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February 01, 2009


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Brian C. Ladd

Just another "I really appreciate your hard work!" post. I have really enjoyed your work; I think I downloaded 1-28 and then kept up. Really missed you when you were gone. I've been really excited that you're back, especially since I more of an Imperial rather than a Republican fan (my real passion is for Byzantium).

In any case, your podcasts make the story of the Roman Empire into a really interesting story that I look forward to hearing. Thanks for the hard work.


Hi Mike,

Great program. I'm always excited to see new episodes posted.

In the last few episodes you've referred to how the past crimes of JC kept him from returning to Rome without either imperium or, in leu of that, an army. Could you work in a review of just what the accusations are and if they were common offenses for such personages in his era? Do you refer to bribery, Cato's brief imprisonment, the land bill vote's legality, the validation of Clodius' adoption, or other things? What sanction might JC have realistically faced had he returned to Rome a private citizen, imprisonment, exile, execution? If the last, how real was that possibility?

To what extent was JC getting special treatment, attributable to his political adversaries for political reasons, and to what extent were his actions sincerely beyond the pale as per Roman precedent? Also, can you talk a bit more about JC's unpopularity among the senate and, in general, the patricians? What were the political dynamics here? Is this mere zero sum politics between the people and the elite compounded by the elite's perception of JC as a class traitor? The comparison I'm drawing in my own head is to the opprobrium FDR earned from his fellow upper class Americans. His New Deal was a radical political departure on dubious constitutional grounds (i.e., the court packing affair) who's upper class opponents were embittered by FDR's class betrayal.

The thesis you seem to be leading up to is that it was JC's desire to have freedom from persecution that ultimately ended the Republic, unless that actually came with Augustus. Thus, it's important to understand what was really at stake for JC and how it came to be that these stakes were amassed.



Hi Mike Duncan,

I found your podcast a few months ago and I've finally gotten to where you are in the story right now.

I love what you do and I can't wait to hear the next bit.

Do you think you will continue on and do the Holy Roman Empire next?



Hi Mike,

Great Podcast ... any way to get the first few in the series


Lovin' it Mike. I have listened to the episodes multiple times... Keeps me interested every time!

I am really looking forward to the next few episodes!

Mark Lannen

I've only just discovered this awesome podcast and have only been able to download from about episode 14 on. Can anyone tell me where I can get the first episodes?



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