All Episodes

All Podcast Episodes:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Our new podcast

    What we’re all about–in less than a minute. Check it out!