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This channel combines two of my great interests, the Late Roman state and the legendarium of Middle Earth. The two topics have much in common and I aim on analyzing these similarities as well as sparking conversation to figure out how much Middle Earth is influenced by the world of Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity.
 
How and why did ancient Romans use myth to validate their power? Emperor Augustus legitimised his rule by entwining his own ancestry with the mythical stories of Rome's foundation, and created a divine aura around Rome as capital of the vast empire. This album visits key emblems associated with Rome's beginnings: the Forum and the Capitoline Hill with its statue of the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus; the Emperor Augustus's palace and ceremonial altar, and the 17th Century D'Arpino frescos of ...
 
How and why did ancient Romans use myth to validate their power? Emperor Augustus legitimised his rule by entwining his own ancestry with the mythical stories of Rome's foundation, and created a divine aura around Rome as capital of the vast empire. This album visits key emblems associated with Rome's beginnings: the Forum and the Capitoline Hill with its statue of the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus; the Emperor Augustus's palace and ceremonial altar, and the 17th Century D'Arpino frescos of ...
 
Spanning a period of nearly 1500 years, this monumental work of history tracks the orbit of one of the greatest Empires of all time. The sheer scale and sweep of the narrative is breathtaking in its ambitious scope and brings to vivid life the collapse of a magnificent military, political and administrative structure. Proceeding at a brisk pace, the original fourteen volumes describe debauched emperors, corrupt practices, usurpers and murderers, bloody battles, plunder and loot, barbarian ho ...
 
Spanning a period of nearly 1500 years, this monumental work of history tracks the orbit of one of the greatest Empires of all time. The sheer scale and sweep of the narrative is breathtaking in its ambitious scope and brings to vivid life the collapse of a magnificent military, political and administrative structure. Proceeding at a brisk pace, the original fourteen volumes describe debauched emperors, corrupt practices, usurpers and murderers, bloody battles, plunder and loot, barbarian ho ...
 
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In AD 408, Stilicho's fall from power was as spectacular as his rise had been. Alaric took advantage of this to invade Italy and lay siege to Rome. The western Roman Empire was rapidly imploding.Nick Holmes
 
In December AD406, catastrophe struck the Roman Empire as a huge force of Germanic barbarians crossed the Rhine. Could Stilicho, the Roman general and hero of two wars with the Goths, save the empire?Nick Holmes
 
At the end of the fourth century, the Roman Empire lacked strong emperors and was ruled by Stilicho in the west and Eutropius in the east. As it drifted into the fifth century it was drifting towards disaster.Nick Holmes
 
This is just to let you know that you can get my ebook called The Roman Revolution, which accompanies the first part of my podcast, at a discounted price at Amazon for the next few days (until 29th September). It focuses on the transition from the classical Roman Empire to Constantine's Christian-centred empire run out of Constantinople. It's price…
 
After its disastrous defeat at the Battle of Adrianople, you might think the late Roman Empire had enough problems already. But in Theodosius' reign, the Romans decided to add a few more in the form of civil wars and a bitter theological dispute.Nick Holmes
 
On the 9th August, AD 378, the eastern emperor Valens rode north from Adrianople to give battle to the Goths. The outcome of this conflict would prove decisive in the history of the fall of the Roman Empire.Nick Holmes
 
In the summer of AD 376, a vast mass of Goths, maybe 200,000 men, women and children, appeared on the river Danube, begging for asylum. They were fleeing from the Huns. The eastern emperor, Valens, was at that moment preparing for war against the Persians. What should he do? The next few years would prove decisive for the future of the Roman Empire…
 
In AD 376, a huge host of Goths, maybe 200,000 strong, appeared on the banks of the river Danube. But this was not the usual raid for plunder. Instead, the Goths appealed for asylum on Roman territory from a terrifying new enemy - the Huns.Nick Holmes
 
After Julian's death on campaign in Persia in AD 363, his successors struggled to stave off growing barbarian invasions in the west and Persia's new-found dominance in the east. They did their best to keep the show on the road but the cracks in Rome's armour were beginning to show. Indeed, for the emperor Valentinian, it all proved too much when he…
 
In March 363, the emperor Julian led a vast army east to fight Persia. Why did he want to risk his own future and the future of the Roman Empire by taking on its most powerful adversary? Find out in this episode.Nick Holmes
 
Julian the Apostate is best remembered for his epithet 'the Apostate', referring to his anti-Christian policies. But what was he really like and how did he want to change the Roman Empire? Find out in this episode.Nick Holmes
 
In late August, 357, Julian, the new Caesar in Gaul, watched as a massive German army, 35,000 strong, crossed the Rhine to face him outside Strasbourg. Julian was heavily outnumbered with a Roman army of only 13,000 men. But he decided to fight what would become one of the most famous battles in Roman history: the Battle of Strasbourg.…
 
This is just to let everyone know that my book covering the early part of this podcast is now available on Amazon priced at $2.99 or equivalent in other countries. It has 10 maps and 15 images which I hope will bring the podcast to life as well as more detailed written content! Print version will be available to all retailers (not just Amazon) in t…
 
In the middle of the fourth century, the emperor Constantius II faced not just a revitalised Persia in the east, but the agony of civil war as Magnentius, a popular general in the Rhine army, seized power in the west.Nick Holmes
 
After Constantine's death, political instability returned to the Roman Empire as his three sons jostled for power. But just as disturbing was the resurgence of a powerful Persia led by the formidable new King of Kings, Shapur II.Nick Holmes
 
Constantine's reign was a watershed moment for the Roman Empire - with his conversion to Christianity and the founding of Constantinople. But what happened when he died? Find out in this episode!Nick Holmes
 
If you'd met a fourth century Roman and asked them what they thought of their emperor, Constantine, you might have expected them to talk about Christianity or Constantinople, but instead, they would probably have shown you a gold coin called the 'Solidus' which was to become the dollar of both the ancient and medieval worlds.…
 
The Emperor Constantine is probably best remembered for his conversion to Christianity. But his founding of the city of Constantinople was another landmark event that was to shape the entire future of the Roman Empire.Nick Holmes
 
The Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity shortly before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312 is seen as a landmark event in not just the history of the Roman Empire but of Christianity, and indeed of the entire world. But what really happened? Find out in this episode.Nick Holmes
 
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Roman Empire was the rapid rise of Christianity in the late third and fourth centuries. While much attention has been focused on the roles of emperors, like Diocletian, who persecuted the Christians, and Constantine, who championed them, in this episode, we'll look at one of the questions which has always p…
 
In the late third century, the Roman Empire was changing rapidly. Civil war had done much to contribute to its near destruction. Now, the radical Emperor Diocletian came up with an innovative solution for this - the Tetrarchy. He also decided to confront a strange new religion that was increasingly a threat to the traditional Roman gods - Christian…
 
Diocletian's greatest innovation may sound mundane but it was to form the basis of the financial strength of the Roman and Byzantine Empires for centuries to come. It was the reform of the Roman tax system.Nick Holmes
 
In AD 284, a new Emperor seized the purple. His name was Diocletianus, or Diocletian, as he is better known to us. He had a new vision of the Empire which was as revolutionary as that of Augustus, three hundred years before.Nick Holmes
 
In AD 272, the Emperor Aurelian's eastern offensive was in full swing. His army recaptured Antioch while, in the south, the Roman navy reconquered Egypt. But Palmyra was far from finished and great battles were still to be fought.Nick Holmes
 
In the AD 270s, the Roman Empire was fighting for its life. But the Emperor Aurelian was one of the best generals in Rome's history. He managed to defeat a German invasion of Italy and then pushed the Goths back over the Danube. He was now ready to turn east to face the might of Palmyra.Nick Holmes
 
When Claudius Gothicus died of the plague in AD270, it seemed as if the Roman fight back against the barbarian invasions might be stalled. But his deputy, Aurelian, quickly assumed the purple and led the Roman armies to even greater glories.Nick Holmes
 
In the late AD 260s, under the leadership of the soldier-Emperor, Claudius 'Gothicus', the Roman army started to turn the tide against its enemies. So, how and why had the Roman army changed? Find out in this episode!Nick Holmes
 
We've now reached one of the most exciting parts of Roman history. With the break-up of the Roman Empire in the AD 260s, the situation looked extremely bleak. But this was the catalyst for revolution, and the emergence of a new breed of tough soldier-Emperors who would save the Empire.Nick Holmes
 
One of the most fascinating parts of Roman history is the little known "Fall before the Fall". This was the period from around AD 250 to 275 when the Roman Empire broke up into three separate parts. It was a close-run thing if the empire would survive. Find out more here!Nick Holmes
 
The decline of the Roman Empire was not only due to barbarian invasions and civil war. In the second century AD, it was hit by the first pandemic known in human history: the Antonine Plague. Was it germs rather than Germans that brought down the empire?Nick Holmes
 
More than any other Germanic tribe, the Goths would dominate Roman history from the third to the sixth centuries. In this episode, we hear how they were the first of Rome's many enemies to precipitate the crisis of the third century.Nick Holmes
 
The third century was a time of crisis for the Roman Empire. Not only was Persia revived by the Sasanians but, in the West, the Germans posed a far greater threat than ever before. Find out why in this episode!Nick Holmes
 
In the third century, Rome faced a reinvigorated Persia, led by the Sasanian dynasty. In 260 AD, the Roman Emperor Valerian was defeated and captured. Allegedly, the Persian King used him as a footstool to mount his horse before flaying him and displaying his skin in his palace. How did the Sasanians triumph over the Romans? Find out in this episod…
 
Tacitus wrote that the Year of the Four Emperors, in 68-69AD, revealed "The Secret of the Empire." It was a secret that would lead to the near collapse of the Roman Empire in the third century. Find out in this episode what that secret was!Nick Holmes
 
Marcus Aurelius was the last of the 'Good Emperors'. His son, Commodus, proved to be the exact opposite of his father. A bloodthirsty tyrant, his reign is often seen as marking the beginning of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.Nick Holmes
 
Augustus' Roman Empire produced over two hundred years of peace in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It was called the 'Pax Romana', or Roman Peace. It has never been achieved before or since. So, how did the Romans do it? Find out in this episode.Nick Holmes
 
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