It’s the mid-430s BCE. Rome is feeling the pressure of their neighbours, so they order dictators by the dozen. It’s going to be a ride!
The Partial Historians Posts
The power of vegetal symbolism in the age of Augustus is revealed by looking closely at the Ara Pacis and the Garden Room of Livia’s Villa
The 430s BCE are a challenging time for Rome. Aulus Cornelius Cossus is a perfect example of the issues of historical chronology!
Medea is powerful, semi-divine, and has an axe to grind with Jason!
Aulus Cornelius Cossus is a patrician on a mission. His exploits against Lars Tolumnius will become the stuff of legend.
In a special interview we explore the foundation of ancient Rome and consider how it compares with ancient Greek foundation narratives.
This is our short highlights summary of what the ancient sources tell us about the events of the 440s BCE. Jump in to get quickly up to speed!
Did Spurius Maelius incite the violence, or was Ahala a secret assassin? Things are very messy in Rome and there’s some mopping up to do!
What happens in Rome during a time of famine when a young equestrian has just come into his inheritance? We’re about to find out!
What was life like for women in ancient Athens? In this episode we explore the lives of women with Associate Professor Rebecca Futo Kennedy!
Rome is all caught up in its dealings with the nearby city of Ardea. Tune in for land allotment, pretty plebeian women, and more!
We discuss Roman coins with Professor Liv Yarrow. The Roman republic is fascinating and coins provide an amazing window into that world!
The Romans are in an organisational frenzy. Grab your red tape and sword, we’re off to 443 BCE for a little bureaucracy and war in Ardea.
We sit down to chat all about early Rome with Tim Cornell. His scholarship is a landmark for thinking about the period between 1000-264 BCE
Rome is ruled by three military tribunes with consular power. What happens with three men in place of the consuls? We find out!
Dr G and Dr Rad discuss the influence of Julius Caesar’s assassination on the Ides of March on Game of Thrones.
It’s 445 BCE and the republic is still young enough to fail. How will Rome face the chaos outside while weakened from internal conflict?
We were interviewed by Classical Wisdom and the Coffee & Cocktails Podcast! Tune in for Pompeii and Roman sexual practices!
Who has the right to rule Rome? In this episode, the plebs push for new laws that would give them greater political power…
Did you know we’ve been podcasting for 9 years? When we added it up, we were shocked as well because we have just as much fun today as when we started.
The year 446 BCE has it all – battles, civil strife, virtus, dynamic leadership. Is Rome ready to embrace strength through unity?
Rome seems to be bouncing back into republican form! Listen in for prickly characters and rich kids with too much time on their hands.
We’re giving one lucky fan the chance to win an eco-friendly cotton tote-bag with that celebrates Spurius Furius!
Rome is still in the depths in 449 BCE, but there’s been an epic turn of events. Appius Claudius may be dead, but what happens next? We’re here to find out! Importantly, some of our key players in the plebeian set find themselves upgraded to the status of tribune of the plebs. Episode 119 – The Triumphant Return of the Consulship The end of Spurius Oppius It’s not just Appius Claudius who finds himself in…
How did the transition to coinage change the ancient world? What are the connections between economies and gender? Women and money explored!
Appius Claudius: what a man, what a couple of decemvirates! Herein, he has to face his crimes and we delve into just what happens next.
The Women of Early Rome are a fascinating bunch of characters. In this special event, we trace their representation in the ancient sources.
Disruption is at the heart of great changes in human society. How might we understand it? We explore the topic with Professor David Potter.
We have been trapped under the tyrannical rule of the Second Decemvirate for too long!
But never fear, listeners. Their day has finally come. In this episode, we finally see the decemvirs overthrown and the office of tribune of the plebs restored. It is a time of non-stop drama!
Join us for the the worldwide premiere of a very special new episode of the podcast.
Yes, you will see us on screen!
Yes, we’ll be discussing the women of early Rome!
We sit down to talk to the fabulous Professor Ray Laurence from Macquarie University about urban space in Pompeii and the lives of children.
We are very excited to announce that we have TWO new products available in our Gumroad store. In collaboration with artist Bridget Clarke, we have created printable artwork and teacher resources all about our favourite gal, Agrippina the Younger. In the classroom This project started when we noticed that there are some marked differences in the representation of Agrippina the Younger between the ancient historical accounts and the archaeological sources. We wanted to be able…
The Second Secession is a contested moment in Roman’s early republican history. Join us as we explore the sources and just how it unfolds!
Virginia has been murdered by her father in the Forum in an attempt to protect her from Appius Claudius. What will this act mean for Rome?
The story of Verginia is an achingly tragic tale central to understanding the Second Decemvirate. Both Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus go into some detail about what happens and how it unfolds and we’ll explore both accounts to compare and contrast them.
In this very special episode we’re joined by archaeologist Darius Arya. We wanted to learn more about the archaeological record for the early period of Rome’s history. In this episode we chat about the archaeology of early Rome and how it can help us understand the history.
We are deep in the Second Decemvirate (c. 449-447 BCE) and Rome faces war on two fronts. Enter Lucius Siccius Dentatus: the Roman Achilles…
We sit down to chat with Dr Emma Southon all about murder in ancient Rome and her new book ‘A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’
In our latest article for Bad Ancient, we explore the claim that “Livia’s ultimate goal was ensuring her son Tiberius succeeded Augustus.”
The decemvirs continue to drive strong feeling among the senators. But while the patricians argue, Rome’s enemies draw ever closer…
We have been very fortunate regarding the pandemic Down Under, and many restrictions have recently been lifted. This means that all sorts of entertainment is now on offer again, including the smash musical Hamilton. Dr Rad was lucky enough to attend a recent show at the Lyric Theatre. Controversies in American History For those less acquainted with American history, Alexander Hamilton was born around 1755, and in spite of having an inauspicious start in life,…
We chat with Dr Debby Sneed about her work on impairment in antiquity. Tune in for human remains, sanctuaries, and textual evidence!
We review the major events in Roman history for the decade of the 450s BCE!
After seizing power, the decemvirs under Appius Claudius realise that they might need the Senate as Rome faces war on two fronts!
At the beginning of this year, we finally got to see The Gladiators vs Spartacus in print. It took a lot of determination and hard work on behalf of Henry MacAdam, as well as co-authors Cooper and Dr Rad, to bring this story to light, so we are delighted to be able to share one of the early reviews with you all. The author of these reviews, Brian Hannan, is a true film buff, with…
Cleopatra VII is infamous as the lover of Caesar and Antony, but did you know that she’s also famous for her scholarship and leadership?
‘The Rise and Fall of Agrippina’ poster is a fabulous addition for the Roman history-lover or the high school teacher – just print and enjoy!
The First Decemvirate was a big success, so much so that Rome opts for a Second Decemvirate! It’s only now that the cracks start to appear…
The Twelve Tables are a landmark moment of early Republican Roman history. In this episode we explore some of the highlights of this law code!
We revisit the 460s BCE to learn what the Romans have been up to. There’s neighbourly disputes, internal conflict, and battles galore!
The Roman republic is in full swing and it’s time for the first decemvirate! The growing discontent amongst the population is reaching breaking point according to our narrative sources.
It is sometimes claimed that Julius Caesar was the first emperor of Rome. While this was not the case, defining who was the first emperor of Rome is no easy task.
** The Gladiators – The Story of a Lost Hollywood Epic **
Yul Brynner’s film The Gladiators never made it to the big screen, but the story behind its failure is an epic in itself.
Dr Rad’s latest work on this is out now and we’re super excited!
2020 has been quite a year. In our Christmas video we reflect upon the year that was and the connections to the ancient world.
The race to bring Spartacus to the big screen is an epic tale of 1950s Hollywood. Dr Rad explores the rival productions and the intrigue.
We explore the Year of the Four Emperors – 69 CE with our special guest Dr Rob Cromarty! Join us for all the political machinations and hijinks of this transition from the Julio-Claudians to the Flavians.
We had the great pleasure of presenting a paper at the inaugural Australian Educational Podcasting Conference held online on November 19, 2020. Gretchen McCulloch, the co-host of Lingthusiasm, and New York Times best-selling author of Because Internet was the key note speaker. She set the tone for a fantastic set of conversations about public academics, sound pedagogical practices for bringing expert knowledge to wide audiences. It was an absolute pleasure to catch up with Rhiannon…
It’s 453 BCE and just as Rome seems to be heading towards a legal milestone disaster strikes: it’s a plague! Now plagues are terrible, of that there is no doubt, but how does this influence the path to codification? We’re here to find out. Episode 108 – Plague and Politics The Character of the Plague It is hard to identify the plague with certainty. What is clear from our later written sources is that the…
We jump into 454 BCE where we start to see the consequences of the events of the previous year play out. It’s hard to get away from our “Roman Achilles” who, in his position as plebeian tribune, levels a charge of “injuring the state” against the former consul Romilius. This sets up a cascade of interesting incidents. Episode 107 – Let the Codification Begin There’s little agreement between our major written sources for this year.…
Medusa fills the imagination with fascination. Between her beauty and dread, we’re exploring representations of the snake-haired Gorgon! We’re joined by Liv, host of Let’s Talk About Myths Baby to explore the representation of Medusa through time.
We continue to follow the cause of our Roman Achilles–more formally known as Lucius Siccius Dentatus–in 455 BCE. Dentatus is truly the star of the this period of history from the perspective of Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Dr G has a lot to say about that! Episode 106 – Spoiler Alert What can we glean from a history written long after the fact? Dr Rad takes us through some of the key concerns we face…
There’s nothing quite like learning that there’s a Roman Achilles! In this episode we get to meet the man behind the legend. Episode 105 – The Roman Achilles Before we jump in, let’s find out where things stand. It’s 455 BCE and our narrative sources have put forward the case that the opening up of the Aventine was an important step under the new collective of ten tribunes. But all is not well on the…
We sit down with Dr Emma Southon to talk all things Agrippina the Younger. Join us for the thrilling and engaging story of Agrippina’s life at the centre of Julio-Claudian power.
We return to the City of Rome in 456 BCE and follow the ongoing domestic struggles that Rome faces in defining herself in terms of transparency at law. Episode 104 – Aventine, Aventine With a new crop of tribunes come some important consequences. While in previous years the tribunes have focused on the goal of ensuring that there is a clear and public way for any Roman citizen to access the laws in order to…
It’s c. 457 BCE in Rome and in this episode we explore the state of affairs in the wake of Cincinnatus’ dictatorship. Rome’s affairs with her neighbours are not off to a good start. As the City lifts her gaze outward after recent troubles, nearby peoples have taken matters into their own hands. The Sabines and the Aequians are both making bold moves stretching Rome’s attention both to the north and the south.
We had the very great pleasure to sit down with Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge to discuss his latest publication The Failure of Augustus: Essays on the Interpretation of a Paradox (2019).
It’s c. 458 BCE and Rome’s troubles culminate in the appointment of a dictator. In this episode we explore the context which leads to the appointment of this emergency position and trace Rome’s progress as she attempts to face enemies on multiple fronts.
Six – The Musical Warning – this article contains spoilers. We take History seriously at the Partial Historians, in the sense that we believe it is important, illuminating and meaningful. Our lives revolve around it and we have dedicated many years to studying it. However, we don’t think that History and a sense of humour, joy and fun are incompatible with any of this. It was therefore an utter delight to attend a performance of…
For our 90th episode, Dr G and I decided to record a special episode on the Australian Ballet’s production of Spartacus. We were honoured when we were contacted and asked if we could produce an article for Classicum based on this podcast. The finished product has just been published, and so the Partial Historians has finally made it into print. We have talked about Spartacus in so many ways over the years, from film to…
Dr Rad pays tribute to the late and unmistakable force to be reckoned with, Kirk Douglas. His role in Spartacus and his legacy for Rome on film and Hollywood are legendary.
The Romans find themselves on the wrong end of Aequian aggression and its not long before we meet Cloelius Gracchus!
!!MILESTONE EPISODE!! We’re celebrating our 100th episode! Join us for this very special exploration of the Roman consulship.
It is c. 459 BCE and Rome faces the consequences of the Capitol having been seized and a consul killed in the previous year. The challenges come on two fronts: Tusculum and Antium.
Dr Amy Place from the University of Leicester sits down with Dr Rad to discuss the humble Roman toga, fashion and social identity, and everyday life in late imperial Roman North Africa!
It’s c. 460 BCE and this hectic year in Roman history continues! In this episode we consider Rome in the wake of the sneak attack on the Capitol by Herdonius’ disaffected Sabines. During the challenges of wrestling control back, the Romans lose one of their own. The consul Publius Valerius Pubicola falls in battle. This is a tragic loss and opens the way for Lucius Cincinnatus to return to the narrative. Episode 98 – Cincinnatus,…
In this special episode, we’re joined by Liz Smith, who has recently completed her doctoral research of the representation of women’s dress in statuary at Macquarie University. Together we’ll trace the threads of evidence for women’s attire in the Roman world. Liz’s research includes the fashion of women’s dress in ancient representations in order to investigate what we can learn about the representation of women. This means considering how representations of women in statuary were…
We return to our narrative of Rome’s history of its foundation with some surprising Sabines. It’s still 460 BCE, which is an indication of just how complicated Rome’s history is becoming when we read our sources. Both Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus are very focused on the ongoing conflict between the Roman elites and the emerging claims to power from the plebeians. We wouldn’t would to give too many spoilers away, but while the Romans are busy trying to figure out what their internal politics will look like, there might just be an enemy on the horizon!
We take a look at the 9th Tarantino film and its connection to history. There’s plenty to consider and much to question! Advance apologies for the variable audio quality on this one!
The Romans define themselves against this barbarians. In this special episode, Dr Rad is joined by Dr Rhiannon Evans to talk all things barbarian!
Seeing Natalie Haynes Troy Story lecture tonight inspired a little writing and gentle encouragements to read A Thousand Ships 🙂
The conflict between patricians and plebeians continues apace as we explore the political complexities of 460 BCE. Much like a Jane Austen novel, letters and rumours abound in the fair city of Rome… According to the annalist tradition, debate continues to rage about the proposal for clarity around laws and the idea of equality before the law. This leads to an unusual situation: the tribunes from the previous year return to continue pushing for these…
The complex relationship between the patricians and plebeians is central to our appreciation of the 460s BCE. In this episode we’ll get to consider the complexities first hand with the entrance of Caeso Quinctius (remember this name, he’s going places!). We jump back into the narrative history of c. 461 BCE with our guides of the moment, Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Both are writing long after these events, which means that their accounts leave…
We return to Rome’s narrative from the founding of City. The year c. 462 BCE ends on a high note with the consuls both gathering honours for their military exploits. L. Lucretius Tricipitinus is awarded a triumph for his successes against the Aequii while T. Veturius Geminus scores an ovatio for his part against the Volscii. As for the title of this episode—’Flesh Rains Down Upon Thee’— well, we wouldn’t want to spoil it, but…
We return to the fray with the most excellent Rob and Jaime to tackle Dr Radness’ favourite emperor. How will Tiberius fare against the criteria of Totalus Rankium? We’re about to find out! How are we judging Tiberius? Oooo better not to ask me, Dr G, author of this post, because I’m too much of an Augustan fan-girl to answer this question. Okay, okay, here’s how it will work. We’ll discuss Tiberius’ life and career…
Rome emerges from the year of pestilence and moves straight on to divide and conquer. While this seems implausible, we’re still navigating the tricky gaps in our annalist historians – uncertainty is the name of the historical game at this stage. Welcome to c. 462 BCE! The pestilence ensured the death of both consuls of c. 463 BCE so it’s only after a series of interreges that we stumble into the new consular year. Join…
We sat down recently with Stephen Guerra, the host of the History of the Papacy Podcast to talk all about the classic 1951 sword-and-sandals film Quo Vadis.
We’re very excited to bring you a special episode where we sit down with Cam from The Life of Caesar podcast! We’re talking about Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus or ‘Tibbo’ as he’s affectionately known.
We’re jumping back into the narrative. The title might be a bit of a giveaway, yes yes, we’ll be talking about … pestilence! But before we get there we need to consider the circumstances. Rome has been having lots of problems with their neighbours, particularly the Aequians and we’ve seen a shift in tactics from Aequians engaging in guerilla style raiding to seeking out the Romans in pitched battle. To say that Rome has been…
In this special episode we get together with Rob and Jamie from Totalus Rankium to discuss Augustus – hear all the highs and lows here!
In this episode, we dip in the years c. 466-4 BCE to explore the continuing conflict between Rome, the Aequians, and the Volscians. These years are packed with drama, politics, and virtus!
This is a short blog post designed to accompany the release of the recent History by Hollywood podcast episode that features Dr Rad, which you can listen to HERE. Before the Blacklist In the mid-1920s, a young man from Grand Junction moved to L.A. with his family. For nearly a decade, he struggled to contribute to the family coffers, working in a bakery and dabbling in low-level criminal activities. This decade made him particularly aware of…
We had the great pleasure to talk about podcasting the classics in San Diego in early January. It was the sesquicentennial meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (formerly known as the American Philological Association) and the conference is held jointly with the Archaeological Institute of America. The AIA/SCS conference is a large gathering of academics, postgraduates, and teachers, with not only talks but a range of special events. This year the key note speaker…
We are turning 90, which seems like a good time to take a break and go to the ballet. The Doctors are talking about Spartacus in tights this episode. The ballet version of Spartacus’ life is especially interesting as the production emerged from the other side of the Cold War. Everybody Loves Spartacus – especially the Soviets! The history of the slave revolt was reconsidered a number of times during the turbulent early 20th century…
We’re turning 90 and it’s time for a special episode on the reception of Spartacus! What better way to do this than to examine the history of Spartacus, the ballet. Dr Rad is our expert on the ground on all things Spartacus and reception. Dr G brings a wild curiosity and a small knowledge of ballet.
The gods have been smiling on us for the past year or two. As we have learnt more about the podcasting and popular history game, momentum has been building. One of the highlights has been our collaborations with TED-Ed. Dr G and I have been fortunate enough to contribute to a few projects on Roman History, such as the Vestals, the Emperor Augustus and the newly released Spartacus. Since beginning my postgraduate studies, classical reception…
We are very excited to share the NEW TED-Ed animation on Spartacus, that wily gladiator. Given their lengthy relationship, Dr Rad is especially thrilled to have played a small role in bringing Spartacus’ story to your screens in a new format. This video is based on a range of primary sources about Spartacus and the revolt that he led against Rome between 73-71 BCE. If you are intrigued by this slave revolt, perhaps you would…
That’s right, our merch has launched! We have partnered with Spreadshirt to bring our logo to life – and there will be more to come. If you are partial to our podcast, wearing our shirts will help to spread the word. To celebrate, for 14 days only Spreadshirt will offer a 15% discount – so hurry! Get those Christmas orders in. https://shop.spreadshirt.com.au/the-partial-historians
It’s a brand new edition of the Partial Historians covering the Early Roman Republic™! And as the title ‘A Fabian Abroad’ hints, the Fabians are back in the political scene!
There’s nothing we enjoy more than some controversy in the source material and oooo boy does the narrative get hazy with the return of a Fabian back in the scene. We explore some of the challenges with this situation in order to get a better sense of what might be happening in the family history.
What kind of drama could follow the career of uber patrician Appius Claudius? As it turns out, those Romans are really all about battle after battle! We’ve reached a hazy period in our historiography where the narratives of Livy and Dionysius start to diverge on specifics; some events play out over different years depending on the author.