The three surviving sons of Constantine the Great take over stewardship of the Roman Empire. Only one of them shows any semblance of being a chip off the old block!
Constantine the Great is one of the few people in history who genuinely changed the world. His achievements are many and varied but he also had a dark side!
My day job is still causing me to be slightly behind on writing and recording. Many apologies; the next episode will be out on Monday 13th July.
Christianity and the Roman Empire are inextricably linked. Before Constantine, though, the relationship had been a bit rocky.In this chapter we look at the early interactions between the Empire and the Christians.
The Tetrarchy was a lovely idea. It worked so very well when Diocletian was in charge. When he was gone, though, self interest trumped duty. Civil wars ensued: lots of them.
The Tetrarchy: one man's attempt to create an entirely new, entirely workable system. It worked...until he was gone.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. All feedback very gratefully received.
May 1st, 2015 by mythandhistory
Diocletian shows the Empire how it's done. At last, the crisis is over.
Stupidity reigns in a resurgent Empire. Senior officers in the army, seemingly not content with the dramatic improvement, proceed to shoot Rome in the foot... twice!
One man, five years, unlimited success!
Gallienus tries and tries until the army have had enough of him. The man who follows him then has some instant success!
Mar 5th, 2015 by mythandhistory
If you thought Decius's fate was bad then wait until you hear what happens to Valerian. Gallienus battles on against overwhelming odds after his father is removed from the equation.
The Goths arrive in Roman territory and cause havoc. Decius takes them on in battle. The result is complete disaster.
Incursions by barbarian tribes had been a constant but manageable irritation to the Romans before the current crisis. Some new ones, though, are about to get a whole lot more troublesome.
The Sassanids recognise that the Empire is in chaos and take the opportunity to attack. Gordian III travels east to see the finale but then bad things happen.
Chaos reigns...as do six emperors in the space of a few months!
From the History Collage show on historypodcasters.com, a look at the four Julias who helped rule the Empire during the Severan years.
Dec 25th, 2014 by mythandhistory
It's time to celebrate the great literary achievements of the Romans. And, by the way, Merry Christmas to you all.
Alexander Severus was a very nice young man. His mother was politically astute and determined that her son would be an excellent emperor. If only the times had been different.
Marcus Aurelius had a son who ruined the good work of the dynasty. Septimius Severus had TWO sons. They were no better!
Lucius Septimius Severus was energetic, capable and focussed on running a fair and stable empire. Unfortunately he was also rather too keen on warfare and totally incapable of managing his highly dysfunctional family!
Oct 31st, 2014 by mythandhistory
In the year 193AD five men separately lay claim to the top job in Rome. After the best candidate is treacherously let down by the Praetorian Guard, the next man buys the throne from them. The Praetorians, though, are about to discover that their luck has run out!
Oct 16th, 2014 by mythandhistory
Poor Marcus Aurelius. Having spent most of his reign fighting the barbarians he dies when the job is just about complete... and his primary legacy is his unhinged son!
Oct 3rd, 2014 by mythandhistory
Bridges aqueducts, concrete and a new calendar!
Sep 16th, 2014 by mythandhistory
"Don't waste time wondering what a good man is: be one." Marcus Aurelius's thoughts on how to live virtuously have stood the test of time.
Sep 2nd, 2014 by mythandhistory
Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus bring their very different approaches to being emperors. It is surprisingly successful partnership. And then one of them dies!
Announcing the new 'History of Ancient Greece' eBook
The Golden Age of Rome! Hadrian ensures that the Empire will in safe hands for another forty years.
Trajan's successor could not be more different from the great man. In his own way, though, he turns out to be just as impressive.
The Myths and History of Greece and Rome has achieved a million downloads. Thanks to everyone for listening!
Jun 25th, 2014 by mythandhistory
There is nothing worse than a micromanager, even if his intentions are good... except an increasingly paranoid micromanager.
Jun 10th, 2014 by mythandhistory
Vespasian and his son get to grips with running a huge Empire. Meanwhile Mount Vesuvius gets to grips with the Bay of Naples and a couple of towns which are now very famous indeed.
May 13th, 2014 by mythandhistory
In 69AD four different men held the highest office in the Roman world... and they weren't sharing!!
Power is dangerous in the hands of the very young. The sixteen year-old Nero is given absolute power. Oh dear!
Things get a bit weird as the most unlikely candidate becomes emperor. The strangeness continues as he does a surprisingly good job. Shame about the wife, though!
The seamless transition is exactly that: seamless! The personal foibles of Augustus's successors, though, make for interesting times!
The succession has been on Augustus's mind from early in his tenure as emperor. Death, misfortune and exile intervene repeatedly as he has to modify his thinking over and over again.
Octavian's political skills dovetail beautifully with the practical and organisation skills of Marcus Agrippa. Bye bye Republic; hello Emperor Augustus Caesar!
Who will come out on top? Will it be Caesar's right hand man or Caesar's adopted heir? And what part will the Eastern Queen play?
They're all there: Et tu Brute; I came, I saw I, conquered, etc etc. Julius Caesar rises like a supernova and then disappears with a bang.
The very foundations of the Republic are shaken by three more men: one in particular!
Jan 7th, 2014 by mythandhistory
The Republic worked when Rome was small and manageable. The conquest of vast tracts of territory, glorious though it was, brought with it hidden dangers. Great men rose and the Republic was too constraining... so they broke it!
The Romans come up against their most formidable opponent yet. The Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca proves to be more than a thorn in their side for many years. Being Romans, though, they learn and adapt and eventually destroy the ancient empire of Carthage.
The Roman Republic is founded but its early years are still the stuff of legend. Only after the Gauls sack Rome are we really able to talk about Roman history.
Time to meet Romulus and his successors. The foundation of Rome and the following 250 years are the mythical basis of that great civilisation. The stories may not be true but they say a lot about the character of Rome and of its people.
Nov 23rd, 2013 by mythandhistory
The History Collage is a project produced by a group of history podcasters. Each episode has a theme and is made up of short, no longer than nine minute, articles on the topic. The current theme is 'Unsung Heroes'. You can hear about my unsung hero on part two of the podcast which was released on 20th November 2013. Give it a listen.
Introducing Cupid and Psyche from a Roman perspective. Also we tell two other tales from Roman Mythology in which Venus plays a prominent role.
Not a happy ending in sight as we follow three more tragic tales. Expect plenty of divine interference and a fair amount of drowning!