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The History of Rome

By Mike Duncan

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Customer Reviews

Historia vitae magistra

Top marks - this is exactly the kind of podcast I want to be downloading. Mike Duncan is producing a balanced, colourful and riveting account of Rome's history - Aeneas and Romulus emerge out from the mists of legend all the way through to... well, his blog suggests he will finish at the deposition of Romulus Augustulus by Odoacer in 476AD. At the time of writing we have just reached Cincinnatus in the mid 5th century BC. In the words of Shaw, Britain and the US are two countries divided by a common language. Luckily, anyone concerned that an American might not give this material the proper treatment (I am ashamed to admit that I was one) can rest assured that Mike Duncan is doing superb work here. I particularly love his description of the Etruscan king Lars Porsena being very “freaked out” when Mucius Scaevola plunged his arm into the flame and burnt his hand off to prove how indomitable the Romans were. Sadly this was probably an apocryphal event, he tells us. Importantly, I feel, Mr Duncan is not just re-hashing the stories Rome told itself about its own creation (e.g. Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita), but is putting it all into historical context and is pointing out the discrepancies in the record where necessary. One slight slip (Solon seemed to be placed in the 5th instead of the 6th century BC) fails to detract from the overall excellence of this production and I eagerly await the next episode...

Solid, accessible, well paced, riveting.

Roman history from the earliest days. Not musty, fusty or dull history; and not patronising or self-indulgent either. Mike Duncan has an excellent voice and manner, and the material he delivers is well put together and makes it very plain that the Roman history was full of political hard-ball (and PR spin). People for centuries studied Roman history to understand practical statecraft, not just out of antiquarian curiosity – this podcast helps you understand why. If you like the ’12 Byzantine Emperors’ podcast, or the book ‘Rubicon’ you’ll like this. Wish there were more casts of this quality out there. Highly recommended.

rome over me!

brilliant podcast. very informative and, most importantly, very entertaining. mike duncan certainly knows his history and doesn't appear to be repeating boring text books verbatim (unlike some podcasts). look forward to each new podcast with enthusiasm. can't wait for caeser, mark anthony and augustus etc.

The History of Rome
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Customer Ratings

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