🎧 The Ancients

🎧 The Ancients

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
  • 🎧 Mavia: The Queen Who Defended Arabia

    To fight against the Roman empire and then make an alliance with them took a certain courage and tenacity. In this episode we are introduced to Mavia, the warrior queen of the semi-nomadic Tanukhids, who did just that. Dr. Emran El-Badawi, associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the Univ...

  • 🎧 Ancient Kazakhstan: Gold of the Great Steppe

    Gold and horses! 2,500 years ago, in the area of the Great Steppe that is now Eastern Kazakhstan, an extraordinary ancient Scythian culture reigned supreme. They were called the Saka, renowned for their skill as horse archers and for their elaborate elite burials.

    Ancient Persian and Greek sourc...

  • 🎧 Caracalla: The Common Enemy of Mankind?

    Often up there in the upper echelons of most articles listing Rome's worst emperors, it's fair to say that history has not been kind to Caracalla. Whether it was contemporary sources depicting him as a deranged Heracles and Alexander the Great loving megalomaniac or the 18th century historian Edw...

  • 🎧 Ai-Khanoum: A Greek City in Afghanistan?

    A theatre, a gymnasium and houses with colonnaded courtyards: these are the hallmarks of an Ancient Greek city. So what are they doing in the city of Ai-Khanoum, far east of their origins in present day Afghanistan? In this first part of Tristan’s chat with Milinda Hoo, she takes us through the s...

  • 🎧 Alexander the Great's Greatest Victory

    In October 331 BC, one of the most important battles of ancient Mediterranean and near eastern history occurred on the plain of Gaugamela. Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, had been campaigning east of the Aegean Sea against the Persian Empire for 3 Β½ years. Already h...

  • 🎧 Nefertiti: Queen of Egypt

    Very few figures in history are recognizable from their silhouettes, but included in this small group is Nerfertiti, one of the most famous queens of Ancient Egypt. Professor Joyce Tyldesley speaks to Tristan not only about the famous image of Nefertiti, but also about the theories on her life, d...

  • 🎧 The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great

    In his lifetime King Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, forged one of the largest empires in ancient history. But it was what happened to Alexander following his demise – his β€˜life after death’ - which resulted in one of the great archaeological mysteries of the ancien...

  • 🎧 The Oldest Human Footprints in North America

    This week our understanding of when humans first inhabited the American continent has been turned on its head … by a set of footprints. In this episode, hear how footprints can form crucial evidence for populations of people and animals, and what a set of adolescent and child prints have shown ab...

  • 🎧 Werewolves and Strix-Witches

    It’s werewolf time on the Ancients! In this episode Exeter University’s Professor Daniel Ogden highlights how these mythical creatures have their origins in ancient times and thrived in a story world shared by witches, ghosts, demons and dragons. Join Tristan and Daniel as they shine a light on w...

  • 🎧 Roman Weaponry

    Legendary leaders and notorious battles, we imagine the sound of clinking armour. But what did the Romans take with them into battle. In the second of our episodes recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival, Legio II Augusta's David Richardson talks through a selection of iconic weapons and deadl...

  • 🎧 Fortress Cilicia: Megastructures of the Near East

    In the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death, his empire became the subject of the huge wars of succession. In this episode of the podcast, Dr Nick Rauh takes us through some of the monumental Hellenistic superfortresses built during this period and now uncovered in ancient Cilicia, on the sho...

  • 🎧 Maya Warfare & Sacrifice

    With a history stretching back thousands of years, it’s about time that the Ancients started looking at the extraordinary Maya civilisation in Central America. Even with a range of sources that survive, many aspects of these ancient peoples remains debated and shrouded in mystery. This is especia...

  • 🎧 Clodius: Best Villain of the Roman Republic?

    Rome saw some of the most gruesome battles in the Late Republic as violence had gotten out of control, aided by the escapades of Titus Annius Milo and Clodius Pulcher. A feud of large portions, that ultimately lead to murder, but what were the events leading up to this brutal killing. And amongst...

  • 🎧 Sex in Ancient Rome

    We’ve covered bloody battles, we’ve covered stunning cities, we’ve covered civilisations far away from the ancient Mediterranean. But in some 120 episodes of The Ancients we hadn’t covered one of the most popular topics in the world: sex. That is, until now. In today’s episode, strap yourself in ...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Civilisation

    The world is constantly changing, and so has the perception of civilization, but what exactly are the origins of this concept? Helping us answer this question from an anthropological and archaeological perspective, Professor Nam Kim joins Tristan once again on The Ancients. We explore how advance...

  • 🎧 The Lost Battlefield of Mons Graupius

    In 83/84 AD a battle was fought somewhere in Scotland between the Roman forces of Gnaeus Julius Agricola and the 'Caledonians' – the great climax to Agricola’s campaigns in Northern Britain. Details of the clash are few and far between, with our sole literary source for the event being the writin...

  • 🎧 Roman Camps in Britain

    Roman camps have now been discovered across the former empire, but Britain boasts a wealth of them. To discuss the different types of camps and how we can tell them apart, Tristan spoke to Dr Rebecca Jones of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Rebecca explai...

  • 🎧 Nan Madol: Venice of the Pacific

    Nan Madol. It is one of the most awesome, enigmatic and unique ancient sites in the World, and yet most people have never heard the name. Labelled the β€˜Venice of the Pacific’ by US aviators during the Second World War, this ancient Micronesian metropolis is not your usual city. Situated offshore,...

  • 🎧 The Lost Tomb of Cleopatra

    Among the rulers of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra VII has long held a place in legend, her story having been told in folklore, by Shakespeare and in Hollywood movies. In reality, however, her story remains unfinished. The location of her final resting place remains lost to us. Dr Chris Naunton is back...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Marseilles: France's Oldest City

    Today it is the second largest city in France. But Marseilles is also the country’s oldest city. Founded at the turn of the 6th century BC by Greek settlers, the ancient history of Marseilles (known to the Greeks as Massalia and the Romans as Massilia) is rich. Strategically positioned close to t...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Hannibal

    He was one of the greatest enemies the Romans ever faced. An excellent general and a larger-than-life figure, he led an army across the alps and dealt a series of crushing defeats upon the Romans on Italian soil. His achievements have become a thing of legend and his name has become immortalised....

  • 🎧 Colchester: Britain's First Town

    It is the one possible case of urbanisation in Britain prior to the arrival of the Romans, and that is just the start of the story of Colchester. In this chat with Tristan, Dr Frank Hargrave from Colchester Museum reveals the city’s long and prestigious ancient history. From the Bronze Age to Bou...

  • 🎧 Tacfarinas: The Desert Hydra

    He was one of the greatest rebels of Rome from the 1st century AD, but his name is not one you might initially think of. Derided by Roman historians as being little more than a bandit, the truth is very much the opposite. For several years, between 19 and 24 AD, Tacfarinas led a revolt against th...

  • 🎧 Palaces in Paradise: Centres of the Persian World

    Persepolis is arguably the most famous ancient site associated with the Achaemenid Persian Empire, but it certainly wasn’t the only administrative centre of this ancient superpower. In this second part of our interview with Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd talks us through some of the other key urban...