy dark spooky stories and goes on a recommendation spree, before speaking with the prolific, uber cool and phenomenally gifted Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Books and authors mentioned: The Gashlycrumb Tinies, by Edward Gorey The ABC of horror, this beautiful illustrated little work of nons…
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In this episode, Andrea and Annabelle are joined by Mazen Nahawi, enthusiastic reader and Founder and CEO of media intelligence firm CARMA, here to add some intelligence to the conversation about one of the highest profile snubs this year. Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is no stranger to the Booker Prize, having won the award in 1989 for The Remains of the Day…
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