Episode 26 – State of the Union – 390 BC

— Not for nothing there’s a saying that goes something like “your best friend is sometimes the enemy of your enemy.”

The Gauls entered Rome. But where’s Lucius? Also, we list the lands that lay around Rome, and see how they’re doing. Finally, a sprint through the men who ruled Rome since the kings are gone. Consuls and Tribunes.

Partial Transcript

Hello, this is Abel, speaking from Beijing, China. Welcome to my podcast.

The Tale of Rome, Episode 26 — State of the Union – 390 BC.

Last week we saw how the Gauls of Brennus arrived at the gates of Rome — gates that no one bothered to even close…

This week we’re on our episode 26, which means two things:

ONE – We are going through our second STATE OF THE UNION episode, which this time finds us in the year 390 BC,

AND TWO – We’re at 26 episodes, which is roughly half a year of accrued value. One year – 52 weeks; Half a year – 26. Right?


This episode, since it’s going to be a little longer, is going to be split in three main parts.

First, we’ll see what was going on in Rome itself.

From there we’ll go to see the world around Rome, taking out usual eagle’s flight, just like last time.

And just like last time, we’ll do that in a clockwise fashion.

Northern Italy first, then Dalmatia, Macedonia, Greece, Asia minor, Syria and the future Palestine, Egypt, Carthage and North Africa. From there to the Iberian Peninsula, the Gauls, and then back to Rome, seeing if there is anything worth mentioning in the Mediterranean islands: Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia.

If any region did not go through any real major changes, then that region will not be mentioned in our eagle’s flight, and a good example of this would be Germania and the Netherlands, where there hasn’t been any big changes, this time around.

Last, we’ll see a brief list of the rulers of Rome — from our last State of the Union, to this State of the Union.

That means, we’ll see a list of Consuls, Decemvirs, and Military Tribunes who managed the destinies of Rome during these last 119 years.

Not all of them, but the ones that really mattered.

Alright. Shall we?


495 BC.

Appius Claudius Sabinus, along with Publius Servilius Priscus. That was when Plebeians withdrew from Rome, and walked to the Mount Sacro, protesting for the differences between Patrician and Plebes.

494 BC.

Valerius Maximus was erected Dictator. Reason: The conflict of the Orders.

488 BC.

Gaius Julius Julus. All right — let me say that again… Gaius Julius Julus — not Julius!

He was consul when the Volsci attacked Rome under the command of Coriolanus, the guy whose mom convinced him to stop the attack.



Episode 21 – Saturnalia and Christmas

— Some were drunk. Some were on their way to getting drunk. And some were not nearly drunk enough.

A brief overview of Saturnalia and Christmas. The rise of Saturnalia, and the things Romans did for that occasion. Finally, a brief list on how Saturnalia relates to our Christmas celebration.

Partial Transcript

Hello, this is Abel, speaking from Beijing, China. Welcome to my podcast.

The Tale of Rome, Episode 21 — Saturnalia and Christmas.

Since humans left the warm lands of Africa — somewhere between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago, one of their greatest foes has always been winter.

In winter, food disappears.

Cold brings sickness and death.

Days get shorter.

Animals perish, and the vast majority of trees lose their green.

Since before humans began to celebrate the midpoint of that season of distress and scarcity, which we know as the Winter Solstice, civilizations always tried to create celebrations around that day, and around that very night — the longest night of the year.

And so, today we are going to talk about two of the festivities that are set around this Winter Solstice.


The streets of Rome were generally dark and quite dangerous at night after sunset, because Rome never used a lighting system, financed by the city itself.

But during these festivities, huge candles and oil torches were put on all the major streets of Rome, at intervals of 20 meters each, and that was something that even the Romans who hated the celebration itself, were always going to enjoy for a night or two.

Everyone could walk at night in Rome, and the Romans did it with so much enthusiasm, that in Rome there were jokes and metaphors such as “happier than Saturn himself,” or “Why are so happy? Is it Saturnalia yet?”

Today there is a debate if that phrase was pronounced as “IO Saturnalia” or “YO Saturnalia”, but nonetheless, people used it so often, that some Romans were already sick and tired of hearing it, especially when every drunkard gave you the same greeting.


We also have to mention the dinner that followed.