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Ancient History Fangirl

Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy

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An ancient history podcast run by two Millennial women. Misbehaving emperors, poison assassins, mythological mayhem; it’s like if Hardcore History met up with My Favorite Murder in the ancient world, with a heavy helping of booze and laughter.
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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 www.ancientblogger.com
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A deep dive into history through the lens of jewelry! I'm Melise, a goldsmith trained in ancient techniques. Join me as we go down the rabbit hole of jewelry history, exploring topics that will expand our view of our ancient ancestors as sophisticated, accomplished cultures whose techniques and ideas about adornment are still relevant today. Jewelry is, after all, the most personal and meaningful form of art humans can create.
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Pascal and Jacob take you on a winding journey through time. From Greece to Egypt, from Rome to Great Britain we will be with you along the way. When we started this podcast we knew nothing of the past, but That's All Ancient History Now!
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The History of Ancient Greece Podcast is a deep-dive into one of the most influential and fundamental civilization in world history. Hosted by philhellene Ryan Stitt, THOAG spans over two millennia. From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Period, from Classical Greece to the Hellenistic kingdoms, and finally to the Roman conquest, this podcast will tell the history of a fundamental civilization by bringing to life the fascinating stories of all the ancient sources and scholarly interpretations of ...
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Mer herosner, is a podcast about Armenian history and culture. Every episode your hosts Vic Aslanyan and Mike Balian will be learning about the Armenian rich history by discussing different eras, people, and events. They also invite historians and educators across the world to discuss these topics. The goal is to teach our new generation about our rich history going back 12,000 years. We believe history is the fruit of power, and we cannot allow foreign forces to falsify our history. It is o ...
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The Near East - the region known politically as the Middle East - is the home of both a long and eventful history as well as a much longer and fascinating prehistory. Here on Pre History I will cover the story of the Near East as we know it from the archaeological study of what people left behind as hunter-gatherers turned into farmers, as villages turned into cities, and as empires rose and fell.
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Composed within the first Christian century by a Roman named Hermas, the Shepherd remains a mysterious and underestimated book to scholars and laypeople alike. In The Shepherd of Hermas As Scriptura Non Grata: From Popularity in Early Christianity to Exclusion from the New Testament Canon (Rowman & Littlefield, 2023), Robert D. Heaton argues that e…
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Send us a Text Message. Welcome to another episode of Mer Herosner, the podcast where we delve into the rich and intricate history of Armenia. In this episode, Vic and Mike will take you on a journey through the reigns of the Cilician rulers from 1095 to 1295. We'll explore the rise and fall of this remarkable Armenian rulers, examining the key fig…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! This week, we teamed up with the dynamic duo of Donna Herren and Bree Bridges--writing under the bestselling pseudonym of Kit Rocha. They're best known for gritty dystopian romances featuring queer relationships, why choose sexiness, badass mercenary heroines, and an extra dash of kinkines…
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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 Ancien…
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Personhood is central to the worldview of ancient India. Across voluminous texts and diverse traditions, the subject of the puruṣa, the Sanskrit term for "person," has been a constant source of insight and innovation. Yet little sustained scholarly attention has been paid to the precise meanings of the puruṣa concept or its historical transformatio…
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A vivid and intimate glimpse of ancient life under the sway of cosmic and spiritual forces that the modern world has forgotten. Life: The Natural History of an Early Christian Universe (U California Press, 2024) immerses the reader in the cosmic sea of existences that made up the late ancient Mediterranean world. Loosely structured around events in…
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How was the Roman way of war unique, and what were the virtues that defined the Roman Republic? Are there lessons for modern Republics from the Roman one? Annika sits down with 2022-2023 James Madison Program Garwood Visiting Fellow Dr. Steele Brand, a professor of history and director of the Politics, Philosophy, and History Program at Cairn Unive…
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For two centuries, the Xiongnu people–a vast nomadic empire that covered modern-day Siberia, Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Xinjiang—were one of the Han Dynasty’s fiercest rivals. They raided the wealthy and prosperous Chinese, and even forced the Han to treat them as equals—much to the chagrin of those in the imperial court. There’s not much known abou…
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The contributions to Visnu-Narayana: Changing Forms and the Becoming of a Deity in Indian Religious Traditions (Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2023) deal with the complex history of the Indian deity Visnu-Narayana. This conception of God evolved in various traditions in India, especially in South India, during the first millennium CE. The hist…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! The Lighthouse of Alexandria became iconic in both the ancient and medieval worlds. People began to call it ‘The Pharos,” after the island it stood on. It changed drastically over the years—and so has what it represented. It was built during the reign of the Ptolemies in Egypt, and stood f…
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One orthodoxy of critical biblical scholarship on the Third Gospel, attributed by later Christian tradition to a companion of Paul named Luke, holds that its author was not ethnically Jewish but rather a Gentile of some kind, either a proselyte to Judaism, a “Godfearer” once attached to a diasporic synagogue, or perhaps a pagan convert to a form of…
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The idea of sexual fluidity may seem new, but it is at least as old as the ancient Greeks, who wrote about queer experiences with remarkable frankness, wit, and insight. Sarah Nooter's How to Be Queer: An Ancient Guide to Sexuality (Princeton UP, 2024) is an infatuating collection of these writings about desire, love, and lust between men, between …
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! We're re-releasing this episode because it mentions a Seven Wonder that appears in our next brand new episode! When Cleopatra met Julius Caesar, sparks flew. The daring Egyptian queen beguiled the conquering Roman general—and then enlisted him to fight her battles. Outnumbered five to one …
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David S. Richeson's book Tales of Impossibility: The 2000-Year Quest to Solve the Mathematical Problems of Antiquity (Princeton University Press, 2019) is the fascinating story of the 2000 year quest to solve four of the most perplexing problems of antiquity: squaring the circle, duplicating the cube, trisecting the angle, and constructing regular …
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Professor David Bonagura, theologian and Latinist, has translated and edited seven of St. Jerome’s letters dealing with death and mourning. This doctor of the church consoles his friends in first centuries of Christendom, describing death as sleep, and dying as our journey back home to God. And though the Mediterranean is big and fourth-century tra…
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A companion piece to this month's Deep Dive Wednesday series on Archeological Revival jewelry, the first episode of the Ancient History Jewelry Stories podcast is focusing on hellenistic and etruscan revival styles. If none of those words mean anything to you, check out my video series, Ancient History Jewelry Stories, on YouTube, Instagram, and Ti…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! In our last episode, we took you on a tour of the Great Pyramid of Giza: perhaps the greatest of all the Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one that still exists today. We explored the outside of the Pyramid, the inside of the pyramid, we poked into all the nooks and crannies, and …
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Arjen F. Bakker's book The Secret of Time: Reconfiguring Wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Brill, 2023) contributes to the rethinking of the Dead Sea Scrolls as an essential and integral part of Judaism in the Greco-Roman period. The Qumran manuscripts attest to the reconfiguration of Jewish wisdom concepts in this period. Strikingly, reflection on t…
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While many have noted the general Jewishness of the Gospel of John, few have given it a seat at the ideologically crowded table of ancient Jewish practice and belief—until now. Join us as we speak with Wally Cirafesi, whose book, John Within Judaism: Religion, Ethnicity, and the Shaping of Jesus-Oriented Jewishness in the Fourth Gospel (Brill, 2021…
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Christine Tan argues that the most fruitful way to read the Zhuangzi, if one is seeking political and ethical insight, is through the Jin Dynasty commentator Guo Xiang. In Freedom’s Frailty: Self-Realization in the Neo-Daoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang’s Zhuangzi (SUNY Press, 2024), she lays out her reasoning for this position, offering her interpreta…
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Virgil's Eclogues are a fundamental text of Western literature that served as a model for the nascent poetry of the Augustan and later of the Imperial Age. Inspired by the bucolic poetry of Theocritus, the work uses the apparent simplicity of rural settings to explore complex elements of poetic, literary, philosophical, and even figurative culture,…
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Apart from an opening survey of modern study of ancient Jewish history, which emphasizes the foundational role of German-Jewish scholars, the studies united in Ancient Jewish Historians and the German Reich: Seven Studies (de Gruyter, 2024) apply philological methods to the writings of four of them: Heinrich Graetz, Isaak Heinemann, Elias Bickerman…
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Send us a Text Message. On this episode of the Mer Herosner Podcast, Dr. Shushan Karapetian, Director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, joins Vic and Mike for a very interesting conversation 🎙️ Dr. Karapetian is a distinguished scholar with a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA. Her groundbreaking research on Eastern Armeni…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! Carved from the very living bedrock of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx is shrouded in mystery. Archaeologists believe it’s about 4,500 years old. But there’s a fringe theory—the Sphinx Water Erosion Theory—that suggests it’s much, much older. Join us as we explore this wild theory that comple…
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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 re…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! The list of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World has changed over the centuries. But there’s one item that’s almost always included—and when it’s not, the list-maker has to make it the honorary eighth wonder. Because leaving it out is so egregious. This is the oldest and largest of the Seven…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! It’s our inaugural episode of AHFG Book Club, and we are so thrilled to feature Sunday Times bestselling author Elizabeth May! Join us for a wild conversation where we talk about our favorite tropes, writing queer romance, ne’er-do-well con artist heroes, and why we’re all so into dukes an…
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In Xiongnu: The World’s First Nomadic Empire (Oxford UP, 2024), Bryan K. Miller weaves together archaeology and history to chart the course of the Xiongnu empire, which controlled the Eastern Eurasian steppe from ca. 200 BCE to 100 CE. Through a close analysis of both material artifacts and textual sources, Miller centers the nomadic perspective, s…
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How do we know what we know about the origins of the Christian religion? Neither its founder, nor the Apostles, nor Paul left any written accounts of their movement. The witnesses' testimonies were transmitted via successive generations of copyists and historians, with the oldest surviving fragments dating to the second and third centuries - that i…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is a tragic story of love and loss. In this gender-bent version, author and prize-winning poet Elyse John crafts the tale of the warrior-poet Orphia, her love for the handsome shieldmaker Eurydicius, and the lasting power of women’s voices. Join us and aut…
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Plutarch is one of history's most influential authors: his insights were foundational to thinkers ranging from William Shakespeare to Alexander Hamilton, Nietzsche to Montesquieu. Yet, today his writings have fallen out of favor, in part because the genre he pioneered, biography, has fallen out of favor within academia, though it retains popularity…
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The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki, the monumental Sanskrit epic of the life of Rama, ideal man and incarnation of the great god Visnu, has profoundly affected the literature, art, religions, and cultures of South and Southeast Asia from antiquity to the present. Filled with thrilling battles, flying monkeys, and ten-headed demons, the work, composed almost 3…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! We're re-releasing our epic story about the Sacred Band--all three episodes in one place! The time was the 300s BC. The place was Thebes. And in this place, in this time, there was an elite military force—the best of the best special ops shock troops—made up of 150 male lovers. Their love …
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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…
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In Prophets and Prophecy in the Late Antique Near East (Cambridge UP, 2023), Jae Han investigates how various Late Antique Near Eastern communities—Jews, Christians, Manichaeans, and philosophers—discussed prophets and revelation, among themselves and against each other. Bringing an interdisciplinary, historical approach to the topic, he interrogat…
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How did Psalm 110:1 become so widely used as a messianic prooftext in the New Testament and early Christianity? Part of the explanation may be related to the first century’s Greco-Roman political and religious context. Tune in as we speak with Clint Burnett about his recent book Christ’s Enthronement at God’s Right Hand and its Greco-Roman Cultural…
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Consisting of about 25,000 verses in Valmiki's Rāmāyaṇa, the story of Rāma was summarized in 704 verses in eighteen chapters in the Rāmopākhyāna, which comprises chapters 258--275 of the Aranyaka Parvan of the great epic Mahābhārata. Peter Scharf's Ramopakhyana - the Story of Rama in the Mahabharata (Routledge, 2023) is suitable for students who ha…
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Help keep our podcast going by contributing to our Patreon! The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is not well remembered today. But in its time, it seared itself into the minds and memories of all who saw it. An enormous, glowering, formidable statue built into a temple of otherworldly, translucent light, it was as tall as a three-storey building. People s…
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Enlightenment philosopher David Hume enjoyed a tremendous influence on intellectual history. What did Hume believe, why was it so controversial at the time, and why to many does it seem so common-sensical now? What can Humian thought explain, and where does it fall short? To discuss, Aaron Zubia, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida's H…
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The concept of the puruṣa, or person, is implicated in a wide range of ancient texts throughout the Indian subcontinent. In Puruṣa: Personhood in Ancient India, published in 2024 by Oxford University Press, Matthew I. Robertson traces the development of this concept from 1500 BCE to 400 CE: in the Ṛg Veda, the Brāhmaṇas, the Upaniṣads, Buddhist Pāl…
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In recent decades, the study of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantium, has been revolutionized by new approaches and more sophisticated models for how its society and state operated. No longer looked upon as a pale facsimile of classical Rome, Byzantium is now considered a vigorous state of its own, inheritor of many of Rome's features,…
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Scholars of biblical law widely hold that ancient Israel did not draft law-texts for legislative purposes. Little attention has yet been given to explaining how and when later Judaism did come to regard Torah as legislative. As a result, the current consensus (that Ezra introduced legislative uses of Torah) is based on assumptions which have been n…
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Send us a Text Message. In this episode of the Mer Herosner podcast, Vic and Mike are joined by the illustrious creator and director, Roger Kupelian, to dive into his groundbreaking Patreon-exclusive webisode series, "Warrior Saints." This series breathes life into the obscured stories of legendary warriors whose valor and strategic genius not only…
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Ashoka: Portrait of a Philosopher King (Yale UP, 2024) is the first biography of the great Emperor Ashoka relying solely on his own words. Ashoka sought not only to rule his territory but also to give it a unity of purpose and aspiration, to unify the people of his vastly heterogeneous empire not by a cult of personality but by the cult of an idea—…
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What can we know about the everyday experiences of Christians during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries? How did non-elite men and women, enslaved, freed, and free persons, who did not renounce sex or choose voluntary poverty become Christian? They neither led a religious community nor did they live in entirely Christian settings. In this perio…
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Books about the origins of humanity dominate bestseller lists, while national newspapers present breathless accounts of new archaeological findings and speculate about what those findings tell us about our earliest ancestors. We are obsessed with prehistory—and, in this respect, our current era is no different from any other in the last three hundr…
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In this episode of International Horizons, RBI director John Torpey discusses the past and future of citizenship with David Jacobson, Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida (Tampa). They discuss the origins of the concept of citizenship in the ancient Near East a few thousand years ago and how kinship notions shape the debate on …
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