66 episodes

A podcast for all ancient history fans! The Ancients is dedicated to discussing our distant past. Featuring interviews with historians and archaeologists, each episode covers a specific theme from antiquity. From Neolithic Britain to the Fall of Rome. Hosted by Tristan Hughes. 

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A podcast for all ancient history fans! The Ancients is dedicated to discussing our distant past. Featuring interviews with historians and archaeologists, each episode covers a specific theme from antiquity. From Neolithic Britain to the Fall of Rome. Hosted by Tristan Hughes. 

    Petra: Rise of the Nabataeans

    Petra: Rise of the Nabataeans

    The assumption had once been that they were nomads until the Romans came. But more recent archaeological work in modern day Jordan is dispelling this myth about the ancient Nabataeans. In this first episode in another two part podcast, Tristan was joined by Professor David Graf from the University of Miami to talk about the early history of the Nabataeans and their close links to the extraordinary ancient city of Petra. A leading expert on the history and archaeology of Petra and its people, David was excavating at the Rose City when Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was being filmed at the ancient site 30 years ago.


    David, who has a particular fascination with the early history of the Nabataeans, explained how he has attempted to piece together information about the Nabataeans from various archaeological sources. From papyri fragments to inscriptions to ostraca to rare coinage. Part 2, focused around Petra's later ancient history, will be released soon!
     
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    • 22 min
    Lugdunum: The Biggest Battle in Roman History?

    Lugdunum: The Biggest Battle in Roman History?

    In 197 AD, the armies of Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus met at Lugdunum, on the site of present day Lyon. If we believe the numbers given in Cassius Dio, this was the greatest and bloodiest clash between two Roman armies in history. 300,000 soldiers were present in total, according to Dio. The numbers are debated, but nevertheless the titanic scale of this clash in ancient history is clear to see. In this episode Tristan speaks to Dr Jonathan Eaton about the lead up to the battle, how Severus and Albinus went from friends to foes, and whether we can really call this the biggest battle in Roman history. Jonathan is Academic Registrar at Teeside University and author of ‘Leading The Roman Army: Soldiers and Emperors 31 BC - 235 AD’.
     
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    • 40 min
    Palmyra: Pearl of the Desert

    Palmyra: Pearl of the Desert

    Palmyra features in headlines today as a casualty of IS destruction, but during its heyday it was a monumental city set on an oasis in the Syrian desert. First mentioned in the second millennium BC, it gained wealth from the caravan trade which moved goods across the desert. What makes it unique, however, is not its wealth but its multicultural, multilingual nature. Buildings in Palmyra featured inscriptions in Greek and Palmyrene and, after becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD, Latin. To find out more about this beautiful site, Tristan spoke to Ted Kaizer from Durham University. Ted is Senior Lecturer in Roman Culture and History, and takes us through the growth of Palmyra, its position on the crossroads of cultures and whether or not it was really subject to Roman rule.
     
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    • 46 min
    Myths of Masada

    Myths of Masada

    In 73 AD, 967 Jewish rebels against the Romans committed mass suicide atop the Masada Fortress. Or did they? In this second part of Tristan’s interview with Jodi Magness from the University of North Carolina, who co-directed the 1995 excavations of the Roman siege works at Masada, we separate myth from mystery. Jodi weighs the question of Josephus’ sole account of this event against the archaeological evidence, and the external forces which may have influenced the mythologising of Masada.


    Jodi is the author of 'Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth'.


    Part 1: historyhit.com/masada1
     
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    • 23 min
    Rome: 'The Eternal City'

    Rome: 'The Eternal City'

    Rome. The Eternal City. One of the most recognisable names that many associate with the Ancient Mediterranean World. To provide a detailed run down of this ancient city, Tristan was delighted to be joined by Dr Greg Woolf, Director of the Institute of Classical Studies in London. From its humble beginnings as a group of villages to the infamous slave labour that we must never forget remained at the heart of this city throughout antiquity, Greg covers all these topics in this eye opening chat.


    Greg is the author of The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History.
     
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    • 43 min
    Besieging Masada

    Besieging Masada

    Dramatically placed on a plateau with drops of 400m to the east and 90m to the west, Masada translates from Hebrew as fortress. It became just that when Herod the Great built a magnificent palace complex upon it between 37 and 31 BC, the remains of which are in fantastic shape today. But the site isn’t only notable for its connection to the bible-famed King of Judaea. Masada was also the stronghold of some of the survivors of a Jewish revolt and, in response, the locus of a Roman siege in the early 70s AD. For this first of two parts, Tristan spoke to Jodi Magness from the University of North Carolina. Jodi co-directed the 1995 excavations of the Roman siege works at Masada, and in this episode she tells Tristan about the archaeological findings at the site, many of which are still visible to the untrained eye.


    Jodi is the author of 'Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth'.


    Part 2, which will focus on the fall of Masada, the myths and the siege's legacy, will be released in the coming weeks.
     
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    • 37 min

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