147 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. 

The Ancients History Hit Network

    • History
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

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. 

    Ancient Kazakhstan: Gold of the Great Steppe

    Ancient Kazakhstan: Gold of the Great Steppe

    Gold and horses! 2,500 years ago, in the area of the Great Steppe that is now Eastern Kazakhstan, an extraordinary ancient Scythian culture reigned supreme. They were called the Saka, renowned for their skill as horse archers and for their elaborate elite burials.
     
    Ancient Persian and Greek sources labelled them a barbaric, nomadic people – a scourge on the ‘civilised’ world. But new archaeological discoveries from East Kazakhstan are revealing a very different picture. A picture that highlights how the Saka were a highly-sophisticated ancient society. A culture that boasted complex settlements, expert craftsmen, extensive trade routes and more, alongside their equine mastery and their staggering wealth.
     
    Now, for a limited time only, you can see some of these newly-discovered artefacts at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The exhibition is called ‘Gold of the Great Steppe’. Running from 28th September 2021 to 30th January 2022, it is the first exhibition about this ancient culture ever to be shown in the UK.
     
    To find out more about the exhibition and what these newly-discovered artefacts are revealing about the Saka, Tristan headed up to Cambridge to interview Dr Rebecca Roberts, associated curator of ‘Gold of the Great Steppe’.
     
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    • 49 min
    Caracalla: The Common Enemy of Mankind?

    Caracalla: The Common Enemy of Mankind?

    Often up there in the upper echelons of most articles listing Rome's worst emperors, it's fair to say that history has not been kind to Caracalla. Whether it was contemporary sources depicting him as a deranged Heracles and Alexander the Great loving megalomaniac or the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon labelling him 'the common enemy of mankind,' for centuries he has been an epitome of infamy.


    To talk through what we know about this figure, and whether he deserves this reputation, Tristan was joined by Edinburgh University's Dr Alex Imrie, an expert on the Severan Dynasty and the author of The Antonine Constitution: An Edict for the Caracallan Empire.


    Alex's Twitter: @AlexImrie23


    Tristan's Twitter/Instagram: @ancientstristan


    The first of a new miniseries about the Severans.
     
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    • 51 min
    Ai Khanum: A Greek City in Afghanistan?

    Ai Khanum: A Greek City in Afghanistan?

    A theatre, a gymnasium and houses with colonnaded courtyards: these are the hallmarks of an Ancient Greek city. So what are they doing in the city of Ai Khanum, far east of their origins in present day Afghanistan? In this first part of Tristan’s chat with Milinda Hoo, she takes us through the structures found in this ancient city, and what they tell us about the infrastructure and origins of Ai Khanum. Milinda is a global and ancient historian at the University of Freiberg, specialized in globalization and Hellenism across Central and West Asia.


    Listen out for part two, where Milinda challenges whether this can really be seen as a Greek city.
     
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    • 32 min
    Alexander the Great's Greatest Victory

    Alexander the Great's Greatest Victory

    In October 331 BC, one of the most important battles of world history occurred on the plain of Gaugamela. Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, had been campaigning east of the Aegean Sea against the Persian Empire for 3 ½ years. Already he had won a series of notable victories and conquered many lands west of the Euphrates River. But it would be on 1 October 331 BC that a 25 year old Alexander came up against his biggest challenge to date. A large army, gathered by the Persian Great King Darius III aimed at stopping the young conqueror in his tracks once and for all. The clash that followed would decide the fate of the Persian Empire and mark a major moment in world history.


    In this, slightly different, Ancients episode Tristan gives a detailed run down of the Battle of Gaugamela: the background to this titanic clash and the battle itself.


    Tristan's Twitter / Instagram - @ancientstristan
     
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    Nefertiti

    Nefertiti

    Very few figures in history are recognizable from their silhouettes, but included in this small group is Nefertiti, one of the most famous queens of Ancient Egypt. Professor Joyce Tyldesley speaks to Tristan not only about the famous image of Nefertiti, but also about the theories surrounding her life, death and burial (no aliens in sight!). Joyce is a professor at the University of Manchester and an expert on the role of women in Ancient Egypt.
     
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    • 51 min
    The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great

    The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great

    In his lifetime King Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, forged one of the largest empires in ancient history. But it was what happened to Alexander following his demise – his ‘life after death’ - which resulted in one of the great archaeological mysteries of the ancient Mediterranean.


    Following his death, aged just 32, his corpse became of prime importance for his former subordinates – a talismanic symbol of legitimacy during the tumultuous period that was the Wars of the Successors. Later still, the body and tomb of this great conqueror – placed right in the centre of ancient Alexandria – retained its importance. From Ptolemaic pharaohs to Roman emperors, Alexander’s tomb became a place of holy pilgrimage for many seeking power and prestige. For several centuries the tomb of this Macedonian ruler was one of the great attractions of the ancient Mediterranean. That was, however, until the end of the 4th century when all mention of this building, and the precious corpse housed within, disappeared. So what happened to Alexander’s tomb? And where might Alexander’s body be buried today? To talk through several theories surrounding one of ancient history’s great archaeological mysteries, Tristan chatted to Dr Chris Naunton. The third of 3 episodes we recorded with Chris earlier this summer.


    Chris' Twitter / Instagram: @chrisnaunton
    Tristan's Twitter / Instagram: @ancientstristan


    Alexander the Great: The Greatest Heist in History documentary, featuring both Tristan and Chris: https://access.historyhit.com/videos/alexander-the-great-the-greatest-heist-in-history
     
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    • 55 min

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