As some may know, I’ve been deployed to the Pacific since January, and in that time I’ve embarked on a pretty comprehensive ‘return to fighting form’ program. Between running, rucking, P90X Ab Ripper, elliptical and weights….I’ve lost around 20 pounds and regained some sorely needed muscle mass.
It was either that or get into trouble….I mean, it is the Pacific right? OK, it was really either that or start my Masters program; did I want to be cooped up with my nose in books…I mean, it IS the Pacific right?
During my cardio and a bit of my rucking, I’ve been listening to podcasts….and I’ve just come to the end of a 179 episode adventure in Roman history. Though I’ve read many a book on the various phases and aspects of Roman civilization, there are always new perspectives to learn, and I can recommend no better way than Mike Duncan’s The History of Rome.
It’s available on iTunes [free] and Audible [probably not free], and it’s well worth your time, if you are into podcasts or audiobooks. Mike Duncan delivers an astounding tour from the hopeful era of Romulus to the despair of Romulus Augustus, with a dizzying sense of academic knowledge, wry humor and impeccable timing.
And now I’m done. I have to say goodbye to the guy who’s voice has been with me almost everytime I’ve saddled up to the elliptical for the last 3 1/2 months. It’s like finishing the last episode of The Wire, or The Soprano’s, or Battlestar Galactica. You’re left with a feeling of ….what the hell do I do now?
So I’ve started on The History of Byzantium, by some British guy. A guy, who to his credit, opened his first podcast with glowing praise of The History of Rome, and the desire we all felt, of continuing the saga of the eastern empire. Unfortunately, I just about fell asleep while working out.
I may go back to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, since it’s apparently still ongoing [I got into him while in Iraq in 2007/8]. But I also solicit recommendations from the assembled blogosphere.
Once again, check out The History of Rome. I can’t oversell this learning experience.