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The Ancients

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The Ancients

A podcast for all ancient history fans! The Ancients is dedicated to discussing our distant past. Featuring interviews with historians and archaeologists, each episode covers a specific theme from antiquity. From Neolithic Britain to the Fall of Rome. Hosted by Tristan Hughes. 

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Recent Episodes of The Ancients


Roman Roads

Roman Roads

Do all roads lead to Rome? We find out in today's episode all about one of the Roman Empire's greatest legacies - it's web-like network of roads and route-ways. From the famous Via Appia, the longest road in mainland Italy, to Watling Street, the road on which Boudica was defeated, Rome's roads left an indelible mark on the territories their centurions conquered.


But what do we actually know about these ancient streets and pathways? What was road travel like back in Roman times? And most importantly, what was their equivalent of a service station?


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Episode 447 14 July 2024 47m and 32s


Birth of the Iron Age

Birth of the Iron Age

It’s the end of the 12th century BC, and a once remarkable Near eastern world lay in ruin. Drought, warfare, famine, earthquakes, plague - all had combined to brutally devastate ancient civilisations stretching from Mesopotamia to Egypt to mainland Greece. 


It was a catastrophe unlike anything else - a Bronze Age collapse. But that’s only half the story. What happened next? Would these people adapt to this new age of chaos?


Dr Eric Cline joins Tristan Hughes to discuss the dawn of the Iron Age. They’re talking Egyptians, Hittites, Mycenaeans, Cypriot...

Episode 446 11 July 2024 1h, 2m and 28s


The Bronze Age Brotherhood of Kings

The Bronze Age Brotherhood of Kings

More than 3,000 years ago, a coalition of Bronze Age rulers existed across the Near Eastern world. Kings reigning over great Bronze age powers like New Kingdom Egypt, Babylon and the Hittites coexisted and interacted with each other. They exchanged precious goods, signed treaties and even married into each other's families. But how exactly did this brotherhood of kings emerge? And how important was it to the history of the ancient Near East?


In today's episode of The Ancients Tristan Hughes is joined by Prof. Amanda Podany to talk about what has come to be known as...

Episode 445 7 July 2024 41m and 11s


Domina: Women Who Shaped Rome

Domina: Women Who Shaped Rome

The crisis of the Roman Republic is a period littered with iconic male power players. Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Pompey, Brutus and the Gracchi brothers. But less famous, and often overlooked are the women that shaped these famous Roman statesmen.


In today's episode of the Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Daisy Dunn to shine a light on some of the most remarkable women in Roman history. From Cornelia, the mother and tutor of the Gracchi brothers, to Fulvia, the wife of Mark Antony and a commander in the Perusine War, we take you on...

Episode 444 4 July 2024 51m and 42s


Temple Mount

Temple Mount

Temple Mount is one of the most sacred places in Jerusalem. A rocky outcrop that has become important for Islam, Judaism and Christianity and the acropolis of the ancient city, with links to figures like King David, Solomon, Herod, Jesus and Muhammad. It’s an area of the world rich in religious history.


And in today's episode of The Ancients - the last in our Old Testament miniseries - we're going to be delving into the archaeology of this famous ancient site and exploring what remains of the glorious buildings that once sat atop this important mo...

Episode 443 29 June 2024 1h, 1m and 26s


The Biblical Kingdom of Israel

The Biblical Kingdom of Israel

The story of the ancient kingdom of Israel is a central part of the Old Testament. Famous for its kings like Saul, David and Solomon, the kingdom supposedly emerged in the southern Levant in the late 2nd millennium BC. Most of what we know about this kingdom comes from the Hebrew Bible. But what does the archeology say? Are there any remains that might corroborate what the bible tells us?


In today's episode of The Ancients, Tristan continues our Old Testament mini-series and interviews archeologist Felicity Cobbing. Together they delve into both the biblical narrative and...

Episode 442 26 June 2024 59m and 15s


Heracles

Heracles

Tristan Hughes continues the Greek Gods and Goddesses series with today’s deity; the most popular mythical hero of them all: Heracles, or Hercules. Same hero.


His story has never faded, reimagined in various media formats from Hollywood and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, to Disney, to The Ancients podcast. Professor Alastair Blanshard joins Tristan to discuss who Heracles was, what were some of the many myths surrounding this hero, and what were his 12 labours?


Presented by Tristan Hughes and produced by Joseph Knight. The audio editor is Aidan Lonergan and the senior producer is Ann...

Episode 441 22 June 2024 52m and 27s


The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant is one of the most famous, yet mysterious, objects mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. This special box that held the sacred 10 Commandments, written by God himself.


But what exactly was it? What stories are told about it? And, most intriguingly of all, what happened to it? Tristan Hughes visits the University of Cardiff and Dr Dylan Johnson to find out.


Presented by Tristan Hughes. The producer is Joseph Knight, audio editor is Aidan Lonergan. The senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.


The Ancients is a podcast...

Episode 439 19 June 2024 47m and 1s


Origins of the Celts

Origins of the Celts

The Celts are an ancient people shrouded in mystery and intrigue. In the minds of most people the word ‘Celt’ refers to the people of Iron Age Britain, or the ferocious Galatians of central Turkey. But the original Celts were very different. They settled in places like southern France and northern Italy and came into direct contact with the Etruscans and the Greeks. So what do we know about these Iron Age Celts and their early Celtic world? 


In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Rachel Pope to decode and deciphe...

Episode 438 16 June 2024 49m and 22s


Moses & The Exodus

Moses & The Exodus

The story of Moses and the Exodus is one of the oldest and most well known in history. It is full of instantly recognisable episodes like the parting of the Red Sea, the ten plagues of Egypt, and the burning bush but it is also foundational to many modern-day faiths. So today we’re asking what does the historical and archaeological record reveal about this epic biblical narrative?


In this episode of The Ancients - the second in our Old Testament mini-series - Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Dylan Johnson to delve deep into the hi...

Episode 437 12 June 2024 44m and 12s

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