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July 26, 2009


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Wonderful as always. As you are covering Nero soon, I hope you make mention of the Boudica revolt.

Thanks for all your hard work!


Love the podcast and have been listening since the beginning.

Was wondering if you had considered (or would consider) doing a series of episodes on "Life In Rome." Perhaps a narrative on what a day or the life of people from various social strata would be like. Maybe a few on the culture, mythos and religion, etc.

I know we have a ways to go, but I'm already dreading the end!


Hey très bien podcast. I can think of some other emperors whose reigns and personalities fall in the Claudius-like category. Marcus Aurelius (2nd century) the diminutive philosopher stoic emperor whose wife was unfaithful and whose son and doctors conspired to kill him (according to Dio). Julian (4th century) was also bit awkward, fell into the empire by chance, and was a part-time philosopher and historian. Both were decent top-10 emperors.

Fr. Justin Hewlett

My all-time favourite podcast!

One of the many things I love about your podcast is that you care enough about accuracy to include "errata" correcting important errors pointed out in previous podcasts in your later podcasts. (The thing I love most about your podcast, by the way, is your obvious love of a good story - an attribute missing from most modern history textbooks!) I'm not sure if this is important enough to warrant a mention in a subsequent podcast, but for the sake of accuracy, I wanted to point out that Christian tradition actually suggests that an angel of the Lord smote Herod Aggripa not for imprisoning Peter and executing James, but "because he did not give God the glory" when the people of Tyre and Sidon acclaimed him as a god (see Acts 13:20-23).

And, as an erstwhile English teacher, I can't help but point out that "smote" is the past tense of the verb "smite", so your conjugation of the verb "smite" as "smoten" is incorrect.

Thus your phrase, "according to Christian tradition 'smoten by the Lord' for the crime of imprisoning the apostle Peter and executing the apostle James" would be more correctly rendered, "When Herod Agrippa died three years later - according to Christian tradition 'smitten by the angel of the Lord' for not correcting the people of Tyre and Sidon when they acclaimed him as a god for his oratory and for the food he supplied them with..."


Hey Mike,

I thought in preparation for next week's podcast you might take some time out of your no doubt busy schedule to watch the BBC documentary "Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire" as research. In particular the episode which deals with Nero. It shows from the beginning Nero wanted to be a good ruler and was in fact a much loved Emperor and great patron of the arts. He was instrumental in saving Rome during the Great Fire and afterwards was lauded for plans to rebuild the Eternal city as the capitol of an empire of culture and the arts!

Nic Payton

Hi Mike, I love your podcast, and I am hoping you will continue right to the end of the Byzantine empire too.

One question has arisen in my mind though, the old pub quiz question, who was the first Roman Emperor? Answer, Augustus, or whichever of his many names you like to give. But since they did not call themselves Emperor, I was wondering who technically was the first? As in the first to call himself emperor and and be called that by his contemporaries? Could it even be someone as late as Charlemagne in 800?

John Grandin

Otho! He was one of the four with Galba, Vitellius and Vespasian but I didn't here him mentioned. 3 down, 1 still to go. Or am I wrong and I just missed it?


August has almost passed with no new podcast! Please, let them continue!

Roger Vines, FLA

Tremendous job Mike, I really relish every new podcast, I hope you'll keep it up til the end of the empire!


wonderful job and the perfect inspiration to sit down and watch I Claudius from start to finish non stop

Mark Lannen

I've just discovered this awesome podcast and am listening to all of the episodes. However, I can't find a place where I can download the earlier episodes (up to #15). I mostly listen in my car as I travel a lot for work and would like to get those episodes on my ipod. Does anyone know where I can download them?


ep thorn

I've been listening to the podcasts from the beginning (just reconstructed the episodes with the old feed so I could get the individual early episodes) and I was wondering...

in one of the early episodes- I think it was Trials and Tribulations, but I might be off- you mentioned the pledge that the plebes were sworn to kill anyone who assaulted a tribune (at least that is as close as I remember it)... and that the promise had been fulfilled more than once. Yet later on, especially around the Social Wars, we see tribunes getting smacked around.

When were tribunes avenged? Did it happen often, or was it more a theoretical thing?


Hello Mike,

Have now caught up and listened to all the episodes.

Fantastic job!

You somehow get through a mountain of facts while presenting them in an accessible and entertaining way, that's an incredible talent.

Thanks for making me happy every time I see on my iTunes I have a new episode downloading .... and please keep up the good work!

Greetings from Belgium,

John Mullen

This is a tie for best podcast on the planet with history according to Bob.

Keep it up, I enjoy every episode.



Hey Mike,

A few of your listeners asked you to do next 'the history of Greece'

I found this: http://oyc.yale.edu/classics/introduction-to-ancient-greek-history/

on I tunes.

We can listen and then tell you how you stack up against Donald Kagan. I've loved your show so much so far, I think Donald may have a hard task.

Thanks for your great show!

(If audible is still your sponsor, can I recommend Cyril Robinsons' History of Greece and Rome-both great listens.)


George Gonsalves

Hello Mike,

Your podcasts have been a companion for me over the past year and a half. From the time I subscribed, I have listened to you whilst in hospital waiting rooms during my wife's surgery, in airports, on airplanes, and when I awaken early and do not wish to disturb anyone by putting a light on.

I do hope you will continue the podcasts well into the division of the Empire and through the period until the fall of Constantinople. Perhaps you might also take up the other thread of the Western Empire with the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

I truly enjoy your podcasts.


Hey everybody, I just started listening to this post cast, I'm really enjoying it, the only problem is I can't find the first 15 or so episodes, iTunes doesn't seem to have them. How would I go about getting them?


The first fifteen episodes can actually be found on this blog. Go to the Nevember 2008 archives, and you can listen and download them there.


Do you know of any way I could download them onto my iPod?

Mike in Phoenix

Not posistive about how it'll work for an ipod but you should be able to right click on the link from this site and 'save target as' and save it to whatever file your itunes reads from. Hope that works.


Hey, where are the podcasts before #21? Is there stuff on the beginning of Rome?


Oops, sorry. Please disregard my last post.


I really love the history of rome, by the way how do you make a podcast?

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Nicholas Netzer

By a suggestion from my dad I started listening to your podcasts and am absolutely blow away by how compelled I am to keep listening. Your voice is calming, the narrative you have written is very followable and well paced and after a month, I'm already on episode 63. I essentially have stopped listening to music altogether in transit, instead just listening to your podcasts.

I'm curious as to what got your started on this, how long it takes you to prepare each week's podcast and how you can find the time to slog through all this information?

BTW... I loved Caligula's 'war' with Brittannia. Class... but I feel pretty sorry for the ppl that had to live through his reign of terror.


Is there a transcript, as I like to listen while I listen to the story. Thanks. Claus


One more time. Is there a transcript of the podcast, as I like to read the text while I listen. Congratulations and thanks for a great serie on the History of Rome. Claus

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