Episode 32 – Things Fixed, Things Moving

“Black is your path, Agni, changeless, with glittering waves!  When like a bull you rush eager to the trees.
With teeth of flame, wind-driven, through the wood he speeds, triumphant like a bull among the herd of cows,
With bright strength roaming to the everlasting air: things fixed, things moving quake before him as he flies.”-  Rigvedas, Book 1, Hymn LVIII

Darius retraced Cyrus’s footsteps to expand Persian control of Vedic India.  Hipparchus met a bloody end at the hands of a jealous rival.  Tarquin kept Rome’s military and infrastructure sound while alienating both rich and poor.

Series References and Further Reading:


9 thoughts on “Episode 32 – Things Fixed, Things Moving

  1. Another fantastic episode.

    I most apreciate the sense of all these things evolving in parallel, each with their own centers, expansions and contractions. Its not just barbarians turning up at Thermoplyae.

    As you have mentioned, it all starts to get exciting when the names start to become familiar. I've now gone through the entire series sufficiently often that even Tiglatpileser III and Asurbanipal II begin to feel like old friends. And who need enemies after that.

    I'd be very pleased if you decided to continue the series up until.. say the end of the Kennedy administration. I know what happens from then on.

  2. Thanks very much! Glad you're enjoying the series. And yes, good point – one thing I'm trying to do with this series is keep multiple plates (i.e., states and characters) spinning, then bring the threads together as often as appropriate. I'm rarely happier than when I stumble across a previously unknown connection between two characters I've been writing about. The example from this past week was Miltiades, the young Athenian noble sent to "manage" the Thracian Cheronese for Hippias & Hipparchus. Not only does he end up playing an interesting and significant role in Darius' upcoming conquest of the Black Sea Scythians and Thrace, but he also goes on to play a major role in the Battle of Marathon. And yes, I also have a soft-spot for the Neo-Assyrians, and feel like many of them are "old friends", warts and all! Thanks for the suggestion, but I'll be sticking (mostly) to my original plan, and ending the series proper at 500 BC. However, that doesn't mean that there might not be a few follow-on "specials" planned. Thanks again for stopping by, take care! – Scott C.

  3. Hi Scott,
    Great podcast. I'm really enjoying it.

    I really like the music you use for the opening and closing. Any chance you could tell me what it is? I'd like to hear more.

  4. Hi Andy! You may be surprised to hear that, 1-1/2 years in, you're the very first person to ask about the intro/outro samples! The track is called "Ancient Realms, Mysterious Temples" by Paul Avgerinos, and you can find it online at the Vimeo music store. Thanks for listening! – Scott C.

  5. You're very welcome! The next episode is around 1/2 written, I'm running a bit behind for typical summer reasons. Thanks for listening! – Scott C.

  6. Just wanted to echo everyone's thanks on such a splendid effort on your part, we all appreciate the work your putting into this.

    Speaking of which, I've always been curious: on average, how much time does it take to prepare an episode?

  7. Glad you're enjoying it! Good question. Writing is obviously the main part, I'd say around 4 or 5 2-hour sessions usually get me there. Then I let it sit, come back to it, and do a couple hours of rewrites. I then do a read through, where I work out the beats, and research any tricky pronunciations. Recording and editing are usually around 2 hours each, then I give each episode a final listen before I upload. And of course, there are all the assorted "little things" – writing the blog and Facebook/Twitter posts, saving and posting the map and image links, etc. It all adds up! Sometimes I'm surprised that I'm able to keep a (rough) 2 week schedule, considering that this is all done in my "free time" outside of work. But, as you may have guessed, I also really, really enjoy it. Thanks again for listening!

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