Emperors of Rome
Emperors of Rome
La Trobe University
“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” - Tacitus. A podcast series looking at the rulers of the ancient Roman empire, by Dr Rhiannon Evans and Matt Smith.
Episode CXCI - Empire Under Siege
When Valerian became emperor in 253CE Rome was fighting on all fronts. With Shapur and the Syrians taking territory in the east, and Germanic tribes to the west and the north, the empire was going to get messy for Valerian and his newly established dynasty. Episode I of ‘Valerian’. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University).
Jun 12
46 min
Episode CXC - I, Augustus (with Brian Blessed)
Brian Blessed is a treasured British actor who for our purposes will fondly be remembered for his iconic role as Emperor Augustus in the 1976 BBC television series I, Claudius. Brian dominated the screen with his performance and we were very lucky to get the chance to speak to him. Guests: Brian Blessed Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).
May 26
28 min
Episode CLXXXIX - Nero and the Great Fire of Rome (Live in Canberra)
On the night of 18 July, 64 CE, a fire broke out in the Circus Maximus at Rome. It raged for nine days, destroying or damaging ten of the city’s fourteen regions. Was the fire just a terrible accident? Or was it deliberately lit, either by dissident Christians or by the emperor Nero, who allegedly sang while Rome burned? Recorded on 12th April 2022, in front of a live audience at the Australian National University. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University).
May 20
58 min
Episode CLXXXVIII - How to Win a Consular Election
Every year Rome held an election in which two senators were chosen for the role of consul. Being elected consul was a great honour, and the position was hotly contested, and a successful campaign depended upon the candidate’s military achievements, rhetorical skills and their willingness to be corrupt. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).
May 10
48 min
Episode CLXXXVII - The Battle of Philippi
More than two years have passed since the death of Caesar, and we now find our story at the final battle of the Liberator’s war. Octavian and Mark Antony lead their forces west to confront Cassius and Brutus, who have amassed quite the army in the meantime. Part VI of ‘The Liberator’s War’ Guest: Assistant Professor Steele Brand (History, The King’s College, New York City).
Apr 29
48 min
Episode CLXXXVI - Proscriptions
Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus have secured their alliance against Caesar’s assassins, and since they have control of Rome, it’s time for them to get rid of any competition. Proscribing an enemy means they will likely be executed, and their personal fortunes can be confiscated and put towards paying soldiers - and the second triumvirate make full use of this. Part V of ‘The Liberator’s War’ Guest: Assistant Professor Zachary Herz (Legal Historian, Department of Classics, University of Colorado Boulder).
Apr 21
43 min
Episode CLXXXV - The Second Triumvirate
After his victory in at Mutina, Octavian desired honours that the senate declined to award him. This led him to re-evaluate who his enemy truly was, and make an alliance with the recently defeated Mark Antony. Part IV of ‘The Liberator’s War’ Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).
Mar 29
44 min
Episode CLXXXIV - The Siege of Mutina
As Antony heads north he finds the city of Mutina defended by Decimus Brutus. Antony lays siege, but he doesn’t count on a young Octavian leading the army to confront him. Part III of ‘The Liberator’s War’ Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).
Mar 20
48 min
Episode CLXXXIII - Philippics
As the power struggle in Rome continued and generals waged their war on the battlefield, Cicero took to the floors of the senate, confronting Antony with the greatest weapon in his arsenal: the spoken word. He called his speeches the Philippics, and they were influential in turning the senate against Antony. Part II of ‘The Liberator’s War’ Guest: Dr Kathryn Tempest (Reader in Classics and Ancient History, University of Roehampton).
Feb 26
42 min
Episode CLXXXII - The Empty Throne
Caesar’s death created a power vacuum in the city of Rome. While Antony struggled against the senate to make a deal and assert his dominance, Octavian’s imminent arrival presented a rival he couldn’t anticipate. Part I of ‘The Liberator’s War’ Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University).
Feb 8
28 min
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