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November 27, 2011


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Dave Bible

According to my Today in History app, the date if the death if Rufinius was November 27 395. So, nice timing on this episode.


I would love some more Roman culture episodes before the end of the podcast. Not the least because it would pad out the (disturbingly) quickly approaching end.

CA Bennett

I know I've banged on about this before, but as we get closer to Odaocer and all that, I'd like a break from the narrative and, if it's at all possible Mike, a bit of time spent discussing socio-economic factors that had enfeebled the empire. You don't really get that in a high politics based narrative. A few weeks ago you said how Valentinian failed to grasp the way the empire had changed since the first centurt AD. To be honest, I'm not sure how the empire had changed either. You've touched on issues such as the difficulty in recruiting and way back you talked about Diocletians financial reforms and how they helped remove the rich from civic life but I'b like more of this and it all brought together in one place. Hope you're recovered now.


Interesting as always.

One question that's been popping around in my head ever since the Germanic generals starting becoming so important in the Roman Empire is how "Romanized" were these Germanic generals? Would they have dressed as a Roman? Would they have spoke Latin as a Roman? What identified them as German? Just the name?

I also find it interesting that Stilicho never "Romanized" his name. Compare this to earlier times when other barbarians "Romanized" their names. Some even became emperor (e.g Philip the Arab).


Great episode Mike, but I see what I came here to post has already been said. It would be great to take a step back from the narrative and have an episode about how the world and empire has changed in the past few hundred years.


Thanks for another great episode, Mike. FYI, I would also like to step back from the imperial narrative and hearing more about Roman-Barbarian culture at this stage of the empire.

Guy Moloney, Sydney Australia

Patience, people. I have a feeling the time for taking stock is when Rome gets sacked.

Ben Elliott

I'm just catching up on the series. I'm up to episode 81. Thanks for your hard work and the way you put the subject over.

Wade Steel

Maybe it's possible that there just aren't enough credible historical sources that describes Roman society/culture during this period?


@ Guy Moloney: Actually I'd say that's the point. Furthering the understanding of the Empire itself before it perishes into the annals of History. Build on the concept of what exactly it is that is being destroyed.

Not a lot of narritives that go for "And here we see the woman getting shot....and now we'll show you the rest of her life before that so you understand why you should've been sad when it happened, even though you didn't care about it at the time", even though we obviously do know a lot by now, but presumably it's still quite a different beast. :)

I vote for getting up to speed on how the Empire is at the moment before the episodes "ending" the series. Also hoping for some Specialized episodes that delve deeper into specific topics or people without maintaining a strict storyline. Amongst podcasts Mike is naturally the master of keeping it nice and straight, but since it's rapidly nearing the end of that line (and he has stated his lack of intent of continuing with the east, though hopefully that'll change!) it'd be lovely to at least have some more of that. <3


A note on that last thing, since I realized it doesn't say it explicitly: I meant for more focused looks into individual topics throughout Roman history (or effects of it on whenever) after the end of the Series, but for the stuff explaining this particular period in time before the end.


I'm a big fan of the show and I agree I would like to see some episodes on the cultural aspects of the empire and of the people outside of the empire. One thing I wish I had a better understanding of is at what point does Christianity become the majority religion of the empire. In addition the Christianization of the barbarian tribes would be an interesting subject to me. If these could be covered at all it would be greatly appreciated.

Guy Moloney, Sydney Australia

@Mainframe: I understand your point. How it feels to me is that the narrative of Roman history is just so messy in the late 4th/early 5th century that it's all Mike can do to keep us accurately informed of the major events and players shaping the empire at this decidedly wobbly stage. It made sense to take stock around ep.28 after they'd dealt with their local rivals, and again after they'd attained some stability throughout the 2nd century. What it meant to be Roman seemed much more easily quantifiable. Now it seems in such a state of flux that stopping at the hammer blow of the 410 sack to catch a breath would make sense to me.


I listen to this podcast a lot - over and over - this is my first comment. Does the History of Rome ever reply to the comments?

matt, NL

For ppl that wanna hear more history podcasts, I just discovered this Napoleon podcast.. it'a totally different setup and pace compared to our own ThoR, but for historophiles it's a real treat..


So here's my question - what the heck were the actual, you know, Romans doing during all of this? Its pretty clear that the empire is now being ruled by people who are everything but natives of Rome proper - or even Italy proper. This was a population that for 600 or so years clawed over each other to achieve power, conquer the world, and "Romanize" every civilization they came in contact with. Where were ambitious young Romans directing their once enormous political energies? One would think that at some point people living in and around Rome would wake up and realize that they weren't in control of their own empire anymore, and try to do something about it. I think it would be a fascinating topic to discuss, as The History of the Rome has obviously (as did the empire) followed the course of history away from the eternal city for quite some time now.

Great show - i've been a listener from the beginning and applaud your amazing work.

Ben Nicholson

@ Bobbi
I've never seen him directly reply to comments (at least on this thread).

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