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Ancient History Hound

I'm all about ancient history and this podcast covers ancient Greece, Rome and other cultures from antiquity. From mainstay topics through to the more niche and aimed at all levels of knowledge I think you'll find something good to listen to. Why not have a browse? It would be great to have you join me. More content, including episode notes, on my ancient history website


Ancient Sicily (pt4). The Sicilian Expedition.
Continuing my miniseries on ancient Sicily I pick up on the two separate incidents where Athens got directly involved in Sicilian affairs towards the end of the 5th century BC. Was it a good idea and what went wrong? Also, an attempt to describe Syracuse using just your hand. Oh, and a highly consequential eclipse.  If you can rate or review the episode or podcast please do. Episode notes with a transcription, maps and a reading list on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).  
39:31 6/22/24
Tyrants in ancient Greece.
Every wonder what a tyrant was, how a tyrant became a tyrant and if there were any benefits in having a tyrant run your city? In this episode I answer these questions as I examine some tyrants from the Archaic period to the mid-5th century BC.  A main source for this episode which I mention is James F McGlew: 'Tyranny and Political Culture in Ancient Greece'. Make sure to rate or review wherever you can. Visit my website for more content and find me on TikTok, Instagram, X and YouTube as ancientblogger. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
28:07 6/9/24
Ancient Sicily (pt3). Democracy & Ducetius.
Continuing the ancient Sicily miniseries I pick up with what happened to the tryant Thrasybulus in Syracuse in the 460s BC. There's a lot of civil unrest and democracy finally makes an appearance. Elsewhere on the island one of Sicily's most intriguing sons, a man called Ducetius, makes a play for power.  If you're listening where you can leave a review please do! Episodes notes, including a reading list and transcription on  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
31:54 5/13/24
Ancient Sicily (pt2). Tyrants and Tragedy.
In the second episode on ancient Sicily I turn to the rise of the tyrants and the changing political situation on the island. Covering the period between 600BC and the mid 5th century BC there is a lot to talk about, it's an episode packed with treachery, conquest and even some poetry. If you can leave a review wherever you listen to this please do - it really helps. Episode notes including a reading list and full transcription is on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
36:12 4/14/24
Ancient Sicily (pt1). New neighbours.
The first of a mini series on ancient Sicily. I begin with a brief sojurn around the island and an overview of the original inhabitants. Then it's onto the Greeks and Phoenicians who founded colonies on the island. I unwrap what form these initially took and what can be inferred from them. If you can leave a review please do! Episode notes including a reading list and full transcription on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
31:58 2/17/24
Ancient Rome's Worst Emperors with LJ Trafford
Ever wonder who the worst Roman Emperors were? Well, LJ Trafford has written a book on this question and we sit down to chat about three candidates I selected from it. This is LJ's third appearance on the podcast and as ever she was fab to chat to. Have a listen and see if you agree! If you can rate and/or review on the platform you are using to listen to this episode please do. It really helps.  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
65:54 1/14/24
The Saturnalia.
It's that time of the year for a look at the Roman Saturnalia. This was a Roman midwinter festival in which people gave presents, partied and even slaves got time off. In this episode I look into the important themes behind it, what was added, what was changed and how it all fitted together. Plus I take a look at what present options there were and the whole politics of gift giving.  Episode notes including a transcription, readling list and other supporting content at Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
37:32 12/17/23
Episode Swap: Roman street food and urban kitchens with The Delicious legacy Podcast.
My first go at an episode swap and it's with The Delicious Legacy Podcast which explores food throughout history.  In this episode Thomas travels back to ancient Rome to consider what the average Roman ate. He unwraps the workings of a Roman kitchen and how the Romans cooked their food. Food and ancient history - what's not to love!
45:02 12/5/23
Night of the Livy Dead VII
In this Halloween special I pick out a few characters from antiquity who you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, or pretty much anywhere. A Mesopotamian demon, shapeshifters and a terrifying trio all feature. You can find previous Night of the Livy Dead episodes on here - just scroll down. For episode notes (reading list, transcription, links and images) go to  If you can rate or review please do but more importantly have a great Halloween. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
21:43 10/22/23
Re-release: Witches and Demons in Mesopotamia.
A re-release of a previous Night of the Livy Dead Halloween special. This one was all about witchcraft and demons in Mesopotamia and how you might counter them. If you enjoy this why not have a scroll through and find other Night of the Livy Dead Halloween specials?  Any reviews on the platform you use to listen are always greatly appreciated. If you love ancient history be sure to check out my website  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
27:40 10/7/23
Bees BC: Bees and honey in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece.
Bees and honey have been incredibly important for different peoples for a long, long time. In this episode I discuss exactly how bees were kept, how honey was produced and what it was used for. I also get into how the bee manifested in different cultures. Episode notes, including a transcript at Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental). If you can rate or review - please do!
33:49 9/4/23
Hannibal: from Cannae to Zama
The story of Hannibal didn't stop at Cannae. Following this victory he met obstacle and success as he took on Rome in southern Italy. In this episode I unwrap what happened and how it all led to his final battle with Rome at Zama (which I also discuss). Episode notes with a readling list, transcription and other useful content is on my website If you can rate or review please do - it makes a big difference.  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
37:09 8/1/23
Magna Graecia: Greeks in Southern Italy.
The Greeks established numerous colonies in southern Italy. In this episode I'm delving into the history of them, how they interacted with local peoples and of course each other. Dancing animals, a drunken diplomatic incident and 'hands-off' pottery all feature. Episode notes (including transcription) on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
37:37 7/3/23
Helots of Sparta
The helots of Sparta were a people who were indispensible for the Spartan state. But what did they do, how had Sparta acquired them and how did it go about controlling this population? Episode notes (including transcription) on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
35:54 5/21/23
Archaic Athens and democracy.
At the beginning of the 6th century BC Athens was in crisis and by the end of it there was a new political system in place. In this episode I discuss the changes, characters and events which occured. Bizarre political campaigning, Spartans, tyrants and of course the new way of politics by the end of it all. It's an archaic rollercoaster ride! Episode notes (including transcription) on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
32:16 4/10/23
The Lupercalia.
The Lupercalia was literally run on on the 15th February in ancient Rome. Apart from the nudity, running and goathide thongs there's a lot going on here. Indeed the Roman writers seem unsure of how it all started and in this episode I play detective in trying to work out how it started and what this tells us about Rome.  I also talk about the festival itself and how it manifested as well as one famous instance involving the Lupercalia. Episode notes at Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
24:57 2/12/23
Romans in Scotland: The Campaigns with Dr Andrew Tibbs.
In the second of two episodes on Roman Scotland the chat turns to the three main campaigns which Rome undertook there. What was Rome trying to achieve? What do we really know about them? How did they differ and what can they tell us in a wider context? We discuss this and much more (including answering some questions sent in). Episode notes on  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
56:48 2/3/23
Romans in Scotland: Fortifications with Dr Andrew Tibbs.
In the first of two episodes on Roman Scotland Dr Andrew Tibbs unwraps the different types of fortifications the Romans built. From the large forts through to the small watchtowers we can learn a lot about how the Roman army functioned in Scotland and in general. We also get to answer some questions you sent in which range from logistics to something much more chilling.  In the next episode we cover the three Roman campaigns in Scotland - so subscribe to avoid missing out! Episode notes on  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
39:41 1/15/23
Minisode. The Haloa
In the depths of winter a festival took place which celebrated the goddess Demeter, the Haloa. It was an all woman affair with drinking, fire and an all night feast. Oh, and rude language was a must. Episode notes on with images, a transcipt, sources and further reading. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
13:23 12/18/22
Rise of the Gladiator
How did gladiators take hold in Rome? Where did they come from and how was their use moulded by the big political events of the 1st century BC? In this episode I get into this and other aspects such as a few myths and their fighting stats.  Thanks to Gladiator Doodles for the fab artwork!  Full episode notes including a transcript, sources and images on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
40:58 12/3/22
Night of the Livy Dead: The Greek Underworld.
Another #NightofTheLivyDead episode and this time it's a look at the Greek Underworld. What was the journey there like? What happened in it and what's with singing amphibians? From Odysseus to Orpheus and a question to consider on hangovers. There's lots covered so get listening (and leave a review if you can). Check out www.ancientblogger for episode notes. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
30:39 10/22/22
Night of the Livy Dead Minisode: Werewolves in Greece and Rome.
There are two main stories concerning werewolves in Greece and Rome and in this minisode I briefly cover them. What went on on Mount Lykaion exactly and how did the werewolf differ from our modern interpretation. Thanks for taking the time to liste, if you can review please do or just pop over to for a piece which links in with this minisode. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
13:30 10/16/22
'Mad Honey'.
In this minisode I talk about two disasters which befell a Greek and Roman army due to something you can put on your toast. How did it happen and why? I also cover a nasty way to speed up a siege and a why there's no such thing as a free camp. Find me at Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
12:12 10/2/22
Artemis with Dr Carla Ionescu.
In this episode I'm joined by a guest expert Dr Carla Ionescu to discuss the goddess Artemis. There's so much about Artemis which is often left in the background so here we look into the aspects and associations of her you may not have heard of. From bloody rituals to a cake based rescue she's a fascinating deity.  Episode notes at Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
81:14 9/12/22
In this minisode I unwrap the sequence of events which befell Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted. Modern studies and archaeology has enabled a narrative to be built of how the eruption played out. I also briefly cover a couple of controversies and myths of Pompeii. Given the situation there is reference to death and suffering. Find my other Pompeii content on a Pompeii page on my website Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
13:02 8/19/22
Piracy in Ancient Greece.
How did piracy feature in ancient Greece? What was it and how did the Greeks respond? In this episode I give an overview from Homer through to the Hellenistic. Why not give it a listen and a review? Don't forget to head on over to for the episode notes! Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
35:24 7/31/22
Sappho's Ode to Aphrodite
In this mini episode I pick out some themes from Sappho's famous poem. But that's not all - I also include a performance of it in ancient Greek courtesy of Seikilo. For more info, a reading list, more about Seikilo and transcription of the episode head over to  - as you'll hear it's had a bit of an overhaul. If you can review or send feedback my way I'd be grateful. More importantly, keep safe and thanks for listening. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
15:28 7/2/22
The Oracle of Dodona.
Over the course of 400 years people travelled to the Oracle of Dodona and asked questions. Some of these have survived and give an fascinating insight into what the people of ancient Greece were thinking. In this episode I take you through the history and background of the oracle before getting stuck into those questions. Perhaps less pig theft but certainly job and relationship advice. I reckon there's a few which are relevant today. Full episode notes and a transcription is available at I've also swapped promos with the Ancient Office Hours podcast, whose promo features - so go check them out! Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
26:52 6/4/22
The Second Punic War. Cannae.
Time for the big one. Cannae is one of the most famous battles of antiquity. Not only did Rome suffer a crushing defeat but the tactics behind the victory have been studied by generals and military tacticians ever since.  In this episode I discuss what happened in the lead up to it, trust me there's a drama at every turn. From dictators to deceptive cattle. Then there's the battle itself which I try to unpack to see how each side approached it and what tactics were used. Aside from the brutality and bloodshed there's a lot to get into. Full transcription and episode notes (with maps, diagrams and a reading list) on Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).
39:33 4/23/22
The Idea of Marathon with Dr Sonya Nevin.
In her book, The Idea of Marathon, Dr Nevin explores the Battle of Marathon from different angles. Not just the events prior to it, but what we know about the battle and how later generations made sense of it all (this includes the modern period). Join us as we cover a lot of ground (historically inaccurate pun intended). There are complaining Greeks, disappearing horses and possibly the greatest canine art cameo ever.  Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).  
63:45 3/28/22

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