“Rome… at its most decadent, had never thought of hiring an actor to go through the motions of being an emperor while the Praetorian Guard ruled.”
— Gore Vidal
— Gore Vidal
Episode 7 -- "Washington Wore a Toga."
Our founding fathers and the Roman's have more in common than you think.
Episode 8 -- "Ancient Troy, Graphic Novels and Brad Pitt?".
Interview with Mr. Eric Shanower the writer and illustrator of the graphic novel THE AGE OF BRONZE.
Episode 9 -- "Caesar By Any Other Name is Still a Caesar. ".
Did the Russians before the revolution consider themselves Romans?
Episode 10 -- "Nothing New Under the Sun. Get Over it."
How different are we from the Ancient Romans?"
Episode 11 - "Who is James A. Bretney?"
James A. Bretney, film director has put together a TV pilot about the Roman Governor Creticus ("The Man of Chalk.") How far is the Hollywood of the now, different from acting in the ancient world?
Episode 12 - Title -- "Venus and Imaginative Archaeology" In this episode Venus (the statue of the goddess) takes a journey across time. Jordan Harbour of the popular podcast Twilight Histories is interviewed (providing us insights into alternate histories of Ancient Rome). There is a book review of "A Guide to Archaeological Field Methods" with commentary by William Glover, archaeologist and historian. MP3 File
Episode 1 -- "What have the Romans ever done for us?"
Introduction to the series Ancient Rome Refocused.
Episode 2 --"Time Travel is Easy, History is Hard."
A look at the difficulties of living in 51 B.C.
Episode 3 --"Stay for the Servile Wars or visit Mother in Sperlonga."
Why did Spartacus turn back from the Alps?
Episode 4 -- "Save Me a Seat at the Triumph, and Let's Throw a Cabbage at the Gaul."
A study of the Roman Triumph. The author Steven Saylor is interviewed.
Episode 5 --"The 24th Shitkickers Were Never The Same After The Peloponnese."
If you talk about the Romans you have to talk about the Greeks. This episode explores the ancient Greek play AJAX written by Sophocles. Included in this episode are interviews with Bryan Doerries, director and translator for the New York based THEATER OF WAR acting troupe.
Episode 6 --"I'm the Emperor and You're Not."
A look at a boy who visits a soothsayer and is foretold of his rise to the Emperorship.The listener then travels back in time (in Mr. Cain's time machine) to interview for the position of emperor. This is the last episode of Season One.
Phone in now...no one is looking.
Thanks for being a member of Ancient Rome Refocused. You are now part of the Senate, and what does a Senate like to do?
TALK, bicker, argue, debate!
If you have an opinion, leave it on the blog: http://ancientromerefocused.org
Don't be shy...this blog site is protected by the muse Calliope (epic poetry), and her sister Clio (muse of history).
Just follow a few simple house rules:
What’s your opinion? What have you read recently? Have you visited an ancient site? Would you like to visit one? What is your dream vacation?
Are you a member of a Roman Legio that meets every month? Tell us about it?
You can do three things...write in to the blog, the facebook group page or CALL!
In fact, phone in now...no one is looking.
Need to get something off your chest on the assassination of Julius Caesar?
Got some hot breaking info on the rise of Augustus to the throne?
Make the call and I will put you on the air.
Personalize your experience. Tell us what history means to you. If you made a trip to a place of 'antiquity' give us a description of what it was like.
History is for the Brave!
Rob Cain has traveled extensively through Europe, Italy, and Egypt. He is a fan of history, and enjoys reading books on the history of Rome. He currently has a podcast presentation on itunes and hipcast. The blog is for the free and open discussion of Ancient Rome based on Mr. Cain's observations noted in his podcast. Most episodes start out with an original dramatic narration written by Mr. Cain. In the podcasts he will include his own unique commentary, and interviews with subject matter experts. Comments are welcome and will be highlighted on the show.
Agree or disagree, but write!
Guest editors are welcome and are invited to submit articles. Please contact Mr. Cain at: Rob@ancientromerefocused.org.
There are some simple house rules:
1. Educate through ideas
2. Share with us what you know
3. No profanity
4. Cite your sources if possible
5. Attack ideas not people
And more importantly if you hear or see something on the blog or podcast that you know to be inaccurate or you disagree with let's hear from you. Don't let it pass by, make a comment.
SO FAR INTERVIEWED ON ANCIENT ROME REFOCUSED
1. The author Steven Saylor
2. The New York Director Bryan Dorries
3. The historian Professor Carl J. Richard
4. The graphic novelist Eric Shanower.
5. Mark Schauss of the podcast RUSSIAN RULERS HISTORY
6. Natalie Haynes, author of THE ANCIENT GUIDE TO MODERN LIFE.
7. Jame A. Bretney, producer of proposed TV series THE STORY OF CRETICUS.
8. Jordan Harbour of the podcast Twilight Histories.
9. James Erwin, originator of ROME SWEET ROME, and Gunny Sgt. (Ret.) "Red Millis" of the CLASH OF IRON Project.
"To Romans I set no boundary in space or time. I have granted them dominion, and it has no end."
Virgil, The Aeneid
"Those that have lived lives of mythological proportion have no trouble relating to ancient myth."
Bryan Dorries, Theater of War (Director and Translator of the play AJAX presented to Soldiers returning from war)
"Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what's going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?"
Will Rodgers, humorist
"Fiction and Drama freely invent and alter...but in the simple history there was ambition, pride, cruelty, ruthlessness, jealously, deceit, savagery and passion enough."
Adrian Goldsworthy, author of the 2010 book titled: Antony and Cleopatra.
"Each age tries to form its own conception of the past. Each age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in its own time."
Frederick Jackson Turner (November 14, 1861 – March 14, 1932) was an influential American historian in the early 20th century. He is best known for his book, The Significance of the Frontier in American History.
"Once curious feature of Roman-British studies must be noted. This is a tendency, perhaps due to the retractable nature of evidence, to create myths."
Professor Rivet, author of Town and Country in Roman Britain. (1958)
"There are gods in everything."
Thales of Miletus upon observing the effects of magnetic rock.
"Whatever was is now."
I say: "What a lovely mound! Can't we dig here?" Max shakes his head sadly and pronounces the word of doom. "Roman."
-- From Agatha Christie's book (mystery writer): Come Tell Me How You Live. A quote by her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, noted archeologist, showing his disappointment of not having a site to dig in his field of interest. Agatha Christie and her husband Sir Max Mallowan traveled throughout Syria and Iraq on field digs.
"History is sometimes a song in which many voices over many periods of time sing yet the themes of war and loss, love and redemption, strength and weakness echo over thousands of years from the treatment of veteran's to the short sightedness of the government, seem to form a rhyme which echos down the halls of time."
-- William Glover, Archaelogist.
"I've stood up on Archilles' tomb, and heard Troy doubted; time will doubt of Rome."
-- Lord Byron
"...I'm curious about things people aren't suppose to see -- so, for example I like going to the British Museum, but I would like it better if I could go into all the offices and storage rooms, I want to look in all the drawers and -- discover stuff."
Rob Cain's sentiment as expressed by the character Julia in the book HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY.
"One of the best parts of my research is going to the British Library, pulling out an eighth century manuscript written on cowhide [vellum], and realizing your are literally the first person to read it in a 1000 years."
Michael Penn from Mount Holyoke College.
"The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."
Harry Truman, U.S. President
"History can only live if one recovers its strangeness, its singularity, even its shock.."
"History is a Rorschack Test people, what you see when you look at it tells you as much about yourself as it does about the past."
from the novel Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
1. Ghosts of Vesuvius by Charles Pellegrino. Sub title: A new look at the last days of Pompeii, how towers fall, and other strange connections. Copyright 2004.
2. A.D.62: Pompeii by Rebecca East. A book about a time traveler and her experiences back in ancient Pompeii. Copyright 2003.
3. Spartacus by Howard Fast. Copyright 1951.
4. The Triumph of Caesar by Steven Saylor. Copyright 2008.
5. Achilles In Vietnam by Jonathan Shay, M.D., PH.D., Copyright 1994.
6. Legionary: The Roman Soldier's 'unofficial' Manual by Philip Matyszak.
7. Empire by Steven Saylor, Copyright 2010.
8. The Age of Bronze Series by Eric Shanower, Graphic Novels on Ancient Troy.
9. The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips, Random House, Copyright 2004.
10. The Ancient Guide to Modern Life by Natalie Haynes.
FROM THE ANNE IS THE MAN BLOG SITE:
Ancient Rome Refocused is a new history podcast that deserves the highest acclaim. This podcast seems to be about Roman history, but in fact is about much more. This is because it is a podcast both of history narrative, which obviously is concentrated on Rome, and of history musings. On account of the last quality, already, the podcast has been widely compared with Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. I would also like to compare the show with Nate DiMeo's Memory Palace.
Host and maker of the podcast Rob Cain is off on a magnificent start with his series and even now, three episodes into the feed, we must grant him his own ground and assure that he is making something unique, something very good and in addition to that, I am absolutely sure, the history podcast audience is going to adore. The comparisons with Dan Carlin and Nate DiMeo serve here only as a characterization and not as some example of what Cain is trying to emulate. Cain combines the history musings, like Dan Carlin, with the astonishing narrative qualities of Nate DiMeo. Cain is telling Roman history with a quality of narrative immediacy that equals the impressive standard of DiMeo's Memory Palace and continues to engage in thoughts about that history in the compelling way of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. Thus he establishes an impressive combination of styles that both work extremely well in podcast and he does so with his own voice, his own style that bears only comparison, but not similarity with the mentioned predecessors.
First of all, I'd simply urge you to go and listen without letting me spoil the surprises in particular and the fun in general (feed). Allow me to highlight just these three identifiers for the first three issues. The first makes excellent use of Monty Python's scene in Life of Brian 'What have the Romans ever done for us'. The second lays out the basics of the Roman reality by projecting time travel. The third delivers a subtle expose on slavery in Rome (that dwarfs Dan Carlin's adventure into slavery) which is both history, audio drama, a poignant contemporary critique of low wage labor and prostitution as well as the most balanced analysis of Spartacus' slave revolt I have encountered ever. With even more lines to current times.
Even if Rob Cain stops now, he has produced a podcast classic. The idea he is about to deliver a fourth, and likely more episodes has me both reel in anticipation and yet also a bit worried: can he keep up with the towering standard he has set off with?
Click here to go to the review on Anne is the Man Blog Site.
FROM THE FORGOTTEN CLASSICS BLOG SITE:
Walk This [Roman] Way
I did make one hypothesis while I was there. Just one. I wish I could share with you more than that. It was something I noticed. As I stood close to the location to the Temple of the Vestal Virgins I could see the collossium. In fact it is in walking distance. It was not that far from the Senate building where the laws were made, and the emperors sat, and I could imagine that when the wind was good, and the conditions right, 50, 000 voices shouting in their blood lust could be heard through the windows.
I wonder what laws were passed based on that sound?
I've been thoroughly enjoying the Ancient Rome Refocused podcast. It has the informality and "outside the envelope" thinking that puts one in mind of Hardcore History (I have a feeling that Rob Cain is going to get very tired of that comparison). Now I see that his blog is just as entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. Check it out.
Click here to go to Forgotten Classics and see the blog site and the review.
From the Teacher Toys Blog Site:
This is a podcast by an enthusiastic amateur. He has a lot to say about Ancient Rome. Since I'm teaching Roman History for the first time this year, I'm finding this pretty useful stuff.
Click here to go to Teacher Toys and see the blog site and the review.
From the forum myextralife.com, posted by 'runtspell'
"Another recent find for me is Ancient Rome Refocused. I can't overstate how much I enjoy this one! Check it out."
From Reddit History Comments
"Like a lot of people here I listen to the History of Rome podcast, done almost like clockwork weekly, by Mike Duncan. But a relatively new one, if you're into Roman history is Ancient Rome Refocused which is a lot more themeatical, rather than chronological, but we're lucky to get a new episode every couple of months."
Comment from Capital Grilling web site:
"If you're at all interested, Ancient Rome Refocused is also a good, if infrequently updated, podcast too. Instead of the History as a linear story of THOR, ARR tends to take a specific topic and spend an hour exploring it. One episode, for example, focused exclusively on the Roman Triumph."
Off-hand comment on Ancient Rome Refocused on a Blog entry on the road construction called 'roundabouts.':
Re: Roundabouts in the USA
by CarpeDiem » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:06 am
I was able to figure out that roundabout thing, and even did a few loops around it (while listening to Ancient Rome Refocused of course!
Blog entry on the No Press Blog site.:
ancient rome refocused.
i like this one because i’ve just been cherry picking topics i think i’ll like. e.g. ‘the first thriller’ (about theseus and the minotaur). have a browse.
On the Average Gay Joe Web Site:
I had thought that Duncan was the only worthy podcast on ancient Rome out there, until I recently discovered Rob Cain's Ancient Rome Refocused. While I've only listened to the first episode thus far, it appears in some ways to be a mash-up of Duncan's with another favorite of mine: Bruce Carlson's My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. By this I mean that Cain, in the first episode at least, talks about the Western fascination with ancient Rome and draws some comparisons between their history and that of modern times. I must say that the 9/11 recordings from NYC emergency personnel were chilling to hear again, especially so close to the 10th anniversary of that day, but linking this to what the destruction of Pompeii must have been like to the ancient Roman psyche was brilliant. This also means to me that Charles Pellegrino's book Ghosts of Vesuvius, undoubtedly one of the main inspirations behind Cain's first podcast, merits careful attention in its own right. All in all, a very commendable start to what I'm sure will be a podcast that I'll enjoy just as much as I do Duncan's.
Give them both a try if you haven't already, because if you love history as much as I do you won't be disappointed.
by CarpeDiem » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:22 am: On the HISTORY OF ROME web site
I agree that what makes Rome interesting is how many of the ideas that formed the backbone of the U.S. constitution were Roman and and Greek (and even British too). The latest episode of the Ancient Rome Refocused podcast delves into the influence of Cicero, Plutarch, Livy, and Polybius, and how the Founding Fathers' obsession made its way into the fabric of our government (btw.. Polybius's ideas of balance of power and government evolution come from Aristotle - thanks to Mike on the tour for pointing this out).
Through battle, triumphs, and high-office, Romans sought immortal fame. Based on this aspiration, they would be thrilled to know that their ideas, or their expression of their ideas learned from Greece, live on in Rome's protegeé: the U.S. and the western world. I like to think of Roman history as a back-in-time continuation of American history. That's what makes Rome so exciting. Rome repsesents where we came from and where we may go. We have the gift of past history knowledge, and that gives us the tools to make a better future.
On Textkit » by beerclark » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:10 am
I wish I could tell you about a good TV or Movie documentary, but I only know what I happen to find on a learning channel when I have time to watch TV.
I will say that for podcasts, I have found 2 that I think are great. They are both by amateurs but I think their passion and their respect for history comes out in the podcasts. They both make mistakes and acknowledge them [and forget pronunciations]. Yet they obviously put in time and effort into their work and I think it shows.
1) The History of Rome: by Michael Duncan - A chronological history of the Roman Republic/Empire. It is based on the rulers [emporers] through the ages with the occasional episode on the culture. There is Mr Duncan's sense of humor inserted along with the occasional veiled joke. He also is very clear on his sources, especially on questionable or disputed parts of Roman history.
2) Ancient Rome Refocused: by Rob Cain - This is more giving a perspective of Rome to modern times. Not so much to compare and contrast so much as trying to tie the two together to make the listener understand those times then hitting them with the reality of the ancient times. One episode was specifically about someone going back in time to ancient Rome. Then questioning the listener as to their current morality & hygiene to what it would take to just survive back then.
I know its not exactly what you asked about but I thought it might be worth mentioning these to you.
The Soldier in the Ancient Rome Refocused Logo was drawn by:
Click here to go to his web site.
This blog site was created by Rachelle Cunliffe and Stephen Merriman at cre8d design.
Click here to go to this web site.