Wednesday, June 21, 2017

047 - Herakles: From Zero to Hero

In this episode, we discuss the various myths of Herakles, his iconography and the various ways in which he was worshipped, and his role as a pan-European hero

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

046 - Monsters and Heroes

In this episode, we discuss the lives of various mythic heroes, including Cadmus, Perseus, Sisyphus and Bellerophon, Tantalus and Pelops, Atreus and Thyestes, Tyndareus and the Dioscuri, Ixion and Pirithous, and Meleager

Monday, May 15, 2017

044 - Democracy under Pericles

In this episode, we discuss the democratic machinations of Classical Athens; included is (0:53) the role the Athenian statesman Pericles had on the radicalization of Athenian democracy, (6:43) the magistracies, (13:09) the ekklesia, (20:23) the prytaneis, (23:27), the law courts and jurors, (35:20) contemporary critiques of Athenian democracy, and (46:22) the economics of running the democracy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

043 - Imperial Athens

In this episode, we discuss the years spanning 454-446 BC, covering Athens' increasingly imperialistic behavior and the final years of the First Peloponnesian War

(2:28) Following the disastrous Egyptian expedition, numerous cities from the Delian League revolted, including Erythrae and Miletus. At the same time, a famine rocked Attica. This led the Athenians to change their stance in a significant way. (7:58) When Cimon returned from his ten years of ostracized exile,  he and Pericles reconciled with the understanding that he would lead the army and make war with Persia, while Pericles went about implementing his domestic policies. So a five years’ peace with Sparta was agreed upon, and Cimon led a fleet to Cyprus, where he died while besieging Kition. His fleet, though, trounced the Persian navy on both sea and land near Salamis on Cyprus. This lead to the so-called Peace of Callias, effectively bringing the Persian wars to a close. (16:12) Athens now began to act as an openly imperial city. A Panhellenic Congress was called by Pericles in which it was decided that money from the league’s treasury will be used to rebuild the temples throughout Attica that had been sacked by the Persians, kicking off the so-called Periclean building program. A considerable number of cities stopped sending tribute, including Colophon and Miletus, and so the Athenians put down their revolts with the use of force. The Athenians also enforced the use of standard Athenian coins, weights, and measures throughout the empire and laid down a strict procedure for the transport of tribute to Athens. (31:35) Meanwhile, the Spartans engaged in a “sacred war” to remove control of the Oracle of Apollo from the Phocians and give it back to the Delphians and then returning home, along the way spreading anti-Athenian propaganda among the Boeotian cities. Athens responded by taking the oracle away from the Delphians and giving it back to their allies, the Phocians, but they soon found that oligarchic uprisings were happening throughout Boeotia. Tolmades’ army was ambushed and annihilated at Coronea, effectively bringing a collapse to the Athenian Land Empire in central Greece. This defeat, however, triggered rebellions at Megara and Euboea. Sparta sought to take advantage of the situation and the Spartan king, Pleistoanax, marched an army towards Attica. When both sides met near Eleusis, though, Pleistoanax and Pericles had a meeting and then the Spartans marched home. Then, although Megara was lost for good, the Athenians crushed the Euboeans and brought them back into the empire. (42:35) Upon returning home, Pleistoanax was charged with bribery by the Spartan hawks and his fine was so large that he was forced into exile. However, even if money hadn’t changed hands, the Spartans came to the realization that their exiled king was being wise, and so the Athenians and Spartans agreed to the Thirty Year’s Peace, thus bringing an end to the First Peloponnesian War.

Intro by Rob and Jamie of the Totalus Rankium Podcast


Monday, May 1, 2017

042 - The Undeclared War

In this episode, we discuss the years spanning 461-454 BC, covering the early part of the First Peloponnesian War / "The Undeclared War" 

(2:35) The balance of power shifted towards Athens, when Megara flipped sides, creating a wall between the Peloponnese and Attica. When the Spartans peacefully settled with the helots at Mt Ithome, Athens settled them in Naupactus, angering the Spartans and causing further alarm for the Corinthians, who saw Athenian encroachment on their western trade routes. War began on land and sea around the Saronic Gulf between Athens and Argos against the Corinthians, Epidaurians, and Aeginetans. (10:51) At the same time, the Athenians sent a force to aid the Egyptians in revolt against the Persians. After an initial victory, the Persian garrison was held up in Memphis and placed under siege. Artaxerxes ordered Themistocles to lead an army to put down the revolt but he refused to fight against his fellow Athenians and so he committed suicide. (19:20) Meanwhile, the Athenians continued to fight against the Corinthians on land, until finally the Spartans entered the fray. The Spartans, after linking up with the Thebans in Boeotia, won a narrow victory over the Athenians at Tanagra, but suffered heavy casualties in the process, causing them to head back to Sparta. (27:35) The Athenians rebounded and won a decisive victory over the Boeotians at Oenophyta, with the result that most of Boeotia, Phocis, and Locris fell under their dominion. That same year, the Athenians forced the Aeginetans to surrender and become a subject ally. The Athenians followed this up with a series of raids all along the Peloponnesian coast and gained greater naval control of Corinthian Gulf. (35:40) Athens’ remarkable string of successes came to a crashing halt in Egypt, as the Persian army finally responded to the revolt and utterly destroyed the Athenian and rebel forces. As a consequence, there was a whole rash of rebellions in the Delian League, and the Athenians moved the league treasury from Delos to the Athenian Acropolis.

Intro by Ahmet Ozakca of the Groovy Historian Podcast


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

041 - The End of an Era

In this episode, we discuss the battle of the Eurymedon River; Sparta's clashes with the anti-Spartan coalition of Argos, Tegea, Elis, and Mantinea; the assassination of Xerxes and eventual ascension to the Persian throne of his son, Artaxerxes; Themistocles' medism trial and his defection to the court of Artaxerxes; the revolt of Thasos from the Delian League; the debilitating earthquake in the Peloponnese; the ostracism of Cimon and the reforms and assasination of Ephialtes; and the severing of the Athenian-Spartan alliance

Intro by Peta Greenfield and Fiona Radford of the Partial Historians Podcast


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

040 - War Hawks and Peace Doves

In this episode, we discuss the aftermath of the Persian Wars and how the Athenians and Spartans both come to terms with the new state of affairs; the formation of the Delian League; and the political factions in Athens and Sparta and their struggle to dictate foreign policy in the 470s BC

Intro by Rob Sims of the History in the Making Podcast


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

039 - The Greek Counterattack

In this episode, we discuss the tensions between the Spartan-Athenian alliance during the winter of 480/79 BC, their eventual makeup (sort of), and the Greek counterattack against the Persians in spring 479 BC, culminating in the twin victories at the battles of Plataea and Mycale, effectively ending the first phase of the Greco-Persian wars

Intro by Charlie of The Almost Forgotten Podcast

Sunday, March 5, 2017

035 - The Ionian Revolt

In this episode, we discuss the events of the Ionian Revolt, beginning with Miletus' rebellion from the Persian Empire and ending with the sack of Miletus; the internal political happenings of Athens during the 490s BC; the Spartan destruction of Argos at Sepeia; and the early life of one of Athens' key political figures for the next four decades, Themistocles
Intro by Aven McMaster & Mark Sundaram of the Endless Knot 
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Monday, February 20, 2017

034 - Rising Tensions

In this episode, we discuss the Persian conquest of Thrace, their failed invasion of Scythia, and the submission of Macedon that brought Persia right up to the foothills of Mt Olympus, at the very borders of mainland Greece; the diplomatic follies of the Athenians; and whether war was or was not inevitable, at least in the last decade of the 500s BC

Intro by Lantern Jack of Ancient Greece Declassified

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

033 - The "Great King" Darius

In this episode, we discuss the ascension of Darius to the Persian throne; his consolidation of the empire and eastern campaigns; Zoroastrianism and the role Ahura-Mazda played in his reign; and his reform program, with a special focus on his creation of a new script (Old Persian), his new capital of Persepolis, his bureaucratic satrapies, the Royal Road, his "sort of" Red Sea/Nile River canal, and the creation of and influence of the gold "Daric"

Intro by Jeff Wright of Trojan War: The Podcast

Sunday, February 5, 2017

032 - Cambyses

In this episode, we discuss the political happenings during the reign of the Persian king, Cambyses, with a particular focus on Polykrates of Samos; the Persian conquest of Egypt; the failed campaigns in Africa against the Nubians, Cyreneans, and Carthaginians; and the “madness" of Cambyses
Intro by Drew Vahrenkamp of the Wonders of the World Podcast

Monday, January 23, 2017

030 - Herodotus and the Rise of Persia

In this episode, we discuss the life, influences, drawbacks, and positives of the “Father of History”, Herodotus; and the political events of the Near East in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC that culminated with Cyrus overthrowing the Medes and elevating the Achaemenid Persians among the other chief powers of their time (the Lydians, Neo-Babylonians, and Egyptians)

ca. 1000 BC - the Scythians, Cimmerians, Parthians, Medes, and Persians arrive on the Iranian Plateau
ca. 725 BC - Sargon II of Assyria receives tribute from the tribes of the Zagros, the Medes included
708-686 BC - reign of first Median king, Deiokes
705-675 BC - reign of first Persian king, Achaemenes
686-633 BC - reign of Median king, Phraortes;the Parthians and Persians fall under Median control and become "vassals"
675-640 BC - reign of Persian king, Tespis
646 BC - Ashurbanipal of Assyria destroys Elam
640-580 BC - the Persian king Cyrus I rules Anshan
633 BC - Phrarotes dies in battle, Scythian domination over Media
627 BC - Death of Ashurbanipal
626 BC - Revolt of Babylon by Nabopolassar, new ruling dynasty (Neo-Babylonians)
625 BC - Cyaxerxes overthrows Scythians, re-establishes Median control over the Zagros
614 BC - Medes and Neo-Babylonians sack Ashur; Median princess Amytis is married to the crowned prince of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, uniting the two kingdoms
612 BC - Ninevah falls, end of Assyrian Empire
605 BC - Naboplassar dies, succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar II
600-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against Urartians
590-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against Lydians
585 BC - Battle of Halys River; result was a tie due to an eclipse predicted by Thales; shortly after the battle Cyaxerxes dies and is succeeded by his son, Astyages.
580-559 BC - the Persian king Cambyses I rules Anshan
580 BC - plagued by visions that his grandson would be his ruin, Astyages marries his daughter, Mandane, to a minor Persian vassal---Cambyses I
576 BC - Mandane gives birth to Cyrus II; Astyages had another vision of his ruin and orders the child to be killed; his general Harpagus delegates the job to a shepherd who instead raises the kid as his own
566 BC - the 10-year-old Cyrus is discovered and sent to live with his real parents
559 BC - Cambyses dies and the 17-year-old Cyrus becomes king of Anshan
552 BC - Cyrus leads a revolt against his grandfather, Astyages, in revenge for trying to have him killed as an infant; at the battle of Hyrba leading the Persian cavalry he trounces the Median cavalry
551 BC - indecisive battle of the Persian Border between armies of Astyages and Cyrus
550 BC - battle of Pasargadae saw Cyrus routing Astyages' army and becoming sole ruler of the Iranian Plateau; beginning of the Achaemenid Persian Empire
Intro by Alison Innes and Darrin Sunstrum of the MythTake Podcast
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

029 - The First Greco-Punic War

In this episode, part 2 of 2 on the Greco-Etruscan-Carthaginian relations during the 6th/5th centuries BC, we discuss the tyrannies that took place in Sicily in the first half of the 5th century BC at Rhegium/Zancle (Messana), Himera, Syracuse, Gela, and Akragas; the First Greco-Punic War and its aftermath/legacy; the decline of Etruscan power in Campania; changes in the Carthaginian constitution following the war; and finally, the explorations of Himilco and Hanno the Navigator

507 BC - Cleander becomes tyrant of Gela
498 BC - Cleander dies and his son, Hippocrates, becomes tyrant of Gela
494 BC - Samian fugitives seize the city of Zancle at the behest of Anaxillas, tyrant of Rhegium
491 BC - Anaxillas kicks the Samians out of Zancle, repopulates the city, and rules as tyrant over it along with Rhegium
491 BC - Hippocrates dies and Gelon overthrows his sons to become tyrant of Gela
488 BC - Theron becomes tyrant of Akragas
485 BC - The Syracusans force the Gamori out of the city; they seek assistance from Gelon who then uses his military to take Syracuse for himself; Gelon then makes himself tyrant of Syracuse and his brother, Hieron, takes over as tyrant of Gela
483 BC - Gelon forcibly removes the inhabitants of Kamarina and Megara Hyblaea to Syracuse; Gelon and Theron make an alliance
481/0 BC - Representatives from Athens arrive at court of Gelon, seeking aid in their upcoming clash with Persia, but Gelon declines
480 BC - the Battle of Himera (Hamilcar loses his life)
478 BC - Gelon dies and his brother, Hieron, becomes tyrant of Syracuse; their brother, Polyzalos, takes over as tyrant of Gela
476 BC - Anaxillas dies and Micythus acts as regent tyrant of Rhegium
474 BC - Hieron and Cumaean Greeks defeat the Etruscans in a naval battle near Cumae; Etruscan power effectively eliminated in Campania (relegated to north Tyrrhenian Sea)
473 BC - Rhegians and Tarentines are defeated by Iapygians
472 BC - Theron dies and his son, Thrasydaeus, becomes tyrant of Akragas
471 BC - Thrasydaeus tries to attack Hieron but is routed in battle and forced to flee to Megara, where he was arrested and publicly executed; Micythus founds colony of Pyxus
467 BC - The two young sons of Anaxillas leave Syracuse to retake the throne of Rhegium; Micythus steps down peacefully; Hieron dies and his brother, Thrasybolous becomes tyrant of Syracuse
466 BC - Thrasybolous was ousted as tyrant of Syracuse
461 BC - Leophron was ousted as tyrant of Rhegium and Zancle
ca. 460 BC - the Sicilian Greek cities had all broken away from the dominions of Gelon and Theron and had overthrown the tyrants’ heirs

Intro by Guillaume Lamothe of the History of Exploration Podcast

Sunday, January 8, 2017

028 - The Rise of Carthage

In this episode, part 1 of 2 on the Greco-Etruscan-Carthaginian relations during the 6th/5th centuries BC, we discuss the rise of Carthage as the dominant Phoenician colony in the western Mediterranean Sea

814 BC - traditional foundation date of Carthage
ca. 650 BC - Carthage had grown to become a regional trade hub, centered on the north-south trading circuit of the Tyrrhenian Sea and west-east Levantine-Iberian circuit
586-573 BC - the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, sieges Tyre; this wrecked havoc on Phoenician trade presence in the west, which allowed Carthage to step in to the vacuum and rise to economic superpower in the western Mediterranean
ca. 580 BC - the Carthaginians and Elymians of Segesta engage in military hostilities with Greek colonists who try to colonize the land opposite of Motya; fearing future hostilities, the Carthaginians in turn formed a military alliance with the powerful Etruscans of central Italy
ca. 560 BC - the Carthaginian general, Malchus, "conquers" Motya, Panormus, and Solus
ca. 550-530 BC - Mago was "king" of Carthage
ca. 535 BC - Battle of Alalia took place off coast of Corsica, in which the Phocaeans were completely expelled from the island by the Carthaginians and Etruscans; Corsica fell under Etruscan control
ca. 535-510 BC - 25-year war to pacify the island of Sardinia for Carthage
ca. 530-510 BC - Hasdrubal was "king" of Carthage
ca. 530 BC - Tartessos and Gades are brought to heel; Carthage controls southern Spain
ca. 525 BC - Phoenicians refuse to sail against their kinfolk and thus the plans of the Persian king, Cambyses, to conquer Carthage are thwarted
524 BC - the Etruscans are defeated outside of Cumae by the Cumaean Greeks, who reasserted their power in Campania, while lessening that of the Etruscans 
515 BC - the Spartan Dorieus attempts to colonize Cinyps in north Africa but is expelled by Carthage
512 BC - Doreius tries again to colonize, this time at Eryx in Sicily but is once again stopped by Carthage and this time he loses his life
ca. 510-480 BC - Hamilcar was "king" of Carthage
509 BC - Etruscan power is further diminished in central Italy, when Rome overthrows their yoke, abolishing their monarchy and establishing the Roman Republic; Carthage and Rome become commercial allies by signing a treaty
ca. 500 BC - By this point, Carthage had gained control over the north African coastline from modern-day Morocco to the border of Cyrene

Intro by Brandon Huebner of the Maritime History Podcast