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October 04, 2011


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Another Mike

Thanks as ever Mike. I feel that the episodes since the appearance of Julian have been a real high point for the podcast. The question that I have is why did the loss of such a relatively small army at Adrianople have such a lasting effect on the balance of power? Its not on the same sheer scale of the defeats by Hannibal (for instance), where the armies were so much bigger. Were the legions just so depleted and reliant on barbarians that this battle was a tipping point? I'd love to hear anyones thoughts on this.


It just showed for future barbarian groups that rebellions can be rewarding, not in the sense of getting some loot here or there, but that groups can now acquire land, titles, etc. through rebellion.


I got a real buzz from this episode. It felt as if the story had picked up and was going somewhere again.


And I was looking for that "kon-hu" bow type so desperately (knowing that compound couldn't have been what you meant), expecting some bow type I haven't seen so far :)


Hey Mike,

Thanks for the clarification on the Hun bows. Before modern compound bows came about, the term "compound bow" was used to refer to some recurve bows made of composite materials like the ones the Huns used. If you have been reading older accounts, (particularly anything with E.A. Thompson's name on it) it's likely you saw a reference to "the Hun compound bow" in print somewhere.


Hey, Mike, as an Audible recommendation, choose Justinian's Flea, which may be the single most enjoyable history book I have ever listened to.

What Hath God Wrought is also a fantastic audiobook, although it is American history.

Lastly, Empire of the Sea, which traces the battle for the Med from the fall of Rhodes through the Siege of Malta through the Battle of Lepanto.

All of these are awesome reads that I got on my Audible on the extreme cheap and all made long car rides just enjoyable

Garry Stevens

What a great series Mike has given us. With it's delightful quirks and anecdotes, I am greatly reminded of the late Colin McEvedy's series of Penguin historical atlases from the 1980s.

One of the bonuses I get is hearing someone pronounce the Latin.. oh, that's how you say it!

In homage to Mike's opus, I offer my own contribution for anyone interested: a pdf poster of the Roman emperors (A1 paper size, 841x594mm). Every time I listen to a new episode I update it, but there you go.

Freebie download from:




Awesome download, Garry, looks like it took you some time to do that. Just want to say Mike that this is an awesome podcast and I remember getting hooked on it when you were on like the third episode, I think. Anyway, I know we usually recommend nonfiction works, but I really recommend this one work of fiction by Wallace Breem titled Eagle in the Snow. Trust me.


Can anyone point me in the direction of a complete list of primary sources for ancient Rome? Mike's partial bibliography is helpful but I imagine there are more. Thanks, Nick.


Yo mike

The emperor your talking about shouldve been Contantius II not Constantine II..... No biggy though


Audible recommendation:
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
There are several versions available, I listened to samples of all of them and liked best the unabridged version read by Fritz Weaver. Weaver has a "Christopher Lee"-like quality to his voice that really captures the dark and intriguing content of the book.

Machiavelli mentions numerous examples from Roman history to illustrate his points. The Prince is not as evil as its reputation implies. I found it much more interesting to hear the whole uncut work rather than hearing quotes taken out of context.

I have been listening to this podcast since 2007...I can't believe this is the first time I've commented. Love the show! -Mark

Robert Simione

Garry, I just looked at your pdf. That is really great work! Thank you for sharing!

Laurence Bachmann

Garry Stevens: Excelsior! Fantastic design. Thanks so much. Larry


"Valens was 50 years old and had ruled the eastern half of the empire for 14 years."


"Emperor X was Y years old and had ruled the empire for Z years"

I love these simple closures to each reign.

They are usually followed by a brief legacy of the said dead emperor.

... and they show what a great, methodical show runner this show runner is.

Vancouver Val

Hi Mike and the gang, enjoying my Roman history fix a la Duncan and wanted to give a big Hello fom the cold North:) Gary I love your chart! How in the heck long did that take? Where did you start and did you change formats along the way?

cambridge satchel us

A weekly podcast tracing the history of the Roman Empire, beginning with Aeneas's arrival in Italy and ending (someday) with the exile of Romulus Augustulus

Dupont customer

For any who come across this page and see the reference to Mike's Latin pronunciation, I wanted to alert them that those pronunciations are often incorrect or divergent from standard. His pronunciations of things beyond Latin often miss the mark, as well. "Antiochus," "Agricola," and many other things are pronounced incorrectly. You would be wise to double-check before taking Mike's pronunciations as gospel.

Still, it is a fun podcast, despite the frequent mispronunciations and occasional factual errors.


Like the podcast, but you do sound as if you need a nasal decongestant.

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