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August 30, 2009


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Thank you
Mike just a quick note saying thank you for all the hard work you (and if anyone helps you)do.
This podcast is invaluble and has helped me in my studies.
Ab imo pectore - From the bottom of the chest.(from the heart) (Julius Caesar)
Thank you
Aged 14


Well done on this episode. Difficult story to tell but you made it very easy to follow what was happening, when and why.



Great podcast as always. I just have one quick question that i was hoping someone would help me with. Mike mentioned that Vespasian was from the equestrian class and i recalled that the biggest or one of the biggest problems Sejanus faced in his power play was that he was from the equestrian class... so why was Vespasian's non senatorial birth not an issue? Its entirely possible that Mike was planning on covering this issue in the next podcast or two, if so... I apologize for my impatience

Long Live Caesar (salads...)

Cincinnati, OH

Vikas Gorur

As a loyal listener from many episodes past, something had been bothering me for the past few episodes, and I thought I might as well let you know.

I find that in the early episodes you spoke more slowly, and in the more recent (the past ten or so) ones you have a more energetic, and faster way of speaking.

Now, ofcourse, some folks might prefer the latter style, but I found that the slower style gave me a little mental room to think and imagine what you were saying without losing track.

None the less, love the show, and please keep up the good work. Just wanted to let you know in case you hadn't noticed.


I love this podcast. I am addicted and will have some serious withdrawl when Mike takes the leap. Anyway, one thing that has bothered me is that many of these emperors are assasinated and there never seems to be any (or at least any mention of) trial or punishment of the assasins even though history tells us who they are. What's up with that?

Richard B

Mike thank you for doing this podcast

Please don't stop until Constantinople falls :)


I hope you do go all the way to 1453 ... the real fall of the Roman Empire, but if you decide to stop with the fall of the west, you could tell your listeners about Lars Brownworth's excellent series on the Byzantine Empire (available as podcasts on iTunes). Keep it going ... I await every episode with keen anticipation!


Mike, thank you for all your hard work. I have a question though, I've noticed many times people have been given the choiuce of suicide or to be exiled and many times they have chosen suicide. Now here is where my question really lies, how bad is exile? What did exile really mean? Were conditions really that horrid or was it more of an honor blow that made them choose suicide? Thanks again!


Isn't it possible that the calls to continue into the later Byzantine era are listeners expressing that they don't wan't the podcast to end. In which case they are completly delusional (no offence meant). Face it! One of these days Mike will upload the last episode of THoR. After that, it will itself be a part of history.


valid point Detlef, but I honestly would like to hear Mike's take on the Byzantine Empire, although I understand that this would be a whole different ballgame.

cheers, Matt - the Netherlands



I too would like to hear "Mike's take on the Byzantine Empire", but as he said it's outside his comfort zone. And I'll only like him to cover the era if he is comfortable with it.


Det - Limburg


Damn, my above comment was addressed to Matt, not Mike.


lol..message received..


Great podcast as always... I like that these last ones have been a little longer. 20, 25, 30 minutes is great.

Incidentally, it sounds like Nero not only hesitated in stabbing himself, but didn't do it right. If you are still alive and talking after you've put a knife through your throat, you ain't doing it right.

Should have had a slave do it.


An emperor killed by a slave? That would have evaporated his final fumes of dignity...



I am a long time and avid listener to these podcasts - they are brilliant and one of the clearest and most concise accounts of Roman history, which at times can be ridicuously confusing. But as an avid Flavian fan I must point out that Vespasian was born in 9AD (17th November), not 17AD and Titus was born in 39AD (on 30th December).

I await with anticipation on the upcoming episodes about the Flavians. Have you read The Emperor Domitian by Brian W Jones? It is by far the best source for anything Domitian related.

Keep up the amazing work!


Great as always. I am one that would love to see you go to the fall of Constantinople for sure! I love to listen while I'm working on the farm. I'll make a deal, you keep going and I'll Keep making food for you ;)


Did the Roman Senate need 2/3 vote to declare the emperor an enemy of the state?


Dear Mike, again I want to express my thanks for your awesome podcast, which I enjoy immensely and listen to over and over.
Like Vikas I too think your speaking tempo has gone up a bit, and strangely enough, since the audible adverts the soundquality seems to be less, sometimes distorted at the start. But that is a minor detail.
Congratulations on your marriage, may the Roman Gods and any God for that matter be with you and your family.
Greetings from the Netherlands

Dave McHale

Hilariously long time listner; first time poster! Loved the story of Nero! One of my favorites so far!

Maybe a great place to stop would be at the end of Justinian's reign 565AD!

It seems a shame to think that characters such as the great general Belisarius, Narses, Theodora and Justinian's Sassanid counterpart Khusrau would be missed out!

The great events like Justinian's reconquests in the West, the bubonic plague, the final war with the Vandals, the complete revision of roman law and the great and costly Gothic Wars in Italy would be missed out if we stopped in 476AD!

And Justinian was a Latin speaker after all!

Cheers from Scotland!


Is there any way I can get itunes to download episodes 1-23, only episodes 23 to 67 are available as far as I can see. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?


to download the early episodes go to thehistoryofrome.typepad.com


Awesome podcast! Thank you very much for your efforts, they have made my drive infinitely more enjoyable. The only problem is, now I am caught up and I can't wait for the next episode. I guess I'll just start at the beginning again.


Dear Mike,

You keep putting the Jews and Hebrew in the same sentence. Didn't the Jews speak Aramaic in 1st century?


Don Franzen,

"I hope you do go all the way to 1453 ..."

I would much prefer he covered American history as he had expressed an interest in doing so. Of course, the problem with that idea is that in order to really contribute something new to our understanding of American history he probably wouldn't be able to avoid being controversial.

American history, and to a greater extent enlightenment and post-enlightenment European history, is full of clashing exotic philosophies which make the history as much about ideas as about dates and battles and such.

In contrast, so far the character and philosophy of the Romans seems quite simple: because they did and/or because I can and want to. Christianity will come along soon, and just make the whole thing more confusing and ugly. The latter being because Christianity was used as an excuse for brutality and didn't restrain pre-existing brutality and thereby makes everyone look more hypocritical.

Anyways, American history is not the same kind of beast. It would be interesting to see how mike covered it.

darkfall gold

I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me.Keep up the good work!

Steve Gad

I too agree with the person who commented on the pace of delivery. I thought my Ipod was set up wrong or someone else had taken over. Not to worry.
I have listened from the start, whilst cycling to and from work, and when I am all wrapped up, with the headphones under my wooly hat, you are great company and put my mind far away from the bitter cold and wind.
When I get home, I always wait til the end of that particular episode, before I even take off my coat.
Great stuff, keep it up!


So Nero's oft-quoted lament, "Have I neither friend nor foe?" was uttered when no one was left in the palace to hear it?
Who, I wonder, reported his words to posterity?

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