The Partial Historians Posts

August 20, 2013 /

We examine Caligula’s rise to power, the changes his principate means for the developing empire of Rome, and touch on the some of the shocking tales connected with his reign. It’s times like these, dear listener, that you begin to wish Tacitus’ account of this period had survived – could the sources be less balanced?

August 7, 2013 /

We take a detour from the Julio-Claudian emperors to examine one of the women pivotal to Augustus’ family and the future of his family line: Julia Maior, Augustus’ biological daughter. Who was Julia exactly? And why was she important?

July 24, 2013 /

In this episode, we tackle the issues Tiberius faced in his career as he tried to fill the political shoes of Augustus. We consider the following questions in regard to Tiberius’ leadership: What style characterised his rule? What troubles did he face and how did he address them? And what about those stories of sexual deviancy?

July 14, 2013 /

What was Tiberius’ early life like? What milestones mark his political career? And how does he journey to become the princeps of Rome? In this episode, we trace Tiberius’ life from his birth in 42 BCE to the moment of his transition from citizen of Rome to the leading man of the state in 14 CE.

June 12, 2013 /

Our exploration of Augustus (63 BCE – 14 CE) takes a titillating turn as we consider some of the evidence for Augustus private life. With a reasonable degree of historian skepticism, we consider some of the challenges with the source material relating to sex in ancient Rome!

May 29, 2013 /

Octavian, later Augustus, rises to become the foremost politician in Rome and establishes the Principate (a percursor to the Roman Empire). From his humble beginnings being taken under the wing of Julius Caesar, he rises to become the most powerful politician and military leader of his generation. We explore his rise here!

May 8, 2013 /

Sex workers in the ancient world deserve our attention in part because they reveal the differences between our world and the world of ancient past. In this episode, we explore some of the issues on the topic of sex work in ancient Rome. CW: The language and terminology in this episode reflects in part when the episode was recorded and in part the differences in the way this subject is discussed in history rather than cultural studies.

April 26, 2013 /

If you are interested in further reading on sex in ancient Rome, the Partial Historians have compiled a list for your reading and thinking pleasure below:   Sources: Sex in Ancient Rome   Chrystal, P. 2015. In Bed with the Romans (Amberley Publishing Limited) Edwards, C. 1993. The Politics of Immortality in Ancient Rome (Cambridge University Press) Gardner, J. F. 1991. Women in Roman Law and Society (Indiana University Press) MacLachlan, B. 2013. Women in Ancient Rome:…

April 26, 2013 /
April 14, 2013 /

To our beloved listeners: We have decided to postpone the episode on ancient Roman sex on film (although it will come, oh yes… it will come). Instead, tune in for our next podcast on sex for those who behaved (married ladies) and those who didn’t (prostitutes). Until then!

April 12, 2013 /

Dr Greenfield is a specialist in the Vestal Virgins and in this episode we consider the cult in more depth. The trials and tribulations of the Vestal Virgins and their (possible) sexual escapades serve to create interest around the cult in the popular imagination – but what are some the implications for the priestesses?

March 29, 2013 /

Dr Greenfield introduces the Vestal Virgins! These priestesses are one of the stand out colleges of women participating in ritual in Ancient Rome. When we understand their place in the greater scheme of Rome we can start to appreciate their connection with the politics of the City.

In this episode we look at: the background of the cult of Vesta; the role that the Vestals played in Roman religious thinking; and, staying on the broader theme of sex in Ancient Rome, we’ll consider the reasons why these particular women weren’t getting any action.

March 1, 2013 /

For those of you who are dying to know more about episode two, we plan to have it ready in a month.  Our next topic is going to be right up Dr Greenfield’s alley – the Vestal Virgins.  We have picked these women as they didn’t have sex… or did they?  Find out next episode!

March 1, 2013 /

Hello, oh those of very good taste!  We would just like to remind you that you are welcome to use the comments section of our page to leave ideas for future topics.  We want to satisfy your urges after all.  Tell us what you would like to know about Ancient Rome.

February 28, 2013 /

What better subject to start an ancient Roman podcast with than sex? In this episode Dr Radford and Dr Greenfield address the most pressing issue in Ancient Roman history! We consider some infamous exploits and some of the major differences in the way the Romans thought about sex from society today. With passion and knowledge, we discuss, laugh, and spar our way through the ancient world.