Mar 26, 2022
Today we take a historical look at the Battle of Actium, a huge
naval battle off the coast of Greece that determined the future of
what we know as the Roman Empire.
We welcome Cornell University’s Professor Barry Strauss back to the podcast to bring another epic battle to life (listeners will remember him from our deep dive into the life of a well known Spartan warrior named Brasidas).
Barry is a Professor of History and Classics at Cornell University, Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History, author of eight books, and a military and naval historian and consultant. Professor Strauss is a recognized authority on the subject of leadership and the lessons that can be learned from the experiences of the greatest political and military leaders of the ancient world (Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander among many others).
This particular battle and the lead up to it involved some of the iconic names we’ve all heard from history like Cleopatra, Mark Anthony, Octavian Cesar, and Julius Cesar. We also learn about Rome’s most decorated Naval Commander, Admiral Agrippa and how he defeats a numerically superior force. Barry’s newest book “The War that Made the Roman Empire” brings this battle and the personalities to life.
Those who appreciate our combat stories will enjoy hearing about how battles were fought on the open sea at this time and some of the tactics that each side had to use. While some of the military tactics have changed, the overarching military, political, and diplomatic strategy have not, to include the use of information warfare.
I hope you enjoy this combat story from history as much as I did.
Find Barry Online:
Author of The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium
Podcaster, ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World
Find Ryan Online
Combat Story Merch
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Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
0:00 - Intro
0:19 - Guest and topic introduction (Barry Strauss)
1:33 - Interview begins
2:27 - Working at Cornell and how this book came to be
4:25 – Background on the time period, the Roman Empire, and the part of the world the battle takes place
10:51 The historical personalities – Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and Octavian
26:12 - Can we trust the history books?
27:51 - The important military figure, Admiral Agrippa
31:09 - The naval battle and strategy of Naval warfare
38:16 - Tactical decisions made by both sides
40:26 - How the battle evolved and happened in just one day
46:52 -Surprising findings while doing research
51:04 - Listener comments and shout outs