I've just been alerted to the fact that an interview I did with Podcast Squared a few weeks ago is now posted. We talk about the end of The History of Rome, podcasting theory and the proper legionary formation to deal with angry hippos. Interview starts at minute 25.
I also blew a golden opportunity to plug friend-of-the-show Scott Chesworth's new podcast on the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia.
In the early 450s a string of deaths changed the political dynamic of Roman world. Between 450 and 455 Galla Placidia, Aelia Pulcheria, Atilla the Hun, Flavius Aetius and Valentinian III would all die- leaving the stage wide open for the next generation of leaders.
Also, an announcment.
In 451 Atilla the Hun invaded the West. He was repelled by a coalition of forces lead by the General Aetius.
Also some great links from listener Jamie:
Here's a good account of the Battle of Chalons by military historians Dr. Aryeh Nusbacher and Dr. Saul David on a BBC show.
Start the video at 2 minutes, here is the full show if you like it:
There are other battles too, a handly list is here
And listener Tony:
Check out a replay of the Battle of Chalons here:
Constantius III continued to lead the Western Empire as its defacto Emperor until 421, when he was officially elevated to the rank of Augustus. Unfortunately, this elevation was not recognized by Cosntantinople.
Following the death of Eudoxia, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius took control of the Eastern Empire and ran it wisely for the next decade. Meanwhile in the West, anti-barbarian policies will lead to the invasion of Italy by Alaric.
Here are Mrs. The History of Rome's pictures from The History of Rome Tour May 2010 (http://historyofrometour.com)
The poor foot-soldier's view as he approaches the wall. In front is the outer 8 meter wall. Behind it is the inner 12 meter wall and the 20 meter guard towers. This isn't going to work is it?:
The no man's land between the two walls. This is where that poor soldier is going to die:
Looking down from atop the Inner wall into the no man's land and the outer wall. This is where the guy who killed that poor foot soldier stood:
And it just goes on like that from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn. Um General, I don't want to attack Constantinople. I want to go home:
The line on the far left is the Theodosian Walls:
So the History of Rome went to the ER on Friday complaining of abdominal pain and we wound up having our appendix removed about six hours later*. I'm doing fine and am resting comfortably, but unfortunately that means this week's episode has been cancelled. Shouldn't have any trouble getting back to work next week though, so I'll see you then.
C'est la vie,
*No word on whether my footnotes were also removed, but thanks for your concern Scott...
From 383-387 the tense quasi-partnership of Maximus, Valentinian II and Theodosius ruled the Roman Empire. During those years Bishop Ambrose and Nicean Christianity pushed themselves to dominance over their Arians rivals.
In 383 the General Magnus Maximus rose up in revolt against Gratian. The power sharing agreement that followed Maximus's victory would be negotiated in part by St. Ambrose, the influencial new Bishop of Milan.
Update: The first Sack of Rome was in 410 not 406. Brain fart corrected.
Following Adrianople, Theodosius was brought in to salvage the situation. After determining that he could not beat the Goths in battle, the new Emperor was forced to sign a peace with the barbarians that treated them as, gasp, equals.
Valens spent the late 360s and early 370s dealing with hostile Goths in the north and hostile Persians in the east. In 375 he would be left to face these threats alone when Valentinian suddenly died.
In the winter of 367, Britannia was hit from all sides by a coordinated barbarian invasion. It would be more than a year before the Romans were able to reassert control over the island.
In 363 Julian launched an invasion of Sassanid Persia. He would die in battle just three months later.
Update: OK, wow, passing along the recommendation for 1421: The Year China Discovered the World was a huge blunder. I have re-recorded the ad to correct the mistake. The embedded link reflects the newer version, so if you want to forget this grizzly business, just erase the episode you have and replace it with the one linked to above.
The new ad script:
"This week I initially passed along a listener recommendation for 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. However, I must confess that I did not do my usual due diligence on researching the merits of the book and so am just now discovering that 1421 is basically pseudo-historical nonsense that relies on no good evidence whatsoever, speculates wildly beyond the facts and that the author Gavin Menzies is basically a novelist pretending to be a historian. I am embarrassed to have given 1421 The History of Rome’s seal-of-approval, it is not good history, and I sincerely apologize for what can only be described as a sloppy recommendation. How about next time I just recommend The History of the World in 100 Objects or maybe one of those Star Wars books people keep wanting me to plug?"
Once he was established as a force to be reckoned with in the west, Julian revolted against Constantius II in 360 after the Emperor ordered half the Gallic army redeployed to the eastern frontier.
After two years of sporadic war, Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius in 353. Following his victory the Emperor let his advisors talk him into executing first Gallus in 354 and then Claudius Silvanus in 355.
This episode brought to you live and direct from Constantinople! After defeating Licinius, Constantine found his dream of a united Christian Empire foiled by a very disunited Christian Church.