Episode B24, “The Yona Kings”, closes out the second story arc of “The Ancient World – Bloodline.” The first dozen episodes – which I guess you could call the “Mauretanian story arc” – covered the final years of Antony and Cleopatra, then discussed the lives of Cleopatra Selene, Juba and their son Ptolemy – all the way up through his murder by Caligula. The next dozen episodes – the “Judean story arc” – started with Ptolemy’s daughter Drusilla and her marriages to Marcus Antonius Felix and Gaius Julius Sohaemus. We then covered Drusilla’s short-lived son Gaius Julius Alexio, her grandson Silas, and began the story of Silas’ three sons: Longinus, Agrippa and Sohaemus.
So far it’s breaking down to around 3 generations, and around a dozen episodes, per story arc. Which I didn’t particularly plan for but will totally take – since round numbers are always nice. What that also means is that – based on my calculations – we’re around halfway done with the “Bloodline” series. Which sounds like a good time for a break. Which is why I’m taking one. The break will probably last for a couple months – and we’ll pick back up sometime in February with the story of Silas’ three sons. I’ve also posted the Bloodline Family Tree – so far – up on both the blog and Facebook sites.
In the meantime there are a couple of things I wanted to mention. First off, as many of you know my wife Tracy DeLuca produces her own podcast called “Results May Vary.” In the series Tracy and her friend Chris draw on their vast work experience in design thinking and innovation to help people design the lives they want. No guarantees – I mean, the title is “Results May Vary” – just lots of interesting interviews, test cases and practical advice about living life by design.
What you might not know is that Tracy’s latest episode is with Mike Duncan – creator of “The History of Rome” and “Revolutions” podcasts and author of the forthcoming book “The Storm Before the Storm.” Among other topics, the episode covers how to design the past to better engage people in our shared history and how to apply the lessons of history toward designing a better future. The episode is posted at resultsmayvarypodcast.com. And while you’re at it make sure to check out ongoing episodes of “Revolutions” at revolutionspodcast.com. You can also find both series on iTunes.
Second, I wanted to engage the many wonderful and talented listeners out there in a little project. Part of what I’ve been trying to do with “Bloodline” is bring the stories of Antony and Cleopatra’s descendants to life by talking about the times, places and events they lived through. But of course what I do is mainly audio – and I was thinking it would also be pretty amazing to bring the story to life visually. I’m a pretty crap artist myself, but I’m betting many of you out there are much, much better.
So I’ve decided to hold a bit of a contest. Pick any subject from the series – a place, a scene, a character, even a concept – render it in whatever visual medium strikes your fancy, and e-mail the image to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject “Bloodline Images.” Whether it’s the execution of King Ptolemy, the Temple of Elah Gabal, even a creative rendering of the Bloodline Family Tree – if it’s from the series it’s fair game.
I’ll feature some of my favorites on The Ancient World media sites. And – even better – every contributor will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two books. The books in question are Tom Holland’s “Persian Fire” and Richard Miles’ “Carthage Must be Destroyed.” Both books were a big help in creating the original series, and they’ve got the extensive highlighting to prove it. I’m also more than happy to sign them for you. The contest runs between now, December 18, and January 31, 2016 – when I’ll announce the winner of the drawing. In the meantime, uncork that creativity, have fun and I look forward to seeing your handiwork.
So that’s it for the moment. I really hope you’re enjoying the “Bloodline” series as much as I am making it – which is very, very much. And trust me, the upcoming story arc is going to be epic. Because it’s with the Severans that the descendants of Mark Antony and Cleopatra finally stake their claim to the Roman Empire – and the result is, well, kind of a disaster. But it is fun to watch.
Until then, thanks for all the kind words and support, and thanks again for listening.
The Bloodline Family Tree (so far!)