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The History of Rome

Author: Mike Duncan

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A weekly podcast tracing the history of the Roman Empire, beginning with Aeneas's arrival in Italy and ending with the exile of Romulus Augustulus, last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Now complete!
192 Episodes
001- In the Beginning

001- In the Beginning


Welcome to The History of Rome, a weekly series tracing the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Today we will hear the mythical origin story of Rome and compare it with modern historical and archaeological evidence. How much truth is wrapped up in the legend? We end this week with the death of Remus and the founding of Rome.
Last time we discussed the events that lead to the birth of Rome, covering the arrival of Aeneas in Italy and the story of the twins Romulus and Remus. Today we will cover the remainder of Romulus's life, his questionable morality and ultimate disappearance from the world of men.
This week we cover the first three of Romulus's successors to the throne: Numa Pompulius, Tullus Hostilius and Ancus Marcius, who they were and what affect they had on the evolution Roman law and culture.
The last days of the Roman Kingdom were ruled over by the three members of the so-called Tarquin Dynasty: Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus. The last proved to be such a tyrant that he was overthrown and monarchy was forever outlawed by the Romans.
004- The Public Thing

004- The Public Thing


The monarchy had been overthrown and the Roman Republic was now established. Despite the appearance of a free democratic republic, the Romans were beset with economic and political divisions that threatened the unity of the young State.
The infant Roman Republic faced many challenges as it grew into adolescence, both internally and externally. Most significantly class divisions led to a confrontation between patricians and plebs that resulted in the creation of the office of Tribune.
006- The Twelve Tables

006- The Twelve Tables


In 451 BC a committee was ordered to compile and then condense Roman law into a single text called the Twelve Tables of Law. Despite tyrannical machinations by the committee, the Twelve Tables secured an objective rule of law for all Roman citizens regardless of wealth or class.
007- The Roman Washington

007- The Roman Washington


Cincinnatus was famously appointed dictator of Rome in 458 BC and then resigned soon after, securing his place in history as a paradigm of republican virtue.
008- Decades of Gloom

008- Decades of Gloom


The years after the creation of the Twelve Tables were hard. Political discord, grain shortages and famine all conspired to weaken the city, but the Romans soldiered on in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.
009- A Trojan War

009- A Trojan War


Economic necessity forced a final conflict with Veii, Rome's Etruscan rival to the north. After years of inconclusive fighting, Marcus Furius Camillus was appointed dictator and lead the Romans to victory.
Soon after the war with Veii, Rome was sacked by invading Gauls. The event traumatized the Romans and left their city in ruins. It would be the last time a foreign army breached the walls until the fall of the empire 850 years later.
011- The Morning After

011- The Morning After


In the decades after the Gauls abandoned Rome to its fate, the Romans were forced to battle both external threats and internal sedition. The Plebes, saddled with debt from the reconstruction, forced through reforms in 367 BC that finally gave them access to the most powerful office of state: the Consulship.
From 343-341 BC Rome fought a brief war against the Samnites, a powerful hill tribe who would plague the Romans for the rest of the century. The Romans won an inconclusive victory, but the war was only the opening salvo in a long running struggle between the two peoples.
013- The Latin War

013- The Latin War


The Romans fought a final war against their Latin neighbors from 340-338 BC. The Romans won a decisive victory and the Latin League was abolished once and for all.
For hundreds of years the Roman Army used the Greek phalanx, but during the Samnite Wars they were forced to develop a new distinctly Roman system.
The Roman army abandoned the Greek phalanx in favor of a new system based on a three line deployment organized by age and experience.
After a decade of peace, the Romans and Samnites returned to war. The early years of fighting went well for Rome, but in 321 BC they were handed a humiliating defeat at Caudine Forks.
After a five year break, hostilities resumed between the Romans and Samnites. Despite early setbacks, Rome eventually emerged victorious in 304 BC. During these years a controversial politician, Appius Claudius, initiated a series of ambitious public works projects that advanced Roman civilization.
Rome battled a combined army of Samnites, Etruscans, Umbrians and Gauls for control of Italy. At Sentinum, the two sides fought the largest battle in Italian history up to that point.
017- Pyrrhic Victories

017- Pyrrhic Victories


The Greek cities of southern Italy called on King Pyrrhus of Epirus to protect them from Roman encroachment. Though Pyrrhus was undefeated in battle, his victories were so costly that he was forced to withdraw from Italy in 275 BC, leaving Rome in control of Magna Graecia.
Comments (58)

Gary Fergus

This is a an epic series charting the rise and fall of Rome from its beginnings in myth, through its glory years and on to its ultimately sad and irrelevant ending. I don't want to sound like a ponce here but I believe that Mike Duncan has created something that will stand the test of time and will in the future be ranked alongside important works like Edward Gibbons 'The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire' Im struggling to think of anything else that provides such a comprehensive chronological timeline and any serious student of the subject will need to listen to this. I have always been interested in Roman history and over the years have read and watched what I could but I learnt so much from this and for that I am truly grateful.

Jul 9th

Roger Fuller

this is a great podcast. I am listening to it for the second time.

Jul 1st

Razvan Mihai Gherghina

There are some conflicting terms used to describe the first war 101-102. If Decebal surrendered, why there was an alliance formed instead of Dacia being annexed. Probably because Traian couldn't conquer it then.

Jun 21st

damned skeptic

the coronavirus shutdown has me starting Thor again. like for the 3rd or 4th time, then on to the history of Byzantium.

Apr 27th
Reply (2)


Great content but I really wish he would stop smacking his lips and inhaling into the mic before every sentence.

Mar 5th

Dion Davenport

song at end?

Feb 27th


This attempt to tie Christmas to the Feast of the unconquered sun is blatantly false and makes no sense when you actually think about it and research it. Other than that, good podcast.

Jan 16th
Reply (3)

Hattie Schmidtkunz

One of my favorite podcasts. I have literally not been able to stop listening since I started! The only thing I'm sad about is I'm almost done with the episodes. Love this podcast!

Dec 31st
Reply (1)

Fabian Hipolito

No entiendo nada pero estoy aquí, quebrándome la cabeza por saber e que tanto platican.😂

Dec 19th


1:50 is firrrrre

Oct 2nd


daaaaamn this episode goes off

Oct 1st



Apr 29th

Woo Jenny

Love and respect from Hong Kong!! Truly appreciate your efforts!!

Apr 20th


Best Narrative history podcast A++

Apr 4th

Nick Stater

It is an-tony NOT ant-nee. Nails on a goddamn chalkboard

Mar 30th

Hank Hollander

Archimedes ... NOOOOOOOO!

Mar 5th

James Rust

"[The Etruscans]... If they fought they could at least be the subject of more podcast episode" hahaha savage!

Feb 21st

Katie Louise Tyers

I am enjoying the podcast. I have just listened to episode 119 Restitutor Orbis (13/12/2010). I agree that Aurelian is the best emperor I have heard about so far. I have been listening to this podcast in sync with Roman Emporers: Totalus Rankium by Rob and Jamie, The British History Podcast by Jamie Jeffers, The History of England by David Crowther and Welsh History Podcast by Jonathan Williams. When I get to Leo I I will be moving on to The History of Byzantium by Robin Pierson

Feb 16th

Crimson Rain

great podcast!

Feb 15th

I like dick up my Bum Hole and

great for immersion into rome

Jan 30th
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