All Episodes

All Podcast Episodes:

  • Spartacus vs. Toussaint L’Ouverture (with Mike Duncan)

    More than 1,800 years after Spartacus fought for his freedom, another rebel leader spearheaded the first successful slave revolt in history: the Haitian Revolution. That leader was named Toussaint L’Ouverture.

    This week, we invited Mike Duncan of The History of Rome and Revolutions to help us compare these two revolutions and discuss what advice Toussaint L’Ouverture might have had for Spartacus.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Spartacus Part 4: Sine Missione

    Crixus is dead. Spartacus has given up on crossing the Alps. And he has a new enemy: a man with endless money, endless resources, and a lot to prove.

    Nobody asked for more Crassus. Not Spartacus, not the Roman Senate, and not the hundred thousand people following Spartacus to a better life. But in this episode, that’s exactly what everyone is going to get.

    In this episode, the Roman Republic’s richest man faces off against its greatest enemy. No quarter given; no mercy shown. Only one can emerge from this conflict alive.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Spartacus Part 3: World on Fire

    After defeating Glaber on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, Spartacus and his rebels enjoyed a glorious Italian summer—taming wild ponies for their infantry, attracting new recruits, and raiding in the rich Italian farmlands.

    But all good summers come to an end. The Roman Senate continued to send more experienced generals against Spartacus–even as he struggled to reign in his followers’ worst instincts toward violence. And meanwhile, Rome’s foreign wars were winding down. The clock was ticking.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Spartacus Part 2: Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?

    In our last episode, Spartacus and his compatriots broke out of the ludus and began their rebellion. Spurred on by the Dionysian prophecies of his lover, the Thracian Lady, Spartacus’ legend grew.

    But the Roman Senate was not going to let his army rampage unchecked—and soon Spartacus would face troubles without and tribal conflicts within. It all came to a head on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Spartacus Part 1: Breaker of Chains

    The story of Spartacus is the story of the Roman Republic at a crossroads.

    In the 70s BC, the city of Rome was a powderkeg, the peninsula was wracked with starvation and violence, the Mediterranean was crawling with pirates, and two major wars raged overseas.

    This was the state of affairs when Spartacus rebelled. Join us as we explore the volatile conditions in the Roman Republic that allowed a hero to rise. Get the show notes here.

  • A Day at the Gladiatorial Games

    Join us as we travel back in time to the amphitheatre of Capua—mainland Italy’s largest amphitheatre in its day—and experience a day at the gladiatorial games during the time of Spartacus.

    This episode was sponsored by Oneshi Press. Sound sculpting by Lens Group Media. Get the show notes here.

  • How to Train Your Gladiator

    What did it take to be a gladiator? Who ended up in the arena, and why? And how did the gladiatorial games—one of the bloodiest sporting events known in the ancient world—come to be?

    From the ancient roots of Etruscan funeral games to the height of Roman spectacle, we examine the history of gladiatorial combat—and explore what life was like for gladiators (and lanistas) in the time of Spartacus. Get the show notes here.

  • Spartacus in Film and Popular Culture (With the Partial Historians)

    We invited the Partial Historians onto our show to discuss one of their favorite topics and ours: Spartacus in film and pop culture.

    Join us in a no-holds-barred conversation in which Dr. Rad unleashes the beast, Dr. G stages a rebellion-within-the-rebellion, and Dr. Rad’s cat has a LOT to say. Get the show notes here.

  • Thracians: Heart of Ares

    The Thracians were the most feared professional killers of the ancient world—serving as hired assassins, enforcers, and mercenaries in famous battles from one end of the Mediterranean to the other.

    They were the ones the Romans and Greeks hired for their really dirty work.

    But there was more to the Thracians than violence. In this episode, we use ancient sources and modern archeology to build a picture of how these epic people lived, loved, fought, and died.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Thracians: Shoot the Messenger

    Who was Spartacus, really?

    It’s not an easy question to answer. The ancient sources agree that he was Thracian, but even this is up for debate. Still, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that to know Spartacus, you have to know the Thracians.

    The Thracians were a fierce warrior people, consummate mercenaries who fought in every major Greek and Roman war—and believed that they would never die. Join us as we try to breathe life into these epic people by exploring their unique mythology and religious beliefs.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Salvius and the Star Reader: The Second Servile War

    During the First Servile War, the epic prophet and fire-breather named Eunus led a rebellion that threatened the Republic to its foundations. For a time, Eunus controlled all of Sicily. But he ended his life devoured by lice in a jail cell.

    After Eunus’ death, the great Sicilian latifundia recovered. Within a few years, they were up and running again—just as strong, profitable, and cruel as before.

    But just 28 years later, another major uprising—the Second Servile War—would shake that system to its core once again. Find out how it all went down. Get the show notes here.

  • Eunus and the Mermaid Goddess: The First Servile War

    The First Servile War started in 135 BC—about 62 years before Spartacus led his rebellion. It lasted about twice as long as the Spartacus war, and involved hundreds of thousands of people.

    The Spartacus of this rebellion was a man named Eunus—a fire-breather and miracle worker whose courage inspired additional revolts throughout the Italian peninsula and beyond. This is his story.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Dionysus: Myths and Madness (With Liv Albert from Myths Baby!)

    This week, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to drink wine, drop some f-bombs, and dish about everyone’s favorite god of theatre, orgies, booze and madness.

    Join us as we explore all the ways Dionysus subverted the Roman patriarchy, theatre practices of the ancient Greeks, woman-centric retellings of Medea and Medusa, and the most radically feminist Greek playwright of his time: Euripides.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Dionysus: Religion of Revolution

    In our last episode we talked about the journey Dionysus took to become a god. We followed his travels across the Mediterranean as he went on an epic quest to spread the cultivation of wine.

    In this episode, we’ll focus on what happened after Dionysus won his place as a god on Mount Olympus–how people worshiped him on earth, and what made him so dangerous to the Roman status quo.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Dionysus: Have You Heard the Good News (About Me)?

    Forget what you thought you knew about Dionysus and his cozy wine-drinking image.

    This is the Dionysus of Thrace. The Dionysus of Mithradates. Of Spartacus. Of revolutionaries across the classical world. This is the story of how one wandering god inspired people to rise up against injustice.

    In Part 1, we look at Dio’s origin story, his mythography, and how his journey across the ancient world followed in the steps of winemaking. Get the show notes here.

  • Cocktails & Caligula (With Queens Podcast)

    Our only explanation for this episode is that it was Jenny’s birthday–and she wanted to have some friends over. So we invited Katy and Nathan from Queens Podcast to come on our podcast and drink us under the table.

    Join us on a drunken ramble through the Julio-Claudian dynasty, where we go on and ON about our favorite topics: Agrippina (Elder and Younger), Cleopatra, badass women in history, and whether Caligula and Henry VIII were in fact the same person.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra x Marc Antony: Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Part 5)

    After the disaster at Actium, Marc Antony’s entire army–100,000 strong–surrendered to Octavian. Marc Antony and Cleopatra fled to Alexandria to negotiate the terms of their defeat.

    Those were dark, foreboding days. Friends and allies fled the palace. Marc Antony fell into a deep depression, while Cleopatra searched desperately for a way out–one that would keep her kingdom intact and her children alive.

    But the reckoning was on its way. Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra x Marc Antony: Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Part 4)

    As Marc Antony and Cleopatra settled into life in Alexandria, Octavian whipped up a toxic garbage fire of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia in Rome–and then declared war. Not against Marc Antony, but against Cleopatra.

    Soon, the lovers would be forced to defend their home, their family, and their life together on the shores of the Ambracian Gulf. Find out how it all went down–at a town called Actium.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Badass Women Make Ancient History (With Kate the Exploress)

    Why were Civil War-era female spies so successful in smuggling guns across enemy lines? What secret superpower gave Scythian women an edge in battle? In heavily patriarchal ancient Greece, what made athletic, confident Spartan women so exceptional?

    Badass women have existed throughout ancient history. In this bonus AHFG episode, Kate from the Exploress Podcast joins us in a freewheeling conversation that finds them throughout the ages–from Civil War battlefields to ancient Egyptian bathrooms.

    Get the show notes here.

  • You Don’t Know Yule

    What do you know about Yule?

    Maybe a lot. The holiday is widely celebrated in Scandinavian countries, and it’s an important part of Wiccan and Pagan tradition. But for many of us, the version that’s come down through history is strongly associated with Christmas–and heavily sanitized.

    When we scratched the surface, however, we found that the origins of Yule were older and darker and weirder than we ever imagined.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra x Marc Antony: Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Part 3)

    After four years of marriage with Octavia, Marc Antony followed Cleopatra to Alexandria—and settled into life there. He oversaw festivals and athletic contests, cheered Cleopatra on as she ruled Egypt, and showered her and their children with honors and territories.

    For all intents and purposes, he was the consort of Egypt’s beloved Pharaoh, the father of her children—and he was home.

    But the propaganda war between Antony and Octavian was building to a fever pitch in Rome, even as the Parthians loomed threateningly in the distance. Soon Antony would be called to war—and face the biggest battlefield test of his career.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra x Marc Antony: Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Part 2)

    When Cleopatra and Marc Antony met by the River Tarsus, Antony was smitten. And when Cleopatra went back to Alexandria, he forgot about invading Parthia and followed her home.

    The two then spent a magical few months in Alexandria, where they threw each other lavish banquets, made bets and compacts, played ridiculous practical jokes on each other and the public–and fell in love.

    But nothing good can ever stay. The real world soon came knocking, and soon Marc Antony was forced to choose between his heart and his head.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Vampires II: Disease and the Engines of Myth (With Tiny Vampires Podcast)

    Last time we covered vampires, we were struck by the haunting connection between vampire myths and real disease. Between that and the many vampire myths from around the world that we didn’t have time to cover, you might say we had unfinished business with vampires.

    This Halloween, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Raven Forrest Fruscalzo from the Tiny Vampires podcast to explore the intriguing connection between vampires and disease. Join us as we discuss some fascinating vampire myths from regions outside the Greco-Roman world—and the real diseases that may have given rise to these myths.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra x Marc Antony: Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Part 1)

    Shakespeare wrote about them. Hollywood glamorized them. For thousands of years, they’ve come down to us as the ultimate star-crossed lovers: the Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra, and the Roman commander Marc Antony.

    In the wake of Caesar’s death, Cleopatra fled to Egypt–and began picking up the pieces. Meanwhile, Marc Antony defeated Caesar’s assassins in battle, and then set his sights on invading Parthia.

    But to invade Parthia, he needed the money and support of Rome’s richest client ruler: Cleopatra. And Cleopatra had an agenda, too: she needed another Roman protector to shore up her power in Egypt.

    Find out what happened when these two met on the banks of the River Tarsus. Get the show notes here.

  • Fulvia: Original Gangster of Ancient Rome

    The romance between Marc Antony and Cleopatra has beguiled us for centuries. What most people don’t realize is that when Marc Antony met Cleopatra, he was already married—to someone just as epic. Her name was Fulvia.

    Cleopatra had glamour and divinity and lots of money. But Fulvia had the gangs. She was a populist firebrand, military leader, and for a while, the undisputed power in Rome: both in the Senate and in the streets. Get the show notes here.

    Special thanks to Katy and Nathan from Queens Podcast for lending their voices to this episode.

  • Julius Caesar and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    When Julius Caesar returned to Rome after his last military campaign, he had big plans. Plans like remaking Rome in the image of Alexandria—as a beacon of light and learning. Transforming the Roman calendar and enacting sweeping government reforms. Invading Parthia for some reason. And making himself Dictator for Life—and the next best thing to a king and god.

    But Caesar should have been more on his guard. Because, among the aristocracy, the plebeian class and his own friends and soldiers, a secret movement to assassinate him was building steam.

    Find out how it all went down. Get the show notes here.

  • Julius Caesar and the 11-Day Parade

    After winning the Alexandrian War and restoring Cleopatra to her throne, Julius Caesar returned to Rome. And then—he kept busy. Settling an insurrection among his troops, getting himself declared dictator for another 10 years, cleaning up the resistance, packing the Senate with his friends, and throwing himself not one, not two, not three—but four epic Triumphs.

    All Caesar’s barriers to power had been removed. Now there was no one to stand in the way of doing exactly what he wanted with the Roman Empire.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra and the Urban War

    When Cleopatra met Julius Caesar, sparks flew. The daring Egyptian queen beguiled the conquering Roman general—and then enlisted him to fight her battles.

    Outnumbered five to one in a city full of ancient wonders, Cleopatra and Caesar spent the next ten months barricaded in a luxurious palace while outside, the enemy howled for their blood. The two fought a deadly urban war for Cleopatra’s throne–and both of their survival.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Cleopatra and the King of Rome

    When Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, he walked into a civil war between the country’s new co-rulers: Ptolemy XIII and his sister Cleopatra.

    The romance between Caesar and Cleopatra is one of the most epic of ancient times. But we can’t tell you that story until you understand who Cleopatra was. And to understand Cleopatra, you have to understand the political element in which she swam.

    In this episode, we take you from the cutthroat intrigue of the Ptolemaic court to the volatile streets of Alexandria—and from Cleopatra’s early life to the events that led her to take an extreme gamble and team up with the man who’d just conquered Rome. Get the show notes here.

  • Julius Caesar and the Death of the Republic

    Within sixty days of crossing the Rubicon, Julius Caesar took control of the entire Italian peninsula—almost without bloodshed. But until he defeated Pompey, Caesar’s victories were temporary.

    Now Caesar would face Rome’s greatest general and his own greatest rival. Pompey had more experience, more troops, and more supplies, and he knew every move Caesar planned to make before he made it.

    The odds were not in Caesar’s favor–but that’s just how he liked it. Get the show notes here.

  • Julius Caesar and the Point of No Return

    Julius Caesar was in Gaul for eight years—and while he was gone, things in Rome didn’t just stop. His enemies were sharpening their knives, just salivating for him to come back so they could prosecute him. If they got their way, Caesar could lose his legions, his fortune, and his position—and see all his achievements undone.

    Caesar was backed into a corner. His only chance to survive involved taking an extreme action that he’d never be able to take back. An action that would catapult him to the pinnacle of Roman power—even as it put a price on his head.

    Find out how Caesar got away with it. Get the show notes here.


  • Vercingetorix: All You Love Must Burn (Part 3)

    This episode is a whole divided into three parts.

    In Part 3, Vercingetorix has been in the field for less than a year–fighting Julius Caesar by burning his own towns, fields, and grain supplies to keep them out of Roman hands. And he’s managed to hold his proud, independent people together–by any means necessary.

    But now Vercingetorix will face his greatest challenge yet–at a town called Alesia. Get the show notes here.

  • Vercingetorix: All You Love Must Burn (Part 2)

    This episode is a whole divided into three parts.

    In Part 2, Vercingetorix steps onto the stage, and all of Gaul unites behind him against the armies of Caesar. But Vercingetorix faces an enemy that’s better organized, better armed, and more cohesive–and his margin of error is razor-thin.

    To save his people, Vercingetorix must do more than unite them. He must be willing to sacrifice everything. Get the show notes here.

  • Vercingetorix: All You Love Must Burn (Part 1)

    This episode is a whole divided into three parts.

    In Part 1, we send Julius Caesar and his army on a collision course toward the people of Gaul. This is an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object; the disciplined might of the Roman Republic coming up against an epic warrior culture that had existed in this place for centuries.

    Get the show notes here.

  • The Hound of Ulster

    What can a story from ancient Ireland tell us about the Gauls before Caesar?

    Maybe a lot. The Hound of Ulster is synonymous with Irish history. But it also draws back the curtain on a world we see echoed in the archaeology of ancient Gaul: a world of epic feasts, the hero’s portion, severed heads, cattle raiding, magical weapons, and chariot warfare.

    Think of this episode as a sort of Cauldron of Rebirth. We’re going to go out on a limb and operate under the assumption that a tall tale from Celtic Ireland can help us make the Gauls live and breathe again.

    Get the show notes here.

  • The Gauls: Everything Belongs to the Brave

    In 58 BC, Julius Caesar set his sights on conquering the Gauls. But who were the Gauls? They didn’t write things down—and much of what we know about them comes from Caesar himself. An outsider, and a conqueror.

    Before we tell you about the Gallic Wars, we want to let the Gauls speak for themselves—or come as close as they can, through archaeology, myth, and other writers who got to know them not as conquerors, but chroniclers.

    Meet the Celtic warrior poets, artists, Druids, bards, and artisans who lived in Gaul for thousands of years before Caesar was born. Get the show notes here.

  • Julius Caesar and the Devil’s Threeway

    After an epic quarter-life crisis, Julius Caesar returned to Rome and started to kick things up a notch—winning honors, elections, and the love of the public. But as his power grew, his enemies multiplied.

    To fight back, Caesar made an unholy bargain with two very powerful players: Rome’s richest man and its most renowned general. With money in his pocket and soldiers at his back, there was nothing Caesar couldn’t strong-arm the Senate into.

    But as Caesar stretched the rules of Roman politics, he started to resemble the thing every Roman feared most: a dictator.

    Find out how it all went down. Get the show notes here.

  • Julius Caesar and the Pirates’ Ransom

    Julius Caesar came of age in a Rome where severed heads hung in the Rostra, bodies choked the Tiber, and murderous mobs stalked the streets. Even at 16, this was Caesar’s element.

    And by 30, he’d stood up to a terrifying dictator, got kidnapped by pirates, and made a career out of prosecuting powerful governors for corruption. Not to mention had an epic quarter-life crisis.

    Most stories about Caesar’s life don’t start at the beginning. But this one does. Find out how Caesar became Caesar. Get the show notes here.

  • The Ancient-World Stark Family, Part 4: Dux Femina

    Of the six children of Germanicus, Agrippina the Younger is the last woman standing. Both savvier than her siblings and more ruthless, she quickly rises to stratospheric levels of power–using any and all means necessary.

    But plenty of dangerous people in ancient Rome don’t like seeing a woman in control, and they’ll do anything to stop her. Agrippina will need all her wits and courage to keep her position–and keep herself alive.

    Everything comes up Agrippina–until it doesn’t. Get the show notes here.

  • The Ancient-World Stark Family, Part 3: Agrippina and the Wolf Girl

    With their brother Caligula dead, the two remaining Germanicus children–Julia Livilla and Agrippina–are called home from exile. The new emperor, their uncle Claudius, welcomes them with open arms. Life is good. Life…is perfect.

    But in ancient Rome, the knives in the dark are still sharp. The sisters find themselves facing threats from all sides. Chief among those threats is the most powerful woman in Roman society–an enemy known as the Wolf Girl.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Saturnalia: So Much More than Roman Christmas

    Wish you had a holiday all about feasting, drinking, the upending of the social order, blood sacrifices, the harvest, pranks, novelty gifts, honouring a god who devoured his kids, and the returning sun? Don’t we all???

    Welcome to Saturnalia. Get the show notes here.

  • The Ancient-World Stark Family, Part 2: The Rise and Fall of Little Boots

    With their parents and older brothers dead, the four remaining Germanicus children (Agrippina, Julia Drusilla, Julia Livilla, and Caligula) face an uncertain future. Caligula falls into the clutches of his creepy uncle Tiberius. The sisters are married off in their teens to men more than twice their age—some with violent reputations.

    But a family’s fortune can change in a heartbeat. Suddenly Caligula is thrust into power, and the sisters finally have a chance at a stable life. Now the family of Germanicus is in charge. They’re the sharks. And the sharks have to keep swimming.

    Find out how it all unraveled. Get the show notes here.

  • The Ancient-World Stark Family, Part 1: Germanicus the Manicus

    Close your eyes and imagine a loving family. Devoted parents and six children, three happy brothers and three happy sisters. The father, Germanicus, is a war hero—beloved by the people, and next in line for the throne. Life is good. Life is perfect.

    But nothing good can ever stay. It begins with a cough—a funny turn—and suddenly the family of Germanicus is torn apart, caught in the political riptides of Imperial Rome. This dynasty would give rise to two of Rome’s most infamous emperors and some of its most legendary women—before it ends in tragedy. Get the show notes here.

  • Locusta the Poisoner: Rome’s Deadliest Assassin

    Ancient Rome was full of rich, ambitious social climbers in a cutthroat political environment—people who had enemies to get rid of, and deep pockets to pay for the service. Poison assassins were in high demand—and one of the most notorious was a woman named Locusta the Poisoner. Learn her story–and get a crash course in ancient-world poisoning.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Ancient Vampires: They Only Knock Once

    Communities all over the ancient world had a problem: their dead wouldn’t stay in the ground. They rose up as shambolic corpses, gusts of wind and evil spirits, draining human life force and devouring flesh and blood.

    The vampire myth is an ancient one, found on every continent. Join us as we explore the oldest vampire myths we could find from Sumeria, Greece, Rome, and Germania–and discover the clues they leave us about those cultures. Get the show notes here.

  • Amazons: Warrior Queens and Generals

    It’s easy to get the impression that no women were allowed in the war games of the ancient world, but nothing could be further from the truth. Female generals and warrior queens were everywhere—leading armies into battle by land and sea.

    In this episode, we cover five female military leaders—powerful allies and enemies of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Get the show notes here.

  • Amazons: Warrior Women of the Ancient Steppe

    Think the Amazons of Greek myth were mythical? Think again. The Greeks based their Amazons on the real-life warrior women next door.

    Centuries ago, ancient writers claimed that Scythian women of the Eurasian Steppe fought in battle alongside their men. Now, with modern bioarchaeology, the bones of fierce female warriors have emerged from their grave mounds and begun to speak to us. This is their story. Get the show notes here.

  • Amazons: Warrior Women of Greek Mythology

    Hippolyte and her golden belt. Penthesilea and the fall of Troy. The Daughters of Ares. Atalanta and the golden apples. They’re everywhere in Greek mythology: fierce, deadly warrior women.

    But in a society as male-dominated as ancient Greece, what did this obsession with strong warrior women mean? We take a look at some of the more well-known Amazon myths of ancient Greece–and the mystery of their meaning in context. Get the show notes here.

  • Attila the Hun and the Rebel Princess

    In 450 AD, the Imperial Princess Honoria–daughter of Galla Placidia–was desperate to escape her arranged marriage. So she made an indecent proposal–to Attila the Hun. On this single action, cities were torched. Saints were raised. Thousands died. And Venice was founded.

    Find out how it all went down. Get the show notes here.

  • Real Life Romance from the Fall of Rome: Ataulf x Galla Placidia

    He was a fierce barbarian warlord—a man who had stood between his people and the Roman Empire since the sack of Rome. She was a Roman Imperial princess with a core of iron strength. Born enemies, the love of Ataulf and Galla Placidia is marked by tragedy—but in its time, it burned hot enough to reshape an Empire. This is their story.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Stuff Alaric Said

    On August 24, 410 AD, Alaric and the Visigoths sacked the city of Rome. Before he sacked it, he starved it. Before that, he went toe to toe with the Roman Empire for fifteen years—uniting disparate tribes, holding a people together, and achieving more against Rome than any barbarian leader before him. This is his story.

    Get the show notes here.

  • War Elephants Part 2: Land Pirates of the Ancient World

    In this episode, the epic story of the elephant of war continues. Join noted elephant adventurers King Pyrrhus of Epirus (he of the Pyrrhic victory), Julius Caesar, Hannibal Barca, and Lady Trieu of Vietnam as they stomp their enemies into submission on the ancient battlefield.

    Get the show notes here.

  • War Elephants Part 1: Alexander’s Immortals

    Few sights terrorized ancient armies more than that of a wall of elephants, tusks drenched in blood, bearing down on them in a killing frenzy. From the mighty armies of ancient India to the crack troops of Alexander the Great, all of them faced down weaponized elephants—and used them to crush their enemies.

    We call upon you now to bear witness to an epic story: that of the awesome and great-hearted elephant of war.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Praetorian Guard, Part 2: Caligula & Friends

    In this episode, it’s Roman Emperors behaving badly–and Praetorian Prefects behaving even worse.

    Beginning with Caligula, Emperors were assaulted in their homes, killed with their families, dragged through the streets, and mutilated by angry mobs. At one point, the Praetorians even assassinated an Emperor, then auctioned off the Empire to the highest bidder.

    Find out just how bad it got. Get the show notes here.

  • Praetorian Guard, Part 1: The Beast in Your House

    The Praetorian Guard was the elite military unit tasked with protecting the Emperors of Rome–except when they held the assassin’s blade themselves. The Praetorians brought emperors low and raised them up; shaped the fate of the Empire and were eventually destroyed by it. This is their story.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Child Emperors, Part 2: Lambs to the Slaughter

    Some of Rome’s child emperors became tyrants. Others were taken advantage of by stronger regents and family members–frequently with tragic results. In this episode, we’ll take a look at weaker child emperors who struggled to overcome the influence of power-hungry adults around them.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Child Emperors, Part 1: Sharks in the Womb

    In ancient Rome, being made Emperor could be a death sentence. Experienced generals and statesmen lasted weeks or months sometimes. In some cases, children were raised to the role. What became of them? Part 1 of our series looks at two very different kinds of child tyrant: Elagabalus and Caracalla.

    Get the show notes here.

  • How to Survive a Siege, Part 2: Gnaw Off Your Finger, Leave it On the Ground

    Did the Mongols really kill 1.3 million people in a single day? How does civilization devolve in a city under siege when the food runs out? What really went down during the sack of Troy–and what clues did ancient writers leave us? All of this–plus our best siege survival hacks from the ancient world.

    Get the show notes here.

  • How to Survive a Siege, Part 1: Street Cleaners of Carthage

    How would you survive an ancient siege? We take a close look at the brutal siege of Carthage at the end of the Punic Wars–and give you a few tips and hacks for staying alive when the enemy has breached the gates.

    See the show notes here.

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