The Ancient World (Original Series): From the first human civilizations to 500 BC
TAW - Rediscovery: The rediscovery of the ancient world by adventurers, scholars and archaeologists
TAW - Bloodline (Current Series): Tracing the generations from Cleopatra to Zenobia
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Synopsis: The Seleucid rebel Diodotus Tryphon uses Thea and Alexander Balas’ young son, Antiochus VI, to capture most of Syria. Though paralyzed at home, Demetrius II embarks on a bold plan to challenge the conquests of Mithridates. “Now there was a certain commander…whose name was Diodotus, who was also called Tryphon, who took notice of the ill-will the soldiers bore toward Demetrius, and went to (Iamblichus) the Arabian, who brought up Antiochus, the son of Alexander…and persuaded him to give him Antiochus, because he would make him king.” – Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIII, Chapter 5“And so cities in all districts rebelled against (Demetrius’) rule; and to remove the stigma of indolence he decided to attack the Parthians.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 36.1.7http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T9_Tryphon.mp3Map of Syria c. 200 BC (courtesy of www.timemaps.com)http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Syria-200bc.png. . .
Synopsis: The rediscovery of Ai Khanoum testified to the wealth and power of the Bactrian Kingdom. Mithridates’ conquest of Babylonia is countered by an unlikely coalition. “The cities of Bactria were Bactra, which they also call Zariaspa and through which flows a river of the same name that empties into the Oxus, plus the city of Darapsa, and others more. Among these was a city called Eucratideia, named after its ruler… (The Greeks) also controlled Sogdiana, which lies above and to the east of Bactria between the Oxus River – demarcating Bactrians from Sogdians – and the Jaxartes River, likewise separating the Sogdians from the nomads.” – Strabo, Geography, 11.11.2 “These wise sayings of earlier men, the words of well-known men, are enshrined in the holy Pytho. There Clearchus copied them faithfully, and set them up here in the sanctuary of Kineas, blazing from afar. As a child, be well-behaved. As a youth, be self-controlled. As an adult, be just. As an elder, be wise. As one dying, be without pain.”- Inscription at the Heroon (hero’s tomb) of Kineas, oikistes (founder) of the city of Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, dated 300 – 250 BC http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T8_The_City.mp3 Map of Ai Khanoum and Ashoka Rock Edicts http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Ai_Khanoum.jpg Map of the Eastern Satrapieshttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Eastern_Satrapies.jpg. . .
Synopsis: On the eastern frontiers of the Seleucid Empire, Parthia, Bactria and the Indo-Greeks struggle for regional supremacy. The stalemate in Syria and murder of Eucratides advance the fortunes of Mithridates.“At about the same time that Mithridates was beginning his rule in Parthia, Eucratides was beginning his in Bactria, both of them great men. But the fortunes of the Parthians prevailed, carrying them to the zenith of their power under this king.” – Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 41.6"The Yavanas (Greeks) will command, the Kings will disappear. But ultimately the Yavanas, intoxicated with fighting, will not stay in Madhadesa (the Middle Country); there will be undoubtedly a civil war among them, arising in their own country (Bactria), there will be a terrible and ferocious war." – Gargi-Samhita, Yuga Purana, Chapter 7 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T7_Blazing_From_Afar.mp3. . .
For a bunch of great reasons! First and foremost, I’ve just finished drafting Episode T10, which means I have four new episodes ready to produce. Finishing Episode T10 also gave me another piece of happy news, which is that I now believe I can reasonably estimate how long “The Ancient World – Thea” will run. At the moment, it’s looking like four additional episodes (i.e., through Episode T14) will complete the story of Cleopatra Thea and also give some additional space for a quick synopsis taking us up through either Pompey’s conquest or possibly even a bit farther (no spoilers!) But since I have a horrible track record estimating these things I’m giving myself some extra latitude, so we’ll say that “The Ancient World – Thea” will wrap somewhere between Episodes T14 and T16. Either way, I’ve decided for the moment to stop drafting new episodes and move into production mode, which means you’ll be seeing Episode T7 appear over the next few weeks. I’m not giving a hard date quite yet (it depends on how the Fourth of July weekend goes) but mid-July is a pretty solid bet. You’ll then get Episodes T7 through T10 on the typical(?) bi-weekly schedule before I take another break to write the remaining episodes. And (another commitment) whether the series runs through Episode T14 or T16 you’ll get all the remaining episodes before the end of 2019! Yet more excitement: Episode T7 will feature a return to the amazing story of the Parthians, Bactrians and Indo-Greeks, whom I last covered in Episode B24 of “The Ancient World – Bloodline.” The impetus this time is, of course, the emergence of the Parthian King Mithridates I onto the Seleucid scene, but it just so happens that major events in Parthia and Bactria take place in the timeframe of our story (c. 145 BC). I’m absolutely fixated on the Bactrian Kingdom and have been for quite a while now. I had a lot of fun researching and writing the episode and I hope you all enjoy it! So, that’s the main news for the moment. In the meantime, maybe give Episodes T1 through T6 a quick re-listen to brush up on all the particulars. And, as always, please keep spreading the word to friends and (if you haven’t yet) rate the series on iTunes. I very much appreciate the support and look forward to sharing the rest of the story. Take care! – Scott C.. . .
Now that we’re 6 episodes in, I wanted to give you an update on the new series and my plans for 2019. I’m planning to break “The Ancient World – Thea” into 6-episode “seasons” with breaks in between. Which is another way of saying that I’m going back on break for a while. You can expect the second season sometime this Summer and a third season before the end of the year. I don’t really have a feeling yet for how long this series’ll run – it might wrap in the third season or might take a fourth. I’m notoriously bad at predicting that kind of thing.During the break I’m planning to dig into a few side-projects. So, for example, if anyone out there has experience in ancient-history-themed childrens’ books hit me up on social media. Otherwise if you’d like to help out the show here’s my humble ask: Find one friend who’s into history and tell them about The Ancient World. Maybe even point them toward the first 6 episodes of “Thea” as a low-commitment introduction. If each of you could turn just one friend on to the show that would get us up over 50,000 subscribers. If each of you got two friends listening we’d have nearly 100,000. Those are amazing numbers - but with your help it’s also completely doable. With the recent changes in the podcasting world it’s also a great way to show your support for freeform, independent podcasting. And, last but not least, it’s a wonderful way to keep me inspired and keep the stories flowing. So, that’s it for now – and thanks in advance for helping me out. I hope you’re enjoying “The Ancient World – Thea” and thanks again for listening!http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Spring_Break.mp3. . .
Synopsis: With Syria beset by regional enemies, three kings face off at the Battle of the Oenoparos River. The lone survivor, King Demetrius II, inaugurates his reign with the violent destruction of Antioch.“And the king of Egypt gathered together a great host, like the sand that lieth upon the sea shore, and many ships, and went about through deceit to get Alexander’s kingdom, and join it to his own…Wherefore he took his daughter from him, and gave her to Demetrius, and forsook Alexander, so that their hatred was openly known. Then Ptolemy entered into Antioch, where he set two crowns upon his head, the crown of Asia, and of Egypt.” – 1 Maccabees, Chapter 11 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T6_Philometor.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Demetrius struggles to preserve his throne but ends up falling in battle. Alexander Balas begins his reign by marrying Ptolemy’s daughter, Cleopatra Thea. While the sons of Demetrius remain a threat, the couple are also forced to confront the growing menace of Parthia. “Then gathered king Alexander great forces, and camped over against Demetrius. And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius’ host fled: but Alexander followed after him, and prevailed against them. And he continued the battle very sore until the sun went down: and that day was Demetrius slain.” – 1 Maccabees http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T5_Balas.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Demetrius seizes the Syrian throne and stems immediate threats from Media and Judaea. But deposed officials and regional rulers conspire to engineer his downfall.“When it became known that the Romans were ill disposed towards Demetrius, not only the other kings but even some of the satraps subject to him regarded his kingship with scant respect. Of these satraps the most outstanding was a certain Timarchus…By launching many accusations against Demetrius (he) persuaded the senate to enact (a decree making him king). Emboldened by this decree he raised an army of considerable size in Media; he also entered into alliance against Demetrius with Artaxias, the king of Armenia.” – Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, Book XXXIhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T4_Soter.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Lysias attempts to exercise control through the young King Antiochus V, but a deadly incident with a Roman delegation gives hope to the captive Demetrius. Ptolemy Physcon challenges his brother Ptolemy VI for control of Egypt and Cyprus. “They then went on board, and the pilot weighed anchor and started just as the day was breaking, having absolutely no idea of the real state of the case, but believing that he was conveying some soldiers from Menyllus to Ptolemy…It was not until the fourth day after his start that, Demetrius being looked for in vain, the truth was suspected. On the fifth the Senate was hastily summoned to consider the matter, when Demetrius had already cleared the Straits of Messina. The Senate gave up all idea of pursuit.” – Polybius, The Histories, Book XXXIhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T3_Thea.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Antiochus the Great restores Seleucid fortunes, but his son Antiochus IV sews the seeds of the Empire’s destruction.“On (Antiochus IV), after reading the dispatch, saying that he desired to consult with his friends on the situation, Popilius did a thing which was looked upon as exceedingly overbearing and insolent. Happening to have a vine stick in his hand, he drew a circle round Antiochus with it, and ordered him to give his answer to the letter before he stepped out of that circumference.” – Polybius, the Histories, Book XXIXhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T2_Megas.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Seleucus I Nicator forges the Seleucid Empire, and his descendants spend the next century struggling to preserve his legacy.“In Asia, after the defeat of Demetrius at Gaza in Syria, Seleucus, receiving from Ptolemy no more than eight hundred foot soldiers and about two hundred horse, set out for Babylon.” – Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, Book XIXhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_T1_Nicator.mp3. . .
with Drew from the Wonders of the World Podcast, where we talk about Palmyra, Odaenathus, and (of course) Queen Zenobia. Enjoy! http://traffic.libsyn.com/wonderspodcast/040_-_The_Temple_of_Bel_at_Palmyra.mp3. . .
with the lovely and talented Drew from the Wonders of the World podcast, where we talk about the exotic Roman Emperor Elagabalus, the amazing temple complex at Baalbek, and lots of other fun stuff. Enjoy! And please also check out his other episodes (it helps if you bring a healthy love of Demetrius Poliorcetes ;)http://traffic.libsyn.com/wonderspodcast/039_-_The_Temples_of_Heliopolis_at_Baalbek.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Monotheism, modern Syria, the world’s first romance story, and the end of the Bloodline. “The oasis and town of Palmyra owe their existence to the plentiful spring that runs from Jebel Muntar. This spring dominates a narrow passage in the principal route between the Homs pass and the Euphrates River and is in the heart of the Syrian desert. The oasis furnishes a resting place between Iraq and Central Syria, and it was a primary stop for caravans plying between the Gulf, Iran, and the Mediterranean.” – Khaled Al-Asaad and Adnan Bounni, Palmyra: History, Monuments & Museum http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B54_Efqa.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Aurelian returns East to crush Palmyrene revolts in Syria and Egypt. The sources relate differing accounts of Zenobia’s ultimate fate.“To the tumultuous throng which crowded under these porticoes the solitude of death has succeeded. The silence of the tomb is substituted for the hum of polite places.” – Count C.F.C deVolney, The Ruins, or Meditations on the Revolutions of Empires“The elevation of Odaenathus and Zenobia appeared to reflect new splendor on their country, and Palmyra, for a while, stood forth the rival of Rome; but the competition was fatal, and ages of prosperity were sacrificed to a moment of glory.” – Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire “When the sand seems to disappear, not beneath the verdure of an oasis but beneath an accumulation of marble and worked stones, silence falls among the travelers…it is then that a man, even the least civilized, feels himself to be small and, despite himself, meditates on the presence of that mighty ruin as upon a mighty sorrow.” – L. Double, 1877 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B53_Memento_Mori.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Boxed in by Aurelian’s siege, Zenobia makes a desperate attempt to enlist the support of the Persians.“Palmyra was the last resource of the widow of Odaenathus. She retired within the walls of her capital, made every preparation for a vigorous resistance, and declared, with the intrepidity of a heroine, that the last moment of her reign and of her life should be the same.” - Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire“You have the prospect of such Magnicient Ruines, that if it be Lawful to frame a Conjecture of the Original Beauty of the place, by what is still remaining, I question somewhat whether any City in the World could have challenged Precedence over this in all its Glory.” – W. Halifax, A Relation of a Voyage from Aleppo to Palmyra in Syria, 1695 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B52_Palmyra.mp3. . .
Synopsis: After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Emesa, Zenobia retreats to Palmyra. Aurelian has a divine encounter at the Temple of Elah Gabal. “After this, the whole issue of the war was decided near Emesa in a mighty battle fought against Zenobia and Zabdas, her ally. When Aurelian’s horsemen, now exhausted, were on the point of breaking their ranks and turning their backs, suddenly by the power of a supernatural agency, as was afterwards made known, a divine form spread encouragement throughout the foot-soldiers and even rallied the horsemen. Zenobia and Zabdas were put to flight, and a victory was won in full.” – The Historia Augusta http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B51_Emesa.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Aurelian’s vision compels him to spare the defiant citizens of Tyana. As the Romans advance through Anatolia, Zenobia concentrates her forces in Syria, and the two sides finally clash at the Battle of Immae.“As soon as the Emperor was on his march thither, Ancyra submitted to the Romans, and afterwards Tyana, and all the cities between that and Antioch. There finding Zenobia with a large army ready to engage, as he himself also was, he met and engaged her as honor obliged him.” – Zosimus, the History“Zenobia would have ill deserved her reputation, had she indolently permitted the Emperor of the West to approach within a hundred miles of her capital…The Queen of Palmyra animated the armies by her presence, and devolved the execution of her orders on Zabdas, who had already signaled his military talents by the conquest of Egypt. The numerous forces of Zenobia consisted for the most part of light archers, and of heavy cavalry clothed in complete steel.” – Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empirehttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B50_Augusta.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Zenobia orders her general Zabdas to capture Anatolia. After subduing the Marcomanni and the Goths, Aurelian makes preparations to reclaim the East.“(Aurelian) was naturally of a severe disposition. A peasant and a soldier, his nerves yielded not easily to the impressions of sympathy, and he could sustain without emotion the sight of tortures and death. Trained from his earliest youth in the exercise of arms, he set too small a value on the life of a citizen, chastised by military execution the slightest offences, and transferred the stern discipline of the camp into the civil administration of the laws.” – Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire“Since there were in the army two tribunes, both named Aurelian…the soldiers game him the nickname of ‘Sword-in-hand,’ so that, if anyone chanced to ask which Aurelian had done anything or performed any exploit, the reply would be made ‘Aurelian Sword-in-hand,’ and so he would be identified.” – The Historia Augusta http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B49_Nemesis.mp3. . .
So…Egypt, huh? Yeah, that was pretty crazy. And what about this new guy, Aurelian? I can’t quite put my finger on it but he seems like he could be trouble. But I’m sorry to say it’ll be a few weeks before we continue the story. You have to admit I’ve been pretty good – I got 5 new episodes out back to back. I’m not asking for a parade or anything, I’m just pretty happy I managed to pull it off. But now yeah, the usual – work and the Holidays are putting me a little behind the podcast production curve. Things being where they are Zenobia-wise, my plan is to write the final episodes of the series then release them all in another steady string – starting sometime around the beginning of the New Year. Which means I’m not talking about a huge break, just a few weeks. So everyone please enjoy your Holidays, and look forward to starting off 2018 with more new episodes of The Ancient World.I also wanted to mention that – for those of you in Northern California - Mike Duncan’s book tour for “The Storm Before the Storm” is hitting Book Passage in San Francisco at 6PM on December 5 - a little over a week away. My wife and I will be there, so if you’re so inclined please come on out to support Mike and feel free to say “hi” to us as well. I’ve posted a pic on the Facebook page, so you’ll at least have a chance of picking us out of what I’m sure will be a super-enormous crowd.Everyone please have a great Holiday, and thanks again for listening!http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Holiday_Break.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Zenobia’s armies successfully capture Arabia Petraea and Egypt. The death of Claudius and his brother Quintillus pave the way for the Emperor Aurelian. “Zenobia began to think of extending her dominion, and therefore sent Zabdas into Egypt.” – Zosimus, The History“Nor was the plague confined to the Barbarians alone, but began to infest the Romans, many of whom died, and amongst the rest Claudius, a person adorned with every virtue…Quintillus, the brother of Claudius, was then declared emperor. He had reigned but a few months, and had performed nothing worthy of notice, before Aurelian was raised to the imperial throne.” – Zosimus, The History http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B48_270.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Following the murder of the Emperor Gallienus, Zenobia successfully defends Palmyra against both Roman and Persian aggression. “Zenobia then took upon her the administration of affairs. She was the wife of Odaenathus, but had the courage of a man, and with the assistance of her husband’s friends, acted in every respect as well as he had done.” – Zosimus, The History“This Heraclianus, however, on setting out against the Persians, was defeated by the Palmyrenes, and lost all the troops he had gathered, for Zenobia was ruling Palmyra and most of the East with the vigour of a man.” – The Historia Augusta http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B47_Zenobia.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Odaenathus declares himself King of Kings, twice besieges the Sasanid capital, and combats Gothic pirates on the Black Sea coast. At the height of his power he’s betrayed and murdered, and Palmyrene power passes to Queen Zenobia. “While Valerian was growing old in Persia, Odaenathus the Palmyrene gathered together an army and restored the Roman power almost to its pristine condition.” – The Historia Augusta“Him will glory attend. He himself, unblemished and great, will rule over the Romans, and the Persians will be powerless.” – The Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B46_Melek_Melek.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Odaenathus helps drive the Persians from Syria and preserve Gallienus’ throne. After his peace offering is spurned by Shapur, Odaenathus prepares to invade the Sasanid Empire. “Had not Odaenathus, prince of the Palmyrenes, seized the imperial power after the capture of Valerian, when the strength of the Roman state was exhausted, all would have been lost in the East.” – The Historia Augusta http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B45_Odaenathus.mp3. . .
Synopsis: After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Shapur, Valerian joins tens of thousands of Roman captives deported to the heartland of Persia. “Going without consideration to Shapur with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, (Valerian) was presently laid hold off by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.” - Zosimus, The History“Whatever treatment the unfortunate Valerian might experience in Persia, it is at least certain that the only emperor of Rome who had ever fallen into the hands of the enemy, languished away his life in hopeless captivity.” - Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter X, Part IV http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B44_Edessa.mp3. . .
After listening to Episode B43, astute listener Jacob asked (on the TAW Facebook page): "So with the death of Samsigeramus is that technically the end of the Bloodline as far as we can prove?" My answer is a reluctant but unqualified “yes.” Samsigeramus, like Severus Alexander, may well have been a tenth generation descendant of Cleopatra and Mark Antony - though it’s worth noting that the generations (and exact connections) between Gaius Julius Alexio and Julius Bassianus are pretty sparsely documented. In the Bloodline series I’ve proposed what I think is a reasonable reconstruction to span the requisite gaps.But even that’s a six-lane freeway compared to the dusty unmarked trail connecting Cleopatra’s descendants – in any reasonable way – to the Palmyrene Queen Zenobia. My initial research hinted at connections, and I used those connections to frame the series. But I’ve since read works by modern historians who argue (convincingly) that there’s just no “there” there. Zenobia’s claims in this regard were pretty clearly propaganda, designed to appeal at a critical time to a very critical power base. This revelation does little to diminish her stature - and she remains a remarkable, heroic, and ultimately tragic figure. But it does throw a monkey wrench into the series structure, by forcing the end of the family through-line with the death of Samsigeramus.So…what now? Well, never fear – I’m still fully committed to finishing the story of the meteoric rise and fall of the Palmyrene Empire, and the series will still conclude with the ultimate fate of Zenobia. In a broader sense it’s also the story of a particular time and place: the Syria of the late third century, precariously balanced between a distant Rome, an aggressive Persia, and the rising power of Palmyra. At the same time it’s the story of Emesa - modern Homs in Syria - the Jerusalem of the Sun God and cradle of the Severan Dynasty. Even after Samsigeramus’ death the city will remain a historical nexus, and witness the murder of a King, the defeat of an Empire, and the first declaration of monotheism by a sitting Roman Emperor.I hope you enjoy the ride.Scott C.PS A quick word about timing. Due to an overflow of competing commitments, it’s recently proven extremely challenging to post episodes on a regular basis. It’s my general intention to complete the series before the end of the year, but aside from that I really can’t provide much in the way of details. So please keep subscribed to the Bloodline feed and look forward to the occasional happy surprise as new episodes (or groups of episodes) make it your way. And, as always, thanks for listening!. . .
Synopsis: Samsigeramus saves Emesa from Sasanid destruction, then proclaims himself Augustus. The arrival of Valerian marks the end of his reign and the elevation of Odaenathus to provincial governor. “And then there shall be a flight of Romans; and thereafter there shall come the priest heard of all round, sent by the sun, from Syria appearing, and by guile shall he accomplish all things. And then too the city of the sun shall offer prayer; and round about her shall the Persians dare the fearful threatenings of the Phoenicians.” – The Sibylline Oracles, Book XIII http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B43_Sibylline.mp3. . .
Synopsis: The revolt of Iotapian shows Eastern nobles the possibilities among the chaos. Shapur’s invasion of Syria drives Samsigeramus to make a bold stand. “As there were at that time many disturbances in the empire, the eastern provinces - which were uneasy, partly owing to the exactions of exorbitant tributes, and partly to their dislike of Priscus, their governor, who was a man of an intolerably evil disposition - wished for innovation, and set up (Iotapian) for emperor.” – Zosimus,The History, Book 1“So rapid were the motions of the Persian cavalry, that, if we may credit a very judicious historian, the city of Antioch was surprised when the idle multitude were fondly gazing on the amusements of the theatre. The splendid buildings of Antioch, private as well as public, were either pillaged or destroyed; and the numerous inhabitants were put to the sword, or led away into captivity.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter X, Part IV http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B42_Iotapian.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Shortly after Hatra’s destruction, Shapur inherits the Persian Empire. Gordian’s invasion the following year ends in defeat and humiliation for Rome. “When at first we had become established in the Empire, Gordian Caesar raised in all of the Roman Empire a force from the Goth and German realms, and marched on Asoristan against the Empire of Iran and against us. On the border of Asoristan and Misik a great frontal battle occurred. Gordian Caesar was killed and the Roman force was destroyed.” – The Great Inscription of Shapur I, Naqsh-i-Rustamhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B41_Samsigeramus.mp3 The Roman Near East c. 240AD http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_240_Region.jpg. . .
Synopsis: After the death of Elagabalus, Uranius Antoninus served as High Priest of Elah Gabal in Emesa. From this vantage, he witnessed the birth of Ardeshir’s Persia and the changing fortunes of the Palmyrenes. “Even the name of Tadmor, or Palmyra, by its signification in the Syrian as well as in the Latin language, denoted the multitude of palm-trees which afforded shade and verdure to that temperate region…Palmyra, for a while, stood forth the rival of Rome; but the competition was fatal, and ages of prosperity were sacrificed to a moment of glory.” - Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XI, Part IIIhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B40_Uranius.mp3Dedicated with great respect to Khaled al-Asaad, Palmyra’s devoted protector. . .
Episode B39, “Excidium,” finishes off the third story arc of The Ancient World Bloodline. We’ve come a pretty long way from the days of Cleopatra Selene and Juba II – in fact we’ve come about ten generations - and now there’s only a little ways left to go. The upcoming final story arc will focus on Palmyra, Emesa and the Sasanids, while out West the Romans’ll be tearing through Emperors like used paper towels. Just to give some context, the first two story arcs – on Mauretania and Judea – went 12 episodes each, and the latest one on the Severans took 15. If I had to guess I’d say the final story arc will run less than 10 episodes, but it’s really too early to say. What Ican say is it’ll be quite a while beforeany new episodes are posted.First off I’ll be taking a long break over the Holidays and through my birthday in early February. And by the way that’ll be my 50th birthday, for which I’m already working up some pretty fun plans. Actually next year is also my 10th wedding anniversary and also marks 5 – yes 5 - years as a podcaster. Which is why my tentative plan is to post the next episode, Episode B40, around my 5-year podcasting anniversary in April 2017. So what can you do in the meantime? Well, you could always marathon old episodes of Bloodline. It’s still less than a full day back-to-back. You could tell friends, neighbors and fellow history fans – or even just fans of a good story – to give the podcast a listen. And if you really want to help out the show -cue the broken record - you could stop by and review the series on iTunes.You can also keep in touch on Twitter and Facebook. That’s @TheAncientWorld on Twitter and @ancientworldpodcast on Facebook. I’ve been posting tons of photos from my recent history-relatedtravels up on the Facebook page, and I always try to keep my Twitter feed chalk full of ancient history stuff. So if you like the podcast I’m pretty sure you’ll like both sites.That’s about it for now, I just wanted to give a status and a bit of a look-ahead. When I return we’ll cover the last few generations of Cleopatra’s heirs, and I’ll also be telling the story of Palmyra – a place which is unfortunately back in the news for very tragic reasons. But for a short time under Zenobia Palmyra ruled the entire Roman East and was powerful enough militarily to fend off the Sasanids. It’s an interesting story, and I’m going to do my best to give it its due. In the meantime please have a great Holiday Season and I’ll see you all in 2017! http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/You_Are_Here.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Alexander marches East to counter Ardeshir’s invasion, but the conflict ends in a stalemate. A short time later, a legionary rebellion along the Rhine brings the Severan regime to a bloody end.“The lenity of the Emperor confirmed the insolence of the troops; the legions imitated the example of the Guards, and defended their prerogative of licentiousness with the same furious obstinacy. The administration of Alexander was unavailing struggle against the corruption of this age…Fresh mutinies perpetually broke out; his officers were murdered, his authority was insulted, and his life at last sacrificed to the fierce discontents of the army.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter VI, Part IVhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B39_Excidium.mp3 The Roman War Plan for 233 AD http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/SASANID_ALEX.jpg The Bloodline Family Tree (Part 1) http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B33_Bloodline01.pdf The Bloodline Family Tree (Part 2) http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B39_Bloodline02.pdf. . .
Synopsis: Overseen by his mother and grandmother, Severus Alexander’s early reign was marked by wisdom and temperance. A decade later, a Sasanid invasion would test both Rome and its emperor. “When Alexander received the empire, the appearance and the title of Emperor were allowed him, but the management and control of imperial affairs were in the hands of his women, and they undertook a more moderate and more equitable administration.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book VI, Chapter I“(Ardeshir) did not remain quiet, however, nor stay on his side of the Tigris River, but, after scaling its banks and crossing the borders of the Roman empire, he overran Mesopotamia and threatened Syria. The entire continent opposite Europe, separated from it by the Aegean Sea and the Propontic Gulf, and the region called Asia, he wished to recover for the Persian empire…When the Eastern governors revealed these developments in their dispatches, Alexander was greatly disturbed by these unanticipated tidings, particularly since, raised from childhood in an age of peace, he had spent his entire life in urban ease and comfort.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book VI, Chapter II http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B38_The_Last_Severan.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Ardeshir defeats Artabanus in battle and claims the Parthian Empire for the Sasanids. After a failed attempt to conquer Armenia, he sets his sights on the Roman East. “Then (Ardeshir) came to battle with Artabanus, killed the entire army of the latter, seized their wealth, property, horses, and portable lodges, and settled himself in Istakhr. He collected soldiers in large numbers from Kerman, Mokristan, Isfahan, and different districts of Fars, and came to fight with Artabanus himself. So Artabanus sent for soldiers and provisions from different frontiers...But as the Glory of the Kayanians (Achaemenids) was with Ardeshir, the latter gained success. He killed Artabanus, whose entire wealth and property fell into the hands of Ardeshir, who married Artabanus's daughter, and went back to Fars.” – The Book of Deeds of Ardeshir Son of Pabag, Chapter IV “Artaxerxes, a Persian, having conquered the Parthians in three battles and killed their king, Artabanus, made a campaign against Hatra, which he endeavored to take as a base for attacking the Romans. He did make a breach in the wall but, as he lost a number of soldiers through an ambuscade, he transferred his position to Media. Of this district, as also of Parthia, he acquired no small portion, partly by force and partly by intimidation, and then marched against Armenia. Here he suffered a reverse at the hands of the natives, some Medes, and the children of Artabanus, and either fled (as some say) or (as others assert) retired to prepare a larger expedition. He accordingly became a source of fear for us.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 80 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B37_Shahanshah.mp3 Map of the Roman-Sasanid Frontier c. 232 AD: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/SASANID_FINAL.jpg. . .
Just a quick note to say that the latest Episode, “The Black Stone,” will be the last one for the next month or so, due to Vacation and a few other things. Around the end of October, I’ll be back with the final three episodes of the Severan story arc, which should wrap up just before the Holidays. At that point, I’ll be over three-quarters done with “The Ancient World – Bloodline” - and’ll be rounding the corner toward home. And by the way, the next episode – Episode B37 – will officially make Bloodline my longest series to-date! While I’m away, please keep helping out with the Twitter Follows, the Facebook Likes and – especially – the iTunes Reviews. And for anyone listening to the show on iTunes outside the US, I’d really appreciate if you could copy and paste my written iTunes reviews (for your country) and e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t access my foreign reviews from the US and would like to check them out. Thanks again and I’ll see you all in a month or so! – Scott C. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Off_Again.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Elagabalus spearheads a religious revolution in Rome, but his unpopular rule drives Julia Maesa to enact a back-up plan.“To this temple, as to the common center of religious worship, the Imperial fanatic attempted to remove the Ancilia, the Palladium, and all the sacred pledges of the faith of Numa. A crowd of inferior deities attended in various stations the majesty of the god of Emesa; but his court was still imperfect, till a female of distinguished rank was admitted to his bed. Pallas had been first chosen for his consort; but as it was dreaded lest her warlike terrors might affront the soft delicacy of a Syrian deity, the Moon, adorned by the Africans under the name of Astarte, was deemed a more suitable companion for the Sun.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 6 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B36_The_Black_Stone.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Deception, good fortune, and Macrinus’ failings allow the Severans to retake the Roman throne. As Emperor, Elagabalus makes plans to install the black stone of Elah Gabal in the Capital. “(Elagabalus and Severus Alexander) were priests of the sun god, whom their countrymen worship under the Phoenician name Elagabalus. A huge temple was erected to this god, lavishly decorated with gold, silver, and costly gems. Not only is this god worshipped by the natives, but all the neighboring rulers and kings send generous and expensive gifts to him each year. No statue made by man in the likeness of the god stands in the temple, as in Greek and Roman temples. The temple does, however, contain a huge black stone with a pointed end and round base in the shape of a cone. The Phoenicians solemnly maintain that this stone came down from Zeus; pointing out certain small figures in relief, they assert that it is an unwrought image of the sun, for naturally that is what they wish to see.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession off Gordian III, Book V, Chapter III http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B35_Bassus.mp3. . .
Synopsis: King Artabanus of Parthia gathers his forces to seek revenge on Rome. Usurpation and war gain the Sasanids control over the southern territory of Fars. “Macrinus, seeing that Artabanus was exceedingly angry at the way he had been treated and had invaded Mesopotamia with a large force, at first of his own accord sent him captives and used friendly language, urging him to accept peace and laying the blame for the past on (Caracalla). But the other would not entertain his proposition, and furthermore bade him build up the forts and demolished cities, abandon Mesopotamia entirely and offer satisfaction in general, but particularly for the damage to the royal tombs. For, trusting in the large force that he had gathered, and despising Macrinus as an unworthy emperor, he gave reign to his wrath and expected that even without Roman consent he could accomplish whatever he wished.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 78http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B34_Keepers_of_the_Fire.mp3Map of the Parthian Empire http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/PARTHIA_FINAL.jpg. . .
Synopsis: Caracalla cuts a murderous path through Rome, and provokes a dangerous war with Parthia. After his murder, Julia Domna is forced to contend with a would-be usurper. “Julia Domna deserved all that the stars could promise her. She possessed, even in advanced age, the attractions of beauty, and united to a lively imagination a firmness of mind, and strength of judgement, seldom bestowed on her sex. Her amiable qualities never made any deep impression on the dark and jealous temper of her husband; but in her son’s reign, she administered the principal affairs of the empire, with a prudence that supported his authority, and with a moderation that sometimes corrected his wild extravagancies.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 6http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B33_Semiramis.mp3 The Bloodline Family Tree – Part Ihttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B33_Bloodline01.pdf The Bloodline Family Tree – Part II http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B33_Bloodline02.pdf. . .
Synopsis: Severus’ close friendship with Plautianus estranges him from his family. In his final years, a rebellion in Britannia provides one last opportunity to shape his legacy.“The contemporaries of Severus, in this enjoyment of the peace and glory of his reign, forgave the cruelties by which it had been introduced. Posterity, who experienced the fatal effects of his maxims and example, justly considered him as the principal author of the decline of the Roman Empire.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B32_The_Fourth_Caesar.mp3. . .
I wanted to let everyone know that the latest Episode, “Perish in Blood”, will be the last one for a month or two. I’ll be off on Vacation for a while, and generally taking a break. In the meantime, I hope you’re allenjoying the Severan story arc. Like I mentioned early on, the extended family of Julia Domna was the original inspiration of the series, and I’m hoping to flesh out all the family members as much as I can. At the same time, I’m planning to give a lot of attention to the Sasanids, including their history and background, their conflict with the Parthians, and - eventually - their conflict with Julia Domna’s great-nephew, Severus Alexander. So, look for all that when I pick the story back up in a month or two. In the meantime, please do a couple things to support the show. First, for those of you on iTunes, please swing by and review The Ancient World. You can just give it a starred rating, or you can also leave a comment, which I always love to read. And second, The Ancient World may be in the running for this year’s Podcast Awards. The final slate will be announced on May 22 at www.podcastawards.com. On the off-chance we are in the running, please do whatever you can to support the show - it’s a great way to get the word out. Otherwise, thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in a month or two! http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Another_Break.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Severus confronts Albinus at Lugdunum, then launches a war against the Parthians. At the pinnacle of his power, the oracle of Zeus Belos reveals his family’s fate. “The youth of Severus had been trained in the implicit obedience of the camps, and the riper years spent in the despotism of military command. His haughty and inflexible spirit could not discover, or would not acknowledge, the advantage of preserving an intermediate power, however imaginary, between the Emperor and the army.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5“Here is one man who overthrew three Emperors after they were already ruling, and got the upper hand of the Praetorians by a trick…He prevailed over them all by his courage. It is not possible to name another like Severus.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book 3, Chapter 7http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B31_Perish_in_Blood.mp3Map of the Near East c. 198AD (provinces):http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_198AD_1.jpgMap of the Near East c. 198AD (cities):http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_198AD_2.jpg. . .
Synopsis: Severus defeats Niger and wages a limited Eastern campaign. While Julia Domna is hailed as Mother of the Camps, Caracalla’s elevation to Caesar prompts a second civil war. “There used to be an oracle about Hannibal’s death.‘The soil of Libyssa would cover Hannibal’s body.’The later emperor of the Romans, Severus,Who was a descendant of the Libyans, he put upon this man’sTomb a white piece of marble to honor the commander Hannibal.” - John Tzetzes, Chiliades (or Book of Histories), Book 1, 801 - 805http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B30_Mater_Castrorum.mp3. . .
Synopsis: After Pertinax and his successor are killed in the same year, Severus’s claim to the Empire is contested by two rivals. "Pertinax was one of those men to whom no exception can be taken, but he ruled only for an exceedingly brief space of time and was then put out of the way by the soldiers.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 73“The Pannonian army was at that time commanded by Septimius Severus, a native of Africa, who, in the gradual ascent of private honors, had concealed his daring ambition.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B29_193.mp3Bloodline Family Tree (c. 193AD):http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B29_Bloodline.pdf. . .
Synopsis:Julia Domna marries Septimius Severus and gives birth to Caracalla and Geta.Left behind in Rome with her young children, Julia watches as Commodus re-founds the Empire in his ownimage. "The effect of Commodus upon the Romans was worse than that of all pestilences and all villainies.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 72 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B28_Bestiarius.mp3Detailed Map of the Roman Empire (brilliantmaps.com):http://brilliantmaps.com/roman-empire-211/Julia Domna Family Tree:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B27_Bloodline.pdf. . .
Synopsis: Julia Domna was daughter of the Emesene High Priest, destined to marry a king. Then she met Septimius Severus. "Our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust.” - Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71“The primitive Christians perpetually trod on mystic ground, and their minds were exercised by the habits of believing the most extraordinary events.” – Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the Fall of Romehttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B27_Lucifugus.mp3 Bloodline Family Tree (c. 182AD):http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B27_Bloodline.png. . .
Synopsis: The revolt of Avidius Cassius. "There is only one thing I fear, fellow-soldiers…and that is that (Avidius Cassius) may either kill himself because ashamed to come into our presence, or someone else upon learning that I shall come and am setting out against him may do it. Then should I be deprived of a great prize both of war and of victory, and of a magnitude such as no human being ever yet obtained. What is this? Why, to forgive a man that has done you an injury, to remain a friend to one who has transgressed friendship, to continue faithful to one who has broken faith.” – Marcus Aurelius, quoted by Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B26_Emanes.mp3Avidius Cassius Family Tree: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B25_Avidius_Cassius.pdf. . .
Synopsis: The overthrow of King Gaius Julius Sohaemus of Armenia leads to war between Parthia and Rome."For Vologases had begun war by assailing on all sides the Roman camp under Severianus, situated in Elegeia, a place in Armenia; and he had shot down and destroyed the whole force, leaders and all. He was now proceeding with numbers that inspired terror against the cities of Syria." – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B25_Discindo.mp3Avidius Cassius Family Tree:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/B25_Avidius_Cassius.pdf. . .
Episode B24, “The Yona Kings”, closes out the second story arc of “The Ancient World – Bloodline.” The first dozen episodes – which I guess you could call the “Mauretanian story arc” – covered the final years of Antony and Cleopatra, then discussed the lives of Cleopatra Selene, Juba and their son Ptolemy – all the way up through his murder by Caligula. The next dozen episodes – the “Judean story arc” – started with Ptolemy’s daughter Drusilla and her marriages to Marcus Antonius Felix and Gaius Julius Sohaemus. We then covered Drusilla’s short-lived son Gaius Julius Alexio, her grandson Silas, and began the story of Silas’ three sons: Longinus, Agrippa and Sohaemus. So far it’s breaking down to around 3 generations, and around a dozen episodes, per story arc. Which I didn’t particularly plan for but will totally take - since round numbers are always nice. What that also means is that - based on my calculations - we’re around halfway done with the “Bloodline” series. Which sounds like a good time for a break. Which is why I’m taking one. The break will probably last for a couple months - and we’ll pick back up sometime in February with the story of Silas’ three sons. I’ve also posted the Bloodline Family Tree – so far – up on both the blog and Facebook sites.In the meantime there are a couple of things I wanted to mention. First off, as many of you know my wife Tracy DeLuca produces her own podcast called “Results May Vary.” In the series Tracy and her friend Chris draw on their vast work experience in design thinking and innovation to help people design the lives they want. No guarantees – I mean, the title is “Results May Vary” – just lots of interesting interviews, test cases and practical advice about living life by design. What you might not know is that Tracy's latest episode is with Mike Duncan – creator of “The History of Rome” and “Revolutions” podcasts and author of the forthcoming book “The Storm Before the Storm.” Among other topics, the episode covers how to design the past to better engage people in our shared history and how to apply the lessons of history toward designing a better future. The episode is posted at resultsmayvarypodcast.com. And while you’re at it make sure to check out ongoing episodes of “Revolutions” at revolutionspodcast.com. You can also find both series on iTunes.Second, I wanted to engage the many wonderful and talented listeners out there in a little project. Part of what I’ve been trying to do with “Bloodline” is bring the stories of Antony and Cleopatra’s descendants to life by talking about the times, places and events they lived through. But of course what I do is mainly audio - and I was thinking it would also be pretty amazing to bring the story to life visually. I’m a pretty crap artist myself, but I’m betting many of you out there are much, much better.So I’ve decided to hold a bit of a contest. Pick any subject from the series – a place, a scene, a character, even a concept - render it in whatever visual medium strikes your fancy, and e-mail the image to email@example.com with the Subject “Bloodline Images.” Whether it’s the execution of King Ptolemy, the Temple of Elah Gabal, even a creative rendering of the Bloodline Family Tree – if it’s from the series it’s fair game. I’ll feature some of my favorites on The Ancient World media sites. And – even better – every contributor will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two books. The books in question are Tom Holland’s “Persian Fire” and Richard Miles’ “Carthage Must be Destroyed.” Both books were a big help in creating the original series, and they’ve got the extensive highlighting to prove it. I’m also more than happy to sign them for you. The contest runs between now, December 18, and January 31, 2016 -when I’ll announce the winner of the drawing. In the meantime, uncork that creativity, have fun and I look forward to seeing your handiwork.So that’s it for the moment. I really hope you’re enjoying the “Bloodline” series as much as I am making it – which is very, very much. And trust me, the upcoming story arc is going to be epic. Because it’s with the Severans that the descendants of Mark Antony and Cleopatra finally stake their claim to the Roman Empire – and the result is, well, kind of a disaster. But it is fun to watch.Until then, thanks for all the kind words and support, and thanks again for listening.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Halftime.mp3 The Bloodline Family Tree (so far!) http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/The_Bloodline.jpg. . .
Synopsis: The Macedonian kingdoms of Central Asia endured for centuries before being absorbed into the Kushan Empire. Hadrian’s actions in Judea spark a third Jewish Revolt."Has it ever happened to you, O king, that rival kings rose up against you as enemies and opponents?-Yes, certainly.-Then you set to work, I suppose, to have moats dug, and ramparts thrown up, and watch towers erected, and strongholds built, and stores of food collected?-Not at all. All that had been prepared beforehand.-Or you had yourself trained in the management of war elephants, and in horsemanship, and in the use of the war chariot, and in archery and fencing?-Not at all. I had learnt all that before.-But why?-With the object of warding off future danger." – Milinda Panha (The Questions of King Menander), Book III, Chapter 7http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B24_The_Yona_Kings.mp3 Map of Central Asia:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/CA_Regions.jpg. . .
Synopsis: At the far point of his campaign, Trajan’s Eastern conquests begin to slip from his fingers. “Thence he came to the (Persian Gulf) itself, and when he had learned its nature and seen a boat sailing to India, he said: ‘I should certainly have cross over to the Indi, if I were still young.’ He gave much thought to the Indi, and was curious about their affairs. Alexander he counted a happy man and at the same time declared that he himself had advanced farther. This was the tenor of the dispatch that he forwarded to the Senate, although he was unable to preserve even what territory had been subdued.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 68 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B23_Parthicus.mp3The Near East c. 116AD - Provinces and Kingdoms http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_116AD_1.jpg The Near East c. 116AD - Major Cities http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_116AD_2.jpg. . .
Synopsis: Silas guides Emesa in its transition to a pilgrimage site. The death of King Tiridates I of Armenia brings Rome and Parthia into conflict. “(Parthomasiris) greeted him, took off his diadem from his head, and laid it at (Trajan’s) feet. Then he stood there in silence, expecting to receive it back. At this the soldiers shouted aloud, and hailed Trajan imperator as if on account of some victory (they termed it an uncrowned, bloodless victory to see the king, a descendant of Arsaces, a son of Pacorus, and a nephew of Osroes, standing beside Trajan without a diadem, like a captive). The shout terrified the prince, who though that it heralded insult and destruction for him.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 68 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B22_Optimus.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Gaius Julius Sohaemus is compelled to help the Romans conquer Commagene. “Petus…fell upon Commagene before Antiochus and his people had the least expectation of his coming. He had with him the tenth legion, and also some cohorts and troops of horsemen. These kings also came to his assistance: Aristibulus, king of the country called Chalcidene, and Sohaemus, who was called King of Emesa. Nor was there any opposition made to his forces when they entered the kingdom, for no one of that country would so much as lift up his hand against them.” – Josephus, The Jewish War, Book VII, Chapter 7 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B21_Betrayal.mp3. . .
Synopsis: The destruction of Jerusalem.Shalim (semetic): Caananite god of dusk and the evening star, paired with Shahar, god of dawn and the morning star. Root of Hebrew shalom and Arabic salam(peace), associated with sunset and the completion of the workday. Related to the Caananite sun goddess Shapash, a possible manifestation of Shamash. An element in the names of King David’s sons Solomon and Absalom. Original guardian, patron and protective deity of Jerusalem. “Before the fifteenth of July all Syria had sworn the same allegiance. Vespasian’s cause was now joined also by Sohaemus with his entire kingdom, whose strength was not to be despised, and by Antiochus who had enormous ancestral wealth, and was in fact the richest of the subject princes. Presently Agrippa, summoned from Rome by private messages from his friends, while Vitellius was still unaware of his action, quickly crossed the sea and joined the cause.” – Tacitus, The Histories, Book II http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B20_The_God_of_Dusk.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Tiberius Julius Alexander throws Egypt’s backing behind Vespasian’s bid for the throne.“Accordingly, in order to overthrow John (of Gischala), they determined to admit Simon (bar Giora), and earnestly to desire the introduction of a second tyrant into the city…Accordingly he, in an arrogant manner, granted them his lordly protection, and came into the city, in order to deliver it from the zealots. The people also made joyful acclamations to him, as their savior and their preserver; but when he was come in, with his army, he took care to secure his own authority, and looked upon those that had invited him in to be no less his enemies than those against whom the invitation was intended. And thus did Simon get possession of Jerusalem.” – Josephus, The Jewish War, Book IV, Chapter 9 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B19_The_Prefect.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Joseph ben Matityahu fought the Romans as a Jewish General before becoming a trusted advisor to the Flavians. The Josephus Problem (mathematics): Given a group of n men arranged in a circle under the edict that every mth man will be executed going around the circle until only one remains, find the position L (n, m) in which you should stand in order to be the last survivor.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B18_The_Josephus Problem.mp3. . .
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated to the TAW Syria Fund Drive. In the end, we raised over $5,000 to help preserve Syrian heritage sites and support Syrian refugees. You guys definitely came through, and I really appreciate it. Big TAW thanks go out to all the following donors (in no particular order):Patricia Matson (in Memory of Lloyd and Tina Elkins) Parker NewcombKevin McFaddenAimee PoppTerry DillonRichie WalkerAntti RasinenGeorgi PetrovGnanadeep KolliparaJohan TorneRita MathisJulie JonesTravis AndersonMatthew SmithJoseph CiglianoPaul and Meg StrongMichele DanaGary JonesSteven DiamondJulius (Jay) BennettBrenda BuxtonColby StearnsNed MastroBrent MallinckrodtMatthew BrauerGreg StrasburgRyan MurphyChristophe MandyBenjamin AmyBriauna DodsonMark SimmsRichard BurgessJan Willem van Dalen Radu-Iulian CostinBrian CollinsJulienne TracyDarren HartJared MageeHeather Jacobsen Jonathan BergdollNorman Casagrande Jed JoyceFranz RiveraMark WebsterBart NadeauSteven MalonePeter McIntyreAlan BarkerAndrew WrenBryant FairleyCarl ThorenChristopher HaysDavid WallaceDennis WhiteJason RosecastJeff EdelbrockJohn HolmesKeith BinnsKyle ParkerNatacha TracyPaul RossSam CummingScott BraytonWim HanceGregory Estey Gil ElgezI also need to mention that a lot of you have donated enough to get a prize, but haven’t given me your contact information, or let me know which prize you want. If you donated enough to get one of the prizes, please make sure you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your donation receipt, contact information, and letting me know which gift you want. You’ve already earned it, now I just need to get it to you!And now some logistics. The past few months were mostly about getting the Fund Drive up and running, and the past few weeks I’ve been overseas on a project. The end result is that I’m way behind in drafting new episodes for the series. In fact, before I write any more, I need to do more research. And before I do more research, I need to get the Fund Drive gifts prepared and shipped out to all the donors - which I’m hoping to do by the end of July, but may roll into early August, so please be patient! And I think you all know where this conversation is going. Yes, the end result is that it will likely be September before Bloodline picks up with the story of the Roman-Jewish War. It sucks, but there it is - and I wanted to give you advanced notice so you don’t think I dropped off the face of the earth. In the meantime, I’ll still be keeping in touch with listeners on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you’re following me there. And if you want an update on when your prize is coming, you’re welcome to e-mail me at email@example.com.In the meantime, thanks for helping out with the TAW Syria Fund Drive, and thanks again for listening!Scott C.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Thanks.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Nero crowns Tiridates King of Armenia. A succession of brutal and corrupt procurators set Judea on the path to revolt.“Go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom (Gehenna), which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee…Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter.” - Jeremiah 19:2-6 http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B17_The_Valley.mp3. . .
Synopsis: The birth of Drusilla and Sohaemus’ son Gaius Julius Alexio. The Empire confronts the revolt of Boudica, renewed warfare in Armenia, and the Great Fire of Rome.“Rome shall perish – write that wordIn the blood that she has spilt;Perish, hopeless and abhorr’d,Deep in ruin as in guilt.” – William Cowper, Boadicea: An Odehttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B16_Burn.mp3Map of Near East c. 64AD:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_64AD.jpg. . .
Ever since I knew the series would be spending time in Syria, I wanted to find out something I could do to try to help the situation there. Basically I wanted to find a group working in the area that I could point listeners to. Of course the problems in Syria are massive and there are a lot of great organizations doing really amazing work.Those of you on my Facebook page know I’ve been following the damage to ancient world heritage sites in Syria and Iraq – especially ones I feel particularly close to like Nineveh and Palmyra. I’ve done whole episodes on Nineveh and the current series, Bloodline, will end up in Palmyra. When I get there I’d be very, very happy if I could still talk about it as an actual place that people can go and see, rather than a place that used to exist. After doing some research, I’ve found an organization that I think is a really good fit. It’s called the Syrian Heritage Initiative, or SHI, and it’s fully dedicated to documenting, protecting and preserving Syria’s cultural heritage. If you’ve been feeling helpless watching groups like IS capture and destroy ancient heritage sites then supporting the SHI is a great step. You can find all their details on their website: http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/. For those who’d prefer to donate to a group providing critical support to Syrian refugees, another great option is the International Rescue Committee, or IRC. If you want to help improve the lives of innocent Syrians caught up in a horrible civil war then supporting the IRC is a great step. You can find all their details on their website: www.rescue.org/crisis-syria. And of course if you want to support both groups, even better! I’ve put Donate buttons for both organizations up on The Ancient World website. The buttons may not be visible on mobile phones or iPads, and you may have to view the website on a computer to see them. Both organizations are 501c3, and are therefore eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. If you’d prefer to donate to either organization via regular mail or over the phone, you can find that information on their websites. As you probably know, I spend most of my free time – OK who am I kidding, all of my free time – putting together this podcast series. Which is really nobody’s fault but my own. But if you appreciate the work I do and have ever thought about donating to me or the podcast, please donate to one of these organizations instead. As best I can figure, the series has around ten thousand regular subscribers. Together, I’m hoping we can do some real good. OK, now for the fun part. I’ve decided to give away prizes to listeners who donate to either organization. So please save the confirmation of your donation so you can redeem it for one or more of these prizes.Please e-mail your confirmation and other information to: firstname.lastname@example.org. First off, anyone who donates $10 or more will be thanked on The Ancient World website. If you’d like to be thanked, please give me your name (or the name you’d like me to use) when you e-mail me your donation confirmation. A $25 donation will get you a set of JPEG files of all the maps, family trees and header photos I’ve created so far for Bloodline. Moving up the scale, a $50 donation will get you a photobook containing my very favorite Ancient World photos I’ve taken on my travels. I’ll also provide details on when and where each photo was taken and what makes the photo one of my favorites. The photobooks will be 4x6”, softcover, and contain 10 photos. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, this prize will only be available within the continental United States. Outside of the US, the alternate prize for a $50 donation will be JPEG files of 20 of my favorite photos, along with the details on each. A $150 donation will get you a signed hardcopy script of any Ancient World episode - from any series. It’ll be printed out all pretty and I’ll include some “liner notes” with extra information. If you have a favorite Ancient World episode I’d really encourage you to consider this option. Unfortunately due to shipping costs, the hardcopy version will only be available within the continental United States. Outside of the US, the alternate prize for a $150 donation will a signed PDF file of the script along with the liner notes, etc. Now we get to the sentimental stuff. For a donation of $300 or more you can have one of the actual reference books I used to generate the original Ancient World series – with the rampant yellow-highlighting to prove it. Again these will be signed and I’ll include some “liner notes” discussing how I used the reference in the series. The books on offer are: “A History of the Ancient Near East” by Marc Van De Mieroop“Ancient Iraq” by Georges Roux“Carthage Must Be Destroyed” by Richard Miles“Persian Fire” by Tom Holland And then of course there’s the grand prize. For a super-generous donation of $1,000 or more you can pick any person or event between 500 BC and 500 AD - and I’ll do a full-length episode on him, her or it. So basically the prize is two weeks of my life – maybe even a little more. This is a one-time offer, so once someone grabs it’ll be off the table. The Syrian charity drive will be going on between today, June 1, and the end of the month, June 30. All prizes will be sent out as soon as possible after the end of the charity drive. After June 30 you can keep making donations through The Ancient World website, but the only reward will be knowing you’ve supported a really great cause. So, that’s it! Give to a great cause, get a cool gift - it’s a win-win. Thanks again for listening and thanks for helping me help Syria. Scott C. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Help_Me_Help_Syria.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Drusilla marries the Emesene Priest-King Gaius Julius Sohaemus. Rome and Parthia go to war over Armenia. “Our ancestors worshipped the Sun, and they were not that foolish.It makes sense to revere the Sun and the stars, for we are their children.” – Carl Saganhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B15_God_of_the_Mountain.mp3Syria and adjacent regions:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Syria_55AD.jpgEmesene family tree: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/10_Emesenes_55AD.pdf. . .
Synopsis: The divorce of Felix and Drusilla. James and Paul struggle for the soul of early Christianity. “And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers, grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae, as they were called; and from these weapons these robbers got their denomination; and with these weapons they slew a great many; for they mingled themselves among the multitude at their festivals, when they were come up in crowds from all parts to the city to worship God, as we said before, and easily slew those that they had a mind to slay.” – Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Chapter 8http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B14_The_Just.mp3. . .
Synopsis: The early life of Drusilla of Mauretania, and her marriage to Marcus Antonius Felix, Roman Procurator of Judea “This Judas, having gotten together a multitude of men of a profligate character about Sepphoris in Galilee, made an assault upon the palace there, and seized upon all the weapons that were laid up in it, and with them armed every one of those that were with him, and carried away what money was left there; and he became terrible to all men, by tearing and rending those that came near him.” – Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Book XVII, Chapter 10http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B13_Zealot.mp3Nero Family Tree:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/9_Nero_48AD.pdfRegions of Judea:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Judea_53AD_1.jpgSelect Cities of Judea:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Judea_53AD_2.jpg. . .
Synopsis: The death of Tiberius, elevation of Caligula, and final years of King Ptolemy I. “Ptolemy, whom (Caligula) invited from his kingdom, and received with great honors, he suddenly put to death, for no other reason, but because he observed that upon entering the theatre, at a public exhibition, he attracted the eyes of all the spectators, by the splendor of his purple robe.” – Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, XXXV “Meanwhile Gaius sent for Ptolemy, the son of Juba, and on ascertaining that he was wealthy put him to death.” – Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 59http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B12_Antonii.mp3Heirs of Mark Antony:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/7_Antonii_36AD_1.pdfhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/8_Antonii_36AD_2.pdf. . .
Synopsis: The end of Tacfarinas, and the bloody co-rule of Tiberius and Sejanus. “Then, as the campaign had demonstrated Ptolemy’s good-will, an old-fashioned distinction was revived, and a member of the Senate was dispatched to present him with the traditional bounty of the Fathers, an ivory scepter with the embroidered robe, and to greet him by the style of king, ally and friend.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book IV“There followed from now onward a sheer and grinding despotism: for, with Augusta still alive, there had remained a refuge; since deference to his mother was ingrained in Tiberius, nor did Sejanus venture to claim precedence over the authority of a parent. But now, as though freed from the curb, they broke out unrestrained.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book Vhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B11_Caedis.mp3 Updated Julio-Claudian Family Tree: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/6_Octavian_Clan_31AD.pdf. . .
Synopsis: The ongoing rebellion of Tacfarinas, and the death of Juba.“For Tacfarinas, in spite of many repulses, having first recruited his forces in the heart of Africa, had reached such a pitch of insolence as to send an embassy to Tiberius, demanding nothing less than a territorial settlement for himself and his army, and threatening in the alternative a war from which there was no extrication.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book III http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B10_Insurgo.mp3. . .
Synopsis: Germanicus travels to Syria to assume his Eastern Imperium.“‘The prime duty of friends is not to follow their dead with passive laments, but to remember his wishes and carry out his commands. Strangers themselves will bewail Germanicus: youwill avenge him – if you loved me, and not my fortune. Show to the Roman people the granddaughter of their deified Augustus, who was also my wife; number her six children: pity will side with the accusers, and, if the murderers allege some infamous warrant, they will find no credence in men – or no forgiveness!’ His friends touched the dying hand, and swore to forgo life sooner than revenge.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book IIhttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B9_Germanicus.mp3Updated Near Eastern Family Tree:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/5_Near_East_19AD.pdfUpdated Map of the Near East:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_18AD.jpg. . .
The story of Germanicus is one of the great Roman tragedies. While the House of Octavian was consistently beset by scandals andmisfortunes, the Germanicus affair represented a major turning point in both the reign of Tiberius and the legitimacy of the Julio-Claudians. Before Germanicus, the Principate was viewed with respect tinged with fear. After Germanicus, fear became dominant. Before Germanicus, most Romans were at least willing to give Tiberius a chance. Afterward, they just hoped to survive him. I knew from the start of the new series that I wanted to cover the story of Germanicus in some depth. In linking it to the story proper, the closest connection was Ptolemy. They were both grandsons of Mark Antony, were roughly the same age, both began their military careers at the same time, and (as it turned out) spent roughly six years growing up together in Rome, in the household of Antonia Minor. But in the end, the story of Germanicus is so powerful and self-contained, that I decided to take a minor detour from the storyline to give it its due. Not something I’m planning to do often, but, well…Germanicus! So this is just a short note to let you know that, Germanicus aside, the focus of the series will continue to be the descendants of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. And their grandson Ptolemy still has a few adventures to come over the next few decades. All that said, please enjoy next week’s episode, “Germanicus.”Thanks again for listening! Scott C.. . .
Synopsis: The death of Octavian, elevation of Tiberius, and early military careers of Germanicus and Ptolemy.“Even during the years when he lived at Rhodes, in ostensible retirement and actual exile, (Tiberius) had studied nothing save anger, hypocrisy, and secret lasciviousness.” - Tacitus, The Annals, Book I “Yet the temper of the soldiers remained savage, and a sudden desire came over them to advance against the enemy: it would be expiation of their madness; nor could the ghosts of their companions be appeased till their own impious breasts had been marked with honorable wounds. Falling in with the enthusiasm of his troops, (Germanicus) laid a bridge over the Rhine, and threw across twelve thousand legionaries.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book I http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B8_Scelus.mp3. . .
Synopsis: The death of Gaius Caesar, and Juba’s return to Mauretania. Tropaion (Greek): A battlefield monument, erected at the “turning point” where the enemy’s phalanx broke. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B7_Tropaion.mp3. . .
Episode B6, Eurus (“East Wind”) represents a milestone of sorts, in that it took the story from 1 BC to 1 AD. Actually, it’s even a bit more poignant, since Juba & company were marching around near, or sailing close by, Judea that year. Very “right place, right time” of them! It also represents another milestone, in that it’s around the middle of the first story arc of the series, covering Juba, Selene and Ptolemy of Mauretania. After the first dozen-or-so episode arc is complete, I’ll probably be taking a month or two off to relax, recoup and prepare for the next story arc.Episode B6 was also significant for another reason. Episode 36 of the original series left off with the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC. Since the current series will be spending a lot of time in the Near East, I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on (1) what does the Near East look likenow and (2) how did it get that way from Alexander’s time? There were a number of possible approaches, ranging from going country by country and giving a synopsis, to just having the characters “show up” places without giving much historical background. My choice was to strike a “middle ground”, starting around 90 BC and projecting each major Near Eastern country both backward and forward. Using this approach, I was able to bring us up to date with Pontus, Armenia, Media, Parthia, Cappadocia, Judea and Nabatea – the big Near Eastern players ofthe day– while also placing incidents related earlier in the series in a bit more context. And for those who were a bit overwhelmed by the names and dates, just be glad I didn’t get into Sophene, Commagene, Osrhoene, Cilicia, Bithynia, Iberia, Lycia or Colchis. You’re welcome!Eurus will serve as the “connective tissue”,“primer coat”, etc. for the ongoing storyline. Many of the characters introduced will pop back up, family dynasties will continue to intertwine, and different regions will have their moment (or longer) in the spotlight. Also, as we spend more time in particular countries, I’m planning to more fully flesh them out, historically, geographically and culturally. Next episode, we cover the remainder of Gaius Caesar’s Eastern imperium. HINT: When Armenian rebels invite you up to the city walls to “talk,” send a centurion in your place. And not your favorite one.Thanks again for listening!Scott C.. . .
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Gaius Caesar on his Eastern expedition. “Tigranes…marched forth with an army of such huge proportions that he actually laughed heartily at the appearance of the Romans present there. He is said to have remarked that, in cases where they came to make war, only a few presented themselves, but when it was an embassy, many came.” - Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 36 “Pompey…announced to his soldiers that Mithridates was dead…Upon this the army filled with joy and, as was natural, gave itself up to sacrifices and entertainments, feeling that in the person of Mithridates ten thousand enemies had died.” - Plutarch, The Life of Pompey http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B6_Eurus.mp3 Map of the Near East c. 1 BC:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Near_East_1BC.jpg Near East Family Trees:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/3_Near_East_A.pdf http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/4_Near_East_B.pdf. . .
or "Hey Scott, what is this new series all about , anyway?"As historian Warwick Ball put it, “History can never resist a warrior queen” – and, well, neither can I. Of course, since most ancient societies were patriarchal, the most common way for women to exercise political power was through their children or husbands. When first listening to Mike Duncan’s “The History of Rome” (THoR) podcast series, I remember being intrigued by the characters of Julia Domna and Julia Maesa. For years, I’ve been playing with the idea of writing a book on that family, who had so much influence on Roman affairs during the Severan Dynasty. A few months ago, when this thought had bubbled up again, it was countered, for the first time, by another thought – “I don’t write books, I do podcasts.” Which was actually a fruitful admission, since it got me thinking about the subject in new ways.But, of course, Mike had already covered the Emesa clan both so well in THoR that there was no point in revisiting the topic unless I thought I had something new and interesting to contribute. During my initial research, my memory was jogged by a few offhand remarks connecting the Emesa clan with both Queen Zenobia of Palmyra and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Didn’t Zenobia claim to be descended from Cleopatra, and wasn’t Emesa supposed to provide some of the “connective tissue” between these two legendary Queens of the East?This was the moment of “inspiration” (typically defined as “the split-second between having a great idea and realizing there is no way it will work”). When I started to “connect the dots” I expected to find enormous, unbridgeable gaps that would make any connection between Cleopatra and Zenobia implausible at best. But, much to my surprise and growing excitement, I found more (and more solid) connections that I’d expected, and the thought began to cross my mind that I just might be on to something.The centerpiece of the series was, and is, Emesa – modern Homs in Syria. During most of Roman history, Syria always seemed to exist on the periphery – an alien land from which victorious Roman generals (like Vespasian) or horrible Roman Emperors (yes, I’m looking at you Elagabalis) emerged, to take their central place in the story of Rome. But the history of the whole Syrian region, from the Assyrians, to the Chaldeans, to the Persians, to the Macedonians, to the Arabs and Romans, always seemed interesting enough to me to warrant its own podcast series. One of my earlier ideas for a follow-on series to The Ancient World was to cover the history of the ancient Near East between 500 BC and the Muslim conquest - but that always seemed too complex and daunting a project. Months ago, I started thinking of the possibility of covering the same time-period through the lens of a particular city – say Babylon, Antioch, or Aleppo – as waves of conquerors and immigrants washed back and forth across the region. But now suddenly, I thought there might be an even better lens – why not tell the history of the ancient Near East from the perspective of a particular family? And what if that family also happened to be the same bloodline that connected Cleopatra to Zenobia?A single series that could combine my love of the Near East, my desire to cover a different historical period, and my interest in the Emesa clan? And one that could leverage the history already covered in my earlier podcast, as well as in THoR, to build on? Well, ideas that bring that many mental threads together don’t come along every day, so I obviously dove in with a vengeance. Even off the bat, the story of Cleopatra’s daughter Selene seemed insanely compelling. In 4 years, she went from future Queen of Crete and Cyrenaica to Roman prisoner, then bounced back to run a major North African kingdom. I mean…what?? All of this really happened?? Does nobody know about this?? Because this is a story that deserves to be out there, or at least better known. As a bonus, it also meant that I got to research and write about Roman North Africa, about which I knew next to nothing.Other descendants have their own interesting stories to tell, all of which will be revealed in time. The beginning of the series has been fairly Rome-heavy, mainly due to Selene’s adoption into Octavia’s family, and the fact that both she and Juba were raised alongside so many famous figures. In the next generation, Ptolemy of Mauretania is a direct blood-cousin of Germanicus (for instance), which also keeps the Rome connection fairly strong. But as both physical distance, and the distance of generations, increases, my plan is to give Rome comparable treatment to Parthia and other Eastern kingdoms. In the meantime, I’m attempting to provide enough general Roman history for any listeners who may not have heard THoR without belaboring a subject that Mike Duncan has already covered so well.One of the original ideas I toyed with for the series name was “Queens of the East.” The reasons I decided against it were, first, there were a lot of connecting generations where the heir in question was male and, second, I didn’t want to give away the game too quick. But now that all stands revealed, I’m proud to announce the unofficial tag-line for the series: “Cleopatra to Zenobia or Bust!”Thanks for listening, and hope you enjoy the trip!Scott C.. . .
Synopsis: The birth of Juba and Selene's children, Ptolemy and Drusilla, and the death of Cleopatra Selene.“The moon herself grew dark, rising at sunset,Covering her suffering in the night,Because she saw her beautiful namesake, Selene,Breathless, descending to Hades,With her she’d had the beauty of her light in common,And mingled her own darkness with her death.” – Crinagoras of Myteline, Epigram for Cleopatra Selene http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B5_Eclipsis.mp3Updated Octavian Family Tree: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/2_Octavian_Clan_1BC.pdf. . .
Synopsis: Juba and Selene begin their rule of Mauretania.“Cato said…they must make no prayer for him; prayer belonged to the conquered, and the craving of grace to those who had done wrong; but for his part he had not only been unvanquished all his life, but was actually a victor now as far as he chose to be, and a conqueror of Caesar in all that was honorable and just.” – Plutarch, The Life of Cato the Younger “My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband... I am afraid.” – Queen Ankhesenamun of Egypt, Letter to King Suppiluliuma I of Hattihttp://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B4_Limitem Mundi.mp3 Map of Mauretania: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us\Mauretania.jpg. . .
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Octavian during the conquest of Egypt.“Thus was Egypt enslaved.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book LI http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B3_Ephebus.mp3Octavian Family Tree:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Octavian_Clan.pdf. . .
Last week TAW hit its latest major milestone - the million download mark! And I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you dedicated listeners for making it happen. This podcast has obviously gone on much longer, and reached a much wider audience, than I ever envisioned, and I really appreciate all the support and encouragement you’ve given me along the way. Also, just so you know, I am completely obsessed with “Bloodline,” so you can count on plenty more episodes coming your way over the weeks and months to come. Take care, and thanks again!Scott C.. . .
Synopsis: The early years of Juba II,fostered in the family of Octavian and Octavia. “(Scipio) increased the honor by observing, that among the Romans there was nothing more magnificent than a Triumph; and that those who triumphed were not arrayed with more splendid ornaments than those with which the Roman people considered Massinissa alone, of all foreigners, worthy.” – Livy, The History of Rome, Book XXX http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B2_Rex.mp3. . .
Hope everyone enjoyed the first episode! By the way, in case you’re wondering, here’s a couple things the new series is NOT:·It’s not “The History of Rome” – that’s already been done quite well, thank you ·It’s not “The Young Cleopatra Selene Chronicles” (unless the networks greenlight my spec script, then all bets are off!)It’s instead…something different. Many of you may already suspect where the series is going based on the title and the first episode (and you’re welcome to post your guesses). But like I mentioned earlier, things will really start crystallizing around a half-dozen episodes in, but which time it should be fairly obvious. Still, I hope the current “groundwork-laying” phase is as fun for you as it is for me.And now it’s time for a very special “Thank You!” to longtime listener, and talented composer, Morten. I was still deep in the original series when Morten first approached me with his offer to score the series. And while I passed for “Rediscovery” (which I felt was basically a continuation of the original series), I eagerly accepted his offer for “Bloodline.” I basically gave him a thumbnail sketch of the era and setting, and he generated a variety of wonderful musical clips, out of which emerged the current title track. I love it, and I think it fits the new series wonderfully. He’s even been gracious enough to title the piece “Bloodline” – how cool is that! If you want to check out more of Morten’s great compositions, please go to morlam.dkThanks again for listening!Scott C.. . .
Synopsis: The early years of Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony.“And herein particularly did he give offense to the Romans, since he bestowed the honorable and solemn rites of his native country upon the Egyptians for Cleopatra’s sake.” – Plutarch, The Life of Marcus Antonius “Pity fixed the eyes of the Romans upon the infants; and many of them could not forbear tears, and all beheld the sight with a mixture of sorrow and pleasure, until the children were passed.” – Plutarch, The Life of Lucius Aemilius Paulus http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B1_Triumph.mp3. . .
Let the cryptic teasers begin! First off, the new series will be called “The Ancient World – Bloodline.” I recently finished drafting the first episode. It’s one of the toughest I’ve ever written, since it covers major world events from the perspective of an adolescent girl. Having never been an adolescent girl, the challenges are fairly obvious, but I think the text is getting close to where I want it to be. I also started drafting the second episode, which is a much more straightforward affair. I want to get around three or so episodes drafted before I start thinking about production, but (fingers crossed!) I should be in good shape to start posting sometime next month. For those who like change, the new series will have new subject matter, a new website design, new music, and a more “streamlined” approach. For those who like consistency, it will have the same website, same social media sites, same podcast feed and, well, same podcaster. I’m still playing the subject matter pretty close to the vest. You’ll get the general idea in the first episode, but it really won’t be until a half-dozen or so in before the overall journey will take shape. Hopefully it’ll be one you’ll enjoy. Thanks for listening! – Scott C.. . .
Is anyone out there an expert in interaction design? If so, I need some help putting together a few files (map transitions, interactive family trees, etc.) for the upcoming series. If you have the time and interest to take on a small project to support the podcast, please leave a message below (or on the Facebook page) with your contact information and I’ll pass you more details. Thanks in advance! – Scott C.. . .
“I am a faithful servant of the king, and I have not rebelled and I have not sinned, and I do not withhold my tribute, and I do not refuse the requests of my commissioner. Now they wickedly slander me, but let the king, my lord, not impute rebellion to me!...If the king should write to me, ‘Plunge a bronze dagger into thy heart and die!,’ how could I refuse to carry out the command of the king?” - Labayu (Caananite warlord) writing to Amenhotep III Discoveries at Tell El Amarna and the Valley of the Kings showed the wealth and influence of the Egyptian New Kingdom, while archives uncovered in central Anatolia shed light on Hittite civilization. Excavations and Knossos confirmed Mycenaean Greek dominance and revealed the majesty of Minoan Crete. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R10_The_Bull_and_the_Aten.mp3. . .
Listener Alexander asked for some feedback for his upcoming Persian history podcast. I thought TAW listeners might be interested in the information as well: How long did it take you to write the first episode/ how long does it take you to write a typical episode now that you're in full swing? It’s hard to recall the timing on Episode 1, but I can certainly tell you how long it takes nowadays. The first step is finding a few good reference books (or other materials) and perusing them. The time needed for that can vary pretty widely. After I’ve reviewed the materials, the next (and main) step involves around 8 – 12 hours of solid writing. Then I usually let the draft episode “sit” for a few days, then come back to it once or twice more to fine-tune things a bit. When you add in researching pronunciations, etc., I’d say 12 – 16 hours of work per episode is pretty ballpark, and 20 isn’t unusual. Which is why I decided to go with a 2-week schedule. Since I have a “regular job,” this is all evenings and weekends for me. How do you sort out contradictory accounts? I want to get my facts straight, but I'm beginning to realize there are always going to be 10 people with 11 different versions of the story. Even using primary sources, this can be a tough one. I do my best to cross-check important (or dubious!) facts across multiple accounts; then you can have some reassurance you’re relating the most solid version of the story. Where differing accounts can’t be reconciled, I try to relate what’s considered the most plausible, well-documented and/or commonly accepted version, but also mention that there are other possible versions. I recall doing this with, for example, both the death of Croesus and with Cyrus’ capture of Babylon. How forgiving, on a scale from 1 to Assyrian (1 being very forgiving and Assyrian being "display my skin at a dinner party") are the listeners about mistakes? Since I’ve rarely been called out on any mistakes, and I’m pretty sure I must’ve made a few along the way, I can only assume TAW listeners are VERY forgiving! Oh, except they do get annoyed when you don’t pronounce the K in “Knossos.” What did your outlines/drafts look like for each episode? Was there a general formula? In my experience, six single-spaced pages comes out to around 30 minutes of podcast, which is typically around the length I’m shooting for. My usual approach is to intentionally over-write a bit, then come back and edit out the less important chunks (“trim the fat”) and still end up at around 30 minutes. Other than that, the only “formula” I had for the original series was trying to discuss around three different civilizations per episode. But formulas can also be a double-edged sword. I’d mainly concentrate on finding your own voice, and letting your genuine passion for the material shine through. Is there anything technical that you didn't know going in that would be useful for me? I try to keep my logistics as simple as possible since, although I AM and engineer, I am NOT a technophile. I use Audacity to record my audio files (using a Yeti Blue USB microphone) and convert them to MP3’s, then use FileZilla to transfer them to my file hosting website. I’ve only had one major technical issue I can think of (knock on wood!): If you use Google Feedburner to burn your podcast feeds, by default it only keeps the most recent25 posts active. That means, for example, that when I posted my 26th blog post, Episode 1 was no longer appearing in iTunes (my 27th post knocked out Episode 2, etc.). Luckily, a listener told me how to change the number of active posts in Feedburner from the default 25 to any number (mine’s currently set for 99), which fixed the problem. Oh, and in an unrelated (but still technical) vein, investing some time in learning how to edit your audio files will reduce your stress when you keep “blowing that one line” in your podcast script. Take it from me - good editing can cover a multitude of sins. Hope this information is useful. Now go make history!Scott C.. . .
“Surpassing all kings, powerful and tallbeyond all others, violent, splendid,a wild bull of a man, unvanquished leader,hero in the front lines, beloved of his soldiers – fortress they called him, protector of the people,raging flood that destroys all defenses…” – the Epic of Gilgamesh George Smith’s 1872 discovery of the Mesopotamian Flood tablet won him widespread acclaim. Four years later,his ill-timed expedition to Nineveh would end in tragedy.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R9_The_Flood.mp3. . .
“Whilst fully recognizing his enterprise, devotion, and energy in carrying out these excavations, I cannot but express the regret that Dr. Schliemann should have allowed the ‘enthusiasm,’ which, as he himself admits, ‘borders on fanaticism,’ to make it so paramount an object with him to discover the Troy described by Homer, as to induce him either to suppress or to pervert every fact brought to light that could not be reconciled with the Iliad.” – Frank Calvert, 1875 Despite numerous returns to Hisarlik, Heinrich Schliemann was unable to establish the layer holding Homer’s Troy. It was only near the end of his life, with the aid of Wilhelm Dorpfeld, that his quest was finally rewarded. In the meantime, Schliemann’s excavations at Mycenae and Tiryns had shed new light on the wealth and power of Late Bronze Age Greece. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R8_The_Thousand_Year_Gap.mp3. . .
“Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty tomb, that it did not contain a hero? – its very magnitude proved this. Men do not labour over the ignoble and petty dead – and why should not the dead be Homer’s dead?” - George Gordon, Lord Byron, 1810 Three millennia after its fall, British archaeologist Frank Calvert used clues from Homer, and his own deep knowledge of the region, to establish the most likely site of ancient Troy. Unable to finance the excavation, he was compelled to partner with wealthy enthusiast Heinrich Schliemann. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R7_The_Man_Who_Sold_Troy.mp3. . .
“I should weary the reader, were I to describe, step by step, the progress of the work, and the discoveries gradually made in various part of the great mound. The labours of one day resembled those of the preceding; but it would be difficult to convey to others an idea of the excitement which was produced by the constant discovery of objects of the highest interest.” - Austen Henry Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains While Layard resumed his Assyrian excavations, and Rawlinson continued to decipher Akkadian, both efforts began to shed light on the even older civilization of ancient Sumer.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R6_The_Heroic_Age.mp3. . .
“The Major constantly and indefatigably employed himself, from daylight to dark, revising, restoring and adding to his former materials. This was a work of great irksomeness and labour in the confined space he was compelled to stand in, with his body in close proximity to the heated rock and under a broiling September sun.” – Felix Jones, 1844 After the debacle of the First Anglo-Afghan War, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson made two more excursions to Behistun. His attempts to copy the remaining inscriptions nearly cost him his life. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R5_Behistun_Hat-Trick.mp3. . .
“What can all this mean? Who built this structure? In what century did he live? To what nation did he belong? Are these walls telling me their tales of joy and woe? Is this beautiful cuneiformedcharacter a language? I know not. I can read their glory and their victories in their figures, but their story, their age, their blood, is to me a mystery. Their remains mark the fall of a glorious and a brilliant past, but of a past known not to a living man." – Paul-Emile Botta The excavations of Botta and Layard brought the majesty of ancient Assyria into the modern world.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R4_Dwelling_of_the_Lions.mp3. . .
“My antiquarian studies go on quietly and smoothly, and despite the taunt which you may remember once expressing, of the presumption of an ignoramus like myself attempting to decipher inscriptions which had baffled for centuries the most learned men in Europe, I have made very considerable progress...I aspire to do for the cuneiformalphabet what Champollion has done for the hieroglyphics.” - Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, July 1836 (writing to his sister Maria) In 1836, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson - British soldier, adventurer and Orientalist – first encountered the Behistun Inscription. He would devote the next few decades to deciphering its three cuneiformscripts. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R3_The_Place_of_God.mp3. . .
“His Majesty…has dispatched a few days ago by the vessel Greenland a group of scholars, who will travel by way of the Mediterranean to Constantinople, and thence through Egypt to Arabia Felix, and subsequently return by way of Syria to Europe; they will on all occasions seek to make new discoveries and observations for the benefit of scholarship…” – Copenhagen Post, 12th January, 1761 Carsten Niebuhr survived malaria, earthquakes, civil wars, bandits, plagues and the deaths of all his colleagues to successfully complete the first modern scientific expedition to the Near East.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R2_Arabia_Felix.mp3. . .
“To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again.” – Ancient Egyptian saying Rediscovered two millennia after its creation, the Rosetta Stone provided two brilliant scholars with the key to unlocking the history of ancient Egypt. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_R1_The_Broken_Stone.mp3. . .
Anniversaries can be fun! Unless you’ve forgotten to buy a gift, and your wife has gotten you something really great - that can be problematic. But I’m here to talk about the fun kind. This April 4 will be the second anniversary of my posting Episode 1 of “The Ancient World.” So I thought it would be a nice, resonant date for launching my new podcast (mini-)series, “The Ancient World – Rediscovery.” I say (mini-)series since it’s both my intention and expectation that the new series will run a dozen or fewer episodes. (Mini-) is in parentheses since, well, “The Ancient World” was also originally supposed to only run for a dozen episodes, so that shows you how well I can plan sometimes. What will the series be about? This is one book you CAN judge by its cover. Awhile back, I started thinking that it might be fun to trace the rediscovery of some of these ancient civilizations in the modern era. Not only would give the original series a nice sense of symmetry, and let me explore some other historical periods, but I was also pretty sure there’d be some interesting stories to tell along the way. So I picked a number of re-discoveries that I think tie in well with the original series, started researching and writing about them, and – like I said – intend to post the first episode this April 4. Technically-speaking, I’m doing my best to keep the process seamless for you, the TAW listener: same website, same iTunes subscription, same social media links, etc. If you’re already subscribed (and thanks for staying subscribed!) the first episode should pop right up and you’ll be off and running. Thanks again for listening, and I hope you enjoy the new series! - Scott C.. . .
I just got clued into this recent Mike Duncan interview on Podcast 411, where he (very accurately!) relates the story of how The Ancient World podcast got started. Enjoy! http://podcast411.libsyn.com/411-i-tem-0228-mike-duncan-from-the-revolutions-and-the-history-of-rome-podcasts And here’s the scoop on the TAW Wrap Party: There’s a bar right down the street, where my wife and I (and maybe a few friends) plan to plant ourselves for a few hours, in the hopes of sharing a few drinks, stories, and seasons greetings with any TAW listeners who’d like to swing by. If you’re coming from out of town, and want to make a truly “historic” weekend of it, I’d certainly recommend a visit to two of San Francisco’s best museums: The Asian Art Museum, and the Legion of Honor, both of which have permanent exhibitions with plenty of amazing ancient art. Oh, and the statue of Ashurbanipal is located right outside the Asian Art Museum, so don’t miss that! And then of course there are also the million other things you can do in San Francisco during any given weekend. I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Saturday, November 16, 8 – 11PM Spitfire Rose 1790 San Jose Avenue San Francisco, CA 94112Saturday November 16, 8 - 11PMSpitfire Rose1790 San Jose Ave.San Francisco, CAHope to see you there!Scott C.. . .
“Rome was not a monarchy, but a free City, and they had made up their minds to open their gates even to an enemy sooner than to a king. It was the universal wish that whatever put an end to liberty in the City should put an end to the City itself.” – Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2Publius Valerius Poplicola overcame Roman distrust and Etruscan aggression to set the young Republic onto firm foundations. Aristagoras’ failed attempt to capture the island of Naxos led to open warfare between Greece and Persia. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_35_On_The_Verge.mp3. . .
“The Athenians, when ruled by tyrants, were no better in war than their neighbors, but freed from tyrants they were far superior. This shows that when they were constrained they let themselves be defeated, since they were working for an overlord, but when they were freed each one was keen to do the deed for himself.” - Herodotus Delivered from Spartan destruction, the Athenians were forced to defend their new democracy against the Thebans and Chalsidians. Shocked by a horrific crime, the Romans followed the guidance of Brutus, exiled Tarquin the Proud and declared their first Republic.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_34_Democracy_and_Republic_Part_2.mp3. . .
“He added the Athenian people, who had formally not been in the center of things, to his own party, changed the names of the tribes and increased their number. He made ten tribal commanders instead of four and distributed demes into the tribes ten at a time. Once he had got the people on his side he had the upper hand over his rivals.” – Herodotus on Cleisthenes Darius enlisted Greek tyrants in his Scythian campaign, then extended Persia’s dominion to the foot of Mount Olympus. Spartan intervention put an end to Hippias’ oppressive rule. Inspired by Cleisthenes’ bold ideas, the Athenians rejected both tyranny and foreign domination, and restructured their polis into the world’s first democracy.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_33_Democracy_and_Republic_Part_1.mp3. . .
“Black is your path, Agni, changeless, with glittering waves! When like a bull you rush eager to the trees.With teeth of flame, wind-driven, through the wood he speeds, triumphant like a bull among the herd of cows,With bright strength roaming to the everlasting air: things fixed, things moving quake before him as he flies.”- Rigvedas, Book 1, Hymn LVIIIDarius retraced Cyrus’s footsteps to expand Persian control of Vedic India. Hipparchus met a bloody end at the hands of a jealous rival. Tarquin kept Rome’s military and infrastructure sound while alienating both rich and poor.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_32_Things_Fixed,_Things_Moving.mp3. . .
“After I became king, I fought nineteen battles in a single year and, by the grace of Ahura Mazda, I overthrew nine kings and I made them captive…As to these provinces which revolted, lies made them revolt, so that they deceived the people. Then Ahura Mazda delivered them into my hand; and I did unto them according to my will.” – Darius I, Behistun Inscription Darius spent years reconquering the rebellious territories of the Persian Empire. Peisistratos was successful in passing his Athenian tyranny down to his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus. Cleomenes set his sights on Spartan domination of the Greek mainland.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_31_Land_of_Imposters.mp3. . .
A few weeks ago, I was invited to do an IAMA (“I am _____, ask me anything”) thread on Reddit.com. As many TAW listeners probably know, Reddit is a major web community, with roughly 20 million users. As an extra bonus, recent Reddit IAMAs have been done by Mike Duncan of The History of Rome and Lars Brownworth of 12 Byzantine Rulers and Norman Centuries (both of whom were major inspirations for my creating The Ancient World) as well as a number of other great history podcasters. I’m happy to announce that my TAW IAMA will happen this Tuesday June 25th at 6:30PM EST, and will run for a few hours. On the day of the IAMA, you should be able to access the thread by going to: http://www.reddit.com/r/history/ From what I’ve been told, it should be easy to find from there. Please feel free to stop by, say hi, and ask any questions you’ve been meaning to ask, about the podcast or anything else. Thanks again for listening!Scott C.. . .
"So Darius son of Hystaspes was made king, and the whole of Asia, which Cyrus first and Cambyses after him had conquered, was subject to him...and everything was full of his power. First he made and set up a carved stone, upon which was cut the figure of a horseman, with this inscription: 'Darius son of Hystaspes, aided by the excellence of his horse, and of Oebares his groom, got possession of the kingdom of Persia.'" - HerodotusCambyses successfully conquered Egypt, but forays beyond its frontiers met with frustration and disaster. The promise of Lydian gold lured Polycrates to a gruesome death in Sardis. Bardiya briefly wrestled the Persian Empire from his brother, only to lose it to a conspiracy of nobles led by Darius. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_30_The_Lost_Army.mp3. . .
“Remember this lesson well: Whenever you can, act as a liberator. Freedom, dignity, and wealth—these three together constitute the great happiness of humanity. If you bequeath all three to your people, their love for you will never die.” – Cyrus the Great (quoted by Xenophon)Servius Tullius laid the foundation for the Roman Republic, but his dubious claim to the throne led to his violent overthrow by Tarquin the Proud. Cyrus the Great governed his vast empire with wisdom and temperance before meeting his end along Persia’s volatile eastern frontier. Cambyses II’s Egyptian designs were aided by a high-level betrayal in the court of Ahmose II.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_29_A_More_Perfect_Empire.mp3. . .
“In winter, as you lie on a soft couch by the fire,Full of good food, munching on nuts and drinking sweet wine,Then you must ask questions such as these:‘Where do you come from? Tell me, what is your age?How old were you when the Mede came?’” – Xenophanes of ColophonThe return of Harpagus to Anatolia signaled the end of Ionian Greek freedom. After securing his third tyranny, Peisistratos brought stability and prosperity to Athens. Fresh from a series of Eastern conquests, Cyrus II used propaganda and military might to overthrow Nabonidus and claim his third Near Eastern empire.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_28_When_The_Mede_Came.mp3. . .
“But in every matter it behooves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin." – Solon of Athens Peisistratos’ first two attempts at tyranny were thwarted by the Athenian eupatridae. The Spartans cultivated a reputation as the most fearsome warriors in Greece. Prophesied to destroy a mighty empire, King Croesus of Lydia led Anatolian forces against the Persians and Medes, but the unconventional strategies of Cyrus brought him to a bitter end.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_27_Count_No_Man_Happy.mp3. . .
“So it was that the Persians, who had once been the slaves of the Medes, became their masters.“ – Heroditus Nebuchadnezzar II turned Babylon into the most magnificent city of the ancient world, but the Chaldean line dissipated in his wake. Nabonidus’ fervent devotion to the moon god, Sin, served to spark a war and drive the Babylonian king into self-imposed Arabian exile. The military and political skills of Cyrus, and a high-level Median betrayal, enabled the Persians to win the empire of Astyages.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_26_The_Last_Kings_of_Babylon.mp3. . .
“Ahmose became a lover of the Hellenes; and besides other proofs of friendship which he gave to several among them, he also granted the city of Naucratis for those of them who came to Egypt to dwell in; and to those who did not desire to stay, but who made voyages thither, he granted portions of land to set up altars and make sacred enclosures for their gods. Their greatest enclosure and that one which has most name and is most frequented is called the Hellenion, and this was established by the following cities in common: --of the Ionians Chios, Teos, Phocaia, Clazomenai, of the Dorians Rhodes, Cnidos, Halicarnassos, Phaselis, and of the Aiolians Mytilene alone.“ – Heroditus After his overthrow of Apries, the pharaoh Ahmose II increased Egyptian prosperity by centralizing and facilitating Greek trade at Naucratis. King Alyattes used Lydia’s vast mineral wealth to maintain a powerful army and mint the world’s first coins. Thales and the philosophers of the Milesian school introduced rationality and scientific inquiry into their studies of the cosmos. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_25_The_Voyage_of_Solon.mp3. . .
(Also anonymous, and all that)With the currentseriesendingover the nextfew months, I wanted to gaugehow many (local?) listeners might be interested in attendingsome sort of informal wrap-party in SF. Let me know what you think:http://www.eSurveysPro.com/Survey.aspx?id=4e63abd5-0ba2-4abf-bae7-e9c531afaea7Thanks!Scott C.. . .
Greetings TAW listeners! April 4, 2013 will mark the one year anniversary since this podcast was first launched, and what an amazing year it’s been. I wanted to thank you all - not only for your kind words, wonderful iTunes reviews, and lovely Facebook posts - but also for helping me, and the series, reach the following, rather mind-boggling, set of milestones: 250 Facebook “Likes” (OK, that’s not mind-boggling, but it is fun) 5,000 regular subscribers, and (wait for it…) 250,000 episode downloads!!! Episode 25 (the Silver Anniversary episode!) is coming up next and, in yet another nod to reality, I’ll officially be changing the subtitle of TAW from “around 20 episodes” to “around 30 episodes.” A few thousand years in the bank, less than a century left to go – but trust me, there are a lot of amazing developments crammed into that last century. Thanks again for listening, and keep spreading the word! Scott C.. . .
“I freed those here who suffered unseemly enslavement and feared the tempers of their masters. I did this by harnessing force and justice together with power, and I carried through my promises. I wrote statues alike for those of high and of low social status, fitting straight justice for each. If someone other than I had taken the goad, some ill-intentioned and greedy man, he would not have been able to control the people. For had I been willing to do what pleased the opposing party then, or what the others planned for them, this city would have lost many men. That is why I made a stout defense all round, turning like a wolf among many hounds.” - Solon of Athens The leaders of Rome, Carthage and Greece relied on strength, wisdom and cunning to navigate the turbulent political waters of the early 6thcentury Mediterranean. The delicate balance struck by Solon allowed Athens to prosper, while also unleashing the popular forces that would define the city’s future. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_24_A_Wolf_Among_Hounds.mp3. . .
“So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment on him. Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah. He also put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in bronze fetters, took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.” – Jeremiah 52 After eliminating the last Assyrian holdouts, King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon warred against Egypt over control of the Levant. Repeated Judean defiance resulted in the sacking of Jerusalem. Cyaxares of Medea found his Anatolian designs curtailed by the powerful kingdom of Lydia. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_23_Captives_of_Babylon.mp3. . .
“But when earth had covered this generation also, Zeus the son of Cronos made yet another, the fourth, upon the fruitful earth, which was nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own, throughout the boundless earth. Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them, some in the land of Cadmus at seven- gated Thebe when they fought for the flocks of Oedipus, and some, when it had brought them in ships over the great sea gulf to Troy for rich-haired Helen's sake: there death's end enshrouded a part of them. But to the others father Zeus the son of Cronos gave a living and an abode apart from men, and made them dwell at the ends of earth. And they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods…” – Hesiod, Works and Days During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, the Archaic Greeks struggled with tyranny, warfare and social division. But their creativity in matters of art, politics, warfare and religious practice foreshadowed the coming brilliance of the Classical Age. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_22_The_Fifth_Generation.mp3. . .
“Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?” – Nahum 3:7 Ashurbanipal spent the end of his reign establishing a library of Mesopotamian knowledge and culture. Twenty years after his death, internal discord and powerful enemies combined to seal the fate of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_21_For_the_Sake_of_Distant_Days.mp3. . .
I just found out that the first few episodes of TAW are no longer showing up on iTunes, which is obviously an issue for new subscribers. I'm working to address the issue, but in the meantime, if any listeners have any advice on making Blogger and iTunes play nice (via Feedburner) please let me know. Thanks! Scott C. UPDATE: Oh Happy Day!!! All TAW episodes are once again present and accounted for in the iTunes feed. Thanks to TAW listener Marwan for the heads-up, to our old friend Mike Duncan for ID-ing the problem, and to listener Amberlee for giving me the fix. You guys are awesome! Thanks again, Scott C.. . .
In the mid-7th century BC, Nubia and Assyria struggled for control over Egypt before the kingdom regained independence under the pharaoh Psamtik I. King Gyges of Lydia drove the Cimmerians from western Anatolia and sent Greek mercenaries to reinforce the pharaoh’s armies. Ashurbanipal spent decades warring against the Empire’s enemies, including his older brother in Babylon, but his total destruction of the ancient kingdom of Elam sowed the seeds of Assyria’s downfall. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_20_The_House_of_Succession.mp3. . .
“The city and its houses, from its foundations to its walls, I destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire. The wall and outer wall, temple-tower of brick and earth, temples and gods, and many as there were, I razed and dumped into the Arahtu-Canal. Through the midst of the city I dug canals, flooded its site with water, and the very foundations thereof I destroyed. I made its destruction more complete than by a flood. That, in days to come, the site of the city, its temples and gods, might not be remembered, I completely blotted it out with floods of water, and made it like a meadow.” – Sennacherib of Assyria In the early 7th century BC, Sennacherib wrestled with Judean defiance, Urartian resurgence, and Elamite invasion, but his destruction of the ancient city of Babylon led to his demise. His son, Esarhaddon, warred against the Nubian pharaoh Taharqa to extend Assyrian domination into Lower Egypt. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_19_The_Destruction_of_Sennacherib.mp3. . .
In the west, Phoenician mastery of the Mediterranean was challenged by widespread Greek colonization. Rome’s first kings established the boundaries and institutions of the early state. In the Near East, Sennacherib was confronted with the return of a Chaldean usurper to the Babylonian throne. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_18_The_Three_Pillars.mp3. . .
“Then the King of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria took Samaria.” – II Kings 18:4 Toward the end of the 8th century BC, the Kushite priest-kings of Napata reunified Egypt under Nubian rule. Sargon II continued to extend Assyrian domination over the Near East, even as Elamite armies bolstered Chaldean resistance in Babylonia. And a desperate gambit by King Hoshea resulted in the destruction of the ancient state of Israel. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_17_The_Fall_of_Israel.mp3. . .
I know, I know, you were probably hoping I’d developed an app for the show or something (which would be awesome!), but no such luck. A listener recently raised an issue that I realized might be more widespread, and I just wanted to get the word out. If you’ve been accessing the website (www.ancientworldpodast.com) via a mobile device (as opposed to via a regular computer), there is a part of the web page you may not be seeing. Specifically, there’s a right-hand column where I post links of images and maps (and, occasionally, photos I’ve taken) applicable to each episode, which can really be helpful in following the action and getting the flavor of some of the cultures. This right-hand column also has links to TAW on Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, and Stitcher, as well as a list of References and Recommended Reading (at the bottom). To access this content from a mobile device, you will need to tell your device to “view web version.” This may be much ado about nothing, but I want to make sure everyone has access to all the website materials so they get the fullest possible experience. Thanks again for listening! Scott C.. . .
“And Pul, the King of Assyria, came against the land.” – II Kings, 15:19 In 745 BC, Tiglath-pileser III reformed the administrative and military structure of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and led the armies of Assur in a virtually-unbroken string of regional conquests. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_16_The_Assyrian.mp3. . .
I wasn’t planning to take another extended break so soon, but, well, “man plans, god laughs” and all that. First off, my wife and I have (surprisingly) just managed to purchase our very first house, and are devoting a fair amount of time to TCB-ing on all related fronts. If it were only that, I might be able to power through. BUT it also just so happens that our 5th wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of October, and we’ve decided to celebrate by taking a trip down to Mexico. Mix in a few additional weeks of work travel, and it looks like it may be mid/late November before I’ll be able to get back into a regular groove again. If there’s any way I can pull together a new episode before that, I’ll certainly do so. Otherwise, have a lovely month (or so), and I’ll be back with new episodes as soon as I can. In the meantime, thanks again for listening, and please keep spreading the word!Scott C.. . .
During the first half of the 8th century BC, Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria all struggled against the forces of entropy and decline. In the absence of the Aramean threat, Israel and Judah resumed their perpetual struggle. Urartu expanded its regional influence at the expense of a weakened Assyria. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_15_Holding_Action.mp3. . .
“I received the tribute of the kings of the seacoast – namely, the lands of the peoples of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Mahallatu, Maizu, Kaizu, Amurru and the city of Arvad, which is in the midst of the seas – silver, gold, tin, bronze, a bronze vessel, multicolored linen garments, a large female monkey, a small female monkey, ebony, boxwood, and ivory of sea creatures. They submitted to me.” – Ashurnasirpal II of AssyriaUnder constant pressure from Assyria, Phoenician merchant fleets aggressively expanded their influence into Sardinia, North Africa and the Tartessian coast of southern Spain. In the central Mediterranean, they bore witness to the cultural resurgence of Archaic Greece, and the growing power of the Etruscan kingdoms of Italy.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_14_In_the_Midst_of_the_Seas.mp3. . .
“My brother Ashur-danin-apli, in the time of Shalmaneser, his father, acted wickedly, bringing about sedition, rebellion, and wicked plotting, caused the land to rise in revolt, prepared for war, brought the people of Assyria, north and south, to his side, and made bold speeches, brought the cities into the rebellion and set his face to begin strife and battle.” – Shamshi-Adad V of AssyriaShalmaneser III’s campaigns brought unrivalled wealth and power to Assyria, but internal discord tore the empire apart toward the end of his long reign. Warfare, religious strife, and bloody usurpation continued to roil the volatile states of Syria and Caanan. Meanwhile, the new kingdom of Urartu began to challenge Assyria’s role as sole regional superpower.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_13_Civil_War.mp3. . .
Hi TAW listeners!You may have noticed that I’ve passed the dozen episode mark and still have a few hundred years and a lot of history to cover before I reach 500 BC. In a nod to reality, I’ve changed the blog subtitle from “(around) a dozen” to “(around) twenty” podcasts. The fact that the series has grown since my original outline is definitely a good thing for me, since it means I’ve come across a lot of new and interesting information that I wanted to pass along while researching each culture and period. And if you’re a fan of the podcast, hopefully it’s a good thing for you too, since that means there will be more of the series to listen to!I also wanted to mention that The Ancient World is now available on Stitcher SmartRadio. With Stitcher, you can listen to episodes on your iPhone, Android Phone, Kindle Fire and other devices. You can find Stitcher in your app store or at stitcher.com. The Ancient World Stitcher link is now included over on the right-hand side of this blog page (along with the Facebook, iTunes and Twitter links).And lastly (for the moment), I wanted to mention that The Ancient World page on Facebook just got its 100th “Like.” That’s a fun milestone, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for making it happen. If you haven’t had the chance to check out The Ancient World Facebook page yet, it’s the forum I often use for more frequent and informal updates regarding both the podcast series and other related topics. Please feel free to come by for a visit.Thanks again for listening, and please keep spreading the word!Scott C.. . .
The Olmec of Mesoamerica and the Chavin of Peru laid strong cultural foundations that would influence regional civilizations down through the first European encounters with the New World. The longest-lasting Chinese Dynasty, the Zhou, bore witness to eras of unity and conquest, the devolution of power to feudal lords, and the chaos of the Warring States Period.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_12_Legacies_of_East_and_West.mp3. . .
First, let me say that you guys are awesome! Over a hundred of you voted in the Baddest Assyrian Ruler Name poll. For awhile it was a real (saddle-less, paired-rider) horse-race, but in the end the decision was clear. Without further ado, here are top three vote-getters:Coming in at #3, Tukulti-ninurta!Definitely one of my perennial favorites, the name itself fairly exudes brutality and malevolence. And that’s even BEFORE you realize that it translates to “My Trust is in (the Warrior God) Ninurta.” The first Assyrian ruler with this name conquered Babylon in the late 13th century BC, built a brand new city named after himself, and then got besieged and murdered in it – by his own sons! That is some serious cojones, and (one assumes) some seriously bad parenting. The second ruler with this name, whom we just covered last episode, spent his free time doing a little something called CONQUERING THE PERSIANS! OK, so the Persians were no great shakes in the early 9th century BC, but still – no one else could really make that claim until Alexander the Great around 600 years later. So take THAT Tiglath-pileser (who, incidentally, he just beat out by a few votes).At #2, it’s Shalmaneser!*Sinister is the adjective for this Assyrian ruler name. You know he’s Slytherin before he even gets close to the Sorting Hat. The name is also pronounced “Salmanu-asared,” and translates to “The God Salmanu is Pre-eminent.” Salmanu, by the way, is the Assyrian god of the underworld, fertility and war, which (a) nice grouping, and (b) I’m guessing you know which one Shalmenser’s favorite is. The first ruler with this name put the final nail in the Mitanni coffin when he took incorporated half of their kingdom into Greater Assyria back in the early 13th century BC. He also claimed to have blinded 14,400 prisoners in one eye, making him a definite trendsetter in the realm of Assyrian brutality. And if this wasn’t enough, he was also father of the above-mentioned Tukulti-ninurta I, so I’m guessing the brutal apple didn’t fall TOO far from the malicious tree. The second Assyrian king with this name ruled during the dark age of the late 11th century BC, and in the absence of information we’ll make the pretty safe assumption that he was also a very, very bad man. The third, whom we introduced last episode, is just getting started earning his name. With Shalmaneser, it looks like the third time just might be the charm!And the winner is…Ashurbanipal!It’s got Ashur right in the name, so you know it’s hard-core! PLUS only one Assyrian ruler had this name, making it unique. The name is also pronounced “Ashur-bani-apli,” and translates to “Ashur is Creator of an Heir.” Coming late in the Neo-Assyrian game, he will be the last strong ruler before (spoiler alert!) the empire finally falls. Sure, he had a penchant for collecting valuable and important historical documents, but he made up for this by ramping up Neo-Assyrian cruelty to truly over-the-top levels. An example? How about putting a dog chain through the jaw of a defeated king and then making him live in a dog kennel. It’s just that kind of outside-the-box savagery that earns Ashurbanipal the coveted top spot in our list of Baddest Assyrian Ruler Names of All Time!Thanks again to everyone who participated!*Per contest rules, if the winner is unable to perform his duties with sufficient brutality, the #2 Ruler Name will take his place.. . .
“I slew 14,000 of their warriors with the sword. Like Adad, I rained destruction on them. I scattered their corpses far and wide, and covered the face of the desolate plain with their wide-spreading armies. With my weapons I made their blood to flow down the valleys of the land. The plain was too small for their bodies to fall; the wide countryside was used to bury them. With their corpses I spanned the Orontes as with a bridge.” - Shalmaneser III of AssyriaIn the early centuries of the first millennium BC, Egypt, Babylonia and the Neo-Hittite states struggled to regain their footing, while Israel, Judah, Aram and Phoenicia continued jockeying for regional power. In 853 BC, the threat of Neo-Assyrian invasion compelled the disparate kingdoms to join forces at the Battle of Qarqar.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_11_The_Rise_of_Assyria.mp3. . .
The Kings of Assyria were a group of very bad men. Not “Shaft” bad - just really, truly bad. But they also had some pretty crazy-cool names. In this first-ever TAW user’s poll, I wanted to give you, the listener, the chance to lord over all of the rulers in Assyrian history (Old, Middle and Neo) and choose which one had the baddest (yes, this time, “Shaft” baddest) name of all time!**http://www.esurveyspro.com/App/Polls/DirectPoll.aspx?id=13152(*and totally not a stalling tactic while I continue cranking on the next episode)(**keep in mind: poll is super-scientific, and results are 100% binding). . .
At the dawn of the first millennium BC, the collapse of the great Near Eastern powers allowed the cultures of Caanan to flourish. While the Phoenicians embarked on a bold new era of maritime expansion, the Hebrews and Arameans carved out new Iron Age kingdoms that would have a lasting impact on the region.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_10_Picking_Up_The_Pieces.mp3. . .
Hi! Well, a little over a month has passed since I posted the last episode, and what a busy month it has been. The longed-for tapering off I’ve been hoping for has yet to transpire, but I’m still working hard toward my self-imposed deadline of getting the next episode posted before the end of July. Since I’ll be away the better part of next weekend, that puts a little extra pressure on me, but I still think I’ll be able to pull it off. So keep your eyes out for Episode 10, “Picking Up the Pieces,” coming your way soon!Also, my ongoing busy-ness is, unfortunately, making the weekly(-ish) podcast schedule untenable, so I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be dropping back to a bi-weekly schedule for at least the month of August, and possibly for the remainder of the podcast. That’s the only way I feel I can give each episode the time and attention it deserves. Trust me, you do not want to short shrift the Neo-Assyrians – they tend to take things very personally.Thanks again for listening, and keep spreading the word!Scott C.. . .
“Regarding what you wrote me before: ‘Enemy ships were observed at sea!’ If it is true that ships were observed, reinforce yourself. Where are your troops and chariots? Are they not with you? If not, who will deliver you from the enemy? Surround your cities with walls and bring your troops and chariots into them. Watch out for the enemy and reinforce yourself well!” – The King of Alashiya, writing to King Hammurabi of UgaritThe Sea Peoples cut a swath of destruction from Greece to Egypt, while wars, internal conflicts and hostile desert tribes ravaged the civilizations of Mesopotamia. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel...like an extended break!http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_9_The_Other_99_Percent.mp3. . .
“…And on the pedestal these words appear:‘My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.” - Shelley, OzymandiusThe Kassites restored and preserved the ancient culture of Babylon while defending its frontiers against the growing Assyrian threat. The conflict between Egypt and Hatti over control of Caanan culminated in the Battle of Kadesh.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_8_Look_Upon_My_Works.mp3. . .
“As there are no pacts of faith between lions and men,nor do wolves and lambs have spirit in kind,…nor for us twowill there be oaths;…Recollect your every skill. Now the need is very greatto be a spearmanand brave warrior.” – Achilles, the IliadThe Mycenaean Greeks melded their warrior ethos with Minoan artistry to rule over an Aegean empire extending to the shores of ancient Troy. The Aryans, distant relatives of the Mitanni, imported their Vedic culture into Northern India by chariot and sword. Meanwhile, China’s Shang Dynasty, after ousting the corrupt Xia to build a mighty Bronze Age kingdom, saw the Mandate of Heaven pass to the Zhou.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_7_Between_Lions_And_Men.mp3. . .
After expelling the Hyksos, the rulers of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty led their New Kingdom in an unprecedented drive for territorial expansion. In Syria and the Levant, they were forced to contend with powerful new states forged by the Hurrians and the Hittites.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_6_The_New_Kingdoms.mp3. . .
First off, thanks for listening! I really enjoy making this podcast, but it makes the effort all the more rewarding to see the subscription numbers slowly climb. So if you know anyone else who might be interested in The Ancient World, please feel free to spread the word.For those who don't know, the podcast is also up on iTunes, which makes it super-easy to subscribe. You can also post a review there if you'd like. If you have any otherfeedback, you’re welcome to post (or message me) at the Facebook contact link. Either way, I’d love to hear from you!Now a bit of logistics: Remember April? Ah, that was a lovely month, with every weekend free so I could get some traction getting this thing off the ground. Unfortunately, such things never last. The next few months have just enough work and personal travel to throw me off my weekly podcast schedule. My plan is to get the next episode up on May 20, then hopefully post additional episodes on May 27 and June 3, which (again, I’m hoping) should take us up to the Bronze Age Collapse – you know, that period around 1,200 BC when the hand of fate picked up the regional etch-a-sketch and gave it a good, hard shake. After that, I’ll probably be a few weeks before I’m able to post again. But never fear, I am 110% committed to completing this project, so please stay subscribed and await further updates.On the brighter side (for those of you who enjoy this podcast): I don’t think 12 episodes are quite going to do it. As I proceed through this effort, I’m finding that my nice, tidy 12-episode outline is slowly expanding and re-shuffling as I come across more new information I want to include and different ways I want to approach the material. So, 12 will probably become more like 15 by the time things are done. But I’m happy to keep making them as long as you keep listening!Thanks again for supporting the podcast, I really appreciate it!Scott C.. . .
“I was asleep upon my bed, having become weary…like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made the wretches retreat with a charge! But there is none mighty in the night, none who can fight alone.” – Amenemhet IIn the turbulent period between 2,000 and 1,500 BC, Egyptian rulers were not the only ones caught off guard. After rising to new heights, Minoan Crete, Hammurabi’s Babylon and Middle Kingdom Egypt all fell victim to disaster and foreign invasion.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_5_Blind-sided.mp3. . .
“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.” – Napoleon BonaparteThe power of Egypt’s Old Kingdom rulers was reflected in their awe-inspiring monuments. The Harappan civilization of the Indus River valley traded across Central Asia, the Near East, and beyond. In the Far East, Great Yu controlled the waters and founded the first Chinese dynasty, the Xia.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_4_The_Pyramid_Builders.mp3. . .
“Now any king who wants to call himself my equal, wherever I went, let him go!” - Sargon the GreatIn 2,334 BC, Sargon of Akkad forged the world’s first empire and created a legend that would inspire Near Eastern rulers for millennia. The Third Dynasty of Ur built its smaller but more centralized structure on Akkadian foundations.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_3_Wherever_I_Went.mp3. . .
Contemporary with early Sumer and Egypt, the Norte Chico thrived along the Peruvian coast, while the Neolithic Britons built their mysterious stone circles. The first European civilization, the Minoans of ancient Crete, exerted a strong cultural influence over the eastern Mediterranean.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_2_Circles_and_Labyrinths.mp3. . .
"more ancient than the mind can imagine" - The Epic of GilgameshThe Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the Elamites of the Persian plateau, and the Egyptians of the Nile River valley were among the first civilizations to emerge in the ancient world.http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_1_Climb_The_Stone_Staircase.mp3. . .
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