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January 15, 2012


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oh man the only bright light of my dark life

/rant awesome


We're already at AD 412?! I need to catch up!

Ryan Leonard

The Romans arn't done yet!

John P

It is just ridiculous how the Gothic sack of Rome is considered this big moment but shortly afterwards the Goths are allying with the Romans, then getting outmanuevered and surrendering to them. The average man in the street had to be bewildered at who was a friend and who was an enemy and who was winning and who was losing at any one time.

CA Bennett

I really hope Mike thinks again and considers extending this series until at least Justinian.

Crispin Pemberton

Great stuff, my friend.

One pedantic point - her name was GALLA PLACIDIA not GallIA. There is no I in her first name.

Thanks for the rest.

Paul van Dam

I pressed the button email me a trillion times but my Iphone is from the same age that you're covering so hence a longer comment (sorry other users) I just want so say I absolutely love your podcasts! As a history major myself I know my fair share of mumbling professors,weird sidesteps and the like. Fortunately,nothing of that in your podcasts! Really really good stuff,so keep up the good work! And yes, an extension would be great,or other history topics for that matter. Best from Australia (on world trip right now) from a Dutchie, Paul


I wonder how different history may have flowed if the young Theodosius had lived.


Mike way way back around episode 33 I and many others were asking that when it was all over you release this podcast in Book Form..

you said that it was being considered but allot of it would have to be re worded to to the differences in listening and reading...

now that we are approaching the sad end..Is the book idea still being considered..i certainly hope so


Sgt R L Sample

Sorry, I am late to the game. Hope no one is offended, but this is AWESOME!!!

And, I RARELY use that word, but Michael (or Mike?) is an excellent communicator. I am trying to get everyone I know on board. My son, also a US Marine, I am poking with stick. SO much translates to modern era.

Bonus: No pompous wind bag with a speech impediment. (British old fart), etc.

I actually donated money. Yes, surprised myself. I am at ep 81. Trajan. Took a while because I listen repeatedly esp during Augusta's period. Most interesting in my opinion.

Mike, keep it up. And, when you get move through this to other sets of work, announce them, I will follow and bring the "Crass, vulgar, and an unrepentant hedonist …" with me.

Would LOVE to chat with anyone on this history.

Sgt R L Sample - USMC ps

Rick Sample

Can get to site on work PC. iPhone is a joke, so could some one please direct me to the TXT versions if exits?

[email protected]

I need to FORCE my new Marine to at least listen to history on downtime.
And, we all know why military folks should study history!

Sgt R L Sample USMC


Mike, congrats on your mention on the Onion AV Club Podmass Column: http://www.avclub.com/articles/week-of-jan-1218,67969/

You're in good company!


How dare the people at the Onion suggest Mike's jokes sometimes fall flat?!? Mike's ironic detachment is one of the essential elements of the podcast's greatness; and besides, I can't recall Mike telling a single "joke" in the entire History of Rome. Very cool that the Onion gives a mention, but the appropriate stance is one of mute admiration, not ill-informed quibbling. This is something up with which I will not put.


settle a debate amongst co workers/listeners
one side says that the fall of rome was the end of everything roman brought on dark ages ect ect

another side says that at the time Rome was Rome in name only that the government was even in rome when it fell it was in Ravena and Constantinople and there was really nothing there to conquer making the fall of rome like the united states losing control of nyc a major blow.
but the rest of the country was still standing so it was all symbolic and one city in thousands across the county was just ONE city


@ Robert.
Firstly, dark ages is a misnomer. It's the Middle Ages or Medieval. :P

Rome had ceased to be of any real political significance and lost a large percentage of its population well before the continued sieges and eventual sack by Alaric and his Goths. So yes, it was symbolic as Milan and then Ravenna became the seats of power in the western empire. But Rome the city was not conquered by the Goths, it was only sacked.



From scattered comments I gather that medievalists take nearly as much umbrage with "middle ages" and "medieval"—the idea being that such terms suggest that the era's greatest achievement was that it happened to trip and fall between two other things more worthy of mention.

As to whether the sacking was the end of Rome or only symbolic, I think Mike's made it pretty clear how merely symbolic it was. But the question of when "Rome" really ended surely depends on as many interpretive assumptions as does the counting of Roman emperors. I tend to think the marble-clad classical Rome they taught us about in school was basically Julio-Claudian, with everything afterwards being far too involved and nowhere near prurient enough to merit serious scholarly interest.

On the other hand Rome the bearer of more or less unquestioned imperium would have to go up to at least Commodus. The brevity of Pertinax's reign and the shameful auctioning to Didius Julianus seems to me just as much a symbolic endpoint as Alaric's sacking.

And then again, up until the death of Alexander Severus one could be a raving lunatic or a near–Bertie Wooster level nincompoop and still spend a lifetime mismanaging the empire without any terribly serious consequences.

My gut feeling is that Commodus was the last classical Roman emperor. Aurelian was just shoring up the ruins and Diocletian was already half Byzantine.

Where is Singapore

Why we still to remember the roman names?

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