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April 15, 2012


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CA Bennett

Will you do a final episode which summarises the causes of the fall of the western empire?

A Facebook User

Agra-penis? LOL!

Sorry. I am a child!


I would love an episode discussing the transition from the fallen Western Empire in 476 to the medieval kingdoms we know and love - France, Germany, England, Spain, etc - circa 800. But that is probably well outside the scope of this podcast.

More on topic, what exactly prevented folks like Aetius or Ricimer from taking the title Augustus for themselves? Rome had had foreign emperors before, and it's not like Majorian or the others had any strong dynastic claims.

Also, why was there never a serious attempt to go back to the republican structure that existed prior to the Empire, ala Gladiator? Especially once Italy becomes isolated, it seems as if the remnants of the old patrician families in the Senate might want a greater say in their government rather than giving their allegiance to a string of barbarian kings such as Ricimer and Odoacer.

A Facebook User

I heard your podcast recently saying you were drawing it to a close for perfectly good reasons. I just want to say what an incredible influence you have been on my life. After studying Ancient history at university I got carried away by life and forgot about my passion for it. Since finding your podcast many years ago and making it a cornerstone ritual of my weekly life I have rediscovered that passion, I've read so many books, have visited Greece, numerous Roman sites in the UK and am finally planning my trip to Italy. It is awe inspiring to me that someone would give so much of their time and energy to rekindle an essential part our history in people he has never met. So I say Thankyou Mike Duncan, a deep and almost teary thankyou for everything you have done.


The little bit about King Ricimer was eye opening. The realization that it wasn't some abrupt conquest of Rome in the end. The system was already changing from within.


I just wanted to say that I recently listened to the episode where you announced that the show is coming to an end. It felt like friend announcing he was leaving to move far away.

I came to the series late which meant The History of Rome was a constant companion on my commute for around 6 months. Once I had caught up it was a shock to the system to fall back to just 1 show a week. Checking late Sunday night or early Monday morning to see if the show is up has become a highlight of the week.

I wish you and Mrs History of Rome all the best on impending parenthood. I'm just over 3 years into father hood and it changes EVERYTHING. But in a good way or at least you tell yourself that :-)

You will be missed.


There's an online course from Yale that might supply our habit for a while longer.

"The Early Middle Ages" backtracks to the end of the third century, then keeps going to A.D. 1000. It's available as MP3s, or hi- or low-res video. (You may want to fast-forward through most of the "Welcome to the course" introduction, which is just for the undergraduates.)



Prof. Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale

Major developments in the political, social, and religious history of Western Europe from the accession of Diocletian to the feudal transformation. Topics include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islam and the Arabs, the "Dark Ages," Charlemagne and the Carolingian renaissance, and the Viking and Hungarian invasions.

Lecture 1 Course Introduction: Rome’s Greatness and First Crises
Lecture 2 The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms
Lecture 3 Constantine and the Early Church
Lecture 4 The Christian Roman Empire
Lecture 5 St. Augustine’s Confessions
Lecture 6 Transformation of the Roman Empire
Lecture 7 Barbarian Kingdoms
Lecture 8 Survival in the East
Lecture 9 The Reign of Justinian
Lecture 10 Clovis and the Franks
Lecture 11 Frankish Society
Lecture 12 Britain and Ireland
Lecture 13 Monasticism
Lecture 14 Mohammed and the Arab Conquests
Lecture 15 Islamic Conquests and Civil War
Lecture 16 The Splendor of the Abbasid Period
Lecture 17 The Crucial Seventh Century
Lecture 18 The Splendor of Byzantium
Lecture 19 Charlemagne
Lecture 20 Intellectuals and the Court of Charlemagne
Lecture 21 Crisis of the Carolingians
Lecture 22 Vikings / The European Prospect, 1000

Mike will be a hard act to follow. I'm gonna see if Yale can manage it....


Thanks for an really awesome podcast, It has helped me relax so many times.
I hope you do a new, perhaps on the Crusades or something like that.


Samuel from the cold sweden

paul f. Stewart

Don't take this personally,for while on the whole
your podcasts have been very informative and your
pleasant personality adds to their charm, your pronunciation of Greek & Roman cities and persons is painfull. TiVOLi? , it's TIVoli.
xenOphon ? it's XENaphon. Why don't you find a local Jesuit to help you out.Iknow it's a little
late,i'm at # 139, .

matt, nl

Don't take this personally Paul F. Stewart, but as long as we know what he is referring to, who cares? It's not a Latin or Greek podcast, it's a history podcast.


A Facebook User

The Yale "The Early Middle Ages" course ukuelig mentioned is also available on iTunes


paul f. Stewart

Dear matt,i'd hate to see where mankind would be if all had your thirst for knowledge.

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