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25 March 2018


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Wild that you've recommended a book about orchestra music, because I just realized this afternoon that a piece I played in high school orchestra, the "Radetzky March" was written for our Field Marshall Radetzky after the Battle of Custoza!

Tiago João Silva

Hi, Mike! Thank you for the bits of happy news at the start of this episode! I was pleasantly surprised by your announcement of a "History of Rome" bonus that would include Viriatus, whose absence from your book had surprised and disappointed me, although Quintus Sertorius did make an appearance.
This is because I'm Portuguese and Viriatus is considered in our history books one of our "ancestors", mythologized as a guerrilla fighter hiding in the Herminius Mountains struggling to survive against the might of Rome. And over here, it's not called The Spanish War", but "The Lusitanian War" (or at least, that's what the part of the Spanish War where Viriatus was involved is called).

Now, history class at school was a very very long time away and I'm by no means a scholar, hence I'm on tenterhooks for that episode. Thank you!


to tide everyone over until the Paris Commune
WWI New Perspectives: The Sandwich that Sabotaged Civilization


more to tide everyone over, the BBC series on The Great War
On The Idle Hill of Summer | The Great War (1 of 26)


two more history links to tide everyone over, Deutsche Welle's take on the demise of the Ottoman Empire



Hi Mike, I’m a long time listener. Just to echo Tiago, Viriatus is a bonafide Portuguese hero. My wife’s from Lisbon and gets upset whenever those “Spanish dogs” try to take him as one of their own. He was the chief of the Lusitanii, from which Lusophone (or Portuguese speaker) comes. Besides, let the Portuguese have Viriatus. They have so little else with Roman history.

Great work on the podcast; looking forward to getting across the Atlantic again.

Josh Morel

Looking forward to the Commune and History of Rome Appendices!

Another item to tide those over. Perhaps a bit dense, and perhaps not correct (not a historian, just a history fan so can't really judge), but certainly interesting. A comparison of the identities of radical revolutionaries in June 1848 and the Paris Commune - https://books.google.ca/books?isbn=0226305619

Bruno Nande

As a Portuguese listener of the show, I was surprised by your comment about Viriatus being a Spanish Hero, as he is portrayed as the seminal Portuguese folk hero. While I did study History, this is waaay outside of my scope, so I look forward to hearing more about this in the new HoR episodes!


As someone who has enjoyed the entire History of Rome, as well as every episode of Revolutions, I just want to take this opportunity to say "Thank you, Mike -- well done!"

As magnificent as that was, one thing that always bothered me about the History of Rome was that it focused on "Great Men," war and political maneuvers, sometimes to the exclusion of 1) everyday life and culture; 2) women's lives; or 3) new ideas and technologies. Of course, that can hardly be helped when the sources that Mike could draw on paid little attention to women or culture or everyday life. It's not like the Romans really kept good records about such things.

So Revolutions has been a chance to explore historical archives that can indeed tell us a bit more about everyday life, culture and such. As a result, this podcast had become steadily richer and more interesting. Indeed, every revolution that Mike has covered has been covered with more and more attention paid to those details of everyday life and culture -- with the result that each "mini-series" within Revolutions is even better than the previous.
The (first) French Revolution was a real game changer, and the Haitian and Bolivarian Revolutions were lovingly recounted. This is Mike Duncan at his best as public historian.

From the time of the American Revolution onward, I kept saying to myself, "Mike, please do 1848!" -- thinking that this would never happen. But it has! And, if anything, Mike has broken his previous record with this. This is the very best of his already incredibly good work. The "prequel" about the July Revolution was so smart, so clear. And it has been followed by an amazing adventure into the paroxysm that shook Europe in 1848-1849.

Mike is truly at the top of his game. I could wish for more women's stories, more culture, more new ideas and technologies among the politics and wars -- but Mike has been steadily moving in that direction, and it has made this podcast a truly worthwhile accomplishment. (Indeed, he is so good at this now that my secret wish is that he would redo the English Civil War and American Revolutions at this same more detailed and culturally sensitive pitch.)

Mike, you have managed to make 1848 Europe understandable and interesting to me, and for that I applaud you. You are truly a great public historian, and these podcasts represent the very best that can be done with the medium. Thank you!

Dylan  Rodrigues

Mike, is there any way you could cover the Indian independence struggle? Probably not a revolution per se, but it would definitely be interesting.

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