The Fall of Rome Podcast - Episodes

The Fall of Rome Podcast

By: Patrick Wyman/ Wondery

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5.0 (387 ratings)

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Barbarians, political breakdown, economic collapse, mass migration, pillaging and plunder. The fall of the Roman Empire has been studied for years, but genetics, climate science, forensic science, network models, and globalization studies have reshaped our understanding of one of the most important events in human history. PhD historian and specialist Patrick Wyman brings the cutting edge of history to listeners in plain, relatable English.

All Available Episodes

How did a changing climate and plague play into the fall of the Roman Empire? I'm joined by Kyle Harper, Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma, to discuss his important new book The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire. Subscribe to Tides of History today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH Watch the trailer for Darkest Hour: http://bit.ly/2uH7nAt Thank you to our sponsors: Hello Fresh - Take $30 off your first week of meals when you enter code TIDES30 at: www.hellofresh.com Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides MVMT - Get 15% off your order when you visit them here: www.mvmt.com/tides Quip - Get a free brush head refill when you purchase a toothbrush here: www.getquip.com/tides

Justinian was the last great Roman emperor, but his reign was plagued by disasters beyond his control: volcanic eruptions, a changing climate, and a plague of epic proportions. Those disasters created a turning point that we can, with good reason, call the end of the Roman Empire. Subscribe to Tides of History today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH Thank you to our sponsors: Hello Fresh - Take $30 off your first week of meals when you enter code TIDES30 at: www.hellofresh.com Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides MVMT - Get 15% off your order when you visit them here: www.mvmt.com/tides Quip - Get a free brush head refill when you purchase a toothbrush here: www.getquip.com/tides

Justinian is one of the defining figures of the Roman Empire. In many ways, he marks the boundary between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In this episode, we explore his ambitious reform program and his reconquest of the lost provinces of the West. Subscribe to Tides of History today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH Thank you to our sponsors: Hello Fresh - Take $30 off your first week of meals when you enter code TIDES30 at: www.hellofresh.com Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides MVMT - Get 15% off your order when you visit them here: www.mvmt.com/tides Quip - Get a free brush head refill when you purchase a toothbrush here: www.getquip.com/tides

While the western half of the Roman Empire was collapsing, the east managed to weather the storm of the disastrous fifth century. In this episode, we examine how and why it survived Attila the Hun and a host of other problems through the eyes of a family of soldiers and bureaucrats. Subscribe to Tides of History today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH Thank you to our sponsors: Texture - Get a 14-day free trial with access to thousands of online magazines here: www.texture.com/tides Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides The Great Courses - Get a free trial with access to thousands of videos here: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/tides

Introducing Business Wars

02/13/2018

10:10

Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet, or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live.  Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers. Don’t forget to subscribe at wondery.fm/businesswars

When we talk about the fall of the Roman Empire, we're only talking about the western half - France, Spain, Italy, North Africa, and Britain. The eastern half of the Roman Empire survived the disastrous fifth century and would last in one form or another until 1453. What was so special about the eastern half of the Roman Empire, and how did it avoid the fate of its western cousin? Subscribe to Tides of History today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH Thank you to our sponsors: Texture - Get a 14-day free trial with access to thousands of online magazines here: www.texture.com/tides Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides The Great Courses - Get a free trial with access to thousands of videos here: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/tides

How did the Roman Empire, and barbarian Europe after it, become Christian? To find out, I talked to Professor Lisa Bitel of the University of Southern California, a world-class expert on medieval Christianity and Christian conversion.

The Cold War, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life -the words you speak, the ideas you share- can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? American History Tellers takes you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And they'll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind Tides Of History, History Unplugged, Fall Of Rome and Dirty John. Listen to rest of this episode and subscribe to American History Tellers today: www.wondery.fm/aht

How did Latin splinter into the Romance languages? In this episode, we explore how Latin transformed from a single, widely dispersed language into a series - French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and so on - of related but no longer mutually intelligible tongues. Thank you to our sponsors: Hello Fresh - Take $30 off your first week of meals when enter code TIDES30 at: www.hellofresh.com Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides Zip Recruiter - Learn how to hire smarter and get a free trial when you visit them here: www.ziprecruiter.com/tides

Cities were what made the Roman world Roman, but as the Empire fell apart, so did its cities. They shrank drastically or disappeared entirely between 400 and 600. In today's episode, we'll find out how and why. Subscribe today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH Thank you to our sponsors: Audible - Try audible free and get a free audio book when you visit them here: www.audible.com/tides Squarespace - Get a free trial and save 10% when you launch your domain here: www.squarespace.com/tides Zip Recruiter - Learn how to hire smarter and get a free trial when you visit them here: www.ziprecruiter.com/tides The Great Courses - Get a free trial with access to thousands of videos here: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/tides

Cities were what made the Roman world, well, Roman. They were centers of culture and political life, and they were the bedrock that tied together its economy. Today we'll explore how those cities came into being, what sustained them, and what made them so important to the Roman Empire. Subscribe to Tides of History today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH

Introducing Tides of History

07/20/2017

14:03

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme, said Mark Twain. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of the modern world: history ebbs and flows over the centuries, driven by great tides of economic, social, political, religious, and cultural change that shape the world and everyone who lives on it. In this new series from Wondery, PhD historian Patrick Wyman (Fall of Rome) brings the cutting edge of that history to listeners in plain, relatable English. Episodes 1 & 2 out now! Subscribe today so you never miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/TOH

Could the Roman Empire have survived past the fifth century? To answer that question, we examine some other points when the Empire could have fallen apart but didn't, and what brought it back together after Caesar's assassination and the Crisis of the Third Century. Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

Saint Augustine is one of the foundational figures of Christianity and one of the most influential thinkers of all time. He was also a complex and fascinating figure in his own right. Elizabeth Bruenig, an editor at the Washington Post and writer on politics and Christianity (@ebruenig on Twitter) joins me to discuss Augustine's life, thought, and greater meaning. Take the survey at Wondery.com/survey.

As central government disappeared from what had been the Western Roman Empire, the barbarian kingdoms stepped into the void, creating new forms of rulership and institutions that would lay the groundwork for the fragmented, fractured medieval world. Take the survey at Wondery.com/survey.

Roman Britain fell fast, and it fell hard. Into the ruins of this world stepped a wave of migrants from the North Sea coast of the Continent whom we know as the Anglo-Saxons. This migration, a complex and dynamic movement of people over the course of 200 years, rewrote the political, demographic, linguistic, and cultural maps of eastern Britain, transforming it into England. Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

Why didn't Rome rise again? Everywhere else in the world, the appearance of one great empire was marked by their recurrent resurgence, but in Europe it happened only once. Professor Walter Scheidel of Stanford University - the author of numerous outstanding books on Rome and beyond, most recently "The Great Leveler", on the history of economic inequality - argues that this lack of recurring empires is what laid the groundwork for the eventual rise of Europe, the Great Divergence, that underpins the modern world of today. Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

As the Roman Empire disintegrated, northern Gaul turned first into a military province and then into a playground for warlords, some Roman and some barbarian. This episode is the story of how one warlord and one group navigated this environment to become the kingdom of the Franks. Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

Under the leadership of their great king Theoderic, the Ostrogoths built a kingdom for themselves in Italy. But was this a kingdom, and Theoderic a king, or was he an emperor and his new realm the Western Empire reborn? Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

The ashes of the Roman Empire produced a host of new states built on the foundations it left behind. The first of these was the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse, which dominated southern Gaul and helped bring about the end of the Roman Empire. Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

Introducing I Hate My Boss

04/03/2017

22:07

Today, we're introducing I Hate My Boss, a career advice podcast from our friends at Wondery. Hosts Liz Dolan and Larry Seal will help you make the big decisions, navigate the small stuff and get more fulfillment from your work life. Plus, a comedy segment based at the fictional ad agency Penn & Pencil, will help you better prepare for and laugh at the characters you'll deal with in your everyday life. Subscribe today at smarturl.it/IHMB

Taxes, soldiers, and loyalty: these were the foundations, the structures, of the Roman political system. This episode explores how and why they fell apart over the course of the disastrous fifth century, which saw the provinces gradually slip away from the control of the imperial center. Watch a preview of Genius, the new show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, starring academy award winner Geoffrey Rush: NatGeoTV.com/Genius Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

It took just 80 years for the Roman Empire to fall apart completely, from a ponderous but functional state at the death of Theodosius the Great 395 to nonexistence by 476. How and why did that happen? In this narrative, we examine the major figures and events of the calamitous fifth century. Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

The Roman world was more than just an empire; it was a cultural, social, economic, and political space built on the easy movement of goods, people, beliefs, and practices from place to place. It was a broad unity, and when the Roman Empire fell, so too did that easy movement and the world it had created. Take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

The Roman economy was a marvel, the powerhouse that produced surpluses big enough to support huge cities, maintain an enormous standing army, and construct monumental buildings that stand to this day. When the Roman state fell apart, so too did the economy it supported, but in different ways, in different places, at different times. If you have a spare moment, take the survey at wondery.com/survey.

The economy of the Roman Empire was surprisingly modern, featuring commercial markets, large-scale production, and agricultural sophistication that wouldn't be matched until the middle of the nineteenth century. In this episode, we explore how it was organized, how it functioned, and what it had come to look like just before it all went south. If you have a spare moment, please take the survey at Wondery.com/survey.

The Roman army was the central institution in the late Roman world. It had changed dramatically from the classic legions of Augustus and Marcus Aurelius, adapting itself to the much different world of the third and fourth centuries, but it remained a huge economic driver and a cultural world unto itself. Subscribe to Hollywood & Crime at smarturl.it/hollywoodandcrime Check out the new History Matters podcast: https://soundcloud.com/historymatterspodcast

Attila the Hun is the best-known barbarian from antiquity, but the Hunnic Empire he inherited and expanded hasn't gotten the credit it deserves for its complexity and organization. This episode explores how the Huns created an empire that stretched from the Ural Mountains in Russia to the Rhine River in Germany.

North Africa was the most prosperous region of the western Roman Empire, the agricultural heartland that fed the city of Rome, and the barbarian Vandals' conquest of the region was the final nail in the coffin of the Western Empire as a whole.

Gladiators are one of the defining characteristics of the Roman Empire in popular culture. How and why did they disappear? We explore the topic in this special episode.

Gaul was one of the heartlands of the Roman Empire, and it encompassed a tremendous amount of diversity within its borders. Over the course of the fifth century, the region split along its fault lines, with three different paths emerging for its constituent parts. The north became a playground for Frankish warlords, while in the two southern locales, life went on much as it had before.

In 350, Britain was a thoroughly integrated province of the Roman Empire, full of prosperous, Latin-speaking cities, luxurious villas, and all the other trappings of Roman life. By 500, the cities were gone, the economy had collapsed, and the island was split among an innumerable number of petty kingdoms. What happened? How did everything go so wrong?

One of the fundamental questions about the later Roman Empire is just what a mess it really was. Did the barbarians topple a fundamentally healthy, functional state? Or were they merely the straw that broke the camel's back of a diseased, rotten, empire that could no longer hold itself together? In this episode, we discuss just how things had changed between the peak of the Roman Empire in the second century and the beginning of the end in the fourth.

4: The Gothic Sack of Rome

09/03/2016

59:51

In 395, the barbarian Goths rebelled against the Romans and fought a campaign that culminated in the sack of Rome in 410. But were the Goths really barbarous foreigners, or are they better understood as a Roman army seeking a position within the Empire?

In the third episode of The Fall of Rome, we explore the Goths' migration into the Roman Empire and their desperate war for survival against the forces of the Empire. This conflict culminated in the Battle of Adrianople, the worst defeat of a Roman army in more than 350 years. How did a rag-tag group of migrants defeat the cream of the army and leave an emperor dead on the battlefield?

2: The Barbarian World

08/12/2016

49:49

We explore the barbarian world beyond the frontiers, focusing on the fearsome Goths who would one day leave an emperor dead on the battlefield, sack Rome itself, and found a kingdom of their own inside the empire's borders. The barbarian world was tightly tied to Rome, and those connections are what we'll investigate today, through the eyes of a Goth named Wulfila. Take the survey at Wondery.com/survey.

1: Introduction

08/05/2016

46:46

Barbarians, political breakdown, economic collapse, mass migration, pillaging and plunder. In the introduction to this series, PhD historian Patrick Wyman takes you through the broad outlines of the fall of the Roman Empire, one of the most important events in history.