Episodes

  • The Persians are coming and Athens is doomed to destruction if the bold and clever Themistocles, and his rival the honorable Aristides, can't find a way to stop them

    Chris & Ryan
    Plutarch's Greeks and Romans Podcast

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  • Aristides and Themistocles came of age as tyranny in Athens was coming to an end and the world's first democracy was being established! It was a brave new world and would require brave new leaders.

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  • Numa Pompilius, a man whom never wanted to be King, a man with a deep faith in the Gods topped off with a philosophy abhorrently against an aggression and anger driven society forever at war depriving Rome’s citizens of more Godly and more peaceful societal improvements.

    If it’s said, Romulus gifted the Romans with a grand military tradition and supporting institutions which would last for a millennia, then Numa as a counter to military traditions, gifted the Romans grand religious traditions and supporting religious institutions, which would last for a millennia or more also.

    Hope you enjoy! Head over to our blog and leave some comments, lets get the conversation started.

    Chris & Ryan

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  • Solon was Athens' original wise man. Can his guidance and prudent laws help the city avoid disintegrating into civil conflict?


    Transcript Preview

    For the life of Solon we return to Athens, where we started the podcast and learned about Theseus, the hero who the Athenians celebrate as their founder because he ended the tribute to King Minos of Crete, brought the people of Attica together, and established some of Athens traditions and festivals.

    Chris: Not to mention slaying a minotaur, and attempting to kidnap a wife on more than one occasion

    Ryan: Right – Theseus led a very eventful life to say the least

    And Chris, I am excited to be moving forward and taking on the life of Solon today because it means we are now moving into more solid Greek history. Unlike Theseus who can be placed into the category of myth, and Lycurgus who sits maybe halfway between man and myth, we can be pretty certain that Solon really existed and when he existed. The year that Solon was appointed to arbitrate the differences of the Athenian people is most likely 594-593 BC. I know you have been eager to get to some actual dates Chris

    Chris: Ha ha, yes it feels good to hear an actual date

    Ryan: Agreed. Now Solon is considered one of the Seven Sages, or Seven Wise Men, according to the Classical Greek tradition. The earliest surviving list of Seven Wise Men comes from Plato’s Protagoras. Solon expressed his wisdom through poetry – writing in prose was uncommon. It is said that Solon travelled widely in his younger days - some say that Solon travelled purely to gain wisdom and knowledge, others that he was a merchant, having come from a noble family whose wealth had ebbed and so it fell to Solon to restore their fortune. For his part, Plutarch sees no shame in Solon possibly engaging in trade to restore his families wealth – pointing out that trade brings home the good things from other countries, increases friendship with their kings, and is a source of valuable experience.

    Chris: Very good points.......

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  • The long awaited conclusion is here! Man or legend, you be the judge!

    Romulus begins the episode mounting a daring rescue of his brother Remus, kidnapped by Numitors herdsmen, and most certainly headed for personal disaster.

    With Remus rescued, Numitor on the throne, Romulus will rise to his legend and found Rome, her politics, her military, societal structures and religious and moral codes.

    Romulus would lay the foundations for Rome's growth strategies' of integrating her enemies, and striving for glory enshrined in the practice of the triumph!

    Man or legend, Rome rose and mastered civilization for millennia.

    Check out our blog and stay up-to-date or get involved in the episode.

    Excerpt from the episode

    Chris: Before Romulus set out to build the shinning bright city on the hill, he sent for men from Tuscany who would ensure the coming construction projects followed sacred usages, and the written rules in all the ceremonies and rights required prior and during construction.

    Chris: First the dug a circular trench for which the Court of Assembly would stand, and solemnly threw in the first fruits of all things good as custom dictated, and lastly every man took some earth and tossed it into the ditch. First Fruits is a common ritual in western religions, and at the time, represented the fruits of their labor from harvest and other fruits of the labor which were allowed under the ceremony rules. Perhaps, this ritual is similar to the breaking of Champaign bottles on the hull of newly minted ocean vessels or ribbon cutting ceremonies for large public projects.

    Chris: So, this ditch they dug, they called Mundus, as they called the heavens served as the center of the city, now properly ordained through religious ceremony and rights, would expand out around Mundus very quickly and would grow and grow as the centuries passed.

    Chris: Rome was never said to be well designed and caused future Romans many problems and I wonder if this early city planning provided precedent for how the city would be built.

    Chris: Romulus next took a plow attached it to a bull and cow and plowed a large and deep trench around the city center, with workers following behind, massaging the uprooted soil inwards towards the city, forming the foundation for Rome’s first wall system, which was ordained holly, less the spot left for the entrance and side gates, for entrance ways could never be holly due to uncle3an men who would walk through. Maybe sort of like walking under a ladder today is considered a bad omen, but to the superstitious Romans, rituals were godly, and godliness was not something to trifle with or even to attempt fate as that could bring disaster in some form.

    Chris: So it is widely accepted Rome was founded or construction began on April 21, and that day the Romans keep holy, calling it their country’s birthday. This is the day that Romulus completed the Mundus, performed the ceremonies and plowed the borders of the city which would eventually house a large wall. Rome was founded and built quickly starting with 1,000 homes and expanded every day. Romulus was the sole King, and the Roman adventure was officially off to the races.

    Hope you enjoy the episode

    Chris & Ryan

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  • Lycurgus was the man who gave Sparta it's laws and transformed it into a polis like no other - a warrior-society which would produce the most fearsome soldiers of the Ancient World.

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  • In our very first episode, we covered Theseus, a legend himself, but today we get to meet the man whom most believe founded Rome, Romulus!

    Man or legend, you be the judge. Romulus was a towering figure to the ancient Romans who endured to bring glory to the Empire that Romulus set upon the world on April 21, 752 BC.

    Excerpt

    "Plutarch next moves to my favorite origin story, which I like to call the "Revenge of the Trojans", which is set at the time Agamemnon was pillaging and burning the Great city of Troy to avenge his dead brothers pride, while a few distraught Trojans fled the city, loaded up on some surviving Trireme’s and set out to find a new home, a new Troy and rebuild their society."

    Enjoy!

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  • When Theseus arrives in Athens the city is in crisis. Can this monster-slaying, serial womanizer take his rightful place and set Athens on the path to greatness?

    Plutarch's Greeks and Romans is a bi-weekly podcast featuring biographies found in Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans!


    Checkout our blog and stay informed on new episodes and other fun updates!

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    Chris and Ryan

    Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/plutarch)