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The Ancients

Author: History Hit

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A podcast for all ancient history fans! The Ancients is dedicated to discussing our distant past. Featuring interviews with historians and archaeologists, each episode covers a specific theme from antiquity. From Neolithic Britain to the Fall of Rome. Hosted by Tristan Hughes. 
430 Episodes
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Roman Roads

Roman Roads

2024-07-1451:59

Do all roads lead to Rome? We find out in today's episode all about one of the Roman Empire's greatest legacies - it's web-like network of roads and route-ways. From the famous Via Appia, the longest road in mainland Italy, to Watling Street, the road on which Boudica was defeated, Rome's roads left an indelible mark on the territories their centurions conquered.But what do we actually know about these ancient streets and pathways? What was road travel like back in Roman times? And most importantly, what was their equivalent of a service station?To explain all this and much more Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr Catherine Fletcher, author of a new book called The Roads to Rome. Presented by Tristan Hughes. Edited by Aidan Lonergan. The producer is Joseph Knight, the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a History Hit podcast.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original TV documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off your first 3 months using code ‘ANCIENTS’. https://historyhit.com/subscriptionVote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Birth of the Iron Age

Birth of the Iron Age

2024-07-1101:05:521

It’s the end of the 12th century BC, and a once remarkable Near eastern world lay in ruin. Drought, warfare, famine, earthquakes, plague - all had combined to brutally devastate ancient civilisations stretching from Mesopotamia to Egypt to mainland Greece. It was a catastrophe unlike anything else - a Bronze Age collapse. But that’s only half the story. What happened next? Would these people adapt to this new age of chaos?Dr Eric Cline joins Tristan Hughes to discuss the dawn of the Iron Age. They’re talking Egyptians, Hittites, Mycenaeans, Cypriots, Phoenicians and many more.Presented by Tristan Hughes. Edited by Joseph Knight. The producer is Joseph Knight, the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a History Hit podcast.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original TV documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off your first 3 months using code ‘ANCIENTS’. https://historyhit.com/subscriptionVote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
More than 3,000 years ago, a coalition of Bronze Age rulers existed across the Near Eastern world. Kings reigning over great Bronze age powers like New Kingdom Egypt, Babylon and the Hittites coexisted and interacted with each other. They exchanged precious goods, signed treaties and even married into each other's families. But how exactly did this brotherhood of kings emerge? And how important was it to the history of the ancient Near East?In today's episode of The Ancients Tristan Hughes is joined by Prof. Amanda Podany to talk about what has come to be known as the first ‘international age’.Together they uncover how the brotherhood of kings ruled supreme across the Near Eastern world and explore why they built such a sophisticated and intricate web of diplomatic ties and connections.Presented by Tristan Hughes. Edited by Aidan Lonergan. The producer is Joseph Knight, the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a History Hit podcast.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original TV documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off your first 3 months using code ‘ANCIENTS’. https://historyhit.com/subscriptionVote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
The crisis of the Roman Republic is a period littered with iconic male power players. Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Pompey, Brutus and the Gracchi brothers. But less famous, and often overlooked are the women that shaped these famous Roman statesmen.In today's episode of the Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Daisy Dunn to shine a light on some of the most remarkable women in Roman history. From Cornelia, the mother and tutor of the Gracchi brothers, to Fulvia, the wife of Mark Antony and a commander in the Perusine War, we take you on a journey through the lives and stories of four of Rome's foremost Domina.Daisy Dunn's new book The Missing Thread: A New History of the Ancient World Through the Women Who Shaped It is out now in the UK and publishes 7/30 in the US.Presented by Tristan Hughes. Edited by Aidan Lonergan. The producer is Joseph Knight, the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a History Hit podcast.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Temple Mount

Temple Mount

2024-06-2901:03:31

Temple Mount is one of the most sacred places in Jerusalem. A rocky outcrop that has become important for Islam, Judaism and Christianity and the acropolis of the ancient city, with links to figures like King David, Solomon, Herod, Jesus and Muhammad. It’s an area of the world rich in religious history.And in today's episode of The Ancients - the last in our Old Testament miniseries - we're going to be delving into the archaeology of this famous ancient site and exploring what remains of the glorious buildings that once sat atop this important mountain. To help, Tristan is joined by Jodi Magness, author of new book, Jerusalem Through The Ages, which chronicles the history of the holy city from its very beginnings to the Crusades.Presented by Tristan Hughes. Edited by Aidan Lonergan. The producer is Joseph Knight, the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a History Hit podcast.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
The story of the ancient kingdom of Israel is a central part of the Old Testament. Famous for its kings like Saul, David and Solomon, the kingdom supposedly emerged in the southern Levant in the late 2nd millennium BC. Most of what we know about this kingdom comes from the Hebrew Bible. But what does the archeology say? Are there any remains that might corroborate what the bible tells us?In today's episode of The Ancients, Tristan continues our Old Testament mini-series and interviews archeologist Felicity Cobbing. Together they delve into both the biblical narrative and the archaeological evidence in an attempt to answer some the questions that shroud the story of this biblical kingdom.Presented by Tristan Hughes. Edited by Aidan Lonergan. The producer is Joseph Knight, the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a podcast from History Hit.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Heracles

Heracles

2024-06-2255:59

Tristan Hughes continues the Greek Gods and Goddesses series with today’s deity; the most popular mythical hero of them all: Heracles, or Hercules. Same hero.His story has never faded, reimagined in various media formats from Hollywood and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, to Disney, to The Ancients podcast. Professor Alastair Blanshard joins Tristan to discuss who Heracles was, what were some of the many myths surrounding this hero, and what were his 12 labours?Presented by Tristan Hughes and produced by Joseph Knight. The audio editor is Aidan Lonergan and the senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a podcast from History Hit.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
The Ark of the Covenant is one of the most famous, yet mysterious, objects mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. This special box that held the sacred 10 Commandments, written by God himself.But what exactly was it? What stories are told about it? And, most intriguingly of all, what happened to it? Tristan Hughes visits the University of Cardiff and Dr Dylan Johnson to find out.Presented by Tristan Hughes. The producer is Joseph Knight, audio editor is Aidan Lonergan. The senior producer is Anne-Marie Luff.The Ancients is a podcast from History Hit.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Origins of the Celts

Origins of the Celts

2024-06-1653:06

The Celts are an ancient people shrouded in mystery and intrigue. In the minds of most people the word ‘Celt’ refers to the people of Iron Age Britain, or the ferocious Galatians of central Turkey. But the original Celts were very different. They settled in places like southern France and northern Italy and came into direct contact with the Etruscans and the Greeks. So what do we know about these Iron Age Celts and their early Celtic world? In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Rachel Pope to decode and decipher the origins of the Celts. Together they explore how these early Iron Age Celts spread from their ancestral lands in central France and how their unique Celtic culture evolved down the centuries, culminating with their sacking of Rome in the early 4th century BC. This episode was produced by Joseph Knight and edited by Aidan Lonergan.The Ancients is a podcast from History HitEnjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Moses & The Exodus

Moses & The Exodus

2024-06-1247:52

The story of Moses and the Exodus is one of the oldest and most well known in history. It is full of instantly recognisable episodes like the parting of the Red Sea, the ten plagues of Egypt, and the burning bush but it is also foundational to many modern-day faiths. So today we’re asking what does the historical and archaeological record reveal about this epic biblical narrative?In this episode of The Ancients - the second in our Old Testament mini-series - Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Dylan Johnson to delve deep into the history of the ancient Israelites, to explore whether Moses was a real historical figure and to discover what historical parallels may have inspired the Exodus origin story. This episode was edited by Aidan Lonergan and produced by Joseph KnightThe Ancients is a History Hit podcast.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
The Parthians

The Parthians

2024-06-0958:41

The Parthians were heavyweights of ancient Mesopotamia. Hailing from what is now modern day Iran, they charged onto the scene by destroying the Seleucid Empire and became one of Rome’s most formidable enemies. They are perhaps most famous for capturing Crassus - Rome’s spider-like tycoon - at the Battle of Carrhae, and pouring gold down his throat. But what else do we know about them?In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr Adrian Goldsworthy to explore who the Parthians really were, to delve into what the sources can tell us about them, and to discover how these horse-warriors managed to forge a superpower-like empire that stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates to the Hindu Kush.  This episode was produced by Joseph Knight and edited by Max Carrey.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Noah's Ark and the Flood

Noah's Ark and the Flood

2024-06-0501:02:441

The Ancients launches a new miniseries exploring the stories, people, objects and kingdoms central to the Old Testament's narrative. There was only one place to start and it's not "In the beginning..."The story of the Flood in the Book of Genesis is well known, where God conjured up a great flood to kill off all of humanity for their wicked behaviour. Except for Noah, whom God ordered to construct a massive boat and fill it with 2 of every animal. When the flood came, Noah, his family and the animals survived on board the Ark.The story of Noah and the Ark is not only embedded in the Bible, however, but it's also central to parts of the Quran and central to Judaism. The origins of the story stretch way back beyond the Old Testament to Mesopotamia.Tristan Hughes heads to the British Museum to explore this Mesopotamian myth with Dr Irving Finkel who made a discovery which turned the world of Assyriology - and his life - on its head. They discuss who was Noah to the Mesopotamians? What did they do with the animals? And what was the shape and design of THIS great ark?This episode was presented by Tristan Hughes. The producer was Joseph Knight, edited by Peter Dennis and Aidan Lonergan. Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.Vote for The Ancients in the Listeners Choice category of British Podcast Awards here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
After the death of his patron Julius Caesar, the Roman world was Mark Antony’s for the taking. His triumph over Caesar’s assassins at Phillipi in 42 BC only served to cement his legendary status as Rome’s most feared commander. But then came Octavian and Cleopatra…In this episode of The Ancients - the second, and final part of our special series on the life of Mark Antony - Tristan is once again joined by Professor Jeff Tatum to discuss how Antony filled the power vacuum left by Caesar’s assassination. They then retell and assess his fight for power with Rome’s latest young upstart, Octavian and the fateful events that led to his demise at the court of Cleopatra.This episode was produced by Joseph Knight and edited by Peter Dennis. Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here. 
Mark Antony; the headstrong bad boy, a feared commander, lover and traitor memorably depicted by Richard Burton. His story is intertwined with some of ancient history's biggest names such as Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus, Cleopatra and Augustus.In a two part special of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes assesses the eventful life of the notorious Roman statesman and general Marcus Antonius.In part one Tristan is joined by Professor Jeffrey Tatum to discuss Mark Antony's early life and astonishing rise up the ranks of the Roman army, from decadent party boy to stellar commander at the side of Julius Caesar. This episode was produced and edited by Joseph Knight. Senior Producer was Anne-Marie LuffEnjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall

2024-05-2555:22

It's the most famous Roman frontier in the world. A massive c.13-foot high wall that spanned the length of northern Britain, dividing the empire between Roman and 'barbarian' land. But how was it built? Who lived along it? And why was it named after Emperor Hadrian?In this episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Frances McIntosh to tell the story of this iconic monument of Roman Britain and explore the forts, milecastles and turrets that made it far more than just a wall. Along the way they'll discover how Hadrian's Wall fit into the wider Roman frontier and how it has helped countless authors when creating fictional worlds (yes George R.R. Martin we're looking at you...).This episode was produced and edited by Joseph Knight. Senior Producer was Anne-Marie Luff.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
‘I am Spartacus!’ In the field of epic film making, the 1960 historical drama ‘Spartacus’ is legendary. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, and starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier, it is undoubtedly a classic. But how much of the plot has emerged from the true story of a Thracian gladiator and slave who escaped his Roman captors and led an unsuccessful but impressive rebellion against their oppressors? And how much of the film’s message was formed by the personalities involved in its creation, and the context in which it was made?In her own words, Dr Fiona Radford devoted years of her life to the man with the most memorable chin cleft in the world - Kirk Douglas, specifically as Spartacus. Her thesis traced the production history of this film, examining in particular the effect that the turbulent process had on the portrayal of female characters. Having taught at Macquarie University, ANU and the University of Sydney, she currently teaches history at secondary school level, and her conversation with Tristan in this episode is an eye-opener to 1950s film making as well as the legend of Spartacus.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Dionysus: God of Wine

Dionysus: God of Wine

2024-05-1957:21

Dionysus. He's known as the party God of ancient Greece who you never wanted to cross. Associated with theatre, mysterious cults and even, on one occasion, turning pirates into dolphins. But who exactly was the 12th God of the Greek Pantheon? And why has he become associated with having a good time?In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes continues our series on Greek Gods and Goddesses by exploring the infamous patron of wine with Dr Sarah Iles Johnston. Together they deep dive into the many myths that shaped his legend, starting with the horrific fate that befell King Pentheus after he banned the worship of Dionysus.This episode was produced by Joseph Knight and edited by Aidan Lonergan.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Caligula

Caligula

2024-05-1550:392

Caligula. One of the most infamous Roman emperors of them all. He didn't rule Rome for long, but he has gained a legacy as this incredibly evil figure. But who was the real Caligula? Did he really fall in love with one of his horses? And did he really declare war on the sea?In today's episode Tristan Hughes uncovers all this and more as he welcomes historian LJ Trafford back onto the podcast to explore the truth behind Caligula's rather horrifying legend.This episode was produced by Joseph Knight and edited by Aidan LonerganEnjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Cleopatra. It is one of the most recognisable names in ancient history, made famous by the exploits of Egypt’s controversial pharaoh queen. But did you know that the Cleopatra of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony fame was actually the seventh Cleopatra of her dynasty. From 180 BC, down to the Roman conquest of Alexandria in 30 BC, Egypt was ruled by a line of fiercely ambitious and independent Cleopatras, none of whom were afraid to break the rules…In today’s episode of The Ancients Tristan once again welcomes Prof. Lloyd Llewellyn Jones onto to podcast, this time to delve into the golden age of Ptolmeic Egypt and unpack the tumultuous family drama that brought these Cleopatras to the fore. This episode was produced and edited by Joseph Knight. Senior Producer was Anne-Marie Luff.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
Nineveh

Nineveh

2024-05-0857:171

Nineveh was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia. Situated on the eastern bank of the River Tigris, it rivalled cities like Babylon and Persepolis as the capital of the great Assyrian Empire and the seat of power for towering figures like Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal. But what were its origins, how did it become such a great city and how did it fall? In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by Dr. Paul Collins to tell the story of Nineveh’s history from start to end. Beginning with its Stone Age origins, they discuss its conquest by the Akkadians, its golden age as Mesopotamia’s foremost city, and its obliteration at the hands of the Medes and Babylonians. This episode was produced by Joseph Knight and edited by Aidan Lonergan Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code ANCIENTS - sign up here.You can take part in our listener survey here.
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Comments (88)

ID21333678

I loved this whole series. It has been fascinating. Keep up the good work!

Jun 30th
Reply

Eric G. Young

Excellent episode! I was riveted by Dr. Finkel. In addition to the obvious topical expertise he has, he has the most wonderful voice for storytelling. His voice positively sounds like it might belong to a wizard in Harry Potter's world or some other character from a children's story. I hope you will have him come back.

Jun 7th
Reply (1)

Cholula Hot Sauce

Irving Finkel is the GOAT

Jun 7th
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Eric G. Young

Want to step back in time for a while and learn about ancient history? Feel like women from that time have been forgotten? Then this podcast and episode are for you. This episode explores the "other" Cleopatras before the legendary one. Great talk that also debunks the trash Netflix docudrama as well. Check it out!

May 16th
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Eric G. Young

That episode was phenomenal. I have an undergrad degree in ancient history with an emphasis on the Hellenistic Period, and I have been enraptured by Cleopatra VII for decades. I learned more from this episode about the earlier Cleos than I did in 4 years of college. What a story! What a group of remarkable women! Truly, it gives me a new perspective on THE Cleopatra. No longer is she an outlier, but rather part of a line of badass gals that took no crap! Thank you! More! The Seleucids next, eh?

May 16th
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Sindy Taylor

Cahokia is in Illinois, not Missouri. Other than that, I love the show!

May 8th
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Eric G. Young

Hello, I enjoy your podcast quite a lot, but I thought you should know the music for the intro to this episode is quite loud, making it difficult to hear Tristan. The music should serve as a scene-setting backdrop and not drown out the narrator.

Apr 23rd
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Tracey Ferrell

Always enjoy hearing Dr. Podany

Apr 12th
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Granny InSanDiego

This interview does not do justice to the rich literary and cultural tradition of ancient Greece which was devoted to Artemis. Here are a few examples. The story of Niobe, the Athenian festival of the Brauronia, the myth of Oeneus, king of Calydon and the Calydonian boar hunt, the myth of Admetus, king of Pherae, in Euripides play Alcestis, and the myth of Hippolytus in the play of that name also by Euripides. There is the Hymn to Artemis by the great Hellenistic poet Callimachus, and more.

Mar 31st
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Tracey Ferrell

So glad to hear a discussion of the Koster dogs. Went to field school in Kampsville a couple of years after the Koster site was closed. The dog burial was a Big Deal. Glad it still is.

Mar 24th
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Juju Longo

i love liv!

Mar 21st
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Emma Bailey

I love her but please ask her to slow down next time

Mar 8th
Reply

Juju Longo

Dr. G and Dr. Rad are awesome, as always.

Feb 25th
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Mary McKenzie

2222222²

Feb 11th
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Afra Tanzeem

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Jan 29th
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Juanita Tool

Love this podcast!

Jan 3rd
Reply

Teresa Wilkinson

annoying background noise 🤦‍♀️

Nov 21st
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Mina Dallas

why distroying the image of the great cyrus i wonder this much hostility is strange🤔

Oct 21st
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Tim McMinn

top episode

Sep 24th
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Heather Fifield

fascinating... as always! Thank you

Sep 7th
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