The Ancient World

By Scott C.

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 Mar 12, 2020

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

Episode Date
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 T14 - Zabinas
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 act that leads to his death.  The elevation of their son Seleucus V results in a darker tragedy.

“Released from confinement among the Parthians and restored to his throne, Antiochus’ brother Demetrius (II) decided to make war on Egypt…For his mother-in-law, Cleopatra (II), promised him the throne of Egypt as the reward for his assistance against her brother.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book 39.

“Demetrius (II), for his part, was defeated by Alexander (Zabinas) and, with misfortune besetting him on all sides, he was finally abandoned even by his wife and children. Left with a few slaves, he made for Tyre, intending to use the sanctity of the temple to protect himself; but as he disembarked from this ship he was killed on the orders of the governor.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book 39.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T14_Zabinas.mp3
Feb 14, 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 T13 - Eunus
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 of slaves; who being driven in droves like so many herds of cattle from the different places where they were bred and brought up, were branded with certain marks burned on their bodies….their masters were very strict and severe with them, and took no care to provide either necessary food or clothing for them, so that most of them were forced to rob and steal to get these necessities; so that all places were full of slaughters and murders.” - Diodorus Siculus, The Historical Library, Book 34

“Then they made Eunus king, not for his valor or skill in warfare, but on account of his extraordinary tricks, and because he was made the leader and author of the defection…At length, putting a diadem upon his head and graced with all the emblems of royalty, he caused his wife, who was also a Syrian from the same city, to be called queen, and chose such as he judged to be the most prudent to be his councillors.” – Diodorus Siculus, The Historical Library, Book 34

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T13_Eunus.mp3
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 T12 - Sar Matati
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 eastern princes came to meet him, surrendering their persons and their thrones, with curses of the arrogance of the Parthians.  The first encounter took place forthwith.  Victorious in three battles, Antiochus seized Babylon and began to be dubbed ‘the Great.’  Thus, as all the peoples were defecting to him, the Parthians were left with nothing but the lands of their fathers.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book 38

“When word of (a revolt) came to Antiochus (VII), he advanced with the contingent which was wintering with him in order to assist those who were closest at hand, only to meet while on the march the king of the Parthians, against whom he put up a braver fight than did his forces.  Finally, however, the enemy’s valor prevailed and Antiochus, deserted by his craven troops, was killed.” - Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book 38

“Let’s sit on the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings, how some were overthrown and others killed in war.  Some were haunted by the ghosts of the kings they had overthrown.” – Shakespeare, Richard II: Act 3 Scene 2

Map of the Parthian Empire c. 96 BC, which is fairly similar to what they held under Mithridates I c. 138 BC:

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Parthia96BC.jpeg
Nov 29, 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 T11 - Euergetes
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 to manage affairs in a way quite different from all the former kings; for they, by their clemency and kindness to their subjects, reigned prosperously and happily themselves and were a blessing to the kingdom; but this prince being of a cruel and bloody disposition oppressed his subjects with many slaughters and grievous calamities.” - Diodorus Siculus, The Historical Library, Book 35

“Ptolemy Physcon, when he saw that his sister Cleopatra (II) was so great an enemy to him, and could not revenge himself otherwise upon her, contrived a most abominable piece of villainy for that purpose.  For, imitating the cruelty of Medeia, he murdered her son, begotten by himself, in Cyprus; the son was called Memphites, and was still a young boy.” – Diodorus Siculus, The Historical Library, Book 35

“(Queen) Laodice (of Cappadocia) had had six children of the male sex by King Ariarathes (V); she feared that she would not long remain in control of the kingdom once any of them grew up, so she resorted to murder, killing five of them by poison.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book 37

Map of Anatolia after the Treaty of Apamea (c. 188 BC):
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T11_Euergetes.mp3
Nov 15, 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 S2 - The Bactrian Kingdom
“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 guard and retreated with his forces into the Bactrian city of Zariaspa.” – Polybius, The Histories, 10.49

Synopsis: After the death of Alexander the Great, Bactria came under Seleucid rule before gaining its independence under the Diodotid and Euthydemid kings.  In the second part of my interview with historian and author Tristan Hughes, we discuss how the Bactrian Kingdom was born, preserved itself against multiple attempts at Seleucid reconquest, and finally met its end.


Tristan Hughes @BattlesAncients on Twitter

Battles of the Ancients website www.turningpointsoftheancientworld.com
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 S1 - Alexander in Bactria
“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 Alexander into the world.” – Alexander the Great, in a letter written to his mother Olympias from Bactria

Synopsis: Five years of campaigning brought Alexander the Great to the doorstep of Bactria, but he’d spend much of the next three years - arguably the most difficult of his life - trying to control the region.  In this first episode of an occasional series called “The Ancient World – Spotlight” I’m joined by historian and author Tristan Hughes to discuss the uprising of the Sogdian warlord Spitamenes, quite possibly Alexander’s greatest foe, and the later revolts of Hellenic troops upon news of Alexander’s death.


Tristan Hughes @BattlesAncients on Twitter

Battles of the Ancients website www.turningpointsoftheancientworld.com
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 T10 - Sidetes
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 (II) who was called Soter, was not admitted by any of the cities on account of Tryphon, Cleopatra sent to him, and invited him to marry her, and to take the kingdom. The reasons why she made this invitation were these: That her friends persuaded her to it, and that she was afraid for herself, in case some of the people of Seleucia (Pieria) should deliver up the city to Tryphon. As Antiochus was now come to Seleucia, and his forces increased every day, he marched to fight Trypho; and having beaten him in battle, he ejected him out of Upper Syria into Phoenicia, and pursued him thither, and besieged him in Dora which was a fortress hard to be taken, whither he had fled.” – Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIII, Chapter 7

“Antiochus well remembered that his father had been hated for his arrogance and his brother despised for his idleness. To avoid falling into the same vices himself, he married Cleopatra, his brother’s widow, and took vigorous action against the cities which had defected at the start of his brother’s reign. He subdued them and added them once more to the territory of his kingdom.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 36.1.9

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T10_Sidetes.mp3
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 T9 - Tryphon
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 Diodotus, who was also called Tryphon, who took notice of the ill-will the soldiers bore toward Demetrius, and went to (Iamblichus) the Arabian, who brought up Antiochus, the son of Alexander…and persuaded him to give him Antiochus, because he would make him king.” – Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIII, Chapter 5

“And so cities in all districts rebelled against (Demetrius’) rule; and to remove the stigma of indolence he decided to attack the Parthians.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 36.1.7

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T9_Tryphon.mp3

Map of Syria c. 200 BC (courtesy of www.timemaps.com)

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Syria-200bc.png

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 T8 - The City
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 same name that empties into the Oxus, plus the city of Darapsa, and others more. Among these was a city called Eucratideia, named after its ruler… (The Greeks) also controlled Sogdiana, which lies above and to the east of Bactria between the Oxus River – demarcating Bactrians from Sogdians – and the Jaxartes River, likewise separating the Sogdians from the nomads.” – Strabo, Geography, 11.11.2

“These wise sayings of earlier men, the words of well-known men, are enshrined in the holy Pytho.  There Clearchus copied them faithfully, and set them up here in the sanctuary of Kineas, blazing from afar.

               As a child, be well-behaved.

               As a youth, be self-controlled.

               As an adult, be just.

               As an elder, be wise.

               As one dying, be without pain.”

 - Inscription at the Heroon (hero’s tomb) of Kineas, oikistes (founder) of the city of Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, dated 300 – 250 BC 


Map of Ai Khanoum and Ashoka Rock Edicts


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 T7 - Blazing From Afar
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 was beginning his in Bactria, both of them great men.  But the fortunes of the Parthians prevailed, carrying them to the zenith of their power under this king.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 41.6

"The Yavanas (Greeks) will command, the Kings will disappear.  But ultimately the Yavanas, intoxicated with fighting, will not stay in Madhadesa (the Middle Country); there will be undoubtedly a civil war among them, arising in their own country (Bactria), there will be a terrible and ferocious war."Gargi-Samhita, Yuga Purana, Chapter 7
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T7_Blazing_From_Afar.mp3
Jul 12, 2019
Spring Break
Now that we’re 6 episodes in, I wanted to give you an update on the new series and my plans for 2019.  I’m planning to break “The Ancient World – Thea” into 6-episode “seasons” with breaks in between.  Which is another way of saying that I’m going back on break for a while. You can expect the second season sometime this Summer and a third season before the end of the year.  I don’t really have a feeling yet for how long this series’ll run – it might wrap in the third season or might take a fourth.  I’m notoriously bad at predicting that kind of thing.

During the break I’m planning to dig into a few side-projects. So, for example, if anyone out there has experience in ancient-history-themed childrens’ books hit me up on social media.  Otherwise if you’d like to help out the show here’s my humble ask: Find one friend who’s into history and tell them about The Ancient World.  Maybe even point them toward the first 6 episodes of “Thea” as a low-commitment introduction. If each of you could turn just one friend on to the show that would get us up over 50,000 subscribers. If each of you got two friends listening we’d have nearly 100,000.

Those are amazing numbers - but with your help it’s also completely doable. With the recent changes in the podcasting world it’s also a great way to show your support for freeform, independent podcasting.  And, last but not least, it’s a wonderful way to keep me inspired and keep the stories flowing.


So, that’s it for now – and thanks in advance for helping me out. I hope you’re enjoying “The Ancient World – Thea” and thanks again for listening!

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Spring_Break.mp3
Mar 15, 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 T6 - Philometor
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 sand that lieth upon the sea shore, and many ships, and went about through deceit to get Alexander’s kingdom, and join it to his own…Wherefore he took his daughter from him, and gave her to Demetrius, and forsook Alexander, so that their hatred was openly known. Then Ptolemy entered into Antioch, where he set two crowns upon his head, the crown of Asia, and of Egypt.” – 1 Maccabees, Chapter 11

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T6_Philometor.mp3
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 T5 - Balas
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 gathered king Alexander great forces, and camped over against Demetrius.  And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius’ host fled: but Alexander followed after him, and prevailed against them.  And he continued the battle very sore until the sun went down: and that day was Demetrius slain.” – 1 Maccabees

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T5_Balas.mp3
Feb 15, 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 T4 - Soter
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 of the satraps subject to him regarded his kingship with scant respect.  Of these satraps the most outstanding was a certain Timarchus…By launching many accusations against Demetrius (he) persuaded the senate to enact (a decree making him king).  Emboldened by this decree he raised an army of considerable size in Media; he also entered into alliance against Demetrius with Artaxias, the king of Armenia.” – Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, Book XXXI

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T4_Soter.mp3
Feb 01, 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 T3 - Thea
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 the pilot weighed anchor and started just as the day was breaking, having absolutely no idea of the real state of the case, but believing that he was conveying some soldiers from Menyllus to Ptolemy…It was not until the fourth day after his start that, Demetrius being looked for in vain, the truth was suspected.  On the fifth the Senate was hastily summoned to consider the matter, when Demetrius had already cleared the Straits of Messina.  The Senate gave up all idea of pursuit.” – Polybius, The Histories, Book XXXI

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T3_Thea.mp3
Jan 17, 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 T2 - Megas
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 upon as exceedingly overbearing and insolent. Happening to have a vine stick in his hand, he drew a circle round Antiochus with it, and ordered him to give his answer to the letter before he stepped out of that circumference.” – Polybius, the Histories, Book XXIX

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T2_Megas.mp3

Jan 04, 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
Episode T1 – Nicator
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 hundred horse, set out for Babylon.” – Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, Book XIX

Dec 21, 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
The Rest of My Interview
with Drew from the Wonders of the World Podcast, where we talk about Palmyra, Odaenathus, and (of course) Queen Zenobia.  Enjoy!

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wonderspodcast/040_-_The_Temple_of_Bel_at_Palmyra.mp3
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
Just Did My First Interview
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 if you bring a healthy love of Demetrius Poliorcetes ;)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wonderspodcast/039_-_The_Temples_of_Heliopolis_at_Baalbek.mp3

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 B54 - Efqa
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 Homs pass and the Euphrates River and is in the heart of the Syrian desert.  The oasis furnishes a resting place between Iraq and Central Syria, and it was a primary stop for caravans plying between the Gulf, Iran, and the Mediterranean.” – Khaled Al-Asaad and Adnan Bounni, Palmyra: History, Monuments & Museum
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B54_Efqa.mp3
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 B53 - Memento Mori
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 hum of polite places.” – Count C.F.C deVolney, The Ruins, or Meditations on the Revolutions of Empires

“The elevation of Odaenathus and Zenobia appeared to reflect new splendor on their country, and Palmyra, for a while, stood forth the rival of Rome; but the competition was fatal, and ages of prosperity were sacrificed to a moment of glory.” – Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


“When the sand seems to disappear, not beneath the verdure of an oasis but beneath an accumulation of marble and worked stones, silence falls among the travelers…it is then that a man, even the least civilized, feels himself to be small and, despite himself, meditates on the presence of that mighty ruin as upon a mighty sorrow.” – L. Double, 1877


http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B53_Memento_Mori.mp3


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 B52 - Palmyra
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, with the intrepidity of a heroine, that the last moment of her reign and of her life should be the same.” - Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
“You have the prospect of such Magnicient Ruines, that if it be Lawful to frame a Conjecture of the Original Beauty of the place, by what is still remaining, I question somewhat whether any City in the World could have challenged Precedence over this in all its Glory.” – W. Halifax, A Relation of a Voyage from Aleppo to Palmyra in Syria, 1695
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B52_Palmyra.mp3
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 B51 - Emesa
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 Zabdas, her ally.  When Aurelian’s horsemen, now exhausted, were on the point of breaking their ranks and turning their backs, suddenly by the power of a supernatural agency, as was afterwards made known, a divine form spread encouragement throughout the foot-soldiers and even rallied the horsemen.  Zenobia and Zabdas were put to flight, and a victory was won in full.” – The Historia Augusta
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B51_Emesa.mp3
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 B50 - Augusta
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, Ancyra submitted to the Romans, and afterwards Tyana, and all the cities between that and Antioch.  There finding Zenobia with a large army ready to engage, as he himself also was, he met and engaged her as honor obliged him.” – Zosimus, the History
“Zenobia would have ill deserved her reputation, had she indolently permitted the Emperor of the West to approach within a hundred miles of her capital…The Queen of Palmyra animated the armies by her presence, and devolved the execution of her orders on Zabdas, who had already signaled his military talents by the conquest of Egypt.  The numerous forces of Zenobia consisted for the most part of light archers, and of heavy cavalry clothed in complete steel.” – Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B50_Augusta.mp3
Jan 26, 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 B49 - Nemesis
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, and he could sustain without emotion the sight of tortures and death.  Trained from his earliest youth in the exercise of arms, he set too small a value on the life of a citizen, chastised by military execution the slightest offences, and transferred the stern discipline of the camp into the civil administration of the laws.” – Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
“Since there were in the army two tribunes, both named Aurelian…the soldiers game him the nickname of ‘Sword-in-hand,’ so that, if anyone chanced to ask which Aurelian had done anything or performed any exploit, the reply would be made ‘Aurelian Sword-in-hand,’ and so he would be identified.” – The Historia Augusta
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B49_Nemesis.mp3
Jan 12, 2018
Holiday Break
So…Egypt, huh?  Yeah, that was pretty crazy.  And what about this new guy, Aurelian?  I can’t quite put my finger on it but he seems like he could be trouble.  But I’m sorry to say it’ll be a few weeks before we continue the story. You have to admit I’ve been pretty good – I got 5 new episodes out back to back.  I’m not asking for a parade or anything, I’m just pretty happy I managed to pull it off.  But now yeah, the usual – work and the Holidays are putting me a little behind the podcast production curve. 

Things being where they are Zenobia-wise, my plan is to write the final episodes of the series then release them all in another steady string – starting sometime around the beginning of the New Year.  Which means I’m not talking about a huge break, just a few weeks.  So everyone please enjoy your Holidays, and look forward to starting off 2018 with more new episodes of The Ancient World.

I also wanted to mention that – for those of you in Northern California - Mike Duncan’s book tour for “The Storm Before the Storm” is hitting Book Passage in San Francisco at 6PM on December 5 - a little over a week away.  My wife and I will be there, so if you’re so inclined please come on out to support Mike and feel free to say “hi” to us as well.  I’ve posted a pic on the Facebook page, so you’ll at least have a chance of picking us out of what I’m sure will be a super-enormous crowd.

Everyone please have a great Holiday, and thanks again for listening!


 
Nov 26, 2017
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 B48 - 270
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 plague confined to the Barbarians alone, but began to infest the Romans, many of whom died, and amongst the rest Claudius, a person adorned with every virtue…Quintillus, the brother of Claudius, was then declared emperor.  He had reigned but a few months, and had performed nothing worthy of notice, before Aurelian was raised to the imperial throne.” – Zosimus, The History
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B48_270.mp3
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 B47 - Zenobia
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 her husband’s friends, acted in every respect as well as he had done.” – Zosimus, The History
“This Heraclianus, however, on setting out against the Persians, was defeated by the Palmyrenes, and lost all the troops he had gathered, for Zenobia was ruling Palmyra and most of the East with the vigour of a man.” – The Historia Augusta
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B47_Zenobia.mp3
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 B46 - Melek Melek
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, Odaenathus the Palmyrene gathered together an army and restored the Roman power almost to its pristine condition.” – The Historia Augusta
“Him will glory attend.  He himself, unblemished and great, will rule over the Romans, and the Persians will be powerless.” – The Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B46_Melek_Melek.mp3
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 B45 - Odaenathus
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 strength of the Roman state was exhausted, all would have been lost in the East.” – The Historia Augusta
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B45_Odaenathus.mp3
Oct 13, 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 B44 - Edessa
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 the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.” - Zosimus, The History
“Whatever treatment the unfortunate Valerian might experience in Persia, it is at least certain that the only emperor of Rome who had ever fallen into the hands of the enemy, languished away his life in hopeless captivity.”  - Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter X, Part IV
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B44_Edessa.mp3
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 B43 - Sibylline
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 heard of all round, sent by the sun, from Syria appearing, and by guile shall he accomplish all things.  And then too the city of the sun shall offer prayer; and round about her shall the Persians dare the fearful threatenings of the Phoenicians.” – The Sibylline Oracles, Book XIII
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B43_Sibylline.mp3
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 B42 - Iotapian
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 the exactions of exorbitant tributes, and partly to their dislike of Priscus, their governor, who was a man of an intolerably evil disposition - wished for innovation, and set up (Iotapian) for emperor.” – Zosimus,The History, Book 1
“So rapid were the motions of the Persian cavalry, that, if we may credit a very judicious historian, the city of Antioch was surprised when the idle multitude were fondly gazing on the amusements of the theatre.  The splendid buildings of Antioch, private as well as public, were either pillaged or destroyed; and the numerous inhabitants were put to the sword, or led away into captivity.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter X, Part IV
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B42_Iotapian.mp3
May 26, 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 B41 - Samsigeramus
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 Goth and German realms, and marched on Asoristan against the Empire of Iran and against us.  On the border of Asoristan and Misik a great frontal battle occurred.  Gordian Caesar was killed and the Roman force was destroyed.” – The Great Inscription of Shapur I, Naqsh-i-Rustam
The Roman Near East c. 240AD

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_240_Region.jpg
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 B40 - Uranius
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 the Syrian as well as in the Latin language, denoted the multitude of palm-trees which afforded shade and verdure to that temperate region…Palmyra, for a while, stood forth the rival of Rome; but the competition was fatal, and ages of prosperity were sacrificed to a moment of glory.” - Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XI, Part III
Dedicated with great respect to Khaled al-Asaad, Palmyra’s devoted protector
Apr 28, 2017
You Are Here
Episode B39, “Excidium,” finishes off the third story arc of The Ancient World Bloodline.  We’ve come a pretty long way from the days of Cleopatra Selene and Juba II – in fact we’ve come about ten generations - and now there’s only a little ways left to go.  The upcoming final story arc will focus on Palmyra, Emesa and the Sasanids, while out West the Romans’ll be tearing through Emperors like used paper towels. 

Just to give some context, the first two story arcs – on Mauretania and Judea – went 12 episodes each, and the latest one on the Severans took 15.  If I had to guess I’d say the final story arc will run less than 10 episodes, but it’s really too early to say.  What I can say is it’ll be quite a while before any new episodes are posted.
First off I’ll be taking a long break over the Holidays and through my birthday in early February.  And by the way that’ll be my 50th birthday, for which I’m already working up some pretty fun plans.  Actually next year is also my 10th wedding anniversary and also marks 5 – yes 5 - years as a podcaster.  Which is why my tentative plan is to post the next episode, Episode B40, around my 5-year podcasting anniversary in April 2017. 
So what can you do in the meantime?  Well, you could always marathon old episodes of Bloodline.  It’s still less than a full day back-to-back.  You could tell friends, neighbors and fellow history fans – or even just fans of a good story – to give the podcast a listen.  And if you really want to help out the show - cue the broken record - you could stop by and review the series on iTunes.
You can also keep in touch on Twitter and Facebook.  That’s @TheAncientWorld on Twitter and @ancientworldpodcast on Facebook.  I’ve been posting tons of photos from my recent history-related travels up on the Facebook page, and I always try to keep my Twitter feed chalk full of ancient history stuff.  So if you like the podcast I’m pretty sure you’ll like both sites.
That’s about it for now, I just wanted to give a status and a bit of a look-ahead.  When I return we’ll cover the last few generations of Cleopatra’s heirs, and I’ll also be telling the story of Palmyra – a place which is unfortunately back in the news for very tragic reasons.  But for a short time under Zenobia Palmyra ruled the entire Roman East and was powerful enough militarily to fend off the Sasanids.  It’s an interesting story, and I’m going to do my best to give it its due.  In the meantime please have a great Holiday Season and I’ll see you all in 2017!
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/You_Are_Here.mp3
Dec 19, 2016
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 B39 - Excidium
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 legions imitated the example of the Guards, and defended their prerogative of licentiousness with the same furious obstinacy.  The administration of Alexander was unavailing struggle against the corruption of this age…Fresh mutinies perpetually broke out; his officers were murdered, his authority was insulted, and his life at last sacrificed to the fierce discontents of the army.”  - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter VI, Part IV
The Roman War Plan for 233 AD

The Bloodline Family Tree (Part 1)

The Bloodline Family Tree (Part 2)

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B39_Bloodline02.pdf
Dec 02, 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 B38 - The Last Severan
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, but the management and control of imperial affairs were in the hands of his women, and they undertook a more moderate and more equitable administration.”  – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book VI, Chapter I
“(Ardeshir) did not remain quiet, however, nor stay on his side of the Tigris River, but, after scaling its banks and crossing the borders of the Roman empire, he overran Mesopotamia and threatened Syria.  The entire continent opposite Europe, separated from it by the Aegean Sea and the Propontic Gulf, and the region called Asia, he wished to recover for the Persian empire…When the Eastern governors revealed these developments in their dispatches, Alexander was greatly disturbed by these unanticipated tidings, particularly since, raised from childhood in an age of peace, he had spent his entire life in urban ease and comfort.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book VI, Chapter II
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B38_The_Last_Severan.mp3
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 B37 - Shahanshah
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 wealth, property, horses, and portable lodges, and settled himself in Istakhr.  He collected soldiers in large numbers from Kerman, Mokristan, Isfahan, and different districts of Fars, and came to fight with Artabanus himself.  So Artabanus sent for soldiers and provisions from different frontiers...But as the Glory of the Kayanians (Achaemenids) was with Ardeshir, the latter gained success. He killed Artabanus, whose entire wealth and property fell into the hands of Ardeshir, who married Artabanus's daughter, and went back to Fars.” – The Book of Deeds of Ardeshir Son of Pabag, Chapter IV 

“Artaxerxes, a Persian, having conquered the Parthians in three battles and killed their king, Artabanus, made a campaign against Hatra, which he endeavored to take as a base for attacking the Romans.  He did make a breach in the wall but, as he lost a number of soldiers through an ambuscade, he transferred his position to Media.  Of this district, as also of Parthia, he acquired no small portion, partly by force and partly by intimidation, and then marched against Armenia.  Here he suffered a reverse at the hands of the natives, some Medes, and the children of Artabanus, and either fled (as some say) or (as others assert) retired to prepare a larger expedition.  He accordingly became a source of fear for us.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 80 

Map of the Roman-Sasanid Frontier c. 232 AD:

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/SASANID_FINAL.jpg
Oct 28, 2016
Off Again
Just a quick note to say that the latest Episode, “The Black Stone,” will be the last one for the next month or so, due to Vacation and a few other things.  Around the end of October, I’ll be back with the final three episodes of the Severan story arc, which should wrap up just before the Holidays.  At that point, I’ll be over three-quarters done with “The Ancient World – Bloodline” - and’ll be rounding the corner toward home.  And by the way, the next episode – Episode B37 – will officially make Bloodline my longest series to-date! 

While I’m away, please keep helping out with the Twitter Follows, the Facebook Likes and – especially – the iTunes Reviews.  And for anyone listening to the show on iTunes outside the US, I’d really appreciate if you could copy and paste my written iTunes reviews (for your country) and e-mail them to stches@ancientworldpodcast.com.  I can’t access my foreign reviews from the US and would like to check them out.  Thanks again and I’ll see you all in a month or so! – Scott C.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Off_Again.mp3
Sep 30, 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 B36 - The Black Stone
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 pledges of the faith of Numa.  A crowd of inferior deities attended in various stations the majesty of the god of Emesa; but his court was still imperfect, till a female of distinguished rank was admitted to his bed.  Pallas had been first chosen for his consort; but as it was dreaded lest her warlike terrors might affront the soft delicacy of a Syrian deity, the Moon, adorned by the Africans under the name of Astarte, was deemed a more suitable companion for the Sun.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 6
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B36_The_Black_Stone.mp3
Sep 23, 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 B35 - Bassus
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 under the Phoenician name Elagabalus.  A huge temple was erected to this god, lavishly decorated with gold, silver, and costly gems.  Not only is this god worshipped by the natives, but all the neighboring rulers and kings send generous and expensive gifts to him each year.  No statue made by man in the likeness of the god stands in the temple, as in Greek and Roman temples.  The temple does, however, contain a huge black stone with a pointed end and round base in the shape of a cone.  The Phoenicians solemnly maintain that this stone came down from Zeus; pointing out certain small figures in relief, they assert that it is an unwrought image of the sun, for naturally that is what they wish to see.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession off Gordian III, Book V, Chapter III
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B35_Bassus.mp3
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 B34 - Keepers of the Fire
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 a large force, at first of his own accord sent him captives and used friendly language, urging him to accept peace and laying the blame for the past on (Caracalla).  But the other would not entertain his proposition, and furthermore bade him build up the forts and demolished cities, abandon Mesopotamia entirely and offer satisfaction in general, but particularly for the damage to the royal tombs.  For, trusting in the large force that he had gathered, and despising Macrinus as an unworthy emperor, he gave reign to his wrath and expected that even without Roman consent he could accomplish whatever he wished.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 78
Map of the Parthian Empire
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/PARTHIA_FINAL.jpg
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 B33 - Semiramis
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 attractions of beauty, and united to a lively imagination a firmness of mind, and strength of judgement, seldom bestowed on her sex.  Her amiable qualities never made any deep impression on the dark and jealous temper of her husband; but in her son’s reign, she administered the principal affairs of the empire, with a prudence that supported his authority, and with a moderation that sometimes corrected his wild extravagancies.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 6
The Bloodline Family Tree – Part I

The Bloodline Family Tree – Part II

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B33_Bloodline02.pdf
Aug 05, 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 B32 - The Fourth Caesar
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 by which it had been introduced.  Posterity, who experienced the fatal effects of his maxims and example, justly considered him as the principal author of the decline of the Roman Empire.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B32_The_Fourth_Caesar.mp3
Jul 22, 2016
Another Break
I wanted to let everyone know that the latest Episode, “Perish in Blood”, will be the last one for a month or two.  I’ll be off on Vacation for a while, and generally taking a break.  In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying the Severan story arc.  Like I mentioned early on, the extended family of Julia Domna was the original inspiration of the series, and I’m hoping to flesh out all the family members as much as I can.  At the same time, I’m planning to give a lot of attention to the Sasanids, including their history and background, their conflict with the Parthians, and - eventually - their conflict with Julia Domna’s great-nephew, Severus Alexander.  So, look for all that when I pick the story back up in a month or two. 

In the meantime, please do a couple things to support the show.  First, for those of you on iTunes, please swing by and review The Ancient World.  You can just give it a starred rating, or you can also leave a comment, which I always love to read.  And second, The Ancient World may be in the running for this year’s Podcast Awards.  The final slate will be announced on May 22 at www.podcastawards.com.  On the off-chance we are in the running, please do whatever you can to support the show - it’s a great way to get the word out.  Otherwise, thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in a month or two!
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Another_Break.mp3
May 14, 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 B31 - Perish in Blood
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 years spent in the despotism of military command.  His haughty and inflexible spirit could not discover, or would not acknowledge, the advantage of preserving an intermediate power, however imaginary, between the Emperor and the army.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
“Here is one man who overthrew three Emperors after they were already ruling, and got the upper hand of the Praetorians by a trick…He prevailed over them all by his courage.  It is not possible to name another like Severus.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book 3, Chapter 7
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (provinces):
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (cities):
Apr 29, 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 B30 - Mater Castrorum
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 body.’
The later emperor of the Romans, Severus,
Who was a descendant of the Libyans, he put upon this man’s
Tomb a white piece of marble to honor the commander Hannibal.”  
- John Tzetzes, Chiliades (or Book of Histories), Book 1, 801 - 805

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 B29 - 193
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 time and was then put out of the way by the soldiers.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 73
“The Pannonian army was at that time commanded by Septimius Severus, a native of Africa, who, in the gradual ascent of private honors, had concealed his daring ambition.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
Bloodline Family Tree (c. 193AD):
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 B28 - Bestiarius
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 villainies.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 72
Detailed Map of the Roman Empire (brilliantmaps.com):
Julia Domna Family Tree:
Mar 18, 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 B27 - Lucifugus
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 trod on mystic ground, and their minds were exercised by the habits of believing the most extraordinary events.” – Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the Fall of Rome
Bloodline Family Tree (c. 182AD):

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 B26 - Emanes
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 may do it. Then should I be deprived of a great prize both of war and of victory, and of a magnitude such as no human being ever yet obtained.  What is this?  Why, to forgive a man that has done you an injury, to remain a friend to one who has transgressed friendship, to continue faithful to one who has broken faith.” – Marcus Aurelius, quoted by Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71
Avidius Cassius Family Tree:
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B25_Avidius_Cassius.pdf
Feb 19, 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 B25 - Discindo
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 destroyed the whole force, leaders and all.  He was now proceeding with numbers that inspired terror against the cities of Syria." – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71 
 
Avidius Cassius Family Tree:
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B25_Avidius_Cassius.pdf
Feb 05, 2016
Halftime
Episode B24, “The Yona Kings”, closes out the second story arc of “The Ancient World – Bloodline.”  The first dozen episodes – which I guess you could call the “Mauretanian story arc” – covered the final years of Antony and Cleopatra, then discussed the lives of Cleopatra Selene, Juba and their son Ptolemy – all the way up through his murder by Caligula.  The next dozen episodes – the “Judean story arc” – started with Ptolemy’s daughter Drusilla and her marriages to Marcus Antonius Felix and Gaius Julius Sohaemus.  We then covered Drusilla’s short-lived son Gaius Julius Alexio, her grandson Silas, and began the story of Silas’ three sons: Longinus, Agrippa and Sohaemus. 

So far it’s breaking down to around 3 generations, and around a dozen episodes, per story arc.  Which I didn’t particularly plan for but will totally take - since round numbers are always nice.  What that also means is that - based on my calculations - we’re around halfway done with the “Bloodline” series.  Which sounds like a good time for a break.  Which is why I’m taking one.  The break will probably last for a couple months - and we’ll pick back up sometime in February with the story of Silas’ three sons.  I’ve also posted the Bloodline Family Tree – so far – up on both the blog and Facebook sites.

In the meantime there are a couple of things I wanted to mention.  First off, as many of you know my wife Tracy DeLuca produces her own podcast called “Results May Vary.”  In the series Tracy and her friend Chris draw on their vast work experience in design thinking and innovation to help people design the lives they want.  No guarantees – I mean, the title is “Results May Vary” – just lots of interesting interviews, test cases and practical advice about living life by design. 

What you might not know is that Tracy's latest episode is with Mike Duncan – creator of “The History of Rome” and “Revolutions” podcasts and author of the forthcoming book “The Storm Before the Storm.”  Among other topics, the episode covers how to design the past to better engage people in our shared history and how to apply the lessons of history toward designing a better future.  The episode is posted at resultsmayvarypodcast.com.  And while you’re at it make sure to check out ongoing episodes of “Revolutions” at revolutionspodcast.com.  You can also find both series on iTunes.

Second, I wanted to engage the many wonderful and talented listeners out there in a little project.  Part of what I’ve been trying to do with “Bloodline” is bring the stories of Antony and Cleopatra’s descendants to life by talking about the times, places and events they lived through.  But of course what I do is mainly audio - and I was thinking it would also be pretty amazing to bring the story to life visually.  I’m a pretty crap artist myself, but I’m betting many of you out there are much, much better.

So I’ve decided to hold a bit of a contest.  Pick any subject from the series – a place, a scene, a character, even a concept - render it in whatever visual medium strikes your fancy, and e-mail the image to stches@ancientworldpodcast.com with the Subject “Bloodline Images.”  Whether it’s the execution of King Ptolemy, the Temple of Elah Gabal, even a creative rendering of the Bloodline Family Tree – if it’s from the series it’s fair game. 

I’ll feature some of my favorites on The Ancient World media sites.  And – even better – every contributor will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two books.  The books in question are Tom Holland’s “Persian Fire” and Richard Miles’ “Carthage Must be Destroyed.”  Both books were a big help in creating the original series, and they’ve got the extensive highlighting to prove it.  I’m also more than happy to sign them for you.  The contest runs between now, December 18, and January 31, 2016 - when I’ll announce the winner of the drawing.  In the meantime, uncork that creativity, have fun and I look forward to seeing your handiwork.

So that’s it for the moment.  I really hope you’re enjoying the “Bloodline” series as much as I am making it – which is very, very much.  And trust me, the upcoming story arc is going to be epic.  Because it’s with the Severans that the descendants of Mark Antony and Cleopatra finally stake their claim to the Roman Empire – and the result is, well, kind of a disaster.  But it is fun to watch.

Until then, thanks for all the kind words and support, and thanks again for listening.

The Bloodline Family Tree (so far!)

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/The_Bloodline.jpg
Dec 18, 2015
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 B24 - The Yona Kings
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?
-Yes, certainly.
-Then you set to work, I suppose, to have moats dug, and ramparts thrown up, and watch towers erected, and strongholds built, and stores of food collected?
-Not at all. All that had been prepared beforehand.
-Or you had yourself trained in the management of war elephants, and in horsemanship, and in the use of the war chariot, and in archery and fencing?
-Not at all. I had learnt all that before.
-But why?
-With the object of warding off future danger."Milinda Panha (The Questions of King Menander), Book III, Chapter 7 
 
Map of Central Asia:

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 B23 - Parthicus
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 cross over to the Indi, if I were still young.’  He gave much thought to the Indi, and was curious about their affairs.  Alexander he counted a happy man and at the same time declared that he himself had advanced farther.  This was the tenor of the dispatch that he forwarded to the Senate, although he was unable to preserve even what territory had been subdued.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 68 

The Near East c. 116AD - Provinces and Kingdoms 


The Near East c. 116AD - Major Cities
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_116AD_2.jpg
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 B22 - Optimus
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 in silence, expecting to receive it back.  At this the soldiers shouted aloud, and hailed Trajan imperator as if on account of some victory (they termed it an uncrowned, bloodless victory to see the king, a descendant of Arsaces, a son of Pacorus, and a nephew of Osroes, standing beside Trajan without a diadem, like a captive).  The shout terrified the prince, who though that it heralded insult and destruction for him.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 68
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B22_Optimus.mp3
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 B21 - Betrayal
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 came to his assistance: Aristibulus, king of the country called Chalcidene, and Sohaemus, who was called King of Emesa.  Nor was there any opposition made to his forces when they entered the kingdom, for no one of that country would so much as lift up his hand against them.” – Josephus, The Jewish War, Book VII, Chapter 7
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B21_Betrayal.mp3
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 B20 - The God of Dusk
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 sun goddess Shapash, a possible manifestation of Shamash.  An element in the names of King David’s sons Solomon and Absalom.  Original guardian, patron and protective deity of Jerusalem. 

“Before the fifteenth of July all Syria had sworn the same allegiance.  Vespasian’s cause was now joined also by Sohaemus with his entire kingdom, whose strength was not to be despised, and by Antiochus who had enormous ancestral wealth, and was in fact the richest of the subject princes.  Presently Agrippa, summoned from Rome by private messages from his friends, while Vitellius was still unaware of his action, quickly crossed the sea and joined the cause.” – Tacitus, The Histories, Book II 

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 B19 - The Prefect
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 manner, granted them his lordly protection, and came into the city, in order to deliver it from the zealots.  The people also made joyful acclamations to him, as their savior and their preserver; but when he was come in, with his army, he took care to secure his own authority, and looked upon those that had invited him in to be no less his enemies than those against whom the invitation was intended.  And thus did Simon get possession of Jerusalem.” – Josephus, The Jewish War, Book IV, Chapter 9
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B19_The_Prefect.mp3
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 B18 - The Josephus Problem
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 the circle until only one remains, find the position L (n, m) in which you should stand in order to be the last survivor.
Aug 28, 2015
Thanks!
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated to the TAW Syria Fund Drive.  In the end, we raised over $5,000 to help preserve Syrian heritage sites and support Syrian refugees.  You guys definitely came through, and I really appreciate it.  Big TAW thanks go out to all the following donors (in no particular order):

Patricia Matson (in Memory of Lloyd and Tina Elkins) Parker Newcomb
Kevin McFadden                                                     Aimee Popp
Terry Dillon                                                           Richie Walker
Antti Rasinen                                                         Georgi Petrov
Gnanadeep Kollipara                                              Johan Torne
Rita Mathis                                                            Julie Jones
Travis Anderson                                                     Matthew Smith
Joseph Cigliano                                                      Paul and Meg Strong
Michele Dana                                                         Gary Jones
Steven Diamond                                                    Julius (Jay) Bennett
Brenda Buxton                                                       Colby Stearns
Ned Mastro                                                            Brent Mallinckrodt
Matthew Brauer                                                     Greg Strasburg
Ryan Murphy                                                          Christophe Mandy
Benjamin Amy                                                        Briauna Dodson
Mark Simms                                                           Richard Burgess
Jan Willem van Dalen                                              Radu-Iulian Costin
Brian Collins                                                           Julienne Tracy
Darren Hart                                                            Jared Magee
Heather Jacobsen                                                    Jonathan Bergdoll
Norman Casagrande                                                Jed Joyce
Franz Rivera                                                           Mark Webster
Bart Nadeau                                                           Steven Malone
Peter McIntyre                                                        Alan Barker
Andrew Wren                                                          Bryant Fairley
Carl Thoren                                                            Christopher Hays
David Wallace                                                         Dennis White
Jason Rosecast                                                       Jeff Edelbrock
John Holmes                                                           Keith Binns
Kyle Parker                                                             Natacha Tracy
Paul Ross                                                                Sam Cumming
Scott Brayton                                                          Wim Hance 
Gregory Estey                                                          Gil Elgez

I also need to mention that a lot of you have donated enough to get a prize, but haven’t given me your contact information, or let me know which prize you want.  If you donated enough to get one of the prizes, please make sure you e-mail me at stches@ancientworldpodcast.com with your donation receipt, contact information, and letting me know which gift you want.  You’ve already earned it, now I just need to get it to you!
And now some logistics.  The past few months were mostly about getting the Fund Drive up and running, and the past few weeks I’ve been overseas on a project. The end result is that I’m way behind in drafting new episodes for the series.  In fact, before I write any more, I need to do more research.  And before I do more research, I need to get the Fund Drive gifts prepared and shipped out to all the donors - which I’m hoping to do by the end of July, but may roll into early August, so please be patient!
And I think you all know where this conversation is going.  Yes, the end result is that it will likely be September before Bloodline picks up with the story of the Roman-Jewish War.  It sucks, but there it is - and I wanted to give you advanced notice so you don’t think I dropped off the face of the earth.  In the meantime, I’ll still be keeping in touch with listeners on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you’re following me there.  And if you want an update on when your prize is coming, you’re welcome to e-mail me at stches@ancientworldpodcast.com.
In the meantime, thanks for helping out with the TAW Syria Fund Drive, and thanks again for listening!
Scott C.
Jul 02, 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 B17 - The Valley
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 words that I shall tell thee…
 
Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter.” - Jeremiah 19:2-6 

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 B16 - Burn
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 abhorr’d,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.” – William Cowper, Boadicea: An Ode
 
Map of Near East c. 64AD:
Jun 12, 2015
Help Me Help Syria
Ever since I knew the series would be spending time in Syria, I wanted to find out something I could do to try to help the situation there.  Basically I wanted to find a group working in the area that I could point listeners to.  Of course the problems in Syria are massive and there are a lot of great organizations doing really amazing work.  

Those of you on my Facebook page know I’ve been following the damage to ancient world heritage sites in Syria and Iraq – especially ones I feel particularly close to like Nineveh and Palmyra.  I’ve done whole episodes on Nineveh and the current series, Bloodline, will end up in Palmyra.  When I get there I’d be very, very happy if I could still talk about it as an actual place that people can go and see, rather than a place that used to exist.   

After doing some research, I’ve found an organization that I think is a really good fit.  It’s called the Syrian Heritage Initiative, or SHI, and it’s fully dedicated to documenting, protecting and preserving Syria’s cultural heritage.  If you’ve been feeling helpless watching groups like IS capture and destroy ancient heritage sites then supporting the SHI is a great step.  You can find all their details on their website:  http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/.

For those who’d prefer to donate to a group providing critical support to Syrian refugees, another great option is the International Rescue Committee, or IRC.  If you want to help improve the lives of innocent Syrians caught up in a horrible civil war then supporting the IRC is a great step.  You can find all their details on their website:  www.rescue.org/crisis-syria. 

And of course if you want to support both groups, even better!  I’ve put Donate buttons for both organizations up on The Ancient World website.  The buttons may not be visible on mobile phones or iPads, and you may have to view the website on a computer to see them.  Both organizations are 501c3, and are therefore eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations.  If you’d prefer to donate to either organization via regular mail or over the phone, you can find that information on their websites. 

As you probably know, I spend most of my free time – OK who am I kidding, all of my free time – putting together this podcast series.  Which is really nobody’s fault but my own.  But if you appreciate the work I do and have ever thought about donating to me or the podcast, please donate to one of these organizations instead.  As best I can figure, the series has around ten thousand regular subscribers.  Together, I’m hoping we can do some real good.

OK, now for the fun part.  I’ve decided to give away prizes to listeners who donate to either organization.  So please save the confirmation of your donation so you can redeem it for one or more of these prizes.  Please e-mail your confirmation and other information to: stches@ancientworldpodcast.com. 

First off, anyone who donates $10 or more will be thanked on The Ancient World website.  If you’d like to be thanked, please give me your name (or the name you’d like me to use) when you e-mail me your donation confirmation.  A $25 donation will get you a set of JPEG files of all the maps, family trees and header photos I’ve created so far for Bloodline. 

Moving up the scale, a $50 donation will get you a photobook containing my very favorite Ancient World photos I’ve taken on my travels.  I’ll also provide details on when and where each photo was taken and what makes the photo one of my favorites.  The photobooks will be 4x6”, softcover, and contain 10 photos.  Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, this prize will only be available within the continental United States.  Outside of the US, the alternate prize for a $50 donation will be JPEG files of 20 of my favorite photos, along with the details on each. 

A $150 donation will get you a signed hardcopy script of any Ancient World episode - from any series.  It’ll be printed out all pretty and I’ll include some “liner notes” with extra information.  If you have a favorite Ancient World episode I’d really encourage you to consider this option.  Unfortunately due to shipping costs, the hardcopy version will only be available within the continental United States.  Outside of the US, the alternate prize for a $150 donation will a signed PDF file of the script along with the liner notes, etc. 

Now we get to the sentimental stuff.  For a donation of $300 or more you can have one of the actual reference books I used to generate the original Ancient World series – with the rampant yellow-highlighting to prove it.  Again these will be signed and I’ll include some “liner notes” discussing how I used the reference in the series.  The books on offer are:

“A History of the Ancient Near East” by Marc Van De Mieroop
“Ancient Iraq” by Georges Roux
“Carthage Must Be Destroyed” by Richard Miles
“Persian Fire” by Tom Holland 

And then of course there’s the grand prize.  For a super-generous donation of $1,000 or more you can pick any person or event between 500 BC and 500 AD - and I’ll do a full-length episode on him, her or it.  So basically the prize is two weeks of my life – maybe even a little more.  This is a one-time offer, so once someone grabs it’ll be off the table. 

The Syrian charity drive will be going on between today, June 1, and the end of the month, June 30.  All prizes will be sent out as soon as possible after the end of the charity drive.  After June 30 you can keep making donations through The Ancient World website, but the only reward will be knowing you’ve supported a really great cause.   

So, that’s it!  Give to a great cause, get a cool gift - it’s a win-win.  Thanks again for listening and thanks for helping me help Syria. 

Scott C. 
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Help_Me_Help_Syria.mp3
Jun 01, 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 B15 - God of the Mountain
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 Sagan
Syria and adjacent regions:
Emesene family tree:
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/10_Emesenes_55AD.pdf
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 B14 - The Just
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 the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae, as they were called; and from these weapons these robbers got their denomination; and with these weapons they slew a great many; for they mingled themselves among the multitude at their festivals, when they were come up in crowds from all parts to the city to worship God, as we said before, and easily slew those that they had a mind to slay.” – Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Chapter 8
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 B13 - Zealot
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 upon all the weapons that were laid up in it, and with them armed every one of those that were with him, and carried away what money was left there; and he became terrible to all men, by tearing and rending those that came near him.” – Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Book XVII, Chapter 10
Nero Family Tree:
Regions of Judea:
May 03, 2015
A Brief Intermission
Mar 31, 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 B12 - Antonii
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, at a public exhibition, he attracted the eyes of all the spectators, by the splendor of his purple robe.” – Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, XXXV

“Meanwhile Gaius sent for Ptolemy, the son of Juba, and on ascertaining that he was wealthy put him to death.” – Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 59
Heirs of Mark Antony:
Mar 27, 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 B11 - Caedis
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 ivory scepter with the embroidered robe, and to greet him by the style of king, ally and friend.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book IV
“There followed from now onward a sheer and grinding despotism: for, with Augusta still alive, there had remained a refuge; since deference to his mother was ingrained in Tiberius, nor did Sejanus venture to claim precedence over the authority of a parent.  But now, as though freed from the curb, they broke out unrestrained.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book V
Updated Julio-Claudian Family Tree:

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/6_Octavian_Clan_31AD.pdf
Mar 13, 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 B10 - Insurgo
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 than a territorial settlement for himself and his army, and threatening in the alternative a war from which there was no extrication.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book III
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B10_Insurgo.mp3
Feb 27, 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 B9 - Germanicus
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 loved me, and not my fortune.  Show to the Roman people the granddaughter of their deified Augustus, who was also my wife; number her six children: pity will side with the accusers, and, if the murderers allege some infamous warrant, they will find no credence in men – or no forgiveness!’  His friends touched the dying hand, and swore to forgo life sooner than revenge.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book II
Updated Near Eastern Family Tree:
Updated Map of the Near East:
Feb 13, 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 B8 - Scelus
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, Book I 

“Yet the temper of the soldiers remained savage, and a sudden desire came over them to advance against the enemy: it would be expiation of their madness; nor could the ghosts of their companions be appeased till their own impious breasts had been marked with honorable wounds.  Falling in with the enthusiasm of his troops, (Germanicus) laid a bridge over the Rhine, and threw across twelve thousand legionaries.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book I
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B8_Scelus.mp3
Jan 30, 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 B7 - Tropaion
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.
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B7_Tropaion.mp3
Jan 16, 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 B6 - Eurus
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 war, only a few presented themselves, but when it was an embassy, many came.”  - Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 36 

“Pompey…announced to his soldiers that Mithridates was dead…Upon this the army filled with joy and, as was natural, gave itself up to sacrifices and entertainments, feeling that in the person of Mithridates ten thousand enemies had died.”  - Plutarch, The Life of Pompey 


Map of the Near East c. 1 BC:

Near East Family Trees:

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 B5 - Eclipsis
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 had the beauty of her light in common,
And mingled her own darkness with her death.” – Crinagoras of Myteline, Epigram for Cleopatra Selene 


Updated Octavian Family Tree:
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/2_Octavian_Clan_1BC.pdf

Dec 19, 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 B4 - Limitem Mundi
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 life, but was actually a victor now as far as he chose to be, and a conqueror of Caesar in all that was honorable and just.” – Plutarch, The Life of Cato the Younger

“My husband has died and I have no son.  They say about you that you have many sons.  You might give me one of your sons to become my husband.  I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband... I am afraid.” – Queen Ankhesenamun of Egypt, Letter to King Suppiluliuma I of Hatti

Map of Mauretania:
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us\Mauretania.jpg
Dec 05, 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 B3 - Ephebus
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Octavian during the conquest of Egypt.

“Thus was Egypt enslaved.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book LI

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B3_Ephebus.mp3

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 B2 - Rex Socius Amicusque
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 those with which the Roman people considered Massinissa alone, of all foreigners, worthy.” – Livy, The History of Rome, Book XXX

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 B1 - Triumph
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 of Marcus Antonius

“Pity fixed the eyes of the Romans upon the infants; and many of them could not forbear tears, and all beheld the sight with a mixture of sorrow and pleasure, until the children were passed.” – Plutarch, The Life of Lucius Aemilius Paulus
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B1_Triumph.mp3
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 R10 - The Bull and the Aten
“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 lord, not impute rebellion to me!...If the king should write to me, ‘Plunge a bronze dagger into thy heart and die!,’ how could I refuse to carry out the command of the king?”  - Labayu (Caananite warlord) writing to Amenhotep III 

Discoveries at Tell El Amarna and the Valley of the Kings showed the wealth and influence of the Egyptian New Kingdom, while archives uncovered in central Anatolia shed light on Hittite civilization.  Excavations and Knossos confirmed Mycenaean Greek dominance and revealed the majesty of Minoan Crete.
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R10_The_Bull_and_the_Aten.mp3
Sep 05, 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 R9 - The Flood
“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 Epic of Gilgamesh 

George Smith’s 1872 discovery of the Mesopotamian Flood tablet won him widespread acclaim.  Four years later, his ill-timed expedition to Nineveh would end in tragedy.
 
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R9_The_Flood.mp3
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 R8 - The Thousand Year Gap
“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 discover the Troy described by Homer, as to induce him either to suppress or to pervert every fact brought to light that could not be reconciled with the Iliad.” – Frank Calvert, 1875

Despite numerous returns to Hisarlik, Heinrich Schliemann was unable to establish the layer holding Homer’s Troy.  It was only near the end of his life, with the aid of Wilhelm Dorpfeld, that his quest was finally rewarded.  In the meantime, Schliemann’s excavations at Mycenae and Tiryns had shed new light on the wealth and power of Late Bronze Age Greece.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R8_The_Thousand_Year_Gap.mp3
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 R7 - The Man Who Sold Troy
“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?”  - George Gordon, Lord Byron, 1810

Three millennia after its fall, British archaeologist Frank Calvert used clues from Homer, and his own deep knowledge of the region, to establish the most likely site of ancient Troy.  Unable to finance the excavation, he was compelled to partner with wealthy enthusiast Heinrich Schliemann.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R7_The_Man_Who_Sold_Troy.mp3
Jul 11, 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 R6 - The Heroic Age
“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 convey to others an idea of the excitement which was produced by the constant discovery of objects of the highest interest.”  - Austen Henry Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains

While Layard resumed his Assyrian excavations, and Rawlinson continued to decipher Akkadian, both efforts began to shed light on the even older civilization of ancient Sumer.
Jun 27, 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 R5 - Behistun Hat-Trick
“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 the heated rock and under a broiling September sun.” – Felix Jones, 1844

After the debacle of the First Anglo-Afghan War, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson made two more excursions to Behistun.  His attempts to copy the remaining inscriptions nearly cost him his life.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R5_Behistun_Hat-Trick.mp3
May 23, 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 R4 - Dwelling of the Lions
“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 glory and their victories in their figures, but their story, their age, their blood, is to me a mystery.  Their remains mark the fall of a glorious and a brilliant past, but of a past known not to a living man." – Paul-Emile Botta

The excavations of Botta and Layard brought the majesty of ancient Assyria into the modern world.
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 R3 - The Place of God
“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 considerable progress...I aspire to do for the cuneiformalphabet what Champollion has done for the hieroglyphics.”  - Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, July 1836 (writing to his sister Maria)

In 1836, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson - British soldier, adventurer and Orientalist – first encountered the Behistun Inscription.  He would devote the next few decades to deciphering its three cuneiformscripts.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R3_The_Place_of_God.mp3
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 R2 - Arabia Felix
“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 occasions seek to make new discoveries and observations for the benefit of scholarship…” – Copenhagen Post, 12th January, 1761

Carsten Niebuhr survived malaria, earthquakes, civil wars, bandits, plagues and the deaths of all his colleagues to successfully complete the first modern scientific expedition to the Near East.
Apr 18, 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 R1 - The Broken Stone
“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.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R1_The_Broken_Stone.mp3
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 36 - And Then What Happened?
A little time-travel, a quick world tour, and plenty of thanks all around!

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_36_And_Then_What_Happened.mp3

Oct 18, 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 35 - On The Verge
“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 put an end to the City itself.” – Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2 

Publius Valerius Poplicola overcame Roman distrust and Etruscan aggression to set the young Republic onto firm foundations.  Aristagoras’ failed attempt to capture the island of Naxos led to open warfare between Greece and Persia.

Sep 27, 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 34 - Democracy and Republic, Part 2
“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 freed each one was keen to do the deed for himself.” - Herodotus

Delivered from Spartan destruction, the Athenians were forced to defend their new democracy against the Thebans and Chalsidians.  Shocked by a horrific crime, the Romans followed the guidance of Brutus, exiled Tarquin the Proud and declared their first Republic.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_34_Democracy_and_Republic_Part_2.mp3
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 33 - Democracy and Republic, Part 1
“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 a time.  Once he had got the people on his side he had the upper hand over his rivals.” – Herodotus on Cleisthenes

Darius enlisted Greek tyrants in his Scythian campaign, then extended Persia’s dominion to the foot of Mount Olympus.  Spartan intervention put an end to Hippias’ oppressive rule.  Inspired by Cleisthenes’ bold ideas, the Athenians rejected both tyranny and foreign domination, and restructured their polis into the world’s first democracy.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_33_Democracy_and_Republic_Part_1.mp3
Aug 09, 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 32 - Things Fixed, Things Moving
“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 air: things fixed, things moving quake before him as he flies.”-  Rigvedas, Book 1, Hymn LVIII
 
Darius retraced Cyrus’s footsteps to expand Persian control of Vedic India.  Hipparchus met a bloody end at the hands of a jealous rival.  Tarquin kept Rome’s military and infrastructure sound while alienating both rich and poor.
Jul 18, 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 31 - Land of Imposters
“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 Mazda delivered them into my hand; and I did unto them according to my will.” – Darius I, Behistun Inscription

Darius spent years reconquering the rebellious territories of the Persian Empire.  Peisistratos was successful in passing his Athenian tyranny down to his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus.  Cleomenes set his sights on Spartan domination of the Greek mainland.
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 30 - The Lost Army
"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 the figure of a horseman, with this inscription: 'Darius son of Hystaspes, aided by the excellence of his horse, and of Oebares his groom, got possession of the kingdom of Persia.'" - Herodotus

Cambyses successfully conquered Egypt, but forays beyond its frontiers met with frustration and disaster.  The promise of Lydian gold lured Polycrates to a gruesome death in Sardis.  Bardiya briefly wrestled the Persian Empire from his brother, only to lose it to a conspiracy of nobles led by Darius.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_30_The_Lost_Army.mp3
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 29 - A More Perfect Empire
“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)
Servius Tullius laid the foundation for the Roman Republic, but his dubious claim to the throne led to his violent overthrow by Tarquin the Proud.  Cyrus the Great governed his vast empire with wisdom and temperance before meeting his end along Persia’s volatile eastern frontier.  Cambyses II’s Egyptian designs were aided by a high-level betrayal in the court of Ahmose II.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_29_A_More_Perfect_Empire.mp3
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 28 - When the Mede Came
“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 you when the Mede came?’” – Xenophanes of Colophon
The return of Harpagus to Anatolia signaled the end of Ionian Greek freedom.  After securing his third tyranny, Peisistratos brought stability and prosperity to Athens.  Fresh from a series of Eastern conquests, Cyrus II used propaganda and military might to overthrow Nabonidus and claim his third Near Eastern empire.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_28_When_The_Mede_Came.mp3
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 27 - Count No Man Happy
“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 cultivated a reputation as the most fearsome warriors in Greece.  Prophesied to destroy a mighty empire, King Croesus of Lydia led Anatolian forces against the Persians and Medes, but the unconventional strategies of Cyrus brought him to a bitter end.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_27_Count_No_Man_Happy.mp3
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 26 - The Last Kings of Babylon
“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 the moon god, Sin, served to spark a war and drive the Babylonian king into self-imposed Arabian exile.  The military and political skills of Cyrus, and a high-level Median betrayal, enabled the Persians to win the empire of Astyages.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_26_The_Last_Kings_of_Babylon.mp3
Apr 17, 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 25 - The Voyage of Solon
“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 to stay, but who made voyages thither, he granted portions of land to set up altars and make sacred enclosures for their gods. Their greatest enclosure and that one which has most name and is most frequented is called the Hellenion, and this was established by the following cities in common: --of the Ionians Chios, Teos, Phocaia, Clazomenai, of the Dorians Rhodes, Cnidos, Halicarnassos, Phaselis, and of the Aiolians Mytilene alone.“ – Heroditus

After his overthrow of Apries, the pharaoh Ahmose II increased Egyptian prosperity by centralizing and facilitating Greek trade at Naucratis.  King Alyattes used Lydia’s vast mineral wealth to maintain a powerful army and mint the world’s first coins.  Thales and the philosophers of the Milesian school introduced rationality and scientific inquiry into their studies of the cosmos.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_25_The_Voyage_of_Solon.mp3
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 24 - A Wolf Among Hounds
“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, fitting straight justice for each.  If someone other than I had taken the goad, some ill-intentioned and greedy man, he would not have been able to control the people.  For had I been willing to do what pleased the opposing party then, or what the others planned for them, this city would have lost many men.  That is why I made a stout defense all round, turning like a wolf among many hounds.”  - Solon of Athens

The leaders of Rome, Carthage and Greece relied on strength, wisdom and cunning to navigate the turbulent political waters of the early 6thcentury Mediterranean.  The delicate balance struck by Solon allowed Athens to prosper, while also unleashing the popular forces that would define the city’s future.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_24_A_Wolf_Among_Hounds.mp3
Mar 20, 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 23 - Captives of Babylon
“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 princes of Judah in Riblah.  He also put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in bronze fetters, took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.” – Jeremiah 52 

After eliminating the last Assyrian holdouts, King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon warred against Egypt over control of the Levant.  Repeated Judean defiance resulted in the sacking of Jerusalem.  Cyaxares of Medea found his Anatolian designs curtailed by the powerful kingdom of Lydia.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_23_Captives_of_Babylon.mp3
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 22 - The Fifth Generation
“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 earth.  Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them, some in the land of Cadmus at seven- gated Thebe when they fought for the flocks of Oedipus, and some, when it had brought them in ships over the great sea gulf to Troy for rich-haired Helen's sake: there death's end enshrouded a part of them.  But to the others father Zeus the son of Cronos gave a living and an abode apart from men, and made them dwell at the ends of earth. And they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods…” – Hesiod, Works and Days

During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, the Archaic Greeks struggled with tyranny, warfare and social division.  But their creativity in matters of art, politics, warfare and religious practice foreshadowed the coming brilliance of the Classical Age.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_22_The_Fifth_Generation.mp3
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 21 - For the Sake of Distant Days
“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 seal the fate of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_21_For_the_Sake_of_Distant_Days.mp3
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 20 – The House of Succession
In the mid-7th 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 warring against the Empire’s enemies, including his older brother in Babylon, but his total destruction of the ancient kingdom of Elam sowed the seeds of Assyria’s downfall.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_20_The_House_of_Succession.mp3

Jan 20, 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 19 - The Destruction of Sennacherib
“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 the midst of the city I dug canals, flooded its site with water, and the very foundations thereof I destroyed.  I made its destruction more complete than by a flood.  That, in days to come, the site of the city, its temples and gods, might not be remembered, I completely blotted it out with floods of water, and made it like a meadow.” – Sennacherib of Assyria

In the early 7th century BC, Sennacherib wrestled with Judean defiance, Urartian resurgence, and Elamite invasion, but his destruction of the ancient city of Babylon led to his demise.  His son, Esarhaddon, warred against the Nubian pharaoh Taharqa to extend Assyrian domination into Lower Egypt.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_19_The_Destruction_of_Sennacherib.mp3
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 18 - The Three Pillars
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 17 - The Fall of Israel
“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 8th century BC, the Kushite priest-kings of Napata reunified Egypt under Nubian rule.  Sargon II continued to extend Assyrian domination over the Near East, even as Elamite armies bolstered Chaldean resistance in Babylonia.  And a desperate gambit by King Hoshea resulted in the destruction of the ancient state of Israel.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_17_The_Fall_of_Israel.mp3
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 16 - The Assyrian
“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.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_16_The_Assyrian.mp3

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 15 - Holding Action
During the first half of the 8th 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 a weakened Assyria.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_15_Holding_Action.mp3
Oct 14, 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 14 - In the Midst of the Seas

“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 vessel, multicolored linen garments, a large female monkey, a small female monkey, ebony, boxwood, and ivory of sea creatures.  They submitted to me.” – Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria

Under constant pressure from Assyria, Phoenician merchant fleets aggressively expanded their influence into Sardinia, North Africa and the Tartessian coast of southern Spain.  In the central Mediterranean, they bore witness to the cultural resurgence of Archaic Greece, and the growing power of the Etruscan kingdoms of Italy.

Sep 30, 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 13 - Civil War
“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 the cities into the rebellion and set his face to begin strife and battle.” – Shamshi-Adad V of Assyria

Shalmaneser III’s campaigns brought unrivalled wealth and power to Assyria, but internal discord tore the empire apart toward the end of his long reign. Warfare, religious strife, and bloody usurpation continued to roil the volatile states of Syria and Caanan. Meanwhile, the new kingdom of Urartu began to challenge Assyria’s role as sole regional superpower.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_13_Civil_War.mp3
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 12 - Legacies of East and West
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 power to feudal lords, and the chaos of the Warring States Period.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_12_Legacies_of_East_and_West.mp3
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 11 - The Rise of Assyria
“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 the valleys of the land. The plain was too small for their bodies to fall; the wide countryside was used to bury them. With their corpses I spanned the Orontes as with a bridge.” - Shalmaneser III of Assyria

In the early centuries of the first millennium BC, Egypt, Babylonia and the Neo-Hittite states struggled to regain their footing, while Israel, Judah, Aram and Phoenicia continued jockeying for regional power. In 853 BC, the threat of Neo-Assyrian invasion compelled the disparate kingdoms to join forces at the Battle of Qarqar.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_11_The_Rise_of_Assyria.mp3
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 10 - Picking Up The Pieces
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 that would have a lasting impact on the region.

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 9 - The Other 99 Percent
“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 with walls and bring your troops and chariots into them.  Watch out for the enemy and reinforce yourself well!” – The King of Alashiya, writing to King Hammurabi of Ugarit
The Sea Peoples cut a swath of destruction from Greece to Egypt, while wars, internal conflicts and hostile desert tribes ravaged the civilizations of Mesopotamia.  It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel...like an extended break!

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 8 - Look Upon My Works
“…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, Ozymandius

The Kassites restored and preserved the ancient culture of Babylon while defending its frontiers against the growing Assyrian threat.  The conflict between Egypt and Hatti over control of Caanan culminated in the Battle of Kadesh.

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 7 - Between Lions and Men
“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, the Iliad

The Mycenaean Greeks melded their warrior ethos with Minoan artistry to rule over an Aegean empire extending to the shores of ancient Troy.  The Aryans, distant relatives of the Mitanni, imported their Vedic culture into Northern India by chariot and sword.  Meanwhile, China’s Shang Dynasty, after ousting the corrupt Xia to build a mighty Bronze Age kingdom, saw the Mandate of Heaven pass to the Zhou.
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 6 - The New Kingdoms
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.
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_6_The_New_Kingdoms.mp3
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 5 - Blind-sided
“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 the wretches retreat with a charge! But there is none mighty in the night, none who can fight alone.” – Amenemhet I

In the turbulent period between 2,000 and 1,500 BC, Egyptian rulers were not the only ones caught off guard. After rising to new heights, Minoan Crete, Hammurabi’s Babylon and Middle Kingdom Egypt all fell victim to disaster and foreign invasion.


http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_5_Blind-sided.mp3
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 4 - The Pyramid Builders
“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.   In the Far East, Great Yu controlled the waters and founded the first Chinese dynasty, the Xia.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_4_The_Pyramid_Builders.mp3
Apr 29, 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 3 – “Wherever I Went, Let Him Go!”
“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 Dynasty of Ur built its smaller but more centralized structure on Akkadian foundations.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_3_Wherever_I_Went.mp3
Apr 23, 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 2 - Circles and Labyrinths
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.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_2_Circles_and_Labyrinths.mp3
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
Episode 1 - "Climb the Stone Staircase"
"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.

http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_1_Climb_The_Stone_Staircase.mp3
Apr 04, 2012