🎧 The Ancients

🎧 The Ancients

83 Episodes

A podcast for all ancient history fans! The Ancients is dedicated to discussing our distant past. Featuring interviews with historians and archaeologists, each episode covers a specific theme from antiquity. From Neolithic Britain to the Fall of Rome. Hosted by Tristan Hughes.

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🎧 The Ancients
  • 🎧 The Rise of Marius

    Episode 75

    Gaius Marius. β€˜The Third Founder of Rome’. A prominent figure during the late 2nd and early 1st century BC, this Roman general and statesman became one of the most influential figures in the history of the Late Roman Republic. The man is best remembered for his deadly rivalry with Lucius Corneliu...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Cicero

    Cicero is often considered to be one of the greatest orators of Ancient Rome. But how did he reach prominence in Roman politics? Why are his speeches so well remembered and what makes them extraordinary? Catherine Steel from the University of Glasgow joined Tristan to talk through the ascent of t...

  • 🎧 The Plague of Athens

    Plague in the ancient world was nothing unusual. Bouts of illness were common occurrences, but we do have accounts of some exceptional outbreaks: epidemics that brought powerful empires and city-states to their knees. One of the most infamous occurred in 430 BC: the Plague of Athens. Recently I w...

  • 🎧 The Fall of the Western Roman Empire

    In the late 4th century and early 5th centuries two massive largely-Germanic confederations arrived on Roman borders, having been uprooted from their homelands by the Huns. These were the Goths and the Vandals. Both peoples would become prime enemies of the Roman Empires in the East and West. Bot...

  • 🎧 Biological and Chemical Warfare

    The origins of biological and chemical warfare stretch far back; modern technology has not brought about these terrifying weapons. Throughout antiquity we have cases of societies using poisonous gases, incendiary materials and living organisms against their enemies. From snake and scorpion bombs ...

  • 🎧 Housesteads and Hadrian's Wall

    Housesteads Roman Fort is one of the great, surviving treasures of Roman Britain. Once an auxiliary fort, it occupied a dominant position on Hadrian’s Wall. The Fort has proven vital in helping archaeologists and historians achieve a greater understanding about life on Hadrian’s Wall. From the wo...

  • 🎧 Stone Circles

    From Cornwall to Orkney, prehistoric stone circles are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles. Their history stretches more than 2 millennia, during which time their use by prehistoric cultures changed dramatically. They are fascinating examples of how a monument's purpo...

  • 🎧 Combat Trauma

    From the 2000 historical blockbuster 'Gladiator' to the Total War series, brutal hand to hand warfare is something we commonly associate with antiquity. But do we have any ancient cases of psychological injury as a direct result of military service? Joining me to discuss this topic, focusing on c...

  • 🎧 Alexander the Great: The Persian Perspective

    I was delighted to be joined by Professor Ali Ansari in this podcast to chat through the complicated history of Alexander the Great in the Persian narrative. A once-hated figure, overtime he was adopted into Iranian legend. This was a fascinating chat.

  • 🎧 Killing for the Roman Republic'

    In 281/280 BC, the Hellenistic King Pyrrhus ventured to southern Italy to aid the Italiote-Greek city of Tarentum against a rising power based in central Italy. This enemy was the Romans. Over the next 150 years this civilisation would rise to become the Mediterranean superpower, winning wars aga...

  • 🎧 The Battle of Thermopylae

    2,499 years ago one of the most famous battles in antiquity, indeed one of the most famous battles in history, was fought at the Pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. King Leonidas, his 300 (or so) Spartans and their Hellenic allies fought off against King Xerxes' mighty Persian army for three d...

  • 🎧 The Battle of Artemisium

    Around this time 2,499 years ago the famous Battle of Thermopylae was raging. But it is important to remember that this clash was not happening on its own. At the same time, to the east of Leonidas' defence, another battle was underway at sea between Xerxes' great armada and a much smaller Hellen...

  • 🎧 Horse Archery

    The horse archer was one of the most feared warriors of antiquity. Triumphing mobility and fluidity, these swift skirmishers came to epitomise a feared β€˜eastern’ style of warfare. Renowned historical weapons expert and avid horse archer Mike Loades joins me to chat through horse archery's ancient...

  • 🎧 The Antonine Wall

    In c.142 AD the Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of a new wall in Northern Britain. Situated between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde it stretched the neck of modern day central Scotland and was called the Antonine Wall. Although its β€˜lifespan’ was relatively short-lived, ...

  • 🎧 Gladiators and Beast Hunts

    The brutal arena sports of Ancient Rome are one of the most iconic images we have of this ancient culture. Gladiatorial combats and beast hunts have come to epitomise popular perceptions of ancient Rome, thanks to famous sword and sandal epics such as Spartacus and Gladiator. To sort the fact fro...

  • 🎧 The Mystery of the Ninth Legion

    The legions of Rome were the nucleus of Rome’s military might for centuries. From campaigning in northern Scotland to the Persian Gulf, these devastating battalions extended and cemented Roman power. Yet of these legions there was one whose end is shrouded in mystery: the Ninth Legion. So what mi...

  • 🎧 Agrippa: Rome's Forgotten Hero

    There are few men in Roman history that can claim to have been as influential as Marcus Agrippa. The right-hand man of Octavian / Augustus, his career is dotted with powerful positions. And yet, what was arguably so remarkable about his life was his stalwart loyalty to his friend Octavian. Togeth...

  • 🎧 Agrippa and Augustus: The Golden Age

    The Romans, an ancient conquering civilisation with an empire that spread from Europe across the Balkans to the Middle East and North Africa. For this episode, we are returning to our study of one of the most influential men in Roman History, Marcus Agrippa. Lindsay Powell came back to talk Trist...

  • 🎧 Agrippina the Younger

    Agrippina the Younger was one of the most prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Born during a time of radical political change in the Roman Empire, she had a very powerful pedigree. Great granddaughter of Augustus. Niece of Tiberius. Daughter of Germanicus. Sister of Caligula. She was al...

  • 🎧 War Elephants

    Move over Hannibal. More over Carthage. This podcast is all about a much BIGGER elephant power in antiquity. A power that, at its height, stretched from modern day Bulgaria to the Hindu Kush: the Seleucid Empire. Existing for almost 250 years, throughout this Empire’s long history the Indian elep...

  • 🎧 The Kingdom of Kush

    Along the banks of the River Nile, directly south of ancient Egypt and hundreds of miles away from the Mediterranean, there was a flourishing kingdom. The Kingdom of Kush. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Nabataeans, Libyans, Romans, and not to mention countless African kingdoms - the ...

  • 🎧 The Vestal Virgins

    Priestesses of Vesta, Goddess of hearth, home and family, the College of Vestal Virgins were Rome’s only full-time priesthood. They numbered only six and were selected from noble Roman families at an early age, between six and 10 years old. They would tend the sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta a...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Constantine

    The Emperor Constantine I, better known as Constantine the Great, is one of the most significant emperors in Roman history. His later Christian biographers lauded him as an icon, the man who set in motion Rome's dramatic transformation into a primarily Christian empire. And yet Constantine's own ...

  • 🎧 Jason and the Argonauts

    This week's episode from the History Hit archive features the brilliant Tom Holland telling the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, an epic story of honour, adventure, dangerous women and a golden fleece. Told with wit, verve and passion, this magical tale of the first group of super-heroes will be ...