Saturday, June 4, 2016

History Made Wonderful! Podcast Review: The History of Rome

At a recent meeting, the group leader gave us some “get-to-know-you” questions.  One was “What’s your favorite group/singer and your favorite song.” 

I answered immediately:  Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and their song “I Hate Myself for LovingYou.”  

But I haven’t listened to that song in months. Questions like this remind me that most people listen to music when they drive, work, exercise or commute. 

Really, I should have said my favorite “singer” is Mike Duncan; my favorite song is his “The History of Rome” podcast.  The podcast was launched on iTunes in September 2007 and was an instant and enduring hit.  I did not begin listening until 2013, long after the final episode was on iTunes, but the podcast was still in the Top 50 on iTunes at that time.

In nearly 200 episodes (179 numbered episodes, some with multiple parts) Mike Duncan guides us from the founding of Rome through the Republic, Julius Caesar and the Civil War, then through the many great and terrible Caesars who followed to the end of the Western Empire in the late 400s.  Duncan did not try to chronicle the Eastern Empire through its end in 1453.

I have read and re-read the Aeneid, including reading it in Iraq.  I love history well told and “The History of Rome” is 70 hours of solid information by a great storyteller.

If you have not listened to podcasts and are interested in history, “The History of Rome” is a great place to start. And the series has its own Wikipedia page.

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