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24 February

Podcast Review: The History of Rome


Rome - Colosseum

The History of Rome by Mike Duncan posted its first episode on Sunday December 30, 2007 and for the last 4 years he has been rocking the podcast world. In 2010 his podcast won the Podcast Award in the education category. It is a pretty big deal to win the podcast awards. Congratulations to Mike!

On iTunes History of Rome has 1,121 ratings and an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars! Wow! History of Rome is currently number 4 on the top 10 podcast on iTunes.

For this review I listened to episode 127 – Commanding the Economy. The duration of the episode was 28 minutes and change. It was released on February 21, 2011. Mike seems to keep the podcast fairly frequent. At the beginning of the podcast is a 60 second plug for audible. Strangely this didn’t bother me though. Mike has an almost hypnotic voice. It has a strange ability to calm you. It’s like meditation with history. But that’s good, really.

After the plug for audible there some calming music played then Mike gets right into the episode content, see his description of the episode below:

Rome’s economy was in disarray when Diocletian came to power and he initiated major overhauls to get the system running again.

As I mentioned before Mike has a great voice. He doesn’t say what he does for a living, but if he is not in radio he should be, what a voice! Here is what I could find on the History of Rome website’s about page in regards to Mike:

Mike Duncan grew up outside of Seattle, WA and has a degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Western Washington University. His deep and abiding love for Roman history is matched only by his deep and abiding love for Seattle Mariners baseball. He recently married and now lives in Austin, TX.

Mike reads nice and slow, but not too slow, just right actually. He does a great job doing a summary/overview of what will be covered in this particular episode. I don’t want to ruin the podcast for you, so I’m not going to cover the content that Mike went over. At the end of the podcast the same calm music plays.

I’m going to stay subscribed to this one! I really enjoyed it and look forward to more from Mike.

While doing my research I found two other reviews that have been done on the History of Rome Podcast. Frank Yeats for Suite101 did a review on May 20, 2010 and Charles Odom from the Yahoo! Contributor Network did a review on April 6, 2009.

In addition to the website the History of Rome Podcast also has a Facebook group.

As mentioned earlier, the History of Rome won the Podcast Awards for 2010 in the Education category. There is a Youtube video of the awards ceremony here, skip to 18:20 in the video to see just the education category:


One Response to “Podcast Review: The History of Rome”

  1. ADiff says:

    Mike Duncan’s outstanding History of Rome podcast may well demonstrate, at the largest level, finally, why Rome ‘fell’. My college Latin instructor opined that Rome fell simply because like everything else, it ultimately “got old” and was washed away by the accumulation of the erosion of time. The excellence and depth of Duncan’s ‘History’ shows how any institution, however notable, however excellent and inspired, must ultimately be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of its own mass and extent. Excellent work and well worth the listen, even for those who’ve read on the subject themselves. Superbly researched, beautifully presented thoughtful commentary. A true classic of podcasting!

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