All Episodes

All Podcast Episodes:

  • Could You Survive Pompeii? A Choose Your Own Adventure Episode

    You’ve been transported almost 2,000 years into the past, to the streets of Pompeii. It’s a brisk autumn morning, around, oh…10 AM…and all hell is about to break loose. What’s your next move?

    You could live through it, maybe. If you were lucky. And made all the right choices. At exactly the right time. The actions you take in these first moments could make the difference between life and death.

    Yes, this is Ancient History Fangirl – could you survive a volcano – Choose Your Own Adventure edition! Get the show notes here.

  • Great Yu Controls the Waters

    Cultures on every continent have flood myths, and China is no exception. One of China’s founding myths is one about a singular hero, Yu the Great, and his brilliant works of water engineering that tamed a deadly flood—roughly four thousand years ago.

    But did this great flood really occur? Was there really a Yu, or someone like him? Join us as we delve into the Bronze-age civilizations of ancient China, the history of its legendary rivers, and an ancient flood that could have been The Big One.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Atlit Yam: Forgotten City Beneath the Waves

    Off the coast of Israel there is an underwater megalithic stone circle dating back to the 7000s BC – that is perfectly preserved, keeping its secrets from another time.

    This is the story of a prehistoric city (well, village) off the coast of Israel. Thousands of years ago, it sank beneath the waves. Its discovery was revolutionary and changed what we thought about the people who lived in this area during the stone age.

    Today, we’re going to dive into the past, to a time when the Mediterranean rose up and sunk a city – and froze a time, a people, and a way of life in place. Get the show notes here.

  • Buzzballs and Buboes: The Plague of Justinian (a Drunk Deep Dive)

    This is an episode about a plague that killed up to 100 million people by the time it was done—as many as 60% of its victims. It’s the first documented occurrence of a pandemic that we have, and it’s the first documented outbreak of the deadly Yersinia pestis. No, we’re not talking about the Black Death of Medieval Europe. We’re talking about the Plague of Justinian.

    The Plague of Justinian was just one part of the fallout of the global volcanic eruption of 536 AD. Three eyewitness accounts have survived–and, in the grand tradition of this podcast, we decided to read them to you whilst Yule-level drunk. Buckle up. It is a wild, plague-tastic ride. Get the show notes here.

  • 536 AD: A Volcanic Murder Mystery

    What was the worst year to be alive? Some researchers have a very specific answer to this question: 536 AD.

    This is a year when the global temperature dropped, and it was winter all year round—for multiple years. The sun disappeared for 18 months as the world was covered in a veil of sulfuric dust. Crops failed. People starved, and fell to eating each other and warring over scarce resources. From China to Mexico, thriving civilizations collapsed.

    And the culprit? A volcano. Or maybe multiple volcanoes. But which ones are still a mystery. This is a historical mass murder, and it’s still unsolved. Get the show notes here.

  • In the Time of the Green Sahara

    Deep in the western Sahara—in perhaps one of the driest parts of the driest desert in the world—there are cave paintings that depict people swimming. These cave paintings date to 10,000 years ago. Back then, there would have been plenty of water to swim in. It was a time when the Sahara was green.

    Join us as we pull back the curtain on a tantalizing time when the Sahara was a wetland paradise, with enormous megalakes, vast networks of wild rivers, and people who created stunning rock art, built complex megalithic structures, mummified their dead—and whose beliefs and culture may have formed the foundation of ancient Egyptian civilization.

    Get the show notes here.

  • The Haunting of Crater Lake

    Crater Lake is a caldera lake in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon—the remnants of an ancient volcanic eruption. It’s the deepest lake in the country and one of the deepest in the world. And this place is steeped in lore: unexplained events, murders and suicides, disappearances and hauntings, and a strange 200-year-old floating log that probably controls the weather.

    But the history of this lake goes back even farther: to the volcanic eruption that created it 7,700 years ago. People were there to witness that event—and its memory is preserved, both in archaeology and an ancient mythological tradition that describes the eruption with scientific precision.

    Join us as we plumb the depths of Crater Lake. Get the show notes here.

  • Ghosts of Wrangel Island

    Mammoths existed on our planet for roughly five million years, and they were perfectly adapted to the ice age world they inhabited. So perfectly adapted that when the last ice age ended, so did they. No woolly mammoths have walked the earth for the last 10,000 years. Or did they?

    It turns out that the last mammoths didn’t disappear 10,000 years ago. For thousands of years after their extinction in the rest of the world, a small population still lived on a remote island in the Arctic called Wrangel Island. And in their last days? In the end times? Things got weird.

    This is a story about a natural disaster that happened—to mammoths. Let’s dig in. Get the show notes here.

  • The Drowning of Doggerland

    Ten thousand years ago, there was no North Sea. Instead, there was a vast landscape that connected the UK and Ireland to the rest of Europe. Archaeologists call it Doggerland.

    This was a Mesolithic paradise. A great biodiversity hotspot where we had all the food and raw materials we could ask for within arm’s reach—an immense forest and wetland paradise as big as a second France. It was the beating heart of Mesolithic Europe.

    But nothing good can ever stay. By some accounts, Doggerland was drowning from the day it was born. But its final end came in a single, cataclysmic day. Get the show notes here.

  • The Ten Plagues of Egypt: An Ancient Disaster Story

    The story of The Ten Plagues of Egypt is featured in both Jewish and Christian mythology. It’s a dark, haunting tale that features a capricious God meting out increasingly terrible punishments on the Egyptian people for their Pharaoh’s refusal to release the Israelites from slavery.

    But that’s not all there is to this story. It’s also a Bronze Age narrative that may be based on an ancient psychic trauma. Just what was that trauma? And could the cruel, unpredictable behavior of the God of the Old Testament be a clue?

    Join us as we try to get to the bottom of it. Get the show notes here.

  • Hot Sauron Summer (With Liv Albert from Myths Baby!)

    Feminism in Lord of the Rings: let’s discuss. How were women depicted in the famous trilogy, and how has that depiction changed from the books to the movies and then to the Rings of Power TV show? Join us and Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths Baby! for a very serious, very scholarly contemplation of women and feminism in Lord of the Rings.

    LOL just kidding. Mainly this episode involves Jenny shrieking about Hot Sauron, Genn getting drunkenly aggressive in Lord of the Rings trivia, and Liv reciting huge swaths of Fellowship from memory. Scholarship is low, ridiculousness is high, and Liv may in fact be the One LOTR Nerd to Rule Them All. You’ve been warned.

    (Spoilers abound for Rings of Power. Now you’ve been doubly warned.) Get the show notes here.

  • The Chaotic Olympians (with Bea Fitzgerald from Chaos on Olympus)

    We’re joined today by YA romance author and Tiktok star Bea Fitzgerald, who brings Greek mythology to life on her Tiktok channel Chaos on Olympus.

    In this conversation, we talk about the female goddesses, monsters and heroines of Greek mythology: what makes them tick, which ones are the most fun to skewer in bite-sized video format, and the surprising queer romance hiding in monster mythology. Get the show notes here.

  • Falling in Love with Ancient History (With Jasmine Elmer of Legit Classics)

    Just who are the classics for, anyway?

    Our guest Jasmine Elmer has been an educator in the Classics for decades—through educational charity work, as a TV presenter and through her podcast, Legit Classics. She is passionate about making the classics accessible to all—and the new and important perspectives brought to the field by scholars of diverse nontraditional backgrounds.

    This week, we discuss how to make the ancient world more accessible to everyone, of all backgrounds—as well as Jasmine’s own upcoming book on women in world mythology, and what made us all fall in love with the ancient world. Get the show notes here.

  • Atalanta and the Heroine’s Journey (With Jennifer Saint)

    This week, we delve deeper into the legend of Atalanta, with bestselling author Jennifer Saint as our guide. Join us as we discuss Atalanta’s heroine’s journey, her connection to Artemis and a more ancient concept of the feminine, and what it was really like being stuck on the Argo with all those dudes.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Bad Girls of the Bible and Caribbean Lore (With Princess O’Nika Auguste)

    Today, we’re joined by Caribbean feminist biblical scholar and author Princess O’Nika Auguste to discuss the female monsters of Caribbean lore, African diaspora religions, and the Bible.

    Join us for a wide-ranging discussion where we talk about the most fearsome feminine monsters of Caribbean legend and African diaspora religion, as well as the bad girls of the Bible—including everybody’s favorite patriarchy-smashing rebel of Jewish lore, Lilith.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Secrets of the Aztec Codices (With Camilla Townsend)

    Decades after the Spanish conquest, Aztec survivors wrote down their histories and mythology in documents called Codices.

    Many were written at the behest of Spanish priests, and come to us through a Spanish lens. But some were written in secret, by Aztecs and for Aztecs, with no Spanish involvement at all. Long ignored by historians, these documents provide us with what is perhaps the most authentic history of the Aztec people in their own voice.

    Today, we’re joined by Camilla Townsend, a leading scholar on the history and translation of these important documents. She is professor of history at Rutgers University specializing in Native American and indigenous history in the United States and Latin America, and author of the award-winning book The Fifth Sun: a New History of the Aztecs.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Urduja: Warrior Princess of the Philippines (With HERstory: Southeast Asia)

    Urduja was a celebrated warrior princess who ruled the kingdom of Tawalisi, said to exist in the Philippines. The first recorded mention of her comes from the travelogue of Ibn Battuta, an explorer and scholar who lived in the 1300s AD and who claimed to have met her.

    Much is mysterious about Urduja–including whether her kingdom ever existed. However, her story has become so compelling over the centuries that today she is considered a national heroine of the Philippines. This week, we’re joined by Agas Ramirez of HERstory: Southeast Asia to discuss the history and mythology surrounding this fascinating woman–and the tradition of female rulers and warriors in southeast Asia.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Inventing Medusa: Reclaiming the Gorgon Girl (With Natalie Haynes)

    The traditional myth about Medusa is that she was the monster—a fearsome snake-haired gorgon who could turn men to stone with a glance—and her killer, Perseus, was the hero of the tale. But give the story a closer look, and it’s not even clear the Greeks always saw it that way.

    Ancient depictions of this myth don’t always show Perseus as the hero. And there’s evidence that gorgons originally had a protective role in Greek iconography. In this episode, Natalie Haynes—bestselling author of Stone Blind—guides us in retracing the clues the ancients left us to reclaim our Gorgon Girl.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Women of Norse Mythology (With Joanne Harris)

    This week, we welcome internationally bestselling author Joanne Harris to our podcast. Joanne is the author of over 29 novels and novellas for adults and children, including Chocolat, which was turned into an Oscar winning film, and the fantasy series Runemarks and Runelight; The Gospel of Loki and The Testament of Loki, and many others.

    Join us for a wild conversation that will break down all your preconceptions about Norse mythology, its ancient roots and hidden goddesses, and women’s place and power in ancient pre-Christian Nordic cultures. Get the show notes here.

  • Women in Greek and Hindu Mythology (With Nikita Gill)

    Both Greek and Hindu mythology are populated with fascinating women—goddesses, heroines, and monsters alike. Award-winning and best-selling author and poet Nikita Gill incorporates both into her work, forging a compelling connection between ancient narratives and personal mythologies of place and family.

    Nikita’s poetry is haunting, fiercely feminist, and filled with insight and heartbreak. Join us for a conversation about the women of Hindu and Greek mythology, the feminist themes in both, and which “monsters” we identify with most. Get the show notes here.

  • A Sneak Peek at our Women of Myth Audiobook

    This week we thought we’d do something a little different–and bring you a sneak peek of our audiobook version of Women of Myth. This version is available for preorder, and we recorded it ourselves, along with Liv from Let’s Talk About Myths Baby! who recorded her introduction.

    We picked three entries to share, from three different areas of the world. These women are so fascinating and awesome that we’re sure you’ll love them as much as we did. We hope you enjoy!

    Preorder the audiobook here, or find it wherever you buy books.

  • Drawing the Women of Myth (With Illustrator Sara Richard)

    We’re joined today by Sara Richard—our Eisner and Ringo Award–nominated illustrator for the Women of Myth series. Sara worked with us to create the amazing illustrations for Women of Myth.

    Join us as we take you behind the scenes to discuss what it was like illustrating these incredible characters; which women of myth Sara felt the strongest connection to; Sara and Jenny’s shared love of SKULLS and historic graveyards; and what’s in Sara’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Atargatis: The Syrian Mermaid Goddess who Made Men Castrate Themselves

    This episode originally appeared on our Patreon! We’re releasing it on our main feed because we also include Atargatis in Women of Myth. We hope you enjoy!

    The Spartacus of the First Servile War–a man named Eunus–was a worshipper of Atargatis, an ancient goddess of the sea often depicted as a mermaid.

    Atargatis was one of the most important goddesses of ancient Syria–with roots that went all the way back to the Bronze Age. Her temple in Hierapolis had a lake hundreds of fathoms deep, filled with fantastical fishes, and a bejewelled statue of the goddess whose eyes followed your every movement.

    But in Rome, Atargatis’ religion was one of underdogs, foreigners, and the marginalized–much like the religion of Dionysus. And, like the cult of Dionysus, it threatened the Roman status quo.

    Find out what made this Syrian mermaid goddess so phenomenal, powerful, and dangerous to the Roman aristocracy.

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  • Creepiest Monsters of Southeast Asia (With Creepy Conversations Podcast)

    This week, we explore monster mythology from countries all over southeast Asia—and we invited Nikki and Kalai from the Creepy Conversations podcast to come on our show and creep us out. Hailing from the Philippines and Singapore, they cover all things creepy from southeast Asian mythology, including monsters, ghost stories, true crime and serial killers, and more.

    Today we try to answer the age-old question: which Southeast Asian country has the creepiest female monsters? Is it the Philippines, home of the bone-chilling manananggal? Or maybe Japan, home of the terrifying kuchisake-onna of urban legend? What about those nightmare-inducing Shadow People who always seem to be creeping around? Or perhaps the most fearsome monsters of all are the real-life female serial killers who walk among us?

    Join us as we try to get to the bottom of it all. Get the show notes here.

  • Nazca Lines: Secrets in the Sand

    Imagine a desert stretching over 1,500 miles along the Peruvian coastline, between the high Andes to the east and the vast Pacific coastline to the west. A place of brilliant colors and contradictions. This is the driest desert in the world. Astronauts use it to simulate conditions on Mars.

    This is the home of the Nazca Lines: thousands of huge, beautifully made 2,000-year-old geoglyphs, visible only from the sky. Some are elaborate images of animals, plants, and people. Others are perfectly straight lines that stretch for miles in the empty desert.

    What were they for? What did they mean? Their story–and the story of the people who made them–is so much more than it seems.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Frau Holle: Wicked Woman of Yule

    This year, we’ve found one of the most metal and wild Yuletide goddesses yet – Frau Holle.

    Human sacrifices, spindles in yer vag, plague, starvation, caves of offerings and bones, the Grimms brothers, golden showers, child cannibalism, ZOMBIES – are any of these putting you in the Yuletide spirit? They should. Because we’re about to share with you the story of a very Frau Holle Christmas.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Teotihuacan: Eat the Rich

    Teotihuacan is an ancient pre-Colombian city in central America, founded two thousand years ago. It’s the home of some of the most iconic Mesoamerican monuments in existence, including the Pyramids of the Moon and Sun.

    The city was abandoned after about 750 years of habitation. When the Aztecs first encountered it, it had stood empty for 600 years. Walking through the empty ruin, they marveled at the towering pyramids, the incredible murals, the enormous palaces—and wondered where the people had gone. They thought these people must have become gods.

    This city has something for everyone: mysterious skeletons. Volcanoes. Eating of the rich. And so many mysteries, it’s hard to pick just one. Get the show notes here.

  • Mohenjo Daro: Mound of the Dead Men

    The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest, largest, most sophisticated Bronze Age civilizations we know about today. Roughly 80 cities and towns have been unearthed that were part of it. The biggest—perhaps the most important—was a city called Mohenjo Daro.

    There were no kings at Mohenjo Daro, no priests and few signs of organized religion. There are few if any signs of war, slavery, wealth inequality or violence. There was a very high standard of living for its time, including indoor flushing toilets in every home.

    But they don’t call it “Mound of the Dead Men” for nothing. It turns out this peaceful, utopian ancient city has a gruesome secret…

    Get the show notes here.

  • Where Was the Land of Punt?

    For over a thousand years, the ancient Egyptians sent their ships out to trade with a fabulous kingdom. They dragged their ships from the Nile to the coast of the Red Sea, and those ships returned groaning with luxuries beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings.

    The place they got it all from was the Land of Punt—known to the Egyptians as the Land of the Gods. The Egyptians described just about everything about it, except how to get there.

    Was Punt in Africa? Was it in Arabia? Was it an island in the far-flung Indian Ocean? Or did it ever exist at all? Today, we try to unravel the mystery. Get the show notes here.

  • Inside the Skara Brae Sex Cult

    Perched on a cliff at the edge of the world in the remote Orkney Islands, the ancient village of Skara Brae is a picturesque and dramatic sight. Carved into an ancient midden, it’s a warren of interconnected dwellings with built-in furniture, secret compartments, and more than a few mysteries.

    What did the people of Skara Brae get up to when the lights were out? Why did they build their village so that you had to go through your neighbors’ houses to get to your own? How many people were sleeping in a bed again? Was this in fact a sex cult??

    In this episode, we try to get to the bottom of it. Get the show notes here.

  • The Mound Builders of Cahokia

    Hundreds of years before European contact, the biggest city in North America was located along the Mississippi River. At its peak, perhaps 15,000 people lived there—and over 30,000 in the surrounding suburbs. Today, we call it Cahokia.

    Nobody knows what the original name of this city was. But there was a time when everybody knew its name—from the Great Lakes to the Eastern Seaboard, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. What was that name, and why was it lost to time and memory? That’s just one of the many mysteries of Cahokia.

    Get the show notes here.

  • The Headless Megaliths of Gobekli Tepe

    In our episode on the Sphinx Water Erosion Theory, we discussed the theory that the Sphinx was 10,000 years old. This date would require us to completely reorder our sense of how humanity evolved. We decided it’s simply too out there to be true.

    But what if I told you that there is an archaeological site 10,000 years old whose shocking discovery did indeed require archaeologists to change the way they interpreted history? It’s like if the Sphinx really did turn out to be really 10,000 years old, except it’s not the Sphinx, and it’s not in Egypt. It’s in Turkey. It’s called Gobekli Tepe.

    Join us as we explore a wild, weird world of decapitated megaliths, menacing animals in high relief, gardens of megapeens, and a lost culture far closer to the last Ice Age than they are to us.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Serial Killers of Ancient Greece and Rome (With Debbie Felton)

    Serial killers may seem like a modern phenomenon. But there were serial killers in operation in the ancient world—or so it would seem. Evidence for them is everywhere—in mythology and in history, we see predators killing their victims in surprisingly modern ways.

    Was it easier to be a serial killer in ancient Greece and Rome? Could they find victims more easily and operate more anonymously than they can today? Were there roles and professions that gave cover to those born with an urge to kill? Were the streets of Rome and the hills of Greece in fact a breeding ground for serial killers?

    In this episode, author and expert Debbie Felton helps us answer those questions.  Get the show notes here.

  • Sea of Trees: the Japanese Suicide Forest

    In this episode, we’ll delve into the mystery of Aokigahara, known in Japanese as the Sea of Trees—and to the rest of the world as the Suicide Forest. After the Golden Gate Bridge, it is the second most popular suicide destination in the world.

    The forest is over a thousand years old. It grew over lava floes laid down in a devastating volcanic eruption on the slopes of Mt. Fuji, a holy mountain believed to be a gateway to the spirit world. Perhaps this is why it’s said to be the birthplace of the Yurei—a ghost in Japanese folklore created out of deep trauma.

    It’s no wonder Aokigahara is associated with death. But the forest is also filled with life and incredible natural wonders. Join us as we explore the haunting history and folklore of Aokigahara.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Witches of Ancient Greece and Rome (with Daniel Ogden)

    Who were the witches and sorceresses of ancient Greece and Rome–and how did they wield their power? In this episode, ancient occult expert Daniel Ogden introduces us to the world of Greco-Roman witchcraft–including necromancy, love potions, curse tablets, and real-life magical manuals written thousands of years ago by Alexandrian sorcerers.

    Join us as we explore both mythology and history to uncover a forgotten world of clandestine magic, primarily wielded by women. Get the show notes here.

  • The Mystery of Skeleton Lake

    In 1942, a forest ranger was hiking on an isolated trail deep in the Himalayas. Rising over 16,000 feet in elevation, he climbed a ridge that looked down a steep-sided funnel of ice and boulders. At the bottom was a small, perfectly circular glacial lake, frozen in a solid blue lens.

    And there, strewn about the icy, rocky beach, lay skeletons. Hundreds of skeletons.

    Nobody knew whose bones they were. Theories and folklore would proliferate over the years, but the mystery would remain—and the more scientists found out about Skeleton Lake, the more the mystery deepened.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Sea Monsters of the Ancient World (With Ryan Denson)

    Did you know that the ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t have a word for sharks–despite the fact that they must have seen them eating sailors during sea battles all the time? For that matter, they didn’t have a word for “whale” either. But they did describe the most fantastical sea creatures, including Nereids, Ketos, and “sea dogs.” Whatever those were.

    Just what were the ancients seeing in the sea, anyway? In this episode, ancient sea monster expert Ryan Denson helps us unpack it all. Get the show notes here.

  • Last Refuge of the Minoans

    High in the mountains of eastern Crete, there’s a secret that has been kept since the 1200s BC. It’s the secret of the strange and still-unexplained 80+ ancient villages hidden in the Cretan mountains that may have been the last refuges of the Minoan people.

    The ancient Minoans were master seafarers. But sometime between the 1200s and the 1000s BC, they abandoned their coastal villages, their palaces, their fertile farmlands, their trade routes—and simply withdrew from the world.

    Today, we’re going to look at where they went—and why. Get the show notes here.

  • Is the Sphinx 10,000 Years Old?

    Carved from the very living bedrock of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx is shrouded in mystery. Archaeologists believe it’s about 4,500 years old. But there’s a fringe theory—the Sphinx Water Erosion Theory—that suggests it’s much, much older.

    Join us as we explore this wild theory that completely explodes the prevailing wisdom, and asserts that the Sphinx is in fact 10,000 years old—or maybe even more. Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Atalanta

    It’s the last episode in our Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology series—and perhaps you’ll agree we saved the best for last.

    Atalanta was an avatar of an older, wilder time, created in the image of an ancient Artemis—goddess of the fields and forests who had a strong association with bears. Perhaps Atalanta represents an older image of that goddess before Classical Athens got its hands on her.

    Join us as we take a deep dive into the story of Atalanta: a gender rebel and sexually liberated heroine who—maybe—peels back the curtain on what life was like for women on the margins, living pre-agrarian lifestyles outside of the traditional gender roles established by the scholars and writers of Classical Greece.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Artemis

    When you think of Artemis, what springs to mind?

    Perhaps it’s a fierce huntress with a bow and arrow, a sort of female Peter Pan—wild and untamed, haunting forests drenched in moonlight—a goddess who’s taken a stern vow of chastity, and refuses all company save that of her nymphs.

    That’s one version of Artemis—the Classical version. But there’s an older, wilder version that pulls back the curtain on a more ancient way of life in Greece. Join us as we explore who Artemis was, how she was worshipped, and how she evolved into a goddess who fit into the Classical Athenian idea of what an ‘eternal maiden’ should look like.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Actium Baby (With Barry Strauss)

    This week, we’re taking a bit of a detour into a previous, much-loved topic: Marc Antony, Cleopatra, and How it All Went Wrong.

    In this episode, we return to the beach at Actium with author, historian, and academic Barry Strauss as our tour guide. His new book, The War That Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium, discusses the infamous sea battle Marc Antony and Cleopatra fought against Octavian and Agrippa for love, for supremacy, for their very survival.

    Join us as we deconstruct this battle, paint a vivid picture of ancient war at sea, and tackle the one question everyone’s asking: why did Cleopatra flee the battlefield?

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Pallas x Athena

    Most myths say that Athena sprung from Zeus’ head fully formed, totally brilliant, and just a badass war goddess. We don’t get a lot of stories about her youth, the way we have about Dionysus, or Artemis, or Heracles. Right from the start, Athena is just a fully formed adult who does adult things. Right?

    Well, not exactly. There’s this one story that tells of how, when Athena was young, she had a very intense relationship with another girl named Pallas—perhaps the only person Athena ever truly loved. This is their story.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Heracles x Omphale

    This week, we’re going to talk about that time Heracles, the strong man, son of Zeus and noted impenetrable penetrator, lived as a woman. Yes, you read that right. And not only did he live as a woman, he was the submissive to a powerful female dom who took up his lionskin and club as symbols of her own power.

    Get ready for a fun, gender-bending episode that completely overturns the ancient Greek binary. Get the show notes here.

  • Dionysus: Patron God of Gender Rebels (With Cait Corrain)

    Who’s the queerest of the gods? It’s hard to say…but there’s a strong case to be made that it’s Dionysus. The god of wine and revolutionaries who rebelled ferociously against the gender binary, Dionysus breaks the mold in so many ways–and he does it with a sense of joy that’s irresistible.

    In this episode, debut author and unabashed Dionysus fan Cait Corrain joins us to talk about why Dionysus is awesome, why we love him so SO much, and what exactly went on at his wedding to Ariadne.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Transgender Achilles and Found Family in the Illiad (With Maya Deane)

    Mny of us have preconceived notions about what the Illiad was like. Prepare to have those notions blown away.

    In this episode, debut author Maya Deane methodically strips away the lenses of the Victorian era, Classical Greece, and the modern day to reveal an Illiad that’s older and darker and weirder than any of us could ever have dreamed.

    This is the Illiad of your darkest and deepest imaginings, an Illiad like you’ve never seen before—but somehow always knew existed. It’s the Illiad of Wrath Goddess Sing—a story about transgender Achilles and the love of found family in a Bronze Age world as deadly as it is beguiling.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Zeus x Ganymede: Not Gender Rebels

    We’re taking a slight departure from our Gender Rebels series to tell you the story of Zeus and Ganymede. This is the story about the time Zeus kidnapped a teenage boy named Ganymede and brought him to Olympus to be his “cup bearer.”

    Zeus and Ganymede were not gender rebels. In fact, they set the standard for the erastes-eromenos binary of the time. This story was used to send the message that the gods approved of pederastic practices that were widespread in ancient Greece and Rome.

    It’s a dark story, but it’s an important one. Join us as we drag it out into the light. Get the show notes here.

  • Abortion in the Ancient World (With Princess O’Nika Auguste)

    Not only was abortion broadly legal in ancient Greece and Rome, but some of the methods used were surprisingly similar to today. And the Bible doesn’t mention it at all—except in one obscure passage, where it tells you how to administer one.

    In this episode, we’re joined by feminist Biblical scholar and author Princess O’Nika Auguste to discuss the history of abortion in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as in Biblical times.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Abortion Rights Takeover: Silphium

    This episode is part of our abortion rights takeover series. It was originally dropped on our Patreon.

    It deals with the miracle plant of ancient Greece and Rome: Silphium. The people of Cyrene printed it on their money. It was considered a delicacy throughout the Greek and Roman world, as well as a powerful medicine that could be used to cure everything from baldness to epilepsy to poisonings.

    And it may have even functioned as a contraceptive–and an abortifacent. Get the show notes here.

  • The Invisible Thread: Life after Slavery in Pompeii (With Elodie Harper)

    What happened to people in ancient Rome who were freed from slavery? Turns out there were still invisible threads–economic pressures, imbalances of status, and debts owed to wealthy patrons–that kept many of them in bondage.

    On the streets of Pompeii, freedom came at a steep price–especially for women. Today, we talk to Elodie Harper–bestselling author of the Wolf Den and the House with the Golden Door–about enslaved people, freedwomen, and glamorous sex workers whose lives were far more precarious than they seemed.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Elektra, Clytemnestra, Cassandra, and the Curse of Atreus (With Jennifer Saint)

    This week, we’re taking a break from the story of Achilles to discuss the Illiad from an angle that’s not as often covered: the story of the women of the House of Atreus, the family of Agamemnon.

    In this episode, bestselling author Jennifer Saint introduces us to Clytemnestra and Elektra–Agamemnon’s wife and daughter–as well as the priestess and prophetess Cassandra, and the murderous curse that casts a shadow over their fates.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Achilles at War

    In this episode, we explore what happened to gender in the pressure-cooker of ancient war. To do that, we skip ahead ten years to a different beach: the war-blasted, corpse-strewn sands below the walls of Troy.

    As the Trojan War dragged on, the most respect went to those who were able to slaughter and pillage and plunder: gender for men devolved into “Smash and Grab” masculinity. Meanwhile, gender for women became “Gender as Property”—in the most explicit terms.

    It’s in this toxic wasteland that Achilles’ feud with Agamemnon rose to a fever pitch—over a woman called Briseis. Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Achilles’ Beach Vacation

    In our last episode we looked at Achilles’ early life and his relationships with the women who crossed his path. In this episode, we follow him to the beach at Aulis—where all the Greek kings and heroes, anyone who was anyone, had gathered at the start of the Trojan War.

    Achilles left Pyrrha behind, but his time as a dancing girl followed him to that beach. This is where the wind stalled. This is where Achilles first clashed with that titan of fragile masculinity, Agamemnon. And this is where a girl named Iphigenia met her fate.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Achilles Could Rock a Dress

    Achilles is so often portrayed as the most masculine of heroes, but those portrayals generally leave out that he spent a few years of his life passing as a girl. Today, we’re going to explore that time in Achilles’ life, and what it tells us about his gender.

    We’ll also delve into his relationships with the women in his early life: his mom, Thetis, and a girl named Deidameia.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Greek Mythology: Achilles x Patroclus

    In the first part of our Gender Rebels series, we talked about queer history—queer women, Intersex people, transgender people, and eunuchs. Now, we’re going to begin another series that takes that lens to Greek mythology.

    There are plenty of queer myths that break the binary as the ancient Greeks saw it—and heroes and gods who were gender rebels. Sometimes those gender rebels aren’t who you’d expect—and who they’re usually portrayed to be. That’s what this episode is all about.

    Join us as we explore the mythology of a genderqueer Achilles and the man who loved him. Get the show notes here.

  • The Sacred Band of Thebes: Part 3

    Last week, we told you about the Sacred Band’s first important military victories—victories that depended on the intense trust and love the Sacred Band members had for each other. Victories that showed that the Spartans weren’t so tough after all.

    But as Spartan control in Greece receded, opportunistic warlords and upstart city-states rose up to take advantage of a power vacuum. One of their most dangerous new opponents was a man named Philip of Macedon—and his 18-year-old son, Alexander.

    Get the show notes here.

    Want to come on the podcast to discuss Women in World Mythology? Sign up here!

  • The Sacred Band of Thebes (Part 2)

    In our last episode, we told you the story of how the Spartans took over the city of and how an intrepid and very queer group of Theban rebels, led by a firebrand named Pelopidas, took it back while dressed as women.

    The Thebans had their city back. Now they had to figure out how to hold it against the Spartans, because the Spartans would strike back. Their solution was to form an elite 300-man fighting force to counter the dreaded Spartan hippeis—held together by the bonds of love.

    Get the show notes here.

    Want to come on the podcast to discuss Women in World Mythology? Sign up here!

  • The Sacred Band of Thebes (Part 1)

    The time was the 300s BC. The place was Thebes. And in this place, in this time, there was an elite military force—the best of the best special ops shock troops—made up of 150 male lovers.

    Their love for each other was the key to their strength. It made them better fighters. More effective. It made them strong enough to break the iron-fisted control of oppressive regimes. This is their incredible story. Get the show notes here.

    Want to come on the podcast to discuss Women in World Mythology? Sign up here!

  • Gender Rebels of Ancient Greece and Rome: Eunuchs (Part 2)

    Last week, we focused on people who chose to undergo castration for religious reasons. But this probably wasn’t the most common experience most people had who were castrated. Enslaved people were castrated as well–often in childhood.

    Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into their lives and circumstances. Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Ancient Greece and Rome: Eunuchs (Part 1)

    In ancient Rome, there were a lot of eunuchs. Some were enslaved, some were free; some were members of religious cults, some were not. No study of queer history in ancient Greece and Rome would be complete without them.

    Today, we’re going to take a look at the history of people who underwent castration in the Roman Empire—why they did it, when they did and didn’t have a choice, and what their lives were like.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Ancient Greece and Rome: Intersex People

    Intersex people are sometimes featured in Greek mythology in a positive way—for instance, the beautiful child of Aphrodite who became an important part of her entourage.

    But the ancient Romans saw Intersex people as imbued with a specific kind of magic associated with frightening signs and portents—and that made it dangerous to be Intersex in the ancient world.

    Join us as we explore the lives of Intersex people in ancient Greece and Rome. Get the show notes here.

  • We Wrote a Book!

    We are SO excited to announce that we have a book coming out in August 2022! Our book, Women of Myth, will be available worldwide from Simon and Schuster.

    Listen in as we talk about our favorite Women of Myth from around the world with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!

    Our book is about epic women in mythology from around the world. We cover a diverse range of cultures, from Greek and Roman mythology to important figures from regions such as Africa and African Diaspora countries, the Pacific Islands, Asia and the Middle East, indigenous cultures from North, South, and Central America; and more.

    We cannot wait to share these tales with you. Preorder here!

  • Gender Rebels of Ancient Greece and Rome: Transgender People

    Join us for a deep dive into queer history in ancient Greece and Rome. This week, we focus on transgender men and women.

    It’s a common belief that being trans is somehow a “modern” invention and there were no trans people in the ancient world. But nothing could be further from the truth.

    From the trans women who led the worship of an influential state cult to the trans guys who lived right under the noses of Greek and Roman society, transgender people were gender rebels in an extremely patriarchal culture. Join us as we explore their lives and experience.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Gender Rebels of Ancient Greece and Rome: Queer Women

    We’re calling this series gender rebels of the ancient world—because how could we do a season about sex and sex magic without talking about the magical provenance of those who fell outside the accepted binary?

    Women who loved other women were gender rebels in the ancient world. They challenged the gender binary in some of the most basic and fundamental ways—ways that the ancient Greeks and Romans found profoundly destabilizing.

    Join us as we find out why. Get the show notes here.

  • Life of Sappho (With Leesa Charlotte from Sweetbitter)

    She’s the Tenth Muse, Western literature’s first lyric poet, and a woman who openly, unabashedly loved women and wrote about it–in an extremely patriarchal society where queer women’s experiences were almost universally erased.

    But what has come down to us about the life and times of Sappho?

    Like her poetry, the picture of Sappho’s life is very fragmentary. This week, we team up with Leesa Charlotte from Sweetbitter to try piecing the puzzle together.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Ariadne, Dionysus, and the Theseus of it All (With Jennifer Saint)

    What can we learn about the lives of women in the ancient world–both religious and secular–when we delve into mythology?

    In this episode, we talk to Jennifer Saint, bestselling author of Ariadne, to discuss myth, storytelling, the lives of women in Minoan Crete–and the process of recreating mysterious, ancient religious rites based on the clues left in mythology.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Janus: God of the New Year

    Janus is the two-faced god of the Roman pantheon. He was the god of beginnings and endings, of dual natures, of passageways and passage through time. He’s the god of thresholds and doorways and gates, and the god of change, both concrete and abstract. He’s constantly in motion; he’s the god who’s always just passing through.

    Janus may not be very well-known. But in his time, he was considered one of the most important gods—perhaps more important than Jupiter himself. Today, we’re going to tell you all about him.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Krampus: The Goat Knows What You Did

    This year, we decided that the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a mythological foray into one of the most famous characters of the season: The Krampus.

    And some of you might be saying, wait a minute, Krampus isn’t ancient, he’s modern. Also, everyone knows about Krampus, the festive demon of Christmas. Why are you covering this well-trodden topic?

    Wait until you hear the wild things we uncovered about him and his history, and then make your judgements about how old and well-trodden this topic is.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Bathroom Business (With Kate the Exploress)

    How did sex workers in ancient Greece and Rome manage their periods? What were the most popular fashions for pubic hair? What underwear was everyone wearing? And how did sex workers handle contraception and unwanted pregnancies?

    In this episode, we team up with Kate the Exploress to delve into the most intimate aspects of daily life for sex workers in ancient Greece and Rome, including the most powerful sex magic of all: the blood magic of periods.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Transgender Aphrodite

    Despite inspiring desire in people of all genders, Aphrodite is often depicted as a cisgender woman. But not always.

    Ancient writers tell us of mystery cults that worshipped Aphrodite as gender nonbinary, intersex, or as a transgender woman. And when you delve into her most ancient roots, there’s an even older tradition of worship led by transgender priestesses.

    Join us as we uncover the historical and mythological evidence for a transgender Aphrodite.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Mythology of Aphrodite

    Goddess of sex workers, Our Lady of the Castration Foam, the walking embodiment of orgasm herself—Aphrodite was one of the most powerful goddesses in the Olympian pantheon. And as a free, unattached woman with lots of sexual agency, she directly threatened the patriarchy.

    In this episode, we’ll examine the stories told about Aphrodite–and what they reveal about how the Ancient Greeks felt about women, love, lust, and relationships.

    Join us for a mythology-packed episode that will demystify the goddess of love. Get the show notes here.

  • The Cult of Aphrodite

    If you know anything about Aphrodite, then you know she is the ancient Greek goddess primarily associated with love, beauty, sex, reproduction, and passion. She was also the patron goddess of sex workers in the ancient Classical world.

    Join us as we explore how Aphrodite was worshipped in ancient Greece, the goddess’s history and ancient roots, and how the Romans transformed her into Venus.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (With Liv Albert from Myths Baby!)

    Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths Baby! has an obsession, and the name of that obsession is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

    This game immerses you immediately in Ancient Greece–and provides loads of historically accurate settings from the world we’ve been exploring this season: the symposia of Athens, the pleasures of Corinth, the Peloponnesian War and exactly who’s responsible, and the mysteries of Crete and other Greek islands.

    Come join us on a tour of Ancient Greece as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey sees it. You may even meet some old friends. Warning: Spoilers abound.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Werewolves of Wolf Mountain: Terrors of Ancient Greece

    The werewolf myth as we know it today generally involves getting bitten by a werewolf, transforming during the full moon, and being very susceptible to silver bullets. But werewolves in ancient Greece and Rome were a little different.

    Join us for a spooky-season deep dive into ancient werewolf mythology from thousands of years ago. We’ll take a look at the pre-Christian origins of the werewolf myth and its connections to death, starvation, cannibalism, and transformation.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Three Ghost Stories from Ancient Greece (With Liv Albert from Myths Baby!)

    Dads who devour their children. Disembodied baby heads. Corpses that stand up on the battlefield to prophesy doom. Women who return from the grave to carry on steamy affairs.

    The Ancient Greeks did ghost stories…a little differently. This week, we team up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to bring you three ghostly tales from ancient Greece that will chill your blood.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Sex Workers of Pompeii (With Elodie Harper)

    The Lupanar, or “Wolf Den,” is the infamous brothel of Pompeii. Elodie Harper’s bestselling novel follows the lives of the sex workers who lived and worked there—their passions, their heartbreaks, and the tightly-knit community they built for themselves.

    Today, we’ve invited Elodie on the show to talk about the realities of sex workers’ lives in the Wolf Den—and how sex work was practiced in Pompeii near the time of the Vesuvius eruption.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Aspasia x Pericles: Love in the Time of Plague

    Last week, we told you about the lives of five elite courtesans in Classical Athens. But we left someone out–perhaps the most elite hetaera of them all.

    Long-term partner of a leading Athenian statesman, darling of the philosophical set, survivor of the plague of Athens—she threw her own parties, and they were the best parties ever thrown within a hundred-mile radius of Athens. No one has done better since. Her name was Aspasia.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Hustlers, Harlots, Heroines: The Elite Courtesans Who Ruled Classical Athens

    In our last few episodes on sex workers in ancient Greece, we tried to paint a picture of a group of women, in some cases, with more freedom and independence than most in the ancient Greek world could dream of. But that freedom came at a price.

    Now, we’re going to tell you about the lives of some of ancient Greece’s most famous courtesans.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Dangers of the Symposium

    The symposia–all-male drinking parties–were the playground and hunting ground of Athens’ elite courtesans. But they had their dangers, too.

    Join us as we attend a symposium with the fast set of Ancient Athens. We’re going to hang out with the hetaerae, drink our faces off, flirt outrageously with everyone in range, and debate with the philosophers until the sun comes up.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Rules of the Game: Sex Workers in Ancient Greece

    The conventional wisdom is that sex workers in ancient Greece were divided into two main categories: pornai who were enslaved in brothels, and hetaerae, who were elite courtesans. That’s actually a drastic oversimplification.

    This is the beginning of a journey into the world of sex workers in ancient Greece. Join us as we explore what life was like for sex workers at every level of the profession—including those who didn’t fit easily into these categories.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Rivers of Old Londinium (With Ben Aaronovitch)

    London began its life as Old Londinium—an informal trading community that sprang up around the narrowest point in the Thames, and was burned to the ground by Boudicca’s army just decades after its founding.

    This week, we asked bestselling urban fantasy author Ben Aaronovitch to take us on a tour of Old Londinium—say, the day before Boudicca’s arrival.

    Join us as we explore the streets and rivers of this diverse and enterprising trading town, and then wander all the way up Watling Street to Hadrian’s Wall.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Boudicca Part 3: Last Ride of the Iceni

    The people of Camulodunum had found out the hard way that Rome’s promises of protection weren’t enough to save them from Boudicca’s rampaging army—and so did the people of London and Verulamium. Boudicca burned these cities to the ground, unleashing a cleansing fire that was seared into the British landscape.

    From there, Boudicca and her army set out on Watling Street, an ancient Iron-age road that led all the way to Wales—where the fires of rebellion still burned. If Boudicca could reach the Druids of Anglesey, perhaps together they could drive the Romans out of Britain for good.

    But first, she would have to get through the Roman general Suetonius Paulinus, who waited for her on Watling Street.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Boudicca Part 2: Hares and Foxes Amongst the Wolves

    When Boudicca rebelled against the Romans, she knew exactly who to turn to for allies: the Trinovantes.

    Years ago, the Romans had taken over their town, Camulodunum—and made it over into a veterans’ retirement colony, subjugating the Trinovantes in the process. When the opportunity came to drive the Romans out, they seized the opportunity.

    But many of those living in Camulodunum were Britons themselves—some who had been enslaved, and others trying to maintain an uneasy peace with the Roman conquerors. Find out what happened when Boudicca’s army rolled into their town.

    Get the show notes here.

    This episode was sponsored by the TimeTravelRome app! Get it for iPhone or Android.

  • Boudicca Part 1: The Seeds of Rebellion

    The story of Boudicca’s revolt is as epic as you can get. It’s got murder and pillage, Romans behaving badly, cities on fire, and a layer of destruction that was scorched into the earth. But it’s also the story of a people on a precipice of great change.

    Who was Boudicca? Who was this iron-age warrior queen who stood up to the Romans—and whose name was so revered and feared that stories of her are still being spun almost 2,000 years later? In this episode, we’re going to find out.

    Get the show notes here.

  • BONUS EPISODE: Liv Wrote a Book!+ Drunk Mythology

    Our dear friend Liv wrote a book, Greek Mythology: the Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook, and it’s already a bestseller! We just had to celebrate by dropping an extra bonus episode where we interview Liv about her book like super serious professionals.

    At least, that’s how this episode starts.

    For the past year, we’ve teamed up with Liv to bring a series of drunken myth retellings to both of our Patreon channels. We decided to bring a tipsy myth to our main feed in the second half of this episode. So settle in, pop open a beverage of choice, and get ready for a drunken retelling of Arachne.

    Continue the fun by signing up to our Patreon or Liv’s Patreon! And get the show notes here.

  • Hadrian in Athens (With Liv Albert from Myths Baby!)

    Hadrian was the Roman emperor who commissioned Hadrian’s Wall–and he probably had a hand in designing it. But the Wall was only a very small part of Hadrian’s life, and it’s not the only massive building project that comes down to us today from his reign.

    This week, Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! joins us to talk about how Hadrian combined his obsession with architecture and his passion for all things Greek to transform the city of Athens. Get the show notes here.

  • The Pictish Beast: What is It?

    The Pictish Beast is a mysterious animal carved on Pictish standing stones. Nobody knows what kind of animal it is. But it must have been really important to the Picts, as over 40% of animals carved into their stones are the Pictish Beast.

    Is it an elephant? Is it a kelpie? Is it an ancient prehistoric monster the likes of which no living person has ever seen? What is it??

    In this episode, Genn and Jenny spend roughly an hour debating what, exactly, the Pictish Beast might have been. We state our cases, lay out our supporting facts, get really opinionated, and knock back a few drinks along the way.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Who Were the Picts?

    The Picts burst onto the Romano-British scene as terrifying Celtic pirates, overwhelming Hadrian’s Wall from the north, sweeping in from the sea to ravage and burn Romano-British settlements as the power of the Roman Empire slowly receded.

    In the centuries after Rome faded, they were the true Kings in the North—building a powerful kingdom in the northernmost highlands that lasted more than 600 years. Until, around 900 AD, they disappeared from the record. They simply vanished.

    Who were the Picts—and what became of them? In this episode, we’re going to find out.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Hadrian’s Wall, Part 4: Wall at the End of the World

    By the end of the 300s, the soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall were hungry, they were under-equipped, and they hadn’t been paid in years. Even so, many stayed at their posts–even as the Roman Empire lost its grip on Britain entirely.

    Find out how the fall of Rome looked from the view of Hadrian’s Wall–and what became of those stationed there, holding the frontiers of an empire as it swiftly crumbled around them.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Hadrian’s Wall, Part 3: After Hadrian

    The living at Hadrian’s Wall wasn’t as austere as you might think for those stationed there–especially in the beginning. Merchants flocked from all over the Empire to sell their wares to soldiers with regular paychecks.

    But conditions changed drastically in the decades and centuries after Hadrian died. New Emperors–Antoninus Pius, Diocletian, Septimius Severus, and others–would all leave their mark on the Wall and its territory.

    This week, we’re going to talk about what became of the Wall—and those who lived there—after Hadrian’s death.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Hadrian’s Wall, Part 2: Life and Death on the Wall

    What was life like on Hadrian’s Wall? This week, we’re going to explore the living conditions along the Wall–at the forts and the milecastles, in the officers’ quarters and soldiers’ barracks, and in the bustling civilian towns that sprang up around the military encampments.

    There’s a treasure trove of archaeology at forts along the Wall–especially at Vindolanda, where fragile artifacts are perfectly preserved in deep anaerobic soil.

    Find out what we’ve managed to piece together about life on the Wall from the well-preserved clothes, footwear, weapons, tools, jewelry, bodies, and the fort commander’s private stash of mail.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Hadrian’s Wall, Part 1: Mysteries of the Wall

    Hadrian’s Wall is a jaw-dropping engineering achievement stretching 73 miles across hundred-foot-high escarpments and rushing rivers, its earthworks dug deep into unforgiving igneous bedrock.

    It’s the largest Roman artifact in existence, and yet we still have no idea why it was built. It’s barely mentioned in the ancient sources, but in its rise and fall, you can trace the rise and fall of Roman Britain as a whole.

    This is the epic story we’re going to tell you: the story of Hadrian’s Wall. Get the show notes here.

  • Women in Welsh Mythology (with Mari Catrin Phillips from MythsnTits)

    This week, we’re taking a deep dive into Welsh mythology from a queer, feminist perspective with the phenomenally talented Welsh artist Mari Catrin Phillips of MythsnTits.

    Join us as we get acquainted with the women of the Mabinogion. Get the show notes here.

  • Merry Mithras: International God of Mystery

    If you know anything about Mithras, you might have the impression that he was kind of a proto-Jesus. Turns out that’s wrong.

    Think of this as less of a seasonal episode, and more of a seasonal myth-busting episode. Get ready for the epic story of a bull-slaughtering, mushroom-tripping, light-bringing, Emperor-pee-drinking, hierarchy-maintaining, Smurf-hat-wearing cosmic warrior.

    Get the show notes here.

  • The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of War

    The Morrigan has many faces and just as many names: Badb, the scald-crow. Red-haired Macha. Nevin of the battle-frenzy. Fea; the deathly. Be Neit; the Woman of Battle.

    You may meet her on the battlefield as an old woman or a beautiful young maiden. If you see her washing your clothes at the river, be warned.

    But first and foremost, the Morrigan was a war goddess. And to understand her, you have to understand her battlefield. Join us as we get to know the Morrigan—and explore the bloody waters in which she swam.

    Get the show notes here.

  • In Search of Female Druids

    In our last episode, we alluded to the fact that there were female as well as male Druids in the Celtic iron age. But if the picture of male Druids is spotty, the picture of female Druids is more mysterious still.

    But we just could not let this go. We decided to delve into Celtic culture, myth, and archaeology to see what we could uncover about female Druids in the ancient world.

    Get the show notes here.

  • Anglesey: the Druids’ Last Stand

    When Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, the Druids suffered a swift and catastrophic loss of status and position. Persecuted and demonized by later Emperors, many fled to Britain, where Roman influence didn’t reach.

    But eventually, the Romans followed. The Druids were driven to the island of Anglesey— the last stronghold of Druidic life and learning. From there, they incited rebellion among Welsh tribes, firing up a fierce resistance.

    Until finally, standing on the last stretch of beach on the last island refuge, the Druids made an epic stand against the Roman invaders. Get the show notes here.

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Ancient World Edition (With Liv Albert from Myths Baby!)

    What tales kept people from thousands of years ago up at night?

    This Halloween, Ancient History Fangirl teams up with Liv Albert from Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! to delve into spooky stories from the ancient world that will send a shiver up your spine—tales of shrieking Banshees, deathly Furies, and the terrors of Samhain.

    So spread some salt over your threshold. Settle into your favorite chair. Pour yourself a drink to take the chill from your bones. And if there’s a knock on your door, whatever you do—don’t answer it.

    Get the show notes here.

  • 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.