Roman History

Although most people are familiar with gladiators, movies have skewed popular understanding of these fighters. So how can we separate the fact from the fiction? Tune in to learn how gladiator graveyards have changed the way we regard gladiators today.

In 2008, the Aurora Trust began a survey around an island named Ventotone, off the coast of Naples. They found an astonishing group of Roman shipwrecks, and they also found a mystery. How did all these ships sink so close together? Tune in to find out.

Exile is never a pleasant experience, and meting it out on a family member is positively brutal. So what could drive Augustus to exile his own daughter? Tune in and find out -- the answer might surprise you.

During the Middle Ages, thousands of faithful Catholics believed in the story of a female pope named Joan. But is there any evidence for this story -- not to mention the other stories that grew from the original tale? Listen in and learn more.

According to most popular accounts, Caligula was an insane, cruel and bizarre emperor. But how reliable are those stories? Join Katie and Sarah as they take a look at Caligula's life -- and try to separate the facts from the rumors -- in this podcast.

Born Simon ben Kosiba, Simon bar Kokhba led the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman empire. The revolt succeeded momentarily, and the Romans were expelled from Judea -- but the conflict was far from over. Tune in and learn what happened next.

Some authors have described Zenobia, a queen of Palmyra, as a second Cleopatra. Listen in as Sarah and Katie explore the history of Palmyra and Zenobia in this episode.

What was Saturnalia?

Winter solstice celebrations predate Christmas, and trace back into antiquity. Saturnalia was one of these ancient traditions, and it was very different from the celebration we recognize as Christmas today. Tune in and learn more in this episode.

Pompeii: Lost and Found

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in August of 79 AD, Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash and rock. As time passed, Pompeii was forgotten. Learn more about the catastrophe that destroyed Pompeii -- as well as the city's rediscovery -- in this podcast.

On Christmas Day in 800 AD, Charlemagne became the emperor of Rome in a coronation headed by none other than Pope Leo III. Learn more about the growth of the Holy Roman Empire in this podcast from