Episode 73 – The End of Spurius Cassius


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We return to the fray to consider the late career of Spurius Cassius! The conflict between the the patricians and plebeians continue and Cassius appears to be running a populist campaign…

In this episode we’ll consider how the political machinations between these groups play out under a new year and new consuls.

The End of Spurius Cassius

The Tarpeian Rock. Photo by Lalupa courtesy of wikimedia commons

Collaboration with TED-Ed!



Over the last few months, Dr G has been working with TED-Ed to spread the word about Vestal Virgins. Herein are the fruits of that collaboration!

I’m super excited to have been part of this project and bringing the world of ancient Rome to others is a real treat   🙂

This TED-Ed lesson explores one aspect of the Vestals’ lives: the possibility of live burial. You can check out all the details here:


This image of a Vestal Virgin from the Atrium Vestae is courtesy of Carole Raddato


Episode 72 – Spurius Cassius and c. 486 BCE


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Our narrative returns to the fray of Spurius Cassius’ political machinations while consul!

Can he find a way to distribute Rome’s bounty three ways with the inclusion of the Latins and Hernicians? Find out as Drs R and G compare the narrative sources!

Spurius Cassius and c. 486 BCE

A map you’ve seen before, but a good one for this episode! Rome and Latium, including the Hernicians! With thanks to wikimedia.

Episode 71 – Proculus Verginius and Spurius Cassius


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A birth of a republic seems midwived by a lot of local conflict.

In this episode, the Doctors return to explore Rome’s continued struggles with her most estimable neighbours, the Volscians, the Hernicans, and the Aequians. The intricacies really start to come to the surface in the consulship of Proculus Verginius and Spurius Cassius.

Hear it all here!

Proculus Verginius and Spurius Cassius

Francesco Salviati c. 1543-5. The Rout of the Volscii with thanks to the Google Art Project




Episode 70 – The Volscians, The Aequians, and The Hernicans


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The Doctors are back! And celebrating reaching our seventh episode no less! We dive right back into the narrative of Rome’s history from the founding of the City with an examination of the years just following the death of Coriolanus.

Rome, perhaps unsurprisingly, doesn’t really know how to get along with her neighbours…

The Volscians, The Aequians, and The Hernicans

A celebratory montage of Drs R and G 🙂

Some Light Reading


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In the spirit of openness and from a desire to share what I have produced in terms of research, my (Dr Greenfield’s) dissertation is attached below.

Handy to have if you want to know more about the Vestal Virgins!

Super handy if your looking for more scholarly work on the late Republic and early principate (c. 150 BCE – 14 CE)!

Greenfield, P. N. 2011. Virgin Territory – The Vestals and the Transition from Republic to Principate


The cult of Vesta was vital to the city of Rome. The goddess was associated with the City’s very foundation, and Romans believed that the continuity of the state depended on the sexual and moral purity of her priestesses. In this dissertation, Virgin Territory: The Vestals and the Transition from Republic to Principate, I examine the Vestal cult between c. 150 BCE and 14 CE, that is, from the beginning of Roman domination in the Mediterranean to the establishment of authoritarian rule at Rome.

Six aspects of the cult are discussed: the Vestals’ relationship with water in ritual and literature; a re-evaluation of Vestal incestum (unchastity) which seeks a nuanced approach to the evidence and examines the record of incestum cases; the Vestals’ extra-ritual activities; the Vestals’ role as custodians of politically sensitive documents; the Vestals’ legal standing relative to other Roman women, especially in the context of Augustus’ moral reform legislation; and the cult’s changing relationship with the topography of Rome in light of the construction of a new shrine to Vesta on the Palatine after Augustus became pontifex maximus in 12 BCE.

It will be shown that the cult of Vesta did not survive the turmoil of the Late Republic unchanged, nor did it maintain its ancient prerogative in the face of Augustus’ ascendancy. The thesis therefore sheds new light on our understanding of the nature, role and significance of the Vestal cult during the Roman revolution.



Episode 69 – The Reception of Coriolanus


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It’s time for a special episode!

After such a tumultuous life, it comes as no surprise that Coriolanus goes on to have a legacy that spreads after his literal death. So Coriolanus dies, but he lives!

In this episode, the Doctors turn their roving eye on how the story of Coriolanus has been transformed by his reappearance into the cultural mind of the West through Shakespeare’s play and the centuries that follow.

Find out all the details below:

The Reception of Coriolanus

Act V Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus by Gavin Hamilton 1803.
Attribution is also given to Adam Cuerden as per wikimedia commons

Episode 68 – Coriolanus, the Final Chapter


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After much ado, many conflicts, we’re finally here! It is the end of Coriolanus. How does his grisly end unfold? Who will be pivotal to the end of his career? In this episode, Drs R and G push through all the barriers to make sure this part of Roman history comes to a close! Check out the link below to tune in:

Coriolanus the Final Chapter

Franz Anton Maulpertsch, c. 1795. Coriolanus at the gates of Rome

Franz Anton Maulpertsch, c. 1795. Coriolanus at the gates of Rome



Episode 67 – Coriolanus – Exiled!


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It’s a new year and a new breath of fresh on the Partial Historian breeze! Oh wait, what’s that? Could it be … Coriolanus? Indeed it is! The complexities of Coriolanus’ narrative continue to build and things are about to get a little bit hairy for our man of the moment. Join Drs R and G for the ride ahead:

Coriolanus – Exiled!

Wilhelm Wandschneider's 1903 sculpture of Coriolanus in Plau am See (Germany). Photograph courtesy of Ruchhöft-Plau from wikimedia commons

Wilhelm Wandschneider’s 1903 sculpture of Coriolanus in Plau am See (Germany). According to some, Coriolanus was clearly quite a man! Photograph courtesy of Ruchhöft-Plau from wikimedia commons.