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The Ancient World

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The Ancient WorldThree Great Series.


Show host, researcher, writer and narrator Scott Chesworth takes a broad view of the very early development of human society from the earliest civilizations down through to the Greeks and Romans.

He started with a cozy 12-episode outline figuring it would run around 3 months - famous last words!

Scott Chesworth

It is now THREE epic series! Join us on these exciting journeys!


The series that started it all! A whirlwind tour covering the very first human civilizations down through 500 BC in (around) 30 episodes.


Round out your understanding of the ancient world with this series, which covers the rediscovery of all these ancient civilizations in the modern era. From the Rosetta Stone to Assyrian cuneiform, and from the Great Flood to King Tut, enjoy the stories of the adventurers and scholars who unlocked the secrets of the distant past


Did you know that Mark Antony and Cleopatra had a daughter? That she became Queen of the North African Kingdom of Mauretania? That her son became a trusted Roman client king, and her granddaughter became Queen of the Syrian Kingdom of Emesa? Follow the story of this famous (yet historically-neglected) bloodline, as it passes through the Syrian Emperors of Rome to culminate in the great conflict between Rome and Palmyra.

Broadcast by kind permission of Scott Chesworth.

The Ancient World Show Archive:

Episode T5 - Balas

Friday 15th February 2019

Synopsis: Demetrius struggles to preserve his throne but ends up falling in battle. Alexander Balas begins his reign by marrying Ptolemy’s daughter, Cleopatra Thea. While the sons of Demetrius remain a threat, the couple are also forced to confront the growing menace of Parthia.“Then gathered king Alexander great forces, and camped over against Demetrius. And after the two kings had joined battle, Demetrius’ host fled: but Alexander followed after him, and prevailed against them. And he continued the battle very sore until the sun went down: and that day was Demetrius slain.” – 1 Maccabees

Episode T4 - Soter

Friday 1st February 2019

Synopsis: Demetrius seizes the Syrian throne and stems immediate threats from Media and Judaea. But deposed officials and regional rulers conspire to engineer his downfall.“When it became known that the Romans were ill disposed towards Demetrius, not only the other kings but even some of the satraps subject to him regarded his kingship with scant respect. Of these satraps the most outstanding was a certain Timarchus…By launching many accusations against Demetrius (he) persuaded the senate to enact (a decree making him king). Emboldened by this decree he raised an army of considerable size in Media; he also entered into alliance against Demetrius with Artaxias, the king of Armenia.” – Diodorus Siculus,The Library of History, Book XXXI

Episode T3 - Thea

Thursday 17th January 2019

Synopsis: Lysias attempts to exercise control through the young King Antiochus V, but a deadly incident with a Roman delegation gives hope to the captive Demetrius. Ptolemy Physcon challenges his brother Ptolemy VI for control of Egypt and Cyprus.“They then went on board, and the pilot weighed anchor and started just as the day was breaking, having absolutely no idea of the real state of the case, but believing that he was conveying some soldiers from Menyllus to Ptolemy…It was not until the fourth day after his start that, Demetrius being looked for in vain, the truth was suspected. On the fifth the Senate was hastily summoned to consider the matter, when Demetrius had already cleared the Straits of Messina. The Senate gave up all idea of pursuit.” – Polybius,The Histories, Book XXXI

Episode T2 - Megas

Friday 4th January 2019

Synopsis: Antiochus the Great restores Seleucid fortunes, but his son Antiochus IV sews the seeds of the Empire’s destruction.“On (Antiochus IV), after reading the dispatch, saying that he desired to consult with his friends on the situation, Popilius did a thing which was looked upon as exceedingly overbearing and insolent. Happening to have a vine stick in his hand, he drew a circle round Antiochus with it, and orderedhim to give his answer to the letter before he stepped out of that circumference.” – Polybius,the Histories, Book XXIX

Episode T1– Nicator

Friday 21st December 2018

Synopsis: Seleucus I Nicator forges the Seleucid Empire, and his descendants spend the next century struggling to preserve his legacy.“In Asia, after the defeat of Demetrius at Gaza in Syria, Seleucus, receiving from Ptolemy no more than eight hundred foot soldiers and about two hundred horse, set out for Babylon.” – Diodorus Siculus,The Library of History, Book XIX

The Rest of My Interview

Wednesday 11th July 2018

with Drew from the Wonders of the World Podcast, where we talk about Palmyra, Odaenathus, and (of course) Queen Zenobia. Enjoy!

Just Did My First Interview

Tuesday 26th June 2018

with the lovely and talented Drew from the Wonders of the World podcast, where we talk about the exotic Roman Emperor Elagabalus, the amazing temple complex at Baalbek, and lots of other fun stuff.  Enjoy!  And please also check out his other episodes (it helps if you bring a healthy love of Demetrius Poliorcetes ;)

Episode B54 - Efqa

Friday 23rd March 2018

Synopsis: Monotheism, modern Syria, the world’s first romance story, and the end of the Bloodline.“The oasis and town of Palmyra owe their existence to the plentiful spring that runs from Jebel Muntar. This spring dominates a narrow passage in the principal route between the Homs pass and the Euphrates River and is in the heart of the Syrian desert. The oasis furnishes a resting place between Iraq and Central Syria, and it was a primary stop for caravans plying between the Gulf, Iran, and the Mediterranean.” – Khaled Al-Asaad and Adnan Bounni,Palmyra: History, Monuments& Museum

Episode B53 - Memento Mori

Friday 9th March 2018

Synopsis: Aurelian returns East to crush Palmyrene revolts in Syria and Egypt. The sources relate differing accounts of Zenobia’s ultimate fate.“To the tumultuous throng which crowded under these porticoes the solitude of death has succeeded. The silence of the tomb is substituted for the hum of polite places.” – Count C.F.C deVolney,The Ruins, or Meditations on the Revolutions of Empires “The elevation of Odaenathus and Zenobia appeared to reflect new splendor on their country, and Palmyra, for a while, stood forth the rival of Rome; but the competition was fatal, and ages of prosperity were sacrificed to a moment of glory.” – Gibbon,The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire“When the sand seems to disappear, not beneath the verdure of an oasis but beneath an accumulation of marble and worked stones, silence falls among the travelers…it is then that a man, even the least civilized, feels himself to be small and, despite himself,...

Episode B52 - Palmyra

Saturday 24th February 2018

Synopsis: Boxed in by Aurelian’s siege, Zenobia makes a desperate attempt to enlist the support of the Persians.“Palmyra was the last resource of the widow of Odaenathus. She retired within the walls of her capital, made every preparation for a vigorous resistance, and declared, with the intrepidity of a heroine, that the last moment of her reign and of her life should be the same.” - Gibbon,The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire“You have the prospect of such Magnicient Ruines, that if it be Lawful to frame a Conjecture of the Original Beauty of the place, by what is still remaining, I question somewhat whether any City in the World could have challenged Precedence over this in all its Glory.” – W. Halifax,A Relation of a Voyage from Aleppo to Palmyra in Syria, 1695