EPISODE 31 Gladiators in Ancient Rome (Part 2): The Spirit of the Gladiator

HOF-Episode-31-GladiatorsInAncientRome-Pt02-TheSpiritoftheGladiator.jpg

“It’s the steel that they love” — Juvenal 

“I needed money for wine” — Titus Pullo in HBO’s series Rome

“We can live vicariously through that moment, or use it to fuel what we desire in life.” —Jake Rossen

"You must die erect and invincible. What difference will it make if you gain a few more days or years? We are born into a world in which no quarter is given." — Seneca

“He who has learned how to die has learned how not to be a slave.” — Seneca

"Joy... is the victim's revolt and revenge against dishonor and powerlessness." — Carlin Barton 

Ancient Romans were obsessed with gladiatorial combat. In this two-part series, we time-travel back to get a sense of what the Games (of which gladiatorial combat was the main attraction) were like. In this episode: how gladiators were both superstars and despised outcasts at the same time, gladiators’ groupies, Marcus Aurelius’ wife taking a bath in gladiator’s blood, Commodus and his 620-0 record in the arena, the clash between Christianity and gladiators, the evolution of MMA in the early 1990s, having your violent cake and eating it too, gladiatorial video games, Titus Pullo’s badassery, Conan’s prayer (The video of my daughter mentioned in this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJIh5zNfmm8), the Red Hot Chili Peppers, MMA fighter Enson Inoue, gladiatorial combat as a master course on Stoicism in action…

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get $ 30 off your first order—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 30 Gladiators in Ancient Rome (Part 1): Are You Not Entertained?

"The stupid crowd is waiting eagerly
For the two valiant heroes to contend.
No farther than their noses can they see;
A spectacle is all they comprehend.”

— Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, 30.27

Ancient Romans were obsessed with gladiatorial combat. In this two-part series, we time-travel back to get a sense of what the Games (of which gladiatorial combat was the main attraction) were like. In this episode: the origins of gladiators, human sacrifice, Achilles and the Iliad, feeding the dead with blood, who were the gladiators, female gladiators, the ludus, the different types of gladiators, the battles among the damnati, the naumachia, executions and ‘snuff plays’, the venatio, crushed by elephants or eaten by lions, the collapsing arena that killed over 20,000, the editor of the games, poor Romans eating lion for dinner, thumbs (up and down)...

This episode is sponsored by Flaviar, the world’s largest online club of spirits enthusiasts. Members get a themed tasting box that let you try different spirits before buying a full sized bottle, and access to their Vault which holds a selection of rare and hard to find spirits available to members only. Please, check them out and use the coupon code HISTORY at checkout. 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get $ 30 off your first order—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 29 I Drink and I Know Things (Where History and Game of Thrones Intersect)

“No matter how much I make up, there’s stuff in history that’s just as bad, or worse.” — George R.R. Martin

“Though I would treasure your friendship, I am mainly interested in your facility with murder” — Tyrion Lannister

“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” — Tyrion Lannister

“If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die. And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.” — Ser Davos Seaworth

“Now, I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying, but that’s not the way you get people to work together.” — Sansa Stark 

I always say that history is really no different from Game of Thrones (minus the dragons). The passion, brutality, the joys and heartbreak, human greatness and human pettiness… it’s all there. And as it turns out the connection between history and the world created by George R.R. Martin’s run deep. In this episode, I am joined by Aziz Al-Doory from The History of Westeros Podcast, and together we discuss some (definitely not all) of the ways in which history has influenced Game of Thrones. In this episode we’ll tackle: The Wall & Hadrian’s Wall, flaying, human sacrifice, feeding enemies to dogs, Agamemnon and Stannis Baratheon, parallels with the Bible, the Dothraki and nomadic steppe peoples, execution by molten gold, the real life examples of the High Sparrow, the walk of shame, the inquisition, the Red Wedding, the siege of Constantinople & the battle of Blackwater Bay, and much more.

This episode is sponsored by Vincero. If you like it when high quality watches and affordable prices go together, check out getthewatch.net and use the code HISTORY for a 15% discount 

This episode is sponsored by Flaviar, the world’s largest online club of spirits enthusiasts. Members get a themed tasting box that let you try different spirits before buying a full sized bottle, and access to their Vault which holds a selection of rare and hard to find spirits available to members only. Please, check them out and use the coupon code HISTORY at checkout. 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get $ 30 off your first order—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 28 Jack Johnson (Part 3): Nobody’s Slave

“He refused to allow anyone—white or black—or any laws and customs—to dictate his place in society or the manner in which he should live.” — Al-Tony Gilmore

“This negro, in the eyes of many, has been persecuted. Perhaps as an individual he was. But it was his misfortune to be the foremost example of the evil in permitting the intermarriage of whites and blacks.” — Asst Atty. Gen. Harry Parkin

“No brutality, no infamy, no degradation in all the years of Southern slavery, possessed such a villainous character and such atrocious qualities as the provision of the laws of Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, and other states which allow the marriage of the negro, Jack Johnson, to a woman of Caucasian strain.” He continued “Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant to the very principles of a pure Saxon government. It is subversive to social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation to a conflict as fatal and as bloody as ever reddened the soil of Virginia or crimsoned the mountain paths of Pennsylvania… Let us uproot and exterminate now this debasing, ultrademoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy.” — Congressman from Georgia Seaborn Roddenberry

“It comes down, then, after all to this unforgivable blackness.” — W.E.B. Du Bois

“I loved him because of his courage. He faced the world unafraid. There wasn't anybody or anything he feared.” — Irene Pineau 

“I would rather listen to you than hear an oration from a professional politician. I can learn more from you.” — Mexican President Venustiano Carranza 

By 1900, the federal government had long abandoned Reconstruction, and white supremacy was returning to the South with a vengeance. Jim Crow was in full swing. Segregation was the law of the land. And Fifty years before Jackie Robinson challenged segregation in baseball, there was Jack Johnson. 

Lynching was a weekly event. Any black man in the South not acting subservient could find himself dangling from a tree. Even African American leaders like Booker T. Washington preached that accepting segregation, keeping one’s head down, and working hard were the best options for black people.

Jack Johnson clearly didn’t get the memo.

At this time when simply looking a white man in the eyes, or talking to a white woman, could get one lynched, Jack Johnson made a living beating the hell out of white men in the ring. Living defiantly as if prejudice didn’t exist—he felt—was the best way to defeat racism. 

It would be easy to mistake Jack Johnson’s story simply as a tale of standing up to racism. It’s about that—sure. But it’s also about a lot more. Because as much Jack Johnson stared down white supremacy, he also battled those black people who insisted that he behaved like a hard-working, God-fearing role model. But JJ wasn’t about to trade a cage for another. He wouldn’t be anyone’s puppet. He would have no master telling him how to live—not white ones, but no black ones either. His story is the tale of a man who, in spite of a time and place that would not allow it, was on a defiant quest to be free, and live life on his own terms. 

In this episode:

  • The campaign to ban boxing
  • Grappling with the demons of success 
  • Jack Johnson vs. Winston Churchill 
  • Marriage and suicide 
  • Legal persecution and marriage # 2 
  • The Police Gazette calling him “the vilest, most despicable creature that lives… he has disgusted the American public by flaunting in their faces an alliance as bold as it was offensive.”
  • The paranoid hysteria at the roots of the Mann Act 
  • Running from the Law 
  • The title defense against Frank Moran 
  • At a party with Rasputin
  • Rubbing elbows with Pancho Villa
  • Jess Willard 
  • Prison life 
  • Marriage # 3
     

This episode is sponsored by Flaviar, the world’s largest online club of spirits enthusiasts. Members get a themed tasting box that let you try different spirits before buying a full sized bottle, and access to their Vault which holds a selection of rare and hard to find spirits available to members only. Please, check them out and use the coupon code HISTORY at checkout. 

If you like it when high quality watches and affordable prices go together, check out getthewatch.net and use the code HISTORY for a 15% discount

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

A big thank you for the support to the podcast How It Began: A History of the Modern World by Brad Harris. Brad holds a PhD in history from Stanford University and is the host of a great new podcast focusing the most important scientific, technological and cultural advancements in history. So, please check out his podcast and his website https://howitbegan.com/ 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 27 Jack Johnson (Part 2): The Fight

“And it was fast cars and whiskey
Long legged girls and fun
I had everything that money could bring
And I took it all with a gun”

— from the song I’ve Never Picked Cotton

“Johnson did not care. He had no use for the bourgeois values of thrift and respectability.” —Randy Roberts

“You don’t catch Jim Jeffries losing to a colored man.” — Jim Jeffries

“Quite conceivably there had never been a more important athletic event in American history.” — Randy Roberts 

“Even those who have an absurdly exaggerated horror of prize fighting as a ‘brutal’ sport should gently warm in their sensitive minds a little hope that the white man may not lose, while the rest of us will wait in open anxiety the news that he has licked the—well, since it must be in print, let us say the negro, even though it is not the first word that comes to the tongue’s tip.” — New York Times

By 1900, the federal government had long abandoned Reconstruction, and white supremacy was returning to the South with a vengeance. Jim Crow was in full swing. Segregation was the law of the land. And Fifty years before Jackie Robinson challenged segregation in baseball, there was Jack Johnson. 

Lynching was a weekly event. Any black man in the South not acting subservient could find himself dangling from a tree. Even African American leaders like Booker T. Washington preached that accepting segregation, keeping one’s head down, and working hard were the best options for black people.

Jack Johnson clearly didn’t get the memo.

At this time when simply looking a white man in the eyes, or talking to a white woman, could get one lynched, Jack Johnson made a living beating the hell out of white men in the ring. Living defiantly as if prejudice didn’t exist—he felt—was the best way to defeat racism. 

It would be easy to mistake Jack Johnson’s story simply as a tale of standing up to racism. It’s about that—sure. But it’s also about a lot more. Because as much Jack Johnson stared down white supremacy, he also battled those black people who insisted that he behaved like a hard-working, God-fearing role model. But JJ wasn’t about to trade a cage for another. He wouldn’t be anyone’s puppet. He would have no master telling him how to live—not white ones, but no black ones either. His story is the tale of a man who, in spite of a time and place that would not allow it, was on a defiant quest to be free, and live life on his own terms. 

In this episode:

  • Public Enemy Number One 
  • At home in the integrated criminal underworld 
  • Ladies and fast cars 
  • Jack Johnson’s intellectual side
  • The Great White Hope 
  • Knocking out and befriending Stanley “The Assassin” Ketchel 
  • “I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a negro.” Jim Jeffries
  • Why the Governor of California prohibited the fight
  • Death threats and attempted poisonings 
  • Jack Johnson’s eerie calm under pressure
    A spectator: “He’ll kill you, Jack.”
    Jack Johnson: “That’s what they all say.” 
  • The verbal fight with Jim Corbett 
  • Triumph and riots in over 50 cities

This episode is sponsored by Flaviar, the world’s largest online club of spirits enthusiasts. Members get a themed tasting box that let you try different spirits before buying a full sized bottle, and access to their Vault which holds a selection of rare and hard to find spirits available to members only. Please, check them out and use the coupon code HISTORY at checkout. 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

A big thank you for the support to the podcast How It Began: A History of the Modern World by Brad Harris. Brad holds a PhD in history from Stanford University and is the host of a great new podcast focusing the most important scientific, technological and cultural advancements in history. So, please check out his podcast and his website https://howitbegan.com/ 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"