About

One Ancient Roman podcast; Two historians’ views on the ancient world

That’s Dr Greenfield on the left and Dr Radford on the right. Together they are the duo behind the Ancient Roman podcast, The Partial Historians.

 

Dr Fiona Radford

is an expert on Rome on film and wrote her thesis on Kubrick’s Spartacus. Dr Radford’s research interest in film makes her an exponent of not only Ancient History, but also Reception Studies. Dr Radford’s work has taken her across the globe and into rarely viewed archives.

 

Dr Peta Greenfield

is an expert on the Vestal Virgins, a collective of six priestesses whose aedes (temple) was located at the edge of the Roman forum. Dr Greenfield’s research interests include: the intersection between religion and politics in Rome, the Late Republic (c. 150 BC – 31 BC) and Augustan Period (c. 31 BC – AD 14), and the role of women.

 

How We Emerged from the (proverbial) Womb

The Partial Historians podcast was born from a late night conversation when we realised our shared interest in pursuing Roman history through alternative avenues as we neared the end of our doctoral dissertations. We’re both teachers. We research when and where we can. For us the podcast was a chance to also engage in outreach. To find a voice that is more conversational than is required in a strictly academic setting.

The name ‘The Partial Historians’ resonates in a couple of ways even though it doesn’t fit the strict model for an Ancient Roman podcast.

The first inspiration was Dr Radford’s interest in Jane’s Austen’s parody The History of England from the reign of Henry the 4th to the death of Charles the 1st by a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian. The subtitle held appeal as it suggested the conversational tone we were aiming for.

After losing the ‘prejudiced’ and the ‘ignorant’ (neither of which is part of our project), we settled on the short form The Partial Historians.

At this point, Dr Greenfield jumped in and noted the title could be read a couple of ways.

  • First, ‘partial’ as in incomplete. Certainly we were interested in doing Rome justice, but inevitably we would not be able to be comprehensive. Not to mention that Rome’s history is but a fragment of the history of humankind!
  • Second, ‘partial’ can be rendered as showing favouritism. And for us, Roman history is a continuing fascinating touchstone. Are we biased towards Rome? Probably 😉