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  1. Hi Ryan,

    About visiting Oxford when you're in London.

    You can catch a train from Paddington railway station, which is easy to get to on the tube network. Day return around £25 (return fare). Book in advance and you'll get a better deal.

    On the other hand, you can catch a coach from about £20.

    From train station in Oxford it's an easy and pleasant walk to the museums, and you'll pass a fair few of the old colleges.

    The Ashmolean is central and houses Arthur Evans's Minoan collection plus lots of other good stuff.

    The Pitt Rivers, if you have time and are interested, is a bizarre and wonderful ethnographic collection. You would need to go to the Natural History museum and walk from its main front entrance right through to the back, where a large multi-levelled and dimly lit hall opens out. The collection is organised thematically and you can open all the drawers under the old-fashioned display cases. It's wonderful.

    Entrance to all museums is free.

    You can do both museums in one day. Or perhaps just do the Ashmolean and look around a few colleges, and the town. If you do visit, make sure to go to Blackwell's bookshop (the main one) and go downstairs to the Norrington Room.

    I'll have a bit of a think about other things you can get up to.

    Re Bath & Stonehenge. You can do both of those in a day but to get to Stonehenge I'd advocate
    hiring a car. And the traffic can be terrible on the road that runs alongside Stonehenge itself.

  2. Ryan,

    New listener here. Love the concept and the content. I commend you on such an undertaking... Mike Duncan's History of Rome is my favorite all time podcast and I see you emulating a lot of what he does, which is great because what he did he did well. I like listening to new content in a similar format. Thank you for that.

    I have some suggestions that are VERY picky bordering on the edge of rude, and I apologize in advance for the bluntness - I assure you I mean no harm. My intention is to help you improve! Granted, I'm only on episode 4. Maybe these issues have been addressed.

    Tone of voice. Often you start sentences on a higher note, and as the sentence goes on your tone drops low. While this is just generally harder to listen to, it also makes HEARING more difficult.

    Words. You have a habit of taking many words that end with "ed" and truncate the sound to "t". Period (Peer-ee-id) sounds like "Peer-ee-it". Deleted = Deletit. Carried=Carriet. Again, blunt, but this makes you sound uneducated. Knowing that you ARE educated and clearly well-read I assume it's simply personal slang. Worth amending, if possible.

    I'd recommend doing some research on oration and trying to flesh out what the best speakers do well so you can emulate that. Much of what turns people off is simple things like this, and I'd hate to see your podcast reach less than its full potential due to such simple things.

    1. "Hello,

      I'm glad you are enjoying the show so far and thanks for reaching out to me. So first thing, the overall audio quality of the podcast does get better about the Spartan episodes. I do intend to go back and redo the first two dozen or so episodes when I can find time. I was brand new to everything and had bad acoustics in my previous residence, so needless to say it was a learning process.

      However, in regards to some of your suggestions, my pronunciation/accent saying some words won't be "fixed". It's a regional linguistic habit and just how my speech pattern has always worked since youth. I have difficulty accenting certain letters and for the life of me I can't say certain words "right", or at least what certain "educated" people think is right. I have had numerous complaints on that, and well that's just life. Blame it on my central Pennsylvania roots. If that bothers some and turns others off because it makes me sound "uneducated", then all I can say is that that's unfortunate (and sad) that my dialect does not accord with others' linguistic prejudices and that their perception of education does not extend to an understanding of socio-linguistics. I would recommend to those type of people that they need to re-examine their own biases/prejudices if they're making judgements about someone's intelligence based on their regional accents.

      I realized going into this that my podcast (the topic and my style) wasn't going to be for everyone. But nobody else had done anything like this on Greece so when I left the academic world I decided to put all this information that I had in my brain (and on paper) to good use and keep my passion for Greek history alive in some medium. If the way I say things turns people off, then so be it. It won't hurt my feelings. For every person who complains, there has been another person who has praised the way I speak and communicate. So the lession is that you can't please everyone.

      Anyways, thanks again for listening and I hope that you don't get turned off by my personal rhetorical style. If you do, well I hope to one day turn all these episodes into book format and maybe you can read it then.

      Also, I recommend listening to the most recent episode or two and see if I have made any improvements. It's usually a safe bet to assume that episode 44 is going to sound a lot different than episode 4. After all, experience is the best teacher. "


  3. Cavalry not Calvary! One is a type of mounted military, the other, a PLACE in the Levant. And please, tell us why it has to be ex-cape and not escape. Maddening minor issues with the podcast, but they are so damned grating while the rest of the 'cast is quite good.

    1. I know the difference. But I appreciate your need to be pedantic. I just can't linguistically say it "correctly". Blame it on how I speak, where I grew up, how I was raised, etc. But you obviously understand what I am trying to convey, so if it bothers you so much that it is "maddening" then that is a YOU problem, and feel free to listen to other podcasts. Good luck finding one on ancient Greece as detailed, as thorough, and as heavily researched and laboriously put together as the FREE podcast that I am making, though.