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September 13, 2009


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Firstly, very nice episode.

Second. There seems to be another echo and (slight) helium part at 10:45. The echo seems to last longer than during episode 64 and I only noticed the helium whilst listening to that specific part. It also isn't as high pitched.

Could someone please confirm?


Good luck and congratulations!


Thanks for the podcasts and congrats on the upcoming wedding. Enjoy married life and we'll all keep a light on until you get back.


Social history is so interesting. I hope we get more special episodes such as this one. Great job and congrats!


@Detlef - not noticing the sound issues you heard. Maybe redownloading is in order. Nice episode, Mike. Enjoy the wedding and good luck on the move.

Jan, DK

@Detlef: no problems here..


Don Wieber

Just a couple questions, I just finished episode 52 and Mike says if there are any questions just "drop me an email", but he does not give his email address out. How do we contact him?? The next question is regarding what history to believe. I have read the first three Colleen McCullough Masters of Rome series and have noticed some differences to what she writes compared to what is in the podcasts, minor differences, but differences none the less.
Wanted to end by saying that I love the podcasts and what a great job Mike does.



I can only hear the echo whilst listening on my mp3 player. On my pc (with 5.1 surround) I can't hear it. So could anyone please try listening with there mp3 player/iPod.

@ Don Wieber,

I think it's best to leave Mike for now. Let him focus on the things that really matter. But that's just my opinion.


Good question on what history to believe. Ancient History is nowhere near as cut and dry as Mike makes it sound. There are many conflicting opinions, even on some relatively settled matters. That said, any good historian will conduct a thorough historiography before plunging in. From the literary references that Mike has dropped so far it sounds like he is using a pretty good combination of primary and secondary sources. He leans heavily on primary sources but is careful to keep these in context (i.e. pointing out that Tacitus is a bit of a gossip). He also leans on good secondary sources that have done their homework when he goes into speculative history (such as Anthony Everitt). As far as what history to believe, I say read (and listen) to a whole bunch of sources and come to an informed and intelligent conclusion of your own. Thus makes a historian.

Don Wieber

Jim, thanks for the informative response, I appreciate your reply. I had pretty much thought along the same lines as what you wrote, but I just wanted to make sure.



I hope the wedding is fun and not too stressful.
And don't drop her when you step through the front door.

And I sent off a little wedding donation.
There's a handful of podcasts that have really entertained me, and I figure they deserve at least a small economic Thank You. So, thank you.


Blessings and congratulations upon your upcoming nuptials. Hoist the glass to Mr. and (the VERY soon to be) Mrs. History of Rome!


Congrats again on the wedding.

I'll make it through the next month somehow...


Big announcement.

With Mike's blessing I've set up a message board. It is call Forum Gallorum an can be found at forumgallorum.freeforums.org

its still a bit crude but please come join the fun.


Congratulations on the wedding and welcome to Austin. The heat has been brutal this summer so you are arriving about the right time. Its a great city.

Anyway, very nice podcast. I'd be interested to see a few more centered on specific subjects like this, though I have to say the narratives that tell a story are the podcasts that are the most engaging.

Thanks and good luck with the move!


Hi Everyone, you'll be pleased to know that Brownworth's book on Byzantium is now available (he's the 12 Byzantine Emperors guy). Mike, he's also on Audible so you can recommend it in your next HOR podcast.


@ Claude,

Good, perhaps you could come and discuss it at the FORUM?



You can also join the Facebook group "The History Of Rome Podcast Listeners".

Congratulations to Mike and Mrs ThoR-to be.


Great episode. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and Good luck with the big move. I'm sure a bright guy such as yourself will have no trouble landing a job. Porro ago Rome!

chris johnson

Congrats! Enjoy your time away from Rome and Have a safe move


What a podcaster the world is losing--at least for a few weeks.

Thanks for all the wonderful episodes, and many thanks in advance for the countless episodes to come. In the meantime, I wish you joy during this singular event in your life.


Dave, Kenya

Great episode - thanks. Have made a little donation to say thanks for all the work, and happy wedding!

Alexa Laessig

Hi Mike

I hope your wedding goes off wihtout a hitch. Good luck to you and the future Mrs History of Rome. I am looking forward to your return.

Good news I have found a book about Scipio Africanus to pass the time between updates, bad news it is written entirely in Spanish. I must have been crazy when I brought the book, because my understanding of the Spanish language is still very limited. But you know we dont have many well written Historical Fantasy books about Ancient Rome in Germany, most authors prefer to write about the Middle Ages, so I thought what the heck and it is only until you get back to your podcast.

I wish you a happy marriage and may Jupiter smile up on you and your future wife.

Ps: I would love to make a contribution to the moving fund, but unfortionately I myself am going to move very soon so I am rather stipped shot of cash at the moment. I hope you do not send the wrath of the gods after me, aka flood my distict. :-)




there is a thread about historical fantasy/fiction over at the forum. Perhaps you could come and talk about them.



hey Mike,

Congradulations on your upcoming marriage. I started listening to your podcasts regularly since before the Samnite Wars. You are a gifted historical raconteur. I appreciate all of your work. Thanks.


Neil Chard Dorney

To the soon to be Mr and Mrs Historyofrome

Just want to add my best wishes and congratulations. Have made a denotation to the moving fund and as I highly value your show I really just wish I could donate more at the present time.

While I struggled early on with the myths of Rome you guys really had me from the point you explained the story of Publius Claudius Pulcher and the sacred chickens:

“how he expected to win without the approval of the sacred chickens is a mystery”

This mixture of history and wit not to mention an incredible work ethic has meant you guys have produced such a high quality program and why so many of us will be missing our weekly historical fix while the show is off the air.

On a personal note on Monday I fly back to Australia after completing a two and a half month holiday of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. I do not know if I would have chosen such a trip if over a year ago I did not stumble across this program which started a mountain of reading on the Roman and Byzantine empires.

Thank you both. I hope to hear Mikes voice again in late October.


Neil Chard Dorney
History of Rome fan



Congrats on your wedding and loved the podcast. Perhaps you can revisit the topic and discuss the origins of the customs and how they evolved from the times of the kings, through the Republic and then the empire.

Michael In Houston

Hi Mike,

I enjoyed this newest episode, the second 'Special' in your Series.
I wish you the best on your coming Nuptuals and Welcome to Texas! :)
There has been some conjecture about how far you should go in this series, and I get the feeling that your not so keen on the Byzantine Empire, so?

I'd like to point out to your listeners another iTunes Podcast called: 12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of The Byzantine Empire by Lars Brownworth. This 18 part series covers the Empire from Diocletian c. 22 December 244 – 3 December 311 until the last Emporer, Constantine XI February 8, 1405 – May 29, 1453.

Thanks again for a great listen!


Hey Mike,

Just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed listening to your podcasts, and say mazel tov for your wedding. Have a wonderful day.


John Pay

Dear Mike

My wife, Alison (she of Macro descent) and I were married one year ago, packed up eveything and moved to Rome. So, it can be done, but boy will you be busy! I expect you'll be gone for a while, but not too long, I hope.

I listen to your podcast most days while driving through the city to and from work and it brings a real feeling of intimacy with the history of this wonderful city. I'll miss your easy style, but thankfully you've established quite a back catalogue which certainly can be enjoyed on the second or even third listening - there's always something new to hear.

Best of luck to both of you, and with the move


PS your dead pan comparison of the tactics used to down Hannibal's war elephants and the Imperial walkers still makes me smile.

Hans de Ridder

Thanks for all the podcasts and congratulations on the wedding. take youre time getting used to youre home. hope to hear from you someware in the future.


Good luck on the wedding and the move. I tried to send a donation, but the paypal page isn't smart enough to cope with the State field for any country besides the US.

Gary from down under

First and foremost Mike...Congratulations and best of luck with the wedding and move to the all star state.. Im just a shift worker here and boy do the long nights get tedious. But mate I gotta thank you for getting me through the endless hours and transporting me away on an adventure into a past to which i previously had no real interest. You have ignited in me a real passion for all things roman. Im not an avid reader but im seriously thinking of getting my own set of Gibbon. So Mike thanks again from a "Neville Nobody" in Sydney Australia..

Gary from down under

LONE Star State.....I faceplanted there (To steal one of Mikes lines). Apologies...


Love the podcast. I wish you married life well.
Good luck with the coming changes.

Steve O'Grady

Mike (or any who would care to comment)

Firstly, warmest congratulations on the nuptuals. I wish both you and the new Mrs History-Of-Rome all the happiness in the world.
I hope the move to Austin went well.

I didn't start following your podcast until fairly recently, but have now become quite a fan, singing your praises from this side of the pond.
I managed to track down the earlier episodes, and am now pretty much caught up.

I do have a couple of questions for you though.
This is, in part, in connection with a couple of dramatisations dealing with the later life, and inevitable death, of Caesar. They are both BBC productions, and I'm not sure if you will have come across them. The mini-series 'Rome', which spent much time dealing with the eating of doormice and seems to be remembered more for copious amounts of full frontal 'in-your-face' nudity, than for the actual history, (one immortal scene, though, which makes me laugh, has Mark-Anthony entering Caesars' tent, meeting Caesars' ultimate assassin, and uttering the line "Brutus, me old cock!") and the 6-part series 'Ancient Rome - The Rise And Fall Of An Empire' by Simon Baker. In the case of the latter, I'm not sure which came first, the book or the series. I only really refer to 'Rome' as it seems to agree with your podcasts in most significant respects.
Some of the content of 'Rise And Fall', though, in the episode dealing with Caesar, seems to differ significantly from your own account.
This version has Caesar off to fight in Spain between crossing the Rubicon and marching into Rome. It is my understanding that this was pretty much the last action of the war. It also makes reference to the mutiny of the Legions, but states that the 9th Legion mutinied before this trip to Spain, which it places at the start of the civil war, instead of just prior to the invasion of Africa, as your podcast suggests, nearing the end of the conflict.
Your podcast makes it clear that Caesar cleverly dealt with this rebellion without spilling blood, instead shaming the men into ending the mutiny, but 'Rise And Fall' has Caesar decimating the 9th Legion as a reprisal. I guess it is this event that has prompted me to write, as it so goes against the apparent merciful nature of the man as I understand it to be from your own work. He may have been a bit selfish, but I quite liked the guy! Are the crew at 'Rise And Fall' doing him an injustice?
Is this simply a case of not letting the facts get in the way of a good story, or are there other accounts which may better justify their version of history?
I have taken your podcasts to be a well researched and accurate re-telling of history, but it seems unlike the BBC to mis-inform to such a degree.

Once again, I am thoroughly enjoying your series, and look forward to your picking up where you left off. (as long as the Wife lets you, of course!)
I hope you are considerring turning this work into a book. I will be one of the first to buy it if you do.

Best Regards, and good luck, once again.

Steve O'Grady (UK)


Me again - donation went through after I learnt to read properly :)

I hope you're having a lovely time.


Hey, I'm a student studying abroad in Rome. I never before had much interest in ancient history. I mostly stuck to mythology, but living in Rome these last few months makes the history come alive. I wanted to thank you for guiding me through the history, you've made the scholastic part of my trip. I'm a big fan.

Anyway I am a fairly serious photographer and I happen to be here for another three weeks. Is there anything you wanted a royalty free photo of while I'm here?

Drop me an email. I think you see the invisible email we put in but if not just post something on the comments and I will respond.

aion kinah

I have read the first three Colleen McCullough Masters of Rome series and have noticed some differences to what she writes compared to what is in the podcasts.

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who knows that even in this time the people get married!?

Chanel Handbags

As so often, a journey into the unknown had revealed more about the traveller's home than about the destination.

דלתות פנים

Hi!! Mike,Amazing podcast.Social history is fascinating. You used a pretty good combination of primary and secondary sources.Many thanks for this worthwhile information .Have a good day!


Roman weddings were the source for many of our own marriage traditions. A ring on the third finger of a girl's left hand symbolized engagement. At the wedding ceremony the bride was dressed in white, wore a veil and was accompanied by a bridesmaid.

 Adamek Fanning

It's nice to know the history of Rome Wedding. I had learned a lot. Big thanks for sharing it.

Elsea Mauldin

My sincere congratulations to your up coming nuptials. Hope everything will be settled with God's guidance and blessings.

Callas Covey

I agree, and those traditions does not only happen in Rome, it happens around the globe.

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