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“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” - Tacitus. A podcast series looking at the rulers of the ancient Roman empire, by Dr Rhiannon Evans and Matt Smith.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” - Tacitus. A podcast series looking at the rulers of the ancient Roman empire, by Dr Rhiannon Evans and Matt Smith.
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“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” - Tacitus. A podcast series looking at the rulers of the ancient Roman empire, by Dr Rhiannon Evans and Matt Smith.




Episode LII - Hadrian the Little Greek

Trajan was a capable and admired emperor, and his death leaves Rome with uncertainty as to what the future ruler will bring. Into these times step Hadrian, but the transition to power never goes without incident.

Duration: 00:26:29

Episode LI - Frontinus

Frontinus was a Roman senator who rose to prominence during the time of Domitian, Nerva, and Trajan. While a respected military man, he is best known as an author of technical treatises, especially De Aquaeductu, the authority on the aqueducts of Rome. Guest: Dr Alice König (Lecturer in Latin & Classical Studies, University of St Andrews, Scotland)

Duration: 00:30:54

Episode L - Historia Augusta

The Historia Augusta is one of the few historical sources we have for learning about the later emperors of the Roman empire - it's just a shame it's so untrustworthy.

Duration: 00:23:24

Episode XLIX - Suetonius

When learning about the lives of the early Roman emperors, one of the most valuable resources we have is the work of Suetonius. He was an early writer who rose to prominence during the time of Hadrian, where he made excellent use of his access to imperial records.

Duration: 00:25:20

Episode XLVIII - Trajan: Optimus Princeps

Trajan wasn't just a respected military leader or a man of the sword - he won over both the people of Rome and the senate. He not only cemented an impressive reputation, he set the benchmark against which all future emperors would be measured.

Duration: 00:32:19

Episode XLVII - Pliny the Younger

The letters of Pliny the Younger are a great source of information for life in 2nd C. CE Rome - they tell us about administrative issues, villas, the eruption of Pompeii, and give us an invaluable record of correspondence with the Emperor himself, Trajan.

Duration: 00:39:41

Episode XLVI - Trajan vs Dacia

An experienced and seasoned military leader, Trajan doesn't wait long to lead the Roman legions into battle, and turns his attention towards Dacia in the north-east. Long since ruled by the Dacian king Decebalus, Dacia could bring much wealth into the Roman Empire, and all that stands between them is the Danube River.

Duration: 00:22:39

Episode XLV - In Trajan we Trust

Coerced by the praetorian guard, Nerva names the respected general Trajan to be his successor. Trajan would go on to become one of the most well regarded emperors the empire had ever seen.

Duration: 00:16:56

Interlude - Valerius Flaccus

Valerius Flaccus was a poet writing during the reign of Vespasian in the 1st century CE. Much of what he's written has been lost, save for an partially written epic 'The Argonautica', telling the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece.

Duration: 00:12:00

Interlude - Q and A II

In which listeners provide well-composed and thoughtful questions on topics of Rome, Matt Smith butchers all the names he reads out, and Rhiannon Evans provides the answers!

Duration: 00:21:03

Episode XLIV - Roman Sexuality

Popular media has given us many misconceptions about sexuality in ancient Rome. While we're all familiar with the sordid details, Romans thought very differently about sex and marriage to the modern day moral code.

Duration: 00:22:45

Episode XLIII - Virgil

Virgil was a poet living in the Augustan period, and likely the best regarded writer of the classical period. His work the Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas, refugee from the fall of Troy and mythical founder of Rome. To this day it is the template for epics.

Duration: 00:30:23

Interlude - Latin Pronunciation

Last week we told you the meanings and origins of some well-known Latin terms. But how do we know how Latin letters and words were pronounced?

Duration: 00:09:53

Episode XLII - A Lesson in Latin

Let's learn some Latin! How did it work? How should we be pronouncing these words? What is the origin of some of the most famous Latin phrases?

Duration: 00:26:22

Episode XLI - Nerva

The death of Domitian leaves a Flavian-sized hole in the fabric of Rome. In this past this would be filled with a quick, dramatic round of 'Who's got the biggest army?', but in this case it's different. The senate acts fast, putting one of their own, Nerva, in the seat of power.

Duration: 00:21:15

Episode XL - What is an Emperor? (redux)

Think about the time spanning from Julius Caesar becoming a dictator right through to the assassination of Domitian. In that period of time Rome has gone from a Republic to being a Monarchy in everything but name. So what is an Emperor now, how has it changed, and what does it mean to hold that power?

Duration: 00:29:47

Episode XXXIX - Asterix and the Missing Scroll

Asterix and the Missing Scroll is one of the highest selling graphic novels of the year, but how does it stack up when you hand it to a dubious Roman classicist?

Duration: 00:16:43

Episode XXXVIII - Domitian Must Die

Life under Domitian hasn't been easy for the Roman empire. After 15 years of cruelty and paranoia, those close to him decide to bring the Flavian dynasty to a messy ending.

Duration: 00:26:50

Episode XXXVII - Domitian Dominates

Domitian becomes emperor, and goes from being ignored and having little to Caesar of the greatest empire in the western world. but with great power comes great responsibility…

Duration: 00:30:40

Episode XXXVI - The Debut of Domitian

Titus dies without an heir, leaving his brother Domitian to take his place as Emperor. Before we get to that point, who exactly is Domitian, and what happens in his youth to shape him as a ruler?

Duration: 00:21:01

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