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July 25, 2010


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Ha! I am waiting for Elagabulus now, he's one of my faves!


Boo, indeed. Nice episode, Mike.

I'm wondering about the iphone app, too. Are you involved in that?


Yeah Caracalla sucks. What number was he in your worst emperors ever list. Mayb not as insane as commodus, but possibly meaner?


are you going to do macrinus, Diademetus and elgabalus all in the same episode?


Caracalla did manage to do one thing positive. He granted full citizenship to all free Roman subjects all over the empire! Do you think he did this out of the kindness of his heart or was it to increase the number of tax-paying citizens to pay for his army? Also, do you think it helped or hurt the empire in the long term?


Can you believe these idiots in Alexandria!?
Deliberately provoking this sociopath!?


I can't find Mike's podcast on iTunes. I've always just typed "the history of rome" into the search field and it showed up but not so this time. Any ideas?

Andrew Vaia

Mr. Duncan,

Love your podcast, really love listening to it in my down time. I did find a small error; you said both sons of Severus were declared Augustus by the legions following his death, but the plural of second declension nouns in that case end with i instead of us, making it Augusti. Thank you again for the hours of enjoyment.




I listened to the 1st Punic War episode the other day. I always thought Mike had a bias for the republic but after the last 200+ years of despotism I'm starting to see why.


Mike - we all know that Diocletian is just beyond the horizon.

I love these pod casts and have listened to them all throughout their entirety, no less than 4 times...

But, I think that I can speak for all when I say that we want your absolute best for then man who instituted the tetrarchy...

He was hands down the best Roman Emperor... There is not a need to argue - Diocletian instituted bold and remarkable reforms that the empire desperately needed. And, he ultimately gave it all up to retire... His story is way better than the other top two contenders for best roman emperor...

Augustus: OK, good but old and he road Caesar's coattails....

Trajan: For sure the paradigm of a great emperor. However, he ruled into a period in which was already stable; his method of ruling was awesome, and it allowed the empire to stay in peace and prosperity.

Who else can claim so much as Diocletian? He is the best...



LOl! Just read the comment above and all I can say is it's totally a matter of how you yourself relate to the history to name the best emperor.
I personally am a big fan of Vespasian and think of him as the man who saved Rome.
The point though is they were all men of their time and Rome woundn't have been the template for western civilisation without these men of outstanding charactor and fortitude.
However Vespasian built the most recognisable building in ancient Rome which rivals the pryimids and the partheon as a testimate to the power of the ancients, the coliseum.
Not bad for a 'muliteer'
Great General, Great Emperor and Great man!

Traci Nielsen

Hi Mike,

Just wanted to give you props for your podcast that mentioned The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Helped me out on a grad school assignment.

Iain Brown

Hi Mike,

Minor correction for you: the Severan Wall was not Hadrian's Wall, but the Antonine Wall which is North of Hadrian's Wall, originally built by Antoninus Pius 20 years after the more famous wall.


Jim Simpson

Marco, I agree that Vespasian was a great man and a great emperor but the Flavian Amphitheatre is the Colosseum. The Coliseum is a theatre in London, with which Veapasian had no connection. The adjective is intended to indicate that the building is colossal not colisal. Jim.

Bill from Philly

Why doesn't anyone ever make a showtime series about the Severan dynasty!! This dynasty is by far and away the most dramatic of the early empire!

Ron B.

In this episode you say "One of the sons of @Mike: Minor nit to pick here. Pertinax would actually find himself executed around this time after punning on one of the names for the Goths, suggesting that Caracalla should also award himself the name Getacus (sp?) as well." However, in episode 109, you discuss the origins of the Goths, saying that they first appear in the Roman records in about 238 A.D., 27 years after the events in this episode. Was Getacus really a pun on the "Goths", but under a different name? Or is there some confusion in the records?

BTW, I'm a huge fan of the podcast, currently on my *second* time through the series.

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