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September 25, 2011


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Audible rec.-- Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard

The fascinating story behind the famous quotation, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Read by (sometimes voice-actor) John Lee, who does a great job w/ the accents for the quotations. Well written, easy listening.


p.s.-Thanks for giving the whole Valens & the Goths (*not a rock band*) story a fair hearing--we never seem to hear anything but the short-hand account in school.

James Boston

At about the 9:40 mark, Mike Duncan gives a shout-out to the historian Peter Heather. By coincidence I just finished reading Heather's 'The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History'. (I can't find it on audible, unfortunately.) I don't know if anyone recommended it before, but it's a gripping and informative read.

Dylan Kornberg

A Song of Ice and Fire, which is a fantasy series by George R.R. Martin (which has recently been adapted into a miniseries by HBO called "Game of Thrones," the title of the first book). It has nothing to do with Roman history per se, however the style of the books are semi historical in nature, and many of the themes draw clear influences from ancient Rome (for example, the fallen city of Valyria). A must read for any fantasy fan, and really any fan of literature in general.

Neil Lee

Ah, the earthquake, storm and tidal wave generating Huns :). Talking about the Huns, I recommend Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August as read by Nadia May - excellent narration. There is another version also available on Audible but I have not heard it.

If I can make a second recommendation: 1776 by David McCullough (narrated by the author).

Not quite Ancient History in either case but still history.

Welcome back Mike. :)


Oh anything by Barbara Tuchman is is great.

I see the also have "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century", which I love. 100 Years War, feudalism, chivalry, Black Death. All the good stuff.

With the thoughts you’d be thinkin

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too) by David Goldman(AsiaTimes Columnist Spengler)

Nathaniel's Nutmeg by Giles Milton

White Gold by Giles milton

All of these are really good


Thanks Mike, awesome episode! worth waiting for


Audible has an abridged version of Dante's Inferno narrated by the fantastic voice of John Cleese that's well worth a lesson.

The Aeneid narrated by Simon Callow is fantastic.

Greg Wise narrating The Picture of Dorian Gray is good.

Hellas by Cyril Robinson is a relatively brief history of ancient Greece I found pretty easy to get into and understand.

Thanks for a great episode!

Jeffrey Larsen

Thanks for alluding to Peter Heather's masterful work on the fall of the Roman Empire in your podcast - one of my favorite reads even though it still isn't in Audible's catalogue.

In keeping with the impending invasion of the Huns I'd highly recommend the following from Audible:

Attila: The Scourge of God by Ross Laidlaw


How about the Warrior of Rome series by Harry Sidebottom, he's a Tutor in Ancient History in Oxford University so he knows his stuff. More to the point they're excellent stories set in the chaos of the 3rd centry

Josh Almas

Audible suggestion: Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch

I'm about 18 hours in and I'm finding it facinating.

Dan Limb


If you haven't already suggested it, I would highly recommend "The Ghosts of Cannae" by Robert O'Connell. Much farther back in Roman history than we are now, but it is an incredibly engaging read on the Punic wars from the perspective of humanity - its strengths and frailties. O'Connell starts with the human impetus for waging war and unrolls the story of Barcids, the Scipiones, and the survivors of Republican Rome's greatest defeats with a depth of calrity that I have never read.

In other words...a good read!

And they have it on audible...

Regards from the Pacific NorthWET,

Dan Limb
Portland Oregon

Dan Limb

*never read before I mean, sorry


Ben Nicholson

Can I 2nd David's suggestion about the warrior of Rome series. I havn't listened to it on audiobook but the "normal" book is very good. It hasn't got the latest on there yet but I'm sure it will come. I will also wanted to recommend the Simon Scarrow roman history series of books but only 3 are in english. So I will put that as a recommendations if you only want some as audio book or in english.

Larry L.

Wow. FINALLY caught up! I started following this in March and it's now great to be "in real time." One of the great things I love about this series is Mike's ability to get into the psychology & underlying motivations of many of these "power plays" that dictate the ebb & flow of the Roman Empire. It also drives home the point that human nature has basically remained unchanged in 2,000 years. That being said, I have my audio book suggestion:

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene


It's essentially a modern day "Art of War" and synthesizes the theories of Sun-tsu, Machiavelli, Carl von Clausewitz etc. For each "rule" it gives excellent historical examples of when the rule was observed to great effect and when when the rule was ignored to somebody's great peril. Examples include Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, and even PT Barnum.

Johan Koning

Mike, THOR rules.

I would like to recommend two audio books by Simon Sebag Montefiore about Stalin:

Young Staling: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_3?asin=B002V5BPJ2&qid=1317155665&sr=1-3

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_4?asin=B0032N2SM0&qid=1317155843&sr=1-4

Really interesting stuff. Also used bij Mark Schauss in his Russian Rulers Podcast.


I'll second the "Ghost of Cannae" suggestion. I started reading it last week and it is a great read. I can barely put it down!


I 3rd David's suggestion because it was going to be my suggestion also lol. The warrior of Rome series is a great listen.

Luise (Tasmania,Australia)

Wow! Talk about mismanaging a refugee crisis...something Australia can identify with. Have we ever got it right? Don't answer that here! *rolls eyes*


I'll join the fray here and recommend the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough. It's a series of books starting with the rise of Marius and Sulla and concluding with Antony of Cleopatra. I'm on book 4 now, Caesar's Women and they are wonderful. Historical fiction at it's best....Highly recommended. Great podcast this week Mike, as usual.

Gary Lipets


Gods and Legions by Michael Curtis Ford, fun read

Rob Shinnick

Audible rec.- "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman. (Or "The Zimmerman Telegram" by the same author.) The former is perhaps THE book to read about the lead-up to WW1. (I was gonna recommend "Dreadnought" by Robert Massey, but it seems they don't have that.)


Ghost of cannae was already suggested. I dont remember which episode it came out but i bought it when mike plugged it in.


Oh my god after 6 months of listening to this great podcast I have finally caught up. Thanks Mike for all the great company on my commute from work over the past months. It suddenly hit me that now instead of 1-2 episodes a day I have 1 episode a week. This is what cold turkey must feel like. I will probably start sweating and get the shakes mid way home this evening.

Thanks again Mike.


A new Monday and we are waiting for the new episodes :-)
Greeting from Croatia.


The masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough



Oh, don't worry. Hitting that wall only means you'll be learning the history a lot more thoroughly from re-listening to the old stuff. I can't count how many time I've re-listened to the earlier episodes. ;P

Jared, Legio II Duncania

@Damir, the RSS feed has the new episode— dunno why it's not on the blog itself yet.

Nick Dunlavey

Given we are talking about mistakes being made on the way to a world-changing conflict, my Audible recommendation is Winston's Churchill's "The Second World War", read by Christian Rodska, starting with "Milestones to Disaster".


as above been waiting.... hope all is OK.


The latest episode was available on iTunes as of Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure why the blog isn't updated.

Anyway...My recommendation:
There's a book that was just made available on Audible format. It's about the Peleponnesian War - a fascinating time period. If you're feeling brave you can recommend it: It's by Donald Kagan ;-)


Shane B

I should really get myself an RSS client to download the latest podcast, I was waiting to hear about the Goths/Huns up to no good in and around the empire's borders for most of Sunday.


audio book recommendation: 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown. by Simon Johnson. it is a really good book on the financial crisis.


This is my first comment on this great series of podcasts. Please don't let my embroidery blog fool you, I'm a great fan of Roman History and have been so for many years. Right now I'm reading "Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization" that I picked up at the Borders sale. I find it a bit slow, but still interesting. It is available on Audible so I think it's worth recommending, especially since it is about a worthy opponent of Rome. I find it very strange that we always remember the generals who lost (Hannibal), but seldom know those who won (Scipio Africanus).

Keep up the great posts, and where is Episode 153? :)

Account Deleted


jk. But I am anxiously waiting #153 :)

Richard Eppert

A couple of Audible recommendations:

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson


At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson.

Jared, Legio II Duncania

Those who don't want RSS for some reason, just try this link for episode 153 goodness: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheHistoryOfRome/~5/PCpkzwdWBIY/153-_Adrianople.mp3


audio book recommendations: 1-Panic! The Story of Modern Financial Insanity. by micheal lewis. a really good book on financial crisis from the 87 crash to the housing crisis. highly recommended.
2-A Colossal Failure of Common Sense’ by Lawrence G. McDonald. this is highly recommended book on the fall of Lehman Brothers.
3-When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management. highly recommended.
4-This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
by Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff. great econ history. a little dry, but very interesting.


Audible rec:
The Egyptian Volumes 1 and 2 by Mika Waltari.

The Egyptian is doubtly one of the greatest historical novels of all time and it was a big international bestseller during the '50's. The book set in during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

I haven't actually listened this version though, but have read the book at least three times by now and enjoyed it each time very much.

Ned Briody

Audible rec: Guns, germs and steel, a brilliant history that records the devolpment of human societies without resorting to environmental determinism.

Regards Ned

Patrick Baker

Have to recommend "The history of the world in 6 glasses" by Tom Standage.

Excellent book, tells the history of civilzation thru the story of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola.

Mike Fulham

Almost caught up withthe podcast. First thank you for the time and effort you have put into this. It's amazing. I have a non-Rome audible book to recommend. Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story. written by Mitsuo Fuchida & Masatake Okumiya (two of the pilots that were there). It's was interesting to hear what the Japanese side of how the battle was suppose to go and what happened when it didn't.

Jamie Redfern

Hey Mike! I'd like to recomend the new Stephen King book, 11.22.63. I havn't read it yet (just bought it today) but it sounds briliant! Love the show,

Listener Jamie.

rc helicopter

Impressive blog! -Arron


Hello. I'd like to recommend The Egyptian by Mika Waltari. I suspect you know this book so please give it a good pitch. Also i loved Soldiers And Ghosts by J E Lendon. It is not on audible but i think you will find it full of good history and engagingly written.

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