October 7, 2012

History Of Rome

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Available from iTunes and on its blog, The History of Rome

This podcast series by Mike Duncan aims to tell the complete history of Rome from founding through the Republic and Empire to its fall. There are 189 episodes for a total of 74 hours (each episode being around 20 minutes in length). The podcasts are audio only and have high production values (the first few are a little more raw, but still fine).

I am breaking one of my rules and reviewing this series before having completely finished it. I am only a quarter of the way through. This means I’m listened to 59 episodes totalling 17 hours and have only just reached the Battle of Actium in 31 BC marking the end of the Republic. This is a huge and comprehensive history of Rome. It covers in detail the events that other series tend to skim over. Other histories I have consumed tend to start in the late Republic, and don’t really get going until reaching Caesar or Augustus. Here, the 400 year period of the Kingdom, early, and middle Republic (ending with the Gracchi) is covered over 36 episodes and 10 hours. Roman history is presented in chronological order and in detail. The various early political manoeuvrings around Patrician versus Plebeian laws, the Samnite wars and the Latin war are all covered along with much more. Looking at the episode list, I can only assume this fine coverage continues all the way to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.

Mike is a great speaker and the information is presented in an interesting manner. Often he will say a story is probably apocryphal, but then give the detail anyway. Very entertaining. This series is highly recommended.


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