The Ancient World

By Scott C.

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 Aug 27, 2020


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LATEST SERIES – THEA (tracing the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire)

Episode Date
Episode S5 – Ordeal by Fire
31:18

Synopsis:  In the 4th century AD, the Ethiopian kingdom of Axum converted to Christianity even as the neighboring Himyarites of Yemen converted to Judaism.  Centuries later, Axum’s invasion of Yemen to stop the persecution of Christians triggered a conflict with Persia. Map of the kingdoms […]

The post Episode S5 - Ordeal by Fire first appeared on THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Oct 23, 2020
Episode S4 – Children of the Moon
23:15

Synopsis:  The Sabaeans and Himyarites leveraged their control over south Arabian aromatics into a lucrative trade that spanned the ancient world.  The region’s remoteness, wealth and active diplomacy afforded some protection from the powerful empires who frequently dominated the north.  Map of the Arabian Peninsula:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Yemen.jpg

The post Episode S4 - Children of the Moon first appeared on THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Oct 09, 2020
Episode S3 – Queen Mavia
27:24
Synopsis:  A century after Queen Zenobia, another Syrian Arab warrior queen rises to challenge the power or Rome – and succeeds.  The story of Queen Mavia of the Tanukh. “Mavia, queen of the Saracens, had begun to convulse the villages and towns on the border […]
Jul 10, 2020
Episode T18 – Tigranes
37:58
Synopsis:  The death of King Philip I marks the official end of the Seleucid line.  Invited by the Antiochenes to rule them, King Tigranes II of Armenia proceeds to conquer all of Syria – including Cleopatra Selene’s stronghold of Ptolemais-Akko.  But Tigranes’ refusal to abandon […]
Apr 10, 2020
Episode T17 – The Sons of Grypus
29:53
Synopsis: With Rome encroaching from the north and south, the sons of Grypus battle Parthians, usurpers and local powers to keep their hold on Syria. “As he lingered on the banks of the Euphrates, (Sulla) received a visit from Orobazus, a Parthian, who came as […]
Mar 27, 2020
Episode T16 – The Sons of Thea
23:20
Synopsis: While the Ptolemies intrigue in Coele Syria, Antiochus VIII Grypus and his half-brother Antiochus IX Cyzicenus struggle for seventeen years to win control of the north.  After the rivals die in quick succession, the kingdom comes under control of Seleucus VI and Demetrius III, […]
Mar 13, 2020
Episode T15 – Grypus
27:27
Synopsis: Cleopatra Thea convinces her son Antiochus VIII Grypus to return to Syria and share the throne.  But once Zabinas is defeated and the kingdom secure, Grypus decides to avenge his brother’s murder. “Ptolemy (Physcon)…proceeded to devote his entire strength to the destruction of Alexander […]
Feb 28, 2020
Episode T14 – Zabinas
30:53
Synopsis: Demetrius II returns to Syria, but his unpopularity – and support for the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra II – results in a usurper named Alexander Zabinas taking most of his kingdom.  Fleeing a military defeat, Demetrius is denied entry to Ptolemais-Akko by Cleopatra Thea, an […]
Feb 15, 2020
Episode T13 – Eunus
30:21
Synopsis: A Syrian man from Apamea, enslaved on the island of Sicily, renames himself King Antiochus and launches the first large-scale slave rebellion against the Roman Republic.   “The Sicilians, through the enjoyment of a long peace, grew very rich, and brought up an abundance […]
Dec 13, 2019
Episode T12 – Sar Matati
32:43
Synopsis: After Mithridates is struck down by an illness, his son Phraates II defends Parthian gains against the army of Antiochus VII.  Forced to retreat to Hyrcania, Phraates sets events in motion that result in the deaths of both kings. “On Antiochus (VII)’s approach, many […]
Nov 30, 2019
Episode T11 – Euergetes
32:13
Synopsis: Ongoing strife in Anatolia and Egypt allows Antiochus VII to campaign east against the Parthians.  His early successes inspire hopes of a resurgent Seleucid Empire, hopes shattered by his unexpected death. “In Asia, Attalos III as soon as he came to the throne began […]
Nov 16, 2019
Episode S2 – The Bactrian Kingdom
37:54
“In this battle, Antiochus’ horse was wounded and killed, and the king himself was struck through the mouth and lost some of his teeth.  On the whole, he acquired on that occasion the greatest reputation for valor.  Because of this battle, Euthydemus was caught off […]
Oct 11, 2019
Episode S1 – Alexander in Bactria
39:30
“I am engaged in a land of a leonine and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a wall of steel confronting my soldiers.  You have brought only one Alexander into the world, but every mother in this land has brought an […]
Sep 13, 2019
Episode T10 – Sidetes
33:52
Synopsis: Cleopatra Thea marries Demetrius II’s brother, Antiochus VII, becoming the simultaneous queen of two Seleucid kings. While Antiochus crushes Tryphon’s revolt and recovers former Seleucid territories, Demetrius is defeated by Mithridates and imprisoned in distant Hyrcania.   “But as Antiochus, the brother of Demetrius […]
Aug 24, 2019
Episode T9 – Tryphon
27:52
Synopsis: The Seleucid rebel Diodotus Tryphon uses Thea and Alexander Balas’ young son, Antiochus VI, to capture most of Syria.  Though paralyzed at home, Demetrius II embarks on a bold plan to challenge the conquests of Mithridates. “Now there was a certain commander…whose name was […]
Aug 09, 2019
Episode T8 – The City
28:10
Synopsis: The rediscovery of Ai Khanoum testified to the wealth and power of the Bactrian Kingdom.  Mithridates’ conquest of Babylonia is countered by an unlikely coalition. “The cities of Bactria were Bactra, which they also call Zariaspa and through which flows a river of the […]
Jul 26, 2019
Episode T7 – Blazing From Afar
34:42
Synopsis: On the eastern frontiers of the Seleucid Empire, Parthia, Bactria and the Indo-Greeks struggle for regional supremacy.  The stalemate in Syria and murder of Eucratides advance the fortunes of Mithridates. “At about the same time that Mithridates was beginning his rule in Parthia, Eucratides […]
Jul 13, 2019
Episode T6 – Philometor
34:17
Synopsis: With Syria beset by regional enemies, three kings face off at the Battle of the Oenoparos River.  The lone survivor, King Demetrius II, inaugurates his reign with the violent destruction of Antioch. “And the king of Egypt gathered together a great host, like the […]
Feb 28, 2019
Episode T5 – Balas
27:00
Synopsis: Demetrius struggles to preserve his throne but ends up falling in battle.  Alexander Balas begins his reign by marrying Ptolemy’s daughter, Cleopatra Thea.  While the sons of Demetrius remain a threat, the couple are also forced to confront the growing menace of Parthia. “Then […]
Feb 16, 2019
Episode T4 – Soter
26:42
Synopsis: Demetrius seizes the Syrian throne and stems immediate threats from Media and Judaea.  But deposed officials and regional rulers conspire to engineer his downfall. “When it became known that the Romans were ill disposed towards Demetrius, not only the other kings but even some […]
Feb 02, 2019
Episode T3 – Thea
24:42
Synopsis: Lysias attempts to exercise control through the young King Antiochus V, but a deadly incident with a Roman delegation gives hope to the captive Demetrius.  Ptolemy Physcon challenges his brother Ptolemy VI for control of Egypt and Cyprus. “They then went on board, and […]
Jan 18, 2019
Episode T2 – Megas
37:22
Synopsis: Antiochus the Great restores Seleucid fortunes, but his son Antiochus IV sews the seeds of the Empire’s destruction. “On (Antiochus IV), after reading the dispatch, saying that he desired to consult with his friends on the situation, Popilius did a thing which was looked […]
Jan 05, 2019
Episode T1 – Nicator
32:30
Synopsis: Seleucus I Nicator forges the Seleucid Empire, and his descendants spend the next century struggling to preserve his legacy. “In Asia, after the defeat of Demetrius at Gaza in Syria, Seleucus, receiving from Ptolemy no more than eight hundred foot soldiers and about two […]
Dec 22, 2018
The Rest of My Interview
1:07:43
with Drew from the Wonders of the World Podcast, where we talk about Palmyra, Odaenathus, and (of course) Queen Zenobia.  Enjoy!
Jul 11, 2018
Just Did My First Interview
54:28
with the lovely and talented Drew from the Wonders of the World podcast, where we talk about the exotic Roman Emperor Elagabalus, the amazing temple complex at Baalbek, and lots of other fun stuff.  Enjoy!  And please also check out his other episodes (it helps […]
Jun 26, 2018
Episode B54 – Efqa
39:41
Synopsis:  Monotheism, modern Syria, the world’s first romance story, and the end of the Bloodline. “The oasis and town of Palmyra owe their existence to the plentiful spring that runs from Jebel Muntar.  This spring dominates a narrow passage in the principal route between the […]
Mar 23, 2018
Episode B53 – Memento Mori
29:20
Synopsis: Aurelian returns East to crush Palmyrene revolts in Syria and Egypt. The sources relate differing accounts of Zenobia’s ultimate fate. “To the tumultuous throng which crowded under these porticoes the solitude of death has succeeded. The silence of the tomb is substituted for the […]
Mar 09, 2018
Episode B52 – Palmyra
30:05
Synopsis:  Boxed in by Aurelian’s siege, Zenobia makes a desperate attempt to enlist the support of the Persians. “Palmyra was the last resource of the widow of Odaenathus.  She retired within the walls of her capital, made every preparation for a vigorous resistance, and declared, […]
Feb 24, 2018
Episode B51 – Emesa
26:14
Synopsis:  After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Emesa, Zenobia retreats to Palmyra.  Aurelian has a divine encounter at the Temple of Elah Gabal. “After this, the whole issue of the war was decided near Emesa in a mighty battle fought against Zenobia and […]
Feb 09, 2018
Episode B50 – Augusta
31:26
Synopsis:  Aurelian’s vision compels him to spare the defiant citizens of Tyana.  As the Romans advance through Anatolia, Zenobia concentrates her forces in Syria, and the two sides finally clash at the Battle of Immae. “As soon as the Emperor was on his march thither, […]
Jan 27, 2018
Episode B49 – Nemesis
30:35
Synopsis:  Zenobia orders her general Zabdas to capture Anatolia.  After subduing the Marcomanni and the Goths, Aurelian makes preparations to reclaim the East. “(Aurelian) was naturally of a severe disposition.  A peasant and a soldier, his nerves yielded not easily to the impressions of sympathy, […]
Jan 13, 2018
Episode B48 – 270
26:25
Synopsis:  Zenobia’s armies successfully capture Arabia Petraea and Egypt.  The death of Claudius and his brother Quintillus pave the way for the Emperor Aurelian. “Zenobia began to think of extending her dominion, and therefore sent Zabdas into Egypt.” – Zosimus, The History “Nor was the […]
Nov 24, 2017
Episode B47 – Zenobia
25:46
Synopsis:  Following the murder of the Emperor Gallienus, Zenobia successfully defends Palmyra against both Roman and Persian aggression.  “Zenobia then took upon her the administration of affairs.  She was the wife of Odaenathus, but had the courage of a man, and with the assistance of […]
Nov 10, 2017
Episode B46 – Melek Melek
24:23
Synopsis:  Odaenathus declares himself King of Kings, twice besieges the Sasanid capital, and combats Gothic pirates on the Black Sea coast.  At the height of his power he’s betrayed and murdered, and Palmyrene power passes to Queen Zenobia. “While Valerian was growing old in Persia, […]
Oct 27, 2017
Episode B45 – Odaenathus
24:45
Synopsis:  Odaenathus helps drive the Persians from Syria and preserve Gallienus’ throne.  After his peace offering is spurned by Shapur, Odaenathus prepares to invade the Sasanid Empire. “Had not Odaenathus, prince of the Palmyrenes, seized the imperial power after the capture of Valerian, when the […]
Oct 14, 2017
Episode B44 – Edessa
30:46
Synopsis:  After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Shapur, Valerian joins tens of thousands of Roman captives deported to the heartland of Persia.  “Going without consideration to Shapur with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, (Valerian) was presently laid hold off by […]
Sep 29, 2017
Episode B43 – Sibylline
29:00
Synopsis:  Samsigeramus saves Emesa from Sasanid destruction, then proclaims himself Augustus.  The arrival of Valerian marks the end of his reign and the elevation of Odaenathus to provincial governor. “And then there shall be a flight of Romans; and thereafter there shall come the priest […]
Jun 16, 2017
Episode B42 – Iotapian
27:05
Synopsis:  The revolt of Iotapian shows Eastern nobles the possibilities among the chaos.  Shapur’s invasion of Syria drives Samsigeramus to make a bold stand. “As there were at that time many disturbances in the empire, the eastern provinces – which were uneasy, partly owing to […]
May 27, 2017
Episode B41 – Samsigeramus
28:53
Synopsis:  Shortly after Hatra’s destruction, Shapur inherits the Persian Empire.  Gordian’s invasion the following year ends in defeat and humiliation for Rome. “When at first we had become established in the Empire, Gordian Caesar raised in all of the Roman Empire a force from the […]
May 12, 2017
Episode B40 – Uranius
31:07
Synopsis:  After the death of Elagabalus, Uranius Antoninus served as High Priest of Elah Gabal in Emesa.  From this vantage, he witnessed the birth of Ardeshir’s Persia and the changing fortunes of the Palmyrenes. “Even the name of Tadmor, or Palmyra, by its signification in […]
Apr 29, 2017
Episode B39 – Excidium
25:30
Synopsis:  Alexander marches East to counter Ardeshir’s invasion, but the conflict ends in a stalemate.  A short time later, a legionary rebellion along the Rhine brings the Severan regime to a bloody end. “The lenity of the Emperor confirmed the insolence of the troops; the […]
Dec 03, 2016
Episode B38 – The Last Severan
25:03
Synopsis:  Overseen by his mother and grandmother, Severus Alexander’s early reign was marked by wisdom and temperance.  A decade later, a Sasanid invasion would test both Rome and its emperor. “When Alexander received the empire, the appearance and the title of Emperor were allowed him, […]
Nov 12, 2016
Episode B37 – Shahanshah
27:45
Synopsis:  Ardeshir defeats Artabanus in battle and claims the Parthian Empire for the Sasanids.  After a failed attempt to conquer Armenia, he sets his sights on the Roman East. “Then (Ardeshir) came to battle with Artabanus, killed the entire army of the latter, seized their […]
Oct 28, 2016
Episode B36 – The Black Stone
26:39
Synopsis:  Elagabalus spearheads a religious revolution in Rome, but his unpopular rule drives Julia Maesa to enact a back-up plan. “To this temple, as to the common center of religious worship, the Imperial fanatic attempted to remove the Ancilia, the Palladium, and all the sacred […]
Sep 24, 2016
Episode B35 – Bassus
26:56
Synopsis:  Deception, good fortune, and Macrinus’ failings allow the Severans to retake the Roman throne.  As Emperor, Elagabalus makes plans to install the black stone of Elah Gabal in the Capital. “(Elagabalus and Severus Alexander) were priests of the sun god, whom their countrymen worship […]
Sep 09, 2016
Episode B34 – Keepers of the Fire
29:51
Synopsis:  King Artabanus of Parthia gathers his forces to seek revenge on Rome.  Usurpation and war gain the Sasanids control over the southern territory of Fars. “Macrinus, seeing that Artabanus was exceedingly angry at the way he had been treated and had invaded Mesopotamia with […]
Aug 26, 2016
Episode B33 – Semiramis
29:55
Synopsis:  Caracalla cuts a murderous path through Rome, and provokes a dangerous war with Parthia.  After his murder, Julia Domna is forced to contend with a would-be usurper. “Julia Domna deserved all that the stars could promise her.  She possessed, even in advanced age, the […]
Aug 06, 2016
Episode B32 – The Fourth Caesar
30:22
Synopsis:  Severus’ close friendship with Plautianus estranges him from his family.  In his final years, a rebellion in Britannia provides one last opportunity to shape his legacy. “The contemporaries of Severus, in this enjoyment of the peace and glory of his reign, forgave the cruelties […]
Jul 22, 2016
Episode B31 – Perish in Blood
29:06
Synopsis:  Severus confronts Albinus at Lugdunum, then launches a war against the Parthians.  At the pinnacle of his power, the oracle of Zeus Belos reveals his family’s fate. “The youth of Severus had been trained in the implicit obedience of the camps, and the riper […]
Apr 30, 2016
Episode B30 – Mater Castrorum
25:19
Synopsis:  Severus defeats Niger and wages a limited Eastern campaign.  While Julia Domna is hailed as Mother of the Camps, Caracalla’s elevation to Caesar prompts a second civil war. “There used to be an oracle about Hannibal’s death. ‘The soil of Libyssa would cover Hannibal’s […]
Apr 15, 2016
Episode B29 – 193
24:40
Synopsis:  After Pertinax and his successor are killed in the same year, Severus’s claim to the Empire is contested by two rivals.  “Pertinax was one of those men to whom no exception can be taken, but he ruled only for an exceedingly brief space of […]
Apr 01, 2016
Episode B28 – Bestiarius
26:24
Synopsis: Julia Domna marries Septimius Severus and gives birth to Caracalla and Geta. Left behind in Rome with her young children, Julia watches as Commodus re-founds the Empire in his own image. “The effect of Commodus upon the Romans was worse than that of all pestilences and all […]
Mar 19, 2016
Episode B27 – Lucifugus
24:08
Synopsis:  Julia Domna was daughter of the Emesene High Priest, destined to marry a king.  Then she met Septimius Severus. “Our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71 “The primitive Christians perpetually […]
Mar 05, 2016
Episode B26 – Emanes
29:07
Synopsis:  The revolt of Avidius Cassius. “There is only one thing I fear, fellow-soldiers…and that is that (Avidius Cassius) may either kill himself because ashamed to come into our presence, or someone else upon learning that I shall come and am setting out against him […]
Feb 20, 2016
Episode B25 – Discindo
25:59
Synopsis:  The overthrow of King Gaius Julius Sohaemus of Armenia leads to war between Parthia and Rome. “For Vologases had begun war by assailing on all sides the Roman camp under Severianus, situated in Elegeia, a place in Armenia; and he had shot down and […]
Feb 06, 2016
Episode B24 – The Yona Kings
31:44
Synopsis:  The Macedonian kingdoms of Central Asia endured for centuries before being absorbed into the Kushan Empire.  Hadrian’s actions in Judea spark a third Jewish Revolt. “Has it ever happened to you, O king, that rival kings rose up against you as enemies and opponents? […]
Nov 19, 2015
Episode B23 – Parthicus
26:46
Synopsis:  At the far point of his campaign, Trajan’s Eastern conquests begin to slip from his fingers. “Thence he came to the (Persian Gulf) itself, and when he had learned its nature and seen a boat sailing to India, he said: ‘I should certainly have […]
Nov 07, 2015
Episode B22 – Optimus
26:55
Synopsis:  Silas guides Emesa in its transition to a pilgrimage site.  The death of King Tiridates I of Armenia brings Rome and Parthia into conflict. “(Parthomasiris) greeted him, took off his diadem from his head, and laid it at (Trajan’s) feet.  Then he stood there […]
Oct 23, 2015
Episode B21 – Betrayal
27:33
Synopsis:  Gaius Julius Sohaemus is compelled to help the Romans conquer Commagene. “Petus…fell upon Commagene before Antiochus and his people had the least expectation of his coming.  He had with him the tenth legion, and also some cohorts and troops of horsemen.  These kings also […]
Oct 10, 2015
Episode B20 – The God of Dusk
25:50
Synopsis:  The destruction of Jerusalem. Shalim (semetic):  Caananite god of dusk and the evening star, paired with Shahar, god of dawn and the morning star.  Root of Hebrew shalom and Arabic salam(peace), associated with sunset and the completion of the workday.  Related to the Caananite […]
Sep 25, 2015
Episode B19 – The Prefect
25:04
Synopsis:  Tiberius Julius Alexander throws Egypt’s backing behind Vespasian’s bid for the throne. “Accordingly, in order to overthrow John (of Gischala), they determined to admit Simon (bar Giora), and earnestly to desire the introduction of a second tyrant into the city…Accordingly he, in an arrogant […]
Sep 11, 2015
Episode B18 – The Josephus Problem
27:30
Synopsis:  Joseph ben Matityahu fought the Romans as a Jewish General before becoming a trusted advisor to the Flavians.  The Josephus Problem (mathematics):  Given a group of n men arranged in a circle under the edict that every mth man will be executed going around […]
Aug 28, 2015
Episode B17 – The Valley
27:57
Synopsis:  Nero crowns Tiridates King of Armenia.  A succession of brutal and corrupt procurators set Judea on the path to revolt. “Go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom (Gehenna), which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the […]
Jun 26, 2015
Episode B16 – Burn
27:16
Synopsis:  The birth of Drusilla and Sohaemus’ son Gaius Julius Alexio.  The Empire confronts the revolt of Boudica, renewed warfare in Armenia, and the Great Fire of Rome. “Rome shall perish – write that word In the blood that she has spilt; Perish, hopeless and […]
Jun 12, 2015
Episode B15 – God of the Mountain
27:52
Synopsis:  Drusilla marries the Emesene Priest-King Gaius Julius Sohaemus.  Rome and Parthia go to war over Armenia.  “Our ancestors worshipped the Sun, and they were not that foolish. It makes sense to revere the Sun and the stars, for we are their children.” – Carl […]
May 29, 2015
Episode B14 – The Just
25:51
Synopsis:  The divorce of Felix and Drusilla.  James and Paul struggle for the soul of early Christianity.  “And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers, grew numerous.  They made use of small swords, not much different in length from […]
May 15, 2015
Episode B13 – Zealot
29:23
Synopsis:  The early life of Drusilla of Mauretania, and her marriage to Marcus Antonius Felix, Roman Procurator of Judea  “This Judas, having gotten together a multitude of men of a profligate character about Sepphoris in Galilee, made an assault upon the palace there, and seized […]
May 03, 2015
Episode B12 – Antonii
31:43
Synopsis:  The death of Tiberius, elevation of Caligula, and final years of King Ptolemy I. “Ptolemy, whom (Caligula) invited from his kingdom, and received with great honors, he suddenly put to death, for no other reason, but because he observed that upon entering the theatre, […]
Mar 28, 2015
Episode B11 – Caedis
23:52
Synopsis:  The end of Tacfarinas, and the bloody co-rule of Tiberius and Sejanus.  “Then, as the campaign had demonstrated Ptolemy’s good-will, an old-fashioned distinction was revived, and a member of the Senate was dispatched to present him with the traditional bounty of the Fathers, an […]
Mar 14, 2015
Episode B10 – Insurgo
25:50
Synopsis:  The ongoing rebellion of Tacfarinas, and the death of Juba. “For Tacfarinas, in spite of many repulses, having first recruited his forces in the heart of Africa, had reached such a pitch of insolence as to send an embassy to Tiberius, demanding nothing less […]
Feb 28, 2015
Episode B9 – Germanicus
25:34
Synopsis:  Germanicus travels to Syria to assume his Eastern Imperium. “‘The prime duty of friends is not to follow their dead with passive laments, but to remember his wishes and carry out his commands.  Strangers themselves will bewail Germanicus:  youwill avenge him – if you […]
Feb 14, 2015
Episode B8 – Scelus
26:15
Synopsis:  The death of Octavian, elevation of Tiberius, and early military careers of Germanicus and Ptolemy. “Even during the years when he lived at Rhodes, in ostensible retirement and actual exile, (Tiberius) had studied nothing save anger, hypocrisy, and secret lasciviousness.” – Tacitus, The Annals, […]
Jan 31, 2015
Episode B7 – Tropaion
31:24
Synopsis:  The death of Gaius Caesar, and Juba’s return to Mauretania.  Tropaion (Greek):  A battlefield monument, erected at the “turning point” where the enemy’s phalanx broke.
Jan 17, 2015
Episode B6 – Eurus
33:41
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Gaius Caesar on his Eastern expedition.  “Tigranes…marched forth with an army of such huge proportions that he actually laughed heartily at the appearance of the Romans present there.  He is said to have remarked that, in cases where they came to make […]
Jan 03, 2015
Episode B5 – Eclipsis
27:05
Synopsis: The birth of Juba and Selene’s children, Ptolemy and Drusilla, and the death of Cleopatra Selene. “The moon herself grew dark, rising at sunset, Covering her suffering in the night, Because she saw her beautiful namesake, Selene, Breathless, descending to Hades, With her she’d […]
Dec 20, 2014
Episode B4 – Limitem Mundi
29:24
Synopsis: Juba and Selene begin their rule of Mauretania. “Cato said…they must make no prayer for him; prayer belonged to the conquered, and the craving of grace to those who had done wrong; but for his part he had not only been unvanquished all his […]
Dec 06, 2014
Episode B3 – Ephebus
27:46
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Octavian during the conquest of Egypt. “Thus was Egypt enslaved.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book LI Octavian Family Tree: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Octavian_Clan.pdf
Nov 24, 2014
Episode B2 – Rex Socius Amicusque
27:40
Synopsis: The early years of Juba II, fostered in the family of Octavian and Octavia. “(Scipio) increased the honor by observing, that among the Romans there was nothing more magnificent than a Triumph; and that those who triumphed were not arrayed with more splendid ornaments than […]
Nov 07, 2014
Episode B1 – Triumph
27:40
Synopsis: The early years of Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. “And herein particularly did he give offense to the Romans, since he bestowed the honorable and solemn rites of his native country upon the Egyptians for Cleopatra’s sake.” – Plutarch, The Life […]
Oct 24, 2014
Episode R10 – The Bull and the Aten
28:04
“I am a faithful servant of the king, and I have not rebelled and I have not sinned, and I do not withhold my tribute, and I do not refuse the requests of my commissioner.  Now they wickedly slander me, but let the king, my […]
Sep 06, 2014
Episode R9 – The Flood
33:37
“Surpassing all kings, powerful and tall beyond all others, violent, splendid, a wild bull of a man, unvanquished leader, hero in the front lines, beloved of his soldiers – fortress they called him, protector of the people, raging flood that destroys all defenses…” – the […]
Aug 09, 2014
Episode R8 – The Thousand Year Gap
36:02
“Whilst fully recognizing his enterprise, devotion, and energy in carrying out these excavations, I cannot but express the regret that Dr. Schliemann should have allowed the ‘enthusiasm,’ which, as he himself admits, ‘borders on fanaticism,’ to make it so paramount an object with him to […]
Jul 26, 2014
Episode R7 – The Man Who Sold Troy
30:17
“Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty tomb, that it did not contain a hero? – its very magnitude proved this.  Men do not labour over the ignoble and petty dead – and why should not the dead be Homer’s dead?”  – […]
Jul 12, 2014
Episode R6 – The Heroic Age
27:59
“I should weary the reader, were I to describe, step by step, the progress of the work, and the discoveries gradually made in various part of the great mound.  The labours of one day resembled those of the preceding; but it would be difficult to […]
Jun 28, 2014
Episode R5 – Behistun Hat-Trick
20:19
“The Major constantly and indefatigably employed himself, from daylight to dark, revising, restoring and adding to his former materials.  This was a work of great irksomeness and labour in the confined space he was compelled to stand in, with his body in close proximity to […]
May 24, 2014
Episode R4 – Dwelling of the Lions
31:56
“What can all this mean?  Who built this structure?  In what century did he live?  To what nation did he belong?  Are these walls telling me their tales of joy and woe?  Is this beautiful cuneiformedcharacter a language?  I know not.  I can read their […]
May 17, 2014
Episode R3 – The Place of God
28:27
“My antiquarian studies go on quietly and smoothly, and despite the taunt which you may remember once expressing, of the presumption of an ignoramus like myself attempting to decipher inscriptions which had baffled for centuries the most learned men in Europe, I have made very […]
May 03, 2014
Episode R2 – Arabia Felix
35:12
“His Majesty…has dispatched a few days ago by the vessel Greenland a group of scholars, who will travel by way of the Mediterranean to Constantinople, and thence through Egypt to Arabia Felix, and subsequently return by way of Syria to Europe; they will on all […]
Apr 19, 2014
Episode R1 – The Broken Stone
29:57
“To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again.” – Ancient Egyptian saying Rediscovered two millennia after its creation, the Rosetta Stone provided two brilliant scholars with the key to unlocking the history of ancient Egypt.
Apr 04, 2014
Episode 36 – And Then What Happened?
50:04
A little time-travel, a quick world tour, and plenty of thanks all around!
Oct 19, 2013
Episode 35 – On The Verge
28:54
“Rome was not a monarchy, but a free City, and they had made up their minds to open their gates even to an enemy sooner than to a king.  It was the universal wish that whatever put an end to liberty in the City should […]
Sep 28, 2013
Episode 34 – Democracy and Republic, Part 2
34:50
“The Athenians, when ruled by tyrants, were no better in war than their neighbors, but freed from tyrants they were far superior.  This shows that when they were constrained they let themselves be defeated, since they were working for an overlord, but when they were […]
Sep 15, 2013
Episode 33 – Democracy and Republic, Part 1
34:36
“He added the Athenian people, who had formally not been in the center of things, to his own party, changed the names of the tribes and increased their number.  He made ten tribal commanders instead of four and distributed demes into the tribes ten at […]
Aug 10, 2013
Episode 32 – Things Fixed, Things Moving
31:28
“Black is your path, Agni, changeless, with glittering waves!  When like a bull you rush eager to the trees. With teeth of flame, wind-driven, through the wood he speeds, triumphant like a bull among the herd of cows, With bright strength roaming to the everlasting […]
Jul 19, 2013
Episode 31 – Land of Imposters
31:25
“After I became king, I fought nineteen battles in a single year and, by the grace of Ahura Mazda, I overthrew nine kings and I made them captive…As to these provinces which revolted, lies made them revolt, so that they deceived the people.  Then Ahura […]
Jul 05, 2013
Episode 30 – The Lost Army
31:50
“So Darius son of Hystaspes was made king, and the whole of Asia, which Cyrus first and Cambyses after him had conquered, was subject to him…and everything was full of his power. First he made and set up a carved stone, upon which was cut […]
Jun 21, 2013
Episode 29 – A More Perfect Empire
33:18
“Remember this lesson well:  Whenever you can, act as a liberator.  Freedom, dignity, and wealth—these three together constitute the great happiness of humanity.  If you bequeath all three to your people, their love for you will never die.” – Cyrus the Great (quoted by Xenophon) […]
Jun 08, 2013
Episode 28 – When the Mede Came
33:01
“In winter, as you lie on a soft couch by the fire, Full of good food, munching on nuts and drinking sweet wine, Then you must ask questions such as these: ‘Where do you come from?  Tell me, what is your age? How old were […]
May 24, 2013
Episode 27 – Count No Man Happy
33:21
“But in every matter it behooves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin.” – Solon of Athens Peisistratos’ first two attempts at tyranny were thwarted by the Athenian eupatridae.  The Spartans […]
May 11, 2013
Episode 26 – The Last Kings of Babylon
32:32
“So it was that the Persians, who had once been the slaves of the Medes, became their masters.“ – Heroditus Nebuchadnezzar II turned Babylon into the most magnificent city of the ancient world, but the Chaldean line dissipated in his wake.  Nabonidus’ fervent devotion to […]
Apr 18, 2013
Episode 25 – The Voyage of Solon
33:42
“Ahmose became a lover of the Hellenes; and besides other proofs of friendship which he gave to several among them, he also granted the city of Naucratis for those of them who came to Egypt to dwell in; and to those who did not desire […]
Apr 06, 2013
Episode 24 – A Wolf Among Hounds
32:39
“I freed those here who suffered unseemly enslavement and feared the tempers of their masters.  I did this by harnessing force and justice together with power, and I carried through my promises.  I wrote statues alike for those of high and of low social status, […]
Mar 21, 2013
Episode 23 – Captives of Babylon
32:09
“So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment on him.  Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the […]
Mar 09, 2013
Episode 22 – The Fifth Generation
33:56
“But when earth had covered this generation also, Zeus the son of Cronos made yet another, the fourth, upon the fruitful earth, which was nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own, throughout the boundless […]
Feb 27, 2013
Episode 21 – For the Sake of Distant Days
35:08
“Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her?  Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?” – Nahum 3:7 Ashurbanipal spent the end of his reign establishing a library of Mesopotamian knowledge and culture.  Twenty years after his death, internal discord and powerful enemies combined to […]
Feb 06, 2013
Episode 20 – The House of Succession
30:17
In the mid-seventh century BC, Nubia and Assyria struggled for control over Egypt before the kingdom regained independence under the pharaoh Psamtik I.  King Gyges of Lydia drove the Cimmerians from western Anatolia and sent Greek mercenaries to reinforce the pharaoh’s armies.  Ashurbanipal spent decades […]
Jan 21, 2013
Episode 19 – The Destruction of Sennacherib
34:30
“The city and its houses, from its foundations to its walls, I destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire.  The wall and outer wall, temple-tower of brick and earth, temples and gods, and many as there were, I razed and dumped into the Arahtu-Canal.  Through […]
Jan 07, 2013
Episode 18 – The Three Pillars
33:13
In the west, Phoenician mastery of the Mediterranean was challenged by widespread Greek colonization.  Rome’s first kings established the boundaries and institutions of the early state.  In the Near East, Sennacherib was confronted with the return of a Chaldean usurper to the Babylonian throne.
Dec 22, 2012
Episode 17 – The Fall of Israel
33:24
“Then the King of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years.  In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria took Samaria.” – II Kings 18:4 Toward the end of the eighth century […]
Dec 03, 2012
Episode 16 – The Assyrian
31:04
“And Pul, the King of Assyria, came against the land.” – II Kings, 15:19 In 745 BC, Tiglath-pileser III reformed the administrative and military structure of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and led the armies of Assur in a virtually-unbroken string of regional conquests.
Nov 20, 2012
Episode 15 – Holding Action
27:24
During the first half of the eighth century BC, Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria all struggled against the forces of entropy and decline.  In the absence of the Aramean threat, Israel and Judah resumed their perpetual struggle.  Urartu expanded its regional influence at the expense of […]
Oct 15, 2012
Episode 14 – In the Midst of the Seas
37:42
“I received the tribute of the kings of the seacoast – namely, the lands of the peoples of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Mahallatu, Maizu, Kaizu, Amurru and the city of Arvad, which is in the midst of the seas – silver, gold, tin, bronze, a bronze […]
Oct 01, 2012
Episode 13 – Civil War
31:29
“My brother Ashur-danin-apli, in the time of Shalmaneser, his father, acted wickedly, bringing about sedition, rebellion, and wicked plotting, caused the land to rise in revolt, prepared for war, brought the people of Assyria, north and south, to his side, and made bold speeches, brought […]
Sep 16, 2012
Episode 12 – Legacies of East and West
34:02
The Olmec of Mesoamerica and the Chavin of Peru laid strong cultural foundations that would influence regional civilizations down through the first European encounters with the New World. The longest-lasting Chinese Dynasty, the Zhou, bore witness to eras of unity and conquest, the devolution of […]
Sep 04, 2012
Episode 11 – The Rise of Assyria
38:29
“I slew 14,000 of their warriors with the sword. Like Adad, I rained destruction on them. I scattered their corpses far and wide, and covered the face of the desolate plain with their wide-spreading armies. With my weapons I made their blood to flow down […]
Aug 21, 2012
Episode 10 – Picking Up The Pieces
29:35
At the dawn of the first millennium BC, the collapse of the great Near Eastern powers allowed the cultures of Caanan to flourish.  While the Phoenicians embarked on a bold new era of maritime expansion, the Hebrews and Arameans carved out new Iron Age kingdoms […]
Jul 30, 2012
Episode 9 – The Other 99 Percent
38:51
“Regarding what you wrote me before:  ‘Enemy ships were observed at sea!’  If it is true that ships were observed, reinforce yourself.  Where are your troops and chariots?  Are they not with you?  If not, who will deliver you from the enemy?  Surround your cities […]
Jun 12, 2012
Episode 8 – Look Upon My Works
33:25
“…And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains.  Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”  – Shelley, […]
Jun 05, 2012
Episode 7 – Between Lions and Men
33:09
“As there are no pacts of faith between lions and men, nor do wolves and lambs have spirit in kind,…nor for us two will there be oaths;… Recollect your every skill.  Now the need is very great to be a spearman and brave warrior.” – Achilles, […]
May 29, 2012
Episode 6 – The New Kingdoms
34:14
After expelling the Hyksos, the rulers of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty led their New Kingdom in an unprecedented drive for territorial expansion.  In Syria and the Levant, they were forced to contend with powerful new states forged by the Hurrians and the Hittites.
May 19, 2012
Episode 5 – Blind-sided
35:04
“I was asleep upon my bed, having become weary…like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made […]
May 07, 2012
Episode 4 – The Pyramid Builders
34:27
“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.” – Napoleon Bonaparte The power of Egypt’s Old Kingdom rulers was reflected in their awe-inspiring monuments.  The Harappan civilization of the Indus River valley traded across Central Asia, the Near East, and beyond.   […]
Apr 30, 2012
Episode 3 – “Wherever I Went, Let Him Go!”
31:26
“Now any king who wants to call himself my equal, wherever I went, let him go!”  – Sargon the Great In 2,334 BC, Sargon of Akkad forged the world’s first empire and created a legend that would inspire Near Eastern rulers for millennia.   The Third […]
Apr 24, 2012
Episode 2 – Circles and Labyrinths
31:30
Contemporary with early Sumer and Egypt, the Norte Chico thrived along the Peruvian coast, while the Neolithic Britons built their mysterious stone circles. The first European civilization, the Minoans of ancient Crete, exerted a strong cultural influence over the eastern Mediterranean.
Apr 16, 2012
Episode 1 – “Climb the Stone Staircase”
31:53
“more ancient than the mind can imagine” – The Epic of Gilgamesh The Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the Elamites of the Persian plateau, and the Egyptians of the Nile River valley were among the first civilizations to emerge in the ancient world.
Apr 05, 2012