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Plutarch, Suetonius, and Tacitus
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Plutarch, Suetonius, and Tacitus
Episode 23 of Famous Romans

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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Publius Cornelius Scipio
It is a March day in 218 B.C., the year that will see the beginning of the Second Punic War. Join the consul P. Cornelius Scipio and his son as…
Episode 2 Hannibal
Few Romans did as much to make Rome a world power as did its worst enemy, Hannibal. This lecture follows the great Carthaginian general as he leads 59,000 men and…
Episode 3 Gaius Flaminius
On a foggy morning in 217 B.C., a Roman army marches along the shore of Lake Trasimene in central Italy. The career of its commander Flaminius opens a window on…
Episode 4 Quintus Fabius Maximus
The events at Trasimene led the Senate to name Fabius as dictator for six months. Why did he adopt his famous - and at the time, highly unpopular - strategy…
Episode 5 Scipio Africanus the Elder
The son of the consul of 218 B.C., Africanus earned his sobriquet by crushing Hannibal in 202 at Zama (now Tunisia), one of the most decisive battles in world history.…
Episode 6 Scipio the Younger
Here we stand with the grandson of Africanus and his teacher Polybius, quoting Homer and thinking of Rome's own future, as we watch Carthage fall in a terrible illustration of…
Episode 7 Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus
Rome had conquered Carthage, only to wind up divided against itself as wealth displaced virtue and undermined the constitution. Seeing the urgent need for reform, these descendants of the Scipio…
Episode 8 Crassus
Amid the turmoil and corruption of the late Republic, men of towering capacity strove to impose their will on Rome's destiny. Crassus made himself the richest man in Rome, and…
Episode 9 Gaius Julius Caesar
To Rome's top politicians, Caesar at first seemed nothing more than a political hack of little ability and less character. The challenge of conquering Gaul transformed Caesar and changed world…
Episode 10 Caesar and Vercingetorix
Caesar's brilliant history, The Gallic War, recounts his defeat of the Celtic hero Vercingetorix and reveals his mastery of strategy, tactics, logistics, battlefield command, and peace settlements.
Episode 11 Pompey the Great
In 49 B.C., Caesar crossed the Rubicon and plunged Rome into civil war. He did it in the cause of liberty for the Roman people, but his goal was to…
Episode 12 Cato the Younger
At Valley Forge, desperate to strengthen the morale of his starving, freezing men, George Washington had his officers put on Joseph Addison's play about Cato. This lecture explains why.
Episode 13 Brutus and the Opposition to Caesar
It is March 15, 44 B.C., and you are with Caesar as he walks to a meeting of the Senate in the Theater of Pompey, where he will be murdered…
Episode 14 Cicero
Statesman, philosopher, orator, and humanist, Cicero is one of Rome's greatest sons, and proof that a lawyer can succeed without sacrificing integrity. He upheld justice, moderation, and liberty in troubled…
Episode 15 Augustus
The adoption of his great-nephew, Gaius Octavius, is the most compelling evidence of Caesar's foresight. Only 19 at the time of Caesar's death, as the princeps (First Citizen), Augustus would…
Episode 16 Vergil
Augustus enlisted the finest intellectual, literary, and artistic talent to create monuments of enduring excellence to his ideals and achievements. Did Vergil, the greatest of all Latin poets, craft The…
Episode 17 Claudius
A sign of the Augustan system's genius was its ability to survive eccentric or even mad emperors. History is fascinated by those emperors' excesses, which indeed can be highly instructive.…
Episode 18 Nero
To the senator and historian Tacitus, Nero illustrated the grim reality of the principate and the fate of the Roman people, who had surrendered liberty for security only to find…
Episode 19 Trajan
The rise of this brave and able emperor testifies to the collective political wisdom of the Senate. He was a military leader and statesman of vision whose domestic and foreign…
Episode 20 Hadrian
Hadrian, Trajan's successor, is a gifted, perplexing, and controversial figure. A fine soldier and public servant, he was also an intellectual innovator and an architect of genius. But few of…
Episode 21 Epictetus
Born a slave, he was exiled from Rome for speaking too freely to the emperor. Despite offers to return, he lived on in a backwater, becoming one of the greatest…
Episode 22 Apuleius
A lawyer, intellectual, and family man, Apuleius had a fascinating career that brings to life the 2nd century, an age much like our own. His novel "The Golden Ass" is…
Episode 23 Plutarch, Suetonius, and Tacitus
Worthy heirs of Herodotus and Thucydides, these authors embody the essence of the classical tradition of history: its concern with greatness of theme and greatness of soul, its high moral…
Episode 24 Marcus Aurelius
With Marcus Aurelius, a Stoic wore the imperial purple. No emperor was more dedicated or humane. His "Meditations" remain a beacon for all who would go through life with honesty…

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