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Emperors of Rome

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History
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“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” - Tacitus. A podcast series looking at the rulers of the ancient Roman empire, by Dr Rhiannon Evans and Matt Smith.

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“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” - Tacitus. A podcast series looking at the rulers of the ancient Roman empire, by Dr Rhiannon Evans and Matt Smith.

iTunes Ratings

946 Ratings
Average Ratings
862
53
14
12
5

Great show!

By Trilolight - May 20 2019
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Excellent show. Great narration and material.

Excellent!!!

By Ike 22222 - May 20 2019
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Informative and entertaining, marvelous presentation.

iTunes Ratings

946 Ratings
Average Ratings
862
53
14
12
5

Great show!

By Trilolight - May 20 2019
Read more
Excellent show. Great narration and material.

Excellent!!!

By Ike 22222 - May 20 2019
Read more
Informative and entertaining, marvelous presentation.
Cover image of Emperors of Rome

Emperors of Rome

Latest release on Feb 26, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: Episode CXXVII - Augustus: The Making of an Emperor (Live in Melbourne)

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Octavian was barely an adult when he arrived in Rome in 44BCE. Two months had passed since his adopted father, Julius Caesar, was murdered by members of the senate who resented his control as dictator. Octavian stood to inherit Caesar’s fortunes, but few could have imagined that he would inherit Caesar’s power.

He would become emperor in 27BCE, reigning as the Augustus and transforming the republic of Rome into an autocratic principate. Under his leadership of forty years Rome would grow in territory, reputation, economy and culture, and change from a city of sun-dried bricks and leave it clothed in marble. How did the young Octavian transform himself into Rome's first emperor?

Sponsored by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University. Held at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on 23 September, 2019.

Guest:
Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)

Sep 25 2019

59mins

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Rank #2: Episode CXXIX - Tiberius Gracchus and the Landless Masses (Gracchi II)

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Any system of government that has been around for long enough is going to develop its problems, and that is definitely the case with the Roman republic. There was inequality between the ruling class and the common people, and if young Tiberius Gracchus decides to take up the cause, what’s the worst that could happen?

Guest:
Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)

Oct 22 2019

28mins

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Rank #3: Episode XCIII - Powerful Personalities

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As the senate clawed more power from the people, it was inevitable that a few would rise above others, and take over command and influence with an army. Marius, Sulla, and the civil war that followed would just be another log on the funeral pyre of the Roman republic.

Part III of The Fall of the Roman Republic.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)

Apr 05 2018

31mins

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Rank #4: Episode XCI - The Roman Constitution

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The Roman Republic is often held up as a foundation model of western democracy, and while it worked well for some of the Romans at the time, it did have its flaws. These became more pronounced as the centuries passed.

Part I of The Fall of the Roman Republic.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)

Mar 08 2018

37mins

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Rank #5: Episode III - Caesar and Gaul

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Caesar eyes the territory to the east, inhabited by hoards of Gauls, and sees a chance to push forward his military career.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University) and host Matt Smith cover Caesar's conquest of Gaul, and his use of writing to push his agenda.

May 01 2014

15mins

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Rank #6: Episode CXXVIII - Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi (Gracchi I)

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What we do know about Cornelia is mostly through the lens of her famous sons, but to the Romans she was much more than that. She was put on a pedestal, in bronze, no less, as the ideal mother for Romans to aspire to, and may have been quite influential in politics at the time.

Guest:
Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans (Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)

Oct 08 2019

32mins

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Rank #7: Episode CXIII - Fratricidal Discord (Caracalla I)

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The death of Septimius Severus left a strong line of succession with two sons ready to take control of the empire. There was no love lost between Caracalla and Geta, and it would be the Roman empire that bore the scars of their relationship.

Guest:
Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University)

Feb 19 2019

35mins

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Rank #8: Episode XCII - The Beginning of the End of the Republic

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The Roman Republic was still going strong 400 years after it had been established but cracks were beginning to show. We can put a year on when it started to go wrong: 133BCE. In this year there would be two significant deaths that would begin the end.

Part II of The Fall of the Roman Republic.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University)

Mar 20 2018

20mins

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Rank #9: Episode LX - Cleopatra (Live at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne)

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Cleopatra was a ruler of Egypt at a time when the land of the Pharaohs were coming to an end. The impression we have of her will always be through the relationships she had with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. So what's her real story?

Recorded live at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, on 22nd November, 2016.

Nov 29 2016

1hr 2mins

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Rank #10: Episode CIV - Slavery

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Slaves were an integral part of the Roman society, responsible for much of the domestic duties and manual labour for any self respecting and vaguely wealthy Roman citizen.

Life as a slave was harsh – you were treated as property, the best you could hope for was freedom, and at worst being worked to death. But it’s unlikely Rome would be a city clothed in marble without slaves to exploit.

Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).

Oct 01 2018

39mins

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Rank #11: Episode CXXVI - Vestal Virgins

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The Vestals were an order of priestesses who were sacred to Rome, and were respected and referred as symbols of a safe and stable empire. They had the all-important duty of maintaining the sacred flame, and if it were extinguished, it would be a sign of impending disaster.

Guest:
Dr Peta Greenfield (Public Historian, co-host of 'The Partial Historians' podcast)

Sep 11 2019

39mins

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Rank #12: Episode LXI - Gladiator (2000)

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The movie Gladiator is a work of historical fiction, telling the story of the fallen Roman general Maximus, his journey as a Gladiator, and his fight in the arena against the Emperor Commodus. So how much did Ridley and Rusty get right?

Dec 12 2016

35mins

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Rank #13: Episode IV - Caesar's Triumph

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With Gaul and the Germanic tribes conquered and the borders of the Roman Empire expanded, Julius Caesar returns to Rome, hailed as a heroic conqueror.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University), Sarah Midford (Lecturer and PhD student in Classics, La Trobe University) and host Matt Smith look at Caesar's triumphal procession.

May 12 2014

15mins

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Rank #14: Episode XXXV - A Pleasant Surprise From the Emperor Titus

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Making the most of his father's power, Titus sets the standard for all playboy princes yet to come. When Vespasian dies and Titus becomes Emperor, Rome was probably bracing themselves for the worst. Fortunately, he steps up to the challenge.

Oct 19 2015

25mins

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Rank #15: Episode CXII - The Book of Love

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The Roman poet Ovid penned The Book of Love in three volumes as a manual for how to deal with the art of love and seduction during the slightly austere days of the reign of Augustus.

This isn't exactly 'Men are From the Temple of Mars, Women are From the Temple of Venus', but happy Lupercalia everyone!

Guest:
Assoc Professor Peter Davis (Visiting Research Fellow, Classics, University of Adelaide)

Feb 04 2019

37mins

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Rank #16: Episode XLIV - Roman Sexuality

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Popular media has given us many misconceptions about sexuality in ancient Rome. While we're all familiar with the sordid details, Romans thought very differently about sex and marriage to the modern day moral code.

Mar 07 2016

22mins

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Rank #17: Episode V - Caesar and Civil War

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Julius Caesar turns his eyes on a greater prize - the Roman Empire itself.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Lecture in Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University and host Matt Smith discuss Caesar’s civil war, and the resistance within the Senate.

May 26 2014

13mins

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Rank #18: Episode XXXIV - Titus and the Siege of Jerusalem

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Titus is left in command of the troops in Judea by his father Vespasian, who leaves to become the new Emperor of Rome. Eager for a quick resolution, Titus sees taking Jerusalem as the key to ending conflict.

Sep 22 2015

20mins

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Rank #19: Episode CV - Spartacus the Gladiator

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The Roman empire was made mighty through the hard work of slaves, but occasionally they escaped, banded together and fought back.

The last and greatest slave rebellion was lead by Spartacus, a man who has come to symbolise the oppressed and resistance against tyranny. We begin the story of his life by looking at his time as a gladiator.

Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Senior Lecturer, Classics and Ancient History, La Trobe University).

Oct 16 2018

24mins

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Rank #20: Episode XXXVII - Domitian Dominates

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Domitian becomes emperor, and goes from being ignored and having little to Caesar of the greatest empire in the western world. but with great power comes great responsibility…

Nov 16 2015

30mins

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