🎧 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
  • 🎧 Hannibal vs Rome: Hannibal's Greatest Victory

    One of the most studied military victories in history, and arguably one of the worst Roman defeats - what went wrong for the Romans at Cannae?

    In our final episode in the Hannibal mini-series, Dr Louis Rawlings explains just what happened at Cannae in 216BCE, and why that battle is still so impo...

  • 🎧 Hannibal vs Rome: the Road to Cannae

    One of the greatest military commanders in history - it's no wonder Hannibal and Rome so frequently fought.

    In the second episode of our Hannibal mini-series, Tristan is once again joined by Dr Louis Rawlings from Cardiff University to examine Hannibal's movements and clashes post-Trasimene.

    Lo...

  • 🎧 Yorkshire's Roman Mystery: The Ryedale Hoard

    In May 2020, four unique Roman artefacts were unearthed near Ampleforth, North Yorkshire by two amateur metal detectorists. A bronze bust that is thought to depict Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, a beautifully crafted horse, and a one of a kind figurine of the Roman god Mars, to name a few.

    But w...

  • 🎧 Hannibal vs Rome: Terror at Trasimene

    Towards the beginning of the Second Punic War on 21 June 217 BC, a Carthaginian force under Hannibal launched a vicious ambush on a Roman army commanded by Gaius Flaminius.

    The resulting battle, at Lake Trasimene in Italy, saw a complete capitulation of the Roman forces - with thousands of legio...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Rome

    Known as the Eternal City, ancient Rome was one of the greatest civilisations in human history, but how did it come about?

    With a turbulent history of Kings, civil wars and imperial desires - Rome has an incredible history. But who founded it? Were Romulus and Remus real brothers fighting for th...

  • 🎧 The Sumerians

    Despite being one of the first civilisations in human history, Sumer is not as well-known as other Bronze Age societies such as Babylonia and, of course, Ancient Egypt.

    Recent research indicates that the first ever writing system emerged in the Sumerian heartland of southern Mesopotamia around 3...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Cleopatra

    Famed across the ages and around the world - everyone knows the name Cleopatra. But how did she become one of the most infamous women in history?
    Born in 69BCE, a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty in hellenistic Egypt, Cleopatra VII lived a tumultuous life. Within two turbulent decades of taking th...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Rome: The Fall of the Samnites

    In the final part of our Samnite Wars episodes, Tristan is once again joined by Dr Kathryn Lomas from Durham University to find out more about these conflicts and the effect they had on the rise of Rome as an ancient superpower. With three wars between the Roman Republic and the Samnite armies, b...

  • 🎧 Rise of Rome: The First Samnite War

    In this first episode of a two-parter on the Samnite Wars, we focus in on one of Rome’s greatest rivals in early Italy. Based in modern day Campania, who were the Samnites?

    With three wars between the Roman Republic and the Samnite armies, beginning in 343 BC and the ending with a Roman victor...

  • 🎧 Prehistoric Rock Art of Atlantic Europe

    Dozens of incredible examples of prehistoric rock art have been found across western Europe in recent decades - but what do they mean?

    Artworks can be discovered all along the Atlantic seaboard, from Spain to Scotland, where one stunning example was uncovered just last year. Ancient peoples left...

  • 🎧 Sparta and the Nazis

    Ancient Sparta was co-opted by the Nazis as a supposed model civilisation for the Third Reich’s twisted racial and martial ideologies.

    German children were taught that the Spartans had originally been an β€˜Aryan’ tribe, and that they should aspire to Laconian ideals such as endurance, discipline ...

  • 🎧 The First Americans

    Modern humans thrived in the Americas for thousands of years before the first European colonists arrived, but how and when did they get there?

    What's more, did their arrival spell disaster for indigenous megafauna such as giant ground sloths and wooly mammoths, or was there another culprit behin...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Mammals

    They survived extinction level events and record high global temperatures - how did mammals adapt and thrive in a dramatically changing world? In today's episode, Tristan welcomes back Professor Steve Brusatte to uncover the origins of mammals. Going back to a time before the dinosaurs, from liza...

  • 🎧 The Image of God

    Often pictured with a flowing white beard, looking down from Heaven - why is God always seen as an old man? In today's episode, Francesca Stavrakopoulou, whose latest book 'God: an Anatomy' has been shortlisted for the Wolfson prize, is here to debunk those images. Using archaeological material a...

  • 🎧 Mermaids

    The central Mediterranean is home to a bounty of creatures - fish, dolphins, and... mermaids? In today's episode Dr Amelia Brown returns to the podcast to talk marine mammals and Merpeople. From iconic characters such as Thetis, mother to one of the most famous heroes in the ancient world (anyone...

  • 🎧 The Death of Alexander the Great: Explained

    Alexander the Great’s untimely death at Babylon in 323 BC triggered an unprecedented crisis across his continent-spanning empire.

    Within a couple of days, the very chamber in which he died witnessed a gore-soaked showdown between his previously united commanders and soldiers. Within a fortnight,...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Clothing

    Clothing has been essential for human evolution. From protection against changing climates, through to the driving force behind technological innovation in the production of fabrics and agriculture.
    In this episode, Tristan with the help of Ian Gilligan, delves deep into our prehistory to uncover...

  • 🎧 Roman Treasures of Iron Age Scotland

    In 1919, excavators working near Edinburgh in Scotland unearthed the largest hoard of Roman hacksilver ever found. The trove, containing mostly silver vessels but also some personal items and coins, was probably buried in the early 5th century AD - just as the legions were finally pulling out of ...

  • 🎧 Saint Brigid: Turning Bathwater to Beer

    Every March cities around the world gear up to celebrate Saint Patrick's day, but from 2023 Ireland will have a new bank holiday. This time they will be celebrating Saint Brigid. But who was she? This other patron saint of Ireland was a pupil and successor to Patrick, and unlike him she was born ...

  • 🎧 Greeks vs Romans: Empires at War

    Greece and Rome, they are the heavyweights of ancient history. But what happened when they came face to face with one another? Tristan is once again joined by Simon Elliott to talk about some of the great clashes that occurred between the Greeks and the Romans. From Cynoscephalae, to Magnesia, to...

  • 🎧 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...