For all Roman ‘nuts’ out there, I have to tell you about a fantastic podcast called The History of Rome. Mike Duncan, a political science and philosophy graduate from Western Washington University, has the knack of neatly dissecting the political and imperial essentials of the Kingdom, Republic and Empire and communicating them with clarity and verve.
His laconic American tones and informal language make complex political intrigue clear and accessible without losing any of the authority. And his apologies if he gets anything wrong (rarely!) are charming and self-deprecating. I think he must be a teacher or lecturer as his talks have the classic ‘introduction/overview-exposition-summary-preface to next talk’ structure.
Although he posted the first episode in July 2007, I only discovered him on iTunes a few months ago and have had the luxury of continuous listening to over 150 back episodes! In between cooking coq au vin, weeding the geraniums, feeding the cat and sorting socks, I have listened entranced to Sulla’s machinations, the Marian reforms, Julian the Apostate, Constantine the Great’s stitch-up.
I’m now at the 390s AD, where my novel’s heroine’s ancestors start altering the course of history…