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September 26, 2010


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Good episode!

One point that bothered me was that you mentioned that Nicopolis was being besieged by the Goths...but you mentioned Nicomedia on several occasions.

Are they two names for the same city?

Luise (Tasmania,Australia)

Nicopolis was in Greece, Nicomedia in modern-day Turkey. You will find it in Wikipedia.

I'd see that movie...

I'm really excited about this Thor movie that they are making, Mike. Kenneth Branagh is directing - I didn't realize he was such a big fan of yours. I guess when he saw the hype being generated by The Social Network he knew that your story would be a true blockbuster. He even got Natalie Portman to play Mrs. THoR! I'm not really sure why the production shots have you wearing that strange medieval armor and carrying that big hammer, but I know it will all be explained. I'm not sure that I can wait until 2011!

Jacob P

IIRC, Edward Gibbon made Decius out to be one of the great figures of this time period (or at least thats the idea i gleaned from him) I found this episode very interesting since it gives me another side of what i figured was one of Rome's last, best hopes. Certainly, Decius was one of the last true princeps, it would have been interesting to see what he could have done had he lived.

Valerie Barone

A belated Congratulations on your marriage, move, winning jersey, and getting picked up by aubible and the cool THOR Tour. Also I was saddened to hear of the passing of your grandfather. It's always good to have those relationships as long as possible. He obviously offered you the safe harbour and Rome two very important legacies.
A lot has happened since you embarked upon your quest. Thanks again.
I do have two quick questions:
1. Why when I downloaded the podcasts via iTunes did they load not in numerical order?
2. Is there one place where a booklist you reference in the podcast or recommend through Audible can be found?
Thanks very, very much for hours of excellent entertainment.
ciao from Lotusland:)

Will Askew

Congrats on the marriage, move, and the tour. I really wish I could come on the tour, but unfortunately, it's going to have to wait a while. One quick question that could probably go in any comment thread: you said early on the the structure of the legion was one of the main reasons why Rome was able to hold on to power as long as it did. You also mentioned four phases of the Republican army: barbarian horde, Greek phalanx, maniple system, and finally the Marian cohorts. Maybe I missed it, but after Marius, did the fundamental structure of the legion ever change again? And if not, was this a reason why Rome began to stagnate?

Rosa Larralde

on the programme you made the point a couple of times that the edict of mandatory sacrifices to the gods was or must have been meant against christians... what about the jews of the empire? were they not numerous enough anymore to need targeting? did they comply, migrate? or were they also rounded up, tortured and murdered?


Mike, I'm feeling that the History Of Rome Podcast is coming towards as end as Rome itself seems on the brink of collapse. How much I have learned about this once mysterious empire. Thanks to you, I have a clear and concise understanding of this vast and complex history and am forever grateful to you for doing this work. Well done.


Thanks so much for the podcast! I love it!

Are you aware that episode 58-84 are missing on iTunes?

I'm stuck at 57 and eager to keep going!

Thanks again!


You mentioned Philip the Arabs brother Guyus as a defacto emperor of the East. What was he doing while his brother was being challenged? What about after he was killed?


I have been following this podcast for several years now. I am backlogged because of homework, and thus try to listen to podcast at my leisure.

That being said, I wanted to say that I used the analysis of Rome versus Carthage (gleaned primarily from this podcast) in a Church History class at my seminary. As you mentioned in this podcast, Decius' assault on Christianity led to many Christians renouncing their faith. Later, some of these Christians were reinstated. However, this drew the ire of the Christians primarily around the city of Carthage. They formed a schism called Novantism, so named after Antipope Novatian, who held a view that no one who renounced the faith should be readmitted into the church. The church in Rome held that under its authority and discernment people could be reinstated.

However, I argued in class and still do, that this belief has more to do with regionalism and the interesting dynamic of congregational polity versus episcopate polity. (Congregational polity puts individual congregations at the forefront of the larger church, whereas the episcopate polite is focused on the church structure rather than the individual churches.) I believe the Carthaginians used Christianity as a lightning rod against the abuses they felt they suffered under Rome. Though not a clear link, one can see how congregationalist churches often seek to have a much harder stance towards their faith. We need only look at the Southern Baptist polity versus say Episcopal Church's polity.

I believe Novantism grew from a major discontent with Rome's bossing around the provinces and, in its own way, was a third front during this trying time in the empire. While Novantism would disappear, its Christian polity lives on to this day. It also was a foretaste of the radical freedom being put forth by this sect which appeared to divide the empire at the sake of individual dignity.

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