HISTORY This Week

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Love, Betrayal, and the Battle for Rome

Season 3

September 2, 31 BCE. Two camps prepare for battle off the coast of Greece. On one side is Octavian, Julius Caesar’s heir apparent. On the other, Marc Antony and his lover, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. This battle won’t just determine the leader of Rome, but the fate of global civilization. How did Cleopatra wind up in the middle of a Roman game of tug of war? And how did the Battle of Actium change our world forever?


Special thanks to our guest, Barry Strauss, author of The War That Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium.

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11/28/2022

A Meteorite Hits Ann Hodges

Season 4
November 30, 1954. At about 12:45 in the afternoon, a space rock comes plummeting through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Alabama. It bounces off a standup radio, ricochets around the living room, and collides with the thigh of Mrs. Ann Hodges, who’s been napping on the couch. Newspapers declare: “experts agreed unanimously that Mrs. Hodges was the first person known to have been struck by a meteorite.” What happened to this space rock after it crashed to Earth and thrust itself into volatile human affairs? And what happened to the human beings whose lives were upended by this rarest of rare events?Thanks to our guests: Dr. Julia Cartwright, planetary scientist at the University of Alabama; Billy Field, professor at the University of Alabama and screenwriter; and Julie Love Templeton, attorney in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.Dr. Cartwright is involved in a number of art/science collaborations to engage and educate the public about meteorites and planetary science. You can find out more on her website, JACartwright.people.ua.edu. Keep an eye out for Billy Field’s latest project, TheStoryAcorn.com, which launches in January 2023. The website will feature history from the Civil Rights movement, told by those who lived it. The website teaches students to gather stories from their own communities and share them with the world. Thanks also to Mary Beth Prondzinski, former collections manager at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and to the Alabama Museum of Natural History.