The History of Rome









March 2010
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Antoninus's reign is often pointed to as the golden age of the Roman Empire. In many ways the assessment is correct, though unresolved issues would come back to haunt his successors.

Direct download: 085-_Antoninus_the_Dutiful.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:59pm CDT

After returning to Italy in 134 Hadrian spent a final few miserable years trying to plan the long term future of the Imperial dynasty before dying in 138.

Direct download: 84-_Longing_For_Death.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:58pm CDT

Hadrian's relationship with the teenage boy Antinous raised eyebrows even in permissive Ancient Rome. His relationship with the Jews raises eyebrows even today.

Direct download: 83-_May_His_Bones_Be_Crushed_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:57pm CDT

Hadrian's reign got off to a rough start following the political murders of four ex-consuls. The new Emperor would eventually settle in though and set out on his first grand tour of the Empire in 121.

Direct download: 82-_Hadrians_Walls.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:56pm CDT

Though Hadrian's career had long been guided by Trajan, when the Emperor died in 117 he still had not named Hadrian heir.

Direct download: 81-_The_Greekling.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:55pm CDT

Trajan greatly improved the infrastructure of the Empire and finished his reign by conquering much of the Middle East.

Direct download: 80-_Optimus_Trajan.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:54pm CDT

After Trajan ascended to the throne in 98 AD he fought two wars against the Dacians, finally annexing the country in 106 AD.

Direct download: 79-_The_Dacian_Wars.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:53pm CDT

Nerva's brief reign was stormy, but his choice of Trajan as heir was inspired.

Direct download: 78-_Imperial_Stop_Gap.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:52pm CDT

After Saturninus's revolt in 89 AD, Domitian's paranoia increased. In 96 AD court officials afraid for their lives conspired to have the Emperor killed.

Direct download: 77-_What_Time_is_It_.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:51pm CDT

Domitian attempted to emulate Augustus, but his heavy-handed treatment of the Senate earned him many enemies. Meanwhile, his focus on frontier defense brought charges of cowardice and his treaty with the Dacians was seen as a humiliation.

Direct download: 76-_Mock_Triumphs.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:50pm CDT

Domitian had spent his life in the background, but in 81 AD he found himself Emperor and soon demonstrated that he had very strong ideas about how to wield power.

Direct download: 75-_The_Forgotten_Son.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:49pm CDT

Titus succeeded his father to the throne in 79 AD, but ruled for only two years before dying of a sudden infection in 81. Throughout the reign of the Flavians, Agricola campaigned in Britain to Romanize the island.

Direct download: 74-_Friends_I_have_Wasted_a_Day.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:48pm CDT

Vespasian served as Emperor from 69-79 AD, stabilizing the Empire after a year of Civil War.

Direct download: 73-_The_Only_Man_Who_Improved.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:47pm CDT

Vitellius's reign was underminned by internal squabbling, allowing Vespasian's army to sieze Rome in December 69 AD.

Direct download: 72-_Vitellius_and_Vespasian.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:46pm CDT

After murdering Galba, Otho ascended to the throne in January 69 AD. He immediately had to deal with Vitellius revolt and after suffering a defeat at Bedriacum in April, Otho committed suicide having served as Emperor for just three months

Direct download: 71-_Otho_and_Vitellius.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:45pm CDT

Galba's refusal to pay off the Praetorian Guard came back to haunt him when Otho looked for accomplices to aid in his assassination plot early in 69 AD.

Direct download: 70-_Galba_and_Otho.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:44pm CDT

Marriage was one of the key institutions of Roman culture and many of the traditions surrounding weddings persist today.

Direct download: 69-_A_History_of_Rome_Wedding.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:43pm CDT

The personalities of each of the men who vied for the throne in 69 AD had a major impact on how events unfolded.

Direct download: 68-_Three_Emperors.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:42pm CDT

In 66 AD the Great Revolt broke out in Judaea, leading Nero to appoint Vespasian to crush the uprising. But the Emperor did not live to see the end of the conflict- in 68 AD he committed suicide after a palace coup.

Direct download: 67-_What_an_artist_the_world_is_losing.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:41pm CDT

Nero's popularity with the people began to wane in the early 60s AD. Things got so bad that after the Great Fire of Rome swept through the city, many held Nero responsible.

Direct download: 66-_666.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:40pm CDT

Between 58 and 63 AD Rome dealt with a major conflict over the Kingdom of Armenia and a revolt in Britain led by the warrior Queen Boudica.

Direct download: 65-_Burn_it_to_the_ground.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:39pm CDT

After Nero came to power he was dominated by Agrippina. But it didn't take long before the 16-year-old Emperor got tired of his mother telling him what to do.

Direct download: 64-_Smite_My_Womb.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:38pm CDT

Claudius turned out to be one of the more successful Emperors in Roman history, but unfortunately in 54 AD he was assassinated to make way for one of the worst.

Direct download: 63-_A_Farewell_to_Claudius.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:37pm CDT

Though Claudius had great success in his public life, his private life was a different story. Each of his marriages ended in either divorce or execution.

Direct download: 62-Take_My_Wife...Please.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:36pm CDT

Claudius became Emperor after the assassination of Caligula in 41 AD. Far from a bumbling fool, Claudius turned out to be capable and dedicated ruler.

Direct download: 61-_What_me_Claudius.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:35pm CDT

Caligula was insane. Luckily for the Romans, he wielded absolute power.

Direct download: 60-_No_Worse_Master.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:34pm CDT

After the death of Tiberius's son Drusus, Praetorian Prefect Lucius Sejanus's influence grew exponentially. Sejanus was the defacto ruler of Rome from 26 AD until his fall from power 5 years later.

Direct download: 58-_Partner_of_my_Labors.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:32pm CDT

Tiberius's final years were consumed with treason trials and private licentiousness. After he died in 37 AD, the infamous Caligula ascended to the throne.

Direct download: 59-_To_the_Tiber_with_Tiberius.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:32pm CDT