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College of Arts and Sciences

Caesar’s death and life in Antiquitas podcast

By: Linda B. Glaser,  A&S Communications
February 11, 2019

The second season of the Antiquitas: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World podcast, “The Death of Caesar,” launches Feb. 11, in a new collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios. The season will feature interviews with experts who will illuminate the life and death of one of history’s most famous leaders.

Barry Strauss, the Cornell University Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies in the Departments of History and Classics, in front of the statue of Julius Caesar in Torino SquareThe podcast is hosted by Barry Strauss, the Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies in the Departments of History and Classics. He calls Julius Caesar’s history “a great story, with unexpected twists and turns and unforgettable characters.”

Caesar, says Strauss, was the most talented man of his age – and the most dangerous egotist. “If we want to understand what genius is and why it both attracts and frightens us, we can do no better than study Caesar. He was a brilliant writer, statesman, and soldier who trampled on the constitutional norms of his country to help the poor and downtrodden – and to make himself dictator. Caesar’s death bathed the world in blood and left a legacy of Caesarism. He laid the foundations for the Roman Empire and left a challenge for believers in free and constitutional government, a challenge to heal themselves or risk leaving the door open to future dictators.”

The new season will include four episodes:

  • “Caesar and Cleopatra,” featuring Durba Ghosh, professor of history and director of the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program;
  • “The Assassins: The Men Who Killed Caesar,” featuring Michael Fontaine, professor of classics and associate vice provost of undergraduate education
  • “The Ides of March,” featuring Francesco Galassi, MD, Flinders University, Australia;
  • “Caesar’s Funeral,” featuring Strauss’ research chronicled in his book, “The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination” as well as the work of Stanford’s Adrienne Mayor.

Strauss’ seven books on ancient history also include “Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership”; “Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece—and Western Civilization”; and the forthcoming “Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine.”