Friday, October 9, 2015

Episode B21 - Betrayal

Synopsis:  Gaius Julius Sohaemus is compelled to help the Romans conquer Commagene.

“Petus…fell upon Commagene before Antiochus and his people had the least expectation of his coming.  He had with him the tenth legion, and also some cohorts and troops of horsemen.  These kings also came to his assistance: Aristibulus, king of the country called Chalcidene, and Sohaemus, who was called King of Emesa.  Nor was there any opposition made to his forces when they entered the kingdom, for no one of that country would so much as lift up his hand against them.” – Josephus, The Jewish War, Book VII, Chapter 7

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Episode B20 - The God of Dusk

Synopsis:  The destruction of Jerusalem.

Shalim (semetic):  Caananite god of dusk and the evening star, paired with Shahar, god of dawn and the morning star.  Root of Hebrew shalom and Arabic salam (peace), associated with sunset and the completion of the workday.  Related to the Caananite sun goddess Shapash, a possible manifestation of Shamash.  An element in the names of King David’s sons Solomon and Absalom.  Original guardian, patron and protective deity of Jerusalem. 

“Before the fifteenth of July all Syria had sworn the same allegiance.  Vespasian’s cause was now joined also by Sohaemus with his entire kingdom, whose strength was not to be despised, and by Antiochus who had enormous ancestral wealth, and was in fact the richest of the subject princes.  Presently Agrippa, summoned from Rome by private messages from his friends, while Vitellius was still unaware of his action, quickly crossed the sea and joined the cause.” – Tacitus, The Histories, Book II 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Episode B19 - The Prefect

Synopsis:  Tiberius Julius Alexander throws Egypt’s backing behind Vespasian’s bid for the throne.

“Accordingly, in order to overthrow John (of Gischala), they determined to admit Simon (bar Giora), and earnestly to desire the introduction of a second tyrant into the city…Accordingly he, in an arrogant manner, granted them his lordly protection, and came into the city, in order to deliver it from the zealots.  The people also made joyful acclamations to him, as their savior and their preserver; but when he was come in, with his army, he took care to secure his own authority, and looked upon those that had invited him in to be no less his enemies than those against whom the invitation was intended.  And thus did Simon get possession of Jerusalem.” – Josephus, The Jewish War, Book IV, Chapter 9

Friday, August 28, 2015

Episode B18 - The Josephus Problem

Synopsis:  Joseph ben Matityahu fought the Romans as a Jewish General before becoming a trusted advisor to the Flavians. 

The Josephus Problem (mathematics):  Given a group of n men arranged in a circle under the edict that every mth man will be executed going around the circle until only one remains, find the position L (n, m) in which you should stand in order to be the last survivor.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated to the TAW Syria Fund Drive.  In the end, we raised over $5,000 to help preserve Syrian heritage sites and support Syrian refugees.  You guys definitely came through, and I really appreciate it.  Big TAW thanks go out to all the following donors (in no particular order):

Patricia Matson (in Memory of Lloyd and Tina Elkins) Parker Newcomb
Kevin McFadden                                                     Aimee Popp
Terry Dillon                                                           Richie Walker
Antti Rasinen                                                         Georgi Petrov
Gnanadeep Kollipara                                              Johan Torne
Rita Mathis                                                            Julie Jones
Travis Anderson                                                     Matthew Smith
Joseph Cigliano                                                      Paul and Meg Strong
Michele Dana                                                         Gary Jones
Steven Diamond                                                    Julius (Jay) Bennett
Brenda Buxton                                                       Colby Stearns
Ned Mastro                                                            Brent Mallinckrodt
Matthew Brauer                                                     Greg Strasburg
Ryan Murphy                                                          Christophe Mandy
Benjamin Amy                                                        Briauna Dodson
Mark Simms                                                           Richard Burgess
Jan Willem van Dalen                                              Radu-Iulian Costin
Brian Collins                                                           Julienne Tracy
Darren Hart                                                            Jared Magee
Heather Jacobsen                                                    Jonathan Bergdoll
Norman Casagrande                                                Jed Joyce
Franz Rivera                                                           Mark Webster
Bart Nadeau                                                           Steven Malone
Peter McIntyre                                                        Alan Barker
Andrew Wren                                                          Bryant Fairley
Carl Thoren                                                            Christopher Hays
David Wallace                                                         Dennis White
Jason Rosecast                                                       Jeff Edelbrock
John Holmes                                                           Keith Binns
Kyle Parker                                                             Natacha Tracy
Paul Ross                                                                Sam Cumming
Scott Brayton                                                          Wim Hance 
Gregory Estey                                                          Gil Elgez

I also need to mention that a lot of you have donated enough to get a prize, but haven’t given me your contact information, or let me know which prize you want.  If you donated enough to get one of the prizes, please make sure you e-mail me at stches@ancientworldpodcast.com with your donation receipt, contact information, and letting me know which gift you want.  You’ve already earned it, now I just need to get it to you!
And now some logistics.  The past few months were mostly about getting the Fund Drive up and running, and the past few weeks I’ve been overseas on a project. The end result is that I’m way behind in drafting new episodes for the series.  In fact, before I write any more, I need to do more research.  And before I do more research, I need to get the Fund Drive gifts prepared and shipped out to all the donors - which I’m hoping to do by the end of July, but may roll into early August, so please be patient!
And I think you all know where this conversation is going.  Yes, the end result is that it will likely be September before Bloodline picks up with the story of the Roman-Jewish War.  It sucks, but there it is - and I wanted to give you advanced notice so you don’t think I dropped off the face of the earth.  In the meantime, I’ll still be keeping in touch with listeners on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you’re following me there.  And if you want an update on when your prize is coming, you’re welcome to e-mail me at stches@ancientworldpodcast.com.
In the meantime, thanks for helping out with the TAW Syria Fund Drive, and thanks again for listening!
Scott C.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Episode B17 - The Valley

Synopsis:  Nero crowns Tiridates King of Armenia.  A succession of brutal and corrupt procurators set Judea on the path to revolt.

“Go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom (Gehenna), which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee…
Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter.” - Jeremiah 19:2-6 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Episode B16 - Burn

Synopsis:  The birth of Drusilla and Sohaemus’ son Gaius Julius Alexio.  The Empire confronts the revolt of Boudica, renewed warfare in Armenia, and the Great Fire of Rome.
“Rome shall perish – write that word
In the blood that she has spilt;
Perish, hopeless and abhorr’d,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.” – William Cowper, Boadicea: An Ode
Map of Near East c. 64AD: