“The contemporaries of Severus, in this enjoyment of the peace and glory of his reign, forgave the cruelties by which it had been introduced. Posterity, who experienced the fatal effects of his maxims and example, justly considered him as the principal author of the decline of the Roman Empire.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B32_The_Fourth_Caesar.mp3
LINKS TO PREVIOUS EPISODES AND SERIES
- ▼ 2016 (9)
- ► 2015 (25)
- ► 2014 (22)
- ► 2013 (23)
Friday, July 22, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016
I wanted to let everyone know that the latest Episode, “Perish in Blood”, will be the last one for a month or two. I’ll be off on Vacation for a while, and generally taking a break. In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying the Severan story arc. Like I mentioned early on, the extended family of Julia Domna was the original inspiration of the series, and I’m hoping to flesh out all the family members as much as I can. At the same time, I’m planning to give a lot of attention to the Sasanids, including their history and background, their conflict with the Parthians, and - eventually - their conflict with Julia Domna’s great-nephew, Severus Alexander. So, look for all that when I pick the story back up in a month or two.
In the meantime, please do a couple things to support the show. First, for those of you on iTunes, please swing by and review The Ancient World. You can just give it a starred rating, or you can also leave a comment, which I always love to read. And second, The Ancient World may be in the running for this year’s Podcast Awards. The final slate will be announced on May 22 at www.podcastawards.com. On the off-chance we are in the running, please do whatever you can to support the show - it’s a great way to get the word out. Otherwise, thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in a month or two!http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Another_Break.mp3
Friday, April 29, 2016
Synopsis: Severus confronts Albinus at Lugdunum, then launches a war against the Parthians. At the pinnacle of his power, the oracle of Zeus Belos reveals his family’s fate.
“The youth of Severus had been trained in the implicit obedience of the camps, and the riper years spent in the despotism of military command. His haughty and inflexible spirit could not discover, or would not acknowledge, the advantage of preserving an intermediate power, however imaginary, between the Emperor and the army.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
“Here is one man who overthrew three Emperors after they were already ruling, and got the upper hand of the Praetorians by a trick…He prevailed over them all by his courage. It is not possible to name another like Severus.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book 3, Chapter 7
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (provinces):
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (cities):
Friday, April 15, 2016
Synopsis: Severus defeats Niger and wages a limited Eastern campaign. While Julia Domna is hailed as Mother of the Camps, Caracalla’s elevation to Caesar prompts a second civil war.
“There used to be an oracle about Hannibal’s death.
‘The soil of Libyssa would cover Hannibal’s body.’
The later emperor of the Romans, Severus,
Who was a descendant of the Libyans, he put upon this man’s
Tomb a white piece of marble to honor the commander Hannibal.”- John Tzetzes, Chiliades (or Book of Histories), Book 1, 801 - 805
Friday, April 1, 2016
Synopsis: After Pertinax and his successor are killed in the same year, Severus’s claim to the Empire is contested by two rivals.
"Pertinax was one of those men to whom no exception can be taken, but he ruled only for an exceedingly brief space of time and was then put out of the way by the soldiers.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 73
“The Pannonian army was at that time commanded by Septimius Severus, a native of Africa, who, in the gradual ascent of private honors, had concealed his daring ambition.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
Bloodline Family Tree (c. 193AD):
Friday, March 18, 2016
Synopsis: Julia Domna marries Septimius Severus and gives birth to Caracalla and Geta. Left behind in Rome with her young children, Julia watches as Commodus re-founds the Empire in his own image.
"The effect of Commodus upon the Romans was worse than that of all pestilences and all villainies.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 72
Detailed Map of the Roman Empire (brilliantmaps.com):
Julia Domna Family Tree:
Friday, March 4, 2016
Synopsis: Julia Domna was daughter of the Emesene High Priest, destined to marry a king. Then she met Septimius Severus.
"Our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust.” - Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71
“The primitive Christians perpetually trod on mystic ground, and their minds were exercised by the habits of believing the most extraordinary events.” – Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the Fall of RomeBloodline Family Tree (c. 182AD):