33 episodes

Barbarians, political breakdown, economic collapse, mass migration, pillaging and plunder. The fall of the Roman Empire has been studied for years, but genetics, climate science, forensic science, network models, and globalization studies have reshaped our understanding of one of the most important events in human history. PhD historian and specialist Patrick Wyman brings the cutting edge of history to listeners in plain, relatable English.

The Fall of Rome Podcast Wondery

    • History

Barbarians, political breakdown, economic collapse, mass migration, pillaging and plunder. The fall of the Roman Empire has been studied for years, but genetics, climate science, forensic science, network models, and globalization studies have reshaped our understanding of one of the most important events in human history. PhD historian and specialist Patrick Wyman brings the cutting edge of history to listeners in plain, relatable English.

    Interview: Historian Kyle Harper on Disease, Climate and the Fall of the Roman Empire

    Interview: Historian Kyle Harper on Disease, Climate and the Fall of the Roman Empire

    How did a changing climate and plague play into the fall of the Roman Empire? I'm joined by Kyle Harper, Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma, to discuss his important new book The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire.

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    • 38 min
    Tides of History: Natural Disasters and the End of the Roman Empire

    Tides of History: Natural Disasters and the End of the Roman Empire

    Justinian was the last great Roman emperor, but his reign was plagued by disasters beyond his control: volcanic eruptions, a changing climate, and a plague of epic proportions. Those disasters created a turning point that we can, with good reason, call the end of the Roman Empire.

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    • 43 min
    Tides of History: Justinian the Great and the Reconquest of the Western Empire

    Tides of History: Justinian the Great and the Reconquest of the Western Empire

    Justinian is one of the defining figures of the Roman Empire. In many ways, he marks the boundary between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In this episode, we explore his ambitious reform program and his reconquest of the lost provinces of the West.

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    • 46 min
    Tides of History: How the Eastern Roman Empire Survived Attila the Hun and the Disastrous Fifth Century

    Tides of History: How the Eastern Roman Empire Survived Attila the Hun and the Disastrous Fifth Century

    While the western half of the Roman Empire was collapsing, the east managed to weather the storm of the disastrous fifth century. In this episode, we examine how and why it survived Attila the Hun and a host of other problems through the eyes of a family of soldiers and bureaucrats.

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    • 50 min
    Tides of History: Why Didn't The Eastern Empire Fall?

    Tides of History: Why Didn't The Eastern Empire Fall?

    When we talk about the fall of the Roman Empire, we're only talking about the western half - France, Spain, Italy, North Africa, and Britain. The eastern half of the Roman Empire survived the disastrous fifth century and would last in one form or another until 1453. What was so special about the eastern half of the Roman Empire, and how did it avoid the fate of its western cousin?

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    • 40 min
    Tides of History: How Latin Became the Romance Languages

    Tides of History: How Latin Became the Romance Languages

    How did Latin splinter into the Romance languages? In this episode, we explore how Latin transformed from a single, widely dispersed language into a series - French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and so on - of related but no longer mutually intelligible tongues.

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    • 50 min

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