The Partial Historians

The Partial Historians

An ancient Roman History podcast hosted by smart ladies!

Episode 36 – Romulus and Remus
Trailer 43 min 57 sec

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In an epic turn of events, Rome finds herself deep in 449 BCE. Appius Claudius may be dead, but what happens next? We're here to find out! Importantly, some of our key players in the plebeian set find themselves upgraded to the status of tribune of the plebs. Episode 119 - The Triumphant Return of the Consulship The end of Spurius Oppius It's not just Appius Claudius who finds himself in trouble after the end of the decemvirate. Spurius Oppius, another decemvir also finds himself in a spot of bother. Publius Numatorius - tribune of the plebs, maternal uncle of Verginia, leds the cause against Spurius Oppius. Livy has Oppius embroiled in a terrible affair involving a loyal solider of Rome while Dionysius of Halicarnassus has a much more speedy account of Spurius Oppius' ultimate fate. It may not be surprising to hear that the rest of the decemivirs realise they need to find their way out of Rome! The Consulship Returns The moderate patricians Lucius Valerius Potitus and Marcus Horatius Barbatus have managed to pass a range of laws that help support stability in the City. To catch up on the action of this front, check out Episode 118. But now that the major crises have passed, Rome begins to look outwards. It turns out that Rome's neighbours have noted their preoccupation with internal politics. The time has come for Rome to take a stand. Valerius takes a force against the Volscians and the Aequians. Horatius also takes out a force against the Sabines. We delve into the details of the strategies deployed by the Roman commanders. Both consuls and their forces make an excellent showing on the battlefield and return home with high expectations of a triumph or two. What are the Tribunes up to? As the year 449 BCE unfolds some of tribunes behaviour starts to garner suspicions. Is it just the case that groups of ten men now look a little shady to Romans in general? Or is there a new grab for power happening? The tribune Marcus Duilius may have some of the answers... Things to listen out for A soldier scourged The quaestores parricidiiThe amazing returning bootySome very interesting fracas about triumphsTribunes acting suspiciously...A new buddy system for tribunes Our Players The Decemvirs Appius Claudius. Ap. f. M. n. Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus Pat – Cos. 471, 451Spurius Oppius CornicenQuintus Fabius M. f. M. n. Vibulanus Pat – Cos. 467, 465, 459Quintus Poetelius Libo VisolusManius RabuleiusMarcus Cornelius – f. Ser. n. Maluginenesis PatLucius Minucius P. f. M. n. Esquilinus Augurinus Pat – Cos. 458Marcus? Sergius Esquilinus PatTitus Antonius MerendaCaeso Duillius Longus? The Senators Lucius Valerius PotitusMarcus Horatius Barbatus The Verginii and Supporters Verginia – a Roman maiden, murdered by her father in order to protect her from the lust of Appius ClaudiusVerginius – father of Verginia and newly elected tribune of the plebsPublius Numitorius – Verginia’s maternal uncle and newly elected tribune of the plebsLucius(?) Icilius – Verginia’s betrothedand newly elected tribune of the plebs Tribunes of the Plebs, 449 BCE Lucius VerginiusLucius Icilius (who had served as a tribune previously)Publius NumitoriusGaius Sicinius – son of the man who was first tribune chosen on Sacred Mount (L?.Sicinius)Marcus Duillius (who had served as a tribune previously)Marcus TitiniusMarcus PomponiusGaius AproniusAppius VilliusGaius Oppius Other Notables Gaius Claudius – uncle of Appius Claudius Sources Dr G reads Dionysius of Halicarnassus Roman Antiquities 11.46-50Dr Rad reads Livy ab Urbe Condita 3.58-64 Joseph Désiré Court 1864. The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes. Not historically aligned with the year we're examining but a very evocative imagining of Rome.

Nov 11

44 min 8 sec

How did the transition to coinage change the ancient world? What are the connections between economies and gender? Women and money explored!

Nov 4

41 min 24 sec

Appius Claudius: what a man, what a couple of decemvirates! Herein, he has to face his crimes and we delve into just what happens next.

Oct 14

53 min 11 sec

Disruption is at the heart of great changes in human society. How might we understand it? We explore the topic with Professor David Potter.

Sep 23

51 min 59 sec

We have been trapped under the tyrannical rule of the Second Decemvirate for too long! But never fear, listeners. Their day has finally come. In this episode, we finally see the decemvirs overthrown and the office of tribune of the plebs restored. It is a time of non-stop drama!

Sep 16

57 min 53 sec

We sit down to talk to the fabulous Professor Ray Laurence from Macquarie University about urban space in Pompeii and the lives of children.

Aug 19

55 min 29 sec

The Second Secession is a contested moment in Roman's early republican history. Join us as we explore the sources and just how it unfolds!

Aug 12

1 hr 5 min

Virginia has been murdered by her father in the Forum in an attempt to protect her from Appius Claudius. What will this act mean for Rome?

Jul 15

54 min 34 sec

The story of Verginia is an achingly tragic tale central to understanding the Second Decemvirate. Both Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus go into some detail about what happens and how it unfolds and we'll explore both accounts to compare and contrast them.

Jun 17

1 hr 9 min

In this very special episode we're joined by archaeologist Darius Arya. We wanted to learn more about the archaeological record for the early period of Rome's history. In this episode we chat about the archaeology of early Rome and how it can help us understand the history.

Jun 3

50 min 15 sec

We are deep in the Second Decemvirate (c. 449-447 BCE) and Rome faces war on two fronts. Enter Lucius Siccius Dentatus: the Roman Achilles...

May 13

38 min 33 sec

We sit down to chat with Dr Emma Southon all about murder in ancient Rome and her new book 'A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'

May 6

1 hr 20 min

The decemvirs continue to drive strong feeling among the senators. But while the patricians argue, Rome's enemies draw ever closer...

Apr 15

46 min 50 sec

We chat with Dr Debby Sneed about her work on impairment in antiquity. Tune in for human remains, sanctuaries, and textual evidence!

Apr 8

1 hr 1 min

We review the major events in Roman history for the decade of the 450s BCE!

Apr 1

24 min 2 sec

After seizing power, the decemvirs under Appius Claudius realise that they might need the Senate as Rome faces war on two fronts!

Mar 18

46 min 12 sec

Cleopatra VII is infamous as the lover of Caesar and Antony, but did you know that she's also famous for her scholarship and leadership?

Mar 3

54 min 22 sec

The First Decemvirate was a big success, so much so that Rome opts for a Second Decemvirate! It's only now that the cracks start to appear...

Feb 18

42 min 43 sec

The Twelve Tables are a landmark moment of early Republican Roman history. In this episode we explore some of the highlights of this law code!

Feb 11

36 min 21 sec

We revisit the 460s BCE to learn what the Romans have been up to. There's neighbourly disputes, internal conflict, and battles galore!

Feb 4

23 min 9 sec

The Roman republic is in full swing and it's time for the first decemvirate! The growing discontent amongst the population is reaching breaking point according to our narrative sources.

Jan 13

44 min 41 sec

We explore the Year of the Four Emperors - 69 CE with our special guest Dr Rob Cromarty! Join us for all the political machinations and hijinks of this transition from the Julio-Claudians to the Flavians.

Dec 2020

55 min 55 sec

It's 453 BCE and just as Rome seems to be heading towards a legal milestone disaster strikes: it's a plague! Now plagues are terrible, of that there is no doubt, but how does this influence the path to codification? We're here to find out. Episode 108 - Plague and Politics The Character of the Plague It is hard to identify the plague with certainty. What is clear from our later written sources is that the collective memory recalls this plague as highly contagious with the capacity to leap between species. People caught it but so too did some of the animals that people worked closely with. The origin of the plague and how it eventually came to an end are lost to us. In lieu of strong osteoarchaeological evidence, it is possible to interpret this plague as a shared idea of opposition to the codification of the laws, which the elites likely saw as infringing upon their power. Both Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus focus on the devastating consequences of the plague. Things to listen out for: The horrific death tollThe Aequians!The issue with the harvest With 453 BCE wholly occupied with pestilence and its effects, everyone still standing is hoping for a better time in 452 BCE... The Athenian Junket Returns! Lucky for Rome, the plague does not go so far as Athens. The delegates sent out to find out about the law codes that others have produced return with some new ideas. There are some odd things about our narrative accounts though which Dr Rad delves into. Some pertinent questions: Why would the Romans go all the way to Athens?What are the law codes of the Greeks like? Do the Twelve Tables really suggest a Greek influence?What might our narrative accounts gain by suggesting a connection with Greece at this point? Rome's Heading into Uncertain Territory It's fair to say that our narrative sources leave us somewhat dissatisfied. Our sources inspire less confidence the further we move into the Struggle of the Orders. Who are the patricians? Who are the plebeians? How were these demarcations understood by the Romans?Do our writers from the late Republican period really have a clear handle on what happened in the past? Will the Twelve Tables live up to the suspense? Only time will tell... Thomas Cole The Course of Empire. Desolation 1836. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Our Players in 453BCE Consuls Publius Curiatus — f. — n. Fistus Trigeminus (Pat)Sextus Quinctilius Sex f. P. n. 'Varus' (Pat) Suffect Consul Spurius Furius Medullinus Fusus (cos. 464 BCE) (Pat) Flamen Quirinalus Servius Cornelius Augur C. Horatius Pulvillus Our Players in 452 BCE Consuls Gaius/Lucius/Titus (?) Menenius Agripp. f. Agripp. n. Lanatus (Pat)Publius Sestius Q. f. Vibi. n. Capito(linus?) Vaticanus (Pat) Consular Nominations Appius Claudius Ap. f. M. n. Crassus Inrigillenssis Sabinus (Pat)Titus Genucius L. f. L. n. Augurinus (Pat) Our Sources Dr Rad reads Livy ab urbe condita 3.32Dr G reads Dionysius of Halicarnassus Roman Antiquities 10.53-54 Sound Credits A big shout out to Ancient History Hound, whose work we recommend Musical interlude and final credits: Bettina Joy de GuzmanAdditional sound effects: Freesound (User bone666138)

Nov 2020

58 min 7 sec

We jump into 454 BCE where we start to see the consequences of the events of the previous year play out. It's hard to get away from our "Roman Achilles" who, in his position as plebeian tribune, levels a charge of "injuring the state" against the former consul Romilius. This sets up a cascade of interesting incidents. Episode 107 - Let the Codification Begin There's little agreement between our major written sources for this year. Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus diverge in much of the details even though they hit upon some shared touchstones. But this is partly about what we don't know... Dr Rad explores some of the complexities of who is who during this period. While our sources use categories like 'patrician' and 'plebeian', these terms offer a binary model for thinking about the structure of Roman society. Often this is a simplification of what was really happening. By the time we get to the first century BCE when these histories were written, the composition of these groups is more clear cut than they were in the fifth century. Speeches as didactic tools Dr G delves into Dionysius of Halicarnassus' use of speeches as a means of teasing out a Roman perspective. Speeches are a significant feature in his writing and sets his work apart from Livy during this period. Dionysius' penchant for rhetoric offers a means of appreciating how the Romans thought. They also offer a framework for Greek readers to appreciate the reasoning of the Romans. Listen in for... Consuls with attitude!A story of a father, a son, and filial dutyThe Lex Aternia TarpeiaThe law about the laws!A surprising consular returnThe laws of Solon Our Players for 454 BCE The Consuls Spurius Tarpeius M. f. M.n. Montanus Capitolinus (Pat.)Aulus Terminius/Aternius - f. - n. Varus Fontinalis (Pat.) The Consuls of 455 BCE Titus Romilius T. f. T. n. Rocus Vaticanus (Pat)Gaius Veturius P. f. – n. Cicurinus (Pat) Tribune of the Plebs Lucius Siccius Dentatus "The Roman Achilles" Aedilis plebis Lucius Alienus Patricians of Note Spurius VerginiusAulus Verginius - legateSpurius Postumius Albus (Regillensis) - cos. 466 BCEAulus Manlius (Vulso?) - cos. 474 BCEPublius or Servius Sulpicius Camerinus (Cornutus?) - cos. 461 BCE Plebeians of Note Marcus Icilius Sound credits With gratitude we offer thanks to Bettina Joy de Guzman for the evocative musical interlude that accompanies this episode. Additional sound effects courtesy of Alexander Nakarada - Nomadic Sunset and BBC Sound Effects (Beta) Final credits: Excerpt from ‘Ancient Arcadian Harp’ by Cormi 'Consul' by Pascal Quidalut

Oct 2020

48 min 38 sec

Medusa fills the imagination with fascination. Between her beauty and dread, we're exploring representations of the snake-haired Gorgon! We're joined by Liv, host of Let's Talk About Myths Baby to explore the representation of Medusa through time.

Sep 2020

57 min 51 sec

We continue to follow the cause of our Roman Achilles--more formally known as Lucius Siccius Dentatus--in 455 BCE. Dentatus is truly the star of the this period of history from the perspective of Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Dr G has a lot to say about that! Episode 106 - Spoiler Alert What can we glean from a history written long after the fact? Dr Rad takes us through some of the key concerns we face when approaching the written sources for the early republic. Part of the trouble steams simply from the time of the events when people like Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus lived centuries later. But we also run into the challenge of stock figures, whose names and existence are open to question. Such figures serve an important role in bringing a historical narrative to life. The complications of public discourse The traditionalist streak runs deeply through the patricians. This comes as no surprise as they are the beneficiaries of the structures already in place in Rome, but it does lead to some questionable behaviour. Things to listen out for: The patricians position in the forumThe challenges raised by the pons or 'voting bridge'Patrician power called into question through trialsSome intriguing exchanges through the goddess Ceres...Trouble in Tusculum!A real set to between Romilius and SicciusThe discrepancy between Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus about the treasury Our Players The Consuls Titus Romilius T. f. T. n. Rocus Vaticanus (Pat)Gaius Veturius P. f. – n. Cicurinus (Pat) Tribunes of the Plebs L. IciliusL. Alienus+ 8 others! Notable Plebeians Lucius Siccius Dentatus Some Family Appearances the Postumiithe Semproniithe Cloelii Our Sources Dr G reads Dionysius of Halicarnassus Roman Antiquities 10.40-47Dr Rad reads Livy ab urbe condita 3.31 Further Reading Interested in knowing more about this period in Rome's history. Take a leaf from Dr Rad and jump into some scholarly reading: Cornell, T. J. 1995. The Beginnings of RomeForsythe, G. 2005. A Critical History of Early RomeMomigliano, A. 2005. 'The Rise of the Plebs in the Archaic Age of Rome' in Rafflaub, K. (ed) Social Struggles in Archaic Rome: New Perspectives on the Conflict of the OrdersRafflaub, K. 2005. 'From Protection and Defense to Offense and Participation: Stages in the Conflict of the Orders' in Rafflaub, K. (ed) Social Struggles in Archaic Rome: New Perspectives on the Conflict of the Orders Roman warrior charging - Alex Broeckel. Source: Pinterest. Sound Credits Sound Effects courtesy of BBC Sound Effects (Beta)Final credits: Excerpt from ‘Ancient Arcadian Harp’ by Cormi

Aug 2020

1 hr 3 min

There's nothing quite like learning that there's a Roman Achilles! In this episode we get to meet the man behind the legend. Episode 105 - The Roman Achilles Before we jump in, let's find out where things stand. It's 455 BCE and our narrative sources have put forward the case that the opening up of the Aventine was an important step under the new collective of ten tribunes. But all is not well on the homefront of Rome. Things get off to a bad start when the consuls try to forcibly raise the levy. The tribunes step up to the plate in defence of the plebeians and we delve into what privileges and powers go along with the position. What we begin to see is the some of the complex workings of contested public space and the challenges of fighting for your rights with only a small crowd of citizens. As the crowd of disaffected plebeians swells in significance, the new consuls are faced with a dilemma - met with the crowd or remain in the safety of the senate... How does the tribunicianship operate? This seems to be a big looming question in our sources. There's a range of possible activities that an expanded collective can work towards. The capacity to be decisive, to operate on multiple fronts for common goals, to get passionate about taking strong action. It's intriguing to see how this potential is redirected under the influence of the patricians. Events to anticipate: The tribunes enter a meeting of the senateA big push for the law about the lawsA consular venture to Tusculum to save them from the AequiansA controversial decision about what to do with some of the spoils of warSome clear deviation between the narrative focus of Livy and Dionysius of HalicarnassusA speech from the 'Roman Achilles' including mention of the corona aurea Our Players The Consuls Titus Romilius T. f. T. n. Rocus Vaticanus (Pat)Gaius Veturius P. f. - n. Cicurinus (Pat) Tribunes of the Plebs L. IciliusL. Alienus+ 8 others! Notable Plebeians Lucius Siccius Dentatus "born with teeth" Our Sources Dr G reads Dionysius of Halicarnassus Rom. Ant. 10.33-39.Dr Rad reads Livy Ab Urbe Condita 3.31 Looking to brush up of the historical events Dentatus refers to in his speech? You can check out the happenings of 486 BCE here and catch the action of 473 BCE here. Joseph-Désiré Court 1820 Achilles Introduced to Nestor. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Sound Credits Sound Effects courtesy of BBC Sound Effects (Beta)Final credits: Excerpt from ‘Ancient Arcadian Harp’ by Cormi

Jul 2020

55 min 31 sec

We sit down with Dr Emma Southon to talk all things Agrippina the Younger. Join us for the thrilling and engaging story of Agrippina's life at the centre of Julio-Claudian power.

Jun 2020

1 hr 3 min

We return to the City of Rome in 456 BCE and follow the ongoing domestic struggles that Rome faces in defining herself in terms of transparency at law. Episode 104 - Aventine, Aventine With a new crop of tribunes come some important consequences. While in previous years the tribunes have focused on the goal of ensuring that there is a clear and public way for any Roman citizen to access the laws in order to understand them, with new tribunes comes a shift in thinking. A Return to Redistribution of Public Land After a long hiatus, the issue of public land returns to the tribunician agenda. It's safe to say that things are about to get messy in Rome. If there's one thing the patricians never seem to want to budge on, it's negotiating the fair use of public land. Ten Tribunes Means Twice the Representation! Not only are there new tribunes but there are now plenty more of them representing the plebeians. We'll get a taste of what can happen with a larger group of tribunes. That's a lot of bodies to protect the interests of citizens and we'll see how that magisterial privilege can be deployed. The Lex Icilia de Aventino Publicando We delve into the nitty gritty of the law passed in this year which is unusual for a number of reasons. The Players Consuls Marcus Valerius M'. f. Volusi n. Maxumus Lactuca (pat)Spurius Verginius A. f. A. n. Tricostus Caeliomontanus (pat) Tribunes Lucius IciliusLucius Alienus Sources Dr Rad read Livy Ab Urbe Condita 3.31Dr G reads Dionysius of Halicarnassus Roman Antiquities 10.31-32 J. M. W. Turner c.1820s-1836. Rome, from Mount Aventine. Finding a painting that could do justice to the early Republican Aventine was tough, so we opted for this gorgeous, though much later view back onto nineteenth century Rome instead. Sound Credits Sound Effects courtesy of BBC Sound Effects (Beta), Pond5, and Lewi PilgrimFinal credits: Excerpt from ‘Ancient Arcadian Harp’ by Cormi

May 2020

39 min 40 sec

It's c. 457 BCE in Rome and in this episode we explore the state of affairs in the wake of Cincinnatus' dictatorship. Rome's affairs with her neighbours are not off to a good start. As the City lifts her gaze outward after recent troubles, nearby peoples have taken matters into their own hands. The Sabines and the Aequians are both making bold moves stretching Rome's attention both to the north and the south.

Apr 2020

43 min 23 sec

We had the very great pleasure to sit down with Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge to discuss his latest publication The Failure of Augustus: Essays on the Interpretation of a Paradox (2019).

Mar 2020

1 hr 6 min

It's c. 458 BCE and Rome's troubles culminate in the appointment of a dictator. In this episode we explore the context which leads to the appointment of this emergency position and trace Rome's progress as she attempts to face enemies on multiple fronts.

Feb 2020

51 min 20 sec

Dr Rad pays tribute to the late and unmistakable force to be reckoned with, Kirk Douglas. His role in Spartacus and his legacy for Rome on film and Hollywood are legendary.

Feb 2020

21 min 19 sec

The Romans find themselves on the wrong end of Aequian aggression and its not long before we meet Cloelius Gracchus!

Jan 2020

49 min 31 sec

!!MILESTONE EPISODE!! We're celebrating our 100th episode! Join us for this very special exploration of the Roman consulship.

Dec 2019

57 min 41 sec

It is c. 459 BCE and Rome faces the consequences of the Capitol having been seized and a consul killed in the previous year. The challenges come on two fronts: Tusculum and Antium.

Nov 2019

41 min 34 sec

Dr Amy Place from the University of Leicester sits down with Dr Rad to discuss the humble Roman toga, fashion and social identity, and everyday life in late imperial Roman North Africa!

Nov 2019

30 min 50 sec

It's c. 460 BCE and this hectic year in Roman history continues! In this episode we consider Rome in the wake of the sneak attack on the Capitol by Herdonius' disaffected Sabines. During the challenges of wrestling control back, the Romans lose one of their own. The consul Publius Valerius Pubicola falls in battle. This is a tragic loss and opens the way for Lucius Cincinnatus to return to the narrative. Episode 98 - Cincinnatus, Suffect Consul Looking to catch up on the narrative before diving into this episode? You can find out more about the earlier events of this year here. Who's Who Consuls Publius Valerius P. f. Volusi n. Publicola (cos II) Gaius Claudius Ap. f. M. n. Inrigillensis (or Regillensis) Sabinus Suffect Consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus Tribune of the Plebs Aulus Verginius Marcus Volscius Fictor A Man of the Land There's nothing quite like a man who farms. For fans of men of the land, Cincinnatus is here for you. We explore the important symbolism of Cincinnatus working the land and his reaction to learning about his election as suffect consul. A New Political Strategy Cincinnatus takes the opportunity to lead in a new way. With much rhetorical flourish, our new consul lays forth a plan that spells trouble for the plebeians and the ambitions of the tribunes. We dig into the discrepancies between our sources - Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus have different takes on the essential narrative. This is very revealing in terms of thinking about the aims of our written sources for this period. Things to Look Forward To a taking of auspices a desire for a dictator some senatorial love for our man Cincinnatus Alexandre Cabanel 1843. Cincinnatus receiving the ambassadors of Rome. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons Our Sources Primary sources Dr G is reading Dionysius of Halicarnassus Roman Antiquities 10.17-19 Dr R is reading Livy 3.19.1-3 Secondary sources Broughton, T. R. S. 1951. The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Volume I (American Philological Association) Eck, W. (Colonge) 'Suffect Consul' Brill's New Pauly, Cancik, H. Schneider, H., Salazar, C. F. (eds.), accessed online 29-9-2019 Lomas, K. 2017. The Rise of Rome: from the Iron Age to the Punic Wars (1000-264 BC) (Profile Books) Müller, C. (Bochum) 'Q. Cincinnatus, L.' Brill's New Pauly, Cancik, H. Schneider, H., Salazar, C. F. (eds.), accessed online 29-9-2019

Oct 2019

38 min 20 sec

In this special episode, we're joined by Liz Smith, who has recently completed her doctoral research of the representation of women's dress in statuary at Macquarie University. Together we'll trace the threads of evidence for women's attire in the Roman world. The Thread of Women's Representation with Liz Smith Liz's research includes the fashion of women's dress in ancient representations in order to investigate what we can learn about the representation of women. This means considering how representations of women in statuary were often mediated by a male perspective and asking what this might reveal about women's lived experience. The Importance of Material Evidence A consideration of material evidence, especially when combined with inscriptions offers an alternative to the literary sources for thinking about women and daily life in the ancient world. Our evidence in this episode dates from the third century CE, which means we're thinking about a Rome embroiled in empire and imperial rule. In this episode we'll be considering the head coverings on statues in the round and sepulchral depictions of women. We explore the implications of topics such as: drapery in statues and reliefsthe colour of statuarythe stolathe palladress as status Epiktesis Epiktesis outlives her family. We consider the monument she dedicates to her husband, her children, and herself. Liz takes us through the pose adopted by Epiktesis - the Large Herculaneum Woman Type - and its implications. Grave stele dedicated by Epiktesis to her family, from Prilep, Macedonia. Skopje Archaeological Museum, inv. AMM 41. Photography © Skopje - Archaeological Museum of Macedonia. Photograph: Ortolf Harl 2017 November. The husband remains unnamed in this relief as do the children. This in itself is somewhat unusual but this evidence goes to the next level when we consider that the children are represented as divinities! With Epiktesis herself depicted in a very modest, unrevealing style and her daughter assuming the quite revealing Bathing Aphrodite Type, this representation has a lot to offer in terms of thinking about the meaning conveyed by poses and attire. Liz explains how size plays a role in the representation of family in this monument and we consider what this might have suggested to an ancient viewer. We also consider the unique aspects of this piece in terms of its arrangement of the figures and their poses. Aurelia Eutychia "I am Prosperous" c. 250s CE We consider the sarcophagus dedicated by Aurelia to herself and her husband Marcus Aurelius Marino which can still be seen today in Ferrara. Liz takes us through the significance of the statuesque features of this artefact. Social status is a particular feature at play in all these representations and the capacity of Aurelia to have for a sarcophagus where the figures display a range of statuesque features tells us a lot about how she wanted to be understood by her community. Sarcophagus dedicated by Aurelia Eutychia to herself and her husband Marcus Aurelius Marino. Originally in Voghiera, then moved to Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Italy. Front panel. Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Italy. No inventory number. DAIR Inst. Neg. Rom. 64.2022 Sarcophagus dedicated by Aurelia Eutychia to herself and her husband Marcus Aurelius Marino. Side panel. Liz explores the implications of Aurelia's personal representation of herself. We discuss the potential implications of being veiled versus not being veiled. Here's the inscription found on the sarcophagus: Aurelia Eutychia built this sarcophagus while alive for herself and her husband Marcus Aurelius Marino a veteran of Syrian lineage at the behest of the patron and her most dutiful husband with whom she lived for forty-three years by order of the patron out of his own funds. If someone after the death of the both opens it they will deposit a thousand sesterces to the tax autho...

Oct 2019

44 min 45 sec

We return to our narrative of Rome's history of its foundation with some surprising Sabines. It's still 460 BCE, which is an indication of just how complicated Rome's history is becoming when we read our sources. Both Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus are very focused on the ongoing conflict between the Roman elites and the emerging claims to power from the plebeians. We wouldn't would to give too many spoilers away, but while the Romans are busy trying to figure out what their internal politics will look like, there might just be an enemy on the horizon!

Sep 2019

41 min 7 sec

We take a look at the 9th Tarantino film and its connection to history. There's plenty to consider and much to question! Advance apologies for the variable audio quality on this one!

Sep 2019

50 min 34 sec

The Romans define themselves against this barbarians. In this special episode, Dr Rad is joined by Dr Rhiannon Evans to talk all things barbarian!

Aug 2019

57 min 41 sec

The conflict between patricians and plebeians continues apace as we explore the political complexities of 460 BCE. Much like a Jane Austen novel, letters and rumours abound in the fair city of Rome... Episode 96 - Letters and Rumours According to the annalist tradition, debate continues to rage about the proposal for clarity around laws and the idea of equality before the law. This leads to an unusual situation: the tribunes from the previous year return to continue pushing for these changes. Livy notes that the tribunes are riding on a high after ensuring the recent demise of Caeso Quinctius. But this also means that the incoming consuls are dealing with tribunes who seem be becoming entrenched... Strategies for Violence? We saw in the previous episode that there seems to be a difference between how the older patricians go about politics—through mechanisms such as magistracies and the senate—and how the younger patricians seek to make plays, through public violence and intimidation. Nevertheless, it seems as though the younger ones might just have hit upon a new approach which Dr Rad explores through Livy's account. Letters and Rumours Abound... Perhaps as a response to the violence in the City, the tribunes hit upon a new approach to push for changes. And before you know it, secret letters are being delivered to the tribunes while they're in the forum! There are a few implications that arise because of this and more than a little drama... Dr G considers the narrative provided by Dionysius of Halicarnassus which leads into some intense set-piece speeches from Aulus Verginius and Gaius Claudius. Join us for an episode full of exciting turns, political jousting, letters and rumours, and maybe even...conspiracy! Our Players Consuls Publius Valerius P. f. Volusi n. Publicola (cos. II)Gaius Claudius Ap. f. M. n. Inrigillensis (or Regillensis) Sabinus Tribunes Aulus VerginiusMarcus Volscius Fictor Patricians Caeso Quinctius Giovanni Battista Piranesi 1756. Map of the Forum Romanum / Courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons.Although a much later vision of Rome than what we are exploring in this episode, nevertheless, Piranesi conjures up the Forma Urbis Romae project with this elegant etching which includes the forum, the site of much of the action.

Aug 2019

38 min

Episode 95 - Introducing Caeso Quinctius The complex relationship between the patricians and plebeians is central to our appreciation of the 460s BCE. In this episode we'll get to consider the complexities first hand with the entrance of Caeso Quinctius (remember this name, he's going places!). We jump back into the narrative history of c. 461 BCE with our guides of the moment, Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Both are writing long after these events, which means that their accounts leave a lot to be desired at times. Nevertheless, both are interested in presenting a narrative on the theme of power. How is it distributed? Who has it and who doesn't? And what are the mechanisms of political power in this system of armies, consuls, patricians, and plebeians? Young Versus Old? Livy makes mention of the some generational differences in attitude of the elder patricians and their scions. These simmering tensions influence the way politics plays out in the forum. Dionysius is more interested in discoursing upon the variety of patrician attitudes towards the tribunes, including trying to undermine their legitimacy by noting that they have no connection to the gods. It's at this point that the young patricians start to emerge with a reputation for public violence... Enter Caeso Quinctius Young, handsome, dangerous, and patrician - he not only has a reputation for words, but he seems like the kinda man who'd back himself in a fight. As a ringleader amongst the young patricians, Quinctius has earned himself a bit of a reputation. Things start to get rough for this youthful specimen of Roman masculinity when Aulus Verginius, tribune of the plebs, seeks to bring charges against him... Our Key Players Consuls Publius Volumnius M. f. M. n. Amintinus Gallus (pat.)Servius Sulpicius - f. Ser. n. Camerinus Cornutus (pat.) Tribune of the Plebs Aulus VerginiusMarcus Volscius Patricians Caeso QuinctiusLucius Quinctius "Cincinnatus" Further reading Lintott, A. W. 1970. 'The Traditions of Violence in the Annals of the Early Roman Republic' Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 19.1.12-29 Henryk Siemiradzki c. 1880s A Dangerous Game. Image Source: Wikimedia CommonsAlthough considered to depict a mythological scene, this painting hints at the undercurrent of violence inherent in this episode as well as suggesting the generational factors at play.

Jul 2019

40 min 48 sec

Episode 94 - Flesh Rains Down Upon Thee We return to Rome's narrative from the founding of City. The year c. 462 BCE ends on a high note with the consuls both gathering honours for their military exploits. L. Lucretius Tricipitinus is awarded a triumph for his successes against the Aequii while T. Veturius Geminus scores an ovatio for his part against the Volscii. As for the title of this episode—'Flesh Rains Down Upon Thee'— well, we wouldn't want to spoil it, but let's just say it's best to keep your ears alert for prodigies! C. 461 BCE is a big year for Rome in many respects and we'll be examining it in depth over a couple of episodes. Here are our main players: The Consuls Publius Volumnius M. f. M. n. Amintinus Gallus (patrician) Servius Sulpicius - f. Ser. n. Camerinus Cornutus (patrician) Prefect of the City Quintus Fabius Tribune of the Plebs Gaius Terentius (Terentilius?) Harsa Aulus Verginius Restrictions on consular power? One of the big subjects that comes into play is the extent of imperium held by the consuls. We start to get inklings in both Livy and Dionysius' accounts that something is not quite right in Rome. The tribunes, in particular, are not satisfied with the status quo. One of the difficulties lies in the nature of the populace, what do our sources mean by the populace and why is it so challenging to understand them in a coherent way? Beyond the murky and inconsistent character of the populace is the nebulous ideas that the tribunes are raising which include a need for equality of rights and equality of speech. Listen in as we explore the question of what is politically afoot in Rome at this time. A Codification of the laws... The conversation between the senate and the tribunes is tense, but it's clear that we're inching closer to a law code. The tribunes (and thus the populace) are calling for transparency, the senate is resisting, and then the heavens themselves open. 'A day in ancient Rome; being a revision of Lohr's "Aus dem alten Rom", with numerous illustrations', by Edgar S. Shumway (1885) ~ Wikimedia Commons From left to right: the Tiber, the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, and the emporium

Jun 2019

47 min 56 sec

We return to the fray with the most excellent Rob and Jaime to tackle Dr Radness' favourite emperor. How will Tiberius fare against the criteria of Totalus Rankium? We're about to find out! How great is Tiberius? Tune in to find out! How are we judging Tiberius? Oooo better not to ask me, Dr G, author of this post, because I'm too much of an Augustan fan-girl to answer this question. Okay, okay, here's how it will work. We'll discuss Tiberius' life and career and at the end of the conversation we'll apply the Totalus Rankium system to form a holistic judgement of the imperial man himself. Here are the categories: Fights Maximus - an emperor's fighting capacity Opprobrium Crazium - their average level of insanity / taking things just too far Succesus Ultimus - how successful were they (all things considered)? Image Facius - were they attractive? Yes, this is the sexy category An Origin Story Like many people, Tiberius rises from humble beginnings. We'll explore the nature of his childhood and consider how this may have influenced his character and disposition (a very Suetonian approach if we do say so ourselves). We're on the search for clues that may help us better understand the complex influences on his life. Tiberius Imperator Some argue that Tiberius is the first emperor of Rome because he is the first to 'inherit' the legal privileges and concessions that secured Augustus' rule. This is important as it reveals the tenuous nature of the imperial project in these early stages. The differences between Augustus and Tiberius are revealed the moment Tiberius becomes emperor. Part of the challenge when examining his rule is the underlying consideration: what makes a good emperor? We'll consider some of Tiberius' achievements and also some of the more controversial aspects of his rule in this collaborative episode. You just never know what controversy is in the wind when we're talking about Tiberius! Obverse: TI[berivs] CAESAR DIVI AVG[vsti] F[ilivs] AVGVSTS (Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus), laureate head right, parallel ribbons Reverse: PONTIF[ex] MAXIM[us], Livia (as Pax) seated right, feet on footstool, holding sceptre and branch; ornate legs, one line below. Catalogue: RIC I 30; Lyon 154; RSC 16a. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

May 2019

1 hr 8 min

Rome emerges from the year of pestilence and moves straight on to divide and conquer. While this seems implausible, we're still navigating the tricky gaps in our annalist historians - uncertainty is the name of the historical game at this stage. Welcome to c. 462 BCE! The pestilence ensured the death of both consuls of c. 463 BCE so it's only after a series of interreges that we stumble into the new consular year. Join as we explore all c. 462 BCE has to offer including: some of the factors to keep in mind when we encounter plague narratives the increasing divergences in the narratives of Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus the battle tactics designed to draw armies away from their chosen theatre of war Episode 93 - Divide and Conquer Bandits, Aequians, or Volscii? One of the big discrepancies we consider this episode is just who is the enemy? A raiding force causes trouble outside Rome, but who are they exactly? Livy and Dionysius offer different interpretations of the evidence leaving us a central puzzle to resolve concerning battle tactics and probabilities. Trouble in (Hernican) Paradise While Rome's been down and out, the Aequians and Volscii alliance have taken the opportunity to strike! Hernican territory is a great strategic choice, but they are definitely allies with Rome so ... we're here to guide you through all the consequences! The major players Consuls of c. 462 BCE Lucius Lucretius Tricipitinus (patrician) Titus Veturius Geminus Cicurinus (patrician) Tribune of the plebs Sextus Titius The Urban Prefect Quintus Fabius (Vibulanus) (or Quintus Furius in your Dion. Hal.) consul II (467, 465 BCE) Scholarly material Dr G gets more excited about pestilence than perhaps is appropriate but it did lead to some of the work of Northwood: Northwood, S. J. 2006. 'Grain Scarcity and Pestilence in the Early Roman Republic: Some Significant Patterns' in Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 49.81-92 Source: Costumes of All Nations 1882 by Albert Kretschmer, painters and costumer to the Royal Court Theatre, Berin, and Dr. Carl Rohrbach. Courtesy of: wikimedia commons

Apr 2019

37 min 12 sec

We sat down recently with Stephen Guerra, the host of the History of the Papacy Podcast to talk all about the classic 1951 sword-and-sandals film Quo Vadis.

Mar 2019

1 hr 14 min

We're very excited to bring you a special episode where we sit down with Cam from The Life of Caesar podcast! We're talking about Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus or 'Tibbo' as he's affectionately known.

Mar 2019

58 min 37 sec

We're jumping back into the narrative. The title might be a bit of a giveaway, yes yes, we'll be talking about ... pestilence! But before we get there we need to consider the circumstances. Rome has been having lots of problems with their neighbours, particularly the Aequians and we've seen a shift in tactics from Aequians engaging in guerilla style raiding to seeking out the Romans in pitched battle. To say that Rome has been vexed by this is an understatement. Livy has offered some portents for the times ahead which, in a narrative history of Rome, can't be good! Our Main Players The Consuls for c. 463 BCE: Lucius Aebutius Helva Publius Servilius Priscus HARK, PLAGUE! Livy kinds informs us of some dreadful details about a plague that is sweeping through the countryside. We take you through the grisly details from both Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. What initially seems confined beyond the city though soon moves within and this means problems for urban citizens, visitors, and the body politic (both figuratively and literally). AN OPPORTUNITY? While Romans struggle just to stay alive, the Aequians and the Volscians consolidate their growing friendship of mutual convenience into a straight up alliance. This places Rome in a difficult spot between needing to keep her own allies - the Latins and the Hernicans - appeased as well as the knowledge that their previous irritations have formally combined forces. COME FOR THE PLAGUE, STAY FOR THE... ...Other excitement afoot! Things to look forward to in this episode. We'll consider: The first acts of the new Aequian-Volscian alliance The Roman response to their allies' call for support The defence systems of the City The power of divine intervention Some reasons why Rome doesn't fall in this moment And questions and discussion about the role of the interreges Episode 92 - The Pestilence of 463 BCE The angel of death striking a door during the plague of Rome. Engraving by Levasseur after J. Delaunay Image credit: Wikimedia Commons and Wellcome Images

Mar 2019

31 min 28 sec