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Plutarch's Greeks and Romans Podcast
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Plutarch's Greeks and Romans Podcast

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Plutarch’s Greeks and Romans is a bi-weekly podcast inspired by Plutarch’s ancient collection of biographies of famous Grecians and Romans. Plutarch was both a Greek and a Roman citizen living during the Pax Romana - the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. Our podcast will explore 50 persons Plutarch believed were most influential in the rise of Greek and Roman civilization, from legends such as Theseus and Romulus to conquerors like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, Plutarch had no shortage of great people and stories to tell us about.
19 Episodes
Furius Camillus, whom many historians, Plutarch included, say is the second founder of Rome and in my opinion is one of the greatest Roman leaders at least up until the Empire, and even then, still holds his own! Support the show
Lysander's importance to history begins when he is appointed as admiral of the Spartan fleet in 407 BC.   At this point Athens's navy has experienced a resurgence with the return of Alcibiades.Lysander takes command of the Spartan fleet at Ephesus and resolves to do what it takes to make it a match for the Athenian navy. A tall order - is Lysander up for the challenge?Enjoy the episodeSupport the show
After suffering a disastrous setback in Sicily the situation once again looks grim for Athens.  The Athenians would continue the fight however and the story of the Peloponnesian War would see a number of surprising twists - with Alcibiades playing a key role in each new turning point in the conflict.Thanks for listeningChris & RyanSupport the show
In Part 2 of the Lives of Alcibiades and Nicias, these two polar opposites clash over Athenian foreign policy.  With Sparta still a looming threat, Athenians must choose whether to listen to the ambitious Alcibiades or cautious Nicias.Support the show
For this episode it's going to be another two-for-one special as we will be covering two lives at once, and we will be picking up basically right where we left off.  To jog everyone's memories, when we last left Athens the city had just been dealt a devastating blow in it's war with Sparta.  Athens's lead citizen Pericles had convinced the Athenians to avoid a decisive land battle with the Spartans which would play to the Spartan's strengths, and instead stay behind their city walls and use their large navy to their advantage.However a plague spread within the heavily populated city and claimed the life of Pericles.  The war was not over but the city would need to find new leaders.In this episode, we will take on the lives of two Athenians who would step into the void left behind by Pericles:  these would be Alcibiades and Nicias. Support the show
Coriolanus was an orphan, a Patrician and a Roman with Roman-sized ambitions who wouldn't let anyone get in his way on the road to glory, fame and prominence. Hope you enjoy!Chris & RyanSupport the show
Coriolanus was an orphan, a Patrician and a Roman with Roman-sized ambitions who wouldn't let anyone get in his way on the road to glory, fame and prominence. Hope you enjoy!Chris & RyanSupport the show
 Pericles had reached heights of political power never achieved before in democratic Athens but the threat of war looms on the horizon for both the city and Greece as a whole.Support the show
 With Cimon out of the picture for a while, more democratic figures would step up to fill the leadership vacuum, and Pericles would end up becoming the most prominent of these, eventually establishing a legacy as arguably the greatest statesman in the history of Athens. With Pericles as the lead voice in the Ecclesia, Athens would experience a Golden Age which continues to impress us a full two and a half Millenia later.Support the show
Having narrowly survived the invasion of Xerxes massive Persian army, Athens would lean on the leadership of Cimon as it looks to establish supremacy in the Aegean Sea with a new alliance and a powerful navy.Support the show
With King Tarquin in exile, and support from the Roman people in hand, Poplicola is forced to play a high stakes game of diplomacy and warfare to secure the newly formed Republic and ensure the tyranny of the cruel monarchy would remain a past indulgence. The life of Poplicola as described by Plutarch makes it clear how the desire for freedom always trumps tyranny. Hope you enjoy the episode! Don't forget to check the blog for our maps and join the discussion at Chris and Ryan.Support the show
The Persians are coming and Athens is doomed to destruction if the bold and clever Themistocles, and his rival the honorable Aristides, can't find a way to stop themChris & RyanPlutarch's Greeks and Romans PodcastSupport the show
Aristides and Themistocles came of age as tyranny in Athens was coming to an end and the world's first democracy was being established! It was a brave new world and would require brave new leaders.Support the show
 Numa Pompilius, a man whom never wanted to be King, a man with a deep faith in the Gods topped off with a philosophy abhorrently against an aggression and anger driven society forever at war depriving Rome’s citizens of more Godly and more peaceful societal improvements. If it’s said, Romulus gifted the Romans with a grand military tradition and supporting institutions which would last for a millennia, then Numa as a counter to military traditions, gifted the Romans grand religious traditions and supporting religious institutions, which would last for a millennia or more also. Hope you enjoy! Head over to our blog and leave some comments, lets get the conversation started.Chris & RyanSupport the show
Solon was Athens' original wise man.  Can his guidance and prudent laws help the city avoid disintegrating into civil conflict?For the life of Solon we return to Athens, where we started the podcast and learned about Theseus, the hero who the Athenians celebrate as their founder because he ended the tribute to King Minos of Crete, brought the people of Attica together, and established some of Athens traditions and festivals.Chris:  Not to mention slaying a minotaur, and attempting to kidnap a wife on more than one occasion Ryan:  Right – Theseus led a very eventful life to say the least And Chris, I am excited to be moving forward and taking on the life of Solon today because it means we are now moving into more solid Greek history.  Unlike Theseus who can be placed into the category of myth, and Lycurgus who sits maybe halfway between man and myth, we can be pretty certain that Solon really existed and when he existed.  The year that Solon was appointed to arbitrate the differences of the Athenian people is most likely 594-593 BC.  I know you have been eager to get to some actual dates ChrisChris:  Ha ha, yes it feels good to hear an actual date Ryan:  Agreed.  Now Solon is considered one of the Seven Sages, or Seven Wise Men, according to the Classical Greek tradition.  The earliest surviving list of Seven Wise Men comes from Plato’s Protagoras.  Solon expressed his wisdom through poetry – writing in prose was uncommon.  It is said that Solon travelled widely in his younger days - some say that Solon travelled purely to gain wisdom and knowledge, others that he was a merchant, having come from a noble family whose wealth had ebbed and so it fell to Solon to restore their fortune.  For his part, Plutarch sees no shame in Solon possibly engaging in trade to restore his families wealth – pointing out that trade brings home the good things from other countries, increases friendship with their kings, and is a source of valuable experience. Chris:  Very good points.......Check out the podcast, hope you enjoy and looking forward to seeing you in the comments!Support the show
The long awaited conclusion is here! Man or legend, you be the judge! Romulus begins the episode mounting a  daring rescue of his brother Remus, kidnapped by Numitors herdsmen, and most certainly headed for personal disaster.With Remus rescued, Numitor on the throne, Romulus will rise to his legend and found Rome, her politics, her military, societal structures and religious and moral codes. Romulus would lay the foundations for Rome's growth strategies' of integrating her enemies, and striving for glory enshrined in the practice of the triumph!Man or legend, Rome rose and mastered civilization for millennia.Check out our blog and stay up-to-date or get involved in the episode. Excerpt from the episodeChris: Before Romulus set out to build the shinning bright city on the hill, he sent for men from Tuscany who would ensure the coming construction projects followed sacred usages, and the written rules in all the ceremonies and rights required prior and during construction.Chris: First the dug a circular trench for which the Court of Assembly would stand, and solemnly threw in the first fruits of all things good as custom dictated, and lastly every man took some earth and tossed it into the ditch. First Fruits is a common ritual in western religions, and at the time, represented the fruits of their labor from harvest and other fruits of the labor which were allowed under the ceremony rules. Perhaps, this ritual is similar to the breaking of Champaign bottles on the hull of newly minted ocean vessels or ribbon cutting ceremonies for large public projects.Chris: So, this ditch they dug, they called Mundus, as they called the heavens served as the center of the city, now properly ordained through religious ceremony and rights, would expand out around Mundus very quickly and would grow and grow as the centuries passed. Chris: Rome was never said to be well designed and caused future Romans many problems and I wonder if this early city planning provided precedent for how the city would be built.Chris: Romulus next took a plow attached it to a bull and cow and plowed a large and deep trench around the city center, with workers following behind, massaging the uprooted soil inwards towards the city, forming the foundation for Rome’s first wall system, which was ordained holly, less the spot left for the entrance and side gates, for entrance ways could never be holly due to uncle3an men who would walk through. Maybe sort of like walking under a ladder today is considered a bad omen, but to the superstitious Romans, rituals were godly, and godliness was not something to trifle with or even to attempt fate as that could bring disaster in some form.Chris: So it is widely accepted Rome was founded or construction began on April 21, and that day the Romans keep holy, calling it their country’s birthday. This is the day that Romulus completed the Mundus, performed the ceremonies and plowed the borders of the city which would eventually house a large wall. Rome was founded and built quickly starting with 1,000 homes and expanded every day. Romulus was the sole King, and the Roman adventure was officially off to the races.Hope you enjoy the episodeChris & RyanSupport the show
Lycurgus was the man who gave Sparta it's laws and transformed it into a polis like no other - a warrior-society which would produce the most fearsome soldiers of the Ancient World.  Support the show
In our very first episode, we covered Theseus, a legend himself, but today we get to meet the man whom most believe founded Rome, Romulus! Man or legend, you be the judge. Romulus was a towering figure to the ancient Romans who endured to bring glory to the Empire that Romulus set upon the world on April 21, 752 BC.Excerpt"Plutarch next moves to my favorite origin story, which I like to call the "Revenge of the Trojans", which is set at the time Agamemnon was pillaging and burning the Great city of Troy to avenge his dead brothers pride, while a few distraught Trojans fled the city, loaded up on some surviving Trireme’s and set out to find a new home, a new Troy and rebuild their society." Enjoy!Support the show
When Theseus arrives in Athens the city is in crisis.  Can this monster-slaying, serial womanizer take his rightful place and set Athens on the path to greatness? Plutarch's Greeks and Romans is a bi-weekly podcast featuring biographies found in Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans!Checkout our blog and stay informed on new episodes and other fun updates!plutarchsgreeksromans.wordpress.comChris and RyanSupport the show
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