🎧 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
  • 🎧 The Truth About Iron Age Wales

    The residents of Britain during the Iron Age are often collectively called 'Celts'. However, both before and during the Roman occupation, this term is a huge generalisation. In this episode we explore the real characteristics and variations of the lifestyle and communities of present day Wales in...

  • 🎧 Homer

    The Iliad and the Odyssey are two of the world’s most famous poems. But who was their author, Homer, and how have his name and poems survived so long, preserved for almost 3 millennia?

    In this episode of The Ancients, Tristan is joined once again by author, classicist, and cultural critic, Daisy...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Homo Sapiens

    What do we know about the earliest homonyms to exist? With a story spanning one million years and counting, we're discovering more about how we came to be every day. In this episode of The Ancients, we're on location in the Natural History Museum in London as Tristan covers a huge topic; the hist...

  • 🎧 The Birth of Physiology

    The treatment of mental health has been rapidly growing and improving over the past few decades, but it actually goes back thousands of years.

    Whether it was the Ancient Greek physician Galen’s humoral theory - in which people’s mental health was determined by imbalances in the levels of four di...

  • 🎧 Pandora

    According to Greek myth, Pandora was the first human woman - moulded from the earth by Hephaestus on the instruction of Zeus himself.

    We've all heard of Pandora's box, but in actual fact it was no such thing. Instead it was a jar containing all the evils of humanity, but even these contents of t...

  • 🎧 The World of Stonehenge

    Described as the "most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last 100 years", an elaborately decorated 5000 year-old chalk cylinder, discovered buried with 3 child skeletons in Yorkshire and as old as the first phase of Stonehenge, is going on display at the British Mus...

  • 🎧The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

    The rise of Christianity in the first few centuries AD is one of the most significant stories in world history. But it’s also an incredibly turbulent one. It’s a story filled with (in)famous episodes of conflict with the Roman state. It’s a story of co-existence, but also one of intolerance and o...

  • 🎧 An Ancient Guide to Healthy Living

    Poetry, parables, and produce - how did someone live a healthy life in the ancient Greco-Roman world? Tristan is joined by author Mark Usher to talk about what we can learn from our ancient ancestors. Discussing the impact farming has on both physical and mental well-being, the role it played in ...

  • 🎧 Saint George

    The 23rd of April marks St Georges day - but who are we actually celebrating? Is there any truth behind the myth of the man who slain the dragon and rescued the princess - and where does the Patron Saint of England actually come from? Spoiler alert - it's not where you think. In this episode Tris...

  • 🎧 Food in the Greco-Roman World

    When we think of the modern Mediterranean, delicious and vibrant food is one of the first things that come to mind. But how much has the regional food changed over the last two millenia? In this episode Tristan is joined by host of 'The Delicious Legacy' Thomas Ntinas to discuss just how much the...

  • 🎧 Weapons of the Terracotta Army

    When someone says the Terracotta Army, you’d be forgiven for instantly thinking of rows upon rows of life size warriors, arranged in three pits as part of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s huge mausoleum complex. But what’s arguably an even more fascinating aspect of these Warriors are the wide arrange...

  • 🎧 Mary Magdalene

    Who was Mary Magdalene? Jesus' confidant, a devout follower, or a sex worker?

    In this Easter special, Tristan is joined by Helen Bond and Joan Taylor, authors of 'Women Remembered' to explore Mary Magdalene and her role in the bible. Through looking at both ancient and contemporary source mater...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Marius: Third Founder of Rome

    Gaius Marius (157 BC – 86 BC) was one of the first warlords of the late Roman Republic, a general and statesman who held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his life.

    Famed for his momentous reforms to the Roman armies - such as instituting professional soldiery and improvi...

  • 🎧 Before Rome: The Truth About Late Iron Age Britain

    Roman connections with Britain stretch back to (at least) the mid 1st century BC. But what has archaeology revealed about the Late Iron Age British societies they interacted with? Do we have any concrete evidence for the druids? Was human sacrifice a thing? Sit back and enjoy in this very special...

  • 🎧 The Symposium: How To Party Like An Ancient Greek

    In Ancient Greece, the symposium was no ordinary after-dinner drinking party, but one in which the Hellenic men of society got together to wine, recline and philosophise. They took various forms depending on the whim of the leader of the symposium - the symposiarch - but were exclusively male aff...

  • 🎧 Dogs in Ancient Greece

    Man's best friend has been at our side for thousands of years. Ancient Greece was no exception, and although some of the breeds that were popular back then might seem unfamiliar to us today, tales of their loyalty, dependability and downright cuteness certainly are not.

    From dog names, to their ...

  • 🎧 The Legacy of Julius Caesar's Assassination

    The legacies of the Ides of March stretch from that very afternoon on March 14th 44BC to the modern day.

    From Roman times to the Medieval period, from Dante to Shakespeare, and from Brutus to the other infamous assassin he inspired in John Wilkes Booth, the echoes of Julius Caesar's assassinati...

  • 🎧 The Rise of the Dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! Spectacular resilient beings who were able to adapt and survive the most terrifying of events. Evolving from a group of mostly humble-sized creatures, into the most enormous beasts that ever existed on land. But how did the first true dinosaurs emerge? In this episode, Tristan is joine...

  • 🎧 Young Caesar vs Marc Antony

    What happened after the Ides of March? How did the Romans go from co-ordinated assassinations to the Pax Romana? From Tyranny to prosperity?

    In this third episode of our Ides of March series, Tristan is joined by Dr Hannah Cornwell to discuss the turbulent relations that erupted between Marc Ant...

  • 🎧 Saint Patrick

    Man, myth or legend... who was the real Saint Patrick? Did he really banish all the snakes from Ireland? Where did the shamrock tradition come from? And was he even Irish?

    In this episode, Tristan is joined by Professor Lisa Bitel of USC Dornsife to find out more about the true identity of the m...

  • 🎧 The Rise and Fall of Brutus

    Marcus Junius Brutus is best known as one of the conspirators against Julius Caesar, but there's so much more to his complex story. In today's episode, we continue our mini-series, all about the events of March 15th 44BC. Tristan is joined by Dr. Steele Brand to talk through the rise and downfall...

  • 🎧 Helen of Troy

    Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships - but is there more to her than a beautiful face? To mark Women's History Month, Tristan is joined by author and broadcaster Natalie Haynes to discuss Helen's place in mythology and history. Often viewed through the male gaze, Natalie helps s...

  • 🎧 The Death of Julius Caesar

    March 15th 44BC is perhaps the most notorious date in all of ancient history. On that fateful day, the Ides of March, 55-year-old Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of disaffected senators.

    In this episode–the first of our special Ides of March miniseries this month–T...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Ukraine

    It's not often we cover current affairs on The Ancients (the clue is in the name), but in light of Putin’s claims that Ukraine was β€œentirely created by Russia”, we wanted to highlight Ukraine’s extraordinary ancient history. From the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age.
    To provide an overview of the cou...