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July 03, 2011


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If you're looking for a book to recommend next (in case it hasn't already been recommended), then here's a perfect fit: "Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America" by Robert Charles Wilson.

Not only is the text very good, but it's a speculative fiction story about America after Peak Oil that is explicitly modelled on the story of Julian the Apostate.

The audio version is here: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B002V07ZWI&qid=1309791169&sr=1-1


Anyone read Gore Vidal's "Julian"?

We're coming up quickly on this emperor, and this book came up briefly in another podcast I listen to (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2011/3237626.htm).

Mark Stephenson

This comment is in regard to the entire series: these are fabulous. I like your concise, no frills, clear information and delivery. I've enjoyed them all and will listen to them from the beginning again.


Vidal's Julian is pretty good. Much better than his Caligula.


Thanks Nicole. I'll pick it up!

Brad Penney

Just wanted to offer a sincere thank you for this series - it is incredible. I've listened to every episode and will continue to listen until 476CE - or if you choose to go to 1453CE with the Eastern Roman Empire's fall I'd be happy to go there too!

In any case, keep up the good work! Your fans appreciate you!

Carpe Diem!

Julie R.

Mike (and this may be a little late, as I'm listening to 141, but hopefully this is still relevant), I looked up "arian christianity" on wikipedia. I spelled it wrong. Before I looked it up, every time I heard the word "Arian" I would mentally misspell it as "Aryan". Naturally, this made me think of both the original speakers of Indo-European languages (my sister is a linguist-in-training) and, well, World War Two. Could you please clear this up for all the other people out there who are probably confusing this too? I think you mentioned the root of the whole conflict a while back, but it's been so long that I don't think I'm the only one making this mistake.

Dylan Stosz

Gore Vidal's Julian was one of the few historical fictions I have read and up until now I have been uninterested in the late empire so I am really looking forward to see the accurate depiction of the Julian's reign. It is a fairly good book, but like I just said, I do get the feeling its historical value isn't great.


Gore Vidal's Julian was a pretty good read, but not as gripping as I hoped. His Julian seems a lot more rational, introspective and self-critical and is a much better writer than the real one, who appears superstitious, fanatical and a bit mentally unhinged. Vidal relies heavily and uncritically on Ammianus Marcellinus who idolised Julian. As someone else pointed out a few weeks ago, the trend nowadays is to romanticise Julian and vilify Constantine. Compared with Constantine, Julian's successes (eg Strasbourg)were few and his gaffes (eg. Imperial Army trapped 100 miles inside Sassanid territory) were major. I hope Mike can explain why everyone is so fascinated by Julian.


Is there a facebook fan page for this podcast?


I went a bought 10 Roman coins off eBay.
Not expensive, but then the coins aren't very valuable or good quality. But I wanted to touch something Roman after living so long with this Podcast.

So the first coin I tried to Google and figure out turned out to be for Constantine II. Cool! A coin from the events we're listening to now! The son who controlled the West, picked a fight with Constans, and got himself killed good and early.

On the back of the coin is apparently says "The Glory of the Army". So it's pretty obvious where his priorities lay.

But the odd thing is that the coin was supposed to be minted in Constantinople. For use in France and Spain at a time when the various bits of the Empire were not being very co-operative?

Anyway, I'm waffling. As always, love the podcast. Only a hundred and ten years to go....

Luise (Tasmania,Australia)


Wade Steel

@ Brad Penny: Mike has already said that he will not be continuing the podcast with the Byzantine Empire as he simply isn't as familiar with it as he is with the Roman Empire. His next podcasting endeavor will be an examination of the various political periods of American history.

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Don't know what is wrong what is rite but i know that every one has there own point of view and same goes to this one

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So I have no idea what I want from my life. I have to make a choice, and there are so many different futures now. It scares me when I am depressed

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So I have no idea what I want from my life. I have to make a choice, and there are so many different futures now. It scares me when I am depressed

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No offense, but if there's a facebook like button, it'll be much easier for me to share.

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