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October 31, 2010


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wwwooowww. I never thought in a million years that you would have made a Duck Tales reference to explain a roman problem like inflation. Boy did that episode rings true. LOL. Great job Mike.

Simon C

Mike I got a question about the army Odenathus commanded. How big was it? What were the troops like? Was it a Persian army or a roman one?



I'm a big fan and have been stalled since the episodes 57-85 are missing on iTunes...can you help?


You could download them from the site and then put it on iTunes yourself.


Hi Mike, great podcast!
Since I was still catching up at the 100th episode, I wonder if you can put the following issue/question in your narrative (or answer briefly on the web site). I think it is still relevant at this point of the Empire.

In the last episode, you seemed to imply that the people in the regions of the empire (except Italy)were losing their loyalty to Rome because it could not provide the much needed security anymore.

However, Gaul and (greater) Syria were already 200+ years under roman rule. Had no "romanization" taken place? Was it just the elites (tribe chieftains etc) that had embraced Roman values and had a vested interest to defend the Empire?

In more modern terms, was the Roman Empire just a "holding company" that as long as it collected the dividends (taxes/manpower etc) did not interfere with local customs/education etc?

Again, thanks Mike for this interesting and sharp-witted podcast series.


Wayne Povey

Hi Mike.

Just found your Podcast. Working my way through from the start. You've done a sterling job. Enjoying it thoroughly. I am amazed at how many times the seemingly unbeatable Romans were beaten and still powered on. They must have had a magic soldier and money tree somewhere.

Keep up the great work.

Luise (Tasmania,Australia)

It seems that Rome's enemies are getting more sophisticated, learning the art of how to put down the "big bully". So maybe fractured management at the top of Roman politics and the army wasn't the only reason for the losses of this period. Leakage of technology and sophisticated learning at the fringes of the romanized world might have played a part. What do the rest of you think about this?

Alexa Laessig

God I was just listening to your first episode again and there was a distinct feeling of nostalgia. Oh how far you have come. I am sad that this series will be over so soon. I will miss your weekly posts. Can you please do a podcast about the History of the United Stats. I am currently listening to a Lecture series form the Teaching Company but the professor is so full of himself and it is quite frankly annoying. I think you can do a great job. I would definitely listen to it,


Val in Vancouver

I'm listening to an excellent series of 14 shows on the Origins of the Modern Public. It's not THoR or Mike Duncan but it's interesting and the host David Cayley has an equally clear voice and interesting skill at incorporating today and the past.


Thanks I will definatly look into it

Bob Hoyler

Hello Mike,

I can't find an email address for you anywhere, and I'm not on Facebook, so there were two things that I was inetrested if you would cover specifcially that I wanted to mention here:

1) Roman Religion - I know you have touched on this in the past, and I would understand if you wait until the rise of Christianity to delve into this further, but I am very interested in how the rise of Eastern cults (e.g. Mithraism, the Cult of Isis, the cult of Sol Invictus, Christinaity) affected the day-to-day functioning of the empire, and the ways in which the Romans looked at the world

2) Barbarian (and Persian) Battle Tactics - I was relistening to some of the old THoR podcasts the other day. One of the podcasts I listened to was "A Phalanx with Joints." You did such a great job of explaining how the old Greek phalanx was no match for the newer Roman legion in that podcast that I became very curious to hear your deconstruction of the Barbarian and Persian battle tactics that eventually brought down the legion. I know that there is a lot more going on with that topic than purely military tactical operations, but I was curious as to how the Roman legion - domninant for so long - eventually met it's match.

You do a great job with this, Mike! Thanks for keeping SPQR alive.

Jerry Zampanti


Am I missing something? I have not seen a podcast from you in quite some time.

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