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March 21, 2010


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Thanks for the podcast first off. :)

The podcasts are all jumbled up in the RSS feed, any plans on fixing it? Thanks!


With discussion of daily life and culture, your tour of Rome exceeds the pleasant but wanting portraits given by would be rivals. Kudos!


Along the lines of learning about daily life in ancient Rome, I recently picked up a book called "A Taste of Ancient Rome" by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa (trans. Anna Herklotz). It's an actual cookbook based on recipes mostly from Apicius's 1st century AD cookbook, Cato the Elder, and others. It's fascinating. The Romans managed to be quite the gourmands, even without tomatoes, potatoes, corn, chocolate, or coffee. (It helped if you liked garum, a fermented, salty fish paste found in almost everything.) Don't know if it's still in print, but used copies are easy to find.

Also, great recommendation on Tuchmann's "A Distant Mirror" on the 14th century in Europe. I read it years ago and loved it. I recently read Morris Bishop's "The Middle Ages," which is a similar survey of the entire era. Very engaging and well-written.


Neo-Cons: the Roman patrician model must make your lips negatively drool.

Kyle Johnson

Have not read "A Distant Mirror", but for any Middle Ages fans, "A World Lit Only By Fire", by William Manchester, and "The Middle Ages" by Morris Bishop are great sources that helped me tremendously in my classes

Ben Nicholson

Maybe Im going mad but you said you where having a week of (which is aloud) then one more episode then the 100th. But I only count 97 up to now. Is my maths out or is the another episode.
By the way It was a great episode and hope your week away is as easy as a city Roman


Hi Mike,

I haven't gotten up to 88 yet (I'm around 50 where Augustus is still alive), but I wanted to let you know how great this podcast is and how much I love it. Thanks for putting so much time and effort into the series. It's clear that you love the subject.


Hello Mike, awesome podcast. I've been enjoying it immensely. I'm on episode 82. Sent a small donation for the cause, and in the hopes of getting more. If you ever want to go to 6th, ping me, hehe.

Completely off topic of course, but I've been reading the book Napoleon's Wars which deals with the political and diplomatic relations of Napoleons, and how those caused by his downfall, mostly by his ego. Very good read into that era.

Em the luddite

Hey Mike,

Just wanted to drop the obligatory thanks-for-the-podcast message that your new listeners seem to do. I've been playing catch-up for the past couple months, and am finally up-to-speed right before a trip to Rome during Holy Week. From a Renaissance-English-lit-scholar-to-be who will likely be too busy with the 16th century to fill in my holes in ancient history in the next five years, thanks for podcast!



Hi Mike - fantastic podcast. Been listening to it from the beginning. I'm in the UK - have you visited yet? Plenty of Roman sites to explore in the rain. And thanks for inspiring my daughter to learn Latin -in homage to you, we've now visited Palmyra, Jerash and Bosra to check out the Roman ruins there. Worth a trip, especially Bosra. You are a genius - keep up the great broadcasting.

renaissance costume

Seems you really had fun.. :) good to know.. Good luck in all your future endeavors.. :)


I got my dad hooked on this podcast now we have somthing to talk about besides the wheather.



I love your podcast! I have spent the last couple of weeks devowering the entire series of episodes. I have become addicted to this podcast!


Just wanted to say - I downloaded this podcast off itunes starting a week and a half ago and just now finished episode 88. I'm hooked! I'm sure lots of time and work goes into this production so I just wanted to say thanks and please keep em coming!

Richard Moore

The History of Rome is The Best Podcast in the history of podcasts! I've tried all the others. It's so good, I don't need tv. You are the Caesar Augustus of history podcasts, the others aren't even Nero in comparison. You're also the Romulus, Scipio Africanus and Julius Caesar of ALL podcasts. Five month hiatus? You've earned it! Nothing this good writes itself. (i.e. 'The price of democracy is eternal vigilance . . . on the width if hallways.' Brilliant!) I'm counting the days to Macrus Aurelius.

Thank You.

Your Devoted Client


What five month hiatus? I don't remember hearing anything about a five month hiatus. Say it ain't so.


thanks for making the best podcast in the world cant wait for Macrus Aurelius


Hi Mike,

Loved the episode, but I have one minor critique.
You talked about wine in the Roman world. To my knowledge, there's no evidence that the wine that the Romans mixed with water was concentrated. I don't think any distillation or concentrating processes were available until much much later. The Romans would probably have been mixing regular old wine with water.
Which would be difficult to get drunk off of. Getting wasted was looked down upon in Rome, from what I can tell.

But the stuff I read mostly has to do with the late Republic; customs could certainly change over the centuries.

Anyone know anything about whether mixing wine with water would kill off dangerous microbes? Besides flavor and a slight relaxing effect, not getting water borne diseases would be a great reason to have wine with your water.


I can't download #88 off Itunes. 87 and 89 yes. But not 88. Can you reupload?

Renaissance Dress

great podcast! i can't download #88 either =(

Scott in Eugene

@ Valerie and Roman wine: I too had read many years ago that Romans mixed water into their wine when they drank it, and I assumed it was just plain wine, nothing concentrated. And when I heard Mike mention concentrated wine, I also wondered how that could have been done without distillation.

But a bit of poking around on the web indicates that concentrated wine was indeed produced in ancient times. I haven't found an entire piece on the topic, but enough bits of info to declare that my assumptions were wrong, and Mike is most likely right.

Bill from Philly

Love the work - would love to know how many hours you put into this show! BTW - #88 is only downloading to 215kb.

ilia from ny

This was a really cool and informative episode. Though I know that much of what happens during a certain periods in Roman history is shaped and directed by the emperor, learning about the actual life of the citizens is very interesting. Especially interesting to learn about how modern day customs are either similar to Roman ones due to pure practicality (like night-time deliveries) or derived by tradition (like a lot of the education and marriage stuff, for example).

So please, if you are taking suggestions for future episodes, more of this daily stuff would be really awesome. (Of course, I could just read the relevant books, but you know.)

The advantage of your podcast, of course, is that you take a lot of dry autobiographical and archeological material and turn it into an entertaining show. I think I speak for all of us when I say we greatly appreciate it.

Ian from Salt Lake City

I'm a huge fan of this podcast. I have one critique of this episode, however. You mentioned that pumpkins were consumed by Romans. This is not possible since they are a new world crop and did not exist in the old world before the columbian exchange in the 15th century.

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