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August 21, 2011


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Hi Mike,
Love your recomendation, but that book is available
as a free podcast from the BBC so would be a waste of a free book off audible.
Love the podcast

Scott Scheule

While the final "t" in the French expression "coup d'etat" is not pronounced, the "c" in "coup de grace" is. It makes the sound of an English "s," thus: Coo duh grahs.

What Mike said, Coo duh grah, is spelled "Coup de gras"-- in French, it means "blow of fat."


*Insert obscure nitpick here*

Scott Scheule

Obscure nits will ne'er be picked unless some brave soul grips the obscure-nit-pick.

While we're at it, scheme is pronounced sk ee m, not shk eem, unless that's an in joke I don't get.

I should also mention the episode is, as usual, otherwise awesome, and the podcast remains, as it has for years, my favorite, and one of the best parts of my week.


The thing I love about this thread is that it attracts a better class of pedant. (Have I spelled that correctly?)


haha, well scott.. In the west o' Ireland we'd pronounce it as a shkeme... besides, its makes me laugh everytime Mike says it, class podcast! thankyou so much!

Larry Odebrecht

While we are nitpicking and talking about validity of history recommendations - I have one that is both:

Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals" is a little on the sketchy side, IMHO. She's a known plagiarist and has a clear current political bias that tends to color her interpretation of events.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts... I've kind of written her off (which may not be fair)... if y'all disagree - I'll give her another shot. Like Doris herself said, “Why, simpleton, do you mix your verses with mine? What have you to do, foolish man, with writings that convict you of theft? Why do you attempt to associate foxes with lions, and make owls pass for eagles? Though you had one of Ladas's legs, you would not be able, blockhead, to run with the other leg of wood.”

...at least i think it was Doris. ;)


Loved the "A History of the World in a 100 objects" as a redio program and podcast, recommend it highly. Downloaded The Meditations as previously recommended by Mike, looking forward to 9 hours of Marcus Aurelius as soon as I figure how to download it onto my iPod.

Scott Scheule


Thanks! Good to know.

Seattle listener.

"... coupons to Olive Garden." Classic. For our non-American friends, you can probably guess it is a plain vanilla "Italian" restaurant chain here in the USA.

John Poole

I thought the plagiarist thing was a few missed citations from a work she had already footnoted extensively in one book. Until she repeats it I just figured it was an error. 'Team of Rivals' is an excellent read IMO go ahead and check it out. I am not sure what her current political bias is but she was certainly pro-Republican in that book...but it was a Lincoln book so yeah.


I always pronounce it "sk ee m" myself, but love the way Mike pronounces it. I just assumed it was a valid variant. If it's not, then it should be. Don't change Mike. Love you just the way you are.

Scott Scheule

Neither Oxford or Webster's give anything but the basic ski:m pronunciation, but apparently they don't take account of occidental Eire.


Mike, I sense you're pacing this so everything wraps up around episode 200. If that's the case, I'd love to see (or hear) a sort of "finale" episode where you offer your summary and observations on the entire Roman enterprise, rather than just ending upon Augustus Romulus' disappearance into obscurity.

This podcast has been a really fun ride and I'm happy to have been a listener for so long.

Neil Lee

@Scott Scheule - coup de gras - blow of fat - love it - maybe those Olive Garden coupons would have been worth it after all!

Great podcast as always Mike! I


I'm obviously late to the pedantry here - but I just can't help myself. I think that Mike misused the word "bemused" in describing the reaction of the citizenry to Procopius's coup. "Bemused" means "stupefied", "utterly confused", "transfixed" - not something like "only mildly concerned or interested", which is I think what was intended.

Vancouver Val

I really love you the intense, listening, loyal fans and our interesting ways of sharing the love. As much as the podcast, I look forward to the feedback. All of it.
It's almost Thanksgiving and I'll include you next week in my thanks.
Thanks Mike for your genuine love of history and skill at adding it up with my daily look out. Thanks to all the THoR listeners and Mike for being great neighbours of the world.

LV Purses

So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. :)

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