The History of Rome Podcast. Episode 60 No Better Slave, No Worse Master The six months between Caligula’s taking power and getting sick was just a breather before Caligula embarked on his four-year reign of terror and madness. He was only 28 when the Senate and the Praetorian Guard and courtiers arranged to have him killed. Even allowing for the prejudices of the sources, he was Rome’s first really terrible emperor. We meet Claudius in Episode 61 What, me Claudius where the rather embarrassing and scholarly uncle of Caligula is chosen as the next Emperor. Expectations were at rock bottom after Tiberius and Caligula, but he turned out to be what Mike Duncan considers to be amongst the Top Ten of Emperors. He introduced bureaucratic reforms and oversaw the invasion of Britain, something that Julius Caesar had not managed. However, despite his victory of Caratacus in Britain, he made several unsuccessful marriages, as seen in Episode 62 Take my wife…please. He divorced his first wife Plautia Urgulanilla for adultery; he divorced the second Aelia Paetina because, as Sejanus’ relative she was a political liability. He then married Valeria Messalina who married her lover Silius while Claudius was at Ostia, so she and Silius were executed. Finally, he married Agrippina the Younger, his niece and Germanicus’ daughter. Episode 63 A Farewell to Claudius sees Claudius off the stage, helped it is said by Agrippina who had been raised by Livia and imbibed plenty of her strategies. Like Livia, Agrippina had her son Nero adopted by the emperor, and like Livia she was very ambitious for her son. Mike Duncan notes that there is no hard evidence that Agrippina poisoned Claudius, but he leans towards it. As for Claudius’ long-term legacy, he increased the size of the empire, and reinvigorated the role of censor to control his enemies in the Senate. He also made the Senate more multicultural, reflecting the increased size and diversity of the empire- something that probably contributed to its longevity.
Because of Anita In this second episode The Aftermath, three African-American women speak about the effect that the Anita Hill trial had on them. Professor Barbara Ransby rallied Black women in a historic show of visible support that still reverberates today by organizing for the publication a full-page advertisement with the signatures of (black?) women. Carol Moseley Braun ran for office—and won, becoming the first Black woman in the Senate (which until 1991 had only 2 white women). Drew Dixon, a young record producer grappling with sexual abuse in her own profession, had to make difficult decisions with the long shadow of the hearings looming over her. Through Anita Hill’s experience, she learned that Black people (both men and women) were critical of Black women who ‘dobbed’, thus giving succour to the ‘black rapist’ trope that could be used against all Black people. But she also learned that it takes courage to actually stand up and speak.
The History Listen (ABC) The Illusory Life of Esme Levante. Born in 1920 into a show-biz family, Esme performed from the age with her father The Great Levante. An escapologist, magician and cabaret artist, she travelled the world, first with her family, and then with her own show.
Background Briefing (ABC) Reconciliation gets pointy when it is your own family who was involved in massacres. The narrator of The Ghosts Are Not Silent Sam Carmody, is part of the Bussell family after which Busselton in Western Australia is named. The family had taken great pride in their ancestor John Garret Bussell, but they gradually became aware of stories that a member of the Bussell family had murdered a 7 year old girl, and that the surrounding area was known as a massacre site. Sam decided to speak to traditional owners, many of whom were reluctant to be
History Extra podcast. Apparently historians now prefer to talk about the ‘South African War’ rather than the Boer War (which is certainly the way it is remembered in Australian popular memory). The Boer War: Everything You Wanted to Know is an episode based around listeners’ questions through social media, so its structure and organisation is a bit haphazard. Saul Dubow is the Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Cambridge and a Professorial Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. I hadn’t realized that the trigger for the war was the British government’s desire to federate the separate colonies, charged by the discovery of gold and diamonds. He points out that the impetus for the concentration camps was to deprive the farmers of the ability to draw resources (physical and emotion) from ‘home’