The Ancient World

The Ancient World

ancientworldpodcast.blogspot.com
From the first human civilizations to 500 BC in (around) thirty podcasts
T3 - Thea
Jan 17
Synopsis: Lysias attempts to exercise control through the young King Antiochus V, but a deadly incident with a Roman delegation gives hope to the captive Demetrius. Ptolemy Physcon challenges his brother Ptolemy VI for control of Egypt and Cyprus. “They…
T2 - Megas
Jan 4
Synopsis: Antiochus the Great restores Seleucid fortunes, but his son Antiochus IV sews the seeds of the Empire’s destruction. “On (Antiochus IV), after reading the dispatch, saying that he desired to consult with his friends on the situation, Popilius…
T1 – Nicator
Dec 21, 2018
Synopsis: Seleucus I Nicator forges the Seleucid Empire, and his descendants spend the next century struggling to preserve his legacy. “In Asia, after the defeat of Demetrius at Gaza in Syria, Seleucus, receiving from Ptolemy no more than eight hundred…
The Rest of My Interview
Jul 10, 2018
with Drew from the Wonders of the World Podcast, where we talk about Palmyra, Odaenathus, and (of course) Queen Zenobia. Enjoy! http://traffic.libsyn.com/wonderspodcast/040_-_The_Temple_of_Bel_at_Palmyra.mp3
Just Did My First Interview
Jun 26, 2018
with the lovely and talented Drew from the Wonders of the World podcast, where we talk about the exotic Roman Emperor Elagabalus, the amazing temple complex at Baalbek, and lots of other fun stuff. Enjoy! And please also check out his other episodes (it…
B54 - Efqa
Mar 23, 2018
Synopsis: Monotheism, modern Syria, the world’s first romance story, and the end of the Bloodline. “The oasis and town of Palmyra owe their existence to the plentiful spring that runs from Jebel Muntar. This spring dominates a narrow passage in the…
B52 - Palmyra
Feb 23, 2018
Synopsis: Boxed in by Aurelian’s siege, Zenobia makes a desperate attempt to enlist the support of the Persians. “Palmyra was the last resource of the widow of Odaenathus. She retired within the walls of her capital, made every preparation for a vigorous…
B51 - Emesa
Feb 9, 2018
Synopsis: After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Emesa, Zenobia retreats to Palmyra. Aurelian has a divine encounter at the Temple of Elah Gabal. “After this, the whole issue of the war was decided near Emesa in a mighty battle fought against Zenobia…
B50 - Augusta
Jan 26, 2018
Synopsis: Aurelian’s vision compels him to spare the defiant citizens of Tyana. As the Romans advance through Anatolia, Zenobia concentrates her forces in Syria, and the two sides finally clash at the Battle of Immae. “As soon as the Emperor was on his…
B49 - Nemesis
Jan 12, 2018
Synopsis: Zenobia orders her general Zabdas to capture Anatolia. After subduing the Marcomanni and the Goths, Aurelian makes preparations to reclaim the East. “(Aurelian) was naturally of a severe disposition. A peasant and a soldier, his nerves yielded…
Holiday Break
Nov 26, 2017
So…Egypt, huh? Yeah, that was pretty crazy. And what about this new guy, Aurelian? I can’t quite put my finger on it but he seems like he could be trouble. But I’m sorry to say it’ll be a few weeks before we continue the story. You have to admit I’ve been…
B48 - 270
Nov 24, 2017
Synopsis: Zenobia’s armies successfully capture Arabia Petraea and Egypt. The death of Claudius and his brother Quintillus pave the way for the Emperor Aurelian. “Zenobia began to think of extending her dominion, and therefore sent Zabdas into Egypt.” –…
B47 - Zenobia
Nov 10, 2017
Synopsis: Following the murder of the Emperor Gallienus, Zenobia successfully defends Palmyra against both Roman and Persian aggression. “Zenobia then took upon her the administration of affairs. She was the wife of Odaenathus, but had the courage of a…
B46 - Melek Melek
Oct 27, 2017
Synopsis: Odaenathus declares himself King of Kings, twice besieges the Sasanid capital, and combats Gothic pirates on the Black Sea coast. At the height of his power he’s betrayed and murdered, and Palmyrene power passes to Queen Zenobia. “While Valerian…
B45 - Odaenathus
Oct 13, 2017
Synopsis: Odaenathus helps drive the Persians from Syria and preserve Gallienus’ throne. After his peace offering is spurned by Shapur, Odaenathus prepares to invade the Sasanid Empire. “Had not Odaenathus, prince of the Palmyrenes, seized the imperial…
B44 - Edessa
Sep 29, 2017
Synopsis: After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Shapur, Valerian joins tens of thousands of Roman captives deported to the heartland of Persia. “Going without consideration to Shapur with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, (Valerian) was…
B43 - Sibylline
Jun 16, 2017
Synopsis: Samsigeramus saves Emesa from Sasanid destruction, then proclaims himself Augustus. The arrival of Valerian marks the end of his reign and the elevation of Odaenathus to provincial governor. “And then there shall be a flight of Romans; and…
B42 - Iotapian
May 26, 2017
Synopsis: The revolt of Iotapian shows Eastern nobles the possibilities among the chaos. Shapur’s invasion of Syria drives Samsigeramus to make a bold stand. “As there were at that time many disturbances in the empire, the eastern provinces - which were…
B41 - Samsigeramus
May 12, 2017
Synopsis: Shortly after Hatra’s destruction, Shapur inherits the Persian Empire. Gordian’s invasion the following year ends in defeat and humiliation for Rome. “When at first we had become established in the Empire, Gordian Caesar raised in all of the…
B40 - Uranius
Apr 28, 2017
Synopsis: After the death of Elagabalus, Uranius Antoninus served as High Priest of Elah Gabal in Emesa. From this vantage, he witnessed the birth of Ardeshir’s Persia and the changing fortunes of the Palmyrenes. “Even the name of Tadmor, or Palmyra, by…
You Are Here
Dec 19, 2016
Episode B39, “Excidium,” finishes off the third story arc of The Ancient World Bloodline. We’ve come a pretty long way from the days of Cleopatra Selene and Juba II – in fact we’ve come about ten generations - and now there’s only a little ways left to…
B39 - Excidium
Dec 2, 2016
Synopsis: Alexander marches East to counter Ardeshir’s invasion, but the conflict ends in a stalemate. A short time later, a legionary rebellion along the Rhine brings the Severan regime to a bloody end. “The lenity of the Emperor confirmed the insolence…
B38 - The Last Severan
Nov 11, 2016
Synopsis: Overseen by his mother and grandmother, Severus Alexander’s early reign was marked by wisdom and temperance. A decade later, a Sasanid invasion would test both Rome and its emperor. “When Alexander received the empire, the appearance and the…
B37 - Shahanshah
Oct 28, 2016
Synopsis: Ardeshir defeats Artabanus in battle and claims the Parthian Empire for the Sasanids. After a failed attempt to conquer Armenia, he sets his sights on the Roman East. “Then (Ardeshir) came to battle with Artabanus, killed the entire army of the…
Off Again
Sep 30, 2016
Just a quick note to say that the latest Episode, “The Black Stone,” will be the last one for the next month or so, due to Vacation and a few other things. Around the end of October, I’ll be back with the final three episodes of the Severan story arc,…
B36 - The Black Stone
Sep 23, 2016
Synopsis: Elagabalus spearheads a religious revolution in Rome, but his unpopular rule drives Julia Maesa to enact a back-up plan. “To this temple, as to the common center of religious worship, the Imperial fanatic attempted to remove the Ancilia, the…
B35 - Bassus
Sep 9, 2016
Synopsis: Deception, good fortune, and Macrinus’ failings allow the Severans to retake the Roman throne. As Emperor, Elagabalus makes plans to install the black stone of Elah Gabal in the Capital. “(Elagabalus and Severus Alexander) were priests of the…
B34 - Keepers of the Fire
Aug 26, 2016
Synopsis: King Artabanus of Parthia gathers his forces to seek revenge on Rome. Usurpation and war gain the Sasanids control over the southern territory of Fars. “Macrinus, seeing that Artabanus was exceedingly angry at the way he had been treated and had…
B33 - Semiramis
Aug 5, 2016
Synopsis: Caracalla cuts a murderous path through Rome, and provokes a dangerous war with Parthia. After his murder, Julia Domna is forced to contend with a would-be usurper. “Julia Domna deserved all that the stars could promise her. She possessed, even…
B32 - The Fourth Caesar
Jul 22, 2016
Synopsis: Severus’ close friendship with Plautianus estranges him from his family. In his final years, a rebellion in Britannia provides one last opportunity to shape his legacy. “The contemporaries of Severus, in this enjoyment of the peace and glory of…
Another Break
May 14, 2016
I wanted to let everyone know that the latest Episode, “Perish in Blood”, will be the last one for a month or two. I’ll be off on Vacation for a while, and generally taking a break. In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying the Severan story arc. Like I…
B31 - Perish in Blood
Apr 29, 2016
Synopsis: Severus confronts Albinus at Lugdunum, then launches a war against the Parthians. At the pinnacle of his power, the oracle of Zeus Belos reveals his family’s fate. “The youth of Severus had been trained in the implicit obedience of the camps,…
B30 - Mater Castrorum
Apr 15, 2016
Synopsis: Severus defeats Niger and wages a limited Eastern campaign. While Julia Domna is hailed as Mother of the Camps, Caracalla’s elevation to Caesar prompts a second civil war. “There used to be an oracle about Hannibal’s death.‘The soil of Libyssa…
B29 - 193
Apr 1, 2016
Synopsis: After Pertinax and his successor are killed in the same year, Severus’s claim to the Empire is contested by two rivals. “Pertinax was one of those men to whom no exception can be taken, but he ruled only for an exceedingly brief space of time…
B28 - Bestiarius
Mar 18, 2016
Synopsis: Julia Domna marries Septimius Severus and gives birth to Caracalla and Geta. Left behind in Rome with her young children, Julia watches as Commodus re-founds the Empire in his own image. “The effect of Commodus upon the Romans was worse than…
B27 - Lucifugus
Mar 4, 2016
Synopsis: Julia Domna was daughter of the Emesene High Priest, destined to marry a king. Then she met Septimius Severus. “Our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust.” - Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 71“The primitive Christians…
B26 - Emanes
Feb 19, 2016
Synopsis: The revolt of Avidius Cassius. “There is only one thing I fear, fellow-soldiers…and that is that (Avidius Cassius) may either kill himself because ashamed to come into our presence, or someone else upon learning that I shall come and am setting…
B25 - Discindo
Feb 5, 2016
Synopsis: The overthrow of King Gaius Julius Sohaemus of Armenia leads to war between Parthia and Rome. “For Vologases had begun war by assailing on all sides the Roman camp under Severianus, situated in Elegeia, a place in Armenia; and he had shot down…
Halftime
Dec 18, 2015
Episode B24, “The Yona Kings”, closes out the second story arc of “The Ancient World – Bloodline.” The first dozen episodes – which I guess you could call the “Mauretanian story arc” – covered the final years of Antony and Cleopatra, then discussed the…
B24 - The Yona Kings
Nov 18, 2015
Synopsis: The Macedonian kingdoms of Central Asia endured for centuries before being absorbed into the Kushan Empire. Hadrian’s actions in Judea spark a third Jewish Revolt. “Has it ever happened to you, O king, that rival kings rose up against you as…
B23 - Parthicus
Nov 6, 2015
Synopsis: At the far point of his campaign, Trajan’s Eastern conquests begin to slip from his fingers. “Thence he came to the (Persian Gulf) itself, and when he had learned its nature and seen a boat sailing to India, he said: ‘I should certainly have…
B22 - Optimus
Oct 23, 2015
Synopsis: Silas guides Emesa in its transition to a pilgrimage site. The death of King Tiridates I of Armenia brings Rome and Parthia into conflict. “(Parthomasiris) greeted him, took off his diadem from his head, and laid it at (Trajan’s) feet. Then he…
B21 - Betrayal
Oct 9, 2015
Synopsis: Gaius Julius Sohaemus is compelled to help the Romans conquer Commagene. “Petus…fell upon Commagene before Antiochus and his people had the least expectation of his coming. He had with him the tenth legion, and also some cohorts and troops of…
B20 - The God of Dusk
Sep 24, 2015
Synopsis: The destruction of Jerusalem. Shalim (semetic): Caananite god of dusk and the evening star, paired with Shahar, god of dawn and the morning star. Root of Hebrew shalom and Arabic salam(peace), associated with sunset and the completion of the…
B19 - The Prefect
Sep 11, 2015
Synopsis: Tiberius Julius Alexander throws Egypt’s backing behind Vespasian’s bid for the throne. “Accordingly, in order to overthrow John (of Gischala), they determined to admit Simon (bar Giora), and earnestly to desire the introduction of a second…
B18 - The Josephus Problem
Aug 28, 2015
Synopsis: Joseph ben Matityahu fought the Romans as a Jewish General before becoming a trusted advisor to the Flavians. The Josephus Problem (mathematics): Given a group of n men arranged in a circle under the edict that every mth man will be executed…
Thanks!
Jul 1, 2015
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated to the TAW Syria Fund Drive. In the end, we raised over $5,000 to help preserve Syrian heritage sites and support Syrian refugees. You guys definitely came through, and I really appreciate…
B17 - The Valley
Jun 26, 2015
Synopsis: Nero crowns Tiridates King of Armenia. A succession of brutal and corrupt procurators set Judea on the path to revolt. “Go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom (Gehenna), which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words…
B16 - Burn
Jun 12, 2015
Synopsis: The birth of Drusilla and Sohaemus’ son Gaius Julius Alexio. The Empire confronts the revolt of Boudica, renewed warfare in Armenia, and the Great Fire of Rome.“Rome shall perish – write that wordIn the blood that she has spilt;Perish, hopeless…
Help Me Help Syria
Jun 1, 2015
Ever since I knew the series would be spending time in Syria, I wanted to find out something I could do to try to help the situation there. Basically I wanted to find a group working in the area that I could point listeners to. Of course the problems in…
B15 - God of the Mountain
May 29, 2015
Synopsis: Drusilla marries the Emesene Priest-King Gaius Julius Sohaemus. Rome and Parthia go to war over Armenia. “Our ancestors worshipped the Sun, and they were not that foolish. It makes sense to revere the Sun and the stars, for we are their…
B14 - The Just
May 14, 2015
Synopsis: The divorce of Felix and Drusilla. James and Paul struggle for the soul of early Christianity. “And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers, grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length…
B13 - Zealot
May 2, 2015
Synopsis: The early life of Drusilla of Mauretania, and her marriage to Marcus Antonius Felix, Roman Procurator of Judea “This Judas, having gotten together a multitude of men of a profligate character about Sepphoris in Galilee, made an assault upon the…
A Brief Intermission
Mar 30, 2015
http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/A_Brief_Intermission.mp3
B12 - Antonii
Mar 27, 2015
Synopsis: The death of Tiberius, elevation of Caligula, and final years of King Ptolemy I. “Ptolemy, whom (Caligula) invited from his kingdom, and received with great honors, he suddenly put to death, for no other reason, but because he observed that upon…
B11 - Caedis
Mar 13, 2015
Synopsis: The end of Tacfarinas, and the bloody co-rule of Tiberius and Sejanus. “Then, as the campaign had demonstrated Ptolemy’s good-will, an old-fashioned distinction was revived, and a member of the Senate was dispatched to present him with the…
B10 - Insurgo
Feb 27, 2015
Synopsis: The ongoing rebellion of Tacfarinas, and the death of Juba. “For Tacfarinas, in spite of many repulses, having first recruited his forces in the heart of Africa, had reached such a pitch of insolence as to send an embassy to Tiberius, demanding…
B9 - Germanicus
Feb 13, 2015
Synopsis: Germanicus travels to Syria to assume his Eastern Imperium. “‘The prime duty of friends is not to follow their dead with passive laments, but to remember his wishes and carry out his commands. Strangers themselves will bewail Germanicus: youwill…
B8 - Scelus
Jan 30, 2015
Synopsis: The death of Octavian, elevation of Tiberius, and early military careers of Germanicus and Ptolemy. “Even during the years when he lived at Rhodes, in ostensible retirement and actual exile, (Tiberius) had studied nothing save anger, hypocrisy,…
B7 - Tropaion
Jan 16, 2015
Synopsis: The death of Gaius Caesar, and Juba’s return to Mauretania. Tropaion (Greek): A battlefield monument, erected at the “turning point” where the enemy’s phalanx broke. http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B7_Tropaion.mp3
B6 - Eurus
Jan 2, 2015
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Gaius Caesar on his Eastern expedition. “Tigranes…marched forth with an army of such huge proportions that he actually laughed heartily at the appearance of the Romans present there. He is said to have remarked that, in cases…
B5 - Eclipsis
Dec 19, 2014
Synopsis: The birth of Juba and Selene’s children, Ptolemy and Drusilla, and the death of Cleopatra Selene. “The moon herself grew dark, rising at sunset, Covering her suffering in the night,Because she saw her beautiful namesake, Selene,Breathless,…
B4 - Limitem Mundi
Dec 5, 2014
Synopsis: Juba and Selene begin their rule of Mauretania. “Cato said…they must make no prayer for him; prayer belonged to the conquered, and the craving of grace to those who had done wrong; but for his part he had not only been unvanquished all his life,…
B3 - Ephebus
Nov 23, 2014
Synopsis: Juba accompanies Octavian during the conquest of Egypt. “Thus was Egypt enslaved.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book LI http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_B3_Ephebus.mp3 Octavian Family Tree: http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Octavian_Clan.pdf
B2 - Rex Socius Amicusque
Nov 6, 2014
Synopsis: The early years of Juba II, fostered in the family of Octavian and Octavia. “(Scipio) increased the honor by observing, that among the Romans there was nothing more magnificent than a Triumph; and that those who triumphed were not arrayed with…
B1 - Triumph
Oct 23, 2014
Synopsis: The early years of Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. “And herein particularly did he give offense to the Romans, since he bestowed the honorable and solemn rites of his native country upon the Egyptians for Cleopatra’s…
R10 - The Bull and the Aten
Sep 5, 2014
“I am a faithful servant of the king, and I have not rebelled and I have not sinned, and I do not withhold my tribute, and I do not refuse the requests of my commissioner. Now they wickedly slander me, but let the king, my lord, not impute rebellion to…
R9 - The Flood
Aug 8, 2014
“Surpassing all kings, powerful and tall beyond all others, violent, splendid,a wild bull of a man, unvanquished leader,hero in the front lines, beloved of his soldiers – fortress they called him, protector of the people,raging flood that destroys all…
R8 - The Thousand Year Gap
Jul 25, 2014
“Whilst fully recognizing his enterprise, devotion, and energy in carrying out these excavations, I cannot but express the regret that Dr. Schliemann should have allowed the ‘enthusiasm,’ which, as he himself admits, ‘borders on fanaticism,’ to make it so…
R7 - The Man Who Sold Troy
Jul 11, 2014
“Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty tomb, that it did not contain a hero? – its very magnitude proved this. Men do not labour over the ignoble and petty dead – and why should not the dead be Homer’s dead?” - George Gordon, Lord Byron,…
R6 - The Heroic Age
Jun 27, 2014
“I should weary the reader, were I to describe, step by step, the progress of the work, and the discoveries gradually made in various part of the great mound. The labours of one day resembled those of the preceding; but it would be difficult to convey to…
R5 - Behistun Hat-Trick
May 23, 2014
“The Major constantly and indefatigably employed himself, from daylight to dark, revising, restoring and adding to his former materials. This was a work of great irksomeness and labour in the confined space he was compelled to stand in, with his body in…
R4 - Dwelling of the Lions
May 16, 2014
“What can all this mean? Who built this structure? In what century did he live? To what nation did he belong? Are these walls telling me their tales of joy and woe? Is this beautiful cuneiformedcharacter a language? I know not. I can read their glory and…
R3 - The Place of God
May 2, 2014
“My antiquarian studies go on quietly and smoothly, and despite the taunt which you may remember once expressing, of the presumption of an ignoramus like myself attempting to decipher inscriptions which had baffled for centuries the most learned men in…
R2 - Arabia Felix
Apr 18, 2014
“His Majesty…has dispatched a few days ago by the vessel Greenland a group of scholars, who will travel by way of the Mediterranean to Constantinople, and thence through Egypt to Arabia Felix, and subsequently return by way of Syria to Europe; they will…
R1 - The Broken Stone
Apr 4, 2014
“To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again.” – Ancient Egyptian saying Rediscovered two millennia after its creation, the Rosetta Stone provided two brilliant scholars with the key to unlocking the history of ancient Egypt.…
36 - And Then What Happened?
Oct 18, 2013
A little time-travel, a quick world tour, and plenty of thanks all around! http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Episode_36_And_Then_What_Happened.mp3
35 - On The Verge
Sep 27, 2013
“Rome was not a monarchy, but a free City, and they had made up their minds to open their gates even to an enemy sooner than to a king. It was the universal wish that whatever put an end to liberty in the City should put an end to the City itself.” –…
34 - Democracy and Republic, Part 2
Sep 14, 2013
“The Athenians, when ruled by tyrants, were no better in war than their neighbors, but freed from tyrants they were far superior. This shows that when they were constrained they let themselves be defeated, since they were working for an overlord, but when…
33 - Democracy and Republic, Part 1
Aug 9, 2013
“He added the Athenian people, who had formally not been in the center of things, to his own party, changed the names of the tribes and increased their number. He made ten tribal commanders instead of four and distributed demes into the tribes ten at a…
32 - Things Fixed, Things Moving
Jul 18, 2013
“Black is your path, Agni, changeless, with glittering waves! When like a bull you rush eager to the trees. With teeth of flame, wind-driven, through the wood he speeds, triumphant like a bull among the herd of cows, With bright strength roaming to the…
31 - Land of Imposters
Jul 5, 2013
“After I became king, I fought nineteen battles in a single year and, by the grace of Ahura Mazda, I overthrew nine kings and I made them captive…As to these provinces which revolted, lies made them revolt, so that they deceived the people. Then Ahura…
30 - The Lost Army
Jun 21, 2013
“So Darius son of Hystaspes was made king, and the whole of Asia, which Cyrus first and Cambyses after him had conquered, was subject to him…and everything was full of his power. First he made and set up a carved stone, upon which was cut the figure of a…
29 - A More Perfect Empire
Jun 7, 2013
“Remember this lesson well: Whenever you can, act as a liberator. Freedom, dignity, and wealth—these three together constitute the great happiness of humanity. If you bequeath all three to your people, their love for you will never die.” – Cyrus the Great…
28 - When the Mede Came
May 23, 2013
“In winter, as you lie on a soft couch by the fire, Full of good food, munching on nuts and drinking sweet wine,Then you must ask questions such as these:‘Where do you come from? Tell me, what is your age?How old were you when the Mede came?’” –…
27 - Count No Man Happy
May 10, 2013
“But in every matter it behooves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin.” – Solon of Athens Peisistratos’ first two attempts at tyranny were thwarted by the Athenian eupatridae. The…
26 - The Last Kings of Babylon
Apr 17, 2013
“So it was that the Persians, who had once been the slaves of the Medes, became their masters.“ – Heroditus Nebuchadnezzar II turned Babylon into the most magnificent city of the ancient world, but the Chaldean line dissipated in his wake. Nabonidus’…
25 - The Voyage of Solon
Apr 6, 2013
“Ahmose became a lover of the Hellenes; and besides other proofs of friendship which he gave to several among them, he also granted the city of Naucratis for those of them who came to Egypt to dwell in; and to those who did not desire to stay, but who…
24 - A Wolf Among Hounds
Mar 20, 2013
“I freed those here who suffered unseemly enslavement and feared the tempers of their masters. I did this by harnessing force and justice together with power, and I carried through my promises. I wrote statues alike for those of high and of low social…
23 - Captives of Babylon
Mar 9, 2013
“So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment on him. Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah. He…
22 - The Fifth Generation
Feb 27, 2013
“But when earth had covered this generation also, Zeus the son of Cronos made yet another, the fourth, upon the fruitful earth, which was nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own, throughout…
21 - For the Sake of Distant Days
Feb 6, 2013
“Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?” – Nahum 3:7 Ashurbanipal spent the end of his reign establishing a library of Mesopotamian knowledge and culture. Twenty years after his death, internal discord and…
20 – The House of Succession
Jan 20, 2013
In the mid-7th century BC, Nubia and Assyria struggled for control over Egypt before the kingdom regained independence under the pharaoh Psamtik I. King Gyges of Lydia drove the Cimmerians from western Anatolia and sent Greek mercenaries to reinforce the…
19 - The Destruction of Sennacherib
Jan 7, 2013
“The city and its houses, from its foundations to its walls, I destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire. The wall and outer wall, temple-tower of brick and earth, temples and gods, and many as there were, I razed and dumped into the Arahtu-Canal.…
18 - The Three Pillars
Dec 22, 2012
In the west, Phoenician mastery of the Mediterranean was challenged by widespread Greek colonization. Rome’s first kings established the boundaries and institutions of the early state. In the Near East, Sennacherib was confronted with the return of a…
17 - The Fall of Israel
Dec 2, 2012
“Then the King of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria took Samaria.” – II Kings 18:4 Toward the end of the 8th century BC, the Kushite…
16 - The Assyrian
Nov 19, 2012
“And Pul, the King of Assyria, came against the land.” – II Kings, 15:19 In 745 BC, Tiglath-pileser III reformed the administrative and military structure of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and led the armies of Assur in a virtually-unbroken string of regional…
15 - Holding Action
Oct 14, 2012
During the first half of the 8th century BC, Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria all struggled against the forces of entropy and decline. In the absence of the Aramean threat, Israel and Judah resumed their perpetual struggle. Urartu expanded its regional…
14 - In the Midst of the Seas
Sep 30, 2012
“I received the tribute of the kings of the seacoast – namely, the lands of the peoples of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Mahallatu, Maizu, Kaizu, Amurru and the city of Arvad, which is in the midst of the seas – silver, gold, tin, bronze, a bronze vessel,…
13 - Civil War
Sep 15, 2012
“My brother Ashur-danin-apli, in the time of Shalmaneser, his father, acted wickedly, bringing about sedition, rebellion, and wicked plotting, caused the land to rise in revolt, prepared for war, brought the people of Assyria, north and south, to his…
12 - Legacies of East and West
Sep 4, 2012
The Olmec of Mesoamerica and the Chavin of Peru laid strong cultural foundations that would influence regional civilizations down through the first European encounters with the New World. The longest-lasting Chinese Dynasty, the Zhou, bore witness to eras…
11 - The Rise of Assyria
Aug 20, 2012
“I slew 14,000 of their warriors with the sword. Like Adad, I rained destruction on them. I scattered their corpses far and wide, and covered the face of the desolate plain with their wide-spreading armies. With my weapons I made their blood to flow down…
10 - Picking Up The Pieces
Jul 29, 2012
At the dawn of the first millennium BC, the collapse of the great Near Eastern powers allowed the cultures of Caanan to flourish. While the Phoenicians embarked on a bold new era of maritime expansion, the Hebrews and Arameans carved out new Iron Age…
9 - The Other 99 Percent
Jun 11, 2012
“Regarding what you wrote me before: ‘Enemy ships were observed at sea!’ If it is true that ships were observed, reinforce yourself. Where are your troops and chariots? Are they not with you? If not, who will deliver you from the enemy? Surround your…
8 - Look Upon My Works
Jun 5, 2012
“…And on the pedestal these words appear:‘My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.” -…
7 - Between Lions and Men
May 29, 2012
“As there are no pacts of faith between lions and men,nor do wolves and lambs have spirit in kind,…nor for us twowill there be oaths;…Recollect your every skill. Now the need is very greatto be a spearman and brave warrior.” – Achilles, the Iliad The…
6 - The New Kingdoms
May 19, 2012
After expelling the Hyksos, the rulers of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty led their New Kingdom in an unprecedented drive for territorial expansion. In Syria and the Levant, they were forced to contend with powerful new states forged by the Hurrians and the…
5 - Blind-sided
May 7, 2012
“I was asleep upon my bed, having become weary…like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made the wretches retreat with a…
4 - The Pyramid Builders
Apr 29, 2012
“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.” – Napoleon Bonaparte The power of Egypt’s Old Kingdom rulers was reflected in their awe-inspiring monuments. The Harappan civilization of the Indus River valley traded across Central…
3 – “Wherever I Went, Let Him Go!”
Apr 23, 2012
“Now any king who wants to call himself my equal, wherever I went, let him go!” - Sargon the Great In 2,334 BC, Sargon of Akkad forged the world’s first empire and created a legend that would inspire Near Eastern rulers for millennia. The Third Dynasty of…
2 - Circles and Labyrinths
Apr 15, 2012
Contemporary with early Sumer and Egypt, the Norte Chico thrived along the Peruvian coast, while the Neolithic Britons built their mysterious stone circles. The first European civilization, the Minoans of ancient Crete, exerted a strong cultural influence…
1 - “Climb the Stone Staircase”
Apr 4, 2012
“more ancient than the mind can imagine” - The Epic of Gilgamesh The Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the Elamites of the Persian plateau, and the Egyptians of the Nile River valley were among the first civilizations to emerge in the ancient world.…