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The Fall of Rome Podcast

Barbarians, political breakdown, economic collapse, mass migration, pillaging and plunder. The fall of the Roman Empire has been studied for years, but genetics, climate science, forensic science, network models, and globalization studies have reshaped our understanding of one of the most important events in human history. PhD historian and specialist Patrick Wyman brings the cutting edge of history to listeners in plain, relatable English.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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3: The Goths and the Beginning of Rome's End

In the third episode of The Fall of Rome, we explore the Goths' migration into the Roman Empire and their desperate war for survival against the forces of the Empire. This conflict culminated in the Battle of Adrianople, the worst defeat of a Roman army in more than 350 years. How did a rag-tag group of migrants defeat the cream of the army and leave an emperor dead on the battlefield?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

41mins

27 Aug 2016

Rank #1

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4: The Gothic Sack of Rome

In 395, the barbarian Goths rebelled against the Romans and fought a campaign that culminated in the sack of Rome in 410. But were the Goths really barbarous foreigners, or are they better understood as a Roman army seeking a position within the Empire?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

46mins

3 Sep 2016

Rank #2

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5: Just How Screwed Up Was the Later Roman Empire?

One of the fundamental questions about the later Roman Empire is just what a mess it really was. Did the barbarians topple a fundamentally healthy, functional state? Or were they merely the straw that broke the camel's back of a diseased, rotten, empire that could no longer hold itself together? In this episode, we discuss just how things had changed between the peak of the Roman Empire in the second century and the beginning of the end in the fourth.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

46mins

15 Sep 2016

Rank #3

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6: The Catastrophic Fall Of Roman Britain

In 350, Britain was a thoroughly integrated province of the Roman Empire, full of prosperous, Latin-speaking cities, luxurious villas, and all the other trappings of Roman life. By 500, the cities were gone, the economy had collapsed, and the island was split among an innumerable number of petty kingdoms. What happened? How did everything go so wrong?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

48mins

1 Oct 2016

Rank #4

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9: Attila and the Empire of the Huns

Attila the Hun is the best-known barbarian from antiquity, but the Hunnic Empire he inherited and expanded hasn't gotten the credit it deserves for its complexity and organization. This episode explores how the Huns created an empire that stretched from the Ural Mountains in Russia to the Rhine River in Germany.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

55mins

13 Dec 2016

Rank #5

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20: The Anglo-Saxon Migration, the North Sea World, and the Birth of England

Roman Britain fell fast, and it fell hard. Into the ruins of this world stepped a wave of migrants from the North Sea coast of the Continent whom we know as the Anglo-Saxons. This migration, a complex and dynamic movement of people over the course of 200 years, rewrote the political, demographic, linguistic, and cultural maps of eastern Britain, transforming it into England.Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/GeniusTake the survey at wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

51mins

25 May 2017

Rank #6

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23: Could the Roman Empire Have Survived?

Could the Roman Empire have survived past the fifth century? To answer that question, we examine some other points when the Empire could have fallen apart but didn't, and what brought it back together after Caesar's assassination and the Crisis of the Third Century.Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

37mins

22 Jun 2017

Rank #7

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21: Rome's Legacy and the Barbarian Kingdoms

As central government disappeared from what had been the Western Roman Empire, the barbarian kingdoms stepped into the void, creating new forms of rulership and institutions that would lay the groundwork for the fragmented, fractured medieval world.Take the survey at Wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

42mins

8 Jun 2017

Rank #8

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22: The Brilliance of Saint Augustine. An Interview with Elizabeth Bruenig

Saint Augustine is one of the foundational figures of Christianity and one of the most influential thinkers of all time. He was also a complex and fascinating figure in his own right. Elizabeth Bruenig, an editor at the Washington Post and writer on politics and Christianity (@ebruenig on Twitter) joins me to discuss Augustine's life, thought, and greater meaning.Take the survey at Wondery.com/survey. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

42mins

15 Jun 2017

Rank #9

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7: The Three Transformations Of Roman Gaul

Gaul was one of the heartlands of the Roman Empire, and it encompassed a tremendous amount of diversity within its borders. Over the course of the fifth century, the region split along its fault lines, with three different paths emerging for its constituent parts. The north became a playground for Frankish warlords, while in the two southern locales, life went on much as it had before.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

55mins

20 Oct 2016

Rank #10

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8: The Vandals and the Fall of Roman Africa

North Africa was the most prosperous region of the western Roman Empire, the agricultural heartland that fed the city of Rome, and the barbarian Vandals' conquest of the region was the final nail in the coffin of the Western Empire as a whole. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

49mins

23 Nov 2016

Rank #11

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18: The Warlords of Northern Gaul and the Rise of the Franks

As the Roman Empire disintegrated, northern Gaul turned first into a military province and then into a playground for warlords, some Roman and some barbarian. This episode is the story of how one warlord and one group navigated this environment to become the kingdom of the Franks.Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

48mins

11 May 2017

Rank #12

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19: Why Didn't Rome Rise Again? An Interview with Professor Walter Scheidel

Why didn't Rome rise again? Everywhere else in the world, the appearance of one great empire was marked by their recurrent resurgence, but in Europe it happened only once. Professor Walter Scheidel of Stanford University - the author of numerous outstanding books on Rome and beyond, most recently "The Great Leveler", on the history of economic inequality - argues that this lack of recurring empires is what laid the groundwork for the eventual rise of Europe, the Great Divergence, that underpins the modern world of today.Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/GeniusTake the survey at wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

33mins

18 May 2017

Rank #13

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14: The Calamitous Fifth Century - A Narrative History

It took just 80 years for the Roman Empire to fall apart completely, from a ponderous but functional state at the death of Theodosius the Great 395 to nonexistence by 476. How and why did that happen? In this narrative, we examine the major figures and events of the calamitous fifth century.Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

43mins

16 Mar 2017

Rank #14

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13: The Unraveling of the Roman World

The Roman world was more than just an empire; it was a cultural, social, economic, and political space built on the easy movement of goods, people, beliefs, and practices from place to place. It was a broad unity, and when the Roman Empire fell, so too did that easy movement and the world it had created.Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

46mins

2 Mar 2017

Rank #15